Monday, 31 March 2014

Lili of the Valley March Challenge - Crafty Bingo.

The March challenge over at the Lili of the Valley blog is to play along with their Bingo card theme and make something incorporating three of the nine elements - as long as they are in a straight row! You can see what I mean here . I went with a diagonal line from the bingo card and opted to use Ribbon, Lace and Charms. You can get a better view if you click on the photo below to enlarge it.

I started with a square kraft card blank and added a slightly smaller layer of textured red card. The vertical panel down the right side of the card is made from two different papers from the LOTV NitWit Country Lady paper pad. The main image, LOTV "Love Grows" (ST149), was stamped onto smooth white card using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then coloured with Copic markers. I cut out the image using a Spellbinders Labels one die and then layered it onto some beige patterned paper, which I had die cut using a Spellbinders Decorative Labels one die to match. This panel was then stuck to the card with foam pads for added dimension. The "With Love" sentiment is from the LOTV clear A5 stamp set 26 - Simply Sophisticated. I stamped it onto a scrap of the beige patterned paper using Potting Soil Archival ink and layered it onto a piece of brown paper from the LOTV NitWit Country Gent paper pad, cut a fish tail into the end and added to the card with foam pads.

I added a pretty length of fine cream lace to the left side of the card and topped it with some red seam binding ribbon and a double layered fancy bow. Two leaf shaped pins and a fancy silver heart charm finished everything off nicely.

I hope you like it!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day and Cure for the Monday Blues Challenge #10

This is my second post today, please scroll down to see my Sunday Stamper #300 card.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums and Grandmothers out there! I think that this is the first year that my daughter has been away from home for Mother's Day and I am missing her a lot! She is away at University in Kent, but was sweet enough to send me a beautiful card, a copy of "The Great British Sewing Bee" book and a pretty bunch of roses - I am a lucky Mum! We will probably Skype later on and catch up with all the news and I am very much looking forward to her coming home for Easter.

Over on Taheerah Atchia's blog the current Cure for the Monday Blues challenge #10 is running. The inspiration photo this week is of a gorgeous blue and white bedroom with pops of bright pink and orange colours.
Source Pinterest.
I decided to make a card using some of my beloved Chocolate Baroque stamps, Papertrey Ink coloured card and ink and Memory Box dies. I probably have more Chocolate Baroque and Elusive Images stamps than any other brand, as I used to be on the Design Team for Elusive Images, before they became Chocolate Baroque. I love their designs and the grey rubber stamps are always really deeply etched and are wonderful to work with.
I loved the flowered wallpaper, the bright quilt and the textured rug in the inspiration photo, so that's what I went with.
Here is my finished card. As usual, you may click on any of the photos to enlarge them for a better view. This blog post is photo heavy, as I actually remembered to take step by step photos this time!

This is the gorgeous big stamp which I chose to use for the wallpaper background. I masked off the top of a white card blank and stamped directly onto the card using Papertrey Spring Rain ink.

Then I used an acrylic block as a palette, stamping the inkpad onto it and using a fine waterbush to pick up the colour and watercolour the flowers and leaves. I tried to shade the underside of the petals and leaves so that they would look a bit darker.

This was painstaking, but I was thrilled with the finished result! The photo below shows the background after I had finished watercolouring it.

The photo below shows the selection of bright Papertrey Ink card that I picked out (Spring Rain, Orange Zest and Hibiscus Burst), together with matching Zing embossing powders (Grapefruit and Apricot), Versamark ink, a Memory Box Tessatina border die and a small elephant stamp from a larger A4 Chocolate Baroque stamp set (UA4GW0157 - originally released in 2007 by Elusive Images).  

I used the Versamark ink to stamp two of the elephant images onto the Orange Zest card and very carefully applied the Grapefruit pink embossing powder to the decorative blankets on each of the elephants' backs. I then added the Apricot embossing powder to the remaining areas and heat set them.
Each elephant was then fussy cut out - I used a craft knife and cutting mat to cut out the area around the trunks.
I used my Grand Calibur to cut out the Tessatina dies twice - once from Spring Rain card and once from the same white card as my card blank base. I pushed out all of the small inner pieces from the white die cut, then added a strip of strong, red lined tape at the rear. Then I took the small inner pieces from the blue die cut and inserted them into the spaces on the white one, using tweezers. You can just see the red tape underneath in the above photo.

