Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A bit of a haul...

Hello! I got a  bit carried away last week and made quite a few purchases. I love Michelle Short's haul videos over on her blog, The Card Grotto, and whilst I can't compete with her on quality of blog and video, I can express the same enthusiasm for buying new things.

I have coined a new phrase: The Impoverished Happy Crafter. I am she. I suspect at times you are too. There is so much out there, so many lovely things I could use, and so little money in my bank account. I would rival Carrie from Sex and the City's shoe purchases with crafty ones if I could afford it!

So, here we are, my Make the Day Special Lawn Fawn and Mama Elephant purchases. I didn't get the Up and Away dies when I bought the stamps, but should have really. I've wanted the Let's Polka paper range for ages - Let's Polka and Let's Polka Mon Amie, plus some stitched square frames, and last but not least, the Best Pun Ever stamps and dies just had to be mine. I've been on the look out for a decent teapot and cup and this was it. Lovely!

One of my earlier posts was about the Ranger Dye Inks. I had a couple of questions from some bloggers about them. I'll pass my answers on: They didn't bleed when brushed with water and you will need a decent stamp cleaner, because the stamps I used have stained. I know Stazon cleaner is what a lot of people use, but I have heard it can damage clear stamps over time, so I haven't bought any yet. I need to do some research on stamp cleaners, otherwise everything I own will be stained!

Still, I bought the rest of them for the rather reasonable price of £3.75 each from Inkylicious. They were also selling all twelve for £42...

I also bought some Wink of Stella pens - a brush and a fine. I've seen them used on projects a lot, so I thought it was time to try them out.

I'm off to do a bit of crafting now the kiddies are in bed. Can't wait. I've been like an overgrown child at Christmas today - desperate to open those last two packages!

Thanks for reading. Happy Tuesday :)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Mini Milk Cartons

Hello again! I had to share these fantabulous mini milk cartons that I made using the free Gorgeous Gifts score board I got with Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 136. I've used everything I've ever got with this magazine, and having realised I've bought 5 of the last 6, I've just taken out a subscription for a year - more inspiration, more people's blogs to follow and more freebies, plus some Spectrum Aquas for subscribing. Not bad!

They're made from Bazzill Basics, with some baker's twine and stuck together with red tape - so they stick really well together.

I had thought that they would be great with a little miniature whisky or gin bottle, but I couldn't find one to fit (they are quite small), so a second best option was Lindor. The little boxes are just perfect and four Lindor fit in nicely. I added the labels with 'Drink Me!' on them because they're milk cartons. Even though they're filled with chocolate, I thought 'Eat me!' would just look odd!

So much fun. Must try some of the other projects and see what other goodies I can think about buying - this is addictive!!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Musical notes

Morning! It's another lovely day here in W Yorkshire, baby is asleep and I've the cards I made yesterday to share. I have two occasions to make cards for. One is for our singing group leader who set up the group a year ago, and has done loads of work with us, and the second a birthday card for my future brother in law. Both were made pretty much in the same way and after some inspiration from Nichol Magouirk (the frame) and Pops (white on white).

Here they are:
After watching Nichol's video, I took my stitched edge rectangle dies and cut the frame using two of the dies from white Bazzill textured card stock. I then cut the inside panel from white card and stamped the musical notes (they are Twinchies from Inkylicious, but I can't find them on their website - I got them at a show) in various colours with Memento and Ranger Dye Inks, adding a little glossy accents to them. I then put some musical washi tape around the outside of the card base, added foam tape to the frame and stuck it on, adding the middle with double sided. I reckon it would have been easier the other way around, but I only thought of that later!

The words are both Clearly Besotted, happy birthday and thanks. I die cut them with double sided tape attached, a great tip for making it easier to stick down once you've cut them. I added a little green gem to the dot for the 'i', because I always lose it when I peel it out, it is so tiny!

Thank you for reading, hope you have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ranger Dye Ink

Hello there. I posted a picture of two new Ranger Dye Ink pads on Instagram and was asked for my thoughts about them, so I thought I'd do a little blog post.

One thing I have found difficult as a new stamper/card maker is deciding on which inks to buy. There are several different brands and types that look good from blog posts, but I haven't been able to decide, partly due to cost. 

