Friday, 30 October 2015

Less is more

Every so often as card makers we are tasked with making a card that really challenges us. I remember once being commissioned to make a 50th birthday card for a nurse who was in to lace making and baking... Incorporating all of those elements! Needless to say the resulting card was most definitely one-of-a-kind!
This weekend I am attending a double adult baptism and as such I need to make two cards. The sudden realisation that I have no idea what normally goes on a baptism card, coupled with needing to make two of the things, was rather daunting. Anyway, I figured, if in doubt, less is more, and teamed my make with this weeks Less is more sketch challenge.

This is the sketch I was trying to match. ( No one needs to know that my first thought when I saw it was 'why is there a tampon on the card?!!!' do they?)


Here is my card

I inked the rough shape on to the card first using versa colour Evergreen and Atlantic. I then masked off the tree line with torn paper and stamped the trees (card-io set) in black.
Next I moved the mask so that it covered the trees and added an additional torn paper mask below so I could ink the lake. This is in versa ink, lagoon.
Keeping the masks in place, I then stamped the trees upside down to give the impression of a reflection.
Finally I handwrote the message using an ultra fine fineliner.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Reindeer in the snow

This is my submission for the Crafty ribbons reindeer challenge, and also for the Penny black Saturday embossing challenge. (The background paper is embossed with a sizzix flower embossing folder which I think looks like snow flakes!)

Basic grey papers
Penny black stickeroos
Icicle stickles
Pewter liquid pearls
Silver ribbon
White and silver edged ribbon
Snowflake dies
Flower embossing wallet

Hedgehogs and autumn gatherings

As I sit here with my booty slippers, bowl of porridge and the rain pouring down outside, I have to say it is feeling rather more wintery than autumnal. However the beautiful orangey leaves are still clinging to the flowering cherry in the front garden so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a final autumnal card this month.

Craft work cards 6x6 white square card
Yellow background paper (such as doodlebug flowers)
Penny black 'peek a boo' stamp
Black ink (such as versa colour)
Tim Holtz distress ink in pumice stone
Tim Holtz alterations autumn gatherings die
Craft work cards sugar and spice die cut sentiments
Doodlebug sugar coating bon bon glitter
Glossy accents

From your stash;
Scraps of autumnal coloured papers
Double sided tape and glue

To make this card first back your square cardstock with a patterned paper. Mine is one by doodle bug. Lightly ink around the edge in pumice stone distress ink and set aside.
Stamp up the penny black hedgehogs on a rectangle of card and colour using promarkers. Edge the card with some more pumice stone distress ink and set this aside too.
Use a craft work cards sentiment and ink with the same distress ink.
Using sizzix autumn gatherings die, cut out a selection of leaves from coloured papers. Dab them with yet more pumice stone ink and add fine lines of glue to some of them. Sprinkle with ultra fine glitter. Now gather everything together and start to assemble your card.

Affix the ribbon about a third of the way up from the bottom attaching it to the wrong side if your card with plain white labels so it is fairly discrete.
Add the hedgehog picture with double sided tape followed by the leaves and acorns in the corners.

Finally add the happy birthday sentiment and a large button. Add glossy accents to the snail shell and the happy birthday sentiment to set them off.

I'd like to submit this card to the following challenges;
Penny black at all sorts
Sir stamp a lot stamping sensations

Sunday, 25 October 2015

A nostalgic craft barn card

I've made this card as a farewell to the craft barn shop who sadly closed its doors for the final time this week. I have many fond memories of trips to the craft barn with my mum, particulary in its earlier days at the site in Lingfield.

To the best of my memory, the penny black stamp used here is the first I ever bought at the craft barn. Now it is time to say farewell, and all the best!!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Of mice and mushrooms

I thought I'd take a moment to share with you the anniversary card I have made for my husband. Although it's a little girly, he is a keen forager so the mushroom with the mice on top seemed fitting enough.

It's a relatively simple make, I stamped the image using black versa colour ink and coloured it with pro markers. I matted and mounted the image using coordinating autumnal coloured papers and added the ribbon to finish off, sticking it down with double sided tape.

I'd like to enter the card in to the following challenges;

My time to craft
Penny black and more
Stamping sensations

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A Christmas Candle

Having been spurred on by my last attempt, today I had another go at making a candle by transferring stamped ink images. I'm really pleased with the result this time. Here's what I did.

Firstly I measured and cut a piece of white tissue to the same size as the candle. I then inked up a selection of stamps with black Staze on and stamped this scene. The stamps are all from the card-io collections range.

