Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Friday Sketchers #49, Cupcake Crafts Challenge #37 and Spoonful of Sugar Challenge #39

I've been playing with my Elusive Images Butterfly theme plates and come up with a card that fits three challenges.

I've used Mumur's lovely sketch from Friday Sketchers as the basis for my card. The colour theme comes from A Spoonful of Sugar's challenge this week: Blue & Green. I remember the old adage that "blue and green together should not be seen" and thought it would be interesting to see if I could get enough contrast into my card. And finally, Caryn at Cupcake Crafts has challenged everyone to use at least five different embellishments on a card, in honour of her five children! I have used: a brad, Stickles, gold thread, butterflies and flowers.

All the stamps are from the Elusive Images themeplates, Butterfly Poppy Collage and Butterfly Daisy Collage. All are coloured with Inktense watercolour pencils, highlighted with Stickles and with Glossy accents. The Happy Birthday is a Dimension Fourth stamp, the main image is mounted onto Bazzil card and the background paper comes from a free download from Making Handmade Cards, who sell printable papers and offer really great lessons and how-tos, as well a a free trial pack of designs.

I really like this, however it's quite a heavy card, don't think I'll be posting it to anyone :)!

Places to go...

We've been blessed with good weather for our week off and have been out and about. Yesterday I had a work appointment, but Geoff came along too. It was a tour of Oaksey House in the village, a unique facility, just opened, that provides fitness and rehabilitation for jockeys, along with homes for those who need it, including a self-contained unit for respite care for some of the paraplegics that they look after.

The building is astonishing, it is light and airy and has so many wonderful design features and little touches. I won't list them all here, but click on the link and have a look. Each room has been named after a benefactor (Hitchin's kitchen) or a horse (Party Politics is the meeting room) and I was mesmerised by the murals that have been painted by a very talented artist called Jess Arthur.

Can I point out that this is a mural, NOT a photo! :)

Today we visited the garden at Rooksnest, a large house a mile or so away, as the garden was open in aid of charity.

The gardens were beautiful, the house is stunning.

Can you guess what is inside the building with the tower? Bet you can't...

It's an indoor swimming pool with a water slide inside the tower - yes really! A small Disney waterpark in Lambourn Woodlands...

To top everything, I saw the first swallows of summer in the stableyard at Rooksnest!

Roll on summer...

Thanks Judith! has kindly given me a "makes my heart smile" award. Thank you so much Judith! Judith is another fan of Graphicus and their Elusive Images stamps, check out her blog for some lovely work.

Please award yorself the Heart Smile logo if you're reading this, I love to read EVERYONE'S blogs :)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Ismaki Challenge 27/04 - sketch & violet

Ismaki has a great sketch to use for this week's challenge, with the twist that there must be some purple included in the card. I've used a new stamp set that I bought at Ally Pally last week from Dimension Fourth The set is their Parisian stamp set and it includes a map of Paris, a little dog, and the threee stamps I've used here: Ooh La La, Eiffel Tower and the woman drinking cafe au lait.
This is the first time I've bought from Dimension Fourth. They sell clear stamps that I'm really liking using. They give a sharp image and seem to take various inks happily without the problems I've had with a better known brand. I think you'll be seeing more of Dimension Fourth on here... :)
I've watercoloured the woman in purple and edged the oval with chalk ink. The Eiffel Tower and the text are stamped in Adirondack Eggplant onto a greyish purple cardstock from the Stamp Attic, it's the plain side of one of their lovely florals. The cardstock was edged with a decorative blade on my paper trimmer.
The flowers are made from Bazzil bling and the cardstock, using two flower punches. I've stamped leaves behind them I' don't have anything to cut leaf shapes. The ribbon is from Stamp Attic and the sentiment is from a Hero Arts clear set.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Corrosive Challenge #9 - For Mum

It's time to take the Corrosive Challenge again. If you get a chance, please go to Janet's blog and read about her Mom. Janet's Mum died in 05; a few years before, Janet gave her a kidney. I don't know about you, but I see this as a heroic act. Janet you are a hero!

