Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Let It Snow (but only metaphorically!)

My card tonight is for three different challenges. Firstly for CAS Colours and Sketches. This week it is a 'Make It Christmas' challenge #104 using any previous sketch from their archive. I have chosen sketch #78 from June this year. Secondly, I would like to enter it into the Less Is More challenge. Being the second week of the month it is a one layer challenge #202 with a focus on snow. The third challenge I would like to enter is CASology where Cue Card #126 is also snow!

To interpret the sketch for CAS Colours and Sketches, I have divided the landscape into three, the sky, the hills and the foreground.

I love messing about with inks, torn bits of paper, masks, frames, stamps and sponges. This card has all those! I like to experiment with using different ways of transferring ink to paper and on this card I have used a dry baby wipe to gently rub ink directly onto the card through a frame to create the hills and the sky. For this I have used Distress Inks: Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky and Dried Marigold.

The tree stamps are all from Clarity Stamps inked in first and second generation using Versafine Vintage Sepia. The tree in the foreground has been stamped so that it extends beyond the frame which I think I quite like the look of.

The card has been finished using a silver greeting to base the frame and a few silver stars in the sky.

I would like to wish everyone that visits my blog a very Happy Christmas and, unless I get a chance to squeeze one more in before then, I'll see you all in the New Year with lots more cards to share!

Whatever you're doing, have fun!
Stef x

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Pink and Grey Bauble Flourish

That's better, I like this one more than the last! Tonight's card is made for two challenges. The challenge at CAS Colours and Sketches is a Colour Challenge (#103) and you can choose any of their previous colour combos from the archive and make a Christmas card.

I have chosen combo #81 from July this year as I love pink and grey together!

The second challenge I would like to enter is sketch challenge #102 at CAS(E) this Sketch. They do come up with some lovely sketches and I knew immediately what I wanted to do with this one.

I have used the 'Bauble Flourish' stamp from IndigoBlu, one of my favourite stamp companies. I have flipped the sketch, masked off the bauble and stamped it across the corner with VF 'Smokey Gray'. I then masked off the flourish and stamped the bauble twice, once onto the card and once onto a piece of pink cardstock. The bauble has been die-cut and mounted on foam pads. The sentiment stamp is by Hot Off The Press. I found a scrap of card to match the 'Crumb Cake' lighter shade of grey and cut a frame partly with a die and partly by hand. I felt the card needed something to finish it off so without using any more colour, I have highlighted the bauble, flourish and greeting with Stickles

Thank you for visiting today. Having a well-earned day off tomorrow and taking my Mum Christmas shopping!

Stef x

Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Dots

Hmmm, definitely not one of my best! This week has been crazily busy and I haven't really got time to squeeze crafting into it. However because I want to fulfil the commitment I'd made to myself to enter the DT call at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown I have to enter a card into the challenge for the last week in November which is a 'Pick A Previous' Sketch challenge.

I have chosen sketch #26 from March 2014 and thought it also fitted very well into this week's challenge at Addicted to CAS whose code word this week is 'Dots'.

I have used a beautiful Marianne Design bauble die that came free with a magazine  and some metallic papers. I think what I don't like are the punched circles as they seem too big now they are stuck to the card! I think they detract from the delicacy of the baubles.

Three snowflake stamped images from Card-io's 'Winter Flurry' set and a couple of gems complete the sketch with a peel-off greeting in silver. Now, that's not something I use very often these days but I really need to use up some of my old stuff. Maybe there should be a challenge that makes use of ancient stash!!

That's all for tonight.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

CAS Colours and Sketches Sketch Challenge 102

A very quick post from me tonight as I still have oodles of stuff to do for our school Christmas Market on Thursday evening and the church Christmas Fair on Saturday afternoon (and all in between going to work!) This card is for CAS Colours and Sketches Sketch Challenge 102 and the last of my entries for their DT call.

The stamp is an old favourite of mine, Flowerhead, from Little Claire. I love offsetting the image and just using bits of it. I don't care much for red but love red and aqua together. The colours haven't come out quite as they were in my head, but I am tired so will forgive myself! I wanted the blues to be a bit greener but struggled as I don't have the right colour Promarkers. The colours I have used are: Arctic Blue, Sky Blue, Azure, Antique Pink, Ruby & Poppy Red.

Red, however, is one of my Mum's favourite colours so have made this card for her birthday next week. It was nice to have a rest from making Christmas cards!

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Embroidered paper angel

Tonight I want to share with you my entry for this week's 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown Challenge. The fourth week of the month means it's a stash challenge and this time around it's the technique of paper piercing. I have also taken inspiration from the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches this week and would like to enter it into sketch challenge #164.

