Friday, 18 December 2015

2015 Winter/Holiday Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

Hello and welcome! Today I am taking part in the current Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. You can find all the details and loads of inspiring projects Here . This time the theme for the hop is Winter/Christmas holiday and we were invited to include projects featuring hot chocolate as well as tea and coffee.

This year I decided to make some of my Christmas gifts, so I started by cutting several tags using the stitched tag die set  from Waltzingmouse Stamps. Then I used My Favourite Things "Hot Cocoa Cups" dies to cut lots of mugs from red card, the cocoa insert from brown card and the whipped cream from ivory card. Then I took the MFT "hug in a mug" stamps and added the chocolate sprinkles to the cream. The white wooden snowflakes were a find from Sainsburys supermarket and gives the mugs just the right Christmassy feel!

The sentiments and snowflakes on the white tags were from the same "hug in a mug" stamp set and I added coloured reinforcement rings to match the top tags. I found some lovely red spotty ribbon in my stash that was just the job for tying the tags onto my gift bags.

I bought the gift bags from Amazon, cut a rectangle of sturdy card to fit into the bottom of the bag, then filled each bag with a "Beprovad" glass mug from Ikea (a bargain at 85p each), a sachet of Cadbury's hot chocolate drink, a candy cane, a bag of tiny marshmallows and a bag of mini gingerbread men - yum!

I had two different sorts of bags, so I used blue tags on the snowman ones and grey tags on the red tree ones. I think they look quite festive! I made a total of 30 of these gifts, so many of my friends and family will be getting a hot chocolate kit next week to keep them warm!

Thank you for reading this far and I hope that I have inspired you to try making your own gifts too.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Hop To Stop - part two.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in the USA and the lovely Becca Cruger has organised a blog hop to help. Over the course of their lifetimes a staggering 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence! Whilst I have been lucky, someone who I'm very close to has suffered in the past and still has recurring nightmares about it, so I'm happy to help raise awareness here.

 The stop to hop can be found HERE.

We were challenged to make cards featuring the colour purple - the chosen colour for the charity. Here is my second card. I thought the peace dove was an appropriate image for this hop. 

All stamps and dies are by Waltzingmouse Stamps. The lovely dove is from the new "Rustic Christmas" stamp set, the trees are from the "Flurries set" and the leafy spring is from "Country Labels Four". I stamped the dove in Memento Grape Jelly ink, masked the image then added the sky with Shaded Lilac Distress ink. I used Memento Northern Pine ink for the sprigs on the background. 

Yay - that's my first Christmas card made for this year! Thanks for looking.


The Hop To Stop - part one.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in the USA and the lovely Becca Cruger has organised a blog hop to help. Over the course of their lifetimes a staggering 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence! Whilst I have been lucky, someone who I'm very close to has suffered in the past and still has recurring nightmares about it, so I'm happy to help raise awareness here.

 The hop to stop can be found HERE.

We were challenged to make cards featuring the colour purple - the chosen colour for the charity. I thought about what it must be like to suffer in this way and decided to use a quote and feathers from Waltzingmouse Stamps "Fine Feathers" stamp set, together with the matching dies.

The other dies used are also by Waltzingmouse. I started with a large stitched rectangle panel and heat embossed two of the small feather images all over using clear embossing powder. Then I blended Shaded Lilac, Milled Lavender, Wilted Violet and Dusty Concord Distress Inks over the panel, before removing the embossing with a hot iron. (One of the only times I tend to use an iron)! The feathers were stamped onto their matching diecuts using Memento Grape Jelly ink, which I also used for the sentiment.

I love all the fine detail in the feathers and I'm pleased with how this turned out! I'll be back later with another card to share. Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A First Birthday

Today is our youngest grandson's first birthday, although it hardly seems 12 months since he arrived! Of course I wanted to make him a card and thought that bright and cheerful was the way to go.

I selected a cute stamp from Lili of the Valley for the main image and added the perfect sentiment with an old PSX stamp, Versamark ink and Denim Zing embossing powder. The design paper is from the "Candles and Cake" NitWit collection by Mary Fran for Lili of the Valley. I coloured the stamped image to co-ordinate with the patterned paper using Copic Ciao markers (R000, R00, Y11, B93, B95, YG03, RV29, R37, B99, C0, C1, C3, C7 & B12). The scalloped rectangle die that I used was from a really useful set by Waltzingmouse Stamps and the finishing touch was a number 1 cut using a Memory Box die.

