Friday 2 December 2016

Masking using stencils

The challenge at HLS CAS challenge this time is to use a favourite technique.

At the HLS Craft retreat this year, Darnell developed a super technique of using Brushos and a stencil!
She taped down a stencil, sprinkled Brusho powders over it, then spritzed with water, blotting the ink with a paper towel fairly quickly after wetting.
Here I used a Craft Workshop stencil and the finished effect was over-stamped with an HLS butterfly, then die cut with the matching die. The sentiment is from the same set and the branch was die cut with  a die from Impression obsessions.

The die set  has an additional tiny leaf motif too and so I added a few to the branch, not sure which I prefer.
Here is the original paper which I stencilled and gave the Brusho treatment to... there's still lots left for other projects!

Pick your favourite technique or product you used from the past eleven CAS Challenges.  Please share why it's your favourite or any tips you learnt while doing it.

Below is a list of our previous challenges.

Not my usual colours!

Purple is not one of my 'go to' colours, although apparently it is a colour which can be worn by everyone.
Here I used a Memory Box bauble die, inlaid and filled with a snippet of card coloured by smooshing purple Inka Gold and Distress Inks  and then adding a little silver embossing in the form of stars.
I got the card the wrong way around in the Cuttlebug embossing folder and so ended up with a debossed pattern instead of being in relief.
The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp.
It's for the photo inspiration challenge at Just US Girls.
I love using the off cuts from making cards as smooshing pieces... it's seems such a waste to toss them.
I may have another crack at this colour combo!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Stamplorations Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks Blog Hop

For some time I have been a regular purchaser at Shery's Stamplorations Shop. She produces a range of stamps and stencils and has recently branched into also producing dies....which I love!
This is for her Giving Thanks Blog Hop.
I used the matching pumpkin stamp and die, the image coloured with alcohol pens and given a coat of Glossy Accents before being die cut.
The sentiment is stamped, layered and die cut. It's mounted on an embossed background made with a Stamplorations stencil and mounted on a base cut with a Cutplorations wonky stitched rectangle.
A few inked punched leaves complete the card.

Here is a more CAS version of the same theme!

Visit the shop to benefit from this fab sale!

DO visit the other fabulous designers for this hop!

Giving Thanks Hop
  • ONE (1) winner randomly drawn from all comments left on the STAMPlorations blog and participating designers blogs will receive a $50 gift certificate.
  • THREE (3) winners randomly drawn from all comments left on the STAMPlorations blog and participating designers blogs will each receive a $20 gift certificate to the shop.
  • ONE (1) commenter randomly drawn from our Facebook page will win a $15 gift certificate for herself and a $15 gift certificate for one friend she tags in her comment.
  • ONE (1) commenter randomly drawn from our Instagram account will win her choice of Giving Thanks bundle (Be Thankful, Oh So Grateful, or Many Blessings)/
Commenting ends on November 30 at 11:55 p.m. Pacific

Giving Thanks Linky Party
  • ONE (1) winner randomly drawn from all entries linked up will receive the Be Thankfulbundle (stamp set with coordinating die, word die, and stencil)
  • ONE (1) winner randomly drawn from all entries linked up will receive Oh So Grateful bundle (stamp set with coordinating die, word die, and stencil)
  • ONE (1) winner randomly drawn from all entries linked up will receive Many Blessings bundle (stamp set with coordinating die, word die, and stencil)
[Players have until November 30 to link up their projects to the linky party.]

Winners will be announced on December 9 in the November Challenges and Hops winners post. Winners have until December 20 to claim their prize.

Monday 14 November 2016

Metal leaf

Some time ago I bought a couple of packs of hessian (burlap to those of you on t'other side of the pond) and somehow they have miraculously could somethings as large as that make themselves invisible? I can understand how a pokey tool and the die letter K  could have gone AWOL, they are much smaller...anyway I bought another pack and this is the first card to utilise it!
The leaf was cut with a die from Impression Obsession from a piece of craft foil. It began life coloured red, but I used a few other alcohol inks and some blending solution on it to get this effect which I rather like. The dies emboss veins on the leaves too which is really realistic.
The sentiment is cut from a die by Penny Black.
It's for the challenge at Just Us Girls

