Friday, 12 May 2017

All that glitters...

Shabneez is setting this week's challenge at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like us to use plenty of glitter - the only catch is that it can't be gold!

I decided to go all-out with the glitter and do a whole sparkly panel. I stamped the stylised flowers first and then covered the whole piece with double sided tape sheet and smothered it with Glamour Dust. Both the tape and the glitter are transparent so the stamping shows through.

If you burnish the glitter into the tape, you get a sort of velvety-feeling surface. Then, just because I haven't played with my air brush and Copics for ages, I sprayed graduated colour over the sparkle. I did then use a black Copic to dot over the flower heads, just to boost the contrast.

Given that much glitter, I decided a simple treatment would be best so the piece just got a narrow black mat and a die cut sentiment.

Stylised Flowers by Indigo Blu

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Paper: smooth white

Double sided tape sheet
Crystal Glamour Dust by Deco Art
Copic markers
Airbrush and compressor
Hello die by Waltzingmouse stamps (no longer with us)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Peacock parade

The first dare of the month from Daring Cardmakers is always an "elemental" one - just choose at least three elements from the inspiration picture for your project.

I'm in the hot seat this month and I've chosen this lovely mood board from the folk over at Tanis Fiber Arts.

I'm very late to the Yupo paper party but I've just treated myself to a pack and had a first play with it here to mimic the looks of the top right and middle left squares in the inspiration picture.

The stamped butterfly is coloured with Copics and then has turquoise glitter pen over the top. Crisp white die cuts (inspired by the leaf sprig of the necklace) provide contrast for the busy, rich colours and a stamped sentiment and doodled border finish it off.

Antique Engravings and Say It All (Hero Arts - both retired, as far as I can see)

Smooth white

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Copic ink refills
Copic markers
Fineline marker
Back to Nature dies by Sizzix

Do have a look at the DCM blog - it looks gorgeous with all the samples inspired by this picture!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Super hero!

Nat is setting our challenge this week at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like us to be inspired by super heroes. It could be a card for the superhero in your life or something inspired by your favourite fictional one, go wherever your imagination takes you!

I needed a card for an 8th birthday so decided to take super hero inspiration for that. The Superman logo is so instantly recognisable that I thought it would stand up to being changed and still retain its essence.

I found an outline graphic of the Superman badge shape online and printed it, along with a big figure 8. Using those to plan it out, I used a scalpel to cut out the red layer and stuck it onto a yellow base then used a Perfect Layers ruler to do the black matting. A fine line black marker added some definition between layers and a little white pen highlighting livened it up.

The stars are stamped onto the textured blue base to get the half-tone dots and then again on textured foil and just the star part cut out and stuck on for a bit of glitz.

Die cut lettering for the sentiment, a doodled border and some sanding to scuff up the edge of the white core card finish it off.

Red, yellow, black, white and textured blue cardstock
Silver foil
Star stamp from Kaboom set (Waltzingmouse Stamps, no longer with us)
Brilliance Graphite Black ink by Tsukineko 
Corner Chomper 
Perfect Layers ruler
Fine line markers (black and white)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Can't stand the rain?

The song title for this month's challenge at the Craft Barn is very apt for April - I Can't Stand the Rain!

I'm definitely going to show my age with this one - the disco version by Eruption is the first and only thing to pop into my head on mention of this title (although I confess I did have to look up the name of the group to make absolutely sure I had it right!).

Lots of hand drawing on this postcard - I started by drawing the curved lines and lettering the song title and group name, adding just a bit of Copic colour in shades of blue/aqua. Then I had a go at drawing rain drops (this tutorial on YouTube is very useful) and although I need a fair bit more practice, I don't think they're too bad for a first attempt.

I masked the bottom of the postcard and stamped the paisley pattern to fill in above the top curve.

This is not my usual style and I had fun experimenting - play time!

Smooth white card
Fine line marker
Pencil, blending stump and eraser
White pencil
Paisley Scrapblock stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms, no longer with us)
Brilliance Graphite Black ink by Tsukineko 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 April 2017

April: showers and flowers!

Kathy is setting our challenge over at Daring Cardmakers today and she'd like us to celebrate the season by breaking out the spring flowers!

Hellebores are one of the earliest spring flowers and are probably about over by now but I've been eyeing up this image for ages and decided this challenge gave me a good reason to just go ahead and get it! I'm not much of a digital fan in general, I like my crafting to be time away from the computer but every now and again I give in to a lovely image! Since I just printed and then took it to my craft table it didn't feel much different to stamping and colouring in any case.

