Monday, 28 September 2015

And now for something completely different!

Hello, craft buddies. How was your weekend? I didn't do much, wrote some cards, a bit of gardening and enjoyed the sunshine. This morning it's extremely foggy and I saw a heron perched on the roof of a nearby house - it is pretty damp!!

So, I'm here to share with you a completely different kind of post. I would not say I am particularly good at drawing. At all. This is why I really like stamping and colouring! I first discovered Kim Dellow's work through the pages of Simply Cards and Papercraft. Every week she has a 'Show Your Face' post on her blog which encourages artists to share their portrait work, and learn from each other. I keep saying I'll try it and then chickening out. Well this week I did it. 

It's very very simple. Just some pencil and coloured pencils. I look at it and remind myself I'm not a draughtsman or portrait artist, but I am proud of myself for trying :)

How did I get to this end result? I remembered from school art classes about drawing a T-shape to mark out the eyes and nose, so that's what I did, and drew a face around it.

This reminded me of Hel from Fritz Lang's Metropolis and also No Face in Spirited Away, so I started adding in some detail and ended up with this:

I thought she looked a little dull, so I added some coloured pencil with my Derwent Artist's Pencils:

Do you know what, I had a lot of fun just scribbling! Maybe I'll do it again sometime :)

Here's Kim's post - Show Your Face 25. Happy reading - some of those artists are really good!

Just a quick one as I have a million and one things to do while baby sleeps. Catch you all again at the end of the week. Don't forget Kathy Racoosin's Daily Marker 30 Day 3 starts on Thursday - get colouring!

Thanks for reading!!! :)

Friday, 25 September 2015

4 cards - 1 stamp set - Simon Says Stamp One With Nature

Another week has gone by, crafty chums, and now we're into the end of September. As is always the way, the weather in the UK has been quite sunny - with showers in between. My tomatoes have started to ripen finally and the apples are rosy-ing up on the trees. Almost jam time!

I got a bit carried away with one of my new stamp sets from Simon Says Stamp - One With Nature. I started out by using my inks to make just one card, but then decided I'd try out different inks and watercolour media. In the process it reminded me why I like some of the things I have more than others.

This is quite a long post with lots of pictures, so sit back and put your feet up :)

1. The Original Card Concept - Ranger Dye Ink

I love these stamps - they feel a bit retro, so I went with what I think are '70s colours (I was born in the 70s and don't remember much until the early 80s, so please forgive me!) - and stamped the background before offsetting the outline image. I then simply stamped the sentiment in the middle with Black Tie ink. It's so simple it hurts!

I did a little blog post way back in April about my wondering which inks to buy and I plumped for Ranger Dye Inks. I still really love them as they give great coverage and can be purchased for a reasonable price in the UK. I have found though that the colours are quite limited, so I'm hoping they may release some more in the future.

2. The Original Card Concept with Memento Inks

Here it is again, but this time with my Memento Inks, which I had purchased very early on, but have never really got on with. I'm learning that not all inks are the same and these I find don't give as good coverage. I have worked out, however, that instead of dabbing the ink pad onto the solid stamp, if I smear it, it doesn't come out so splotchy on the card. 

3. The Watercolour Version - Inktense Pencils

Ahhh, my beloved Inktense Pencils. I've been watching lots of Julia Altermann's (of Just-One-More-Card) videos on YouTube. She is full of great advice on using coloured pencils, including Inktense, and I have found that her tip of light layers works well. It does take time to colour with these, but I think the results are worth it.

I've used Tim Holtz Water Colour Card stock and Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink for this one.

4. The Watercolour Version - Spectrum Aquas

Again using TH Watercolour Cardstock and Jet Black Archival Ink. This time I'm using my Spectrum Aquas. I love these too, and they take less time to colour with than my Inktense. They also do washes beautifully. I like to use them by scribbling them first onto an acrylic block then picking them up with a wet brush.

Here they all are together. I simply rounded the corners and adhered them to a Kraft card base, also with rounded corners, with some fun foam.

[Supplies: Simon Says Stamp - One with Nature; Neenah Classic Crest 110b cardstock; Hobbycraft Premium White Cardstock 300gsm; Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Cardstock; Ranger Dye Ink (Cheese Puff and Lily Pad); Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink; Memento Dye Inks (Cottage Ivy and Tangelo); Derwent Inktense Pencils (0240 Sienna Gold, 0250 Cadmium Orange, 0260 Burnt Orange, 0300 Tangerine, 1400 Apple Green, 1500 Field Green, 1510 Beech Green, 1520 Hooker's Green, 1530 Felt Green, 1550 Spring Green); Spectrum Aquas Floral, Primary, Essentials (Lime, Bud Green, Leaf Green, Meadow, Moss, Olive, Terracotta, Marigold, Orange); Fun Foam; Dovecraft Kraft card 5x7; double sided tape]  