I had the idea of paper piercing an angel and then going one step further and doing some paper embroidery. I used a pattern that I had on my computer, found whilst browsing the internet a while back, along with a piece of 350gsm white card and some fine metallic silver machine embroidery thread. I didn't have any proper instructions but with a little patience I think it's come out just fine!

I turned the sketch on its side and matted & layered the finished angel onto a piece of metallic silver paper and then onto a metallic plum-coloured square card blank. It's finished off with a piece of white ribbon with a silver Christmas greeting printed on it and a matching handmade bow.

My mum does a lot of knitting and sewing and I think she would appreciate this card for Christmas, so that's her sorted!

Thanks for stopping by today.
Stef x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

C for Christmas

I haven't got much spare time this week but desperately wanted to make a card inspired by the gorgeous colour palette at CAS Colours and Sketches as it uses one of my favourite colours! Challenge 101's colours for this week are: Lost Lagoon, Smoky Slate and Metallic Silver, or if, like me, you don't own any Stampin 'Up products, then the closest you have.

I pass Card-io Crafts on my way to work in Wigan every day and love Wendy's Majestix miniature peg stamps. I stamped the bare branch from the 'Oriental Blossom' set in Versamark in a 'C' for Christmas shape and embossed with silver EP. I then filled in with the same stamp using Versa Color 'Cement'. The rest of the stamps come from the 'Festive Fir Cones' set. The pine cones and needles were stamped in first and second generation Versa Color 'Turquoise' and the holly leaves and small poinsettia flower have been stamped using VC 'Cement'. The greeting was a freebie which has been stamped and embossed in silver and for balance I put a very light dusting of turquoise ink in the background towards the top of the 'C'. 

I tried to be arty and use a couple of real pinecones in the corner of the photo as props but think I should probably have zoomed out a little bit more.

Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog today. I really appreciate all the comments you leave and try to reciprocate as time allows.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

I have made today's card taking inspiration from two challenge blogs. Firstly from the challenge at 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown. This week it is the November Theme Challenge {Christmas Window}. I was inspired initially by Gill's DT card that uses a window, but not an actual window!

I also decided to use embossing with metallic EP to fit into challenge 19 at Time Out. Week three of their monthly rota is a theme with a twist which this week is embossing with the optional twist of sparkle. I also thought it would make a change to be one of the first to post a card instead of being one of the last! The idea for the card is one from my back burner that I've been meaning to make for a while and I'm so glad I did as I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out.

It uses the 'O little town of Bethlehem' carol stamp and silhouette nativity scene both from Clarity Stamps. Firstly I stamped the carol in Versamark and embossed with gold EP (I think I need to buy a finer grade EP as the words are not as crisp as I'd like and I'm sure it's not the fault of the stamp!) I masked the carol and then stamped the nativity scene, making sure to mask off the star and remembering to take the tape off the stamp first - nearly forgot! I then stamped the star in Versamark, masking off the rest of the stamp, and embossed that also with gold EP. I didn't wait quite long enough for the stamped silhouette to dry as some stray specks of EP landed on the roof of the stable and wouldn't come off. But I decided that it was a happy accident as it actually looked quite good that way and wouldn't have thought of doing it otherwise!

I put the mask back over the carol and masked off a circle around the stamp. Using two Distress Inks, Stormy Sky and Antique Linen, I gently sponged some colour into the sky and sandy areas. Finally I matted and layered the image onto a matching piece of cardstock using the best present I got for Christmas last year, my Perfect Layers rulers!

Well, that's another Christmas card made! Thanks for visiting today.
Stef x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Thinking of you

I love the sketch at CAS Colours & Sketches this week! I have also been inspired by the lovely 'Home Sweet Home' photo inspiration from Challenge #18 at Time Out challenges so I thought I would combine the two and hopefully come up with a beautiful card of my own!

I have followed the sketch very closely and at first I was going to use stamping as the focal point of my card but decided to stamp a background strip instead taking my inspiration from the fir cone pots in the photo. The stamp set I have used is 'Festive Fir Cones' by Card-io, a local company to me, based in Wigan. I have also tried to pick out various colours from the photo in the stamping, the focal sentiment and the vertical background strip. The finishing touch was a narrow lightly striped paper strip placed across the stamped fir cones to suggest the pine floor boards and the wooden crate from the photo.