I printed on kraft and accidentally ended up doing "no line colouring" because the toner didn't fuse properly on the cardstock and mostly rubbed off as I worked. I'd done a test print card on ordinary paper first so I had a strong line image to refer to, though.

I decided to do a super-simple one layer card and just let the image speak for itself.

Hellebores digital stamp by Power Poppy
Sentiment from Big Day Today stamp set (Waltingmouse stamps, no longer with us)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)
Kraft cardstock
Coloured pencils
Corner Chomper

Have a lovely Easter weekend!

Friday, 7 April 2017

April elements

Its Friday so it must be Daring Cardmaker day! It's also the first Friday of the month so that means it's an "elemental" dare with Dawn choosing fresh, spring time inspiration for us this month. As ever, choose three or more elements to kickstart your card.

I chose a frou-frou style flower (in the vase top left), pink, pale yellow, soft blue and green from the colour scheme and tangled nesting material.

This really should have come together quickly but I had one of those days where you just shuffle stuff around in endless combinations and can't make anything look right at all! Looking at it now I realise I've done my default of "shove a big flower bottom left and leave lots of white space"! About the most creative thinking here is using a stamp that should be a spike of flowers and making it into supporting foliage by stamping in shades of green - never mind!

Sweet Havana by Mama Elephant

Textured white

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)

Home made stencil (cut with Spellbinder Fancy Lattice die)
Paper flowers (a couple of Prima hydrangea heads and a Wild Orchid cherry blossom, I think)
Crochet thread
Corner Chomper

Here's the inspiration picture in case you'd like to join in and didn't arrive here from the DCM blog!

Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Blowin' in the wind

The song challenge over at The Craft Barn is fun - I've managed to join in again this month making another postcard.

The challenge asks for both the song title and the artist name to feature in the design. This time the song is Blowin' in the Wind which has to be Bob Dylan as far as I'm concerned! It seems especially appropriate when he's finally dropped in to collect his Nobel for literature this month!

The background was sponged with Distress inks and flicked with water before I stamped the ears of wheat, using the Misti so I could restamp over the lettering for a "nearly but not quite" inlaid die cut look. I die cut the lettering for the song title and stuck it onto the postcard, gave it a light wash of ink to make it blend in a bit and then restamped the wheat.

A touch of Wink of Stella on the lettering and a handwritten name along one of the stems finish it off.

Thankful Silhouettes (Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous)

Bristol board

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Stormy Sky)

Font One dies by Spellbinder
Clear Wink of Stella pen
MISTI stamp positioner

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Grocer Jack?

Enfys is setting today's dare over at Daring Cardmakers and she's asking us to use packaging from a grocery item in our makes.

I used a bit of card from a box that held lasagne sheets to stamp the main image.

Thankfully I'd decided to use the MISTI so that I could paint the face and collar and then stamp again so the detail wasn't obscured. I say thankfully because (as I should have anticipated) the card was coated which meant it took several goes to get decent coverage on areas like his hat. Brilliance ink is great though - it will dry on a slick surface, no problem.

A couple of grocery extras round this out - my age-old trick of using tomato paste tubes gave me the frame (embossed in a folder and swiped with black acrylic paint). I also stuck some textured foil from the inner seal of a pot of spreadable cheese onto a scrap of card and punched out the star. A wee bit of "aging" with the paint brought out the texture nicely - might be more obvious on the detail photo.

A snippet of film ribbon and the "scrap" from between strips of stickers on a Tim Holtz "industrial" sheet finish it off.

The song "Grocer Jack" (proper name "Excerpt from a teenage opera", I believe) started running through my head as I edited the photos for this - who knows, maybe this gentleman really was!

Dashing Gents by Darkroom Door

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Smooth white
"Kraft" from a lasagne box

Tomato paste tube
Foil seal from pot of spreadable cheese 
Diamonds embossing folder (Sizzix/Basic Grey)
Star punch (Fiskars)
Rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinder)
Filmstrip ribbon (Tim Holtz)
Scrap from Industrious stickers (Tim Holtz)
White acrylic paint 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 17 March 2017


Lythan has chosen this week's challenge over at Daring Cardmakers and in honour of St Patrick's Day she'd like us to use shades of green (and a dash of leprechaun's gold if you wish).

I started by brushing several shades of green acrylic paint randomly onto a piece of watercolour paper. Once dry I used chalk ink to stamp a bit of script and a swirl and added a tiny scrap of torn book page (inked with Distress ink).

There's a tiny bit of gold Rub n Buff on two corners and around the edge but I'm afraid they just look dark and muddy on the photo!

