Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Thready Roses

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This was made in honour of my crafty santa, Lisa, who was very generous with her crafty Christmas gifts to me. In fact, she's always very generous, bless her! So I used some of them here, and some of my general stash.

I chose a piece of the decorative paper from 'Jenine's Mindful Art Collection' 6"x6" paper pad by Studio Light, and to complement it, I matted it onto a piece of rose gold mirror card, from Tonic Studios 'Craft Perfect' 6"x6" pad, 'Moonlight & Rose'.

I used an old, worn out Chalk Eyes inkpad in dark brown to stamp a faded out script and numbers from Tracy Evans' 'Brush Flower' #234 stamp set from AALL & Create down the right hand side, and the bottom, and used a Versafine Sepia to stamp the main sentiment more boldly, which is from the 'Friendship' stamp #232 by Olga Heldwein, also for AALL & Create.

The numbers die on the left is one of the new standalone dies by AALL & Create..  'Code' #12. I just love it and can see it will be a regular feature on my cards! :-)

The roses are from a stamp #229 and die sets #15 & #16, 'Blooming Fields' by Olga Heldwein, also - you guessed it - from AALL & Create. I don't have them yet, but Lisa sent me some die-cuts with my Christmas gifts. I am totally smitten with these. Also the black & white look. I don't enjoy colouring.. it bores me.. so I am thrilled by this trend! You can produce great results with much less effort!

The roses are raised up slightly on recycled cardboard, and I used a technique I learned from Janet Pring's show for AALL & Create on Hochanda earlier this week, and that is to make an outline for a shadow for the roses by running a black watercolour pencil around the shapes before sticking them down, and use a waterbrush to pull out the shading. It is subtle here, but it's there and works brilliantly.

To finish off, I used Tracy Evans' signature touch with some loose black threads just tucked under the edges of the roses, and allowed to trail loosely, and a few gold sequins.

Can you tell that I am delighted with this one? :-) Thank you, Lisa. xxx

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Summer Dreaming

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I love how this one came out. All credit to Crafty Individuals, again! This one is also for the 2020 January Challenge on their Facebook Group. I won't be entered in the prize draw, as I am the administrator for the group, but the team members can enter for fun!

The background paper is from Crafty Individuals' 'Background Papers 'Book 6' (The Seaside)' 6"x6" paper pad, and the stamp is their 'Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses' (CI-459). (So cute!) I've raised him up slightly on recycled cardboard.

Additional elements: Memory Box 'Flying Gulls', ref: 99734, a starfish from a Kaisercraft die set, 'Underwater Scene', and computer-generated text.

Time For Change

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I made this one for the first monthly challenge on the Crafty Individuals Facebook Group, using a stamp I bought years ago, and the die. I love them, but had not previously had occasion to put them to use. Not only is the butterfly gorgeous, but I thought it appropriate as a symbol for change, and the clock in the stamp emblematic of New Year.

The background paper is from Crafty Individuals' 'Background Papers 'Book 3' (Springtime)', and the stamp is their 'Take A Little Time For Tea' (CI-389), trimmed and raised slightly on recycled cardboard. The pretty butterfly is Crafty Individuals 'Lacewing Butterfly' die, designed by Linda Edwards.

Additional elements: Silver thread bows (x 2, folded in half), white acrylic paint spatter and pink sequins.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019


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My mojo did a runner today. This was meant to be an entry for the Sizzix Tim Holtz Facebook group's Christmas Challenge, which ends tonight, and although I've used Tim Holtz's Sizzix Bigz die, 'Weathered Clock', and a Tim Holtz font (and the numbers that came with the Sizzix Sidekick), and I used Ranger's Stickles glitter glue, it's nowhere near the standard of entries I've seen in the group, and certainly not Tim Holtzy enough to submit as my entry. Ah, well... at least it's sparkly! Lol..

Wishing you all a very sparkly New Year's Eve, and a happy and healthy new decade!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Crafty Individuals Christmas

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These are my last batch of cards for Christmas. Hurrah! Using up 'waste' backgrounds from cleaning spare ink and paint from brayering & stencils, and then over-stamping with Crafty Individuals 'Noel Border' stamp, CI-502. I have also cut Memory Box's 'Star of Wonder' dies in black, and computer-generated the sentiments.

The background above is using up the ink from the AALL & Create 'Steam Cogs' stencil.

It's unlikely I'll be posting again before Christmas Day, so thank you for visiting my blog this year, and here's wishing you a very Happy Christmas (and if you don't celebrate Christmas, I'm sending you a virtual hug!) xxx

Sunday, 22 December 2019

O Christmas Tree

Click on photos for larger images. Apologies for the poor quality, because of very poor (non-existent) winter daylight.

