Monday, 31 August 2009

An Elusive Cyclamen

When is a cyclamen Elusive? When they always turn up their toes and die the minute I get them through the door and when I've used an Elusive Images stamp to produce a more durable plant, that's when :).

I've been trying to blend with my Copics and I'm quite pleased with the leaves, though the flowers are best viewed from a distance. Image was stamped twice in Memento London Fog and the flowers and leaves decoupaged with the dreaded silicon glue. I've used the sketch from Sketch & Stash as the basis for this card, though I've missed off the two flowers. I punched a couple out of paper and they looked really clumsy beside the delicate stamped images, so I took them off and put them into the scrap box. I've also entered this for the Graphicus Challenge to use complimentary colours.

I used new and negelcted stash for my card: the new stash is the Nestie label die that came from my being lucky enough to win a Simon Says challenge and the cyclamen stamp from Elusive Images is the neglected stash. It's from an unmounted rubber stamp set with the most beautiful set of greetings. They are standard words such as Best Wishes but in the most wonderful, flowing script. So... when it arrived I didn't have much EZMount and I left the flowers unmounted. I've been trying to sort all my stamps out so they are mounted with laminated sheets for storage and finally the cyclamen and the daffodil will be inked up!

The green and pink papers are Artylicious, the bright pink bottom layer of strips is a K&Co. Martha Stewart Flourish punch used on the layered strips.

My Grafico is BACK! Celebratory Blog Hop and free digi-image to win

The My Grafico website is back after a break for some maintenance and updating and we're celebrating with a blog hop and with prizes, fun and games on offer all week. Make sure you join in. To start off today, we're giving away the very sweet (sorry for the pun) Cupcake Cuties set of digi-stamps:
Also, I am offering one digi-image of the ice cream as a prize. The winner will be chosen at random from all who have left comments on this blog entry. Be sure to comment at each DT's blog to have a chance of winning a single image from this set too, we are all giving away images.

Now, if you've arrived here from Lana's blog then you've come to the right place :). If not then you need to start off with the My Grafico Challenge Blog which will give you all the details you need and set you off in the direction of Martha at the start of the Sweet Blog Hop.

All you have to do is hop on over to all of the DT's blogs, and look for the hidden letter th
At will be highlighted somewhere on the blog and when you have guessed what message we came up with, email it to Martha at, and she will announce the winner on Tuesday morning.

Here is the order of the BLOGHOP in case you get lost along the way:

Here's my c
Ard made to celebrate this week's blog hop:
We were challenged to use pink, red and green with our sweet image. I've printed out my ice cream cone several times to layer it and give it dimension with sticky pads. It's coloured with Copics. The background is hand-made paper coloured with the shaving foam and alcohol ink technique. Brads are Papermania and the very apt DP is Basic Grey cupcake of course!

Don't forget, I will be giving away the ice cream image to a random person chosen from everyone who leaves me a comment on this post today. And did you find my featured letter? Keep collecting letters to create a phrase and email to the address Above by 10:00 pm PST TONIGHT to win the entire set of images.

Your next stop on the hop is Crystal so be sure to see what Candy Shoppe creation she has for you!

There will be more prizes all week long so you want to visit the MyGrafico Challenge blog every day for chances to win:
TUESDAY: sign up at the challenge blog to become a Follower and you could win Superheroes
WEDNESDAY: The DT will have more cards for you to enjoy looking and when YOU create a sweet card, you might just win Back to School (the set the DT will be highlighting).
THURSDAY: Leave a comment at the Challenge blog and you might win Halloween Ghoulies
FRIDAY: Last but not least, everyone who has joined the Followers list or left a comment at the Challenge blog has a chance to win the Trick or Treat set

All kinds of fun is planned so be sure to check back at My Grafico Challenges often!

Thanks for stopping - now please HOP along and visit Crystal, you have nearly reached the end of the hop!

DT Call - Digital Tuesday

Digital Tuesday is looking for Design Team members, check out the details here. As you'd expect, DT members need to be familiar with working with digital designs. Deadline is 8 September.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Back to School

My two don't go back to school until the end of next week, but the "Back to School" challenges are coming thick and fast, so I thought I'd better come up with a card :). DH pointed out that there is no sentiment on this card but I can't think of an appropriate one, it's really going to be "With Sympathy" for teachers and for pupils and "Hooray!" for Mums... Anyhow, this is my entry for Simon Says Challenge and for Corrosive Challenges, both of which are "Back to School".

