Sunday, 21 December 2014

Happy Birthday Emma! ( Karleigh Sue DT Post)

While most people have been busy preparing for Christmas, in this house we have another very special event to prepare for first- our beautifully quirky daughter Emma's 9th birthday tomorrow. It hardly seems like 5 minutes since she was a tiny, contended little thing, who loved nothing more than a good snuggle with her Mummy. This is the earliest photo I could find of her on the pc- taken when she was about 5 months old.

Now she's not so little, but despite her independence she still loves her cuddles and is a real Mummy's girl at heart! 

Yesterday we celebrated her entering her last year in single digits with a trip ice skating with her friends, so this digi by Karleigh Sue was the perfect choice for her card (Emma adores all Karleigh Sue digis, especially when I colour them as blue eyed blondes as she says they look like her). You can find it the the Etsy shop here. I coloured her with promarkers, and teamed her up with a Graphic 45 snowflake paper from The Nutcracker range, a doily sprayed with Cosmic Shimmer mist to give a little sparkle, and die cut glittered snowflakes. 

I can't wait to see her face when she opens it- I predict a huge smile!

Happy birthday Emma!



I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Advent Calendar

I forgot to share this project with you in time for the 1st of the month, but better late than never! I don't mind admitting it was a rush to get done in time for advent- at 4pm on the 30th November I was frantically painting, cutting and sticking like a mad woman! I am really pleased with how it turned out though so it was worth the stress, and my girls are loving discovering their little treats hidden inside each day.

I started by painting the MDF tree ( it's from Hobbycraft if you are wondering) with a cream acrylic paint. I am really feeling a vintage vibe this Christmas so I wanted to make this quite understated, and not bright and glittery, and the papers I found in my stash left over from last year fitted the bill perfectly. I carefully cut them to size, allowing a notch for the handles. It was a bit tricky as no two drawers seemed to be exactly the same, but patience paid off and I got there in the end. 

I die cut the numbers using Tim Holtz's Vintage Market die, and inked the edges with distress ink.

A few wooden reindeer finished it off nicely.

Now I really must make a start on my Christmas cards. I think my new years resolution should be to start my festive makes in February!!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Friday, 5 December 2014

Gigi Flap Dancer- MoonFlower DT Post

My crafting mojo is definitely back after a little break so tonight I'd like to share another make with you all. The digi is called Gigi Flap Dancer and is by the very talented MoonFlower Digi Stamps. She was such a fun image to colour! I used promarkers to colour her, gave her dress and shoes lots of sparkle with silver glitter stickles,and used red flower soft to add texture to her boa. Some perfect pearls beads finished her off and left her all set to party!

I mounted her on some beautiful red glittered paper from my stash, and embellished with feathers, ribbon, brass corners and gems. 

My remit for this card was that it should be for a 'young' 75 year old. I very much hope that this hits the mark and helps the recipient celebrate 3/4 of a century in style!

I would like to enter her in the following challenges:

Mrs Claus- Karleigh Sue DT Post

Hi all. It's been a little while since I've blogged as I have been so busy ( sadly crafting has taken a backseat too!) , but Christmas is coming down the track fast so I thought I'd better make a start on some festive cards before it's too late!

Today I am sharing my take on 'Mrs Claus' by Karleigh Sue (click the link to find her in the Etsy shop). I coloured her with promarkers, added some red stickles to her shoes for some festive sparkle, used perfect pearls for the mistletoe berries and created a fur effect on her clothes with sprakly white flower soft. I mounted her on mirror card with festive papers and embellished with ribbon and sequins. The sentiment was typed on my pc.

If you want to keep up with what's going on at Karleigh Sue you can follow her facebook page here. There is lots of fun stuff happening so do pop along and hit the like button. You can also join in with the challenge blog, and if you need inspiration take a look at the Karleigh Sue inspiration blog here.

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Monday, 24 November 2014

Autumn Moon- Karleigh Sue Challenges DT Post

It's time for another challenge over at Karleigh Sue and this month's theme is Autumn/Fall colours. I have used the digi Autumn Moon- you can find her in the Etsy Shoppe here.

I have coloured with promarkers, and edged the die cut with distress ink. On rummaging through my stash I was amazed to find I don't really own many Autumnal papers ( must correct that!) so I made my own using gold ink and embossing powder on cardstock. I made the flowers myself using wallpaper samples ( which is the perfect thickness to be able to give shape to, and has a great texture. I do love recycling!!) 

