Saturday 31 January 2015

Freshly Made Sketches 171

The first week back at school was tough in some ways, cruisy in others but it was still good to get back into my craft room this morning. I liked the look of this week's Freshly Made Sketch although it turned out to be not so easy to get a result I was happy with! It is the first outing of the Lotus Blossom stamp I got with my Sale-a-bration, which arrived last week. It's a lovely stamp and the three steps feels good to use (especially when it works). I also got I Love Lace as part of that order and am now wishing that I'd bought it sooner. It is delightful!

Card: Mossy Meadow (base), Whisper White, Elegant Eggplant, Regals DSP
Stamps: SU Lotus Blossom, SU I Love Lace, Clearly Besotted Fabulous Fuchsia (sentiment)
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum, Mossy Meadow
Other: Circle Framelits, Provocraft Textiles embossing folder, Linen twine, dimensionals to lift circle.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Freshly Made Sketches 170

Today is hot, sunny and a perfect summer's day and alas... also the last day of the school holidays, so it's back to work tomorrow. So, as a final holiday act, I played with Freshly Made Sketches' latest sketch.

Although I use DSP quite a lot when I scrapbook, when I make cards I tend to go for lots of clean space and seldom use patterned paper. However, yesterday I picked up an order from my Stampin' Up demonstrator (Christmas spoils) and included in it was the Best Day Ever DSP pack and some Coastal Cabana. They seemed so summery and so enticing that I decided to get out of the comfort zone and see what happened.

I cut two bikes and stacked them to give a bit more depth and a hint of shadow in places. I coloured all the cut edges with Early Espresso to give more definition. I really like the button and bow on the front wheel.  I like this card and know exactly who to give it to.

Card: Coastal Cabana, Best Day Ever DSP.
Stamps: Clearly Besotted Good Times
Ink: Soft Suede, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral
Other: Good Times die, Coastal Cabana ribbon and button, Linen twine, Dimensionals to lift bike and one set of butterflies, Early Espresso marker.

Saturday 24 January 2015

Colour Me Subtle 55

I was drawn to the lovely colour combination at this week's challenge at Colour Me. Mossy Meadow and Cajun Craze are both colours I sometimes overlook, yet when I use them I like the results.
And that includes the card I put together for this challenge. I've never mixed resist embossed stamping with inked stamping in the same item before, but I really like the result. Thanks, Colour Me, for an interesting challenge!

Update: Delighted that this card received an Honourable Mention as a Colour Connoisseur.

Card: Mossy Meadow, Whisper White
Stamps: Clearly Besotted Leafy Accents, Stampin' Up A Dozen Thoughts
Ink: Hello Honey, Cajun Craze, Mossy Meadow, Versamark
Other: sponges, dimensionals to raise the white panel, clear embossing powder

Thursday 22 January 2015


I've never played at Paper Craft Crew before, although I have popped in to look at the wonderful entries and design team examples to be found there.

I adored this week's sketch and itched to get into my room to have a go at it, especially since the sands are slipping through the hour glass on the final week of the school holidays and a return to work is imminent!

I've think I've kept all the main elements of this sketch. The bow has moved to the butterfly and the three dots have become three leaves, the sentiment has moved a bit but all still recognisable.  I'm in love with this sentiment from Clearly Besotted; the only non-SU thing on this card. I'm also always happy to have an excuse to get out my Dictionary stamp and Kinda Eclectic - those leaves are my favourites.

Update: So extremely honoured and happy to be voted a Featured Artisan!

Card: Blackberry Bliss, Whisper White
Stamps: Dictionary background, Kinda Eclectic, Clearly Besotted Fabulous Fuchsias.
Ink: Blackberry Bliss, Lost Lagoon, Crumb Cake
Other: Butterfly punch, corner rounder, Linen twine, dimensionals to raise the panels, brad base and Crumb Cake candy dot, Lost Lagoon ribbon, black marker to colour cut edges.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Case this Sketch 106

The sketch this week at Case This Sketch was an interesting one, full of overlapping, zig-zaggy images with a strong vertical line and lateral focus.

Usually I look but don't play at this challenge but this afternoon as I looked again at the sketch, a tumble of branches came to mind and lead to this card.