I cut a strip of Hibiscus Burst card (to represent the bright quilt in the inspiration photo), mounted it towards the bottom of my card blank, then added the embossed elephants using foam pads for added dimension. The Tessatina border die cut was added beneath this to mimic the rug - I think it looks like the elephants are strolling along a decorative path!  

I needed a sentiment and decided to use the same Hibiscus Burst card to cut some letters from a Memory Box alphabet die set, to spell out the word "hello". I adhered these letters to the top right of my card using small dabs of Ranger Glossy Accents. As there are some large letters hanging over the wallpaper in the inspiration photo I thought that these would be ideal.

Finally I used some more of the Glossy Accents to highlight each letter and give it a nice glossy, dimensional finish.

I must say that I am very pleased with how this turned out! Although it was very time consuming, I am looking forward to doing the same watercolouring technique on some more of the big background stamps as I think it looks really effective. Thanks for reading this far!

Sunday Stamper - week 300 - Dream Lover

This week is rather a special one over at the very talented Hels Sheridan's blog  - it is the 300th week for the Sunday Stamper challenge! For each of the last 300 weeks Hels has come up with a theme, loosely based on a song title, and has created a gorgeous example of her stamped art to inspire us all to join in. As it's the 300th anniversary of the Sunday Stamper challenge, this week there are several companies sponsoring it and a very generous prize up for grabs for one lucky entrant.

All week I have been deliberating as to what to use to make my entry for the "Dream Lover" theme. I knew straight away that I wanted to use the Catslife Press quote stamp that I acquired recently (thanks Kaz)! But it wasn't until I was able to get into my craftroom yesterday afternoon that I was able to find the perfect image to go with it. This romantic couple from Paper Artsy's Urban Snapshots range - Young Love 4 - fitted the bill perfectly!

Apologies for the poor quality photograph - as per usual I was stamping and taking photos at night! The flash has made the copper areas look more orangey, but in real life they are a bright metallic copper. You can click onto any of the photos for a clearer view if desired.

I gathered together some more supplies - a white card blank, some shiny copper mirror card, thick white card which had been previously sprayed with various pink / purple / copper ink sprays (from Sticky Fingers), some pearlescent pink card, double sided tape, foam pads, some pink gems and everything shown in the photo below. Hels is a great fan of all of Wendy Vecchi's products so I thought it would be appropriate to use the "Art Colours Life" stamp set (which happens to be the only one of Wendy Vecchi's that I own), together with the Large Heart from her Stencils for Art collection.  

I started by trimming a layer of copper mirror card slightly smaller than the front of my card blank, then I cut a smaller panel from the colourful ink sprayed card. I used the central heart shape from the stencil as a mask and inked up the large flower panel stamp below with Victorian Velvet Distress ink before stamping it all over the background to give it a subtle texture. When I removed the mask there was a feint outline of where the heart was, but it needed more definition, so I laid the outer stencil over the flower stamped portion of the card and christened my new Ranger mini ink blending tool with the Victorian Velvet Distress ink to add more depth of colour to the heart. I really like the new little circular ink blending tool as it's ideal to use with stencils and it's easy to control the ink without getting any harsh lines.

I stamped the lovers' image onto white card with Jet Black Archival ink and cut around it leaving a narrow white border. I used the mini ink blending tool and the Victorian Velvet Distress ink again to gently add a little shading to the couple, but I made sure to leave the man's shirt white - if he was anything like my husband he wouldn't be seen dead wearing pink!

This photo and the one below were both taken without flash, but have come out a bit dark. In reality the pink is more of a bright rose pink and what looks like gold is actually a warm copper colour.

The brilliant Catslife Press quote was stamped onto white card using the jet black Archival ink and the corners were rounded with a corner chomper. I then layered this onto a slightly larger rectangle of pearlescent pink card, also with rounded corners, and stuck it to the card with foam pads.

I used a pretty Magnolia Doohickey heart lace border die to trim either side of a strip of pearlescent pink card and added a narrower strip of card, which had been sprayed with slightly darker shades of pink and purple with copper. I used JustRite alphabet stamps (Times New Roman font - 50 pt) to make up the words "Dream Lover" which I then stamped onto the strip of card using the jet black Archival ink again. I trimmed the right-hand side to a fishtail shape and mounted it on the card with foam pads, to help ground the image of the pair of lovers (which I had stuck inside the heart using double sided tape). The final touch was the addition of three sparkly pink gemstones .

