Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PTI November blog hop - Snow

I recently tried my hand at alcohol inks for a project and had a lovely time so I bought a few more with this project in mind. Luckily it fits with the theme of this months blog hop at Papertrey Ink
I cut open a soda can and used the aluminum to cut snowflakes using "fancy flakes" dies and "peace" from Wonderful words - holidays.
These got treated with alcohol inks, glossy accents, crackle glaze and rock candy glitter and then hot glued to the jar, which had also been coloured with alcohol inks.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SSS Monday - Ornaments

I think I discovered a very dangerous new addiction this week when working on the project for the Monday Challenge on the Simon Says Stamp blog.
I had seen a tutorial by Tammy Tutterow for a glass votive and used part of the technique to make these leaves from soda cans and the few alcohol inks I owed (meadow, pepper red and butterscotch for reference). I've since been online and ordered a whole load more because I'm obsessed with how this looks.
Tammy had suggested using a layer of glossy accents over the top followed by crackle glaze and glitter - I skipped these steps as I didn't want anything high shine, but I might try these steps when my new inks arrive and I have a go at some snowflakes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MIM #188 - Ombre backgrounds

Laura started me off on this train of thought when she talked about using Christmas colours to make an ombre background, which is this week Make It Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink. She also talked about using circles, which lead me to this combination.
I used the polka dots - background basics stamps as my base dot and an IO background stamp to "kiss" the woven texture. The deepest colour is just stamped, the next deepest has the "kissed" texture added in vintage cream pigment ink, then the next dot is stamped in vintage cream with the coloured ink used to add the texture. This way the colour gradually lightens through to the plain cream dot in the centre.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MIM #187

I used the partial die cut technique from this weeks Make it Monday, to make a card for my son on the opening night of his school play. It's not a holiday project though so I may be looking at disqualification!

Friday, October 31, 2014

SSS Challenge - Treats

The My Favorite Things Paper Bag Treat box die, and some papers from Pebbles "tricks and treats" paper pad made a hysterically easy treat bag for this evenings little visitors, and a quick entry for this week Monday challenge at Simon Says Stamp

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October blog hop - Joy

A quick card for this month's Blog Hop at Papertrey Ink before I have to go spend the day in the yard raking up leaves. Ah, Autumn in New England, where the yard work never ends but at least it builds up the arm muscles ready for the impending snow shovelling.
As soon as I saw Nichole's samples during stamp-a-faire day I knew I had to have the medallion dies she designed for the renaissance themed set. They are so beautifully detailed and I couldn't be more delighted that they were available to order this month, and arrived yesterday.
I used Scarlet Jewel, Tropical teal and Simply Chartreuse cardstock, and Smoky Shadow ink for the string and bow (from the Birthday Style stamp set)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SSS Monday - Anything goes

I took the title for this weeks challenge at Simon Says Stamp - Monday literally, and used it as an opportunity to make something I've been thinking about for a while.
My friend recently gave me her mother-in-law's button box, knowing that I might find a use for them. This project is for her.
When my Dad was last visiting, he turned an old sheet of plywood into 3-1/4 width strips to build me an ink storage box. He made a few too many strips though (like 4 times as many as he needed) so the backing here uses a few of those spare pieces.
I spray painted all the buttons with semi gloss enamel, and once dry played with the arrangement until I was happy with it. Then I used the hot glue gun to attach them one at a time (and only burnt myself twice which is better than usual)
This is the finished project, with initials and wedding date in white acrylic paint that I sanded back once it was dry.

MIM #185

I made this card using the Faux stained glass technique for this weeks Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink.
I used the Doodlie doo stamp set (as I seem to always do when I need an outline image) and a few dots from Polka Dots background basics.
I eventually bought the Shakers and Sprinkles kit, which is where the frame is from, but I always seem to have problems with the craft foam stretching when I cut it so I have to retrim once the fame is attached. (I also dropped the red ink pad just as the card was finished so you'll have to forgive the red slodges on the edges!)

Monday, October 13, 2014

MIM #184 - Engagement

I hadn't planned to make a second card for this weeks Make It Monday Challenge at Papertrey Ink, but my sister just (and I mean in the last 2 hours) got engaged so I had to make a card anyway. But it's a secret until they get the chance to tell their respective kids so you can't breathe a word....