I then masked the bottom of the design with a piece of torn paper, and inked the top with Atlantic versa ink. I added in the winter sun using canary and camellia versa inks. When I removed the mask it gave the impression of fresh white snow on the ground.

 I then wrapped it tightly around the the candle, and then wrapped the whole thing in greaseproof paper. Being careful not to burn myself (!!!) I used a heat gun to gently heat all areas of the candle until the tissue paper had transferred. Being such a large design, this time I had to re wrap it in the greaseproof several times in order to heat all areas without burning my fingers!

I finished up by adding some crystal stickles for extra sparkle. Hope you like it! 

This is my final entry in to the Craft barn light challenge for this week - phew, just in time!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Design your own candle

I've been meaning to have a go at this project for a long time having seen tips elsewhere on the internet. This weeks craft barn challenge 'light' was the perfect incentive.

Here's how it's done;

You'll need
A large pillar candle
White tissue paper
Permanent ink (such as Staze on)
Permanent markers (such as sharpies)
Stamps (I used little Claire's butterfly tree set)
Liquid pearls
Heat gun
Grease proof paper/ baking parchment

First stamp your image on to a piece of plain tissue paper. (In the absence of this I had to use the lacy effect one but I don't think it mattered)

Using permanent markers colour your stamped image. Make sure you put down some paper to protect your work surface as the ink bleeds through the tissue.

Carefully cut around your coloured image as closely to the picture as possible. Place the cut images in your chosen locations.
Wrap the candle with the pictures in a piece of greaseproof paper and hold securely. Heat using a heat gun for about 30-40 seconds to allow the tissue to melt in to the wax a little. When it has done this the colour shows through the paper more strongly. Unwrap the candle. If there are any parts of the paper that haven't stuck to the candle, re wrap and gently heat again.

Now all that's left to do is to add details using liquid pearls.

Now you're ready to light your candle and enjoy!

Thank you to the team at The craft barn for inspiring me to finally have a go at this. Who knows, perhaps it will be candles for Christmas all round this year?!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Bunnies in the Autumn Light

I've made a rather hasty card this week after the arrival of my new card-io stamps (the tree set) I fancied having a go at some of the Autumn challenges that have been posted recently so tried to combine the two. I have to admit, orange is pretty far down on my list of colours that I use regularly (so much so that the little fabrico tangerine ink pad I used for this card was still in its cellophane wrapping!)

Anyway, it's good to push out of your comfort zone once in a while and so this encouraged me to do so.

I first inked the autumnal sunset background using versa colour camellia and canary, as well as the tangerine fabrico ink pad. I added in the cardio trees with a few remaining autumn leaves.

Next I used a torn sheet of paper as a mask and inked with an ancient 'evergreen' versa colour pad to make the lighter green band. Having re-positioned the mask lower down I inked a second band of versa colour green in front.

I used cardio bunny stamps in the foreground, again using the torn paper mask to give the impression that the bunny was popping up from behind something.

Finally I bordered the card with a fine line of golden rod stickles glitter.

I'd like to enter this card in to the following challenges;
Sir Stampalot -colours of autumn
Penny Black and More - warm autumn colours
Allsorts - no designer paper
My time to craft - autumnal colours
Less is more - one layer only
The Craft Barn - Light (although I still have another project up my sleeve for this one... maybe!)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Free hand machine embroidery doorstop

This week I have been making a doorstop for my pal as a house warming present. I got the idea from a Poppy Treffry book called 'free and easy stitch style.'
I would thoroughly recommend the book but in case you're feeling really adventurous, here's a basic outline of what I did.

Products used;
60cm x 20cm base fabric (seaside spot by Clark and clark)
2x 15cm x 15cm square or fabric for top and base
20cm x 7.5cm strip of fabric for the handle
Various scraps of haberdashery fabric for your applique. Mine included Cath Kidston pale blue stars, Cath Kidston floral,  more Clark and Clark, some bits and pieces I received in a starter kit from Poppy Treffry and a whole host of anonymous scraps!
Strong cotton thread in various colours (mine was Cath Kidston)

You will also need a sewing machine with the feed dogs lowered, covered or removed.

Choose a length of fabric to be your main background 20cm x 60cm. Fold it in half and in half again then open out to reveal four sections. Choose a design for each section, select fabrics and cut them out laying them on the base as you go.

Cut down the fold marks of your base fabric separating it in to four sections. Using the freehand machine embroidery technique, applique your design to the base fabric. 

