Friday, January 23, 2015

Heads Up, Thinking Caps On, Get Ahead wiith a Hat

It’s Miri 's turn to set the challenge on the Daring Cardmakers blog this week

"You can leave your hat on!"
I dare you to use any kind of head gear on your card: party hats, helmets, woolly hats, crowns, fascinators etc.
So put on your thinking cap :-), create a card and share it with us!

Head over to the BLOG to see how this challenge went to our Heads....

Well, that sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?
How often does it happen that the ones that sound the easiest turn out the hardest to actually do?  Having thought about the challenge all week, I was still clueless yesterday lunchtime.  Not being a stamp and colour sort of cardmaker I couldn't reach for a stamp or digi  and most of the ideas I did have were far too complicated to make when time was running out!
I do like to make cards that I'll be able to use too - maybe if I put this out of my head it would be easier....
Back last summer I made a graduation card for the eldest of my nephews who'd gained a First from Sheffield Uni - couldn't help feeling a bit peeved that I couldn't use that one!  But then I realised that I have another nephew who will graduate from Uni this year and although I couldn't really make the same card again, maybe getting AHEAD and making one for him was the solution I needed!
Honestly, if I stopped thinking so much and just made something my crafting life would be a lot easier! 
So anyway. here's the card

Materials and Tools
Centura Pearl White with a hint of Silver card for base and upper piece
Dark Grey Bazzill (sentiment, and lower background piece)
Black. Blu, Golden Yellow  Bazzill (mortar boards)
Smooth black card and Silver corrugated paper for upper panel
Scraps of various colours and different card types for stars
Silhouette to cut mortar boards  and sentiment - own template
2x small star punches

I cut the mortar boards in three sizes - the idea being that it reflects the tradition of the students all throwing their mortar boards up in the air after the ceremonies.

So that's it for this time, I wonder if I'll be able to find this card when I actually need it? hmm
Thanks for looking, please leave a message ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pretty Gift Basket

I saw a picture of one of these baskets some time ago and thought they looked lovely, so saved the picture for future reference. 
Now that all the Christmas panic is over and there's a little gap before the Birthday List gets going I have a little time to just play.

This would be perfect for presenting a bag of mini eggs, a chocolate Easter bunny or something like that, but I raided my Molton Brown stash and filled it with these...and no, I'm not giving it away!

I used two designs from Funky Hand's Little Princess download, printed on either side of an A4 sheet of card to make this.  One sheet was enough to make the whole basket, though it's easy to adjust the size to make larger or smaller versions

 Materials and Tools
1x A4 sheet Bazzill Bling card in Diamond White
2x medium brads
Circle punch
Ink for edging, Craft knife

I had a couple of false starts before I got it to work, so thank goodness that for once I had the sense to use some scrap paper first before cutting up the I  "real" stuff. 
Anyway, I hope you like it.

Thanks for looking

Friday, January 16, 2015

January Blues

It's Daring Cardmakers day again and this week's challenge is:

January Blues
You are free to use the title however you want; it could be a "just to cheer you up" or "sorry to hear you're feeling blue" card,  a card with shades of blue as the main colour, or something else inspired by the heading.  Lets chase the January Blues away with some quality time spent getting creative!
 Blue is my favourite colour, but it's not always the easiest colour to craft with - so many shades and tones and they don't always go together very happily.  I usually gravitate towards the turquoise end of the blue spectrum because I love turquoise the best of all, so to make it a bit harder for myself I thought I'd try to stay in the true blue area this time.

Tools and Materials
Silhouette-cut "hello" using one of the Winter Wedding download papers, also
Funky Hand
Multi layered butterfly; Memory Box die
Leaf swirl; Spellbinders die
Small pearls

*This CD is currently on sale for only £1 (while stocks last)

That's it for now, it would be great if you'd join in with us this week, thanks for looking

Friday, January 09, 2015

It's Elemental, my Dear Watson

Oh, what a poor neglected blog this is! Time to try and get back into the swing of more regular blogging.  I don't make New Years Resolutions because I'm rubbish at keeping them and that's just depressing, but one of my "Try Harders" for 2015 is about being a better blogger 

After a few years of the Colour Combos over on the Daring Cardmakers, there's a new year long theme for the First Friday of the Month, inspired by one of Nat's regular dares last year

"Elemental Inspiration"

Here's how it works;

The DT will take turns to choose and post a picture - it could be a photo, a piece of artwork, or maybe a little montage of  bits and pieces we like.  

