Monday, 29 November 2010

Winter white with a splash

When winter arrives, you know it will be white!  If not snow, it's frost on windscreens and on the ground with that lovely shimmer it gives to everything.  Lovely that is right until you have to go anywhere outside and it hurts to breathe and there is a high chance that you might slip and end up flat on your bum lol  Nothing better than being inside in the warm when it is like that and looking out on it all in all it's beautiful whiteness.

Challenge 35 over at Craft Cardmakers is for white and a splash and a winter themed card fits in really well I think.  I have made this for my mother-in-law and her husband as their Christmas card, and once again I have succeeded in making a card which doesn't actually mention Christmas, but has all the elements of winter in it.  A few weeks ago, on one of my regular raids on the second-hand table at my local art shop, I found a lovely wordy stamp which is Funstamps - Let it Snow, winter words with some snowflakes thrown in for good measure, picked it up for a couple of pounds and I was made up with it as it was brand new too!  I used stazon cotton white to stamp it onto some acetate, and then used one of my deckled rectangle nesties to cut it out and used a larged nestie to cut some lilac paper to match, then I used just a touch of tacky glue in the corners of the acetate to stick it to the lilac layer.

I have become quite a ribbon hoarder sinced I started crafting as I found a stall in the market which bags up ends of rolls and sells them quite cheaply so whenever I am passing I stock up as you never know what colour ribbon you will need next when you're making cards. Hence I usually have a colour for every occasion - only problem I had this time was finding one which was the right thickness to match the lilac, but the only one which was the right thickness was purple, but it makes the snowflakes standout more - plus it is just the right width to use to trim the gift I have made to go with it (but you will have to wait to see that!).  The corners are die-cuts from sizzix architectural accents which I picked up on Ebay a couple of months ago which I bought purely because with combined p&p I didn't pay much for it at all and I have to say I am glad I did get it as I have used it more than the item I was actually buying in the first place!  So with corners put in place, and a few snowflakes to finish off I think this is a very simple and clean but effective card.  Just hope my mother-in-law likes it!

There are a few challenges I would like to enter this for:

Crafts and Me - Dreaming of a white Christmas
Artful Inkables - Punches and or Diecuts

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Crafty candle container

Over at Crafty Cardmakers this week we have a spotlight on containers and fancy envelopes, and I wanted to try something new so I went off in search of a different type of container to make, thinking outside the box as it were lol  A quick google search found a whole zip file of downloadable templates for making all sorts of different boxes, but the one I chose was mysteriously named box_flap_lrg... and it is really simple to make.  It's basically a square of card measured and marked and scored in the right places so that it folds up and makes a lovely box which you can put things in!  Being a bit short of cash this year, most people are going to be getting something handmade and I have got a stock of lovely smelly tealights ready to be gifted, but need to make some boxes to put them in!

Once you have got the card cut from the template and folded, it is really simple to decorate and you could do anything with it really.  In my stock I have some sheets of a silver paper/material which is really shimmery and perfect for using as the base for the decoration of this box.  As anyone who has read my blog will know, I have a love of starburst stains and occasionally I experiment making a new background and then don't use it for a while and this is what happened here.  A while ago I made one using the mayday flowers set and it sat in my paper storage paper looking for a home, and with the addition of some snowflakes stamped onto it and cut to size to fit the flaps on the top of the box, I found the perfect home for it.

I punched some holes in and put some matching eyelets into the centre corners of the flaps and tied the whole thing together with some pale blue ribbon and adorned the tips with some snowflakes punched from the leftover card.

So what is inside?  4 ice blue tealights which have a lovely ocean breeze scent, but you could really use it to put anything in!  Money, chocolates, jewellery :-)

I would like to enter this for the following challenges:

Caardvarks - Giftcards/Money Holders
Stamptacular Sunday Challenge - A Time for Giving

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Crafty card and a matching gift

A few days ago, I was asked to join the Crafty Cardmakers Design Team and must say I was over the moon to be invited.  I have been following their blog as long as I have been blogging and have loved the projects that the existing team have produced and it was a real honour to be asked to join them!