I am privileged to be responsible for running the Facebook group for Crafty Individuals, the long-established and very popular British craft company (amongst other things). I have been a huge fan of their stamps and beautiful papers for as long as I can recall, more or less since I started card-making in the early noughties, so I was thrilled to finally have chance to get down to making some Christmas cards with some Crafty Individuals products.

These were part of a batch-making session, using CI-479 (the slightly grungy starry background), which I stamped in Versacolour 'Cool Grey' for some subtlety. Then I stamped Ellie Mulligan's beautiful O Christmas Tree (CI-530) on separate card in Onyx Black Versafine with clear heat embossing and cut it out.

I have been seeing a few black and/or grey themed cards around, which I quite like, so used Black Soot Distress Oxide to blend around the outer sides. Not sure I like it.. possibly a bit dark for Christmas.

I mounted the tree on recycled cardboard for a touch of dimension, and to lighten the mood slightly, I added silver Stickles to the star. an image from Crafty Individuals 'Merry Christmas' Miniatures glossy images pad (matted onto some black card for structure and definition), added some random silver sequins and a computer-generated sentiment.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Stargazy Ellie

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This is fresh from my craft desk for my niece. Our family have a thing for elephants, and this li'l cutey is a digistamp from Lili Of The Valley, called 'Stargazing'. I used Koh-I-Noor Aquarelle watercolour pencils to colour, and Decoart Glamour Dust for glitter.

The big star is from a Memory Box die set, 'Star of Wonder', raised slightly on recycled cardboard. The 'Merry Christmas' greeting is a Tim Holtz stamp from Stampers Anonymous.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ice Stars

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I made four of these for my overseas friends. Today's the last posting day for Australia, so I'm cutting it fine and can't wait for decent daylight to take the photos! The skies have been so gloomy for most of the last couple of weeks. My compensation is that glitter doesn't show up well in 'real' light.

Scroll down for details..

I started by printing 'Christmas' in the lovely 'Lydia Puente' font (available in your standard font list in Word), then blending a shadow in the centre of each card with 'Hickory Smoke' Distress Oxide. Over that, I stamped the star and circles from the AALL & Create 'Lace Gaffiti' #60 by Olga Heldwein in 'Black Onyx' Versafine. Next, I stamped some stars from Olga's 'Interstellar' stamp set #105 onto separate card, cut them out, ran a black pen around the edges, dipped them in dries clear glue and sprinkled with Decoart Glamour Dust. I attached them to the card with just a tiny bit of dimension using recycled cardboard, then splatted diluted black gesso across the surface. A few diamant├ęs complete the bling.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Lynn's Ellie

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This is for my sister's birthday next week. (It's OK.. I don't think she even knows I have a blog!) Pretty simple design, but the back story is that we both love elephants and support The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is close to our hearts as we had the privilege to visit the animal orphanage when we were children, in the sixties. Amazing memory.

... And the other part of the story is just that I love this cute little ellie digistamp from Lili Of The Valley, called 'Scruffy Edward'. He has had gender reassignment for this card, though, and now goes by the name 'Edwina'.

He is coloured with Koh-I-Noor Aquarelle watercolour pencils, and the balloon is enhanced with Glossy Accents. I found some little red flowers, which now have glittery Stickles yellow centres, there are some 'gold' bradlets in the corners of the panel, which is raised on recycled cardboard (my thing instead of environmentally unfriendly foam pads). There are a couple of silver bows, the background paper is from a Basic Grey 6" x 6" paper pad.. 'Cupcake', I think, and the sentiment is a Sara Signature die from Crafters Companion, cut twice and layered for a drop shadow effect.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Crafty Individuals Facebook Group

I'm excited! I was recently invited to set up and run a Facebook group for one of my favourite stamp and paper companies, Crafty Individuals. As a freelance marketing and project management specialist, I used to do this sort of thing for a living, until health issues stopped me working. I miss it a great deal, and it's lovely to feel a bit more like 'me' again.

The group is an online community of individual hobby crafters.. a place where you can share your Crafty Individuals artwork and be inspired by others.

If you're a fan, you'd be welcome to join us at this location: Crafty Individuals Facebook Group

See you there!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Grungy Stag

This is the last of my stag series, for the time being. I have other cards to be working on! Again, this uses Ellie Mulligan's majestic 'Highland Stag' stamp from Crafty Individuals and the 'Ornate Holly' die from Memory Box.

I started with kraft card, which I brayered with white acrylic paint. Then I created the background with the handy little script stamp from a lovely A4 sheet from Crafty Individuals which were given away with a stamping magazine earlier this year. Sorry, I don't recall which one.

I was going to stamp the deer separately, and fussy-cut it out, again, but I just lightly stamped the image on the card for a positioning guide, and liked the effect so much, I left it like that.

