Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Birthday butterfly

Here I've been having yet more fun colouring die cuts. I began by dipping this Alexandra Renke butterfly in a few puddles of different green Aqua Tint Inks from Spectrum Noir, spritzed it with water and allowed to dry. I then stamped a tiny script stamp from SU (French Foliage) in Frayed Burlap DI, inked the body with Frayed Burlap and went around the edges with some Brilliance Gold Ink. Then I stuck a whole bunch of sequins randomly over it. I die cut the Memory Box corner die  from the front panel  and stamped the sentiment also in Frayed Burlap. I had always found it difficult to stamp with Distress Inks, but having a stamping tool like the MISTI means that any gaps can be accurately overstamped and a perfect image achieved.
Seize the Birthday - Butterflies

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

No Stamping

I just found yet another challenge which intrigued me! It's called Just Add Ink and this week the challenge is make a project with NO STAMPING
SO this is what I made. I cut the butterfly from a piece of  card coloured with watercolours. Actually it was cut from a previous failed card but I thought the colours too nice to simply chuck. I managed to get the black part to line up with the body and simply added a little more with a marker. The panel was cut with a Sizzix die and a bit of smooshed card from my 'too good to throw away drawer' which was in keeping with the colours of the butterfly was placed behind this die cut. All that was left to do was add a die cut sentiment which I layered for a little extra strength. Sometimes it pays to be a bit of a squirrel.

Pink Fresh

Another spot of die cut colouring!
This time with alcohol markers.
I took the colours from the challenge at JUGs

I began by cutting out the Pink Fresh dies and colouring them with markers. It's not incredibly evident but the red is in the centres of the blooms, now partially obscured by the pearls which I decided to add at the last minute. The simple sentiment is from Altenew. I  love the combination of grey and pink.

Memory Box Challenge

I just found a new (to me) challenge called Outside the Box, which is part of Memory Box. As many of you know I love die cutting and Memory Box is one of my favourite companies, so I just had to have a go!
The challenge this time is Warm Colours
To make the card I simply cut the front panel with the solid butterfly die and cut the top layer of filigree butterflies from a separate piece of card. I coloured the backdrop with Distress Inks, applied with sponge daubers. The filigree butterflies were then inlaid into the gap and the sentiment from Altenew stamped beneath it! I think I may add a little pearl to each body.. I think it needs just a little something!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

New Butterfly


I just received this new die.. it's by Alexandra Renke  and I've wanted to try one of these 
three quarter view die cuts for some time. I began by cutting out the butterfly and then adding colour by using some paper towels that I had used for mopping up other projects (and saved specifically for this purpose) and transferring the colour to the die cut by spritzing with water and pressing the towels onto the card.

I used the colours from Color Throwdown daubing on a little Frayed Burlap ink to define the body of the butterfly. I overprinted the wings with a script stamp from Stampin' Up in the same ink.
The hexagons are also designed by Alexandra Renke.
I've really been enjoying colouring die cuts of late, you  can achieve some really interesting results!

A couple of Christmas Cards

Here are another couple of cards for my Christmas supply, each for a different Christmas Challenge.
The first one is home-made, white embossing paste applied through part of a Sweet Poppy Stencil. I added WOW Metallic Embossing glitter and heat set it. This paste spreads really easily, I just hope that I can recreate it when this lot has been used. The sentiment is from Tim Holtz.
It's for the Glitter Challenge at CAS Christmas

This next one is for the challenge at Christmas Kickstart

"Dachshund through the snow"

Naturally they would love to see a pooch!
Well I have a dog and there is snow, so hopefully it will fit the bill!
The tree line die was a freebie from a mag and the dog  is a die from an All Occasion Dies set. The embossed snow is from an embossing folder from Sheena Douglass but sadly is not available at the moment.

Cherry Blossom

Earlier this year we were lucky enough to take a fabulous cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. We began in Japan just in time to see the cherry blossom, particularly in the north of the country. It was truly spectacular.
This was in Aomori.
As a tribute I got this die of cherry blossom by Alexandra Renke, which I coloured with Distress inks.
It's a simple card, but colouring die cuts has been fun. There'll probably be more to follow!
The Flower Challenge has the theme of Your Favourite Flower... that is such a hard choice as I love so many, but cherry blossom being a sign of Spring, is certainly one of my favourites.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Nautical Twofer

It's time for another Twofer over at Darnell's blog. I find these challenges really ... what shall we say? .... challenging!
The theme  this time is Nautical

For the landscape card, I used a stencil from Neat & Tangled called Rice Paddies and I love it. With this I used some home made embossing paste and it worked beautifully. I had added some extra PVA glue to the mix and it was much better. 
Here is my amended recipe
  • 1/2 cup of talc
  • 1 tablespoon of White Acrylic paint
  • 2 tablespoons of PVA Glue
After I had masked and spread paste over part of the stencil, I removed it from the card and sprinkled over some WOW Vintage Peacock embossing powder. I waited until it had dried out somewhat before heat setting. It was a fabulous twinkle.