The challenge at the moment is to make a card and a gift.  There's a fab prize on offer from the sponsor The Stampman who have a £10 spend in their shop up for grabs for the winner.  Definitely worth an entry with that fabby prize on offer.  The Stampman have such a lot of exciting stuff on sale for the craft-minded types.  I went to their shop in Skipton a few weeks ago as there was a demo day and I have to say their shop is fantastic!  I spent all day there and wasn't bored at all as there was so much to see and do and buy... I was like a kid in a sweetie shop! The staff there are really friendly and helpful too so if you are in the area it is well worth the trip to visit them.

One of my most favourite crafting products in the world is available from The Stampman... and that is starburst stains.  If you have a look on my previous bloggings, you will see I use them a lot.  I have 2 different colour sets (Mayday Flowers and Holiday Wreath) plus a few extras for variety of colours and they really are the most amazing products I have ever got my mitts on.  You can create backgrounds and paint with them plus do lots of other things with them and the effect is amazing.  I have used poinsettia red gold, tiger lily red orange and cathedral pines olive from the Holiday Wreath set to colour a piece of off-white card.  Basically I painted it with the main colour and then added splodges and dashes of the other colours and then covered it with cling-film and scrunched it up a bit as that makes lovely veiny lines when it's dried.  I fashioned the card into a box, punched some butterfly shapes in each of the four faces with my Sizzix paddle punch, backed the holes with some amber-coloured floral vellum (not that the design mattered, I just wanted the glow!) and decorated the box with some paper flowers which I coloured to match with promarkers in ruby and bright orange.  Then, I created a smaller lid type thingummybob inside the box to hold a battery operated tealight. And there you have it, a tealight luminaire, perfect as a gift!

The card, is made from matching card and I made it a foldy card, decorated with some freebie digi papers I found online and embellished with some more flowers to match the luminaire.  The centrepiece is a Lily Pickle Decoupage fairy from their Xmas package.  I loved it when I saw it as being a slightly gothicy style liking person, and with a daughter mad into manga and anime I knew I would have a lot of uses for it.  It's perfect and fits in with my card so well.  I used the punched out butterflies to add an extra bit of continuity between the card and the luminaire and there it is a card and a matching gift!

As you can see here, the luminare glows beautifully and it actually flickers like a real candle but obviously with out the risk of burning the house down owing to it being sat in a cardboard box lol

I'd like to enter this for the following:

The Stampman - Christmas

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Icy cold creation

Winter is definitely on it's way.  There is a cold chill on the wind and every night a light frosting forms on my car, that is providing it isn't raining... it's still doing a lot of that too.  Guns n' Roses didn't have it far wrong with their song titled November Rain did they? I quite like winter, though not as much as Autumn, providing that it isn't too icy and snowy making it dangerous to drive (or walk) anywhere.  I wonder if we are going to have as much snow as we did earlier this year... it was quite funny as my partner and I saw the snow one evening and he said it wasn't going to stick, yet an hour later we looked out and it was approx 5 inches deep!  Not let him live that down yet... in fact I have it as one of my favourite quotes on Facebook lol  I think the snow took us all by surprise to be honest as we don't usually get much snow where I live and I certainly hadn't seen anything like it in my life!

Winter, to me, means ice and cold and snowflakes.  It means Christmas is on it's way (Boo!) and everyone is going to have to get up extra early to de-ice their cars before they can drive to work. This card captures the general feeling of coldness in the air, in fact I started to feel decidedly cold whilst making it and had to go and put on a jumper!  I started with a Sweet Pea stamp ching-chou kuik's Blue Eye Fairy.  I love this stamp as there are so many different colours which suit it, she looks lovely with natural coloured hair, or coloured blue which makes her look like and ice maiden.  I have coloured the image using promarkers in powder blue and denim blue for the hair and dress, then ivory and a touch of almond which has given her a very pale complexion, perfect for a cold winter.  For the flowers in her hair I used a touch of sky blue and then highlighted with some gelly roll metallic pens to add a bit of glitz. I then cut the image out using my deckled rectangle nesties