I've taken a Studious Tilda image and sat her on a desk, with an apple for the teacher. She doesn't look overjoyed about the new term, does she?! She's coloured with Copics and Promarkers, the background has a little Distress Ink in Tea Dye sponged on. The papers are Basic Grey Cupcake on a kraft card, with brads from my stash. The border punch used on the blue paper is a Woodware one. That's it, pretty straightforward. My friend's daughter starts her first term teaching next week, I think this might be going her way...

Painting the town red

Shirleys2Girls' challenge at Twisted Thursday this week is to make the primary colour on your card red and to use the sketch provided by Joy. I was lucky enough to win this great Maisie at the beach stamp in their recent blog hop, which arrived last week (with another couple that somehow got ordered and crept into the package :) ). This was a good opportunity to move away from the pastels I seem to have been using a lot.

I coloured Maisie with watercolour pencils, though I used a Promarker on her sunhat as it was looking a bit blotchy. She's cut out and mounted onto red and the yellow cardstock, with some yellow Stickles on the flower centres. The image and the sentiment are on foam pads to give dimension. Red DP is from an Artylicious CD, ribbon and brads from stash.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Flights of fancy and some playtime

This week's Challenge at the Secret Crafter is to make something with "anything with wings". I had some free time yesterday and booked a class at Made by You in Swindon at the last minute. The class was using Nestabilities, which of course I have and use. However Pat who runs the shop is very flexible and I ended up playing and making some lovely backgrounds. I did make this card using the Nesties and the papers which Pat had for us. I think the butterfly is a Creative Expression stamp. I've gold embossed the butterfly onto white card and painted him with Cosmic Shimmers powders, mixed into a paint. All papers, ribbons etc. from Made by You. I think the colours work really well together and this is my card for Flights of Fancy.

Pat demoed using Cosmic Shimmer powders onto Versamark inked images so I had a play with this lovely ivy stamp. I added the gold embossed flowers as there was a small patch that hadn't inked up, which was difficult to see on the black card. Then disaster struck and I sprayed some Cosmic Shimmer Mist and caught the corner of this one. What to do? OK I sprayed some more with the idea that it then looked intentional :). Matted onto gold card and waiting a Christmas sentiment.
Then I made this beautiful background from Cosmic Shimmer paints, with a little Distress Ink added and spritzed with water till I liked the effect. I used a scroll stamp and repeatedly white embossed it around the edges. Again this will be a Christmas card background of some kind, seems almost too pretty to add to! The scroll is from a Creative Expressions set that Pat said she sells lots of. At under a fiver I can see why and of course I also succumbed :)
The final picture is of experiments with another set of stamps that I picked up there yesterday. This time they are a Christmas set from a new to me Belgian company called Artemio. There are Christmas trees, holly, snowflakes, pine cones, stars and beautiful stylised script. These look like being my main Christmas card set - just lovely. The clear stamps take Versafine perfectly but are repellent of some of my other inks, so I've been washing them and rubbing them with an eraser to bring them into line. I want to play some more with these, I think they are just perfect

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Patchwork Birthday Girl

I've made this card for a quilting friend's birthday, when I saw the patchwork papers with faux stitching I couldn't resist the download from Bearly Mine Designs, aren't they pretty? I also saw that Simon Says is having a colour challenge at their Paper Craft Planet group, to use light brown, light green, blushy pink, coral pink and white. This set of papers could have been made for the challenge! The card is based around Sketch Saturday's sketch.

I've used one of the Autumn collection Whiff of Joy images, thank you to my blogging Sistah Vanja for sending me some. It's coloured with Copics and the background shaded with Distress Inks in Worn Lipstick and Shabby Shutters. I've used a Woodware border punch on the papers and cut out another of the cute tickets from the same paper set. The flower was part of my Simon Says shopping from winning their challenge a few weeks back and the silver centre to it is from Quixotic Paperie.

I used more of the papers for inserts to the card:

Just Because...

I've blinged up the pretty Melinda Blowing Kisses image to enter this week's Whiff of Joy Challenge and I've based it on the sketch at Papertake Weekly.

Melinda is coloured with Copics, she's an image I coloured while we were on holiday. I've added lots of Stickles to her wings and also to the hearts and the embroidery on her jeans. The background has been shaded with Distress Inks in Scattered Straw and Worn Lipstick.