I was really happy with the finished card and am now considering making something similar in a cream and duck - egg blue colourway that I can use as a hanging in our bedroom. Watch this space!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cure for the Monday Blues #9

Over on Taheerha Atchia's blog  there is a Monday challenge running - you can check it out here  .
Challenge #9 is based on the following photograph -
I decided to start with a 5" x 7" landscape card blank and added a layer of PTI Pure Poppy card. Then I took a slightly smaller panel of the off-white card (I cut up another card blank to make sure it matched) and added a strip of brown stripey paper (the reverse side of Fields of Flowers from Graphic 45's Botanical Tea collection) to the lower half, to mimic the stripey cushions on the bed. I used my small imperial Score Pal board to score along the top half of the card at half inch intervals - I thought that this looked a little like the wood panelling in the above photo.  Next I added a strip of blue card (PTI's Spring rain card), a narrower strip of the off - white card and a length of red cord, echoing the piped bedding in the inspiration photo. 

Please click on the photo to enlarge it for a better view.

For the main image I used the largest die from the JustRite Custom Die Templates JB - 10025 Nested Oval Medallion Label Dies, which I cut from some of the blue card. The map border image and sailing ship from the Anchors Away stamp set by JustRite (CR - 03710) were then stamped using Rich Cocoa Memento dye ink. I coloured the narrow band around the edge with a Festive Berries Distress Marker to match the piping again and the rope circle was coloured with a Picket Fence Distress Marker (matching the white lifesaving ring in the inspiration photo). The centre panel was then mounted onto the card with foam pads for added dimension. I stamped the small circular anchor motif from the same stamp set onto a scrap of Pure Poppy red card using Memento Espresso Truffle dye ink, cut it out and added it to the card with a foam dot - I was thinking about the red circular item on the bedside table in the inspiration photo at the time. The sentiment is from the Waltzingmouse Stamps Compact Sentiment set and was stamped onto some of the red card with the same Espresso Truffle Memento ink. I trimmed the red card to mimic the shape of the red rug in the bottom left of the inspiration photo, stuck it onto the card and it was finished!

I am really pleased with the finished card as I think it's a reasonable interpretation of the photo provided and looks suitably nautical. I shall be sending this to a former colleague who will be starting a new job soon - I hope he likes it!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

JustRite Poppies card

Earlier in the week I needed to make a quick birthday card to post to my Great Aunt Doris, who was 91 yesterday.  She loves her garden, so I thought that the beautiful large Poppies stamp from JustRite's Poppies Labels Twenty Nine set (CL - 04380) would be just the job.

The image is very detailed so I decided to go with a CAS style, with nothing to detract from the beauty of the flowers. The poppies were stamped using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured with Ranger Distress Markers. I used wild honey for the stamens, festive berries and barn door for the bright petals and shabby shutters and peeled paint for the leaves and stems. Finally I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment (also by JustRite) in the bottom right corner and the card was ready to be posted to Dorset.

I shall certainly be using this lovely stamp again as it was such a pleasure to colour the image and it was easy to achieve a good result fairly quickly. I also think that it's very versatile and could be used for many different occasions.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Paris in the Spring - Artful Times Challenge 50 - Anything Goes

This winter has felt particularly long and wet and I am finding myself longing for the start of Spring now! I decided to make a card using spring colours and stamps from JustRite (available from Oyster Stamps).

I started with some pale lemon yellow card and stamped the large Paris Background stamp (CL - 03790) with Ranger Jet Black Archival ink. I stamped the portion with the Eiffel tower a second time onto the lemon card, so that I could cut it out and layer it up for more dimension. I also stamped the crown and fleur-de-lis onto smooth white card (for the same reason). I stamped the small label shape from the Bon Voyage stamp set (CL - 02185) onto some pale green card (again with black Archival ink) and cut it out using one of the Spellbinders Labels six dies (S4 - 230).

Using a Ranger ink blending tool with Tumbled Glass and Shabby Shutters Distress ink pads I blended some colour around the edges of the main image and the second Eiffel tower, which I then fussy cut and mounted on the main panel with foam pads. I used the same colours on the small label and then cut a hole in the top to turn it into a tag. The word "Paris" from the Greetings from Paris stamp set (CL - 02195) was stamped in black Archival ink and I used an extra fine black Faber Castel Pitt artist pen to add the words "in the Spring". The frame part of the tag, both the crowns, both fleur-de-lis, the laurel wreath and ribbon bow were all coloured in with Tim Holtz Distress Markers - I used Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, Mustard Seed, Spun Sugar and Shaded Lilac.