I'm very happy with the rich colour combination and the popped up elements that add depth.

Update: Very happy to have this card receive an honourable mention at Cas(e) This Sketch.

Card: Whisper White
Stamps: Clearly Besotted Fabulous Fuchsia
Inks: Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss, Perfect Plum, Black
Other: Fabulous Fuchsia die, dimensionals

Monday 19 January 2015

Post 100: Paper Players 226

The hundredth post seems quite a milestone and it's fitting that Post 100 of this blog is for the Paper Players, as the very first time I ever got a card picked was for  Cut Above at Paper Players challenge 210 in August last year. As it was only the fourth card I'd ever entered in a challenge anywhere, it felt pretty special.

This week, the challenge is to create a CAS card where the sentiment is the focal point.

 The underneath 'happy' is in Night of Navy and offset with the Calypso Coral to create a shadow effect. The 'birthday' is from Altenew Label Love set, which was one of the first things I bought from USA when I discovered internet shopping. I used Gorgeous Grunge and the rain splats from French Foliage in Calypso Coral and Marina Mist to create the ground. I was looking for a kind of fireworks/happy explosion effect. 

I'm pretty happy with the overall result - it looks celebratory but also looks very clean.

Card: Whisper White, Marina Mist, Night of Navy, Calypso Coral
Stamps: SU Gorgeous Grunge, SU French Foliage, Altenew Label Love
Ink: Calypso Coral, Night of Navy, Marina Mist
Other: Die-namics Happy Birthday

Sunday 18 January 2015

As You See It 70

I only discovered As You See It just before Christmas, in time for the 'Shades of White Speed Challenge', which I really enjoyed. Now there is another interesting challenge: The Assortment Challenge.

I interpreted this challenge as being to use all the items in the assortment, although I suppose it could have been to use any or all of the items, as this seemed the most interesting path to go.

My three colours: Lost Lagoon, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake
Popped up shape: the three floral circles
Diagonal design
Chevron embossing folder used for the white triangle
Rhinestones in the centre of the flowers.

Card: Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Stamps: Kaisercraft Script, SU Eastern Blooms, Clearly Besotted Many Mini Messages
Inks: Crumb Cake, Lost Lagoon, Cherry Cobbler.
Other: Couture Zig-Zag Chevron embossing folder, Dimensionals, Rhinestones, Circle framelits

Saturday 17 January 2015

CAS Colours and Sketches 107

The heat wave is still keeping me indoors so I've had time to look at the colour challenge at CAS Colours and Sketches, where I've played a few times before. This week's colour challenge is one I found appealing. I can never make up my mind which I prefer: Cherry Cobbler and Crumb Cake or Cherry Cobbler and Sahara Sand. Both are quite lovely combinations, really.

I was thinking male birthday with this one and there are birthday greetings on the inside.

Card: Cherry Cobbler (base), Whisper White
Stamps: Close to My Heart Distressed Background, SU Aviary, Clearly Besotted Make a Wish (sentiment)
Ink: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Black.
Other: Cherry Cobbler baker's twine, Dimensionals to pop up the white panel.

Freshly Made Sketches 169

Today, summer is definitely here and the only sensible thing to do in the heat of the afternoon is to take refuge in my craft room and contemplate the possibility of a swim later on. In the meantime, I've spent some time with the latest sketch at Freshly Made Sketches.

The thought of the rapidly wilting garden got me thinking of summer flowers and the roses that need dead-heading right now.

Originally, I was just going to spotlight the central panel but it looked better with the background more muted, so I added in a vellum layer. Because the centre panel is quite busy, I deliberately left the greeting section quite plain, just adding a button and twine and a single layer of flag.

Card: Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White, Vellum
Stamps: Altenew Painted Flowers, Clearly Besotted Many Mini Messages
Inks: Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum, Wild Wasabi, Black
Other: Perfect Plum marker to colour the rosebuds, Perfect Plum mini-brads, Perfect Plum button, Linen twine, Circle framelits, dimensionals to lift the circle panel.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Less is More 206

The challenge at Less is More got me interested this week because, in addition to being a one-layer card week, the theme was new beginnings. This week my daughter and her partner take possession of their first home. It's an exciting time for them and the time to make a card is now - before the hard work of helping them move in begins!