You'll notice I haven't used my coloured pencils - didn't have time; or my Zig Clean Color Real brush markers - still not liking them; or my Copics - because I didn't have enough in the right colours! So last night I bought some more Copics and I am planning to start my Online Card Class for Copics during the upcoming 30 Day Colouring Challenge (more information on Kathy Racoosin's blog in due course). I'm not doing it alone - I will be doing it with Aileen from Colour and Sparkle - it's so nice to have a crafty friend to learn it with, and with the wonders of the internet, the fact we're on opposite sides of the globe doesn't matter! We'll be posting as we go :) 

I thought I'd also link my first card up to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - No Designer Paper - haven't entered a challenge for a while!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it and found it helpful. Thank you too for your kind comments. They do really make my day. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend :)

Friday, 18 September 2015

In stitches with stitched dies - and some mirror stamping

Hello crafty fans! Hope everyone is enjoying the transition into autumn, although it's been surprisingly warm and sunny here for a couple of days in my part of the UK. Yes, we do love talking about the weather!

Anyway, on to cards! As I mentioned in a previous post, I was waiting for some stitched dies from Simon Says stamp. They have now arrived and I absolutely *love* them. I have some other stitched dies, but not with double stitching and that is what I really like about them - I've a feeling the others may become redundant.

I had engagement card to make - I've made a few this year! - and I had an idea in my head using the Clearly Besotted hedgehogs and the stitched dies after seeing Michelle's cute panda card - but I needed to do some mirror stamping. I've watched several videos on YouTube and never had much success, but I persevered, and I think the results aren't too bad.

I started by making an A2 size card blank. I'm new to making card blanks and I think I need a new score board, as I'm using a freebie someone got from a magazine, so any suggestions please! I then took a piece of Neenah 110lb card stock and stamped a hedgehog in Memento Tuxedo Black, and after several attempts, managed to get a decent mirror stamp using an acrylic block and the back of a large clear stamp. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, this video from Crafty Not Shifty will help! I did need to go over the image with a fine black pen, but I was as happy as I could be with it.

I then coloured them with Copic markers and fussy cut them out. I have the dies, but I didn't want the white border around them. 

I took another piece of card stock and die cut it with the SSS stitched rectangle and circle dies as shown. On the card blank I adhered some patterned paper from the new Lawn Fawn Let's Polka In the Dark - I love the colours in this pack - can't wait to try the purple! I then popped up the front panel on the card blank with some fun foam and adhered the hedgehogs with some glue. Finally I added the sentiment - although it would have been easier to do it before I stuck it to the card blank.....

Supplies: Clearly Besotted Let's Roll; Neenah Classic Crest 110lb card stock; Memento Tuxedo Black; Hobbycraft Premium 300gsm card stock; Simon Says Stamp - Shapes with Stitches; Fun Foam; Super Sticky Red Tape; Double Sided Tape; Lawn Fawn Let's Polka In the Dark; Spellbinders Grand Calibur; Pitt Artists Pen - Fine tip; Copic Markers
I'm amazed I didn't do a shaker card with it, but I think it works really well just as is.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a great weekend - it's to be sunny here on Saturday, so a trip to the park will be in order :)



Sunday, 13 September 2015

More Thanks with Mama Elephant

Ha, bet you didn't expect to see me again so soon, but I told you I couldn't put down the Mama Elephant Heartfelt Wishes stamp, didn't I, so I have these to show you too!

This is the stamp set that just keeps on giving! You could do this design in so many different ways and I have plans to make a couple a week until after Christmas so I can use them to say thanks for Christmas gifts :)

The first two were so much fun to make, I made some more the next day!

Really simple with stamping the same sentiment in grey ink - I used Memento London Fog, but I don't think it gives terribly great coverage - across a piece of card cut to fit the card blank. I stamped the 'Thanks' onto the card too in varying Ranger Dye ink colours, but then decided I wanted it to pop out more, so stamped it again onto another piece of card, cut it out and adhered it with foam tape. I attached this to the card front, then added enamel dots and sequins (with glossy accents for a change!). Which do you prefer? I think I might have to get some enamel dots, I really liked them on the blue and red cards. They were part of my giveaway win from Liz over at Buttons For Brains.