I hope you join us in the challenge. You can also follow Karleigh Sue's Facebook Page to see what's new if you are a Facebook user.

Happy crafting!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Harp Maiden- MoonFlower DT Post

Today I would like to share with you all my take on the beautiful Harp Maiden from MoonFlower. Isn't she stunning?! I confess I was a bit nervous about colouring her for some reason, but I am pretty pleased with how she turned out. 

I coloured her with a combination of Promarkers and Spectrum Noir pencils and added a background with pastels and stamped leaves around the edge to frame her. The papers are from K and Co. I added embellishments and a sentiment from my stash. I mounted her on an 8x8" card (I don't normally use 8x8 cards as it's so much space to fill, but she was so lovely I needed to print her a decent size for the detail!) 

I hope you've enjoyed stopping by.

Have a great weekend!


I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Moonflower Apple Queen DT Post

Today I would like to share my card made with the
 stunning Apple Queen digi stamp by MoonFlower Digi Stamps. There is a challenge running on the MoonFlower Facebook Page asking that entrants use this image along with the theme 'Winter Blue' so this is my take on that. I hope it inspires you to play along.
I would like to enter her in the following challenges:

Friday, 24 October 2014

Karleigh Sue Happy Halloween Challenge DT Post

It's time for the October challenge over at Karleigh Sue Challenge Blog and this month's theme is 'Happy Halloween'.

I must confess I'm not really that big on Halloween ( my kids think I am such a mean mummy as I don't let them trick or treat!), and here in the UK we don't send cards to celebrate it, but I do have some good friends who do love Halloween and every year they throw an amazing party for all their friends and neighbours, and we are lucky enough to be on the guest list. With that in mind I decided to make my DT project for the challenge something that I know they will appreciate to help their celebrations along on the 31st- a bottle holder!

The digi used is Bewitched - click the link to find her in the Digi Shoppe. I coloured her using promarkers and fussy cut her. I used my Hougie to create the bottle holder and base, die cut the lettering and embellished with spider webs cut for me by a friend on her Cameo ( thanks Nicki!). 

I hope my creation has inspired you to play along and join in the challenge and  if  you love Karleigh Sue stamps as much as I do you may want to check out her  Facebook page too where lots of fun stuff happens.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

MDF Man Clock Project

This weekend the clocks go back so now seems a good time to share a not so little clock project I have been working on. 

Back in February I attended the Make It exhibition in Farnborough with some of my family who also like to craft. My sister Laura and I both fell in love with the large fob watch clocks on sale at the The MDF Man's stand ( we also bought a shed load of other stuff as it was all amazing!).  We had a joke about how different our styles are and we were both curious to see how differently they turned out so agreed to reveal them at the same time. 

Well, February was a long time ago and I confess it sat in the cupboard like something scary waiting to jump out at me one day for a very long time as I really didn't have a clue how to tackle it! But last weekend I felt brave so dusted it off, dug out the paint, stamps, texture paste and gilding wax and set to work and this is the finished result.

I wanted to create something to fit into my very traditional, newly decorated lounge so used warm browns with a touch of burgundy mixed in for the base, and painted the numerals in gold. I stamped a script around the edge using gold acrylic paint, and added some texture using a mask and texture paste. For the cog centre piece I decided to do something a little different and use Kroma Crackle over the top to give it an aged look. I had no idea if it would work or not, as it's a medium I haven't really played with properly. It frustrated the life out of me waiting for it to dry ( 3 days!!) but eventually it did and I think it was worth the wait!

Behind the cog piece I used a paper from my stash, distressed with Rusty Hinge distress ink, and applied gilding flakes to some blank cut cogs I had left over from another project. I also added a couple of metal hands to some of the watches on the paper.

I went over the entire thing with a combination of bronze and gold gilding wax to highlight areas and finish it off.

Yesterday Laura shared hers with me too and I have to say, our styles arent as different as I thought they would be! Hers is less splodgy, more delicate, and much tidier ( a bit like the comparison of our houses too if I am honest!) but we have used some of  the same elements and techniques and I absolutely love it!