Each of these pictures will have a variety of "elements" that we hope will inspire you to get crafting - and we'd like you to use a minimum of THREE.of the elements you see to make a card  

 For instance the Element Suggestions for the January picture are: 
 colours, stitching, hearts, quote, vintage girl image, parasol, layout, vertical panels and layers - but of course you'll probably see many more that you can incorporate
I'm the first to set this new type of challenge and I've chosen a beautiful piece of artwork from a fabulous blog: Victoria's Art Visions.
It really is worth taking a look at Victoria's blog, she is sooooo talented

Victoria's Art Visions
The elements from this picture that I've used to make my card are 1. the colours 2. the "stitching lines", 3. the hearts and then a "bonus" element with the wording style for my sentiment 
here's my card:
 Materials and Tools
Black card blank
Cream card for inked piece and surround
Distress Inks and Memento Inks
Stickles and Gklossy Accents
Stamps from Self Addressed (now defunct, sadly), Heidi Swapp and 7 Gypsies
PC generated World image
Hand-cut hearts, Punched tiny hearts
Hand-drawn doodling and sentiment

The background for this went together really easily - Getting the greeny shade in was tricky - it is there, but doesn't show up much. 

I thought that I'd go with the message behind the original quotation and not get bogged down trying to make everything perfect, this made using stamps less scary for me - if you visit regularly you'll know stamoing is not my favourite thing! 
Using those stitching line stamps from an old Self Addressed kit made me sad for it's demise - I used to love getting my box of goodies through the post all the way from America every month
The measuring tape stamps and the ink blot are from a Steampunk set by 7 Gypsies. I thought there was a globe one in the set which would work with the sentiment I wanted to use, but there wasn't so I had to hunt out a suitable image on Google instead
The stamped words are from a Heidi Swapp stamp thingummy - its like one of those old library date stamp things where you twist the knob to get a new message.  I thought it looked cute and useful when I added it to a Christmas Wish List years ago, but in reality I think maybe this is the first time I've actually made something using it

Anyway, I had fun making this and as it was my first piece of crafting since before Christmas it didn't go too badly....Heck, I may even make something else soon!

Hope you like it, and I'm also hoping you'll feel inspired to join in with us this week - it would make me very chuffed if you did! 

Hope 2015 is full of good things for you, Happy New Year

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shaky - In More Ways than One

I've never had much luck with Shaker cards, so my heart sank when Sharon issued the latest challenge for The Daring Cardmakers.
But a challenge is a challenge!
Hi, it's Sharon here with this week's dare and I've chosen:
Shake it Off
I want to see shaker cards this week, and I'd really love to see some creative ways to fill them.
To get you thinking,t here are some ideas from the design team HERE

Tools and Materials
Papers: Simple Stories 6x6 pads
Glitter card, Gold card
Memory Bos Snowflake Wreath die
Sweet Dixie tree die
Spellbinders Circle die
Tiny snowflakes and stars left over from other projects
Glitter, Gems,
Plastic packaging for shaker front (I can't find my acetate sheets) 

As usual when I try to make this kind of card it's a bit of a dog's breakfast and I think it looks more like fog than a starry, snowy scene behind the acetate! 

 It would be too easy to say, "I'm useless at these things so I'll just sit this one out" wouldn't it?.  What I like about being involved with the DCM is the variety of things we are asked to do, and how some weeks' dares will stretch some of us, but not others - we are all different and we all bring different likes. dislikes, skills, styles and techniques to the party - which is probably why we still enjoy doing it every week!
So if you've never made a shaker card before, or if like me they are not something you feel super-confident about - go on, have a go - I dare you!

Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Sketch File Snowflake panel

I rather liked the effect from using all those tiny snowflakes on my Daring card last Friday, so I thought I'd try using them in another way and incorporate them into a card using the December sketch from The Sketch File Blog  

To keep the snowflakes and stars in the confines of the rectangular panel I washi-taped a rectangular frame die in place then just filled the "hole" with the tiny die cuts.  it's not as fiddly as you'd think - I put a blob of glue on the lid of my glue pot, then use a mini spatula which is just a piece of card (a few cms long)  with one end trimmed to a bit of a point.  Dip the point into the glue, use it to pick up and set the small item in place and repeat till the space is filled.  You don't need to cover the whole of the die cut with glue, just a tiny spot will keep it in place.
When you can't fit any more snowflakes in, use tiny stars, circles, gems, tiny blobs of glitter glue or whatever else you have at hand to fill any gaps. 

Remove the tape and the frame die and finish the card however you fancy. 

 This the sketch:
The Sketch File Blog 

I cut a few larger snowflakes and layered them up to make my card.  On a bit of a roll, and with more snowflakes ans stars still to use I made these too

Now, I reckon this would look fab using other shapes - I'm thinking a nice big star, but whether I'll get round to giving that a go is another thing!

Hope you like these, anyway.  Thanks for visiting

Friday, December 05, 2014

Red and Blue

It's Dawn's first time setting a dare for the Daring Cardnakers this week and to ease her in gently she's chose the colour palette for our last Colour Combo of the year.

The challenge is very simple - just to use any shades of Red and Blue on our cards

"I really do love seeing red and blue on Christmas cards or as a theme for your Christmas tree.  Something a little non traditional.  Hope this weeks challenge kick starts your creativeness ready for the festive season."

My growing snowflake die collection got another workout this week!