MIM #184

A card for this weeks Make it Monday challenge at Papretrey Ink.
The challenge was to just use embossing on the edges of a a die-cut by dipping them in versamark and embossing powder.
A very long time ago, when I still lived at home and my Dad was preparing for an exchange visit to a school in the Black Forest region of Germany, he started learning German and would amaze us with his newly learnt phrases over dinner. The only one that stayed with me is "schnee bedeckt gipfel" or "snow bedecked summit". I guess that make the subject of this card "schnee bedeckt schnee"

FMS #157

A last minute entry for this weeks Freshly Made sketch challenge.
This was the sketch, and this was my take:

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I thought I'd do a quick card for this weeks sketch challenge at My Favourite Things.
This was the sketch, and here is my card
Most of the elements are from the Blueprints #13 set, my favourite of all the blueprints sets.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ABNH #53 - Stretch your stamps

I'm having fun this week catching up on all the challenges I didn't have time for over the summer. The current challenge on A blog named Hero is to use a stamp for something other than it was designed for which sounded fun!
My apple trees started life as a cloud from Lawn Fawn's "sunny skies" stamp set. Once I'd stamped the outline I cut out a mask and then used the Hero arts "leaf background block" to fill in the tree. Red beads made the apples. The trunks were cut from pieces stamped with the IO "wooden plank" background stamp.
Its all mounted on paper from Crate Paper's Farmhouse set.

Monday, October 6, 2014

MIM #183

This was a really quick card to put together, using the techniques in this weeks Make it Monday video at Papertrey Ink.
I stamped Fine linen card with assorted snowflakes from "snowflake medley" and "tree with trimmings" stamp sets and heat embossed with white embossing powder. Then I dry embossed with the new Sizzix snowflakes card front die.
I wimped out on the sentiment. I had planned to have a go at embossing it over the top of the snowflakes before I dry embossed but I don't have a great track record with 2 colour embossing (as a previous make it monday challenge proved).
Instead I added the vellum strip and then a couple of vellum snowflakes cut with the "Fancy flakes" die.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

FMS #156

It has been an age since I played along with a Freshly made sketches challenge, but this week I had a little more time that usual.

I found this sketch really difficult to get a feel for. My first few attempts felt incredibly clunky with the 2 different strips at the bottom. I finally decided to ditch the idea of strips of card or even washi tape and to go instead with stamping.
I masked the areas I wanted to form the strips and made up a couple of blocks of pattern that way instead. I like this look much better.

Monday, September 29, 2014

MIM #182 - Mason jar stamping

Holy moley - this challenge was harder than it looked. Melissa Phillips demonstrated heat embossing on Mason jars as this weeks Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink
Each image that finally got embossed was preceded by 2 or 3 that had to be wiped off with surface cleaner because they'd smeared. It might be because I was using larger images that had to be rolled onto the glass but I had even less success with the little stars.

I decided not to paint my jam jar as I want to use it as a tea light holder. I used "tree with trimmings" stamp set to go round the bottom with different sized trees. Because I used Frantage  aged gold embossing powder I lost a lot of the detail inside the trees but I love the colour this powder creates.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PTI September blog hop #3

I love this colour combination, suggested as part of the inspiration for this months blog hop at Papertrey Ink.

I went with a birthday card, as I know once I slip into Christmas cards there'll be no leaving them for a few months - although I will admit it's got more than a slight Christmassy feel to it. However, the TH stencil is such a perfect fit with the inspiration picture that I couldn't resist using it again.

September blog hop #1

I don't think I've taken part in any of this summer's blog hop's at Papertrey Ink, but on a decidedly Autumnal day I finally get a chance to kick back and craft for a few hours.
Here is the inspiration picture.
The knitted pattern on the sleeve reminded me of the new Tim Holtz "holiday knits" stencil, so I used this for my background, using soft stone and autumn rose inks. As I've said many times before, I have a hard time using embellishments so I'm trying to make myself use them on the basis that practice might lead to some improvement. So I picked the sketch that involved buttons, AND threw a few rhinestones in there to really guild the lily. Still need a bit more practice....

The leaves are from PTI's sweet life. I wanted them muted so used soft stone ink and edged them a little to help then stand out a bit from the same colours in the background.

September Blog Hop #2

When I saw the inspiration picture this the September blog hop at Papertrey Ink, my first idea was to use the galvanized bucket somehow.
I decided to use the watering can from Garden variety and embossed it a couple of times in silver. I wanted taller flowers than those that came in the same set so used the poppies from last years SAF set, masking off the sides to make it fit in the mouth of the can. I fussy cut a few of the flowers to add some depth, and also to add a couple of extra blooms.
I love how the watering can turned out, but then I couldn't find a spot for the sentiment. I might try this again at some point but rotated to portrait  so the sentiment can go underneath without looking cramped.