I have been using two black dye inks (Memento Tuxedo Black and Ranger Archival Jet Black), and several VersaMagic Dew Drop chalk inks for a while. The latter I really like, but I wanted to try more colours with dye inks, and I went with Memento dew drops as they are a manageable price for me at the moment. I wasn't terribly keen on the results and felt it may be down to my lack of experience as a stamper.

I had seen Jennifer McGuire's video on inks for beginner stampers, and I liked the look of the Ranger Dye inks. On an unexpected trip to my local craft shop on Sunday afternoon I noticed they had them in and so I bought two as a trial.

I haven't used them on a card yet, but I did do a bit of comparison stamping with my Mementos and you can really tell the difference. The stamps are Clearly Besotted Mrs & Mrs and Bookworm sets. My apologies for the picture quality, I still need to get a decent camera sorted.

The images stamped with the Ranger Dye are clear and crisp, with minimal blotchiness and missing spots, compared to the Mementos. The colours too are sharp, bright and vibrant, which is what I like about them. They also feel much smoother on the card and they definitely make it very easy to get very good quality results as a beginner. The other interesting thing is they smell much nicer than the Mementos. I have no idea why, but for me that makes a difference too!

I shall keep the Mementos and see if I continue to use them as I like to have a variety of colours, but the Ranger Dye Inks have really impressed a novice and I shall be investing over the next few months in more colours from the range.

Thanks for reading! Please do leave me a comment if you have any other ink suggestions :)

Monday, 20 April 2015

With sympathy

I was really quite saddened to hear of the sudden death of Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables mini series I loved. It was a big part of my early teens and me and my sisters watched it whenever we could. That and a difficult day on Friday, has left me in a little bit of a somber mood, so I made a very simple sympathy card.

I'd also like to enter it into challenge #119 over at CAS(E) This Sketch. The cards up there are so good, but hey ho, I like to give things a go!

I started with a white card blank and simply stamped the rose in Memento Lady Bug, the little leaves under the rose in Versa Magic Hint of Pesto and the stem in Memento Cottage Ivy. The stamp is the free set from Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 133. Honestly, I've used this so often, I wonder why I buy stamps at all? I then coloured them in with my Derwent Artists pencils. I never realised how much I enjoy colouring. It is so therapeutic.

The sentiment is from Clearly Besotted Sweet little sentiments set stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black onto some red paper and cut out with my Clearly Besotted Long Flag die.

Thanks for reading. I hope your day has been good. The sunshine came along here this afternoon so we had a play in the garden.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

April Showers

They keep talking about a heat wave, but it's avoiding West Yorkshire at the moment, so with the grey weather in mind I decided to try the challenge at Addicted to CAS - Code word Showers.

The card top is a piece of water colour card die cut from the Memory Box stitched rectangles with the images stamped in Ranger Archival Ink. I used the bicycle from Clearly Besotted's Good Times set (the first thing I purchased from them and it's still my favourite!) and the umbrella from the Mama Elephant Up and Away set. I then added some colour using my Prismallo Aquarelles, and some rain dashes (ME Up and Away) in Memento London Fog. The sentiment (also ME Up and Away) is in Versa Magic Night Sky rather than my usual tuxedo black for a change!

Been a long week without much crafting, and it's funny how frustrated you can get without a bit of 'me' time, so I was grateful for baby's long nap this morning.

Thanks for reading! It's nearly the weekend again and hopefully it will be a bit brighter up north :)

PS Apologies for the not so great picture. I need to work out a better set up in my tiny craft space and also get a decent camera!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Butterflies and colours challenge 2

This is the other card. I enjoyed doing it because it's bright and reminds me a bit of minimalist block paintings a la Mark Rothko and others.

As with the previous card, it's a card blank, again using the butterflies from my free Clearly Besotted stamp set from Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 133. The background is from the Papermania capsule collection, background in yellow with red and blue blocks die cut from the Memory Box Stitched Rectangles. The butterflies are stamped again in Memento Dandelion, Bahama Blue and Lady Bug onto white card stock adhered to the card with foam pads.

Thanks for reading again - enjoy the weekend!