The papers are from an old Fancy Pants winter collection, along with some glitter card and pearlised card
The dies are from various manufacturers including memory Box, Poppystamps, Crafters Companion and Sweet Dixie.  The small ones are cut using a fabulous 10x10cm plate die by Cheery Lynn - I really use this one loads!

Dawn gave us this photo as a starting point but it was a good job she said any Blue would do!

The snowflake and star "swirl" was originally going to be a simple circle but I got a bit carried away, didn't I? hehe 
Gaps are filled in with tiny stars (EK Success punch), and a few dots which are the "waste"that falls when you use some of the border punches - though in this case it was the waste bits I wanted.


I absolutely LOVE the effect of all the tiny snowflakes and stars, even if it was a bit accidental!  I'm going to try and use this idea some more, so "watch this space" to see if I actually get round to it!

Thanks for popping by

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Nice and Easy Sketch

I've used the new LO from The Sketch File Blog to make this card,  When I'm so behind with my card-making, a simple and straightforward plan is exactly what I need!

The script background is just a scanned piece from "The Night Before Christmas", printed onto some white Bazzill card which I'd previously tinted a very pale grey shade using Paint Shop Pro - because I didn't have a pale enough ready-made piece.
The sentiment with the little snowflakes was printed directly onto the card blank
I've a growing collection of snowflake dies in different sizes so I cut a big batch of them in various colours and papers,  then just do an assembly job until I run out.
Here's the sketch:
The Sketch File December LO

 Oh well, best get back to it then, thanks for looking in

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Forgot my Forgotten Funky

The last Friday of the month is the day all the Funkettes post something on the Get Funky and Craft blog, all of us using the same Funky Hand CD or Download - so how come I nearly always forget to have something ready?

On Thursday afternoon when Anice issued a friendly reminder of the date I had a little panic, but found some pieces of the right papers actually in one of the piles of stuff on my desk, because I used the "Sleigh Ride" a while back  to make a gift bag.

I grabbed them and made a quick card to add to the blog post.  It was a bit of a pig's ear to be honest, so when OH rang to say he was going to be a bit late home I went back to my desk and had another go.
Well, that didn't go well either!
So the card I put  on the blog on Thursday night had to do for the Friday morning launch.

Well, with a little more time and feeling a bit less frazzled I sat down at my desk this morning and made something I like much more - and it gave me the chance to try out another of my "home made" sentiment panels = you can see another on my Daring Cardmakers card if you scroll down to the post before this one

I really love the "Sleigh Ride" download and often use it for my projects as the colours and lots of the designs are just great for all year round crafting
Funky Hand "Sleigh Ride"
The sentiment panel is created using Paint Shop Pro using fonts and dingbats. For this card I added colours to the dingbats to match the colours in the papers before printing out.

The stars were cut with some of the dies from a nested die set (Taylored Expressions) using  more designs from the  "Sleigh Ride" collection along with a few in glitter paper for a bit of festive bling

I'm going to have a look at the two rejected cards to see if I can save them, so watch this space!

Thanks for looking. please leave a message.....

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cottoning On....

Another Friday another Daring Cardmakers day and this time it's Jo setting the challenge

It's Jo here with this week's dare;
Cottoning On!
This week, I'd like to see some cotton on your cards, cotton thread, cotton wool, cotton yarn...
The DT have created some beautiful cards to inspire you; and you can see them all by clicking HERE

A couple of years ago I bought a pack of beautiful fabric "trims" which were part of a Websters Pages Christmas range.  I will admit that I've not really used much of them so this challenge was a great opportunity to hunt them out.
With the lovely, quite wide and rather opulent piece of fabric as a starting point there didn't seem much point in half measures, so I threw all my favourite card-making "excesses" at this one - ribbon, lace, a big flower, some glitter and lovely rich shades - this was fun to put together

I've been playing around with Paint Shop Pro on the pc using different fonts and quotations etc to make some sentiments for my cards.  This is one of those I've made - having worked out the layout and which font to use for the words I then added the little holly motifs which are from a Christmas dingbat font (found on DaFont) - I just "coloured" them in later with the "fill" tool.  
What you end up with is something along the lines of a stamped sentiment, but with the added bonus of being able to resize it, or even change the font or icons if you want

Tools and Materials:
Cream, ribbed card blank
Cream card, lightly inked for printing sentiment panel
Dark red glitter card,  Dark red Stickles glitter glue
Red, Yellow and Green Bazzill card for flower
Gold card
Wide Christmas fabric "ribbon" (Websters Pages)
Cream cotton lace (Charmed Cards and Craft)
Very narrow Red stain ribbon
Gold lurex ribbon (under the lace)
Border punch (Martha Stewart)
Poinsettia die (MFT DieNamics) 
Tiny Holly die (Memory Box) 

Although there's lots going on in this card and quite a few "processes" involved this all went together really easily.  Funny how things do that sometime

Thanks for coming by, I hope you like my card