In true Poppy Treffry style, I use my lovely old singer for the free machining. I had my husband remove the feed dogs altogether from it as this is pretty much all I use it for, but you can just lower them or cover them in order to move your fabric about freely.

Once your applique is complete, place the fabric right sides together and stitch down the edges to create a sort of inside out box. Leave about a centimetre at the top and bottom to make it easier to attach the base and  'lid' to your box.
You'll notice from the picture that I have switched to a more modern sewing machine. This isn't necessary but it is quicker!

Make a handle for your doorstop. Cut a strip of fabric 7.5cm x 20cm. Fold a little hem in on the ends, then fold in half lengthways . Press to make a fold mark then open out again.

Fold the outer edges in to meet in the middle, then fold the whole thing in half lengthways again to encase all the raw edges. Stitch around all four edges of your handle.

Attach the handle securely to a square of 15 cm x 15cm fabric that will form the top of the doorstop.

With right sides still facing, stitch the base fabric on to the bottom of the doorstop,  and stitch three sides of the top fabric to the top of the doorstop. (handle facing in) 

Now turn the whole thing the right way around and check that you are happy so far. ( I discovered a small hole on one of the corners of mine which I was able to rectify at this point before it was too late!)

Place a plastic bag with no holes inside your doorstop.(A sandwich bag or pedal bin liner work well) Fill with sand or rice and seal. Stitch closed the final edge of the doorstop. I did this by hand as it is now quite tricky to get under the machine.


Place your finished doorstop in situ or wrap and give to a friend as a charming house warming present!

I hope you have enjoyed this s tutorial, if you have any comments or questions please feel free to post them below - I'd love to hear what you think.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Cardio Christmas Card

Here's a last minute post for Sunday night. I made this with cardio stamps and versa colour inks, with a little stickles for added sparkle of course!

Let it snow!

Good Morning!
I think I might be beginning to get the hang of this blogging lark. Having started to look around a bit more, I realise how many fabulous blogs there are out there. I seem to have been drawn to a lot of the card making and paper crafting blogs such as the craft barn and more recently discovered, Sir stamp a lots blog I also love having a mosy through all the things on There are so many fun challenges out there to get your teeth in to- links to a couple more of my new favourites at the bottom of the page. I think what has got me most though is what a lovely community it is to be becoming a part of. People are so encouraging and friendly to one another- it really has been a blessing. Anyway, before I get too carried away in the sentiment of it all, here's a card I've put together this week. Hope you like it!

I die cut a couple of snow flakes and placed them strategically on the card whilst I inked the edges of them in versa colour Atlantic.  Effectively this turned them in to a mask for the background. I pulled the ink out around them to create the stenciled effect.

Once done , I repositioned them on the card and stuck them down. I stamped on the Christmas sentiment from cardio in versa colour indigo. 

Finally to add a bit of texture I raided my ribbon box and tied a couple of lengths of fluffy and sparkly ribbon down the side before dotting the snowflakes with frosted lace sickles glitter.

I'd like to enter this in to the following challenges; crafty ribbons, Christmas,  no red and green
country view, add texture

Thursday, 1 October 2015

It's Christmas! Well, nearly...

I am a self confessed Christmas- aholic. I love it! It is my desire to hold on to the excitement I felt as a child each year around when Christmas approaches. If you get going early enough I think you can prolong the enjoyment, and prevent the stress (well, some of it!)
This week I have been making a Christmas mobile. I picked up the bits and pieces I needed for this from the Pinflair stand at Westpoint ICHF show last weekend. It is pretty straight forward to do and I am hoping will make a nice gift for someone this year.

In my mobile 'kit' (which I purchased for £10) was a piece of panelled Christmas fabric, thick card squares and hanger arms, ribbon, and book binding glue. 
I cut each picture panel out from the fabric, glued it to the front of a cardboard square, wrapped it round and glued the edges down. Then I did the same with the hanger arms. N.b. You need two of each picture and four hanger arms so that you can sandwich them together with the ribbon in between.

To get a neat wrap around on the hanger arms, it is worth snipping the fabric at intervals of about 1cm.
Next I laid out all the panels so I could see how I wanted them, and then cut ribbon to the right lengths, including one piece for a hanging loop at the top.

Using a little more book binding glue I stuck the ribbon to the hanger arm and stuck the back panel to it.
I then sandwiched the front panel on top and let it dry.
All that remained was to slot the arms together and the mobile was complete. One thing ready for Christmas and it's only just October :)