Monday, February 27, 2012

Just had to get inky!

Well I did have an inspired creative day yesterday - I spent some time browsing through some very inspiring blogs and that got me itching to get inky fingers!  So I pulled out my journal to finish of a piece started a long time ago.  This has been stamped using stamps from Chocolate Baroque (Elusive Images as was) and background created using Cosmic Shimmer mister sprays, Distress Stain and a mask from That Special Touch.  The teal edging was created using a fine paintbrush dipped into my mister ink so I could control where the colour was applied.  Hope my inspired creation inspires someone else!...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spring has sprung

With the gorgeous spring like weather today it got me all inspired to create a spring themed project.  I took this fab photo of tulips last spring and just loved the picture, so I thought I would create a scrapbook page with it. 
I saw Sue Wilson doing the scrunched ribbon a while back - but her one top tip I couldn't do... it was to use extra strong d/s tape - I just didn't have any to hand.. so to stop my ribbon unravelling (hopefully.. well time will tell!).. I put in a little running stitch through the tape and the ribbon - hopefully it'll hold it!  The dies are a selection of Marianne Designs dies and the alphabet is from Sissix. 
I hope you like it - I still count myself as a novice scrapbooker... lots of ideas but I haven't had time to create a huge amount of pages... yet!  I'm hoping to get more into scrapbooking this year.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Nice Buns!

Well it amused us at the motorway services! 
A little update on our adventures at the trade show at the NEC.  We discovered that all roads out of the NEC lead to Coventry... and ended up taking the wrong one! but after a slight detour we made it back to the hotel.  Lots of lovely things to see at the show.  Tim Holtz was demoing the new distress pens - they look rather good - particularly impressed with the white pen that is white even on black card and can be blended like any other ink.  Did a lovely workshop with Stix2 using their double sided film, foils, glitter, mica powders and chipboard die cut out into frames!  We've only made it half-way round so far - so more goodies to discover tomorrow.  Here are a couple of my favourite samples so far...

Gorgeous black gold and white cards from Kanban

Beautiful silver bauble peel-offs with bling accents from Woodware

Loving this cat stencil from Dreamweaver
Now to read through lots of catalogues to decide what to order!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Distressing fun

Crafty Individuals Stamps with  Leaves Mask onto Glossy card
I've been having a play with my Distress Stains.  These are the distress inks in a liquid form.  They come in a handy bottle with a sponge tip to apply direct to cardstock.  These five samples have all been created using combinations of just three colours - Wild Honey, Broken China and Forest Moss.  I've combined them with stamps from Crafty Individuals and Inkadinkado - all stamped with Archival Black ink and highlighted with white gel and black fineliner accents.  I''ve used masks from 'that special touch of' to add extra pattern. 
Crafty Individuals Stamp (3 birds # 7463) & Leaves Mask onto matt card
They are all created with the same technique.  You can work onto glossy card (Our A6 packs are now online #4320 25 sheets for £3.00 is ideal).  You can also work onto matt white cardstock - and as you can see from the samples it will give you completely different effects depending upon what you use.

Start by taking a blank piece of cardstock.  Work onto a messy mat or non-stick heat mat (a surface you can wipe clean).  Pick up your distress stain colour of choice and either wipe across the cardstock or dot and dab for more intense colours. 

Inkadinkado Stamps Dogs Life Inchies (#4364) on glossy card
 Add additional colours in the same way, going over the top of some of your previous colour.  Try to work with the lightest colour through to the darkest to minimise contaminating the sponge pad - but don't worry if some colour does transfer - just work it onto some scrap paper and because the colour comes through the sponge pad the original colour will come through.  Two to three colours give an ideal vibrancy without being too much variation in colour.  Place your mask over the top and again dot and dab over with your various colours to get a few elements of the pattern to show.
Crafty Individuals Stamps - butterflies & cottages and circles mask onto matt card

 At this stage - have confidence and don't panic.  You may think it looks like a mess!!  Leave it to dry - you want it to be completely dry before you start stamping.  Select your stamps and arrange at different angles using Archival Black ink.  Add little accents with small stamps, border stamps or lines of words to break up the images.
Finally take your white and black pens and start to add some highlights.  You'll see I've added various white highlights - really handy to lift the design if your background is a little dark and you are losing the definition of the image you have stamped.  If you have a big empty gap in between stamps, then squiggles just done by hand in black or white - or a few parallel lines also works well.  It's one of those techniques designed to just play and experiment and see what appears!
Crafty Individuals Elegant Lady (#3813) with Andy Skinner Word Up (#7880) onto glossy card
Hope you have fun giving it a try - and I'd love to see what you create!
happy crafting

Shopping Guide - 
the # references refer to the item codes on our website for items in stock at the time of writing!  Just put the number in the search box in the top left corner of our website to find the items! 
Shop here for Distress Stains at just £5.30 each.
Shop here for Masks
Shop here for Crafty Individuals

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines.. in a hurry!

Seeing the beautiful creations on other fantastic blogs puts my effort to shame... but my excuse is time!.... I just didn't manage to fit in time to make my hubby's valentine's card this weekend - he usually walks the dog on his own Sunday leaving me home alone to be able to make his card... but as our plans changed I didn't have time on my own to make it!  So... revised plan for a quick and easy card I could make before he gets home of work today (said it was a hurry!).  I decided on a little fold-over card that I'd made before with other motifs.  I had a cuttlebug heart die and cut out two hearts out of a nice red shimmery cardstock I had handy.  I then embossed one with a papermania folder rubbed over the top with Versamark and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder.  I then used my Woodware Easy Stitching stamps to stamp a border with Versafine Satin Red.  Finally a Valentine's Day greeting from Woodware Tiny Phrases stamps was stamped in Black onyx Versafine.  I then mounted the two hearts at the top and Voila!... Valentines in a hurry!!  It goes to prove a carefully planned idea can be executed quickly if needed!
Enjoy your valentine's evening

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Snow White Card for a Snowy Day

Thanks to Karen for inspiration as seen on her blog...
After seeing her beautiful all white sample I couldn't wait to give it a try myself.  So I rummaged through my die collection and selected some of my favourite Marianne Designs Dies and got cutting.  I firstly cut out a whole selection of different shapes - swirls, flowers, butterflies etc.  I also cut some borders with Martha Stewart punches too.  Then I cut a rectangular panel to the size to fit my card and ran it through with an embossing folder.  I then played around with the shapes I had cut out until I was happy with the design.   I stuck the large panels down with double sided tape and used my favourite Cosmic Shimmer PVA clear glue to stick down the fiddly pieces - love this glue for fine detail die cuts - always does the job!
My final addition was to add some highlights with Aurora Crystal Cosmic Shimmer glitter added to Quickie glue.  Just loved the finished result.  Go on - give it a try yourself.  It doesn't matter if you don't have the same dies - just have a play around with whatever dies & punches you have and see what you come up with - would love to see what you create so please share back with a comment with a link!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cute Oriental Lady

This simple design of card has been made with a woodware peel-off sticker.  Our cute oriental lady has been coloured using Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Inks.  These inks have fabulous vibrant colours that you can apply with the very fine brush fitted in the lid.  She had such vibrant colours I thought she would work best on a simple matching colour background and a little trim of polka dot ribbon.
happy crafting!