The die cut leaf was also painted with acrylic paint and has white pen highlighting the top edges of each bit.

19th Century Script (Hero Arts)
Beautiful (CHF, sadly with us no more)
Sentiment from Big Day Today (Waltzingmouse Stamps, retired, keep an eye out at Gina K in case it comes back via that route)

Cryogen White

VersaMagic by Tsukineko (Tea Leaves)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)

Acrylic paints - various greens
Back to Nature dies by Sizzix
White Posca pen
Gold Rub n Buff

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Take the rough with the smooth

I'm setting my very first dare over at Daring Cardmakers this week. I'm asking for projects that take the rough with the smooth - combine a rough (or bumpy) element with something smooth/shiny.

I've die cut some circles of sandpaper for my rough texture and added glaze to circles that are inked and domed out for the smooth. There's a bit extra shine as I used Perfect Pearls and a stencil for the background.

The shells have just the tiniest touch of Copic shading but the stamps are detailed enough that they really don't need much doing to them - I do love this set!

Antique Engravings and Say It All (Hero Arts)

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)
Versamark by Tsukineko
Tim Holtz Distress in by Ranger (Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Tumbled Glass)

Smooth white

Circle dies (Spellbinder)
Cell Theory 6x6 stencil by Crafters Workshop
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Forever Blue, Blue Raspberry, Turquoise)
Triple Thick Glaze by DecoArt
Corner Chomper

I'd love it if you could play along with my dare! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 3 March 2017

March Elemental

It's the start of a new month so Daring Cardmakers has an "elemental" challenge for us - Enfys is asking us to be inspired by at least three elements from her striking picture (it's at the bottom of this post if you didn't arrive here from the DCM blog).

I chose the grid lines formed by the window frames, the various vases and bottles (including some twigginess!), the shiny chrome of the light fitting and the overall black and white/muted colour palette.

The image was stamped first and masked with a Post-It note mask. I used low-tack tape to make the grid and gently sponged on grey ink. The image is lightly coloured with Copics (the tiny flash of yellow is a nod to the yellow book that drew my eye on the bookshelf).

I used Flitter Glu and shiny silver flake for the sentiment which looks pretty but does tend to "disappear" with the light at certain angles which made photographing it a bit tricky!

Vases (Serendipity Stamps)
Sentiment from Big Day Today (Waltzingmouse Stamps, retired)

Soft Granite by Hero Arts
Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Paper: Bristol Board

Flitter Glu and Sheffield Steel Mega Flake by Indigo Blu 
Low tack tape
Copic markers
Charcoal pencil

Here's the inspiration picture:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sombody to love...

I've managed to play along again in The Craft Barn's Song Title Challenge - this month's song is Somebody to Love by Queen.

Queen were one of my favourite bands when I was in my teens, I had all the albums up to The Works and can still remember being so excited to find an original copy of their very first album in a record shop in Morecambe after the (flimsier!) one had been released under the "Fame" branding.

When I saw the challenge, an image popped into my head straight away, inspired by the lyric that says "I just gotta get out of this prison cell". I've decided to make a postcard for each of these challenges and this time I had fun with cocktail sticks, corrugated card, die cuts and dry brushed acrylic paint! 

As the challenge wants us to include the artist as well as the song title, I made a little plaque for the cell door by hammering letter punches into a scrap of mountboard before giving it the acrylic paint treatment.

Dry brushing is probably not the technique for you if you're in a hurry but it's great to watch details emerging if you have time - I used some texturising paste for a corroded effect in places as well as the die cuts and embossed plaque.

Stamps: Jane by Indigo Blu

Corrugated card

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Cocktail sticks
Copic markers
Typeset strip die by Tim Holtz/Sizzix
Letter punches
Texturising medium by DecoArt
Pewter and Silver acrylic paints 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 24 February 2017

That's torn it

It's DCM day and this week Dawn is asking us to "tear it up" - add something ripped or torn to your project.

I still have pages from an ephemera pack I bought ages ago from a local outfit that put them together from books that were beyond rescue. I tore a strip from a page featuring a children's story and used it to anchor the stamped image. I used a charcoal pencil to smudge underneath it to give it a bit more heft.

It's ages since I used bubble wrap to stamp with - I thought it would suit the style here and used the same ink to add a touch of colour to the balloon.