I layered the main panel onto pale green card and then onto a white scalloped card blank (it looks a bit pink in the photo, but I think that was because the light was poor as I took the photo at night). I fussy cut around the extra crown and fleur-de-lis images and added them to the card with foam pads. Finally I cut three pieces of seam binding in lemon, pink and lilac colours and stapled them to the top of the tag, which I then mounted onto the card (again with foam pads).

I think that the finished card does have an air of spring about it. I have never been to Paris, but would love to go one day - I can dream! I have sent this card to a dear friend for her birthday. She seems to travel quite a lot, so I hope that she likes it!

I would like to enter this into the Artful Times Challenge #50 - Anything Goes. You can find out more about it here . It's the first time that I have entered this challenge, so I hope I've done it correctly!

Monday, 10 March 2014

PTI Make It Monday Challenge #154 - Colour and Texture on a One Layer Card

Last week on the Papertrey Ink blog Erin Lincoln shared a video showing how to get lots of texture and colour onto a one layer card. You can check out her video here .

I knew that I'd struggle with this challenge as I love to have lots of layers on my cards! Then I remembered the "Lovely Layers" stamp set and knew that it would be perfect to use for this.

I started with smooth white card and Limeade ice ink and stamped the largest  image all over the card, making sure that the corners just touched as I stamped each one. Then I moved on to Simply Chartreuse ink for the frilly leaves and Ripe Avocado ink for the veins of each leaf.
For the flowers I used Winter Wisteria ink, accented with Royal Velvet ink (for both the large and small flower images. I wasn't happy with the white spaces left, so I used Ripe Avocado ink again and the larger leaf vein stamp to fill in the gaps. I thought that this looked a bit like stalks for the flowers too!
The sentiment is from the "Boutique Borders:Birthday" set and I stamped it with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with WOW Purple Glitz embossing glitter powder. You can just see how this sparkles in the photo below.

I stuck the stamped panel onto a square Royal Velvet card blank and was pleased with the finished result. At least I should be in time to link my entry up to the PTI challenge this week!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bright hexagons.

This is my second post today, again with a hexagon themed card - but this one is totally different from my last card!

Earlier this week I was playing around with my watercolour paints making card backgrounds. I very rarely use reds, oranges and yellows - so this one was really out of my comfort zone! I started by painting lemon yellow circles randomly onto white card, then went around each one with orange paint - at this point I decided to try to make the shapes roughly hexagonal for a more angular look. Then I filled in all the remaining spaces with bright red paint, blending it into the orange. The resulting piece was ever so bright and it looked good with a black card blank for contrast so that's what I went with. I stamped over each yellow hexagon shape with a selection of tiny stamps from Papertrey Ink's Happy Hexagons stamp set, using Jet Black Archival ink and Wendy Vecchi's Red Geranium and Orange Blossom Archival inks.  The sentiment was from the same PTI stamp set and again stamped in Black Archival ink.

I would normally add additional embellishments to a card, but I felt that there was enough going on with this one already and that anything else would detract from it. I think that this must actually be the first one - layer card that I've made so far!

I'd like to enter this into the Moxie Fab World's Happy for Hexagons challenge. You can see the details here .

I would also like to enter it in the Sunday Stamper challenge -  Week 287 - All Thing Bright And Beautiful. Details are here on Hels Sheridan's blog .

This is the first time that I have entered either of these challenges, so I hope that I have followed all the rules and linked up correctly! Thanks for looking.

Moxie Fab World - Happy for Hexagons challenge

The current challenge over at the Moxie Fab World is to create something with hexagons . I decided to get out my Papertrey Ink Happy Hexagons cover plate and Core'dinations whitewash card stock again, to make a patchwork background for a pink sewing themed card. Please click on the photo below for a larger view. I apologise for the quality of the photo, but I had to use flash as it was dark when I took it.

I started with a white landscape card blank and added a layer of marbled pink paper and a pink polka dot ribbon and bow. I diecut the happy hexagons coverplate five times in total - in pale pink for the hexagon frame and in a darker pink, blue, purple and jade green for the tiny hexagonal pieces. I selected some of each colour of the hexagons and ran them through my Cuttlebug with various tiny patterned embossing folders (all by Cuttlebug). Then I sanded each piece until the core was visible, giving them a lot of texture. I mounted the frame to the pink card layer using plenty of double sided tape so that I could then add the individual hexagons and they would stick to the tape. I had lots of pieces left over and another four frames, so I have kept them all for later projects.