The octagons are cut with Nestabilities, as a slight variation to the sketch; the papers are all K & Co. I love the little ticket sentiment, which comes from a new download at Bearly Mine Designs called Country Collection. I've another card to post later using papers from this collection, I really didn't buy the whole set for one ticket :). Hmm, I see it's called Collection A, sounds like even more temptation in the pipeline...

The bling has continued with pearl gems in the corners, a lovely shimmery ribbon that I bought at Festival of Quilts, liquid pearls round the scalloped edges and a lovely snowflake charm from Quixotic Paperie hanging from the bow. It's meant to be a Christmas charm but really it's so versatile it fits lots of themes, I think. The card I'm posting later is in similar colours, though with soft green in it. I don't want to get into a colour rut, the next one will be totally different colours I've decided!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Blog Candy Tilda

OK I'm back in my craft room after Festival of Quilts and normal service should be resumed shortly - with a card :).

The lovely Rach has been giving away lots of blog candy over the last couple of weeks, it seems like each day there is the chance to win a stamp from her. A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to be the winner of a Tilda with kitten stamp. I'm not a cat person, I'm a dog person, but isn't she cute? I have quite a few friends who are cat lovers and this is an ideal stamp for cards for them. THANK YOU Rach!

When I saw that the Just Magnolia challenge this week uses a sketch by Rach I knew I HAD to use my new stamp :). Now, could I find any other challenges to enter? There's another, sister blog to this called Just Magnolia Two, which uses a very helpful 3D tutorial by Debby Yates to inspire its monthly challenge. The Roses on Paper challenge is to use punches and Stampin' for the Weekend's challenge is to use pink & grey. One more: Pile it On's combi challenge this week is Good Things Come in Threes.

Tilda and her kitten (oops, nearly went a bit Mrs Slocombe there!) are coloured with Copics. She's cut out with a Nestie, using Rach's out of the frame technique and edged with Distress Ink. I've stamped her several times and layered the kitten, her right arm and face, and her hair ribbon into 3 layers.

I struggled to find any grey paper and eventually found the pretty grey print in a K&K bargain paper pack. I used a Woodware punch along the paper's bottom edge. I've used a pink DP with grey-ish blue flowers on and then used Distress Ink to stamp tiny flowers over pink pearlescent card for my third paper, adding some Stickles to the flower centres and to Tilda's scarf. The sentiment is by Elusive Images.

There are three pale pink ribbons attached to the card, three brads and three flower petals on the Prima flower. I've used a spacer charm from Quixotic Paperie on the flower centre, the first time I've used one. It won't be the last time, I really like the effect this gives (see close-up) and can see me using these a lot, though I now know I *need* the larger size too :).

I found the colours hard to work with and get enough contrast, but I think I've got there in the end...

In the post today

I was lucky enough to win a challenge on the Simon Says Blog and here is where my $25 went:

The postage is paid, so you really do get $25 worth of prize - a big THANK YOU to Heidi and the Simon Says team :), who sent the cute card in with the order.

My blogging Serbian "Sister" Vanja kindly sent me these lovely images:
Thank you so much Vanja :)

Festival of Quilts 2009

I don't yet have any cards to post, so I thought I'd share some of my photos from Festival of Quilts. The four days of the show were a lot of fun.

Here's one of the Children's Workshops that I helped at, the youngsters are really creative and I don't know who enjoys it more, the children or the helpers!
This was my absolute favourite quilt. It's part of an invited exhibit called Excellence in Europe and it's by a Norwegian quilter called Solvi L Krokeide. I won't bore you with all the detail shots but this is truly astonishing:

Another detail photo:

This is the winner of Quilt Creations, which is the category for 3d items: clothing, boxes, books. These are felt flowers by Gillian Travis, who created them from dyed and screen printed felt. Isn't this a brilliant idea?

This is a contemporary quilt by Susan Hooper called Within these Walls:
I love trees... Sorry don't know who made this one
And here's Helen Godden from Australia's winning art quilt, Mother Earth:

Friday, 21 August 2009

Yum, yum, yum

Good Afternoon, I've only one card to post for the weekend, I'm at the international Festival of Quilts, living it up, looking at the quilts, meeting old and new friends and teaching Young Quilter workshops.

This card is made to celebrate Cupcake Craft Challenge's 1st birthday. The theme is "Something Sweet", I've used cupcake stamps from Hero Arts in their honour :). There's a great blog hop and some amazing prizes to be won, make sure you enter! Happy Birthday CCC!
CPS Card sketches, I love cards with multiples of three on them, don't you think cardmaking is like gardening, when in doubt work in threes of fives?

