Saturday 22 December 2012

Happy Christmas

The recipe at Less is More this week is Drinks!
I don't knoe where we got some of these titles from, but they sure can make us think!
Here are some that I came up with.

This is an image from the SU Cheers to you set, gently coloured and twinkled with Glamour dust then framed by an asymmetric cut-out layer.
More Stampin' Up here, details are on the LIM blog!

The liquid in these was coloured with a Sakura Clear Star Gel pen!

The one on the left has some very wayward stitching on it... I took the corners on two wheels I think! I must practise sewing on card! The stamp is a rather large Art Impression stamp, heat embossed in silver!
Details of the one on the right are also on the LIM blog.
Here's a fun one using one of my favourite chicken stamps from Penny Black. These girls look as though they know how to party!
Finally another SU stamp from the Studio Sketches retired set. Memory Box trellis and a Martha Stewart Border punch.
This year is the first year that I can remember when I won't have to cook the Christmas lunch. We've been invited to our son's MIL to have lunch with them in Worthing. I'm really looking forward to it!
 Our grandkids will be arriving on Boxing Day... should be fun!
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Saturday 15 December 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my 39th Wedding Anniversary, 
what  better theme to have at Less is More than just that!
Without further ado here are some of my Anniversary cards that I have made recently.
This was made for a friend at my choir who is a year ahead of us in the Anniversary stakes. He wanted a simple card for his wife... I wanted to get the ruby colour into it as he didn't have it mentioned in the sentiment.
The image is by Unity stamps and the border punch is by Martha Stewart.
This is for friends who will celebrate their Anniversary on Monday. Details are on the LIM blog.
Lots of Stampin' Up Hearts here, all heat embossed in silver, I think there are a few stray one too in fact. A Cuttlebug embossing folder adds a little interest to the panel, the border is edged with a Fiskars punch and a ribbon completes the picture. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up too!
Here's the card for my husband... we've had a couple of cats during our 39 years of marriage and we both have a soft spot for them!
I'm afraid tha tyou can't see the embossing on the image panel very clearly on this one, but it's a few leaves just emerging from the edge.
The colour mix I use for the gold computer printing is R170 G140 B29 This mix works really well with my printer which is a Lexmark X4650.
We're singing in a carol concert this evening, a carol service at our local church tomorrow, another concert  on Wednesday on the Isle of Wight and then I think we'll be done for another year!

Saturday 8 December 2012

I've been handy with a power tool!

This is the 'new' corner of my craft room!
I have removed the bed and put up the shelves you see here, they were even still level after I had finished with my pencil and spirit level, to say nothing of my electric drill... what a miracle! Yesterday I went to Ikea and bought the desk units you see and spent the afternoon assembling them. The second set of drawers was accomplished slightly more quickly than the first! Now I need to get another daylight lamp. I just have rather a lot or re-organising to do now, plus a general throwing away of rubbish!
On to this week's cards for Less is More. This week is One Layer Week with the title 'In a Row'.
Here are my cards
... a row of trees

...and a row of snowflakes

... and a row of houses.
I did try bleaching a row of sheep on black paper, but it wasn't too successful, I rather messed up the background...never mind, I may try it again.
Later today I shall put up the Christmas tree and start to prepare tomorrow's lunch for about a dozen people. We will be singing carols at a Victorian farm (It's Manor Farm, if any of you have been watching the Wartime Farm) at their Christmas Market. I have been taking a group of singers there each year for over 20 years. I always feed the hungry carollers when we've finished. It's great fun!
I hope everyone's preparations are going well!
Not long 'til the big day now!

Saturday 1 December 2012

Colour Week at LIM

For the colours this week at "Less is More", we have chosen something really seasonal, namely Red & Green.
In fact the card which I posted yesterday, which was my final contribution as Guest Designer for Lili of the Valley would fit into this category too, scroll down if you'd like to take a peek at that one, I kinda liked the way it turned out!
But onto my samples for this week!

I couldn't decide which I preferred of these two incarnations. It's a bit like 'Spot the difference' isn;t it! 

This one was inspired by a LIM submission by Jenny last week, she added 'all the way', but I simply used the bells to complete the phrase! 
This uses a free border embossing folder from a magazine and some Sizzix die cut letters. The holly leaves are from an X Cut punch.
Thanks for the inspiration Jenny!
I love this little Tim Holtz stamp. I coloured it with a couple of shades of green SU Marker pens, plus the deep red for the berries. It's stamped on the reverse side of some scrap of the hammered card I cut the card blank from. I really like the difference in texture and it makes for a clearer image to use the flat side of the card. Surrounded by a larger embossed square and popped onto dimensional pads, I like the way it stands out.
It's a bit scary that it's now December... I haven't made all my Chrimbo cards yet... I'd better get my skates on!

