Saturday, 26 February 2011

Less Is More - Week 4 - squares!

It's Saturday and time for a new challenge over at Less Is More. I love this challenge so  much that one of the first things I do on a Saturday morning is to check what the new challenge is!

This is just the friendliest challenge around - last week I had the most comment and most page views per day ever from the lovely participants in this challenge visiting my blog! Thank you so much everyone!

This week's challenge is to follow the recipe "3 squares".

I decided to use kraft as my base card this week, and to have a play with the new stamps I bought this week (Marianne Design Eline's Huis). So, without further ado, here's my card:

I've coloured the squares with Distress Inks (Tattered Rose and Vintage Photo), stamped the images with Coffee Bean Brilliance Ink and clear embossed them, and then adhered them to the card with 3D foam. The sentiment is from Hero Arts. I've also added some twine that I also coloured with the Tattered Rose DI and distressed the edges of the card slightly with scissors, which you can't really see that well in the photo.
I must admit that I only noticed as I was editing the photo that I'd adhered the first square on the card upside down! Of course, I could pretend it was an artistic decision and not a mistake at all!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

WOYWW - chaos and some new storage...

I'm working from home/have part of the day off today because I have an event to go to in the evening. No time for crafting, though, but I took a couple of quick snaps of my chaos, I mean workdesk...

Most of the supplies I've used for the cards you've seen on here this past week are still on my desk, oops! 
And the brand new My Mind's Eye Gertie Girly doily stamps which just came in the post this morning! They are so pretty, can't wait to make something with them. 

I also bought a box at the weekend that is the perfect size for Distress Ink pad storage.

As you can see, I only have 15 so far but the box will fit another row next to these ones just perfectly. I've put some other stuff there while I wait for my collection to grow. I know it's just a basic plastic box but I was so excited to find something that is just the right size.

If you're wondering why I'm showing you my messy workspace, hop over to Julia's blog to read all about What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) and to have a nosy around many more creative workspaces!

Monday, 21 February 2011

It's awards season!

I got a lovely surprise from Lynne today - she's giving  me a blog award! Thank you so much Lynne, I'm very new to blogging as you can see and it means a lot to get this.

Then, while I was working on this post, I got a comment from Sylvie and she too had given me this award! Thank you so much! I hope it is ok that I combine the two in this same post.

It comes with the following instructions:

Step 1 - Make a post linking back to the person who gave you the award! 
Step 2 - Share 7 random things about yourself
Step 3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award
Step 4 – Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won the award.
So, here are 7 random things about me
1. I have a cat called Iona who was adopted from an animal rescue charity
2. My favourite shoes at the moment are cherry pink wedge heel mary-janes
3. Someone complimented my big polkadot print bag last week by saying she loved the stripes (!?)
4. My perfect cup of tea has one brown sugar and lots of milk
5. My nails are always done in a different colour, currently a bronzey brown
6. I got my first rubberstamps over 20 years ago but have been into stamping more "seriosly" for just over a year
7. I'm currently writing my application for a course that would enable me to have a career in my dream job (cross your fingers!)

And I'd love to award it to the following talented bloggers!

Thank you so much again, Lynne and Sylvie! These ladies are both really creative and have lovely blogs so I hope everyone reading this pays them a visit, too. 

The New Unity Stamps Challenge - Hearts

Happy Monday! What? Monday can be happy... at least this one is, as I have time for crafting!
And welcome to my two new followers, it's great to have you!

One of my favourite stamp companies Unity Stamps has a new monthly challenge. The theme for the first month is 'Hearts' and the only other rule is to use only Unity and Ippity stamps.

Here's what I made:

The lovely heart stamps are from Ippity Moon Beam & Heart Strings set, and the birthday sentiment is from January's Unity Kit of The Month. I actually had a birthday card to make so that's why I've chosen that sentiment.

I stamped the hearts and sentiment with Coffee Bean Brilliance Ink on kraft cardstock and embossed them with a clear embossing powder. Some are coloured with Promarkers. I've added some Tim Holtz tissue tape and wrapped some jute twine around the card, too, and added a pink button. The brown backing paper is from a My Mind's Eye Christmas pack!

Hope you're having a good start to your week too, whatever you're doing.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

One Layer Wednesday Challenge 41 - Christmas!

I've been having fun discovering new challenges to take part in and one that I've been following for a few weeks now is One Layer Wednesday hosted by Susan over at Simplicity. I decided to take the plunge and jump in this week. This week's challenge is to create a One Layer Christmas card using red, green and white or cream.

I like the idea of making Christmas/Season's Greetings cards throughout the year to avoid making them all within a month or two later in the year. So this is my first Christmas card this year!