It's also for the 'Thanks' challenge at AAA cards

The challenge at Addicted to CAS is to use the ombre technique. 
Here I used a few shades of Distress Ink applied with sponge daubers.
The die cut scene is from Impression Obsession and the sentiment from Find It Trading Yvonne Creations.
It was actually made using up some ovals left over from some thank you cards which I made for my son and DIL. 
Their precious, long awaited daughter arrived in August and they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of colleagues, friends and family and have lots of thank you cards to send. This is one of the latest set of thank you cards I have made for them.
This gorgeous picture of Cleo was taken by a professional photographer and I adore it.The thank you is from a die by Penny Black and the rest of the wording is computer generated.
I'm still working on finding uses for all the other ovals cut to make the apertures!

Saturday 5 November 2016

Taking a break

This is my last post for Less is More for a while!
I am taking a break, as the pressures of travelling between here and Bath and Worthing to look after our grandchildren on a regular basis and an ever increasing vacation schedule, something had to go.
Since I created "Less is More" nearly six years ago, I have made cards for all of the 300 weeks that it has been existence and am really proud of its format and the support it has received over the years. As challenge blogs go, it  is quite long lived and I know that with Sarah in the driving seat it will continue to flourish.
I want to thank everyone for their support over the years and hope to pop back in now and again with a card whenever I can!

This one is for the present colour challenge of Purple and Gold.
I had to have a play with my new MFT High Rise number  dies and paired them with a sentiment from Cutplorations.
I enjoyed the jigsaw element of fitting the numbers together!
Ever since I saw the technique of smooshing, I really loved the effect and here is a card showcasing the technique, used behind a Sizzix die cut borrowed from my friend Anne, but hopefully a set of my own should be winging its way to me at this moment.
The butterflies are also from Sizzix,.. I borrowed some of these from my friend Val at the HLS retreat, but these are from my own dies purchased since then.
The Celebrate is from Penny Black.
Over recent weeks we have had problems with our internet service from Virgin. Apparently the number of users in our area is greater than the capacity of the system. Ergo our phones, iPads, laptops and computers simply drop the internet from time to time, often at inopportune moments. I have been very frustrated by spending time commenting on LIM entries only to have what looks like a page with the corner turned down and a sad face on it, saying that the site is down or something similar!!! The comments weren't even saved and so had to be totally rewritten.. Grrrrrrrr!
It is not due to be totally resolved until the New Year... which is not a prospect that I relish. 

Friday 4 November 2016

Rare Card

I think that not many of us would ever be asked to make a card for an occasion such as this... a 70th Wedding Anniversary!
The person who requested this asked for some poppies and hence the Memory Box die cut!
The die cut heart is from Apple Blossom and the 70 from Cuttlebug's Olivia set of letters.
The sentiment was computer generated in order to personalise it.
It's for the challenge at  Clean and Simple on Sundays where the theme is to use flowers!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Using Metal!

The CAS challenge at Happy Little Stampers this month is to use metal or faux metal!
Here I used some crafting foil to die-cut the leaf. In fact the foil began life as a deep shade of red, but when I added some alcohol inks they removed some of the colour, so I added a little blending solution and some more ink and this was the result. I think it's rather nice!
The leaf is from Impression Obsessions, the sentiment from Papertrey Ink and the embossing folder from Lifestyle crafts.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Week 300 at Less is More

Today marks the 300 week of challenges from "Less is More". This is quite a milestone for Blogland and I personally feel a great deal of pride and pleasure in what I helped create almost six years ago.
In honour of the occasion the theme this week is Celebrations and Festivals.
This simple Christmas card was made with a die sentiment from Cutplorations and  thread and bells from Memory Box.The black piece was embossed with a texture plate from  ilk but this doesn't show too well in the photograph, but just gives a little subtle relief.
Here is another Christmas celebration card; this was prompted by my purchases at the recent Sincerely Yours show in Portsmouth where I bought  the Christmas tree die from Memory Box and the sentiment from Yvonne Creations, a company new to me. For the latter I added a silver die cut and layered it with a slightly offset white one adding a few gems in salient places. The backdrop was embossed with a Sheena Douglass snowy Embossing Folder.
The last of this Christmas trio uses Sizzix dies.I sprayed the die-cuts with Crafter's Companion Spray and Sparkle in Pearl Diamond. I love the shimmery sheen it gives.The word Noel didn't actually have an umlaut over the e but I thought I'd add just a touch of red by using the berries from a holly die! The pearl 'berries' on this holly were supposed to look randomly spread, but were actually carefully placed to cover a smudge on one of the leaves!
There are some prizes up for grabs this week, so do join in and you may get a chance to win one!
The last one is just a general celebratory card... sentiment form Stamplorations and glasses from Memory Box.
I feel really proud of the challenge at Less is More and for it to be still flourishing on its 300th week is quite an achievement!
Thanks to all who have helped make it such a success!