The trickiest bit was to line up the fence sections so a stamp-a-majig came in very handy. After sponging the colour on the lawn, I stippled over it to create a bit of texture and am very pleased with the result. In the blooper file is my first effort, where I forgot to put the mask over the house before stamping the sun! I rounded the corners as an echo of the circular central image.

Card: Whisper White
Stamps: SU Kind Eclectic, Clearly Besotted Home Sweet Home.
Inks: Lost Lagoon, Night of Navy, Mossy Meadow, Crushed Curry
Other: Sponge, corner rounder

Sunday 11 January 2015

Colour Me 53

All my favourites seem to coming up in colour challenges this week. At Colour Me, it's Perfect Plum.
Such a deliciously moody photograph! But that's not the direction this card went in. This card went to masculine-suitable birthday instead. Clean, simple, no frills. What I really wanted to play with out of my box of tricks was word dies because I haven't used them enough. I'm pretty happy with the stack of 'Happy' and the shadow effect of the black at the back in this card. I toyed with adding some black/plum enamel dots but decided that in this case, less was more.

Update: Surprised but thrilled that this card was picked as an Honourable Mention at Colour Me.

Card: Perfect Plum, Whisper White, Black
Stamps: Clearly Besotted Make a Wish, Altenew Label Love
Ink: Perfect Plum, Black
Other: Dimensionals, Die-namics Happy Birthday die

Saturday 10 January 2015

Pals Paper Arts 235

It's very hard to resist a colour challenge when it includes two of your favourite colours: Island Indigo and Pool Party, but that's what's happening this week at Pals Paper Arts

Soft Sky is a colour I haven't used much - I don't even have the ink- but I've occasionally used it as a background instead of white for a softer look and that's what I've done here. My first SU purchase and favourite, By the Seashore, got another run today too.

Card: Island Indigo base, Soft Sky, Whisper White
Stamps: SU By the Seashore, Clearly Besotted Many Mini Messages
Inks: Island Indigo, Pool Party
Other: SU Pretty Print embossing folder, Pool Party seam binding, Island Indigo baker's twine, dimensionals to lift panel and starfish, Soft Sky candy dot, Island Indigo pen to colour cut edges.

Freshly Made Sketches 168 Colour Throwdown

Today I made a card for Freshly Made Sketches, using my new stamps and die, freshly arrived from the USA. (Christmas present to self.) Although I don't generally enter cards into multiple challenges, I must have had Colour Throwdown in the back of my mind because when I finished the card, I realised it was the right colours for there as well.

Card: Cherry Cobbler (card base), Whisper White, Black, Cherry Cobbler Background DSP
Stamps: MFT Eye Chart
Ink: Basic Black
Other: Die-Namics Geek is Chic Glasses, Dimensionals to lift the central panel.

Monday 5 January 2015

Paper Players 226

What an exciting challenge to start the year!

If there's one thing a librarian is never short of, it's discarded library books. At my school, I did a long overdue weed a few years ago and I kept a book called The Universe of Galileo and Newton, published in 1964 and not issued since 1997. Not so useful to students any more but as an object, it was still lovely. So it sits in my scrapping drawer and today, I finally found the courage to use it. It's hard for us bookies to deface a book! It's a treasure trove of creamy pages, interesting text and fantastic science drawings and historical pictures.

So, this book provided the background page, and I used a page to make the paper flowers. A wide margin provided space to stamp the sentiment. The cogs I cut with a Spellbinders die out of a piece of corrugated cardboard that came out of a 2015 Calendar I purchased recently. I tried out a technique I saw on a video at Stampin at Monika's Place, by Allison Okimitsu, on faux rusted embellishments this morning. The Elegant Eggplant oval came from the deepest recesses of my second scrap bag for the smallest bits. The green ribbon came from a birthday present and I cut pieces and stitched it into leaves to use around the flower. Apart from tools, the only new thing used was the Very Vanilla cardbase. Even the brads came from the writing desk and pencil case, not the nice ones in my brad jar.