I can't wait to get cracking on some of my other MDF Man projects now. If they are half as much fun as this I shall be very happy playing indeed!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mistletoe Christmas- MoonFlower DT Post

Good evening my lovely blogland friends. I have some news to share this evening and I hope you will be as excited as I am! Last week I applied for a new DT post at MoonFlower Digi Stamps . MoonFlower is a new digi company and the images are delightful, so I was thrilled when I discovered I have made it on the team.

Like it or not ( and I love it!) Christmas is coming and so my first DT project will hopefully inspire you to turn your thoughts to the festive season. I worked with Mistletoe Christmas and had so much fun colouring her in vibrant Christmas colours with my promarkers. I added stickles to her hairband, and gold flowersoft to her dress for some extra sparkle and used red perfect pearls to add dimension to the berries on the holly.

I kept the card fairly simple as she is so stunning I didn't want to over shadow her with too many embellishments!

You can find her and all the other lovely digi stamps by MoonFlower here. Take a look- I'm sure you will love them!

I would like to enter the following challenges: 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Inkspirational Guest DT Post

I was recently chosen as a Top Pick for my no lines technique  musical themed 18th birthday card on Inkspirational Blog Challenges, and they have very kindly asked me to guest DT for them on their current challenge. The challenge theme is ' purple with grey/silver'.
I love all things myth and magical and wanted to use this challenge to have a play with my new castle stamp from Lavinia Stamps so decided on a new home card.
I created the background using my Gelli plate, a tree mask and Black Soot distress ink. I made a castle and moon mask and applied them to the plate before adding the ink to ensure that area stayed clean.
Once I had the black trees I placed the tree mask over my cardstock and applied Shaded Lilac and Lavender Distress ink to create a night sky. I then went over the trees with a touch more black ink and my water brush.
I stamped the castle in the clean space and coloured it in shades of grey and purple with Spectrum Noir pencils. I added a light dusting of grey clouds in front of the moon and some dragons in flight ( also a Lavinia stamp).  I mounted on silver and black card and generated the sentiment on my computer.
It would be lovely if you would join us in this challenge and play along.
Thanks to the team for letting me join in as guest DT- it's been fun!
Happy crafting!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Kenny K Socialite

Good evening bloggers! Hope you are all well on this Autumnal Friday night and are looking forward to a weekend of fun. I thought I would pop on before I snuggle up in front of the fire with my crochet, and share tonight's make with you.
This card is for my friend's daughter, who turns 18 next week. She is very into vintage fashion and my friend wanted the card to reflect that.
I used Kenny K's Socialite digi stamp, coloured with promarkers and gave it dimension with perfect pearls for the necklace  and flower soft on the fur collar,  and  teamed it with papers from my stash and layered it up. I embellished with metal corners, pearls and lace for a real vintage feel. The sentiment was from a free set that came with Creative Stamping magazine a while ago. I love the effect the flower soft gives on the coat, it really makes the image 'pop'.
I hope that the young lady it is for is pleased with it and has an 18th to remember!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Vintage Style Tag

Over the weekend I had a little play vintage style, just for fun, and made something I don't often do- a tag. I used a pretty paper from a K and Co pad in my stash, distressed the edges and inked with distress inks. I use Indigo Blu stamps to stamp over the paper and create the topper, which I also coloured with distress inks, and embellished with a doily, some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and metal skeleton leaves. I finished off by adding a pretty pin from That Craft Place.

I am entering this in the following challenges:

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Sherri Baldy Wee Winged Cuties Autumn Card

Autumn is my favourite season. I just love the freshness in the air, the rainbow of colour that explodes before my eyes as the days roll on and get shorter, leading in to warm, cosy, candlelit nights snuggled in front of the fire. 

I was asked this week to make a card for a friends 3yr old niece and decided that rather than go pink and girly I would reflect the season, so I coloured this gorgeous pair from Sherri Baldy in all my favourite Autumnal colours using my promarkers. I then realised I didnt have a suitable backing paper, but I did have one that worked colour wise lurking in my stash, so I distressed the edges and inked it with Rusty Hinge distress ink, and used a stencil to add fern leaves to the paper to make it seasonal. I added a selection of pretty flowers and leaves, ribbon and sentiment to finish off. 

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Nerdy Cute

I have been having a play with another lovely digi from Karleigh Sue. This one is called Nerdy Cute, and I just adore her! 
I have always had a love of books, and my favourite childhood author was Roald Dahl. When I saw the newly released paper craft collection in celebration of him and his incredible books I just had to buy them, and they seemed the obvious choice to use with her.  