Saturday 22 October 2016

Vellum or acetate

The challenge at Less is More this week is to use Vellum or Acetate.
Vellum is a really versatile medium and here I used it in a slightly different way from anything I have done before. 
I began by embossing a small sheet with a stencil and then dropped a variety of autumnal shades of alcohol ink and a little blending solution before allowing it to dry. I then cut some leaves from this and arranged them into a wreath shape and adding a layered die-cut sentiment from Stamplorations.
I attached them by spraying the reverse of the shapes with Spray and Stick, but I'm not too sure if they will remain secure... time will tell!
Die cut leaves are from Impression Obsession.

This one uses a little acetate to create the transparent part of this shaker card.
The die cuts are from Papertrey Ink and Cuttlebug.
Since photographing this I have moved the @ sign down a little... it irritated me that it wasn't quite in the right place... in fact I've also moved the Kim to the right and the 4 closer to the zero... maybe I should take another pic!
Here is another which I just made today at the request of a friend. 
It's for the daughter of a friend of hers who has just been awarded the OBE.
I began by printing an image of the medal on my laser printer and then foiling it in gold. So as to make the effect a little more subtle, I used a layer of vellum over this, to which I attached the sentiment. I used three different fonts for the die cuts and accentuated the OBE by using a larger set of dies and cutting them from gold card.
The dies used were from Memory Box (congrats and Mel) Avery Elle (celebrate) and Craft essentials Creative dies (OBE) The stars were a freebie from a magazine.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Less is More Spiders

It's that time of year again!
I don't really 'do' the Halloween thing, but when I saw this Hero Arts set of stamps with the matching 'legs' die I just couldn't resist it, I thought this sentiment was such fun!
Here I used a Sizzix rustic brick wall embossing folder and just partially embossed the front of the card. I stamped the sentiment and die cut it with a SU die. Since I couldn't find a little spider stamp of the right proportions I merely doodled this one on the end of his thread!

At "Less is More" this week the theme is Spiders or Insects  so this is my contribution for that!

Saturday 8 October 2016


I don't often use LOTV images... I think I should use them more often as they are simply delightful. For this one I made the sentiment on the computer and then stamped the image in the appropriate position. When using Word, I have the size of the page set to 105%.  On my machine, that is just about the actual size of a piece of A4 card. I can then hold an image stamped on a piece of regular copy paper against the screen, letting the light shine through it, to see where I want the words placed to complement it. A bit Heath Robinson, but it works for me.

I have had this stamp from Art Impressions for quite some time, but hadn't quite figured out how to use it!
I decided to trawl the internet for a sentiment which would fit and I think that this one seems pretty good! Needless to say it was computer generated... in Brubeck AH font, I thought the style of script suited the lines of the image.
This little guy just about sums up how I feel after tearing around the country this week looking after grandkids... but I just love that fact that a) my kids want me to help out and b) that I'm still able to do it!
It's one layer week once more at Less is More so these are examples for that challenge!
The theme is Dreams!

Sunday 2 October 2016

HLS Embossing on vellum

At the CAS department of HLS this month the challenge is to emboss on vellum.
Here I did a little dry and heat embossing.
I cut an aperture in the card front and placed a piece of vellum behind it which has been embossed using a stencil made from acetate, cut with my Silhouette  Portrait. Behind this I placed a piece of mulberry paper to add a little interest and colour.
The butterfly, from Dies for all occasions, was cut from white card (base layer) and vellum (filigree top layer). The vellum was then heat embossed using WOW St Lucia Surf embossing glitter.
The sentiment, cut from Craft Essentials Creative Dies, was similarly embossed.
It's really taking me a while to get back into the groove of card making since my amazing trip to California... I'll get there soon I'm sure!