I love flowers at anytime of year, and I bought some Color Me Crazy white paper flowers from my local Hobbycraft a few days ago.  They are really pretty with a gem in the middle to start with, but because they are paper they take any colouring technique you want to throw at them.  I threw a combination of matching promarkers and gelly roll pens to coordinate with the rest of the image then set to work on building the card up.  The blue snowflake backing paper is one I bought from a local arts & crafts shop last year, but I have just been back there today and they no longer have any which is a real shame as it is so glittery and sparkly that it is perfect for winter time cards.  In my stash, I have been hoarding a pack of papers I bought from QVC earlier this year which are white and silver designs and I really thought it was just papers until I opened it and discovered that there are some sheets of printed sheer material in there and I used a piece that looks almost sprayed on to dress the centre panel of the card.  The sentiment was stamped in silver and then embossed with a little powder to bring out the bling, then I backed the main image and the sentiment with a piece of glittery blue paper and offset it slightly, added the flowers and here it is. Brrrrrr don't you get cold just looking at it?

I would like to enter this for the following challenges:

In a Sweet Pea Dream - Where have all the flowers gone?
Crafts and Me - Glitter
Sir Stampalot - Christmas Traditions
I Love Promarkers - Icy Colours
OSAAT - Winter Wonderland

Friday, 5 November 2010

Snowflakes, Sparkle and Something New!

Well, I've finally done it.  Yep, I've made a start on my Christmas cards!  Not got too many to make, but this time of year is a great excuse to make lots of cards and blow the dust and cobwebs off all that festive stuff I have been hoarding.  Being a fairly new card maker I like to try out a few new ideas on my cards and have certainly done some different and new things on this card (well they are to me lol)

I am what you would class as a hoarder.  I hoard everything and my only defence is I come from a long line of hoarders... and craft stuff is no exception.  I think it was because the first papercraft project I ever did was my partner's scrapbook for his 40th birthday, and I still refuse to throw away any scraps of paper 'just in case they come in useful'.  And believe me I have folders and storage boxes full of scraps and other bits and bobs I just can't bring myself to throw away.  I did get myself sorted earlier this year and put all my xmas stuff separate so it wasn't cluttering up the rest of my stash when it was only going to be used a couple of weeks a year.  Fun side of that is I generally forget what I have and it always comes as a nice surprise when I dig it all out again and discover things I had forgotten I had :-)

Anyways... onto this card.  I only discovered Stazon ink a few months ago and was so impressed with it's ability to stamp onto awkward surfaces and bought myself a pack of acetate sheets to have a mess around with and then the whole pack sat on the shelf waiting for me to decide what on earth I was going to use it for.  Christmas cards and the like seem to be obsessed with snow, but snow is white and unless I embossed with white powder it didn't really show up as snow, just blank bits on a piece of white paper.  Well that just isn't good enough hehehe  I while ago I had bought some cotton white opaque stazon and snow is the perfect use for it when stamped on acetate. I found I had a nice snowflake stamp and it worked really well on the acetate in white... so from this point the snow shaker card was born... a first try at a shaker card for me and I think it worked (though I have to admit I had a prototype that went a bit pear-shaped when I tried to take out some of the snow, but I will pretend that never happened).   I stamped a cute snowman image onto some card and coloured it with promarkers and then coloured round it in black (I can take no credit for this part as my daughter suggested the snow would show up better on a dark background) and then I created a reservoir for the snow out of a roll of foam tape so I had some nice long strips - it was too wide but I cut it down the middle and it worked just fine and formed a frame around the stamped image.  Then I filled it with snow (or holographic embossing powder to you or me as it was nice and fine and a little goes a long way) and then peeled off the paper from the tape stuck the snowflake stamped acetate to seal in the powder.  Trimmed it to size, stamped some more snowflakes on some dark blue card and made a frame for it.