The card is fairly simple: cupcakes are paper pieced from plain pink and a stripe, with Stickles blinging up the hearts. The papers are all K & Co, purple gems added and all put onto a Kraft card. Blue grosgrain ribbon is from my stash.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Last in the mending pile...

I love this image by Mo Manning, called Darn It. I think it's a bit like the saying that the cobbler's family have the worst mended shoes; he's got to the end of the mending and now it's just his own trousers, so no small stitches or matching thread...

I've made him for several challenges:
Sketch & Stash ask what new or neglected stash was used: Darn It is a new image that I've bought and love using. The red buttons are from a Sizzlits die that came with my Big Shot, never used it before, shamefully!
I'm not sure whether this is eligible for DareU2Digistamp as I've added in the red, though the criteria doesn't say no other colours may be used. I began with the blue, green and cream palette but it looked really insipid, so I gave him red slippers, changed a paper and added the buttons and the mat, which gives the card a lot more interest.

Image is coloured with Copics, edged with Distress Ink. Red paper is Basic Grey Cupcake and the other papers are K&K Hopscotch.

Monday, 17 August 2009

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner

This is the first time I've played with my fabulous new stamps from Elusive Images that I bought when I was on holiday. The seaside scene, anchor and sentiment are all Elusive Images. I've made my card to fit several challenges:
  • Corrosive Challenges #25 - is the sketch I've used
  • Stamp Something - a reminder of summer vacation. It's a seaside scene and I bought the stamps while on holiday :)
  • Cute Card Thursday #73 - is beach themed, there's a bit of beach on the shore and finally, last but not least...
  • Pile It On #11 - Oh boy - a masculine card.
I've used watercolour pencils on my image; the lighthouse and the yachts have been stamped twice and attached with silicon glue to give them dimension. Grr, I don't get on with silicon! If this posting is ages long it's because I'm still stuck to the keyboard:). The anchor is stamped with Denim Adirondack ink and cut out and more dratted silicon forced out.

The sentiment and the image are matted onto a sandy gold Bazzill card and edged with the wedge nib of a Promarker. The background paper is the reverse of a very pretty Crate Paper floral card and the spotty paper is Basic Grey from the Cupcake range.

I think these stamps are going to be so useful for masculine cards, there are beautiful seashells and seahorses to, a very versatile set.

A day in the life of Bronte the dog

This is a very simple card using Mo Manning's digital art. Bronte was a rescue dog that Mo had, who was thought to be a cattle dog. Both our dogs are rescue dogs and these images are just right for me :).

Coloured with Copics, matted on to the reverse of double sided card which is used for the main DP. Sentiment by Elzybells. There, I said it was simple :).

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Debbi's blog mentioned Wordle and I looked at the word picture on her blog, loved it and used Wordle on my blog. Hmm... the word CARD seems to come up quite a bit :). Fun to play with...

We've had friends visiting for the weekend, so no crafting has been done. We've cooked, eaten, drunk, had a wonderful time, but tomorrow we both go back to work. Oh well, it's been a good two weeks :).

Friday, 14 August 2009

A new perspective changes everything

It's Twisted Thursday time at Shirleys2Girls and the twist with the sketch is to use four brads. I've ended up with 5 but I hope that counts! I'm really pleased to see that the time to enter their challenge has now been extended to a week, but just to be contrary I've made my card promptly for once :).

I've gold embossed New Perspective, a S2G stamp, onto pink card and edged it with Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Those gorgeous Basic Grey Porcelain papers came out again; I've matted them with gold mirri card to match the brads. Ribbon from my stash, Prima flower.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Chocolate and strawberry birthday

I've made a birthday card using Vicki's pretty sketch from this week's challenge at Stampin' for the Weekend, using one of my favourite colour combinations, pink and brown, which is Whiff of Joy's challenge this week. I'm also entering it into a third challenge, a new one called Crafty Cardmakers; their first challenge is called Blossoms.

The card uses a Whiff of Joy stamp, Melinda blowing kisses, an old favourite of mine, I've coloured her with Copics, pink Stickles and Glossy Accents (lots on her wings). The image is edged with Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Melinda is matted on to gold mirri card then onto card sprayed with pink Glimmer Mist. The two brown patterned papers are Basic Grey and the background pink is from a Bearly Mine Designs cd called Extreme Inserts. It's the first time I've used any of them, I've been drooling over them but not printing them out. I've also used them inside the card, which I've left plain apart from the papers. Lovely, aren't they?

