Here comes the sun

Today sees the start of a new challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenge Blog and the theme for the fortnight is Sunshine. I am not a fan of the sun in winter, it shows up the dust too much. Despite the continued wet weather here in the UK the sun has been making regular appearances. These are usually timed to end just as I set about taking photographs of my projects! However, I did manage to outwit in order to take pictures of my Crafty Boots design team pieces.

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These were made using the Inkadinkado Stamping Gear which I have had for some time but not been brave enough to use. I can tell you that, now I have, it is brilliant! If you haven’t seen this piece of equipment in action it is basically a mechanism that enables you to stamp at regular intervals. There are different shapes and each has a stamping block that locks into little notches on the gear. The king of the stamping gear is Create and Craft’s John Bloodworth and you will find no end of inspiration over on his blog.

My first card gives you an idea of how the whole thing works.

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I prepared the background by dusting Mustard Seed and Wild Honey distress inks on to plain white card. Next, I used my script stamp and Wild Honey to stamp patches of text. Then it was time for the stamping gear. I used the circular frame, two different stamps from the celestial set and Vintage Photo ink. Using the first of the sunray stamps, and stamping inside the frame, I stamped in every fourth notch (or every other notch that is marked). Then I stamped the second sunray in between, starting two notches to the right of the original and continuing in every fourth notch. This probably sounds like gobbledegook, but will make perfect sense if you have the gear set! The face was stamped separately and I cut it out stuck in the centre of the sun rays. To finish, I dusted on a little Spiced Marmalade ink and layered it on a blue background.

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My second card was made in almost the same way and was inspired by a technique for single layer cards that I found on John’s blog. First, I stamped the word dream using the String Inspiration stamp from Darkroom Door.

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Then I masked the lower portion of the card off and prepared the background in the same way as I did for the other card except this time I used Spiced Marmalade to stamp the script.

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I again used the circular frame and positioned it by eye. A useful tip here is to decide where you want the centre of the design to be, in this case the face of the sun. Then I stamped the sun rays in exactly the same way as before, but this time using Rusty Hinge distress ink.

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I stamped some additional rays, again using the circular frame, so that only part of the design was showing. The finishing touch, and another heart stopping moment in case I messed it up, was to draw double lines underneath the inked area.

Very happy how these two turned out, especially as they are my first attempts. Can’t wait to play with it some more.

I hope you’ll be able to let a little sunshine into your life by joining in with the challenge over at Crafty Boots and do check out what the rest of the design team have been up to.

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

The magic of love

Today I am sharing a little Valentine wand that I made as one of my Gecko Galz design team projects.

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I made a couple of these last year and will share the pictures at the end of this post. I am going to link this project over at Really Reasonable Ribbon for challenge #87 which has a Valentine’s Day/Love and ribbon theme.

P1060992The base is a simple wooden heart that I’ve covered with one  of the Basic Grey True Love digital papers. I’ve edged the heart with gold glitter and then added some pink ruffle lace.

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I’ve topped the heart with this beautiful image from the Gecko Galz Valentine Wishes ephemera set and one of the images from the Basic Grey True Love digital scrapbooking set.

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The stem is a thin piece of dowel that I’ve covered with pink satin ribbon and hot glued to the back. Then I’ve tied various lengths of satin ribbon to create some streamers and topped it all off with a coordinating paper rose.

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Wishing you all lots of magic and love this Sunday.

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Thanks for buzzing by.

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Love monochrome

If you buzz over here on a regular basis you will know that last December I was lucky enough to have a short break in Vienna. As it was the festive season there were lots of fabulous Christmas markets and street decorations. In the gardens outside the Rathaus, (Town Hall) the large trees were festooned with decorations that at night were illuminated. They were quite difficult to capture on camera but take a look:

These were giant acorns…

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…snowmen…

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and, my favourite …

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These trees came straight to mind when I saw that this week’s challenge at City Crafter Challenge Blog has the them “Artsy Trees.” Charlene has chosen the theme and I was totally blown away by her card – buzz over to her blog and you will see why!

Inspired by my happy Viennese memories and Char’s beautiful card I came up with my own:

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I find clean and simple cards quite hard to do in that I always feel I should add more. But I was so happy that this turned out just as I’d planned, it was much easier to leave it alone! Despite my track record of making simple things complicated this was relatively easy to make. It did take more than one attempt but not much more!

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I used black Memento ink throughout and started with the sentiment. You will know by now that this comes from the Darkroom Door String Inspiration set and that I am totally besotted with them! Next I stamped the tree which came from my stash and I can’t remember who it’s buy. I’m ashamed to say that until now it’s never been used. Finally, I used the little heart on a string, another favourite, which is from Stampotique. I coloured it red with Promarkers.

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You will appreciate that each new piece of stamping was done with my heart in my mouth as, having got the previous one right, I was all too aware I could mess it all up. I held my breath whilst I coloured in the heart.

To keep the CAS look I just layered the stamped scene on to some black card.