Another thing I have accumulated is embossing folders.  I have a few in varying sizes but they are usually too small for my project or not the right pattern but I used a really simple polka dot Cuttlebug folder for this one as I wanted to do it in two halves for sky and ground.  I initially embossed a piece of the same dark blue card I had used for the frame and swiped the white stazon over the nobbly bits (I am so good with my descriptions aren't I?) to pick the detail out in white so it would look like snow, but although it showed up ok, it wasn't totally clear as the ink is opaque.  So I waited patiently for it to dry... (ok, so I cheated and blasted it with my heatgun) and then got out my clear embossing pad and really worked it into the pattern so that it would get down to the flat bit and then sprinkled a load of the holographic embossing powder I had used for the snow, tapped off the excess and blasted it with my heatgun again and OMG if it doesn't sparkle like a snowy sky!  I then embossed a piece of plain white and did the same embossing trick with it to create a carpet of gleaming snow for the base of my card.

With having the snow behind acetate to contend with and the likelihood of this ending up on a family member's mantlepiece this Christmas, I think an easel is the only way this would stand up at the right angle without falling over due to the additonal weight of the acetate frame at the front.  Might try another construction as I LOVED making this card but this one works great.  The stopper for the easel and the sentiment is cut from a test piece of the dry embossed card with holographic powder embossed over that, cut with my labels 4 nesties set from The Stampman.  The sentiment Let It Snow (the title of my all-time favourite Christmas time song!) was stamped and embossed with some Jydrangea Blue Mauve moonglow powders (also from The Stampman) and then embossed over again with more of the holographic stuff.  I've been hoarding a small length of tartan ribbon as it needed a Christmas card to live on and I hope it likes it's new home at the front of this card.  I punched a few snowflakes (again embossed for added sparkle) and used these as the finishing touches.

This photo shows the snow all over the image, which is probably how it will look when the recipient takes it out of the envelope...

But as the card is tilted, the snow begins to fall and collects in drifts at the bottom of the window...

I'm going to have a play around with a few more thinks to insert in the reservoir on some more cards.  Thinking glitter or some tiny pearl beads maybe, but that will have to wait until my next card ;)  Might even have a go at my first tutorial on doing this as it is really quite simple to do but so effective, so let me know you are interested and I will do one.

I would like to enter this card for the following challenges:

Craft Challenge - Dry Embossing
I Love Promarkers - Snowflakes
Creative Inspirations - Create a Shaker card
Charisma Cardz - With Love at Christmas
Everybody Art Challenge  - Untraditional Christmas
The Stampman - Anything Goes Christmas
Pattie's Creations  - Make a Christmas Card or Creation

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sequins, Swirls & Spots!

Not been able to craft much lately due to the half term holidays, having 4 kids at home and trying to get time to myself is not the easiest thing in the world... add to that my 3 year old has just come down with chickenpox... then just when I thought I would have time to get something done I got a migraine... not been a good time all round really!

The image I have used for this card is one from Michelle Perkett, which I was lucky enough to win in a challenge - my first ever prize! Yay!  It's called Princess Oceana.  One of the things I love about digi stamps is the way you can print them to whatever size you want and it also makes it easier to layer the image and make it a little 3D.  The shells on this image just screamed out for that.  I coloured the main image with a combo of promarkers and gelly roll pens to add a bit of sparkle.  The flowers are from stock and the 2 smaller ones are coloured to match the image and centred with a sequin for a little more sparkle.

To add a bit more depth to the card, I stuck the image to the front of the card and trimmed along the edges of the image to give a cutaway effect to show off the flowers which are inside.  The inside of the paper uses a Bearly Mine freebie which is a gorgeous design I think. I then punched the corners and added some silver trim to show the paper off.

I am entering this for the following:

Bearly Mine Designs - Design Team Call
Crafty Cardmakers - Spotlight Digital Plus
Lexi's Creations - Anything Goes
Michelle Perkett Studio - Under The Sea