The silver heat embossed sentiment is from The Alley Way stamps. I simply added a whole shoal of little silver die cut fish.
Freshly Made Sketches

The second card uses the same fish over an ocean daubed with Distress inks, and stamped with some white acrylic paint grunge dots. It's topped with a die by La La Land Crafts of Sea Bubbles. The sentiment here was computer generated. As I inlaid this die, I still have the negative die cut to use on another card!
What fun!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019


When I saw the challenge at CAS(e) this Sketch, this stamp set from the Stamp Market came to mind.
I stamped the broader image in Baja Breeze ink and then overstamped with the black thinner line. The MISTI was  a great help with this!
The scrap of DP is from Stampin' Up and the hugs and kisses die cut from Cutplorations.
Today we took a friend out to lunch to celebrate her birthday... albeit a trifle late. She chose the Noisy Lobster in Mudeford... it was fabulous! Thoroughly recommend it! 

A sketch

I've been having a bit of fun colouring some die cuts. I began by dropping a few shades of green Aqua Tints onto the cut pieces of card, they did swim around a little, but the different shades did have an effect. Once dry I still wasn't really thrilled with the result so I daubed on a little Distress Ink around the edges, still not quite there, so I darkened the stalks with a marker. I decided to leave it at that!
I mounted the stalks on a piece of textured die-cut, kraft card and added a tiny sentiment from WPlus9.
I based the layout on the sketch from Colours and Sketches but reversed the orientation. A few tiny brown pearls completed the card.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019


Here is another contribution for the CAS Christmas Challenge, which this time is to use Glitter.

I made some embossing paste, but I think that the recipe could do with a little more glue in it than I used this time... the Gitter didn't adhere to it as much as it would have done to a commercially produced embossing paste. I guess I could just put some more glue in and see what happens. However, I don't mind the result.... in fact I was just pleased that the embossing paste worked out at all as it was the first time that I had tried making it!
I used a Sweet Poppy Stencil for the tree and a Sizzix die for the sentiment! As that is popped on dimensional pads like the tree I layered it to make it a little more robust.
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Goes
Just Us Girls - Circles

Driving Home for Christmas

I found it fun to assemble this die cut truck, I had thought that it would have been a pain to do and put off using this set for quite some time. I cut all the pieces I needed in one go, from white card and coloured the individual pieces with alcohol markers plus Silver Wisp of Stella. Once assembled I popped it onto dimensional pads and added it to a dry embossed stitched square.
I thought I would add it to the challenge at Inkspirational
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Goes

Monday, 12 August 2019

O Tannenbaum

The challenge at  Christmas Kickstart has a rather special guest this time... the wonderful Darnell!
She was the creator of the Twofer Challenge an in her honour the challenge is to make two cards with the same Christmas tree image.
Here I used an oldie but goodie from Stampin' Up Th one on the left was simply gold heat embossed with a sentiment of Penny Black stamps, the one on te right was stamped with Versamark, and clear embossed then coloured with Copic markers and a few trails of Clear Star Gelly Roll marker added. The sentiment here was computer generated as I couldn't remember if I had a stamp with these words. The two frames are from Alexandra Renke dies.

This is also for the challenge at Merry Little Christmas

              MLCCB #13 - August Anything Christmas Goes


The Challenge at Just us Girls this time is Circles

I used a die by Alexandra Renke for the focal point,  cut from kraft card and gently shaded with a little Distress Ink around the edges. The sentiment is part of stamp from Altenew... I masked off the last couple of words (to you) as it was too long for the card. I had a bit of a struggle to make the die extend far enough to encompass the words, but managed on about the third or fourth attempt.
I thought that the hessian and the rough string complemented the kraft card quite well. I added a few random dark brown pearls (more circles) for a little interest.
Anything Goes with Dies
I have recently bought a Magnetic Platform for my Big Shot Plus die cutting machine, but find that particularly small dies, like the one used to cut the sentiment on this card, don't stay where they are placed on the platform but jig around as though the magnets are pushing them rather than attracting them. Has anyone else come across this phenomenon? I have written to Sizzix but not received any response to date. I'm not sure if this happens with all Sizzix Plus platforms or whether mine has a problem!!!
Any comments would be appreciated!

Sunday, 11 August 2019


Here is another card for the challenge at CAS Stencil.

I had tried unsuccessfully to unblock many of my shimmer sprays (which have not been in use for quite some time) and so finally simply decanted a little into another mister to use on this card. It's Cosmic Shimmer Sunlight Mist. I bought the stencil following a retreat in Swindon with Happy Little Stampers, where Kathy, one of the attendees had just bought it from a local craft store, needless to say I had to purchase one too! I loved it then and love it still. It's from The Crafter's Workshop!
 The diecut flower is from Pink Fresh.
The panel on this card is a save from a bit of a booboo. I was stamping a sentiment for another card and dropped my inkpad onto it. As this is quite thick card I decided to use the other side for this card. Recently I have been using some Hemp cardstock from Paper Mill Direct. The reverse side is not textured, so I decided to emboss it with a plate from Papertrey Ink. After doing it I think I actually prefer the reverse side of this embossing but it was done and so that's that.. I'll remember next time... perhaps!
Several people have emailed recently asking about the card I have been using of late.... if you can't get a textured card in your part of the world, you can always stamp your card and then emboss a texture onto it afterwards, as I have done here. I quite like the dark chocolate cardstock which I used for the card base and die cut, against the subtle gold shimmer!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