My Mum is still alive and kicking, however we had Mothering Sunday a while ago in the UK so I haven't sent this card to her yet! I've put a card together using Mum's favourite flower, a pansy. I used tapestry stamps to make the main image, with a little yellow Stickles in the centres of some of the flowers. It's mounted onto green card with some ric-rac on it. The letters are from Dimension Fourth, with the pansies stamped onto them, the Glossy Accents applied. This has blurred the pansies and changed the colours, I'm not too keen on this. The letters were curved around a shaping tool and stuck down with silicon glue.

I think the letter may come off and the card undergo a makeover before it gets sent...

Card Sketch A Day - #239

Today another couple of cards that I made for Susan Costanza's blog were published. The theme with the sketch was "split the sentiment". Top card uses a flower stamp from the Craftwork Cards botanicals set. I've used Glossy Accents on the flowers to give them some dimension. The sentiments are from a Hero Arts set and the papers are all from the Stamp Attic, I've used this co-ordinating set a lot.
Thse second card uses the Craftwork Cards botanicals stamps again. The Get Well Soon is all on one stamp, can't remember who makes it. I've split it by masking part of the stamp with a Post-It. The paper is from the Stamp Attic again, I've cut the papers with a decorative blade in my paper trimmer to make it a little different from the first card.

Thank you Debbie

My blogging sister Debbie has kindly awarded me the Renee Award. The Renee Award was created by Bella ( and Ces ( who wanted to show appreciation of the impact their friend Renee made on their lives. This award is meant, according to Bella, to be given to those that, like Renee, are like "the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns…".

In Celtic mythology, the oak was the tree of doors, a gateway between worlds. So, I am passing this on to other artists that have inspired me with their art and their kindness in my growth as a papercrafting artist."

Mostly I ask all who read my blog to receive an award but I feel this one is a little special. So I'm passing it on to:








Thank you for your wonderful blogs and your creativity ladies!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Twisted Thursday #8

Twisted Thursday has a great sketch to use this week, with the additional twist of using ribbon - not too tricky :). The challenge is linked to Shirleys2Girls stamps, but you don't HAVE to use one of their stamps. I only have the one (but am getting more!) so I've used a House Mouse image that my stamping sister Janet sent to me.

It's the first time I've used a House Mouse image and I wasn't sure about colours, I think they look ok though... Coloured with water colour pencils, papers used are free ones that came with a magazine. Don't know where the green ric-rac is from, the flowers are Prima ones from the Stamp Attic. The greeting is mounted onto silver mirror card, looks a bit odd on the scan :). Hope you like my first House Mouse card...

Harvest Moon - Penny Black Challenge Anything Goes

Week 46 on the Penny Black Challenge Blog is "Anything Goes". I thought it's be fun to make an ATC for this and got out my wonderful Nature's Dance stamp that featured on most of my Christmas cards last year. I white embossed it onto white card and decided to change the season by sponging it with Distress Inks in all 3 colours that I have :). The moon was masked off with a little bit of a Post-It note and then a little of the straw coloured ink rubbed across it.

The bronze card behind it is wrapped with silk yarn in Autmn colours and some gem flowers that my DH bought me at Christmas are to the right of the ribbon. I'm wondering whether to add anything else...

Guess Hoo? Sketch & Stash Challenge #8

I've managed to finish this in time for the Sketch & Stash Challenge #8, life's been busy but I do enjoy their challenges. I've some new stash, the owl and branch stamps are both from Dimension Fourth, isn't he gorgeous?
The alphabet stamps are oldstash, a freebie set that I got at the Stamp Attic last year, because I spent over £?? in their shop. I can't remember how much, I'm not trying to hide incriminating evidence :)! Never unwrapped them, they came out today. The papers are free papers that came with a magazine.
Owl and branch are stamped with antique grey Versafine and coloured with watercolour pencils, the leaves and the owl's eyes have Glossy accents on them, as does the centre of the flower, which is cut from the free papers.

Friday, 24 April 2009

CPS Challenge 112

I've used a pretty sketch from Card Positioning System's blog challenge to make this simple card. It isn't easy to get a good photo of it, the paper used is silver and black and it looks better in real life! The paper, card flowers and faux brads are all from Craftwork Cards. The two sentiments are both from a Hero Arts set of birthday greetings.