So I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

A colleague at work, Angela, has lost a very dear friend of hers recently so I have made this card to give to her.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Button Christmas Card

I've made another Christmas card, this time inspired by the challenges on 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown where they have a colour challenge (alongside a DT call) and CASology where the cue card is 'Festive'. I've kept the card really CAS this time which has definitely become my preferred style over the last couple of years.

The 52CCT colour palette was to use red and green with either silver or gold and white/cream as a base. I'm definitely more of a silver kinda girl so that choice was easy and I think it gives red and green a more modern feel than pairing with traditional gold.

I bought a pretty little jar of Christmas buttons from Abakhan a few years ago and have used some of them here to create the tree shape. The 3D silver star was an odd one I had in my stash and the pot was simply cut from a scrap of textured silver card. I thought the scalloped edge card added a bit of interest and reflected the shape of the buttons. Even though I have created a card, this design would work equally well on a tag.

So I would like to enter it into the following challenges:
52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown: November Colour Challenge
CASology: Week 121 Festive

Thanks for visiting today and for leaving such lovely comments about the cards I've made recently.
Stef x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


I love poppies! They have a special significance for me as they remind me of the Norfolk countryside where I grew up and wild poppies grew in the hedgerows and at field margins. They are having a DT call at CAS Colours & Sketches and as soon as I saw the colour scheme I knew what card I wanted to make. It also fits very neatly into the theme on the Allsorts challenge blog this week... let it be my tribute to the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.

The poppy image from The Stamp Barn has been stamped straight onto an ivory card blank in Versamark and embossed with metallic gold EP. I have simply coloured in the poppies with the very appropriate Poppy Red Promarker and have tried to get some shading by going over the innermost areas of the flowers several times.

I'm sorry that the photo isn't the best quality. It's a real pain this time of the year not being at home in the daylight and having to photograph all my cards in unnatural light! Anyway I would like to enter it into the following challenges:

Lest we forget...


Thursday, 6 November 2014

First Christmas Card!

I haven't made many Christmas cards yet, I just don't get the time. I have made this week an exception though and have enjoyed a bit of a crafty week but will have to catch up with other things next week... maybe!

The 52 {Christmas} Card Throwdown Challenge are looking for DT members. I would love to join a DT. If I had deadlines to meet then my crafting could become a higher priority than it is now and I wouldn't feel so guilty about not doing other things! So I thought I would throw my hat into the ring and make a card to fit their sketch. The card I have made also fits nicely with the non-traditional colour Christmas card theme on one of my favourite challenge blogs, Less is More.

I have adopted a colour scheme of neutrals and metallic neutrals. The stamp is Woodware's Christmas tree bubble stamp which I have stamped with white ink and embossed with white glitter EP. It has been adorned with a variety of adhesive gems & pearls, small brads, Craftwork Cards' Candi and metallic markers. The sentiment is from the same stamp set. As you can see I have followed 52CCT's sketch quite closely. Instead of stitching around the edge I have matted and layered the stamped panel onto kraft cardstock.

So I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by today
Stef x

CAS(E) this Sketch 98

The second card I have to share with you tonight is one I made at the weekend for my husband Martin's birthday using inspiration from the CAS(E) this Sketch challenge this week.

The background is a piece of patterned paper that I've had for some while and as music is probably Martin's greatest passion it has found a good use! As you can see I've stuck to the sketch very closely. I absolutely adored Lyndal's GD card. I would really like to try and give my cards a little bit more of that edgy, modern feel. Somehow I don't always manage to translate the idea I have in my head into a finished card very well!

Anyway I would like to enter it into the following challenge:
CAS(E) this Sketch: #98

Thanks again for looking!
Stef x

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A trio of challenges!

We have a lot of family and friends' birthdays around this time and tonight I have made a card for my son Phil's birthday which is on Friday. I'm not sure that the card I've made is really CAS enough to fit into two of the three challenges below but as I had them all in mind when the ideas for the card were in my head, I thought I'd go with it and see.

The collage stamp is one I bought at a craft fair several years ago from Butterfly stamps which, sadly, I don't think exist anymore. This has been stamped with blue Versafine ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. The sentiment is from the same set. To try and keep things simple they have both been simply layered in contrasting colours and put onto a background paper that has tiny anchors printed on it.

I would like to enter it into the following challenges:
Allsorts Challenge Blog: Week 283 Masculine

CASology: Week 120 Sea
Freshly Made Sketches: 161 A sketch by Linda

Even if it's not CAS enough for the last two, it certainly fulfils the criteria for the Allsorts challenge!
Thanks for looking!
Stef x

Monday, 3 November 2014

FUSION (Something wicked this way comes... or not...)