The cue word at CASology this time is CUTE!
There is something about elephants which is really endearing and this little one from Memory Box is a cutie!
The paper is from Pink Petticoat, the edging from MFT and the welcome die from Poppy Stamps.
I am gradually getting back into making a few cards following my extended holiday in California, I seem to have been really busy with family since my return!

Saturday 1 October 2016

Turquoise and Lilac

It's time for another colour challenge at Less is More and this week it's the turn of turquoise and lilac!

I used these shades for Darnell's patented method of adding Brushos through a stencil, developed at the HLS retreat in Swindon earlier this year.
This stencil, from The Crafter's Workshop was purchased after I borrowed one from Kathy during that weekend, I think it's terrific. I love the tiny random circles.
The stencil was taped down over the absorbent card... (watercolour paper works best) then sprinkled with Brusho powder and spritzed with water, mopping up any excess with a paper towel. I used violet, white and turquoise. The flower die is from SSS the Love word from Wplus9 and the foliage from Memory Box... or it might be Poppy Stamps.
Apologies... the flower die is  Flower stack from Poppy Stamps!
Although this is not autumn colours it is for the Leaves challenge at Just us Girls !

To get the lilac in this one I blended some pink with blue distress inks using sponge daubers. It's a simple card made with the emboss resist method, stamping with Versamark and embossing with clear EP before adding the inks!
The sentiment was computer generated and the edge punch is from Martha Stewart.
 Additional tiny die cut butterflies are from All Occasion Dies.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

The red bag

I have just returned from three wonderful weeks in California and Nevada. 
Many years ago we lived in Alexandria Virginia for a period of three years,  during which time my husband visited the west coast of the US many times. I stayed in Va with our baby (now aged 40)! Since that time Phil has been promising to take me to San Francisco and its environs and this year we did it!
We began in San Francisco which I loved and the highlight for me was trip to Alcatraz. From there went on to Sonoma with numerous opportunities for wine tasting, followed by a stay in Sutter Creek visiting the deepest gold mine site in the US and from there on to Tahoe for a week. After a brief stay in Jamestown, one highlight of our vacation was to visit my friend Darnell in Livermore!
It was lovely to see her again and to meet her lovely husband, the Mister, Kevin!
Phil, Darnell, Me, Kevin
You may be wondering why there is a pic of a red bag at the top of this post... well, when Darnell visited the UK she acquired a few extra items to take home with her and so she purchased the red bag to accommodate these additional items. On my travels, I acquired a few extra items too and was in need of some additional carrying space, so Darnell passed on the red bag to me. 
It seemed rather loath to leave the US, as upon presenting ourselves at the check in on our homeward journey, we discovered that the flight was full and although we had booked business class seats about a year ago, there was nothing available for us on the flight....apart from the possibility of flying economy! The alternative was to fly to Las Vegas or San Diego and from thence in First Class to London! The prospect of first class v economy was a no brainer as far as I was concerned and so the red bag had a little longer in the US by an additional trip to San Diego.
On arrival at Heathrow, we thought it had decided to stay in the US altogether as we were waiting by the carousel for its appearance and were thinking that we would have to report it missing when finally out it popped together with our other baggage! Quelle relief!
SO until Darnell returns to the UK, any bloggers who are are visiting our shores and are in need of additional carrying space for the journey home... there's a red bag here!

Saturday 24 September 2016


Less is More's challenge this time is to use thread.
Well this I sort of used thread... it's a kind of string I guess, tied into a flat knot suitable for putting on cards... over an embossed backdrop.
You can see a tutorial I made for making this knot here.
The beach hut is from Joanna Sheen and the hi from MFT.

Saturday 17 September 2016


The challenge this week at Less is More is entitled Diamonds. My first thought was of the sparkly things, but then I thought of the shape and that is what I went with here.

I cut the Sizzix aperture die from a corner of the front of the card and placed another piece of card inside to cover the holes. This was overlaid with another Sizzix flower die cut from grey pearlescent paper and a simple hello sentiment die cut from MFT.
This second one again employed a die from Memory Box, used to make a stencil  and covered with embossing paste then adding a sprinkling of Glamour Dust once the stencil was removed.
The butterfly was cut from a Soft Drinks can using a die from SSS and coloured with alcohol inks.
The sentiment is from WPlus9, again twinkled with Glamour Dust.