Corrosive Challenges #8 - Words, words, words

Life has rather got in the way of my crafting this week and I realise that I've forgotten to post my Corrosive Challenges card on here :(. This week's challenge is to use the sentiment as a focal point and not add images.

I've made a very simple card with Basic Grey papers. The sentiment is gold embossed onto cream card and I've striped Basic Grey across the card, cutting out extra gifts and putting them onto foam pads to raise them up. The sentiment stamps were bought from Imagepac at a show ages ago, they are a large set of Christmas messages that's really useful to have.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I won with Shirleys2Girls!

I'm so excited, my last card won the April challenge with Shirleys2Girls blog. Love their stamps, can't wait to get more :)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Shirleys2Girls has a new challenge called 222 World Wide Challenge, which closes at 2pm on the 22nd. The challenge is the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" with the colour palette of lavender, orange, lime, black and white. Phew! Quite a challenge to tie the zingy colours with an English country garden inspired rhyme :).

I started with a pretty maid sitting in the garden (a Gorjuss stamp), being contrary by not doing any gardening even though lots of flowers are springing up all over. She is sheltering under a tree with vivid lime leaves coming into bud (Elusive Images arboretum stamp) and the flowers are from Craftwork Card's graceful grasses designs.

I've framed the card with orange and added a lime ribbon. The left hand side has shells stamped onto it for the cockle shells, they don't show up too well but they are there! The lavender blooms are highlighted with Glossy Accents and there is a little gold glitter glue in the centre of the orange flowers. This is the first card I've made for a few days, hope you like it :)

Thank you Leslie

I'd like to say a big THANK YOU! to Leslie, my SBS "sister" for sending me this very luscious card - just look at the decorative buttons, aren't they great! What a lovely surprise, thanks Leslie.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Digi-Shack grand opening - giveaway

Kristen, one of my blogging "sisters" is one of the Design Team at DigiShack, so I went across to check it out and found a freebie design and a challenge. Today (15 April) all their designs are on offer to celebrate their grand opening.

The freebie is a very pretty blossom image, however despite only printing it 3" high it is quite pixillated and isn't a sharp, clean image, unlike other digi-images that I have. However I've coloured it with watercolour pencils, cut some extra blossoms for the tag and used the challenge sketch. I've queried the quality of the image on their blog and hopefully this is just a glitch as they have some very nice designs.

The ribbon is a gift from my blogging "sister" Vanja and the double-sided paper that I've used comes from Stamp Attic. No designer name on it but isn't it pretty?

EDITED: I have discovered that I downloaded the free image wrongly by right clicking on the image at the blog, that says "free image". Navigate from it to the download page and you will get a high quality, clear image. My mistake, not Digi-shacks :). Tomorrow I'll colour in the image again.

Corrosive Challenges #7 - sketchtime

This week on the Corrosive Challenges blog, Janet has created a great sketch to use. I got out my Hero Arts clear stamps and tried some of the treatments that were suggested to get them taking up ink. So they've had an eraser rubbed over them, Stazon cleaner, Versamark ink and then washed. I've not yet tried sandpaper, I'm worried about losing the impression.

It then stamped ok using Stazon, which stamped well as I expected, however the stamp stuck to the paper and I had problems lifting it without tearing the paper :). Hmm....

I coloured in the flowers with Inktense pencils, cut the oval and the framing oval with Nestabilities and added Crate Paper dp from the Stamp Attic. I don't know where the "Thank You" stamp came from, I think I bought it in a job lot on Ebay. Centres of the flowers are highlighted with amethyst coloured gems.

Don't forget to join in this week's Corrosive Challenge to be in with a chance to win some fab prizes :)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Inspirational Cards Sketches #11 & Flutterby Wednesday Week 52

I got out my Elusive Images butterfly daisy and poppy collage stamps for this week's Inspirational Card Sketches Challenge. I coloured some glossy card with Distress Inks. The colours are Tea Dye and Weathered Wood. I stamped the lovely text and scrolled background onto it and cut an oval from it with Nestabilities dies. Then I stamped a large butterfly onto the glossy card and cut round it. I've chopped off its antennae as too fiddly to cut round though, and can't decide whether to try to draw some in on the background... The butterfly is attached so as to be 3D, sorry it doesn't show up well here.

