Friday, 24 March 2017

Less is More #320 - Washi tape

The current challenge over at Less is More (#320) is 'Washi Tape'.

The DT and many of the entries have really used some inventive and ingenious ways to use Washi tape. But, I went for a very simple and easy design, relying on the lovely vibrant colours and a NBUS flowing script sentiment to add that 'certain something':
I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank, tent style

- piece of white card for a front panel, trimmed slightly smaller than the card front

- the sentiment was stamped using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a single sentiment stamp from a NBUS Penny Black sentiments stamps set called ''special thoughts'

- then I just tore the ends on three rolls of washi tape so that they were roughly angled upwards from left to right - leaving the intact tape on the roll

- used a couple of the torn off scraps of washi tape to temporarily fix the sentiment panel onto my glass cutting mat - making sure the grid lines on the glass mat were even on either side
- then added three strips of washi tape as shown on the card - using the grid lines was a great help in keeping the gaps as straight and even as possible (to me they look a bit on the wonk in the photo though)

- folded the top ends of the washi tape over the card panel and then added it to the card front using a sandwich of white fun foam

I preferred folding the washi tape over the top of the card, rather than trimming it level - it just looks more 'finished' IMHO, that's why I used a separate panel for the design.

Love the NBUS Penny Black sentiments stamps set - some lovely swirly script fonts in there.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'Mother'

It's time for a new challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania and this fortnight's theme is 'Mother'.

Details of our sponsor/the prize to be won can be found over on the Cuttlebug Mania Challenge blog.

You do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine for Cuttlebug Mania entries (it doesn't need to be a Cuttlebug but it must be manual, not electronic). And, you can't mix the two, it must be all manual please. Then make your entry, link into the challenge, link to the challenge in your own blog post and and make sure that you also say what products you used for any die cutting/embossing.

This is what I made:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank

- snippet of peach coloured card, embossed using the Cuttlebug 'Swiss Dots' embossing folder, trimmed to size, corners rounded using an XCut punch and then glued onto the card front

- snippet of white card, die cut using a Spellbinders 'Labels Eight Decorative' die

- then I used a Memory Box 'Perky Poppy' die to cut out a poppy shaped aperture- backed the aperture with double sided adhesive sheet so that the inlaying would be nice and easy

- die cut the poppies from a snippet of green card and inlaid the outline part into the aperture, also using two little white infills I'd also kept from the main die cutting

- die cut the poppy heads from a little snippet of peach coloured card and, before inlaying them I laid them out on a scrap of paper, gently touched the central parts with an orange Zig pen then 'pulled' the colour out towards the edges of the petals using clear Wink of Stella

- then inlaid the petals to complete the poppy 

- tickled the poppy bud and the leaves with clear Wink of Stella

- added the image panel to the card front, using a sandwich layer of white card and white fun foam, die cut using a plain 'Label Eight' die - smaller than the image panel

- the sentiment was stamped onto a snippet of white card using SU's 'Mossy Meadow' and a 'Stamping All Day' sentiment stamp

- then layered the sentiment onto a snippet of peach card and glued it to the card front

- added three iridescent peach sequins as a finishing touch

A little bit about the sentiment stamp. I bought it on line from 'Stamping All Day' when I was searching for a First Holy Communion stamp (which I found in the same shop). They specialise in text stamps and there are some really lovely fonts as well - here's an example of a stamp that's on my 'wish list':
Santa's Treat clear Christmas stamp
The service was super fast and the clear stamps are great quality and stamp perfectly - they even make personalised stamps to order. This little 'toot' is totally unsolicited BTW :)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 273 and 274

And it's a new fortnight in the Snippets Playground - I've been saying that Spring is around the corner and just the other night one of the hedgies tottered to the feeding station for a quick drink and something to eat!  It's been back a few times since as well, in fact we think there might already be more than one of the little critters :)

Thank you so much to everyone who came to play this past fortnight as there were some many fabulous entries!

This is my snippets card for the fortnight, and I confess to using two 'almost card sized' snippets:
 I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank, tent style

- snippet of black card stock for the 'frame', glued to the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- a snippet of 'rainbow' card stock which I used for the background, it also saved me having to use duster brushes and inks

- using the Misti, I first stamped the dandelions and 'Make a Wish' using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the Inkylicious 'Make a Wish' stamp set

- then I trimmed the piece of card to size before stamping the Inkylicious 'Gentle Breeze' sentiment, again using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- glued the image panel on top of the black panel, using the same glue as before

- added three iridescent sequins using Collall All Purpose glue in a fine liner bottle

- final touch, using a fine brush kept for the purpose I added tiny little tickles of 'Frosted Lace' Stickles to the dandelion seed heads

There's a lovely tale that the dandelion is the flower of the military child (I was one - ha, a military child not a dandelion!!) and one piece of prose about it goes like this:

"The official flower of the military child is the dandelion. Why? The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it's almost impossible to destroy. It's an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It's a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They're ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.