Oh, and while I am on the subject of Karleigh Sue, do pop by and join in with this months challenge on her challenge blog. The theme is 'pink ribbon' so a nice easy one to play along with and there is a great prize on offer.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Karleigh Sue September Challenge DT Post

I'm so excited to be able to share with you my very first DT creation for the September Challenge over at the brand new Karleigh Sue Challenge Blog

The theme for the challenge is 'Pink Ribbon', in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. My card uses'Soldier for a Cause', which is now available, along with all her other great digis, in the Digi Shoppe. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her as like so many women affected by this horrendous disease she is strong and brave, yet loses nothing of her beauty or femininity. I really wanted to reflect that in the card I made, so I chose to use a backing paper with granite like stones and swirls, representing both her strength and softness together. I die cut a mirror and frame and set her against it- all women should never be afraid to admire their reflection, whatever their shape or size and those suffering with breast cancer should be able to draw strength from looking closely at themselves and seeing just how amazing and courageous they are. 

 A sentiment, some pink ribbon and buttons added the finishing touches. 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I hope that I've inspired you to join the challenge yourself. If you are still struggling for inspiration though do check out the Inspiration Blog. Oh,  and you may like to join the Facebook page as well to keep up to date with all the latest Karleigh Sue news.

Have fun, and good luck!


I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Alice and Scamp

I've been having a play with the lovely Alice and Scamp digi by Saturated Canary today. This image reminded me so much of my youngest daughter Emma, who is dog crazy ( and a good job too as we have 3!) and so I wanted to make her something a little bit special for her bedroom with it.

Emma and Merlin
I always seem to do girlie stuff in pink and so I decided to step out of the comfort zone and use the most underused colour in my pen collection- green. I've never been a huge fan of green (I think it stems back to my school days when I had to wear a bottle green uniform- yuk!) but I found some Papermania papers I liked in my drawer, and coloured her using soft minty tones to tie in with that, and I think with the blonde hair she turned out rather prettily.

I had a box frame sitting in my cupboard that I painted and stamped on, and set Alice inside, with some lovely flowers, beads and die cuts. I used the sentiment 'best friends' as it sums up the bond Emma has with our own dogs perfectly!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Take Time to Smell the Flowers

Good afternoon bloggers! Hope you are all well on this sunny Saturday afternoon. I'm busy crafting today and have this little make to share with you all. It's such a lovely day today it put me in the mood to make a pretty floral card with the sweet 'Take Time to Smell the Flowers' digi by Karleigh Sue. I hope you like her!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:


Monday, 1 September 2014

Exciting News!!

Good afternoon all. I say 'good' because no matter what the weather is where you are I have some fab news to brighten your day! 

I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to join the DT for the new Karleigh Sue Challenge Blog. I cannot wait to get started and work with these amazing digi stamps and the rest of the team of course. It's going to be SO much fun!! Check out the blog link above to see what it's all about.

Look at the wonderful badge that has been created for me. It makes me smile every time I see it!

Please do check out her brand new Etsy Store to check out her digis yourself. I am sure you will love them as much as I do!

And don't forget to join in when the first challenge is launched of course!


Friday, 29 August 2014

Karleigh Sue Challenge Blog Dt Call

I recently discovered the very talented Karleigh Sue via Facebook ( you can find her fan page here), and it seems there are very exciting times ahead for her as she is launching a brand new challenge blog!! I adore the images I have seen of hers so far, so have decided to get brave and apply for a DT position with her. You've gotta be in it to win it and all that so if you are a crafter, who loves cute digis, why not apply yourself? Hurry though- time is running out! 

The blog itself can be found here.

This is a card I have made with her Sunday Afternoon digi that she very kindly offered as a freebie recently on Facebook. If you like it you can now buy it in her Etsy store here.I coloured her with Spectrum Noir pencils and used papers from a Create and Craft members free gift pack. 

I wish Karleigh Sue lots of luck for her challenge blog, and good luck to all the other DT entrants!


Sherri Baldy- Tootsie Paints a Flower

It's been a while since I have blogged- school Summer holidays caring for 7 children as well as renovating my house has ensured time for crafting has been non existent. This week though I have had to make time as I have lots of orders for cards and as the money I raise goes to support charity, and at the moment I am raising for my husband Chris's upcoming 4 Paws 3 Peaks challenge with the Berkshire Search and Rescue team he volunteers for, he could hardly object to me dragging the craft boxes out of storage and turning our newly decorated dining room into a craft room!