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Be sure to buzz over to City Crafter as all the samples are fabulous.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Little houses

You will know that this week I have been short on crafting time. Knowing that this was going to be the case, I started preparing a quick little project that I would be able to assemble quickly once I returned from work. What I hadn’t bargained on was feeling soooo tired and fed up that all I wanted to do was sleep! So I left it, together with a great big mess, until I was feeling a bit more creative and I’m so glad I did because a) I so enjoyed doing it and b) I loved how it turned out.

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For this, I used up some leftovers from previous project. I have a serious amount of leftovers, so many in fact that I am thinking of devoting one post each week to projects that rely on them entirely. I’d already stamped several little houses, using my favourite little house stamp by Dylusions, and coloured them in with Promarkers. No fancy shading techniques, just plain old fashioned and therapeutic colouring in.

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I had a strip of leftover chipboard (greyboard) that I cut into little rectangles – they measure 5cm x 7cm. Each one was covered with a piece of patterned paper from my scrap box. I coloured the music manuscript with Fired Brick and Worn Lipstick distress inks.

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Next, I added stamped images and used words from the Darkroom Door string inspiration set.

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I paper pieced the little heart and added a flower and a couple of doodled leaves to the dream sentitment.

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Finally, and just because I could, I gave the red one a coat od Modpoge sparkle. I have had this in my stash for quite some time but hadn’t realised, until I saw a demo on the tv, that it contained glitter.

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I hope you have lots of fun things planned for the weekend. For me, it’s another weekend of decluttering and skip filling! However, I also have a pouch of Pina Colada in the freezer so there’s something to look forward to at the end of the day!

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

 

 

Winged things

If I tell you that this week’s theme over at Sunday Stampers is wings, you would probably guess that I would present you with a butterfly or a bee – both of which have featured a lot already this year. I couldn’t decide which way to jump so I did both:

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These were both made in the same way and should have been relatively simple. But you know me, I can complicate anything and whilst making these I realise that, for me, projects that look fairly simple actually take more effort than those that are more complicated.

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I started by cutting corrugated card into 100cm squares and then distressing them by pulling off parts of the paper covering. I then painted it with white acrylic paint, quickly wiping some off with a paper towel.

P1060955Once the paint was dry I sponged on some Vintage Photo distress ink.P1060961

I stamped the images on to some brown kraft paper – the frame is one from Hero Arts – and heat embossed with white embossing powder. Normally I would brush away any surplus powder but, because I wanted a bit of distressed look, this time I left it in place.

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The image was layered on to some music manuscript or newsprint and then some brown waxed paper. I distressed the edges with a distressing tool. I’ve had this in my stash for ages but kept forgetting it was there. I think it will be well used! I inked everything with more Vintage Photo.

P1060956 I used stamps by Darkroom Door for the sentiments. For the butterfly plaque I used black Archival ink, stamped it on to single-ply tissue and then used PVA glue, mixed with a little water, to apply it to the cardboard and then added a coat over the top. This brilliant technique, taught to me by Mrs Sunday Stampers herself, Hels Sheridan, and is brilliant when you want to get a stamped image on to a textured surface.

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The sentiment for the bee was simply stamped on to some cardstock using Vintage Photo.

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I couldn’t decide whether to add a hanging loop to these or not, but in the end thought they needed to be mounted on to something more sturdy first.

I got so much pleasure from making these and I hope you like them. After the past two days, having the chance to do a bit of crafting again was hugely therapeutic and I’m hoping that I, unlike today’s project, have lost a bit of my distressed look!

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Thanks for buzzing by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gossip and friends

Today I am sharing two more projects that use some of the fabulous images from the Gecko Galz. First up are a little set of notecards that I originally planned to use as invitations to friends so we could have a catch up over cake and coffee:

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I loved the image of this lady who seems to be whispering behind her hand.

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I added the words simply by opening the image in Word, typing some text in a text box and layering it on top of the image. You will also see that I added glitter to her jewellery. Then it was just a question of layering up the image with some more papers form The Gecko Galz Miss Muffet paper collection. I made two different designs:

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My second project is a card that uses one of the fabulous digital stamps from the Child’s Play collection. There were so many images I wanted to use from this set it was hard to choose just one.

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I printed the image on to kraft paper and then layered it with more paper from the Miss Muffet pack. I used some scrabble tile images for the words “Best friends forever” and used 3d foam pads to apply these to the card.

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I also used some ivory crochet lace, a gorgeous yellow paper flower  and a touch of gold glitter as the finishing touches.

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I shall look forward to catching up with you all tomorrow and having a good old gossip!

In the meantime, you may want to buzz over to The Gecko Galz and check out their bi-Annual sale, when you can buy one and get one free, and also there is cross-promotion with Basic Grey when you could win some fabulous crafting goodies.

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Pink, chocolate and butterflies

Today I have a couple of cards to share with you. Sometimes I realise that there are projects I’ve made and, for various reasons, haven’t had the opportunity to post on my blog. It’s always handy to have some back up projects when you’re short on time which, given I shall be spending the next two days tied up in staff training days for work, I am!

