Frenzy and fairies

Are you in that pre-Christmas frenzy where it feels like you won’t get everything done? I certainly am, but this year it’s not even the Christmas things I’m not achieving but the basics. At work I joked (except I was deadly serious!) that I wasn’t even managing to write my “to do list,” never mind actually doing anything on it! I am also an expert at displacement activities. You know, doing things that are unnecessary so you can put off doing the really important stuff!! If only there was a fairy like this one to come and grant a few wishes:

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You will recognise this little lady from earlier in the week when I used her on a festive ornament. She is an image from the Gecko Galz Sugar Plum Fairies collage sheet. Once again I have popped her on some of Robyn Gough’s digital paper. I do this using Microsoft Word using the Picture Format options. First, I remove the background from the image and then add a drop shadow before layering the image on to the digital paper.

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I’ve added some lace and green Stickles over the dress in the image and used gold foil stars on her headband and wand.

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I’ve created layers from more of Robyn’s paper and some holly paper from the Gecko Galz Grandma’s House paper pack – the very first paper pack I ever purchased from them, before I was on the Design Team! Down the side I’ve used some gold tinsel trim and olive green ribbon.

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The “wish” sentiment was printed on my computer and inked and glittered.

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Over on the Gecko Galz Blog we have started our 24 tags of Christmas – each day you can see a Christmas tag created by one of the Design Team be sure to buzz over and take a peek – you won’t be disappointed. Mine will be coming up around mid-month.

Now then, I’d better get on with all that “stuff” I have to do but first, I think I’d better make a list!!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This morning I was (hopefully!) up at ridiculous o’clock to travel to an early morning meeting. Although early starts are not unusual, it has been quite a while since I’ve had to rely on trains and endure cold stations! The worst bit is that I also have a late visit to make too, so a long day! I think a little treat from the Christmas market and a festive coffee (I’m on a one woman mission to sample everything on the Costa menu!) is in order don’t you?!

The good news is that there is a new challenge over at My Artistic Adventures Challenges and, as usual, I got carried away making my samples. Today I thought I’d share two very different cards that I made using Heather’s fabulous collage sheets:

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The first card is using the Non-Traditional Bingo and Non-Traditional Tree Tags collage sheets. I snapped this sheet up the minute it I saw it last year. I used the spotty panel from the bingo sheet and cut it with a curved die. Next, I cut out the tree from the tree tag sheet and arranged them on the card.

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What’s your favourite Christmas greeting? Mine is “Merry Christmas,” but don’t worry if prefer something different, Heather has them all covered, in different colours too, on the tree tags sheet.

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Finally, I dusted on a little Tumbled Glass distress ink around the edges of the card.

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My second card has more of a shabby chic feel to it. I’ve used Heather’s lovely snowmen (and women!) collage sheet along with the Vintage Christmas Luggage Tags and Vintage Shabby Chic Pink Candy Canes.

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I’ve used plenty of glitter, some fabulous pink ribbon and tucked in a doily for good measure! The finishing touch are some little candy cane stickers that came all the way from Simon Says Stamp in the USA (very quickly too, I might add!).

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The beauty of this lovely snowmen sheet is there are lots of colour options and you get the reverse of each image so you can put them back to back if you want to make something with dimension.

 

Thanks for buzzing by.

Happy Advent

Happy Advent one and all. I start counting down to Christmas from January 1st (yes, really!) but today’s the day when the “official” countdown can begin. The Advent decorations are out, the outdoor lights are up and tonight we will have our annual “switching-on” ceremony along with a glass of mulled wine and the first mince pie of the season.

I thought it would be fun to kick of my December blog posts with a little Christmas hanging decoration that I made using the December products from the Gecko Galz. This month we have a cross-promotion along with Robyn Gough Designs.

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I’ve used Robyn’s lovely green Christmas Ornament and topped it with a fairy that comes from the Gecko Galz Sugar Plum Fairies collage sheet before printing it off and mounting onto some card.

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After inking the edges, I attached some gold foil star trim around the edge and then mounted the whole thing onto a gold doily before decorating the back with some of Robyn’s paper but as I forgot to take a photo’ there’s not much point in my telling you that!

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I added a scrap of lace and a bow over the original fairy’s skirt plus a little extra glitter and some gold foil stars to accent details.

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I’ve used gold wire to create a hanging loop and topped it off with a little bow to match the one on the dress.