Joy by Carabelle Studio 
Essential Messages by Hero Arts 

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass)

Bristol Board 
Torn book page

Charcoal pencil 
Corner Chomper 

Size: 7 x 5"

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 17 February 2017


Leo is setting the challenge this week at Daring Cardmakers and she's asking us to make geometric patterns on our cards. Any kind of shapes used repeatedly to make a pattern is fine here, Leo's only stipulation is that it shouldn't simply be a piece of patterned paper, you should make the pattern yourself (stamps, die cuts, stitching etc).

I decided to make my pattern with die cut circles, double sided tape sheet and glitter. In the end I chose a reinforcer die from a tag set so I ended up with rings rather than solid circles.

I stuck the die cuts to a square covered with tape, keeping my fingers off the sticky as much as possible (keeping the release paper handy and using it as a shield is a good idea). Then I burnished fine glitter over the piece to complete the pattern and stuck it to a black mat.

A stamped butterfly and a simple sentiment finish off a fairly bold, graphic look.

Antique Engravings and Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Microfine glitter
Tag die set (Tim Holtz/Sizzix)
Double sided tape sheet
Copic markers
Corner Chomper

Size: 14cm (5.5") square

Take a look at the blog to see what the team has been up to with triangles, squares etc - it would be lovely to see you there with your own geometrics, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Mirror, mirror

Sharon is setting this week's dare over at Daring Cardmakers and she's asking us to include a reflective element in our cards this week.

I started with some watercolour paper and stamped the seahorse then used a mask cut from a Post It to cover him up and stamped the streaks in three Distress inks. I spread the ink just a little with a damp paint brush and then added three stamped splashes.

There's just a tiny touch of Copic shading added to the seahorse before finishing with a stamped sentiment and the very shiny dots. They're the "waste" portion from various dies that include a hole which are domed with an embossing stylus on a piece of fun foam. The mirror card really is very reflective - you can see the window frame if you look carefully!

Under the Sea by Darkroom Door
Brush Strokes and Say It All by Hero Arts

Silver mirror card

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlscent Chocolate)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Broken China)

Copic marker (Eggshell)
Tag and bauble dies
Embossing stylus 
Corner Chomper 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 3 February 2017

February elements

It's the first dare of the month at daring Cardmakers and Svenja has provided our "elemental" photo this time. As usual the dare is to take at least three elements from the picture to use in your card.

I chose the cogs, the diamond shape and the loose coil of wire as my elements and made a clean and simple, masculine-looking card.

I have no idea what happened with the Enamel Accents - it went on looking like enamel dots, nice smooth domes. I left the card aside to dry overnight and discovered all the dots had a central dimple the next morning! It's done it very neatly so I decided it could just be considered "supposed to be like that"!

For the diamond frame, I used a knife and ruler to cut around the aperture left after die cutting one of the solid shapes.

I used a red Spica glitter pen to go over the stamped sentiment which probably just about shows on the detail shot.

Cogs background by Indigo Blu
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Paper: Bristol Board

Shadow ink by Hero Arts (Soft Granite)
Memento Luxe by Tsukineko (Love Letter)

Geometric shape dies by Hero Arts
Enamel Accents by Ranger (white)
Spica glitter pen by Copic (red)
Silver metallic thread
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 27 January 2017

I want more...

It's dare day over at DCM and Miri is asking us what we'd like more of this year.

I count myself extremely fortunate to have what I have and struggled a bit with this challenge - all the things that popped into my head were pretty esoteric. In the end I decided to run with that and go for something more symbolic than concrete.

A while ago I was looking for a decent olive stamp. I remembered that on that hunt I saw a digital image that combines olive and oak. Since an olive branch symbolises peace and oak is traditionally associated with wisdom and strength I thought it would be a good representation of things we could use more of in the world right now.

I used Copic markers (cool and warm greys plus black) to colour the image then surrounded it with some charcoal pencil. I almost left it just like that but ultimately decided this die cut word was simple enough not to detract from the overall feel.

Olive and oak digital image (Power Poppy)
Copic markers (Warm Grey 1 and 3, Cool Grey 1, 3 and 5, Special Black)
Serenity word die set (Sizzix, retired)
Charcoal pencil
Corner chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Let it snow!

The Craft Barn is running a challenge through the year with each challenge taking a different song as the starting point. I thought it would be fun to try to play along and make a postcard each time.

The first challenge is "Let it snow" and you must include the song title and the name of an artist who made it famous.

I ended up including three artists - Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart and the one I think of immediately on hearing the song which is Dean Martin. I wrote their names up the "strings" holding some of the snowflakes, first in silver gel pen and then with a fineliner so they look a bit different, depending on the angle of the light.