A quick post tonight to share with you a card I've made for a work colleague, Donna, following the criteria on the Fusion card challenge blog.

I decided to use both the photo and the sketch and was inspired by the colours in the photo. These are not colours I usually work with so it was a real challenge for me not to use my preferred blue/green/purple palette. The roses also inspired my choice of stamp. It's from The Stamp Barn and I've had it in my stash for a while but not used it that much. Don't know why not as I love poppies and it stamps beautifully. As Remembrance Sunday falls this week I also thought it a very appropriate choice even though it's not coloured red!

Anyway, here is my rendition:

The background panels were created by merging three colours of mica spray mists and the outline of the stamped image was then highlighted with Promarkers and coloured pencils.

I would like to enter it into the following challenge:

Thanks for visiting
Stef x

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Less is More Recipe Week #195: Newsprint

Yaay, it's half term and that means I get a little bit more time to myself this week and can do some crafting! The Less is More challenge this week is to use newsprint on your card, whilst, as ever, keeping the design clean and simple. I decided to make some newsprint rosettes from a page of the local paper using the large Tim Holtz/Sizzix rosette die. These were easy enough to fold but tricky to flatten out as the paper is quite delicate. I chose a page with some colour on it and decided to make my friend Jane a birthday card using one of the rosettes. Jane is a good friend who shares two of my other passions, for both Girlguiding and narrowboating.

The embossed panel was made using a birthday embossing folder from Papermania and I picked out the main colour from the newsprint to edge the panel. The card is finished with a computer generated tag using an old typewriter font and a button in the centre of the rosette.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenge:
Less is More Recipe Week 195: Newsprint

I am also really enjoying making these 12 stranded kumihimo bracelets, having made three now! This one, also for Jane, is made with plum as the accent colour which was chosen to represent our Bridgewater Boaters' narrowboating colours. The other colours in the braid are Royal Blue and Williamsburg Blue to represent Guiding colours and Dark Grey and Silver which combine to give a neutral base.

I hope she likes both the card and the bracelet and doesn't see this post before I see her tonight!
Fingers crossed!
Stef x

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

CAS on Sunday #43 and my first jewellery project!

When looking for inspiration to make my brother Neil a birthday card, I came across this week's CAS 'Lift a Card' challenge on CAS on Sunday's blog and thought I would give it a go. The original card looks like this...

And here is my take on the original design...

I don't have any alphabet dies but found these Doodlebug alphabet stickers which I have had in my stash for ages so thought it was high time they got used! Whilst rummaging in my sticker drawer I also came across some Woodware peel-off bubble stickers so used one of the butterflies on a piece of white card which I fussy cut and embellished with Craftwork Cards candy (coloured with Promarkers to match the design), tiny buttons and also coloured in some of the bubbles with Promarkers. The tab is computer-generated and the ribbon I have also had for ages so the whole project turned out to be a really good way of using some of my old stash!

So I would like to enter my finished card into the following challenge:
CAS on Sunday: #43 Lift a card

The other project I would like to share with you is my first proper adventure into jewellery making. I have made Kumihimo braids with my Guides lots of times before but have never had a serious go at making an adult bracelet. This pattern is a 12-strand twisted Kumihimo braid made with 2mm rattail cord. I made it for my friend Angela's birthday. I was very pleased with the end result (though I learned a lot about sizing on the way) and think that Angela really liked it too. I was immediately asked to make another one for someone else and will probably make some more in different colourways to give as Christmas presents.

Thanks for looking at my blog today.
Stef x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Uniko Studio #12, Freshly Made Sketches #146, ColourQ #251 and Cake!

Looking for some fresh inspiration to make Martin's Mum a birthday card I have decided to combine three card-making challenges that are all new to me as well as having my first play with my recently acquired 'Beautiful Blooms' stamps from Uniko Studio. My current favourite style of card-making is definitely CAS so I immediately loved the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches, especially with Bev's beautiful flower stamp in mind. For my colours I decided to play along with the ColourQ challenge and although I don't have any StampinUp products, I have matched the colours as closely as I could. The composition of the card speaks for itself really; the centre of the flower is decoupaged and lightly embossed though this doesn't really show up too well in the photo!

I am entering my card into the following challenges:


 I've also decided to start showing some of my other homemade creations here as life is too short for me to try and keep up with more than one blog! So here is a strawberry cream sponge that I made for a 'Bring and Share' end of term Division Guiders'meeting that I attended during the week! I think they all enjoyed it!

Thanks for visiting!
Stef x