More die cuts

A quick card for a couple of challenges.
Simple die cut dog and cat and a stamped  sentiment from Altenew, all popped onto a raised panel. 
Make it Monday - Friendship
AAA Cards Make it in Minutes

This one is for the challenge at The Male Room where they are having a celebration to commemorate 6 Years... quite an achievement! Congratulations girls definitely worth raising a glass or two!
Bit of a die cutting bonanza today!

Wet Saturday

What better way to spend a wet Saturday than in my craft room making cards and listening to a little Finzi... perfect!
This first card is for the challenge at CASe this Sketch
I had stamped the visible Image butterfly some time ago and couldn't decide how to treat it until I saw the sketch at CASe this Sketch and then this ame into my mind!
I inlaid the love die into the front panel by cutting out the first one and replacing it with four plain die cuts, layered on top of each other and finally adding the original on the rest. After this I simply scattered a few tiny seed pearls across this image.

This next card is for the challenge at CAS Stencil.

I made a stencil of uneven chevrons from acetate, using my Portrait. I laid this over my card, masking some of it with paper towels, then sprayed with Cosmic Shimmer Mist in Golden Mint. Actually I was limited in what spray I could use as they have been sitting for quite some time in their box and a lot of the jets were blocked. I managed to get this one functioning by putting the  spray part in hot water and pumping away. It was enough to clear this one but the others were more obstinate. I may end up decanting their contents into other spray bottles.
This in fact was not the card which was sprayed, this is a print that I took from the stencil after I had taken if off the original card! SO I had two images, one positive and one negative.
I cut a couple of leaf sprays, one from card and one from the paper towel I used to mop up the work surface! The sentiment is from Stampin' Up and the butterfly die cut from All Occasion Dies.
The ink I used for the sentiment is Twisted Citron Distress ink... stamped a couple of times to give greater strength of colour. I thought it a good match for the shimmer spray!

Friday, 9 August 2019

More paper towel!

Here is another card for the Paper Towel challenge at CAS Mix Up

I rather liked the splotchy bit of paper towel here and so cut a circle from it to put behind this Alexandra Renke die cut. I cut a second circle in card to stiffen it, so that it could be popped up on dimensional pads. The Sentiment from Alley Way stamps was stamped using Ranger die ink in Electric Lime, which matched my spray shimmer ... from the project which was being mopped up! It will appear at sometime soon I hope,  but today we are on granny duties.. so this is a quick post.
Lots of people have enquired recently about the textured card stock I've have been using.. its Hemp from PaperMill Direct. I've had it for ages and thought it was about time it was used up, hence all the cards using it.
This is my almost completed first try at an Octopus for a Preemie. I was helped enormously my fellow crafter Susan Morris, she must have been so frustrated watching me try to manhandle a crochet hook, but it at least looks like an octopus. Sadly I don't think it would pass scrutiny as I have since realised that I have made more than a few booboos doing this. But put it all down to experience.. .the next one should be better!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Simply CAS

I love making Christmas cards and I was eager to see what CAS Christmas was going to challenge us to make this month.
What a perfect challenge for a Christmas card!
 When I was teaching, my classroom was bestrewn with glitter from about mid November onwards, much to the chagrin of the cleaning staff. Their vacuum cleaners never quite managed to gather up all the stray bits... but it was the kind of detritus that brought a smile to my face... I hate litter with a vengeance. When in Japan recently, I was SO pleased to see that to litter was a prosecutable offence and so the streets were pristine... why can't it be like that in the UK?
Anyway, I digress!
Here is a card made with an SSS tree aperture die. The panel beneath this was made with a Sheena Douglass Snow embossing folder, inked on the smooth inner side. The sentiment die is from Cutplorations, layered and glittered with some superfine glitter.
This card is for the challenge at CAS Mix UP
Here instead of transferring the ink from the paper towel to the card, I just separated the sheet into single layers and added a portion behind the Peek a Boo aperture.  I think it adds texture as well as colour. I also used a piece for the back of the butterfly. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up.
This is my second attempt in as the first one, the paper towel was stuck down badly and so was chucked! I think it looks particularly good for the butterfly's wings so I may be using this technique again in the future.
Today I am going to visit a friend I made through crafting and she is going to teach me how to crochet an Octopus. These are very special and are made to very exacting standards to give to premie babies in their incubators or cots, as the tentacles seem reminiscent of the umbilical cord and seem to give the babes a sense of reassurance and comfort. Many mums of premie babies have been really grateful for them. I only hope that I can manage to get the hang of the technique. Only the perfect ones which pass the scrutiny test will be accepted to give to the little ones.
Wish me luck!