The edges are sponged with black, and I used a black waxed cord for the wrap. The holly is cut in dark brown and tucked behind the wrap, and I cut an extra tendril to fill the space at the top.

The 'Believe' word is from Crafty Individuals word stamp, CI-258, stamped onto kraft card and mounted on sparkly white card.)

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Starry Starry Night

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This is Ellie Mulligan's 'Highland Stag' again, from Crafty Individuals. This time, he is embossed in white on white card, and I've highlighted his eyes with a black fineliner, wiped off almost immediately to leave those beautiful eyes. (See close-up below.) I also dabbed a touch of Hickory Smoke Distress Oxide on his nose. He is fussy-cut and raised slightly on recycled cardboard, and wrapped in the 'Ornate Holly' die, cut in silver, from Memory Box. The stars are also by Memory Box.. the 'Star of Wonder' set.

The December word is from an AALL & Create stamp set, left over from a previous project, also raised off the paper, which is from The Paper Tree 'Yuletide Memories Essentials' pad.

Friday, 22 November 2019


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This is my second card with this stag, but I have a lot more work for him to do, so I hope you won't get bored! Again, this is by Ellie Mulligan for Crafty Individuals.

I started by matting and layering onto gold mirri card some paper that I found in my stash that has trees on it, but they're not easy to see, especially as I (rather clumsily) splatted white paint over the top! To festive it up a bit, I sprinkled on Decoart Glamour Dust while the paint was still wet. As per usual, the pretty sparkle is too subtle for photographs.

Then I took two cuts from my Memory Box 'Ornate Holly' die and glued the stag on top. Him, I stamped in Onyx Black Versafine onto kraft card and heat-embossed with clear powder. I coloured his antlers in a darker shade, and his ears and some of his face. I wanted to Rudolf-ise him, though, so I stamped him again, in black onto red card and then just cut out the nose to stick on top of the kraft one. To finish him off, a couple of white gel pen dots in his eyes, then fussy-cut him out, put Glossy Accents on his eyes and very shiny nose.

It needed something else, and the snowflake does the job (punched with a Kaleidopunch).

The greeting is computer-generated.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Highland Stag

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This card is centred on Ellie Mulligan's 'Highland Stag' design from her amazing range of stamps, recently released with Crafty Individuals. The thistles behind are also Crafty Individuals art stamps: CI-204.

The background is a smooshed mess with purple watercolour and a Peeled Paint Distress Oxide re-inker. The stag is coloured with Koh-i-Noor Aquarelle watercolour pencils from Chocolate Baroque (also applied with their set of white paintbrushes). Some ribbon, gold cord and green sequins complete the picture.

NB: Since taking the photos, I have added a little touch of Glossy Accents to the stag's nose and eyes. (Do stags have wet noses? Maybe not, but this one does.. now! Anyway, Rudolf had a very shiny one, apparently.)

Monday, 18 November 2019

LOTV Christmas Card Swap

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This one was made for a card swap on the 'We Love Lili of the Valley' Facebook group, using the 'James Bear with Star' digistamp from Lili Of The Valley's Etsy store. As you can see, in this case, James is a polar bear. Obvs.

James is printed onto smooth white card (220 gsm), and all the colouring (including the sky) is with Koh-I-Noor Progresso woodless pencils, with Zest-It Pencil Blend oil and paper stumps. (WARNING: Keep this stuff away from children!)

I tore the edges of the square, used part of the Sizzix 'Swirling Stars' Thinlits die to cut some stars, added some stars from the same die that were cut for a previous project in silver mirri card, and the two larger stars are from the 'Star of Wonder' die from Memory Box. I used Glamour Dust fine glitter on the furry trim on James' hat and the edges of the square. (Very sparkly in artificial light, but not so much on photos! Meh.) Silver Stickles shows up a bit better on James' star.

Embellished with Memory Box's 'Ornate Holly' and Dawn Bibby's 'Pine Tree Pieces' DBX08 die-cuts and a red gem. (Regretting these now. I think it would look better without the embellishment. It's a bit too 'busy'.)

The 'Merry Christmas' greeting is a Tim Holtz design from Stampers Anonymous K6-1971.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

I Vow To Thee My Country

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It is Remembrance Day here in the UK, and I wanted to make a card to mark the day, reflecting my feelings for our armed services, remembering and honouring the sacrifices of soldiers, sailors, airmen and heroic civilian services through all the decades and all conflicts since World War I.

I was raised in a military family. Both my parents served in the Royal Air Force, my mother for most of the fifties until she married my dad, and he served his whole career in the force, retiring as a Group Captain.