I would have left the 'good looking' part out - but a lot of the rest rings so true!

This coming fortnight's prize is made up of stamps, (A) a couple are the same as the ones I used for my card (Inkylicious 'Make a Wish' and 'Gentle Breeze'). Plus, (B) a Lavinia 'Flower Fairy' stamp that I had originally intended to use with the dandelions - we've had this same stamp as a prize twice before in the Playground BTW - always very popular. And (C) we also have a lovely traditional English Summer cricket scene stamp, kindly donated by Lynn (Linby) - made by Crafthouse Press and called 'K007 Cricket'.

I will split the prize three ways if necessary, the two Inkylicious stamps (A) will stay as one part though (I think the verse would be lovely stamped inside a card with the dandelions on the outside). The Lavinia 'Flower Fairy' stamp (B) can stand alone - although it would work so well with the dandelion and the sentiment sets. And the cricket stamp (C) would be the other part. But, as always - all four stamps are one whole bundle if you wish to play for all of them together.

The Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks from now on and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 1st April. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's still a maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. The prize is all stamps together as a single prize, unless you really do only want to try for a 'split' as I explained above - in which case I'd do further draws for the other items. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you're wanting to be in the draw then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive yes just in case you're playing only for fun. Thanks!

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Be sure to call back next week to see the winner of last fortnight's prize  plus my picks from the past two weeks as well! And to see who our next Guest Designer is!

Look forward to seeing what you come up with this fortnight - more clever ideas for snippets as well as 'anything you choose' - what could be simpler?

Love from Parsnip and me,

Friday, 17 March 2017

Merry Monday - #239 - colour challenge

The current challenge over at Merry Monday uses the most fabulous colour combination - copper or bronze, gold, and turquoise. And the DT cards are really gorgeous too - those colours work so well together! As I write this, I'm surprised more folk haven't entered as it's such a beautiful combination of colours - and one I'll be using again for sure.

This is the card I made, and it was almost impossible to photograph, sigh. I tried all ways with my camera and it was Len, using his camera, who ended up taking this photo for me:
The rich vibrancy of the 'peacock turquoise' is still more vivid in real life, but I think 'the boy done good' - considering my best efforts came out dark blue!

I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank, tent style

- piece of matching white card, into which I die cut the set of three baubles using a Memory Box 'Clairmont Ornaments' die - keeping the little die cut pieces to one side for later

- then I backed the aperture with double sided adhesive paper (medium strength) and set it to one side as well

- die cut the ornaments using a snippet of matt gold card and then popped the outline part of the die cut into the sticky aperture on the card front piece of card

- added in the relevant little pieces of white I'd saved

- die cut the inerr part of the holly leaves from a little snippet of copper matt mirri card and popped those in place

- then die cut the baubles themselves using turquoise glitter paper from the Xcut self-adhesive 'darks' glitter sheets - and popped those in place

- now I could see how much space I had to play with, so I die cut the word 'noel' from another little snippet of copper card, backed with Stick-it double sided adhesive sheet

- the die I used is actually the Poppy Stamps 'Noel Snowflake' stamp - but it's a piece of cake to just snip the (only partly cut to save card!) snowflake off of course

- stuck the sentiment in place onto what was to be the front panel of the card

- then I could position a Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die as I wanted and die cut the panel

- added the panel to the card front, sandwiched with white fun foam to lift it. Gonna have to pull back on this idea else I could be headed for Large letter post costs at Christmas!

- finally added three sequins, one gold and two turquoise to finish off

The sequins came from packets of 'shaker card' fillings I bought at the end of last year - this is where I got them from - (Little Things by Lucy's Cards). Be careful if you go and look, the choice is just so tempting! Lucy is based in the UK but her overseas shipping costs are very reasonable. The packs I dipped into are called 'Caribbean Dream' and Rose Gold' - bet that's got you drooling!

One tip I think a few of you have mentioned in the past is that it's a good idea to run an inlaid (or otherwise) die cut completed (before any fancy embellishments like sequins of course!) image through your die cutting machine just to flatten everything evenly. It take those little bumps out of die cuts that you sometimes find (where the release holes are in the die), adheres everything beautifully and looks much more professional. For the life of me I can't think why I didn't do it before now!

Oh, and I was going to make a set of four identical cards - but when I was making the first one, even though it was 'semi-batch baking', I knew that making four was going to be too much - but I did make two the same!

I'd like to enter this card into the following current challenges:

Merry Monday #239 - 'Colour Challenge - copper or bronze, gold, and turquoise (of course!)