Here is the birthday boy Lucas - looking a little bewildered as he had just woken up from his nap when I took this photo this morning. The photo below was taken earlier on when he was playing in his new birthday gift from his Mummy and Daddy. I think he likes his new house!

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 2 October 2015

Pink Roses of Love

Our lovely next-door neighbours celebrated their 49th Wedding Anniversary yesterday so I wanted to make them a card. I thought that the gorgeous Roses of Love stamp set from Make It Crafty would be perfect, as they love their garden.

I started with a pink card blank and added a background using tiny heart and flower stamps from Waltzingmouse stamps "Gift Card It" and Wendy Vecchi's Pink Peony embossing powder. The white card panel was also cut with a Waltzingmouse scalloped stitched rectangle die. I stamped the beautiful roses using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink and coloured the image with my Copic Ciao markers (RV10, RV21, RV23, RV13, YG11, YG03, YG23 and YG17). Finally the sentiment (from Waltzingmouse "Sweethearts" stamp set) was stamped in Versamark ink and heat embossed with Wendy Vecchi's Pink Peony embossing powder.  

This stamped rose image was an absolute pleasure to colour and I shall certainly be using it again! Make It Crafty also have it available as a digital download and they have loads of other lovely images for colouring too. 

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

2015 Fall Coffee Lovers Blog Hop.

Hello and welcome! Today is National Coffee Day in the USA and the Coffee Loving Papercrafters are having a Blog Hop to celebrate. Although I'm usually a tea drinking Brit, I couldn't resist joining in with the fun! There are an amazing 42 sponsors for this hop, with lots of lovely prizes, so you may like to start at the Coffee Loving Cardmakers blog here. You will also find full details of how to take part and links to all of the inspiring artwork there.

Here is my first card for the hop. As always you can click on the photos to get a clearer view. I got carried away and actually made two similar easel cards in different colourways, but I think that this blue one is my favourite. My second card (below) uses the same supplies, but with a khaki coloured card base and I adhered the image and sentiment at a jaunty angle.

The pretty autumnal backing papers are from the "Enchantment" NitWit collection by Mary Fran for Lili of the Valley. The main image is stamped with "Monster Morning" by Whipper Snapper Designs Inc and was coloured with Copic Ciao markers. The sentiment and cute coffee beans are from the "Coffee Set" stamps by Waltzingmouse Stamps and I used Memento Rich Cocoa dye ink. Spellbinders "Leafy Squares" dies were used to mount the image and sentiment blocks. Finally I added a strip of white card inside so that there is space to write a message and I finished off with a couple of Fall Leaves Wood Veneer ornaments by Lawn Fawn, to act as stoppers for my easels (see below).

Both cards fold flat for mailing but I think that the easel style adds a little something extra! I have used quite masculine colours here, but it would be very easy to switch out the colours to make a more feminine version.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of the hop!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Two Turtles

Hello there. Just popping in to share a couple of belated birthday cards that I made recently.

I used the cute Lawn Fawn year two anniversary stamp set and  the co-ordinating Lawn Cuts dies. I stamped the turtle, gift and party hat using Tuxedo Black Memento dye ink and then coloured the images using my Copic markers (YG63, YG67, YG91, YG95, YG11, YG23, R32, R35, R20, Y21, Y35 and Y38 for those that are interested). Then I cut everything out with the matching dies - they make it so easy!

My first card just uses a simple green mottled card background to stamp the sentiment onto, then the turtle and accessories were added with clear foam pads.

For my second card I found a piece of yellow card in my stash which had already been stamped with a fine script background. I finished it off with a length of yellow checked ribbon to match my background layer.

I'm really pleased with these simple cards as they were just what I needed in a hurry! Thanks for looking and please call back in a day or two, when I should be taking part in the Coffee Loving Papercrafters Autumn Blog Hop. 


Sunday, 30 August 2015


Today is my husband's birthday and I am sharing the card that I made him here. I used Mama Elephant's cute Pandamonium stamps and co-ordinating dies for the main image and sentiment. The background was done using Core'dinations card in a Cuttlebug bamboo embossing folder and I sanded the bamboo part to reveal a slightly lighter shade of green. This was then layered onto a panel of black card and then onto a white card blank.