Supplies: Neenah Classic Crest 110lb card stock; Paper trimmer; Memento London Fog; Ranger Dye Inks; Foam Tape; Little Things from Lucy's Cards Lemon Sherbet and Lime Cordial; Enamel dots; Ranger Glossy Accents

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving your lovely comments. Hope the rest of the weekend continues to be great for you.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A whole lot of Thanks with Mama Elephant

Hello again, Crafty Friends. So in my last post I mentioned I had been quite busy, but didn't want to post the cards until they'd got to their intended recipients. I'm fairly confident that Royal Mail will have now delivered them, so I'm free to write them up :)

The stamp set I've used, or over used since I can't seem to put it down, is the new Heartfelt Wishes set from Mama Elephant. I absolutely love it and it seemed appropriate to use it to make some cards to send some of the lovely people I've met over the past few months online - and also in person! 

I've been amazed at how kind and friendly crafty people are. I've received so many positive words, informative emails, and extremely kind gifts. I couldn't let all that kindness go unnoticed, so these cards went off with some little gifts. I enjoyed doing it so much, I plan to send some more over the next few weeks!!

First up were these cards using Spectrum Aquas and heat embossing, with some of those lovely sequins from Lucy's Cards

I had a lot of fun deciding on the colours to use and then sploshing them around on the water colour cardstock. I always use dry card stock, scribble the colours on an acrylic block, then pick up the colour with my waterbrush and drop it onto the card. I used Sunflower, Yellow, Gold and Purple, Wildflower and Heather. Once dry, I then splatter the piece with water and dab off with a kitchen towel to add a little bit of interest.

I stamped the sentiment in Versamark and heat embossed with some embossing powder and heat set it. I added a second sentiment underneath in archival ink, then attached some coloured card to the front of my card blank finally placing the water colour panel on top with some fun foam.

I then added the sequins with some Multi Medium Matte.

I'm really pleased with the results and hope the recipients liked them too. I can tell this is going to be a well used stamp set!

Thank you so much for reading, and for all your positive comments on my blog. It really makes me smile - so another Thanks to you all! Have a great weekend.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Mini Christmas Milk Cartons

Hello again, Crafty Friends. You'd be forgiven for thinking that nothing was going on craft wise for me based on this blog, but you'd be wrong! I've actually been doing quite a bit, but can't share the cards I've made until I know they've gone to their intended recipients. I like things to be a surprise!

Instead I've been making the most of some of the freebies I receive as part of my subscription to Simply Cards and Papercraft. This month it was a build-a-flower die, but I've not had any inspiration to use it yet, despite all the cards inside. They highlighted, however, that Papercraft Essentials (it's sister magazine), issue 124 had a great looking Christmas die and stamp set. I swithered about it, but I knew I wanted it, and when I saw that Liz McGuire of Buttons For Brains was doing the inspiration cards, I had to get it. So I did. And it's great.

I felt like pairing it up with my other great favourite, the Mini Milk Cartons from SCP issue 136. I think it works a treat.

I actually made two of them, the second being more successful than the first, so I'll tell you how I did the second! I cut my Bazzill Bling cardstock to size and scored it on the board, as per the instructions in the magazine. 

I then die cut out my Merry Christmas and holly onto green cardstock, putting some Stick It on the back. I decided second time round it was easier to put the die cuts onto the carton before making it up, as I do with the sticky tape. 

I then carefully stuck the cartons together. I say carefully because that tape is lethal if you get it wrong and tears the card badly if you have to remove it - it usually ruins it. But if you get it right, it sticks like super glue!

You can get two cartons out of one 12x12 piece of cardstock, but as you can see, on the second, the bottom piece is shorter. It didn't seem to matter too much, and I think the second actually looks neater.

I then stamped the robin onto some Neenah 110lb cardstock (it arrived this week from Simon Says Stamp!) in Memento Tuxedo Black and coloured him with Copics, and carefully cut a circle out around him - I drew around a circle die cut as a template to make things easier.

I attached him to the top with twine, and added a mini peg for good measure. As I've mentioned before, you can get 4 Lindor in each one - they make a nice little gift.

Here are a few more arty shots - I'm getting used to my new camera. And just in case you are wondering why the holly berries are green, I'd like to say it was artistic licence, but sadly, it's just that I discovered that I don't have any red card stock at the moment - I shall rectify that soon!

[Supplies: Free die and stamp set from Papercraft Essentials issue 124; Scoreboard from SCP 136; Bazzill 12x12 cardstock; Super Sticky Red tape; Scissors; Manual Die Cutting Machine - mine is a Grand Calibur; Papermania Capsule 6x6 Solid Smooth Texture 75 sheets and coloured cardstock; Stick It; Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock; Memento Tuxedo Black; Red Baker's Twine (free with a magazine!); Copic Markers; Mini pegs - I actually got mine in Sainsburys, but they aren't listed online]

Thank you so much for reading. I really do cherish all your comments. Have a great weekend :)

P.S. Don't forget that there's a new Clearly Besotted release this Saturday (5th September, 10pm GMT). I know what I'm getting ;)

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