Monday 28 September 2015


I came across a new (to me) challenge today courtesy of Darnell...she who knows everyone!
It's called Share the Joy and the challenge has a lovely ethos.
This card follows both parts of the challenge, the sketch plus the CAS part, as that is just my style!
The panel dies are from Simon Says Stamp, the sentiment is Sizzix, the embossing folder is Sheena Douglass, and the deer I believe are Memory Box, but I have bought a few recently a
nd would have to check to be sure.
This is for a friend whom I know loves trees, loves CAS cards and is very fond of all good!
It's also for the circles challenge at CASology 
...and The Card Concept challenge - Forest Friends

I'm not quite sure how this card emerged from this photo inspiration at Just Us Girls

I knew that I wanted to use the keyboard die to replicate the stripes in the image but started by trying to add yellow flowers but with the rather large sentiment from Heidi Swapp and Tattered Lace it just wasn't working. Quite how the kittens on the keys came about is a bit of a mystery, but they looked as though they should be chasing something and so the yellow stars also emerged!

Saturday 26 September 2015

Less is More recipe

The recipe at Less is More this week is Something shiny!
The something shiny in this one is Glossy Accents, added to this digi image from Chris Dark, the Sketching Stamper. It was coloured with alcohol pens and accompanied with a computer generated sentiment!
Here are a couple of Elizabeth craft bauble dies cut from gold card and made into a simple shaker design. I use tiny iridescent sequins as the shakers. Even the ribbons are shiny! The sentiment is from Wplus9.
More gold card here with a background of alcohol ink marbled card and a Memory Box butterfly and sentiment.
More Glossy Accents here over a simple image. accompanied by a computer generated sentiment. I don't remember where the image came from, I was having a tidy up the other day and came across all sorts of partially started bit and pieces, so just finished off this image and made a card from it!

We just heard that my daughter's cat has been run over and killed. Everyone is really sad and my grandchildren are distraught. Tilly had such a special place in everyone's hearts in her short life. She will be sorely missed!

Monday 21 September 2015

CASe this sketch

The sketch at CASe this sketch is cute this week and there are some amazing DT examples so I thought I would have try at it!

Here are a whole mix of die cuts from different companies. It's a fraction of a Hero Arts background stamp embossed with WOW Sparkling Snow EP then cut and mounted onto a rounded corner stitched square die cut.

This simple shaker card is for the Holly Challenge at HLS Christmas Challenge
It's a Memory Box die and the JOY is from Wplus9.
It's also for the Die Crazy challenge at Simon Says Stamp!
I'm off to take a friend to the Oncologist for her assessment following Chemo and Radiotherapy to see when her surgery will be, then I'm off to Bath to look after my grandson for the half days of his last week of part time school. Life is never dull!

Saturday 19 September 2015


The theme at "Less is More" this week is Technology.
I'm not quite sure where the idea for this challenge came from but I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do for it.
After a little head scratching I decided to try to make a mobile phone image from some bits of card.
I started by cutting a couple of rectangles from black and dull silver card, rounding the corners with graduated sized Corner Chompers...3/8" for the silver and 1/4" for the black. Next I cut a rectangle with a Spellbinder rectangle die, shortening it slightly to fit in the space. For the button I used a flower centre die and a hole punch, fitting the smaller black circle onto the silver piece. The microphone at the top was made with the letter i from a Cuttlebug's Babyface alphabet. The message is also from little alpha die-cuts and the sentiment is computer generated!
Headache over!
I had to choose  not to add my watermark to this picture as it completely obliterated the sentiment!
For many years I have made a card for the son of a friend of mine whose passion is bicycles. This is the latest edition!
Cuttlebug letter dies, Hobby Art 'Happy Birthday' and computer generated sentiment. The image is an internet download.
This coming week I shall be in Bath, looking after my grandson during his final week of part-time schooling ... his life will never be quite the same again!

Friday 18 September 2015

Die Crazy

The Challenge at Simon Says Stamp this time is entitled Die Crazy. I think that crafting has gone a little die crazy over the last few years, with so many companies and so many wonderful dies available, I must say that die cutting is one of my favourite techniques!
Here is a Sympathy card using a Crafter's Companion sentiment and a Simon Says Stamp stitched square and rectangle.
The coloured panel was made using the alcohol ink marbling technique, where alcohol inks are added to a container of water and the porous card dropped into it!
The Happy Little Stampers butterfly, embossed with WOW Sparkling Snow powder was stamped onto vellum and cut out.
I made two sympathy cards yesterday, the first being for the son of Sir David Willcocks who died yesterday aged 95. He was a formidable force in the music world and choral music in particular. He was choirmaster at King's College Cambridge for many years and his work and influence will long be remembered. RIP.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Variation on a theme

The sketch at Happy Little Stampers is very Mondrian-esque and I love it, however I thought that I would go off on a tangent a little and begin with an octagon. I stamped and coloured the Penny Black image, before die-cutting it with a Spellbinder die and then slicing it into pieces, horizontally and vertically with two cuts in each plane. The sentiment is from Hero Arts.

This one is for the challenge at Just Us Girls, where the theme is Balloons!

This little teddy only has one, but maybe that's enough.
Sizzix die for the teddy and I think a Memory Box balloon!

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Alcohol inks

Recently I saw a technique on the Internet using alcohol inks and thought I would have a go. It involved dropping spots of ink onto an acetate sheet and blowing them through a straw. I quite like the effect, but had difficulty in getting the leaves, cut from card, coloured to match the depth of colour. I began by using a marbling technique also with alcohol inks, but these came out rather insipidly in comparison. I added a little extra colour using Distress ink, but I have yet to master the technique.
The acetate was backed with a piece of white card, attached using eyelets.
The leaves were die cut with a Cheery Lyn set of dies and the sentiment was also cut from acetate, using a Spellbinders die. 
There are a few challenges here
Addicted to CAS - Leaves
AAA Cards - Autumn Colours
I'll try to do better next time.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Lack of inspiration!

