Wednesday 30 June 2021

Happy Birthday

Here I used a little more of the distressed shaving foam technique print, (which I used on the card in my last post) but sadly picked a background stamp to emboss over the top which was too busy, so you actually can't see too much of the blues beneath...But I thought I would use it anyway!
I took a strip of card and die cut the tips of the butterflies' wings from it then dry embossed it. I cut two butterflies from the blue/gold embossed card and popped them into the gaps, adding bodies and a sentiment.

Do butterflies count as critters? I guess they might!

Here is another card made with a similar layout, similar shaving foam print and similar technique of partially inlaying the dies. This is my attempt at the Photo inspiration at Just Us Girls.

I think it's quite a tricky one! The DT inspiration is awesome... do take a look!

This card base is one of the two different types of linen-y card that I'm using to try to replace the one that Paper Mill Direct has ceased producing... much to my chagrin. This one is from Amazon.


Tuesday 29 June 2021


These fish were cut from some of the shaving foam prints as on my previous card.
I took the sketch from CAS Colours and Sketches and played with it a little.

PS Just realised I missed the boat on this one!

I took the sea theme from this photo!

The seaweed escaping from the frame were unintentional, but somehow a tiny smidge of ink found its way on to the card! SO rather than make a new frame (I had to fiddle around extending the length of one die cut) I decided to disguise the boo boo on this one!


Sunday 27 June 2021

Happy Birthday

I was having fun with the Shaving Foam technique the other day, after I discovered that if you leave the foam mixed with the colour for a few hours before taking a print a different effect appears. Rather than the traditional marbling, a looser more bubbly print is achieved. I grabbed all sorts of scraps of paper and card and popped them onto the foam to take prints and they are all slightly different and I really like the range of effects which occur. I rather thought that this looked like swirls of water, hence the little fish. I have so many prints from the one plateful of foam, that I'll be making watery cards for a while methinks.
Inkspiration - Maritime


Wednesday 23 June 2021

Be Jolly

This card was made using up bits and pieces from my desk. I had a portion of a Gelli plate print left over, plus a piece of gold card with enough space to die-cut the sentiment and the tree outline. The panel for the trees was also cut from a scrap of matching card. So it was all quick to put together. It might be a good proposition for mass production of Christmas cards, as this is a two part die set... the background and the separate outline and not one where the inserts have to be reinserted... although you could do this if you only had the outline die.

Clean and Simple

Seeing this Gelli Plate print makes me think that I should get it out again! 


Saturday 19 June 2021


Here is a card made with the scraps on my desk from a couple of recent die cutting sessions. The dies here are from Memory Box. the trees are from a two part die, where there is a solid back layer and an outline top layer. Often to achieve this look with a single die, one has to inlay the centre part and stack the outline in order to get the relief effect. This one is really easy to do. I embossed the black section with a dotted chevron embossing folder from Cuttlebug.
The front panel was perforated with a star border die, also I believe from Memory Box.
When adding sentiments, I think it's important to consider a few things.
  • The message you want to convey
  • The position it's going to take in the general design
  • The style of font to complement the image
  • The weight of the lettering
  • The colour
I spend a long time messing about with dies and/or sentiment stamps in order to be satisfied that whatever I choose, the final composition will be balanced, co-ordinated and pleasing to the eye. 
Christmas 24 Trees & Ornaments
Paper Minutes - Keep it Simple


Friday 18 June 2021

Wonderful Memories

A commission recently required a condolence card with specific wording, for a gentleman friend of the sender who had passed away. When a life has been long and full, it is wonderful when good memories remain and that is the message this card needed to convey, so the words were all important, which is why I wanted to make them central to the design.
I positioned the words in a very technical way... I set my screen in Word to 118% which makes the visible page on the screen of my laptop the exact same size as a piece of A4. (On my last laptop it was 105%.) I then cut the aperture using the die with a piece of copy paper, which I could then hold in front of the screen, and using text boxes, could arrange the words where I wanted them to fit in the aperture. Once printed, it was easy to put the sentiment behind the aperture and add a simple die cut soaring sea bird to complete the simple design.