The two sentiments come from Graphicus Guild stamps, they are stamped onto Glimmer Misted paper that has had cling film crumpled onto it while the ink was wet. The design paper is from the Graphicus Guild membership pack and I've stamped the smaller corner scroll from the butterfly daisy collage set onto the paper. All stamping was done with black Versafine ink.

I've changed the proportions around a bit to fit my ideas to Dawn's sketch but I'm quite pleased with the end result. I'm also submitting it for Danni's Flutterby Wednesday challenge - Danni has been challenging crafters for a year now! Congratulations Danni, hope you like my butterfly card :)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Twisted Thursday #6

This week's challenge at Twisted Thursday uses a sketch, with the added twist that the challenge must use purple, lime/olive and rose/pink for the colourscheme. This fits really well with some more of the magazine papers I have, this set comes from
Simply Cards & Papercraft, apart from the purple which is Glimmer
Misted paper with clingfilm scrunched across it while it was still wet.

The scroll and the corners were part of the paper pack, the faux brads are from Craftwork Cards.

The image is a Leanne Ellis stamp from Sugar Nellie, coloured with watercolour pencils. I love the colours, what a great twist :).

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy Easter to you all. Here's one more clean and simple card: a couple of Magnolia/Tilda images coloured with my Copics. Papers are from my "free with this magazine" stash :).

Friday, 10 April 2009

Happy Easter!

I got a lovely Easter card in the post from my SBS "sister" Vanja yesterday, a beautifully coloured Sarah Kay image. Isn't she just the prettiest Easter image ever? Thank you so much Vanja

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

One card, three challenges

I really like the sketch at Mojo Monday this week and I've managed to continue with the CAS theme that I'm trying to stick to this week. The card is an Easter card which fits the challenge at Dutch Dare this week, it also has stripes, which are this week's theme at Secret Crafter. Phew! That makes three challenges :).

I've used a very pretty Stampinbella image sent to me by my blogging friend Anne, check out her blog and the wonderful backgrounds she's been making to stamp onto. She's coloured with watercolour pencils (Bella I mean, not Anne!). The papers are more magazine freebies, I'm finally beginning to dent the pile of these papers :). Ribbon comes from my SBS "sister" Vanja and the flower is a Prima flower from the Stamp Attic. As you can tell from the number of cards I'm making this week, I'm really enjoying coming up with "less is more" cards as a change from adding everything but the kitchen sink :). Hope they're not too dull to look at...

Inspirational Cards Sketches #10

Still sticking to my CAS (clean and simple) theme for this week, here is a card I've made using this great sketch from Dawn Baty over on the ICS Challenge. There's a bit more going on in the sketch, but I've simplified where I could.

The cupcake is from my Hero Arts clear set, the wrapper is paper pieced from gold card, the colour is Inktense pencils with some Stickles added to the icing. Both of the sentiments, the design paper and the ribbon all come from the Craftwork Cards Goody Bag that I bought at Make It in February. I'm getting good value for money from it :). I plan to go to Ally Pally later this month and maybe get another of their goody bags.

I love the sketch and hope to have another play with it, when I'm not in CAS mode, but for now I'm quite pleased with the result I've got.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Charmed Cards Blog Candy

I was bloghopping today (again!) and came across Crafty Goings On. It is the blog of the owner of Charmed Cards & Crafts. There is a blog candy challenge going on at present to win 72 Copic Markers!!! Wow! You have to enter a link to a project on your blog that you have coloured in. How easy is that? Charmed Cards sells digi-downloads and I have now succumbed and bought my first set: Girl About Town. Instant gratification and no new stamps to hide :).