Finally I added a length of knotted Japanese Mizuhiki cord and an old Chinese coin. Then I decided to make a second card for my stash, but this time using a portrait layout. This way I had more bamboo showing and I had my little panda sitting high up in it. I chose a different colour of the Mizuhiki cord and a larger Chinese coin for a slightly different look. 

I'm really pleased with how these turned out! The matching dies made it so easy to do and although the design is quite simple, I think it makes an ideal masculine card. I hope that my husband David likes it too! 

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 28 August 2015

Under The Sea

I recently treated myself to some lovely Clearly Besotted stamps, including the fun "Under The Sea" set, so I went about creating a couple of cards with a real underwater feel to them.

I started with a square of white card which I coloured by smooshing Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough and Scattered Straw Distress Inks onto an ink blending mat and spraying with a fine mist of water before dragging the card through the ink. I found that the card I was using tended to buckle when it was really wet with all the ink, so I decided to accentuate this by making several rough creased folds in the blue part of the card to represent waves. I distressed the edges of my panel and I then added some more Blue and Green Ink to my blending mat and dragged the folded parts and distressed edges through again until they were a shade darker. Finally I dried my panel thoroughly using my heat gun, before I stuck it to a 5" square white card blank.

The cute whale and starfish were stamped onto smooth white card using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink and then coloured with Copic Ciao Markers. I used a Copic blending pen to add some lighter highlights and then fussy cut them and added them to the card with foam pads. A small amount of Glossy Accents was used over the eyes and for the whale's water spout. Both sentiments were stamped directly onto the card.

I wanted to add some beach embellishments to add texture and interest and I knew that I had just the thing! A couple of years ago I discovered a wonderful range of tiny pots of sea themed treasures made by a company called Mudd Puddles. I bought mine online from The Carolina Stamper at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, but I understand that the owner has since retired and closed the shop, so now I need to find another supplier for when I have used up my ten little jars of beacheyness (is that even a word?)! Anyway I added a layer of "Malibu Beach" (actual golden sand suspended in a sticky medium) to the bottom of my card panel with a palette knife. When this was dry I added some "Mini Shells", "Beach Mini Pieces", "Beach Glass" and "Sea Glass" (all miniature sized real beach ephemera suspended in an adhesive medium). I absolutely loved the effect so I'm sure that you'll be seeing me using more in future!

In fact I liked it so much that I made a second card (above) - almost identical, except that the Distress Inked background has slightly more of a sandy pattern to it.

Thanks for looking,


Thursday, 27 August 2015

You're Sew Special.

Hello again! I'm sorry about the sporadic blogging, but my daughter Jessica is at home for the summer and I have been enjoying some family time before she goes back to University in Kent. 

I have recently made a couple of cards though - this time using the lovely "Sew Special" stamps from Clearly Besotted. 

I started by making a patchwork panel for the background, using several different colours of Core'dinations card stock from the Whitewash collection which I die cut with Papertrey Ink's "Happy Hexagons" coverplate, then embossed with a variety of embossing folders, before sanding. If you're interested you can see how I did this by referring to my earlier post here: 

The sentiment was stamped onto a Stitched Fishtail Flag (cut with a Die-namics die) using Memento Teal Zeal dye ink. I also used the same ink and card to stamp the dress form and tape measure, which I then fussy cut and added with foam pads. The buttons, needle and cotton reel were cut from scraps of Core'dinations card using Spellbinders dies and a little bakers twine and a charm were all I needed to finish off. 

The photo below is a close - up showing the details and texture. I love that cute little Clearly Besotted tape measure stamp!

My second card was made the same way, but in different colours and with a slightly different sentiment.

Again the close - up below shows much more detail. These are really tactile cards in real life - I wish you could all stroke them!

The first card has already made it's way to it's new home with a friend in Surrey and I think that the second one is still en route to another friend in the USA. Thanks for looking.


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Camellia Birthday Card

Good evening! Here I have a variation on last week's Camellia card - this time for a friend's birthday.

