Monday, 24 January 2011

Spring has been spotted

I was looking at the garden of my new house the other day and cold as it is outside, there are already green shoots from bulbs poking through the earth.  A sign of spring being not too far away I hope and a promise of some colour to brighten up our dreary lives.  I think I have just about had enough of winter now!  The weather was lousy for most of 2010 and I am hoping 2011 is going to be better.  I really hope it is as now we have a garden for the boys to run around and play in, it will keep them from getting under my feet the whole time.  We got a lovely little play house for them at the start of summer and I think the eldest boy got to play in it about 3 times before the weather turned and he had to stay indoors.

I was lucky enough to win a challenge a couple of weeks ago where the prize was the brand new Polka Doodles Sugar Birdies CD which is full of lovely things to print and colour and backgrounds to print and use.  I was itching to have a go with it and the Crafty Cardmakers Floral challenge this week was the perfect avenue to give it an airing.  The image is Polly, a digi on the cd and I printed her out a couple of times so I could colour the main image with my promarkers then add a couple of 3D layers.  I chose two backgrounds sugardaisy pink and cherrydots to co-ordinate with the colouring on the main image and used some purple ribbon from stock to tie the whole colour scheme in.  Added a few more coloured digi flowers and made those 3D too.  A simple sentiment 'Thinking of You' finishes it all off.

It's spotty and with just a touch of spring thrown in for good measure and very girlie which is quite unusual for me but was fun to do!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Tellen's Place - Polka Dots
Stamp Something - Cute Something
Do you stack up? - Pink

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pencil me in!

One item of my craft stash which is well under-used is my coloured pencils.  I used to use them a lot when I was young and still have some in a box which are over 20 years old!  Since the spotlight at Crafty Cardmakers this week is on pencils, I had a perfect opportunity to blow the dust off and get colouring in.  Felt really strange not to have a marker in my hand!  One of the things I like about pencils is that you can get the depth of shade you are after more readily than with a marker as you can shade very lightly or go over it again to make it darker and can blend quite easily too.  I dug out my watercolour pencils for this as just a touch of water on a paintbrush can alter the colour depth and great some really unique results.

The stamp I have used is from Inca Stamps - The Fuschia Fairy.  I have a couple of their mounted stamps which I have acquired in various places and I really love them.  It's the first time I have used this one since I bought it a few months ago and really enjoyed using my pencils to colour it.  Made a nice change from promarkers.  Once I had coloured it, I touched it up with some water on a paintbrush to add definition and depth to the colours.  I then used my deckle edge ruler to define a rectangle around the image and then used two co-ordinating colours from the main image to sketch some alternating lines and then washed over them with the wet paintbrush to make the lines softer and blend them together to create a sketchy background which I again trimmed using the deckle ruler.  I used a trio of pink gemstones in two corners and my favourite architectural corner sizzix to accentuate the corners plus a couple of flowers from stock with more pink stones in the centres.  I then cut the card to size leaving the back slightly longer and embellished with some ribbons in pink and purple to co-ordinate with the image.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Crafty cat card with cut out bits!

Well, this is my first blog post of 2011 and also my first blog post in the new house!  If anyone ever suggests moving house to you over the Xmas period, tell them to go and take a running jump!  Yes, it is handy as kids and OH were off school and work, but that also meant no nursery open to take my 3 year old who almost achieved his lifelong aim to drive us all round the bend.  Now if he could have provided a van to drive us in, that would have been a great help.  So Christmas day for us was, here's your presents, unwrap them, look at them and then pack them into a box to move over to the new house... not the most fun we have ever had to be honest... but still, every cloud has a silver lining as I now have a decent sized craft area, just have to scale boxes to get to it at the moment!

What better card to crack open the new year with than a birthday card for my friend whose birthday is on 1st Jan?  I had an excuse not to do him one earlier as all my stufff was still packed, but my challenge over on Crafty Cardmakers this week was red and a die-cut.  Have to admit this was inspired by one of my favourite colours and also the fact it was a celebration of the new nesties I treated myself to but hadn't allowed myself to play with yet.  So new house, new year, new nesties lol.

The stamp I chose for this card is by Inca Stamps and is called Cat Blocks... can't see where they got that name from hehe!  I have had it sitting around for a while and not used it before and Peter's card seemed as good an excuse as any.  It's always hard to do a card for a man, so I was grateful of the challenge rules for this one.  I coloured the stamp with promarkers and then cut it out with my scalloped square nestie and cut a bigger square out of red paper.  I haven't made an easel card for a while so stuck to a simple fold and a centred image for this one.  The backing paper is a small piece of red and black almost marbley effect paper which I have had lying around for a while and matched the colour scheme perfectly.  I cut and stamped a couple more diecuts and edged with red promarker then stuck onto a torn-edged piece to create the stop.  I also tore some more strips of red paper and embellished with some black and red Happy Birthday sticker strips.

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

Crafts and Me - Paper Tearing
Allsorts - Fancy Fold