Friday 30 November 2012

November Guest Designer at Lili of the Valley

For the last month I have been the Guest Designer at Lili of the Valley, Ideas to Inspire. I imagine that you might think that my style of cards a little different for their kind of stamps. However this is just the reason that I was asked to guest for them, so my mission was to create cards for them in the CAS genre.
Last week I used some of their Kitchen Herbs stamps.
This one is simply stamped and coloured with Promarkers and then cut out to mount on a piece of SU embossing surrounded by a Nestie die-cut frame, which in turn were popped up on some dimensional pads.
The sentiment is from LOTV Handwritten phrases.
This is a similar idea, although this is simply stamped in Pear Pizzazz ink and the leafy part of the stamp used to decorate the frame.
This is my final card for them.
To make the design panel, I used their Holly Branch stamp, which I stamped then embossed with WOW fine, clear powder.
 It was then inked with Shabby Shutters and Aged Mahogany Distress inks, using sponge daubers, blending the colours slightly where they overlapped. 
When dry, the image was coloured over the Distress inks using Promarkers. 
The border was made using a Martha Stewart punch, with a little hand embossing and a ribbon added. The sentiment is from “Christmas Greetings” small also from Lili of the Valley!
I often use the piece of card which I trim from the side of a sheet of A4 to make my card base, to make a decorative panel across the card or use for stamping small designs on. Waste not want not and all that!
I was quite pleased with the way that this one turned out!

Saturday 24 November 2012

Glam and Glitz

We went to see my son sing in a concert this week in Bury St Edmunds where he lives. The repertoire consisted of English part-songs and were sensitively performed by the Kirbye Voices. It was a really good concert, we enjoyed it enormously.
On to the challenge at Less is More, which this week calls for a spot of twinkle and sparkle and is entitled Glamour and Glitz.

I'm sorry that this is such a dreadful picture, but it's simply Stampin' Up's gorgeous reindeer stamped with Pool Party ink and gently glittered with Glamour Dust. I gave the edge of the mounting square the same treatment.
My favourite white on white again with some rather fancy embossing powder to give the glitz, I think this one is WOW hologram sparkle.
Here are two of my least favourite items... acetate and ultra fine glitter, I seem to get in a mess with both of them. This is stamped with Stazon and glittered on the reverse. More details are on the Less is More blog.
A little twinkly elephant adorns this baby welcome card, it's from a Martha Stewart punch and I think it's really cute. The paper is from Pink Petticoat.
I had a great visit with my dear friend Mandi this week, she tried to evade my camera, but I snapped her when she wasn't paying attention! The shop was being re-decorated and re-plastered, so things were somewhat awry, but all her ideas will make it amazing!
I do wish her every success.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Hardware Challenge at Less is More

This is a bit of a fake really... the challenge at Less is More is for hardware, but after making the following card using actual metal studs I decided to have a go at making some fake ones using card, dies and metallic embossing powder... namely copper and platinum. The dies are from a Sizzix set I bought from Mandi.
I don't know the make of these letters, I bought them yonks ago when I thought they might be a good idea... they were probably on sale !

I rather like this one... probably because it's a rescue job from a one layer card which went wrong! The original card was going quite well until inky fingers put paid to that, so I rescued what I could and framed it with the window.
This is simply a couple of die-cuts from Memory Box (half price at the NEC)  a bell charm and a bit of twinkle.
Here are some heat embossed brads for this Memory Box stocking. The only ones I could find were pastel shades, so the gold embossing powder was brought into service to adapt them.
The sentiment is from Hero Arts and the embossing from Sizzix.
Have a great week... I'm looking forward to visiting Mandi on Tuesday... I'm longing to see her new shop.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Simple LOTV take 2

You may recall that I have been asked to Guest at Lili of the Valley Ideas to Inspire this month. They were curious to see a Clean and Simple take with their images.
Here is one of the little Posy Bears, simply highlighted by being surrounded by a cut out piece of card!
He's coloured with Watercolour pencils and a water brush. The sentiment is from a clear set from LOTV and they stamp beautifully.
Here's another from the set, but I prefer the offset aperture!
What do you think?
What sweet stamps!

Saturday 10 November 2012

One Layer week again already?

Today on Less is More, I'm being joined by Jen as Guest Designer, whilst Mandi is still busy with her new business. Jen makes the most amazing cards and I shall be glad to have her support.

On Thursday I went to the NEC with my lovely friend Anne. We had a super day and bought loads of goodies, but the traffic on the way home was horrendous. I believe there was an accident somewhere near to the M42 which we were trying to get on to. We saw lots of flashing blue lights... police, ambulances, a fire engine and traffic control cars. An officer from the latter drove up to the roundabout, laid out a barrier of cones in front of a line of cars waiting to access the roundabout and then drove off. Goodness knows how long they were stuck there, We decided to take a punt on going  on the M6 south instead and let the lady in the Sat Nav tell us where to go from there. We only added 11 miles to the journey and were moving all the time, which is so much better than being parked on a roundabout!
Here is my stash!
Lots of dies and some Pan Pastels!