I actually made two other versions of this before settling on this one. The first had the sentiment in the upper left corner and the layout looked wrong. The second had the whole reindeer on the card (so no antlers over the edge). That looked ok but a bit predictable. So then I stamped the reindeer with a part of the antlers over the right edge which seemed the most balanced placement for the reindeer as a whole. 
Anyway, I think it's ok for a first attempt for this challenge. 

The reindeer stamp is by Kanban, and the sentiment a freebie from Crafts Beautiful magazine Christmas 2010. The inks I've used are Memento in Bamboo Leaves and Rhubarb Stalk as the challenge stated it was ok to use less traditional shades of red and green.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Less Is More - Week 3 Challenge - Spring!

Happy Saturday!

A warm welcome to all my new followers this week. Thank you so much for visiting, following and for all your lovely comments! I really, really appreciate your kind words.

Saturday morning means it's time for a new challenge over at Less Is More. This week's theme is Spring. As soon as I saw the theme, I knew which stamp I would be using, and which sentiment to combine it with. (I know sheep don't exactly hop but I thought it went so well with the bouncy feel of the sheep stamp...)

Sadly the weather is far from spring-like this morning and there's no sunshine to take photos in. I should build a lightbox...

Anyway, here's my card!

The stamp is Leaping Sheep Border from Inka Stamps. The sentiment is from the Pink Cat Studio. I used cream cardstock for the basecard. I've stamped with black pigment ink and embossed with a clear embossing powder over it; it's a tip I picked up from a magazine sometime last year and it gives a sharper outline than embossing with a black powder would. I've added some glossy accents to some of the sheep for some added interest, and carefully coloured the grass and flowers with ProMarkers. Carefully because it needs a light touch or else the ProMarkers will bleed through the cardstock.

Have a great weekend, everyone, whether you're crafting or doing something else!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me... A One Layer Card.

Just a quick card that I made the other day, and which has already flown the nest, so to speak, to a recipient... 

This card was inspired by Joanne's OLC for the week two challenge over at Less Is More. I really loved the effect of a stamped and masked image with a block of text around it on her card.

I've used a bird stamp for mine. Then, me being me, I thought I'd ink the edges... And then it seemed to need a little something more so I stamped a couple of flourishes in just one corner. Then I added a few more, and a few more... and well, there we are!

The text background stamp I've used is by Crafty Individuals, and the flourish is Artemio. The bird stamps are out of their packaging and I can't remember who they are by. I've used Distress Inks in Wild Honey and Vintage Photo, and the bird is stamped with Memento Ink in Rich Cocoa.

This was a quick card to make and I really like the masking technique.
Thanks to Joanne for the inspiration!

It's that time of the week again... WOYWW

It's that day of the week again, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, that is. Have a look at Julia's blog here to read what it's all about and to see many more artsy crafty workspaces!

So, what's on my workdesk this week? Or what's not on it; I feel like half of all the stash I own is on my desk at the moment!

(Click for a bigger version.)
You can just see my paper trimmer/guillotine under all that stuff... 

My desk is under a window which I love but sometimes I wish it was next to a wall instead so that I could have some shelving directly above my desk. 

You can see some of my storage at the end of the desk. I really need to buy more shelving or drawers to organise things better, and to move my Sizzix Big Shot away from my desk. 

I'm off to tidy up my desk in a while and do some crafting. I'm lucky to have a day off today which means a rare chance for midweek crafting!

Thanks to all the WOYWW crafters who visited me last week (my first week taking part) and welcomed me to WOYWW!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Two stamps, two cards - more Unity Stamps January kit stamping

Happy Monday!

I had some more time to play with the Unity Stamps January Kit of the Month stamps this weekend.
Just for fun, I thought I'd make two cards using the same two stamps but  in very different styles.

One very clean and simple...

And one a lot "fussier" with a mix of patterns, inked edges and embellishments:

Just goes to show how versatile stamps can be!

On the first card I stamped the shoes with pigment inks and used clear embossing powder to add some interest. The only part of the first card that took time was that I managed to smudge black ink onto the white space in the first version so had to start over...

The second is stamped with black StazOn, and inked with Distress Inks. I also added some additional flourish stamping to the edges. The papers are Laura Ashley. Then I've glued on some half pears and layered up some Prima flowers in matching colours.

I'm going to send one of these to my mum - if there's one person who loves shoes as much as I do, it's her!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Anything But a Card (with a touch of Tim Holtz)

Over at the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog this week's challenge is to make Anything But A Card, with the suggestion of using Tim Holtz products if possible.

Now, 90% of projects I make are cards. Cards are what got me into paper crafting and even though I enjoy altered art, art journals, ATCs and other similar projects, cards are really my main craft. I very  rarely make tags but I thought I'd try one for a change.