This card uses a cute Sherri Baldy digi. I am new to her stamps but I think I feel an addiction coming on as they are so adorable!! She was great fun to colour. I teamed her up with a lovely bright paper from my stash ( I think it came free with a magazine a long time ago) , a flower and buttons. 

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Getting in a Tangle!

I recently discovered Ben Kwok's Facebook page with some fantastic templates available for zentagling fans to use. I'd seen zentaglinging demonstrated a few times but never really had a go, so decided to print it off to play with on those 'want to craft but don't really have the energy' kind of nights.

I grabbed my black fine liner and set to work with my doodles. It took me right back to being a kid again when I would close my eyes and squiggle all over the page and then colour in the spaces I had created. I used to spend hours doing that as a young girl- sure I wasn't the only one!

I really liked the black and white version but peacocks were born for colour, so I used my Spectrum Noir pencils to give him the wow factor he deserved.

I really enjoyed doing something a bit different. It's fun to step out of the comfort zone every now and again!

I would like to enter this in Anything but a Card Challenge 28


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Experimenting with the 'No Lines' Technique

I have seen the 'no lines' technique on the internet and have been keen to have a go myself so yesterday I fiddled with my printer settings and somehow managed to print this great Mo Manning image light enough to have a crack at it ( I have no idea how I did the technical bit so don't ask!).

I wanted a softer look than pen so used my new Spectrum Noir pencils and blending fluid. I need a lot more practice with both the pencils and the technique but for a first attempt I was relatively pleased. Hopefully the young musician it is for will be too!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Special Wedding Celebration Book for a Special Couple

In the next few weeks two people very close to my heart, my sister and best buddy Tina and her partner Ian will finally get around to tying the knot. It's a day we were never convinced would come but I am so pleased they are finally doing it!

Their wedding will be a very quiet 'rock up in jeans and get it done'  affair, with only our Mum and some of their children as guests (Tina isn't too keen on  the spotlight being on her, as a photographer she is usually found on the other side of the camera rather than in front of it!), but a couple of days later we will be having a family gathering to celebrate the occasion. I wanted to contribute to them making special memories (it may be a low key wedding but it's still a huge life changing event after all!) and so have made them a celebration/guest book.

The theme for their day is 'Denim and Daisies' and I wanted to the book to reflect that. I knew just the place to purchase my supplies- The Mulberry Bush , a heavenly little craft shop not too far from me. Once home, after a blissful half an hour perusing all things gorgeous and making some careful and some 'just because' impulse purchases I set to work.

I was honoured when her daughter asked me to help her create invitations for the big day a few weeks ago. She came to me and we had a lovely day crafting together and putting the world to rights. Alas I can't share pics of them just yet but they will follow in time I promise!

I remembered that I had some scraps of the Papermania Capsule Collection paper that we used in the invites left over and wanted to put them to use on the book to make it all co ordinate. I die cut the letters for their names from them, mounting them onto pretty circles. When I found some lace and pinwheels from the same range in the Mulberry Bush I knew I had to use them too! I wasn't organised enough to sort denim out, but lucky for me my daughter is on a growth spurt and had an old pair I could attack with the scissors! I dusted of my sewing machine, stitched the lace to the denim, added a couple of buttons and the whole thing started to come together! Some hand made daisies, and a sentiment cut from a Kaisercraft 'Something Blue' scrapbook paper, the pinwheel and the leaves finished it off nicely!

I really hope that Tina and Ian like it, but more importantly I hope that they have an amazing wedding day, celebration party, and a long and happy life together as Mrs and Mrs, because if any couple deserve that it is them.

Enjoy your day guys. Luv ya loads!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Saturated Canary Card

I coloured this stunning Saturated Canary digi a while ago and she has been sitting in my drawer waiting to be played with, so this evening I found a little time to give her the pretty setting she deserves and popped her on a simple card. No girl this gorgeous should be sat on the sidelines after all!

A while ago a good friend kindly gave me some wallpaper sample books, and I have found that the paper is perfect for making flowers with. It gives great texture and is perfect for shaping too as you can see. I used another paper from the book as a backing paper, added a doily and sentiment and now she is all ready to go to the ball!