The patchwork effect reminded me very much of quilting, so I decided to add a sentiment from Waltzingmouse Stamps "Sewing Box Hugs" stamp set and a stamped pincushion (by Our Daily Bread Designs), which I coloured with Distress markers. The cotton reel and needle dies are from Memory Box and the dressmakers dummy and buttons were cut from Spellbinders dies. I used pink and white bakers twine for the thread and to "sew" the buttons. All diecuts and stamped images were adhered to the card using foam pads to add more dimension.

I'm really pleased with the finished result and I'll be sending this card to one of my friends, who has a birthday later this month.

Monday, 3 March 2014

PTI Make It Monday challenge #153 - Watercoloured Backgrounds with Heat Embossed Sentiments

Last week on the Papertrey Ink blog Dawn McVey shared a video highlighting one of the latest trends in cardmaking, using watercoloured backgrounds and heat embossing a sentiment over the top. You can check out her video here

I have a lovely set of Windsor and Newton watercolour paints that my husband bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago, so I decided to play along with the challenge this time. I found that painting the backgrounds was quite addictive and I got carried away and painted thirteen of them! I picked out the best ones and ended up making eight different cards, all using Papertrey Ink stamps and Zing embossing powders.

The background on my first card was painted in blocks of green colour, gradually becoming darker to give an ombre effect. All stamps used are from the "In Bloom" set. The sentiment and leaves were embossed using white Zing embossing powder and then I painted the leaves using some more of the same green paint. The flowers were embossed using Blush Zing embossing powder onto PTI coloured card, then I fussy cut them out and mounted them onto the card using foam pads for dimension. The background panel was then layered onto New Leaf card stock before adding to a white card blank.

My second card was made using two shades of paint, Zing white embossing powder, and stamps and the die from the "Floral Foliage" set. The tree was stamped with Dark Chocolate and Ocean Tides ink, then mounted with foam pads.

Card number three is one of my favourites and uses stamps from the "Friends 'til the end" set. The background was painted in a blue ombre effect, then I embossed the sentiment and flowers using the white embossing powder as before. I painted the flower petals with white watercolour paint and used a darker shade of blue for the centres. The whole panel was layered onto blueberry sky card stock, before mounting on a white card blank.

My fourth card uses the same "Friends 'til the end" stamp set and white embossing powder, but this time I tried the mottled effect on the background, making it slightly darker towards the bottom where I wanted to place the large sentiment. I painted the leaves with more of the same green paint and the two flowers were embossed onto Hawaiian Shores card stock and the petals painted white.The whole panel was also layered onto Hawaiian Shores card before mounting on a white card blank.

My next card features the same type of mottled background, but this time I used three different shades of paint. When it had dried it reminded me a little of Monet's waterlilies, so I decided to use "Boy Basics: Frog Hop" stamp set and matching dies to make this fun card! I layered New Leaf and Blueberry Sky card stock onto a kraft card blank before adding the painted panel.

I stayed with the mottled background look for card number six, but kept it subtle with pale olive greens. I thought that the ferns and sentiment from the lovely "Meadow Greens" stamp set would make a nice Sympathy card. I embossed the sentiment using the same white powder, then repeatedly stamped the two ferns around the edges with Simply Chartreuse and Ripe Avocado inks. I over stamped the ones in the top left with Vintage Cream ink as I wanted it to look like there were shafts of sunlight coming into the clearing. I deliberately made the bottom edge darker so that it would appear to be in shade. I was really pleased with the overall effect (it looks much nicer in real life).

I reverted to the ombre colour blocking method for the background on my seventh card. All the stamps are from the "Harvest Berries" set. I used Ripe Avocado ink to stamp the leaves and the sentiment and berries were embossed with white Zing embossing powder. The whole panel was layered onto some Simply Chartreuse card stock and added to a white card blank.

My last card is my favourite from this batch. I used Ripe Avocado card stock to make the card and the watercoloured panel was done with two shades of paint onto Bockingford Watercolour paper. I went for a mottled look again and blended the two colours to look like sky and grass. All stamps are from the "Meadow Greens" set. I embossed the sentiment and flower heads using white powder, then stamped the stems and leaves using Ripe Avocado ink. The heavier paper gives a lot of texture to the piece and in my opinion it looks more like a watercolour painting.
If you have read this far, thank you very much for looking and I hope that I have inspired you to try this technique out for yourself.
EDITED to say that shortly after I'd posted this we had a visitor, so I wasn't able to link up to the Papertrey challenge list after all (I missed the deadline by 5 minutes)! Never mind - at least I have some cards ready!