The picture of my father below was taken in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace, following the investiture ceremony when he was awarded his OBE. He was then a Wing Commander. In my mother's photo, she is holding a special commemorative plaque, recognising her achievement in rifle-shooting. Having represented the WRAF in shooting for some years, she was performing so well, she was asked to shoot for the men's team, and she outshot them all; the first woman to shoot for the main RAF team.

The Card

I started with a Visible Image stencil, 'Grungy Union Jack'. I wanted a light blue and pink combination, but the pink was more orange! Ah, well. I still think it works.

Then I stamped a part of Sentimentally Yours' 'Military Medley' collage stamp on the right in Versafine Onyx Black.

The crown is from AALL & Create, 'Crowning Glory' by Kassa Hayselden, #96. It didn't need much colour, as most of it is diamonds! There is a sapphire in the cross at the top, and a huge ruby, and the purple velvet cloth in the middle. It is cut out (obvs), and raised on recycled cardboard.

The poppies are also from AALL & Create, 'Botanicals Modified' by Bipasha Bk, #207, cut out and mounted on recycled cardboard.

The words are computer-generated and raised slightly, and to add some balance, I added some stamped splats.

All colouring is water colour.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Dragonfly In Autumn

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Now, I am not a fan of Hallow E'en, but I do love the visual impact of the colours we associate with the season, so here's the closest I might get to a Hallow E'en card!

I have used the wonderful 'On Dragonfly Wings' stamp set #230 by Tracy Evans for AALL & Create (heat embossed using Onyx Black Versafine and clear embossing powder), some background and border stamps from Crafty Individuals (the script and harlequins) and Bee Crafty (the grungy border details).

The 'in Autumn' part of the text is computer-generated, using a typewriter font from Lisa Bearnson, and the King & Queen font.

I've experimented with some grains of chunky embossing enamel in both black & white, as an alternative to paint splats, but not sure I'll do it again for that purpose. Splatting is quicker!

Three amber-coloured faux gems on the thorax finish the card.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Blue New Home

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This is a very simple pair of cards for a New Home challenge on
The Bunny & The Bee's Crafty Hive Facebook group.

I used die-cuts from a die given to me as part of a little RAK packet from a friend in the USA. It didn't have packaging, so I can't give you any info about the die, but there are many like it on the market.

The backgrounds are 'clean-ups' from leftover ink on my glass mat, and the circles were created when making spotlight effects. It seemed a shame not to use them.

The flowers and foliage are snipped from one piece, which has also been hanging around my craft room for a few months.

Effective, do you think?

Dragonfly Wings

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There are a couple of tales to tell about this one. Firstly, the dragonfly and the 'On dragonfly wings' sentiment are from Tracy Evans' stamp set #230 by AALL & Create. It is one of their range of wonderful designs from their brand new, hot off the press Autumn release. I love so many of those stamps!

I was chatting online with my bestest crafting buddy, Lisa Vipas, and we were singing the praises of our favourites from the new release, but I was boasting about how disciplined I was being, as I have other (boring but necessary) things to pay for right now. All of a sudden, out of the blue, she says, "I have just bought the dragonfly stamps for you." You could have knocked me down with a feather! What a generous friend! Everybody should have a stamp fairy like Lisa. So this one is for her.

The next storylet is that I downloaded that beautiful font onto my PC about 11 years ago. It's called The King & Queen font. I used it a couple of times back then, but then forgot about it, and it's been gathering dust in the files of an old laptop ever since. Until I saw it on Tracy's stamp set, and I'm so pleased to be reminded of it. So I used it to create the (almost) matching sentiment 'Sending Thanks'.

The Workings

The card base is 6" x 6".

The background was from a Gelli plate play session, practicing techniques inspired by Tracy Evans' first One Day Special on Hochanda, back in August. I added some glitter paste through another AALL & Create stencil, but it got messy and you wouldn't recognise it if I told you! I edged the panel with Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide.

The dragonfly is stamped onto dark brown card and cut out. Glued onto the card and the antennae are drawn with black fineliner, copying the stamp.

I stamped the wings onto another old piece of random background that also had traces of glitter paste on. Smart alec me forgot to dry the ink, though (Onyx Black Versafine), and it got horribly smudged while I was cutting out the wings. So I went over the design again with black fineliner, and tell myself it adds to the grungy style!

I wanted a pop of red, and I found some gems in my stash that would fit the bill, and added them to the thorax. 

The first part of the sentiment is computer-generated, and the second part is stamped. I tore the panels, and edged them with Peeled Paint Distress ink. They are applied to the card on recycled cardboard to raise them up a tiny bit.

It was too plain, I thought, so I added the rosebuds and pine needles die-cuts, with a couple of silver bows, folded in half and tucked underneath.

I wasn't sure about it (my composition) last night, but it's growing on me. I hope Lisa likes it. As soon as I can get to a Post Office, it will be on its way!

Thank you, again, my friend. xx