Watercooler Wednesday Occasions (Sorry this is a sad one)

Paper Minutes #696 - Keep it simple


Wednesday 16 June 2021


I am really loving the dies I purchased from Simply Graphic and these gift dies are part of yet another set. The fourth gift is a circle and I wasn't quite sure where I could have placed that one.  The sentiment is from a different company and for the life of me I can't remember which one!
I guess that these parcels could be used for any occasion when gifts are given, but I thought that the addition of a tiny sprig of holly added to the seasonal nature!
The front parcel was popped onto dimensional pads and the sentiment stacked 4 times with the 'l' of the lowest layer removed so that it sat evenly over the edge of the tall parcel.


Tuesday 15 June 2021


I was wondering what I could do as a second contribution to the challenge CAS Mix Up and loved Bonnie's DT card, so thought I would do something along the same lines. I wasn't incredibly successful at the  Splash technique, which is why there is selected portion on show in this card. However, having said that, I do like the bit I can see!. I was more successful with regular card than with watercolour paper, which may not have been heavy enough.
The sentiment is from SSS, I thin k the birds are Memory BOx, but I'm sure someone will let me know if I am wrong.

This evening we are to have a choir rehearsal in a barn! Socially distanced of course, but it looks as though there will be no chance of any sort of concert this summer as Mr Johnson has delayed the lifting of restrictions for another month!
Let's hope for better things in the autumn term!



Recently I seem to have been making cards with a front panel containing apertures. If that panel is popped up onto dimensional pads it seems to add a whole lot more interest. Here I used some little crocus dies by Alexandra Renke, coloured with Distress Oxide inks, applied randomly for the flowers with a little water spritzed to move the colour around a little, and applied with a blending brush for the stems and leaves. 
Alphabet Challenge  E Easy Simple card

Saturday 12 June 2021


Here is another card playing around with my new dies from Simply Graphic. Somehow this didn't workout quite as effectively as I had hoped. I found the juxtaposition of the leaves quite tricky to arrange. I would lay out the pieces until I found an arrangement I liked but by the time I had picked up the pieces to add the adhesives, I couldn't seem to find exactly where I had previously put the leaves.
I made this with two challenges in mind.
Just Us Girls - No Stamping and the sketch from CAS Colours and Sketches 

I found the no stamping bit rather tricky when it came to colouring the leaves. I wanted to add some dots to add interest, for which I would normally use a splatter stamp, so to get around this, I cut a stencil with Sizzix snowstorm die and added the contrast colours through that. They looked a little stark, so as they were distress inks, I spritzed them with water and the colour improved.
For the front panel, firstly I embossed a piece of card with a Cuttlebug folder and then cut it into two, leaving a gap between the pieces.
The dies are from Simply Graphic.

Friday 11 June 2021

Sending Love

Here is yet another new die from Simply Graphic. I think these blooms are SO cool! I think that the trickiest part of this card was getting the apertures lined up and spaced evenly! I used a ruler to get them square to the front panel die, but they kept just shifting slightly, not helped by the fact that my Big Shot plates are very warped. In the end rather than using tape to secure the little dies in place, I covered them with a piece of Press 'n' Seal, which worked brilliantly! I cut a second set of heads for the flowers to stack on top so that it would add a little dimension and coloured them with Distress Oxide ink in Spun Sugar for the base coat, then stamped some speckles and added a little shading in Worn Lipstick. The leaf die is another from Simply Graphic... (I had a lovely parcel of goodies delivered yesterday) I left some of the leaf parts in and  took others out!
The sentiment is from Sugar Pea Designs. It took about 4 tries to get it right... the first one wasn't cut centrally (I had to shorten the die cut a little), then when is was cut centrally I realised that it was too dark in Worn Lipstick, so I did it again in Spun Sugar!
AAA Cards Flowers