I have had plenty of days when things didn't work out as I had hoped but, this time it was the pits. I have got more rejects than I have had in many a year! I hope that I may be able to resurrect some bits from some of the cards, but the recycle bin is feeling quite pleased with itself!
This is the best of a bad job!
It's so simple it's almost not there, but I like the layout and the composition and I love this stamp!
It's from Deep Red, a company I can't exactly say I've heard of and I don't remember where I bought it... probably at a show somewhere or other. It does have a little twinkle added, but I didn't manage to capture it in the photo.The one consolation is that it will be a really quick to make if I'm a few cards short at the last minute!
The computer generated sentiment uses the fonts  VNI-HL Thuphap and Lydian BT.

I don't really care much for this one, but I thought I should I'd add it anyway.  Again it's a computer generated sentiment,  using the same two fonts as the previous card. A Hero Arts stamp coloured with watercolour pencils and blended with a water brush. The background has been twinkled with Clear Wink of Stella and the stork and the blanket with Glamour Dust.

Both of these cards are for the ONE LAYER challenge at Less is More this week!
I hope you'll join in and have some fun!

There were a couple of queries about how I do my sentiments. This is a tutorial I wrote some time ago on the Less is More blog, but is still applicable even with slightly later versions of Word.
  1. Click Insert and then click Shapes, then choose Text box and insert the appropriate number of boxes. I use one text box for each part of the sentiment 
  2. Divide your sentiment into components and write the parts in separate boxes
  3. Change the fonts to the size and style you prefer.
  4. Highlight the boxes and click on Format and then the arrow in the lower right corner on Text Box or Shape Styles
  5. When the box pops up (Fill) drag the Transparency toggle to 100% and click OK
Leave the box outlines in place at this time to allow them to be moved into position more easily.
  • When highlighted, the boxes can be moved around and overlapped and because of the transparency setting, the text will not be obliterated by another box.
  • When happy with the positioning, (boxes can be fine tuned by highlighting and using the arrow keys to manipulate them) select all the text boxes together by holding shift and highlighting them, and when in the Format tab, click Shape Outline and select No Outline. If you right click at this stage and group the boxes, the sentiment will stay as a unit and can then be moved around the page.
If using a digital image I also pop that into a text box, so that I can place that exactly where I want it.
I have found that on my laptop, if I have the view set to 105% the screen image is just the same size as an A4 sheet, so that if I hold a piece of paper cut to the size of my card against the screen, I can see exactly where the words will appear.

I hope this helps, any queries.... just email me!

Friday 11 September 2015

Squished flowers

Here is another card using card coloured by squishing flowers and leaves between two pieces of card by running them through the Cuttlebug. It always looks like a great mess when the debris has been removed and the card dried, but selected areas can be really attractive when die-cut as here with some Cheery Lynn leaf die-cuts. A spritz of Cosmic Shimmer was used to give a little shimmer.
The sentiment is part of my new acquisition from Penny Black!
I'm entering it into Darnell's NBUS challenge this time!
What a star you are Darnell!

Monday 7 September 2015

Spectacular embossing

The challenge at AAA Cards is Spectacular Embossing.
I love embossing of all types and this stamp is from WOW is embossed in WOW Pale Gold EP.
The HAPPY border die is from DieNamics and the 'Christmas' from Simon Says Stamp. The panels are cut with SSS Stitched rectangle dies. I can't quite remember the manufacturer of the octagonal snowflake!!!

Sunday 6 September 2015

Christmas is coming

I combined a couple of challenges to produce this card, the sketch from CASe this sketch and the Holly theme from HLS Christmas challenge.

The wreath is from a Memory Box die, with a Clearly Besotted sentiment. I'm not sure of the make of the little holly leaves and berries, but I have another very similar from Memory Box.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Less is More Colour Challenge

It's time for another colour challenge at Less is More and this week  it's
Green & Gold.
This colour combination makes me think of either German white wine or Christmas and I decided to go with the latter.
Here is a little more squished leaf background, die-cut with the row of Memory Box Christmas trees and outlined with the matching die in gold. The sentiment is from Sizzix.

This is an Impression Obsession die-cut, randomly coloured with an alcohol pen, then stamped with a splatty stamp and heat embossed in white. A little Glamour Dust was added for extra sparkle.
The sentiment is from Stampin' Up (retired) embossed with Wow Pale Gold embossing powder.
The background is embossed with a Sheena Douglass folder. 
This is a very old stamp from Inkadinkado, embossed in gold onto deep green paper and mounted on a woven texture gold backing, cut with a Simon Says Stamp stitched square.

Another Simon Says Stamp die-cut here, with the remainder of the strip of trees from the I.O. die cut.
Very simple!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Happy Little Stampers' September Challenge

The Challenge at Happy Little Stampers this time is COLOURING!

Here I have a lovely Digi from A Day for Daisies, coloured with watercolour pencils and blended with a water brush. A little clear Wink of Stella was added to give a subtle touch of sheen.
The sentiment is a die cut from Simon Says Stamp. The front panel was cut with a SSS stitched rectangle, elongated a little to fit British dimensions.
There are so many different ways of colouring so do join in the fun.
The Happy Little Stampers shop has recently opened and HLS are also sponsoring this challenge

And one lucky winner of this challenge will win this stamp set