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The first card uses some fabulous designer papers in chocolate and pink. The pink one is from the fabulous TIm Coffey collection.

I added a strip of ivory crochet lace across the centre and then made a little arrangement of chocolate and pink bows, topped off with a pink sweetheart blossom, in the centre.

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To finish I added a stamped sentiment and some pearls.

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My second card uses some papers and a digital stamp from The Gecko Galz.

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I knew there was no way I would be patient enough to colour in the image so instead I used distress inks and a sweep of glitter across the butterflies.

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I used some ivory crochet lace to make a little mat and some thinner lace for a bow.

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A little butterfly glittered and layered, plus a sentiment printed from the computer finish it off.

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Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Balance

So the big clear out began yesterday and didn’t take very long for us to fill a skip with all our junk. Unfortunately, we only managed to clear stuff from the garage, but it’s a start. Some things were hard to get rid of and many things evoked some very happy memories. There was also a lot of stuff that we wondered why on earth we had hung on to it. Oh and there was a dead mouse. Fortunately, I had retreated inside to make a cup of tea when that joy was discovered.

On to today’s project. It’s week two of the new challenge over at Anything But A Card where the theme is balance. This is the inspiration photo’balanceand here’s my Design Team piece:

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Have you notice how butterflies have made a major comeback at the start of the year?! I chose butterflies as their presence indicates that nature is balanced. Originally I was going to alter a spool but found some slate pieces and decided to use those instead.

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I layered up the slate pieces and used glue gel to hold them together – hot glue doesn’t work very well on this type of material. I tucked in some pieces of white Icelandic moss and then whitewashed the lot with white acrylic paint. I also white washed some miniature roses.

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The butterflies were stamped in black on to coconut white card. The stamps are by Hero Arts. I then scrunched up some white muslin, secured it in the centre with wire and the hot glued it to the back of the butterflies. My intention was to soften the look of the piece.

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The larger butterfly is attached to some silver jewellery wire.

I did add the word balanced but it didn’t look quite right and made the piece look.. er… unbalanced!

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Please do take time to buzz over to Anything But A Card  and take a look at what the other Design Team members have been up to, there are some amazing projects. Of course we’d love it if you would share your projects too – there’s two more weeks left so there’s plenty of time.

Thanks for buzzing by,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow birds

The first of this year’s challenges over at City Crafter Challenge Blog has the theme Snowbirds. Here’s what I came up with:

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The cute little image of the birds in the snow and their dear little house is from The Gecko Galz and comes from the Winters Garden collection, which has lots of lovely snow images.

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I’ve used a Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder on white card and then layered this up with red. I’ve used the same red card to make a little mat for the image.

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The red spotty ribbon echoes the snowy feel. I’ve created a little arrangement of red sweetheart blossoms and white berries in the corner. I was originally going to add a frosting of glitter, but decided I liked it just the way it was.

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The finishing touch was to add the sentiment which was printed from my computer.

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The CCCB Design Team have prepared some beautiful samples for this theme so be sure to buzz over and take a look . But be sure to wrap up warm – I believe there is a cold snap coming!

Butterfly thank yous.

Hurray or Fridays! I’ve only been back at work for three days but it seems to have been a long week as far as I’m concerned.

Today  I am sharing some thank you cards that I have made:

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I wanted to go for something fairly simple that I could replicate easily as I needed to make 20 to say thank you to friends, family and colleagues for gifts and help at Christmas time. However, once I got the basic design together, I did add in a few extras – well sometimes it’s hard not to isn’t it?

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Firstly, I cut squares of card 70cm x 70cm and stamped them with the script background. I used Victorian Velvet distress ink, and swooshed on a little more over the whole design, using and Inkduster, and inked the edges.

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Next I punched out the large butterflies and stamped the thank you. Originally, I intended to leave it there. However, I felt it needed something more, so cut some black squares, approximately 75m  x 75cm (the cards themselves are 80cm square), and used them as mats. Once I’d applied the large butterfly I decided to make some smaller ones, using the reverse side of the designer paper. Finally, I added the gems.

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The paper, stamps and both butterfly punches are all from Stampin’ Up!

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Now it’s all very well having made these, the next step is to get them written and sent! Last year I failed spectacularly, only managing to send out a third of my cards which is shameful.

If I could, I would send each and every one of you a thank you card. I am so appreciative of all the lovely comments that have been left, particularly over the festive period, and so pleased that you have taken the time to do so. I also hugely appreciate all of you that have signed up to follow my blog – it means a lot and inspires me to keep going. THANK YOU!

Hope you’ve got something fun planned for the weekend. We’ve just had a skip delivered, which is not my idea of fun, so I shall be working on another of my resolutions – to declutter! I’ll let you know how that works out but I have a sneaky feeling that all may not be sweetness and light in the Beez household this weekend!

Thanks for buzzing by.