I coloured the Waltzingmouse Camellia flower pink this time and used a different flower head for the background stamping. The sentiment was taken from another Waltzingmouse stamp set, Fancy Phrases, and was stamped onto a narrow stitched fishtail flag (again by Die-namics for My Favourite Things). The finishing touch was a row of three dark pink gems (although they look a bit red on this photo).

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 10 July 2015

Waltzingmouse Camellias

Good evening! I have another card to share with you today, this time using the lovely Camellia stamp set from Waltzingmouse stamps.

I started with a six inch square white card blank and stamped one of the smaller flowers repeatedly using Memento Gray Flannel ink. The sentiment was stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto a stitched jumbo fishtail banner which I cut using a Die-namics die from My Favourite Things - I then added this to the card with foam pads. The large camellia flower head, bud, leaves and stem were all stamped separately in the black ink onto smooth white card, coloured with Inktense pencils then blended with a wet paintbrush. I was lucky enough to receive the Inktense pencils as a gift from a friend - thank you Penny, they are lovely and vibrant!

I fussy cut everything out and shaped the leaves and petals. It's difficult to see in the photo, but I coated the leaves with Glossy Accents, before leaving them to dry overnight. The camellia spray was assembled using clear foam pads and for the final touch I added three small red gems.

This card is now winging it's way to a dear friend in Somerset - I hope she will like it!

Thanks for looking,


Monday, 6 July 2015

A Big Squishy Hug

Hello. Today I'm sharing a card that I made to cheer up a dear friend. I used her favourite colours and a lovely stamp that she had given me a while ago. It's called "A Little Hug" by Leanne Ellis for Sugar Nellie and I think it's really sweet!

I coloured the image with Copic Ciao markers and fussy cut extra images of the bird, rose and rabbit to layer up with clear foam pads. You can see the dimension that this added in the close - up photo below. The sentiment is from the "Gift Card It" stamp set by Waltzingmouse stamps and was just perfect to go with the main image! 

Thanks for looking!


Monday, 15 June 2015

Waltzingmouse Stamps June PJ Party - Challenge 1: Can It / Pickle It.

Waltzingmouse Stamps are hosting their June Pajama party at the moment, with four challenges to take part in. You can check out all the details over on the WMS blog here.

I have chosen to make a shaker card for the first challenge "Can It / Pickle It". I used the WMS large Chevron background stamp, the jar stamp from "Candy Jar Christmas Fillers", the lid and sentiment stamps from "Jar Fillers - Jam Packed" and some of the lovely new WMS "Peaches and Dream" sequin shaker mix.

I started with a 5" square peach coloured card blank and added a layer of cream / gold card before adding a square of peach coloured paper stamped with the chevron pattern using PTI Melon Berry ink. The sentiment was stamped onto a small stitched fishtail banner cut with a Die-namics die and added with foam tape. I used some of the cream / gold card to stamp two jars, cut an aperture in one and added a layer of acetate to make the window. I added some of the shaker mix and sandwiched the two jars together using clear foam tape. The jar lid cover was cut from patterned paper and I added a little bakers twine to embellish. The photo doesn't really do it justice as it looks much prettier in real life!

Thanks for looking,


Monday, 25 May 2015

Birthday cards

It was my birthday last month, so I thought I'd show you some of the lovely hand made cards that I was lucky enough to receive from family and friends.

This lovely cat looking out of a window was sent to me by my Auntie Annette, who is on the Design Team for Imagination Crafts.

This beautiful yellow floral card was made by my friend Chris, using Papertrey Ink Stamps.

This lovely oriental card came from my friend Lesley, who knows that I love birds.

This one was from my sister Maria.

I just love this cute chick made for me by my sweet grandsons Max (age 3) and Lucas (age 7 months)!

This gorgeous floral card came from my sweet friend Neet. I love the colour scheme.

Finally, this beautifully coloured shaker card was made by my lovely friend Penny. Isn't that Crazy Bird fun?! I am thrilled with all the lovely cards that I received - thank you all very much! 

Now for another card that I made recently, using Norma J. Burnell's Mid Summer Dragonflies stamp, from Sweet Pea Stamps. I used VersaFine Onyx Black ink and Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper, which I cut with a Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle die. I then watercoloured the image with Distress Markers and added a hint of shimmer to the dragonflies with my Wink of Stella pen. The background is Core'dinations card embossed with the "Rosa" embossing folder by Anna Griffin for Cuttlebug, then sanded back. The birthday diecuts are from Papertrey with the sentiment flags being from a Lil' inker die.