I would like to enter the following challenges:

Saturday, 28 June 2014

MDF Hanging Heart

Wow it's been a while since I have blogged, but them it's been a while since I have crafted! We are undertaking a different type of crafting at home at the moment- renovating our lounge and dining room and it's a mammoth job so is keeping us busy and there isn't a lot of free time to play! Saying that though this afternoon I have made the time, as recently my lovely Mummy bought me a melt pot and it's been sat in it's wrapper dying to be played with and I just couldn't leave it any longer to get melting! 

In true crafter style I just sat and had fun, and part of that was dipping some hand made flowers in utee. Then I had to decide what to do with them of course, and I stumbled across a little MDF heart that I had painted and added Kroma Crackle to a while ago as an experiment (I'd never used it before) and an idea popped into my head!

I set to work with some gilding waxes to highlight the crackle, and added a Graphic 45 tag, my flowers and some metal leaves and it all came together perfectly (well I think so anyway!).

 Now all I need is somewhere in the building site that is my house to hang it!

Friday, 6 June 2014

New Home Gelli Print Card

This week I found time to have a much needed sort out of my paper drawers- mammoth job but it feels so good knowing they are all sorted  (for now at least!). During my rummaging I found a pile of prints I
 made when I was first experimenting with my gelli plate. I had filed them in the 'unlikely to ever use as I didn't know what I was doing' pile (still don't I know!) and decided that rather than throw them away as I hate waste, I would have a play at making a mixed media new home card. 

I cut out my shapes and played with the layout, and convinced myself I wouldn't be able to pull off anything like some of the lovely mixed media pieces I have drooled over on Pinterest and that it would  end up looking like the work of one of the 2 or 3yr olds I look after in my day job! I decided to take the 'what the heck- just have fun anyway' approach, set to my sticking and stamping and it started to resemble a version what I had in my head. A bit of outlining with pens and chalk and the addition of a sentiment typed on the old typewriter I bought recently for a fiver for the kids to play with ( and I have since staked a crafty claim on- well it had to be done!) and this was the result.

It's far from perfect, but seeing as it was made from bits that were originally destined for the bin I think I did ok after all. Sometimes it pays to embrace that inner 3yr old!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Two Celebrations in One!

A friend who knows I like a challenge asked me if I could possibly create a combined wedding and new home card for her to give to some friends. I don't mind admitting I was a bit stumped as to how best to combine the two events as I have stamps for both occasions but in very different styles. A rummage through my boxes though came up with a cute little birdhouse stamp that I had forgotten I owned, so I decided to go with a lovebirds in their new nest type theme. 

After stamping and colouring the main image I masked it off and added clouds using a mask from Sam's Masks and Stencils and tumbled glass distress ink, applied with a dusting brush. I framed it with tree branches from Sheena Douglas's A New Leaf stamp set, and added pretty blossom with a Chocolate Baroque stamp. The sentiment was typed on my computer and I layered the whole thing on pink and blue card stock.

I do like a challenge, and hopefully I have managed to do a successful job of rising to this one!

I would like to enter this in the following challenges:

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Super Hero Card

I always find cards for boys really hard but I thoroughly enjoyed making this one this week for a super hero loving little boy. The digi is from Simply Betty and he was coloured with promarkers. I struggle with colouring black and grey so he was a real challenge but I think he turned out ok! 

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Wedding Thankyou Card

The weather has been horrible today, giving me the perfect excuse to cosy up and craft and get some of the many cards I have on my list made up!

The brief for this one was a thankyou to parents card for a wedding with a fuschia and orange colour scheme and a butterfly and birdcages theme. I used a butterfly mask and distress inks to create the backing paper in shades befitting the colour scheme, which I mat and layered on silver and orange card. The birdcage was stamped in Versamark and embossed in silver before die cutting and mounting on silver card and I made the flowers from mulberry papers and added a silver flourish to set them off.

I really hope the bride to be is pleased with the result!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Learning the Tarmac Technique with Karen Clare

A few weeks ago my sister Laura advertised a workshop at The Artistic Stamper through her facebook page. The workshop was to learn the Tarmac Technique, taught by Karen Clare (her original post introducing the technique can be found on her blog here). Now, I love a bit of messy crafting so couldn't turn down the opportunity to go and learn something new, despite the 200 mile round trip to attend, so Laura booked us on, along with our third crafty amigo- our very special mum who also likes to craft in her spare time and yesterday I set off at 7am and braved the appalling driving conditions to join them in Kent for a days crafting and laughter.