Butterflies and colours challenge

In a bit of a blog hop at the start of the week, I discovered House of Cards Challenge. I loved the colours of this month's challenge, so I thought I'd give it a go. I ended up doing two cards, the first of which I thought I'd enter. Challenges are new to me, but I'm constantly amazed at how different crafters interpret the brief. Such variety.

I adore the colours. It said to me: Simple. Primaries. Bright. 

It is simply a white card blank (14.75x10.5cm) stamped up with butterflies from my free Clearly Besotted set from Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 133. I stamped them using Memento dye inks - Dandelion, Bahama Blue, Lady Bug. I also die cut a small piece of yellow cardstock from my Papermania Capsule collection with my new Memory Box Stitched Rectangle dies. I did a bit of overlap stamping, so the butterflies are half on the yellow and half on the white. The panel was then attached with foam pads. The butterfly in the bottom right hand corner is stamped in all three colours - a bit of selective colouring from each pad, which is not that easy.

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

I like big books...

I bought a few nice things in the March release from Clearly Besotted Stamps. I do so love their style! The Bookworm Additions I had to have because I'm a librarian by profession and have lots of librarian and also book loving friends who will appreciate this... if only for the pun on the flag!

I have some Kraft card I bought a few weeks ago as I kept seeing it mentioned in various magazines and blogs. I'm not entirely sure I like it, but I'm willing to give it a go. I also hadn't used any lovely Bazzill for a while, so I grabbed some of my browns as I thought it would go with the Kraft. Who knew I'd like brown so much?

I started by stamping one of the books from the Bookworms set using my old favourite, Memento Tuxedo Black and colouring it in with my Derwent pencils with a bit of metallic from my new Caran D'Ache set. I stamped the two bookworms (one from the main set, the other from additions), plus the flag with my Versa Magic Dew Drops - Hint of Pesto, Aloe Vera, Perfect Plumeria - and then die cut them out.

I took some Bazzill card stock and cut to size to layer on the Kraft. I then die cut a circle using my Nestabilities Circles, from the top piece. It is just wide enough to show the bookcase behind it. I glued the bookcase to the back card, then stuck the bookworms to the back of the top piece of card, so they'd be in front of the books (they are a bit cheeky those bookworms!). I then attached the top piece with foam tape to add a bit of dimension. The banner I also adhered with foam pads.

It makes me laugh and I hope it does you too! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, 6 April 2015

Monkey baby

A friend had baby no. 2 last week. Another little boy. Time for a card! I've been thinking about it for the past week and decided I'd incorporate it into the Tic Tac Toe challenge from Make The Day Special. I've chosen the diagonal Metal/Metallics-Circles-Stripes. It actually turned out pretty much how I envisaged it which is a first!

I started by stamping the balloons from the Up and Away Mama Elephant set onto a piece of white card using Memento Tuxedo Black. I coloured the balloons in with my new metallic pencils from Caran D'Ache. I love them and have to use them again soon! I cut them out (I need to get the dies to go with this set) and attached them with foam pads to the stamp on the card blank. I stamped the monkey onto the card blank holding the balloon strings and coloured him in with my Derwent Artists Pencils.

Now, the tricky bit was the tail and the little blue bundle. I used a cut out balloon to create a stencil of the bundle and cut it out of white paper then inked it up with in Aspen Mist. I got some blue and white twine and tied it round the neck of the bundle. I then stamped the monkey's tail onto some white card, coloured it in and then cut it out - that was hard! I then threaded the twine through the tail and stuck it onto the monkey and a foam pad under the bundle. Think it works well!

The jungle is the free Clearly Besotted fuschia stamp from Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 133 and stamped multiple times in Hint of Pesto. The sentiment is also from Clearly Besotted (yes I am!) and their Sweet Little Sentiments set.

I added the stripes from my Pebbles basics set down the side because I needed stripes for the challenge.

Thanks so much for reading. Please feel free to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. I hope you've had a great Easter weekend. 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Happy Easter!

Haven't had much time for making cards in the past few days, but me and 4 year old managed to make some Easter bunting while baby napped. She wasn't keen on doing anything that didn't involve glitter, but managed to incorporate stickers, flowers and a cross before boredom set in!

Grandparents are here for 10 days, so they've offered to do quite a lot of childcare so we can rest - and I hope to get a couple of cards done too.

Thanks for reading and a very Happy Easter to you all!

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