Thanks for looking. I shall try not to leave it so long before posting next time!


Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Light It Up Blue For Autism Awareness Blog Hop - Love You To Pieces

Hello and welcome to a special blog post today! I am taking part in a huge blog hop to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, so thank you for joining me. You can read all about the blog hop and find the links for all the amazing artwork here on Veronica Fletcher Zalis' blog. If you would like to find out more about Autism I recommend checking out the websites for The National Autistic Society (in the UK) or Autism Speaks (in the USA).

I also have a very sweet friend whose eldest son is Autistic, so I am delighted to participate in this event to help raise awareness. For those that are interested, my friend Galina writes very eloquently about the subject on her blog Chez Maximka (where you can also find some lovely recipes).

I can also highly recommend My Son's Not Rainman, an amusing blog written by the comedian John Williams, who is a single parent to "The Boy" - who also happens to have autism. John is also writing a book (also called My Son's Not Rainman) about life with his son. My Son’s Not Rainman will be published by Michael O’Mara Books in 2015 (it will be dedicated to the memory of Connor Sparrowhawk and a percentage from each book sold will go to Express CIC.). I am very much looking forward to reading this later this year.

Anyway, on to the artwork! Here is my "blue" card, which was a total labour of love since it took me well over twelve hours to make! I am thrilled with how it turned out though! Please click on the photos for a clearer view. 

Yesterday my new Distress inks arrived, just in time for me to have a play use them on my card for this blog hop! 

For my main focal point I chose to stamp this gorgeous image, Norma J. Burnell's Mid Summer Dragonflies, available from Sweet Pea Stamps. I used VersaFine Onyx Black ink to capture all the fine details and to enable me to watercolour the image with Distress Markers, without them bleeding. I also used Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper, which I cut with a Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle die.

I also decided to stamp and colour some extra dragonflies and flowers so that I could layer them up for more dimension. I highlighted the dragonflies wings with my clear Wink of Stella brush pen - you can just make out the lovely shimmer if you click on the photo to enlarge it.

The photo below shows the selection of Distress Markers that I used to watercolour the stamped images. Previously I have used a clear acrylic block to scribble the ink onto before picking it up with a damp brush. However I recently saw a video on Kristina Werner's blog where she had laminated some white card to use as a palette for watercolour markers, so I thought I'd try it out. I'm glad that I did and I have to say that it's so much better than using a clear block as you can actually see what the colours will look like against the white background.

Below is a close up of the stamped panel after it had been decoupaged with clear foam pads. The background panel was sprayed with blue and silver glimmer mists, then repeatedly stamped (using Memento Teal Zeal ink) with some tiny hearts from the "You're my Fave Valentine" stamp set by Studio Calico. It's lovely and shimmery in real life! I tied a double bow with some Hug Snug "Elegant Peacock" seam binding and added a tiny silver dragonfly brad - so cute!

For the sentiment I die cut the word "Love" (by Papertrey ink) six times out of white card and stuck them all together for added dimension. I coloured the edges of the word with my new Mermaid Lagoon Distress marker and covered the top with some blue holographic foil - it's so pretty and shiny! (Now you know why my husband calls me a magpie - LOL)! I used three puzzle pieces from a blank white jigsaw and coloured then with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and an ink blending tool. Then I used my Mermaid Lagoon Distress Marker to selectively ink up some of the letters from the sentiments in the Waltzingmouse stamps "Nutcracker Sweet" stamp set so that I could stamp the rest of the sentiment onto the puzzle pieces. I thought that this was appropriate since jigsaw puzzle pieces regularly appear as a logo on many of the Autism websites.

Finally I die cut some leaves using a Crealies leaf die set (CL CS 12) and added some details with Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint Distress Markers. I added some tiny forget-me-not type sweetheart blossoms (from Wild Orchid Crafts) and added the arrangement to the corner of the card with some clear foam pads.

Thank you so much for reading this long post! Don't forget to leave a comment on as many of the blog hop posts as you can, as there are a whole load of fabby prizes to be won from the following kind sponsors! 

I had so much fun taking part today! Huge thanks to Tenia Renee Nelson and Veronica Fletcher Zalis for organising it all!