I used the Pansy and Petite Petals punches for the flowers. I wanted them full but not so three- dimensional that the card would never ever fit in an envelope. The Eggplant and Perfect Plum help create a sort of melancholic feel for the card: Eggplant for the large flower, edges of the background paper and to stamp the sentiment; Plum for the small flowers and the edge of the sentiment.

The whole thing is a little more shabby chic than I usually go for in cards but still looks pretty good for a handful of leftovers and a book rescued from the recycling bin. Thanks Paper Players for such a wonderful challenge.

Update: Delighted beyond words that this card was picked Headliner at Paper Players.

Tools used
Inks: Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum, For the cogs: Soft Suede, Gold, Cajun Craze, Pool Party
Stamp: Sentiment from SU Wetlands
Other: Clear and Gold embossing powder, Pansy Punch, Petite Petals punch, Spellbinder Sprockets dies, Oval framelits, Dimensionals

Use a Little Gold AAA31, SYS 5

I wasn't even going to enter this challenge at AAA  or at Showcas(e) Your Style but then I got interested in Less is More's challenge: black, metallic and one other (see previous post) and it made me want to make a card that was just black and gold - no pesky third colour. So, here it goes.

I dug deep in my stash and found a packet of gold paper that I'd bought years ago at The Warehouse for a child's party but in it was a lovely piece of gold metallic paper with a kind of silk moire watermark pattern on it. It's just a lovely thing.

The trickiest part was to tie the bow with the metallic gold thread and to sew the gold bead onto the mother-of-pearl sequin. The metallic thread is notoriously unstable and slippery to work with and unravels as soon as you look at it. I've knotted the ends so that when it does unravel, it will make tiny tassels. I really like how this card has turned out. Like my Less is More card, this one is a congratulations card.

Card: Basic Black, Whisper White, Unknown gold paper
Ink: Basic Black
Stamps: SU A Dozen Thoughts
Other: Simon Says Stamp Confetti Circle die, Die-cut star from SU Circle Thinlits, sequin, gold bead, gold metallic thread.

Less is More 205

This week's colour challenge at Less is More was also very appealing: Black, metallic and one other. I'd thought it easy, until I got going and found that I really wanted to leave it at black and gold and I spent the longest time deciding what the third colour would be. The winner of this highly internalised struggle was .... Elegant Eggplant.

This is a simple congratulations card and I experimented with curving the front edge of the card to reveal a part of the gold panel, embossed with the Lucky Stars folder, that decorates the inside. I die-cut a small star in the same metallic gold paper as the embossed panel to link the two parts, then stamped stars in Elegant Eggplant around the black sentiment. The Elegant Eggplant candy dot ties the stars together. All in all, I'm very happy with this card.

Card: Whisper White, Gold metallic paper
Stamps: SU Dozen Thoughts, My Favourite Things Geek is Chic (star)
Ink: Hero Arts Black, SU Elegant Eggplant
Other: SU Lucky Stars embossing folder, Elegant Eggplant candydot, Stitched seam curve die cut, Star die-cut from Circle Thinlits

Sunday 4 January 2015

CAS(E) This Sketch 104

This is the first time I've played at CAS(E) This Sketch, although I've often popped in to look at the really beautiful cards people make here. This is the current sketch:

I was thinking about how today would be a good day to go to the beach when the idea for this card came to me.

The panels with the sentiment and seashells are raised up above the DSP, which is attached to the card base. This was to give more sense of depth and to separate the shells more from the paper so it would look more like shells on a beach with the sea behind. I toyed with putting it all onto a Lost Lagoon card base, but decided that was too much of the same colour. I edge coloured all the cut pieces to give more definition. It's a meant as a masculine birthday card as there are birthday greetings inside. By the Seashore was the first stamp set I ever bought and I still use it lots -it's so versatile and gets good use on summer scrapbooking pages.

Card: Whisper White, DSP from SU Moonlight stack
Stamps: SU By the Seashore, Clearly Besotted Make a Wish (sentiment)
Ink: Lost Lagoon
Other: Lost Lagoon ribbon, Linen twine, Dimensionals to raise the white panels and the starfish. Early Espresso marker to colour cut edges, good scissors for the fussy cutting!