There's Stickles over the silver snowflakes which has made them look fainter on the photo but they're nice and sparkly in real life! The word SNOW is silver gilding flake on lettering die cut from double sided tape.

Grunge Flakes (Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous)
Alphabet stamps

Bristol board

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean)
Delicata by Tsukineko (Silver)

Bright white detail embossing powder by Wow
SilverGel pen
Stickles (Frosted Lace)
Mega Flake by Indigo Blu (Sheffield Steel)
Font One dies by Spellbinder
Double sided tape sheet
Black fineliner

There's still time to play along if you fancy it, all the details of the challenge are here. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 20 January 2017

A stitch in time

It's dare day over at Daring Cardmakers and Nat is asking us to "stitch it!" - use stitching as a prominent feature in your design.

This is absolutely not what I intended to make when I sat down at the craft table and I'm not sure how prominent the stitching really is but it's what happened so I'm going with the flow!

I'm still without my sewing machine which is on loan to a friend so I decided to do something I could hand stitch. Each of the stars has a slightly wonky line of stitching through it and the sequins are stitched on as well (just a knotted thread on the small ones but through the centre and out to the edges on the larger ones).

The stars were punched from a scrap of watercolour paper that had orange and purple re-inkers on it that has been lying around for ages.

I find the best strategy for hand stitching on card is to pierce holes first rather than trying to do it with the needle as you go.

Bubble background by Indigo Blu
Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse stamps (retired)

Memento Luxe by Tsukineko (Bahama Blue)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Spiced Marmalade)

Clean Color markers (Cobalt Blue and Light Blue)
Spica glitter pen (Turquoise)
Star punches
Corner Chomper
White and silver threads

Friday, 13 January 2017

Gilded die cut resist

It's dare day over at Daring Cardmakers and Kathy has asked us to do something new as we're just into a new year.

I've had this idea I've been meaning to try out for a while so the dare gave me a little prod. Gilding flake acts as a resist for water or dye-based media and I thought that rather than stamping with glue and gilding, it would be fun to try die cutting double sided adhesive and gilding that before using wet media over it.

As well as trying a new technique, I haven't used this die before so that's an extra new element, too! Being tape rather than card stock meant I could curve the die cuts as I stuck them down so the two shapes look a bit different.

The gilding flake I used is gold but as it's extremely reflective the richness of colour changes with the angle and the light.

The Brushos were still out on my desk from last week so I used one of those over my gilded leaves. I sprinkled a second time when it was almost dry to intensify the colour near the edge and a bit along the leaf shapes. I stamped background leaves with Distress ink (which the gilding also resists in the areas there's overlap).

When the piece was dry, I added a couple of gilded spots and some tiny gems along with a sentiment to finish it off.

Back to Nature Thinlits dies by Sizzix
Double sided tape sheet
Mega Flake by Indigo Blu (Chariot of Fire)
Turquoise Brusho
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Salty Ocean)
Brilliance ink by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)
Doddle Parts clear stamp set by Dylusions
Essential Messages stamp set by Hero Arts
Nail art gems

Thanks for stopping by - hope you get the chance to try out something new, do join us at DCM if you do!

Friday, 6 January 2017

January Elements

Hello, Happy New Year!

Sticking with tradition, the first dare of the month over at Daring Cardmakers is an "elemental" one - choose at least three elements from the inspiration picture to include in your design.

From the picture (it's at the bottom of this post if you haven't already seen it on the DCM blog) I chose the strong green of the foliage, a word spelled out in capitals in a serif font, the tiny heart from the top of the house and the pearlescence of the flowers in the wreath.

The background is a simple water and Brusho splurge. I put a piece of copy paper over while it was still wet and peeled it off which gives those nice marbled lines.

The die cut letters have three shades of Perfect Pearls on there (Perfect Pearl, Gold, Heirloom Gold) but it's subtle enough it was pretty much impossible to capture with a camera!

I made an extra scrap of Brusho background and die cut the tiny hearts from it. I gave them a coat of Wink of Stella which, again, is hard to capture but might be more obvious on the detail shot.

Brusho (Emerald Green and Leaf Green)
Bristol board
Perfect Pearls (Perfect Pearl, Gold, Heirloom Gold)
Font One dies (uppercase) by Spellbinder
Confetti die by Mama Elephant
Wink of Stella pen (clear)
Corner Chomper

Here's the inspiration photo (my green is closer to this sort of green in real life but it didn't want to photograph that way!):

It would be lovely if you joined us for a dare or too this year!

Thanks for stopping by - I wish you all a peaceful 2017.