Time out - Inspiration - Spring

CAS on Friday - Flowers


Nautical Birthday

Here is a card made with a new die from Simply Graphic. I love this company and would love to buy heaps more products, but I must pace myself! 
It is reminiscent of The Great Wave of Kanagawa a woodblock piece of art by Katsushika Hokusai. I tried doing a watercolour version in a class onboard Queen Elizabeth on our cruise from Japan to Vancouver. I didn't do very well! This doesn't have Mount Fuji in the distance or the boat riding the waves, but I find it quite a calming image, despite the ferocity of the sea.
After cutting out the die I water coloured the sky using little Stormy Sky Distress Oxide ink mixed with water, creating the clouds by dabbing a piece of dry paper towel into the wet paint. I coloured the other sections of the die cut with deepening shades of Distress Oxides towards the bottom. and added some speckles for the foam with Dr Phil Martin's Bleed Proof White.
Since having my new kitchen, the induction hob has been not quite right. When I pressed for the front right zone to be used, the back right zone would be selected. I could alter it to the correct one, but it was irritating that it wasn't working as it should. After a second visit by an engineer, today it was finally fixed! Hurrah!

Watercooler Wednesday - All things masculine

Thursday 10 June 2021

Be Merry

I have been meaning to get around to making a card for the challenge at CAS Christmas for ages, but my supply of snowmen stamps seems to be limited to two... which is all that I could find this time. I used one of the images for last month's challenge and this is the other. I may have others squirreled away somewhere, but I can neither remember if I have any, nor find any that I've forgotten about.
This one is a really old wood mounted stamp from Hampton Arts. I simply gently coloured him with alcohol pens. 
I knew that I wanted to make an aperture for him to peep through but couldn't decide on the size of the square it should go into. I wanted to choose a stamp for the sentiment whose font matched the lines of the stamp for weight and style and the first one I tried, seemed perfect apart from the fact that I couldn't get a decent impression from it. I tried it about three or four times and in the end decided that it was because it was a freebie  stamp from a mag it wasn't quite the quality I like. This one, from Penny Black, stamped perfectly first time! 
The dies I used for the front panel are from Presscut and are really skinny, meaning that they make the cut edge the same  (without any embossed edge) whether it's on the outside of a panel or the inside of an aperture.
Fezziwig's Festive Frolics - Cold and Frosty


Wednesday 9 June 2021

Thank you

Since choir rehearsals ceased following the introduction of Covid restrictions, we have been forced to rehearse via ZOOM. It's really not good singing on your own... we all have to have our microphones muted, as with internet time differences the cacophony would be hideous. However, with the slight easing of restrictions it meant that 6 of us could meet together to join the rehearsal.
Last night we joined the conductor of our choir, his wife, together with another couple for the practice. It was wonderful to sing and hear others at the same time. It was better for the others joining in too apparently, as they were able to sing along with us instead of singing with a recording.
Afterwards he treated us to a fabulous curry supper out in the garden, (he is an amazing cook as well as a brilliant musician). 
We also met his adorable dog Eddie who is a Brittany... and about these colours, so this is a thank you to him for a fabulous evening!
Let's hope we can all get together properly very soon!
Little dog die SSS!


Tuesday 8 June 2021

Thank you for your kindness

Do you ever get those times when you know you have something that you need to use, but don't quite know where to look or how to find it?
When I saw the challenge from Just US Girls

...I knew that I must have a stamp which mentioned kindness, but it took me quite a while to find this one from SSS. It actually came with a variety of 'thanks' stamps but I preferred to use a die which said 'thank you'!
The music manuscript paper which I used for the large leaves was from a scan I took of a very old book of contralto songs, (selected by Madame Clara Butt, so that kinda dates it) which turned out to be a mistake for the card it was planned for. However I found a use for it with this card. The paper is considerably yellowed with age, but I think my printer added a little to that.
I die-cut the skinny frame and then tore a piece of mulberry paper to go behind it, adding the sprigs of leaves and finally stamping the sentiment. I thought a few random pearls wouldn't go amiss so I added a few of those.