Monday, September 22, 2014

MIM #181 - Paper casting

This weeks Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink is supposedly an old technique, but it's new to me so I was keen to have a go. However, I'm not ready to throw myself into Christmas preparations yet so decided to skip the tags approach and go with a fall theme.
These leaves worked really well. I found that die cutting before wetting made the layers stick together pretty well, and I used a mini mister to get it wet enough to get a good imprint from the stamp.
The leaves were still a bit damp when I added the colours (lack of patience rather than a deliberate plan) but it meant that they blended nicely.
I wasn't sure how well the layers stay together once they're dry so the mini attacher seemed like a good approach as it could serve double duty - attaching the leaves to the card but also holding it all together.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

MIM #180 - Paper weaving

A late entry for this week's Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink
I needed a card for my Brother in law so that drove me down a masculine route.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SSS Wednesday - Make you own backgrounds

I had been playing with this weeks tutorial on Split coast stampers which suggested using wax paper to help cut intricate dies, and was left with a perfect die cut wax paper doily. The "backgrounds" challenge at SSS Wednesday seemed like a great place to use it.
I used the "ironed wax paper" trick to create a mask, which I then inked over with tumbled glass and milled lavender distress inks. The centre rosette was stamped and embossed with clear embossing powder, then sponged with distress inks.

Monday, September 8, 2014

MIM #179

With a week off between visitors, as well as catching up with housework I thought I'd reward myself with a leisurely play along with this weeks Make It Monday at Papertrey Ink.
I got a little bit of a head start - I had cut out the template when I was planning a card for Lizzie's challenge for Stamp-a-faire (seems a long time ago now) but never got around to using it. I used one of the dies from background basics - diagonals lots of times to fill the area.
I bought the rhinestones for stamp-a-faire day too but never even got to those challenges!I don't use a lot of bling (never sure where to put it) but Betsy's tutorial on the rain stones gave me a bit of help. I did, however, try colouring them with a purple copic marker and this seems to have worked enough to give them a slight touch of colour.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SAF - 1940's - Vintage patterns

Well, I don't know if the pattern I created using the Simply Stationery set says 1940's, but the sentiment certainly seemed to fit the bill.
They aren't colours I've ever used together but they're so bright and cheerful that I might have to use them again.

SAF - Renaissance

I knew I wasn't going to be able to give this years stamp-a-faire the time I wanted to so I didn't buy the kit, but I'm so glad they are planning to sell the individual eras over the next few months as the frames around the velvet image are simply lovely. However, the technique from the Renaissance that I decided to try is the wax seal.
I wanted to stamp the trees in gold to give the card a more festive feel but I can't for the life of me find my gold ink pad. Obviously it'll be the first thing I lay my hands on tomorrow when I'm tidying up but I had to go with simple classic craft for tonight.

SAF - Ancient Rome - Faux Frescos

I've already had a go at Lizzie's "mock mosaic" technique, but wanted to have a go at the Faux Frescos too.
With hindsight (a wonderful thing) I should have made the bottom pattern a single colour, or 2 at the most as it turned out a bit fussy but I do love how the "plaster" turned out.

SAF - Regency

This card is for Melissa's challenge, taking inspiration from the Regency era.

I used the back sides of some of the images from Doodlie doo to stamp a faint impression, and then used the sew simple borders stamp and the same colour ink to add some "stitches", having first masked around the shapes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SAF - Morning Timer

Who can resist a sketch challenge? Certainly not me, especially as you've got to keep to a time limit and that's something I haven't got a lot of today.http://nicholeheady.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c64e753ef01a511fbc1ba970c-pi
This sketch was the one I went with, along with colour recipe 2.
There's so much white on this card that I'd normally panic and try to fill it but the time limits made me step away and I'm so pleased I did.
Happy stamping to everyone playing along with Stamp-a-faire today and thank you so much to the team at Papertrey ink.
(p.s as per Betsy's blog yesterday, the Make it Market Shakers and Sprinkles kits are available to buy again on the website for those of you (like me) who dithered over pre-ordering but then wished you had)