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You’ll remember that the current challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenges is “stars” and you still have a whole week to share your projects with us. Do buzz by and take a look at the mid-way reminder post that has lots of new inspiration from both the Design Team and our special guest designers who are winners of our past challenges. If you’d like to see the details of my other project that I’m sharing over there, you will find them here.

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Thanks for buzzing by.

 

 

Paper clay fun

For lots of reasons, I am very excited about today’s post. I hope you will like it as much as I do. The moment I saw there was a new Stampotique Agatha Stamp (you will remember I am on a mission to bag the whole lot!) AND that it was a Christmas one I knew I had no choice but to get it. Then came the frustration when I found that she hadn’t arrived in the UK which of course made me need it more. Then, very quietly  and without a fuss, she arrived at Art from the Heart so, without my usual dithering, I snapped her up the minute I could! Frustratingly, I haven’t had the time to play with her as much as I would like but in the interim, a little project was brewing in my head and here it is:

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I am sharing this over at Sunday Stampers, where this week’s theme is love, and also over at City Crafter Challenge Blog where the challenge requires you to create a project using a favourite technique. I’m using the “tissue transfer” technique which I learned directly from the queen of Sunday Stampers herself, Hels Sheridan, and I have used it a lot. If you are not familiar, it is the easiest thing and means you can use stamped images on uneven surfaces, such as texture paste, canvas, or textured paint effects. It’s also great for applying stamped images to even, dimensional surfaces too, as I have done here.

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The idea for using this technique on paper clay came from an article I saw in Craft Stamper (September 2014) magazine where Trish Latimer had made some cute little houses. Then I saw an adorable character created in the same way by Sam Read and I knew I had to give it a try. The arrival of Agatha Christmas sealed the deal.

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First, I stamped the character on to a piece of cardstock and cut it out. Then I rolled out the paper clay (I used white for Agatha and green for the tree) and used the stamped and cut image as a template to cut around so I ended up with a piece of clay that was a similar shape. The beauty of paper clay is that you can sand it down afterwards and, if it’s not too thick, you can cut it with a knife or scissors even when it’s dry. Once the clay was thoroughly dry, I gave it a coat of white acrylic paint.

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To transfer the image you need a piece of single-ply tissue – either a make up tissue or the sort you blow your nose on is fine, just separate the layers so you only have one. Using Archival Ink, stamp the image onto the tissue. Now carefully tear around the image, as close to the line as you dare. You can cut it, but tearing gives the best result as there is no hard line. Apply a thin coat of Glue’n’Seal, or similar (I used PVA slightly watered down), to the area where you want the stamp to go and then carefully place the image on top and smooth down gently. Carefully, as the tissue can be inclined to wrinkle or tear, apply another layer of glue over the top. I usually add a second coat for good measure. Then the magic happens – as the glue dries, the tissue appears to disappear and you are left with just the image. Usually when I use this technique, the base usually has colour which then shows through but on this occasion I added colour using Promarkers. The advantage of the glue-sealed surface is that the colours don’t bleed. That’s all there is to it!

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I created the tree in exactly the same way but used green clay instead of white simply for the reason that I was running out of white! The base is several pieces of corrugated card, packaging leftovers, glued together, covered with book pages and painted with gesso. I’ve added some candy cane trim, tiny mulberry paper holly leaves and some glittery Stickles berries.

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Thanks for buzzing by.

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on the snow

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and followers who will be celebrating today, I hope you have the best time with your friends and families. Thanksgiving is a celebration I would love to take part in and have often thought of having some sort of celebration but, partly because eldest son Beez has a birthday that coincides, never quite get around to it.

As I don’t have a Thanksgiving project to share and because the temperature has dropped significantly in my part of the world I thought I’d share a snowy card instead.

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I’ve combined some fabulous paper from the Gecko Galz with snowflake die cuts that were kindly given to me by my friend Dionne, who cut me a whole batch of different sizes in different designs and papers. They are such a handy supply to have and dip into but I use them sparingly as I am, as you know, a hoarder!

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I’ve created mats and layers from coordinating paper and card and topped the snowflakes with a copper star brad.

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The paper is from the Botanical Christmas Paper – a superb collection with some luxuriously rich designs.

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The ribbon, from Really Reasonable Ribbon, was in my stash and coordinates perfectly. I added a little faux stitching to echo its design.

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Now I do like a bit of snow, actually I like a lot of snow! The weather forecast here seems to alternate between months of Arctic conditions to the mildest winter on record. I could do with knowing which it will be as, if it is the former, that is a definite excuse for some new boots!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Under the mistletoe

Today I am sharing another of my Gecko Galz samples using the November releases.