Sunday 6 June 2021

80th Birthday

A friend asked me to make a card for her auntie who will be having her 80th birthday!... She just said... maybe some flowers!
I used dies by Hero Arts to make the watering can and tulips. I cut two watering cans and layered them, coloured them with Black Soot Distress Oxide ink and then added a little Viva Rusty Patina using a rough brush. The tulips were also coloured with Distress Oxides, but I added a little of the same colours in regular Distress Ink to add some shading...  the colours are slightly different. I curved the can slightly, arranged the flowers inside and stuck them in, then mounted the can with some dimensional pads under the centre in order to keep the shape. I cut a couple of clumps of grass from a grass border die in order to ground the die cut.
The sentiment was computer generated in Playful font.



My first thought when I saw the challenge at CASology was of a Polaroid snap for one of the little die critters I have by SSS. 
Poor old Panda looks a trifle scared, I think he needs a little encouragement to make him smile.

I layered the sentiment three times to add a little definition, I have to say that stacking the tittle for the 'i' was a mite tricky... I also spent a little while searching for one of the white pieces for Panda's eyes! I added the pupils for his eyes with a fine script pen.
I have been searching fruitlessly for the make of the smile die. I keep my dies on magnetic sheets, by theme, and the packaging I squirrel away for reference. HOWEVER... as as seem to have amassed hundreds and hundreds of dies plus their associated packaging, finding the source sometimes is tricky. I have scrawled the make on the back of lots of dies with a Sharpie, but not all. Some, I tell myself I will remember, but not in this case. I had thought that this was from Simon Says Stamp, but I can find no packet and nothing on the website. If anyone knows I would be glad to label it! I actually cut three and layered them.
Now to put away all the packaging I got out looking for the origin of the die!


Saturday 5 June 2021


I was lucky enough to win a challenge at 52CCT and was invited to do another Guest Designer spot for them. This time the challenge is to follow this sketch!

Instead of the squares/rectangles, I decided to use different sized snowflakes, cut from some new glitter card which just arrived. I cut strips of card for the line elements of the card and added a simple die cut sentiment, which I stacked to add a little definition. 
I love making Christmas cards and I love that when the time comes to start sending them, I have plenty on hand... no more mad making sessions when postal deadlines are looming!


Friday 4 June 2021


I think that Christmas cards are my very favourite to make, so here's another, this time inspired by the challenge at ABC Christmas where I have chosen M for Mistletoe.
The foliage die is stacked three times with the top layer coloured with some Rustic Wilderness Distress  Oxide ink, applied with a blending brush. I purposely tried to get an uneven coverage of ink so as to give a more natural appearance. I embossed the inner part of the frame with a retired  Snow EF from Sheena Douglass and added an extra layer to the frame to add definition! The berries are flat backed adhesive pearls. The stem part is stuck to the backdrop but the leaves overhanging the frame are popped onto dimensional pads.

Thursday 3 June 2021

Bee birthday

It's always exciting to see what the challenge is going to be each month at CAS Mix Up. This month the topic has been chosen by Viv, whom I have 'known' for many years since becoming acquainted at 'Less is More'. She produces amazing work which never fails to inspire.

As you may see from the prompt, watercolour must rate really highly in the cards. All the colouring in my card used watercolour techniques. 
I began by stamping some patches of Distress Oxide ink using an acrylic block, then spritzing with water to diffuse the colour. I then over-stamped with a grunge splatter stamp with the same ink, adding a little water in the process. 
I coloured the honeycomb by dragging the ink pad over it and then once more spritzing with water. I cut the infill parts of the bee from some card that I had stamped with the ink pad and then wetted.
I decided to add an extra layer to the wings by cutting in white card and using some Black Soot Distress Oxide ink to drag some colour over them with a rough paste brush. It brought out some of the veining.
I had to put the card under a heavy weight to try to flatten it out somewhat as it had become rather bent with all the spritzing.
I made the sentiment panel in Word, drawing a text box and filling it with black and then writing the sentiment using white. Once printed and die cut I gave it a couple of layers of clear embossing to intensify the colour.