SAF - Ancient Rome - mock mosaics

Time is not on my side this weekend so I'm having to pick just a few challenges that really appeal to play along with this years Stamp-a-faire at Papertrey Ink.
Lizzie's challenges called to me as soon as I read the stamp-a-faire announcements so I knew I had to have at these.
My tiles ended up more William Morris than Julius Caeser but the effect is really lovely. I used the dies from the Monthly moments: tabbed set to create my template and the versamark/clear embossing powder technique.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stamp-a-faire meet and greet

Well my workspace is tidy-ish and that's about all the preparations I've made for tomorrow! Last year was my first year playing along with Papertrey Ink's Stamp-a-faire, having found the company about 18 months ago at about the same time as I started stamping and blogging. This year, however, I'll be lucky to find any time to myself as one set of guests left yesterday and the next lot arrive tomorrow!
Having been born and bred in England we transplanted to the US 13 years ago, initially in Boston and now in Connecticut.
I love my crafting area down in the depths of my basement, and my lovely Dad made me the ink storage box while he was staying with me back in June. So at least my inks are organised even if nothing else is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MIM #176 Doodlie Doo

Another card for this weeks Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink while our guests dodge the rain at the Submarine museum.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MIM #176

We have visitors pretty much continually for the next month so I'm not going to have much chance to play along with challenges, but some serious jet lag gave me a few spare hours last night that let me have a go at this weeks Make it Monday at Papertrey Ink
I used the "by the numbers" border die to create the stencil. Although I tried to get an ombre effect, using Hawaiian shores, aqua mist and spring rain re-inkers, they all ended up looking very similar.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

MIM #175 - Sunflowers

The last card I need for all my August birthdays, and another excuse to play along with Make it Monday at Papertrey Ink.
This sunflowers set has always been my favourite flower stamp. I've bought other sets but this little $5 set has it all, and it's the one I always go back to.
I wanted to try a technique for attaching vellum that I saw in a demonstration recently. I used liquid glue behind the stamped "happy". The glue doesn't show because the ink hides it. Brilliant!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MIM #175 - Leaves

I thought I'd have another go at this week MIM challenge at Papertrey Ink.
The leaves dies were the first ones I pulled out after I'd watched the video, but then went a different direction.
I also used the masked die-cuts technique from a previous Make it Monday for the background.
With all the stamps I own (and I'll admit to owning quite a few!) I still haven't got a decent Thanksgiving sentiment stamp, but this came from a partially masked wood block.

Monday, August 4, 2014

MIM #175 - owl

This card is for the Make it Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink.
I used last weeks challenge to get 3 birthday cards made, and now there's just 2 more to go. This card is for my nephew. It's too young for him really (as he's turning 20!) but he loves owls - in fact, he's doing a degree course that he hopes will get him a job working in a zoo with owls and raptors.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

MIM #174 - sweet speech

A final card using this weeks Make It Monday technique at Papertrey Ink.
As the card is for my sister I was happy to spend a bit of time on the little details. The wallpaper is made up from 4 different stamps - the arrow from one of the "tag-its", small medallion from "postmarks, dots from "A little argyle" and large medallion (actually a snowflake) from Trees with trimmings.
I've barely used the sweet speech set, but like how it looks here.

MIM #174 - balloons

What better way to spend a rainy day than getting a few more cards made, and playing along with the Make it Monday challenge at Papertey Ink.

I started with the Little Argyle stamp set again and the star from Postmarks to build the background. I haven't used the balloons from Birthday style for a while so thought they could stand an outing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MIM #174

I have the Little Argyle stamp set that Ashley uses in this week's Make it Monday challenge, and I need a birthday card for my brother (5 family birthdays in August so actually need to make lots of cards) so I thought I'd have a go.

Friday, July 25, 2014

PTI July blog hop #2

When I was playing around with backgrounds to re-create the painted look for this month's blog hop at Papertrey Ink, I managed to make this ethereal effect and loved it, even though it wasn't what I'd been trying to get to.
I wanted to keep it pretty simple, so made the little envelope and added a sentiment from the "keep it simple" set and flowers from "sweet speech" to the "notecard".

PTI July blog hop #1


I took the inspiration picture far too literally for this first card for the July blog hop at Papertrey Ink.
I fell in love with the painted background and set out to recreate it. I started with brown card, added a couple of layers of gesso and a couple of layers of sage distress paint. Once it was dry I scraped some of the paint off again to reveal the brown.
I then used one of the card sketches from this month's release for inspiration.
Having spent far to much time on the background I suppose it was only to be expected that the sentiment would smudge!