I can't wait to get going on this lot!

Here are my cards for Less is More this week.
Two  little Stampin Up houses with a computer generated sentiment.

This is a little Art Impressions stamp, coloured with watercolour pencils . The sentiment is from Inkylicious  and the little heap of rocks is from Hobby Art.

Finally, a little strip of houses from my Stampin' Up wheel, gently coloured with watercolour pencils in neutral shades. The sentiment is also from Stampin' Up.
My daughter and grandchildren are coming to stay tonight, I can't wait to see them again. Daisy does love to have a sleep over at Granny's!
Have a great weekend.

Saturday 3 November 2012

In the PInk

The weeks seem to come around so quickly these days ... must be a sign of getting old... and we are back to a colour challenge once again at Less is More... 
and it's PINK!

This doesn't look terribly focused but it's a simple card for a new baby. The elephants were punched using a Martha Stewart punch, purchased at Michael's in Palm Desert during my recent holiday. The centre one has had Glamour dust added for a little extra twinkle. The paper is Harlequin from Pink Petticoat.
Here I used watercolour pencils on dark cardstock, starting with white and followed by a couple a shades of pink, before blending the colours with a water brush.
A die-cut exposition!
These are Memory box dies from Simon Says Stamp.
More die-cuts... Dienamics this time!
and don't you just love this sentiment.

I shall be off to the craft show at the NEC on Thursday with Anne (Stargroves), it would be great to meet up with any other LIMettes who may be going too!
I'm off later today to meet Val  (Canonbury Creations) for a coffee as she is visiting Portsmouth! I'm looking forward to that.What fun!
Have a great week and my thoughts are with all the folks affected by Superstorm Sandy. I sincerely  hope things will become easier as the days go by.


Lili of the Valley Guest Designer

Recently I was really flattered to be asked to be a Guest Designer for Lili of the Valley's Ideas to Inspire blog.
There were interested to see what could be done with their stamps when used in a Clean and Simple style.

The stamps used here are from LOTV's set of clear Grunge Corners.
The frame was cut with Nesties and then diagonally opposite corners stamped using Versamark which was in turn heat embossed in silver.
A small piece of silver gauze was applied behind the aperture and the frame raised onto pop dots.
The tiny butterfly is one of the Sizzix/SU Embosslits die-cuts, gently swiped with Versamark and also heat embossed.
The card stock used for this card is the Hessian weave from Papermill Direct. I sometimes like to feature both sides of the card and so the frame was embossed on the smooth side. I often stamp on the smooth side for images which are intricate and need careful colouring.
The sentiment is from LOTV's Handwritten Phrases... it's actually part of a longer phrase which reads "Sending Love Across the Miles". There are several stamps in the set which can be used in part, which makes the whole set a lot more versatile.
There are a few more cards to follow in the coming weeks. LOTV as you don't usually see them used!

Monday 29 October 2012

About time for a challenge

It seems that I haven't designed a card specifically for some of my favourite challenges for quite some time, so I thought I should remedy that.
Here is a card which fulfils three four challenges.

I took the sketch from Clean and Simple 

 ...the colours from Dynamic Duos,

Simon Says Stamp  Autumn Leaves (2nd entry)

                                      and finally the use of Kraft from Casual Fridays 

The designated colours were applied to the SU French Foliage stamps using SU Marker pens and the squares were all die-cut with Nesties.
If left to my own devices, I probably wouldn't have added the twine, but in adhering to the sketch, I must admit that it does add something to the finished effect.
My thoughts go to the folks living on the east coast of the USA, I do hope you all stay safe through the threatened hurricane. DO take care.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Time for a Sketch

There was a time when I could hardly think of a layout for a card without following a given sketch. Now, many that I see, seem over complicated and since beginning Less is More, I totally prefer simple stuff. However, thinking of different, simple sketches is another matter.
We have one this week at Less is More and so my cards this week all follow it fairly closely.

This first card uses a few stamps from a Hero Arts set of dear little robins. They are simply coloured with Promarkers and die-cut, then mounted on a strip of red card.
This gorgeous image from Inkadinkado was simply stamped over three toning pieces of green card.
Simplicity itself.
No stamping at all here... just a bunch of die-cuts and a heap of embossing.
I love making tiles from layers of card... stamped, embossed and inked... and here are some!
It's magic how the images appear after the embossed, Versamark images have ink daubed over them.
The SU sentiment is mounted on a slightly reduced size Nestie rectangle.
I thought I'd finish this week with another Hawaiian cruise photo. I had intended to take my specs off, but kind of forgot.
It was a great cruise... here's to the next one... we do have one booked to the Baltic next year.
Do join in with out challenge this week... I'm on my own again as Mandi my co-creator is still busy with her new business! It will be great to see you..