The dark brown card behind the circle has been dotted with white, the flowers are Prima with pink foliage that was cut with a Halloween punch and trimmed, the sentiment is from Craftwork Cards.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mice in Love

I'm very taken with House Mouse images at the moment, unfortunately I don't own any of the stamps, but I do have a few images that friends have sent me. I've used this one to make an anniversary card for Janet's Corrosive Challenge this week, isn't it cute? I've followed Tanja's pretty sketch for Friday Sketchers which gave me some headaches. I'm so glad I have Nesties to cut circles with, I had such a struggle with the large circle on this card :). I've added a little lace to the card, which is this week's challenge from Dutch Dare and have avoided using any patterned papers, which makes it eligible for Pile It On's challenge this week.

Main image is House Mouse, coloured with Copics and edged with Dusty Concord Distress Ink. The background stamp is from Elusive Images' poppy collage themeplate and I've used Dusty Concord to stamp it onto Bazzill Basics. The pearelscent purple is a card I've had for ages and the large circle is also Bazzill Basics. The lace is from my sewing stash and the gemstones are Kaiser.

Bev's blog candy - wow!

Bev's blog is one of the ones I check each day and drool over her lovely work. She's giving away an absolutely MEGA blog candy. Draw will be on Mon 17 August.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Four challenges, one card

I've made another card with the beautiful Elizabeth Bell image for Whiff of Joy - Willow holding baby - despite not knowing anyone who's about to have a baby, this image is just so gorgeous, it calls out to be used :).

The card is made for this week's Whiff of Joy challenge, which uses Jacqui's very pretty sketch. I've used double sided paper from Stamp Attic, with roses on it, which fits this week's challenge at One Stop Craft Challenge, to use roses. I've added lots of embellishments to the card and the paper isn't too visible, but it really does have lots of roses on it :). A Spoonful of Sugar's challenge this week is Floral Fantasy; I've used the roses paper and I've made lots of extra flowers from Bazzill Basics and a Cuttlebug die set. The die set has sat, barely used, since I bought it in Florida last summer, so it's use fits the "forgotten or neglected stash" challenge at My Time To Craft this week.

Willow is coloured using mainly Promarkers, with a couple of Copics as well. I used Rach's great tutorial to cut her "out of bounds" in an oval Nestie. Thanks Rach, it worked a treat! The two sided paper is flipped over to make the lower border, which is shaped with a Martha Stewart Flourish punch, the Bazzill Basics behind it. Ribbons came from my stash, the flowers die cut and have accents of Liquid Pearls. Sentiment is an old one with no maker's name on it.

Something About Simon...

Simon Says is having an awesome blog giveaway of $100 of new products, yes that's $100, following their visit to CHA, the trade show in Orlando. There's a really interesting tool to make brads, using blanks that you can add your own papers too.

I was lucky enough to win Simon Says' challenge last week and I can tell you I had a LOT of fun filling my shopping basket and whittling it down to what I bought, they seem to stock everything under the sun that a crafter needs :)

Candy giveaway closes Friday 14 August, be sure to visit and enter!

Darn It - Passion for Promarkers Challenge 11

Darn It is a digital art download from the talented Mo Manning. I've coloured him with Promarkers for the Passion for Promarkers sketch challenge this week, which uses any colours. Thank you, as someone who has only a small collection of Promarkers (so far) I appreciate the chance to take part with a limited palette - and what a great idea to have the pens themselves as prizes!

There are buttons and bows (well knots then :) ) on my card so I'm entering it for the Simon Says Challenge this week and also for Dare U2 Digistamp's fortnightly challenge which is Distressing. There's Scattered Straw Distress Ink around the image and sentiment, also a lot of Worn Lipstick ink around the circle, which started out as a sort of plainish red.

I've aimed for a more masculine look with the colours, but I'm having trouble getting the colours to show on his clothes, they look a bit washed out :( . Promarkers used: Gold for hair and thimble, Cocoa for trousers and socks, Vanilla for shirt, Poppy for thread and accents, Pastel Beige for outline and Pastel Pink for skin. Sentiment stamp is from a floral Inkadinkado clear set. The plain and patterned reds are Basic Grey from the Cupcake set and the other two I've had in for ages. Buttons and perle thread from my sewing stash. The image is layered onto dark brown card, the other papers are edged with the Cocoa Promarker.