To continue making clean and simple cards I've used one of the downloads with an accompanying sentiment from the download. It's coloured with Inktense pencils. The paper is Basic Grey Cupcake and I couldn't resist adding 3 tiny blue gem hearts to balance the card. Hope I get away with them on a clean and simple card :)

Corrosive Challenges #6 - Easter/Spring

This week's challenge at Corrosive Challenges is to make a card with a Spring or Easter theme. I used a couple of Magnolia images from their Spring collection, Tilda with a bumblebee and the wonderful Easter scene with the tree and hatching chick. The background papers are BasicGrey, they are much more Spring-like in the flesh than they are in this card :).

Coloured with watercolour pencils and lots of Stickles. This card crossed the Atlantic in record time and was with my SBS "sister" Deby three days after it was posted - impressive.

Don't forget to enter the Corrosive Challenge, there's a lovely Elusive Images stamp among the prizes to win!

Sketch Saturday #45

I was looking at greetings cards in a shop last week and thought that, sometimes, I'm making cards for cardmakers not for all the other people I need to send them to. By that I mean that they have more and more layers, embellishments, gems, everything but the kitchen sink added :). So I'm having a go at some challenges, but keeping the cards as clean and simple as I can.
This uses Tracie's sketch from Sketch Saturday and I think it's a good one to start with, it can be dressed up or dressed down.
I've stamped Busy Bee from Elzybells twice onto white card and coloured it with Inktense pencils. It's mounted onto green card and stuck onto a plain white greetings card. Two bees, also from Elzybells, are stamped direct to the card as a substitute for the dots on the sketch and I've added in a stamped "Happy Easter" below the ribbon. As there is nothing to wrap the ribbon round I've folded its edges in and glued them under, the ric-rac is just glued down and hopefully it won't fray. I coloured some flowers withCopic pens but put them aside for another project, I think it looks best with a single white flower.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Twisted Thursday #5 & Flutterby Weds #51

This is the sketch for Twisted Thursday's #5 challenge. The twist is to add embossing. Danni's Flutterby Challenge this week was not to use design paper. I decided that the two challenges go really well together and I combined them, using the sketch for Twisted Thursday.
I began by stamping a butterfly and "Happy Birthday" onto textured pale blue paper, using blue Stazon. Both are Elusive Images stamps. The butterfly is coloured in with Inktense pencils and has a line added with an embossing pen that is heat embossed with silver powder.
The gold coloured background is glimmer-misted paper. It's dry embossed with a Cuttlebug folder with a leaf design, rubbed over with an embossing ink pad and silver embossed. The main piece of paper is treated much the same way, it's a very dark glimmer misted paper that I've rubbed over with white embossing ink to lighten it a bit and then with the silver embossing powder added.
The ribbon was a friend from my SBS25 "sister" Vanja and I've folded a Prima flower to one side. It's been fun avoiding printed papers, I've certainly used lots of embossing, dry and heat! There seems to be a lot going on in this card, hope you like it:)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Cupcakes Crafts Challenge #33

Cupcake Craft Challenges has a nice sketch to work with this week. Here's my take on it. I've used a Leanne Ellis image from Sugar Nellie and covered it with thick embossing powder multiple times to give it a glaze. I put it in the freezer and cracked the glaze when it was rigid. I'm pleased with the crackle effect but a little disappointed in the embossing ink I used. I was sold it to do this technique with, as being cheaper than Versamark and more sticky. It has a slight tint to it though, which I thought would disappear when it was heated. As you can see it's still there though luckily it tones with the card.

Circle is cut from paper that was glimmer misted, dry embossed and then inked. The background paper is from Graphicus Guild's paper pack. The ribbons are from a pack in the bargain box at the Stamp Attic; they inspired the colourscheme.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Easy As 1-2-3

Papertake's Challenge this week is to use one circle, two ribbons and three stamps. I've used 3 of the Gorjuss Girls for the challenge, blonde, brunette and redhead :). The bright spring colours fit today, it's a lovely spring day and now I've finished work for the day I'm torn between the garden, the racing on TV and my crafting :). The papers were free ones with a magazine, I found the verse online. Circle cut from the free papers in several layers, with some Stickles added. Ribbons are from the remainder bin at the Stamp Attic, a lucky find.