I managed to cram quite a bit of Tim Holtz onto this one; the background is coloured with Distress Inks, there is Tissue Tape and the stamps (sentiment and flourish) are both Tim Holtz. I really love this sentiment but rarely use it.

I found a little tag shaped charm in my stash (it says "believe"), and then added some black organza ribbon and gold brads as finishing touches.

I really enjoyed making this and it might well inspire me to make tags more often.

Alternative Valentine's Day card with Unity Stamps January KOM

This weekend I've been playing with the stamps from Unity Stamps January Kit of the Month. I really love this kit - there are some stamps  that will be really useful for many different occasions.

There is currently a Valentine's Competition running on UK Stampers and I'm going to submit this card. Who says Valentine's cards have to be all pink, red and hearts?

I stamped the moon and stars image with Stormy Sky Distress Ink and then embossed it with clear embossing powder (which probably isn't quite captured in the photo). The sentiment is stamped with Vintage Photo DI. I then inked the edged of the white card with Old Paper DI. The blue paper is by Laura Ashley and I've wrapped some Tim Holtz tissue tape around it. I added a bit of baker's twine - looking at it now, it might look better if I had wrapped the twine around it twice but you live and learn...

Both the elements are popped on to the card with 3D foam squares for some added dimension and to accommodate the twine behind the blue paper.

I'm off to submit this to the UK Stampers competition now! I made another card from the Unity January Kit yesterday as well, and will blog that later.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Less Is More - week 2 challenge

Less Is More is a new challenge blog with weekly challenges, encouraging the making of clean and simple cards. I didn't have time to make the first card last week but I've joined in for week two!

This week's challenge is to make a One Layer Card with the theme of a Flower or a Tree. Here's my card:

The flower stamp is by Papermania, sentiment from Hero Arts. I've added a tiny gemstone to the centre of the flower.

Be sure to visit Less Is More to see what other people have been making and join in! I'm really excited about this challenge because I definitely need encouragement to make more simple cards.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


This is my first time taking part in What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. If you don't know what I'm on about, have a look at Julia's blog to read all about WOYWW! Ok, so I've cheated a bit and this photo was actually taken on Tuesday morning but in my defense, nothing has moved on my desk since as I was at work all day on Tuesday and had no time for crafting in the evening.

My desk was a lot messier all weekend but I had a major tidy up session on Monday and put things back to where they live.

You can see the card I blogged yesterday and supplies I used making it on my desk. Not to mention the first failed attempt at stamping in flowers straight lines...and a pink sentiment that was also abandoned in favour of a black one. I often end up with a few failed attempts or abandoned bits after making something!

Finally, leaning against my Big Shot is a canvas I'm working on. I've painted the background now but there's a lot more to do. More on that later, though...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Flowers on a card - a nearly-one-layer card

I've gone back to basics with this card and used plain and simple (if you can call it plain) as the only technique on this card. I attacked the sentiment with 3D foam to make it "pop" a bit from the background. This is actually inspired by a card I saw on the Hero Arts website the other week but could then not find again no matter what!

The inks I've used are Memento and the flower stamp is from Personal Impressions, and the sentiment Hero Arts. I added gems to the centres of some flowers, too.

I haven't done a card like this for a while but I'm now inspired to break out other stamps that will work for a similar design and to make more one layer cards in general.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Wear your heart on your... tree!: Valentine's Day Cards

Hi! I'm glad you've found me in my new corner of Blogland. This blog is still a work in progress but I thought I would show you these two cards I made at the weekend.

I'm still working on my cards for Valentine's Day, which isn't really a romantic holiday to me but a day to send cards to friends and family to say I was thinking of them.

These Hero Arts stamps ("Whoo Loves You" clear set) seemed just right for a more simplified "less is more" look. Simple isn't always, well, simple, as I made about 4 versions of this card before I settled on a layout I like and managed to stamp it all without smudging something...

This second one is actually smaller than the cards I usually make - it's about 4" x 4". I had fun experimenting with the smaller size although now I have a dilemma about envelopes - all the ones I have are bigger than this! Perhaps I should look up some envelope making tutorials?

Pink ink is Worn Lipstick Distress Ink which is one of my most used inks. I'm going through a bit of a hot pink phase and this is just perfect! I've also added some pink glitter glue onto the hearts on the trees. My love affair with kraft continues and I've used it as my base card. Kraft + pink + white + black ink = a good thing, if you ask me!

The circles are cut with a Nellie Snellen flower dies which I only just bought. They remind me of doilies which is why I initially fell in love with them!

Now I must continue with this virtual unpacking mission as I complete my blog-move from Wordpress. You can still see projects from the past month over on my Wordpress blog.


This is just a place holder blog while I move over from Wordpress. Bear with me while I pack up my virtual boxes and move...