I don't mind admitting that the whole thought of attending a workshop was way out of my comfort zone as it's not something I have ever really done before. I am usually a strictly private crafter who likes to mess around and make my mistakes in the privacy of my own home. However from the moment I somewhat nervously stepped into the front door of the little slice of crafty heaven that is The Artistic Stamper I was instantly put at ease by Jennie and Mal, the owners, and the lovely Karen who was ready and willing to share all her tips and tricks to help us through the day. 

So, onto what we actually got up to as I have promised some more crafty friends a little guide to the technique..

... We were working on beautiful clocks supplied by Candy Box Crafts which were right up my street as I adore the vintage style. Karen had very kindly pre cut a circle template from cardstock to fit the centre of the clock. This was to form the base for our tarmac work. Our first task was to divide the circle up pizza style, into 5 or 7 pieces and number the front and back of them (so we knew how they fitted back together). Once that was done we decided which pieces we wanted to cover with embossed card and which we wanted to stamp on. We set to work rummaging through pre embossed papers and glued them to their base pieces, layering them if we chose to (I did as I wanted variety on each section). The pieces that were to be stamped on had another layer of plain card attached in order to ensure the same finished height on the finished piece.

The next step was to glue them onto the mdf base, which I can tell you had us all descending into a deathly hush as we focused on making sure they went back in exactly the right places because we had to ensure that our clock mechanisms fitted in the centre hole.

With them firmly in place we decided what we wanted to use to embellish our pieces. While some ladies on the course opted for die cutting their own shapes such as butterflies and keys  I chose to stick to the mechanical feel and use the nuts, cogs and washers that were supplied. Karen had raided Wilkinsons tool section pick and mix and had a fabulous bag full of goodies for us to use. We worked out roughly where we wanted to stick them, and glued all that were going on the embossed sections, but kept our stamped sections clear so that we could work on them without the embellishments getting in the way of the acrylic blocks.

 With all that sorted our clocks were starting to take shape. The next step was to choose our paint colours, and that caused us more head scratching, and it was really interesting to see how different our choices were.

 Mum opted for a lovely lilac and complimented it with yellow, while Laura chose to go bold with bright pink, orange and yellow.

I wanted to keep mine very traditional with my colour choice as I wanted to tie it in with another very special project that I have already completed (not to self- must pop that on the blog too eventually!) so I opted for bronze and complimentary orange and yellow tones.

Once the painting was done and dried (yay for heat guns to speed us along!) we made our stamp choices, grabbed some archival ink and stamped up our plain sections. When all that was done we cleared the decks, opened the windows and the REALLY fun part began!

Karen had already mixed our tarmac, which is made of a 50/50 mix of bitumen (yes-the same stuff used by workmen the world over and available in DIY stores!) and white spirit. With brushes we covered our projects in the potent mix and  nervously watched all our pretty colours disappear under the sticky substance.

 Laura got stuck right in..

.. but mum really wasn't convinced at all that she was going to like the finished result!

Once the tarmac was dry (it does remain sticky though so don't let it fool you if you have a go too) we were told to apply some white spirit to clean J Cloths and gently dab away at our projects until we got the result we wanted. The white spirit lifted the tarmac away and instantly gave our clocks that 'aged' look- exactly what I wanted, but still mum wasn't sure!

We finished up by using gilding wax to add highlights to our clocks and once happy with the end result we added the clock mechanism and hey presto- finished clocks, every one unique and personal to us!

I am pleased to say that Mum was really happy with hers in the end and it was instantly hung on her craft room wall when she got home. Despite the 'grunge effect' it still looks very feminine, and very 'Mum'.

Laura was equally pleased with hers and I must say I love the bold colours that she used. It looks so effective!

And as for mine, well I too am thrilled with the way it turned out. It will look perfect in my dining room/ craft area just as soon as we have decorated (which is finally under way after 2.5yrs here- yay!).

Thank you so much to Karen, Jennie and Mal and to the other 'students' for a truly lovely day. It was worth every mile to be there and I am very glad to have dipped my toe in the friendly world of craft workshops at last!