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This lovely mistletoe French stamp image comes from the Christmas Time digital stamp set. I knew as soon as I saw it what I was going to do with it and I kept it very simple and let the image speak for itself.

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The original image is black, but I changed it to a moss green, inked the edges with Shabby Shutters distress ink and the layered it onto some coordinating card. The base mat is gold glitter card. I added some pearls for the berries.

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The finishing touch is a piece of matching satin ribbon that has been simply tied with a knot.

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I’m still on my quest to find a quick card I can whip up, production line style, for Christmas. It strikes me that maybe I need to do a little less “questing” and a bit more “getting on with it!”

Thanks for buzzing by.

Counting Stars

Today I am sharing my second project for the new challenge that has started over at Crafty Boots Challenges. And yes, the title of this post does reference a song. (Well done to Ruth for spotting yesterday’s even though I had changed one of the words!)

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This was quite straightforward to make but not quite simple enough to re-create 80+ times for my Christmas cards that I have still to make. (Aaagh!)

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I used strong double sided tape to adhere the tinsel and ribbon across the top. Next, I used my Martha Stewart punch to cut lots of fir-like fronds from two types of green card and stuck them down to form an evergreen swag.

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The stars were punched from gold glitter card and I added a few berries using some red Stickles glitter glue.

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The sentiment is from Darkroom Door’s Stitched Christmas.

Thanks for buzzing by.

All the stars are coming out today

If you are regular participant in blog challenges no doubt, like me, you go through waves where the themes are either interlinked or, because you have been making something related to one theme, similar motifs crop up in your work for a different theme. For me, it seems to all be about the stars right now. Following on from my two posts yesterday I am back today and tomorrow with some more starry cards. Today’s card is one of my DT samples for the new challenge, which has the theme of “stars” over at Crafty Boots Challenges:

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I would also like to share this over at City Crafter Challenge Blog for their “just a word” challenge.

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I’ve layered up a variety of designer papers and kraft card, distressing and inking the edges.

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The star was cut from white cardstock using Sizzix’ Primitive Stars dies. I inked it with a little Antique Linen distress ink and some Walnut Stain on the very edge. I used some twine across the centre and topped it with a red button for a pop of colour.

It took awhile to get the word right as it didn’t have enough definition. Black was to harsh and white wasn’t quite right. In the end I went for the same colours as the star but used a little more distressed kraft card as a background. The wish sentiment is from Tim Holtz Holiday Words Thinlets – I just snipped of the “es!!”

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Be sure to check out the lovely work the rest of the shining stars in the Crafty Boots  DT have been busy with.

Yesterday, my friend and Crafty Boots DT member, Dionne picked up on the reference I made in the blog post title (Five Star were an 80s band) so let me see if she, or indeed you, no where today’s title comes from?!

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Five star

Over at Anything But A Card is time for another “five” mini challenge. This is where, when there are five Sundays in the month, we ask you to join along by sharing any project that has a connection to the number 5. For my DT sample I decided to go with a 5 pointed star and, just to be sure, made 5 hanging ornaments.

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These were made using the Alterations die – Primitive Stars. I cut the stars from chipboard and then painted them white.

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Each star has been decorated with little pieces of ribbon. All the ribbon comes from the same roll, I’ve used the front and reverse and changed how I’ve cut and arranged them.

The little hanging loops were made from red and white baker’s twine.

 

There is lots of inspiration from the ABAC DT so be sure to buzz over and take a look.

Thanks for buzzing by.

In a word

Morning all and I hope you are having a happy weekend. Today I’m sharing a couple of cards that I have made for this week’s challenge at City Crafter Challenge Blog where the theme is to use just one word on your card or project. For me, this was a great opportunity to play with some dies – hence the reason I have two cards to share!

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Using a word die made these clean and simple cards super-easy to make.

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I used a tiny piece from some ribbon to create the centre of this card, popping it on top of layers of white and kraft cardstock. The die is by Stampin’ Up! that I picked up for a bargain in their sale.

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I used spray adhesive to stick the word to the card.

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My second card uses some of the lovely glimmer card by Stampin’ Up! I’ve punches out some stars and then used a die from the Sizzix Thinlets dies, Holiday Words, by Tim Holtz.

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I used some gold thread to hang the stars from. Tying little bows from the thread was probably the most fiddly piece of crafting I’ve done in a long, long time!

Thanks for buzzing by,