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge #324 - 'Anything Goes' (I skipped the option of 'vintage')

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for March - 'Always Anything Goes'

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Less is More - Challenge #319 - One Layer Card - 'Leaves'

This week's challenge over at Less is More is 'Leaves' - and that reminded me of a set of stamps and matching dies, as yet unused here. As it's a one layer challenge, I couldn't try out the dies this time round, but I do so love the stamps on their own anyhow:
I had to take the photo at an angle to pick up the shine of the embossing!

I used:

- 4" x 5.75" card blank, tent style - made using Strathmore 'Mixed media paper - vellum surface' . What's extra great about this is that it's 300 gsm, so it's perfectly sturdy for a card blank when doing just one layer

- the stamps are from the MFT 'Geometric Greenery' set, which (as I already said) does have a matching set of dies

- using the Misti for placement of all the stamps in one go I lined up the leaves and popped the sentiment above

- stamped the images and sentiment using VersaMark and then heat embossed using Ranger 'Liquid Platinum' embossing powder

- coloured in the leaves using my new Zig water colour brush markers and called it done

Using an embossed outline certainly helped me when colouring the leaves - and I'm sure I got the 'Liquid Platinum' idea from Loll as it always looks so great on her beautiful work.

Edit: As encouraged by Loll, I'm also joining in the current CAS Watercolour Challenge, where the theme this month is 'Spring'. I reckon the pretty greens are a harbinger of Spring :) 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 269 and 270 - results

It's halfway (once again) through the fortnightly challenge in the Snippets Playground and time for our Guest Designer, some 'picks' of the fortnight and the prize draw.

First of all, our Guest Designer is a lady who frequently makes me laugh, besides being very talented - it's April of Paper Lily Leaf:
Isn't this a darling Easter card? And, April used the fabulous sunburst technique that is so perfect for using up snippets of both plain and patterned paper.

April sent me the following details about how she made the card:

"My Easter card uses snippets from a Designer Series Paper Stack called Serene Scenery. I combined the sunburst design with Bermuda Bay and Daffodil Delight cardstock. The cute little chick can be found in the Little Cuties stamp set. He was stamped in Delightful Dijon and then coloured in with SU watercolour pencils. To add a bit of bling I have included a snippet of Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper and a couple of sequins. I hope you like it – I think he looks a cheeky little chap!"

For loads more information (as well as a link to a site showing how to do this brilliant technique) do hop over to April's blog. A comment to say you called, as well perhaps joining April's followers, would be great as well girls - pretty please from Parsnip :)

April's a huge fan of Stampin' Up as well as being a Demo for them and I've found plenty of inspiration over on her blog. Bless, she was too shy to let me have a photo of herself - but here's a great photo from her blog - taken after a certain cat named Spot had been doing acrobatics from the curtains:)
It's as if he's saying 'Who, me?' and, according to April, with not a shred of remorse - just the sense of a job well done! Snigger.

It's just over four years since April began her blog and she's quite canny about sticking to crafting posts so it's quite hard to dig around and expand much on the basic stuff I know about her. One incident, which totally cracked me up at the time was when April managed to step onto some gold embossing paste and then trot around the bathroom and up and down stairs leaving nice little 'splots' from the sole of her slipper. Sound just like a trick I'd pull to be honest!

Thank you April for being such a sport and agreeing to be Guest Designer this time round!

Remember girls, you can always let me know if you would like to be a Guest Designer - I have a list and would be delighted to add your name.

So, let's move onto my picks from this past fortnight and first we have a Gold Star pick!

I chose this card, made by Chantal, as it's a perfect reminder of how a selection of smallish snippets can be used to made a truly fabulous bouquet of flowers and foliage. As Darnell commented, it's beautiful enough to be framed. Just take a look through your 'flora' dies girls and I bet you'll be amazed at what you can produce just by some clever combining of dies and snippets.

I hope you'll take the 'Gold Star Badge' from the sidebar Chantal - to display on your own blog.

And, here are two more picks, it gets more difficult to choose as I keep saying:
I chose this card, made by Kate, for all the fabulous paper piecing. Brilliant way to use up snippets and what I especially loved - apart from the wonderful design of course - is that Kate actually stamped each segment of the butterfly's wings onto different coloured snippets of paper. What a labour of love - and what a result!

This card was brought to share by Liz and I've picked it partly because the design is just lovely - but also as a 'heads up' (in my humble opinion at least) to what is a great alternative to using, and shelling out quite a bit of money on, the Memory Box 'Grand' message dies such as this one I use quite often:
Can you see the similarities with the actual sentiment? I'm certainly not suggesting that the Memory Box 'Grand' message dies aren't absolutely fabulous, I have a few of them myself - just pointing out that you can achieve some very similar 'positive and negative' effects by using 'normal' word dies imaginatively.

That's my three picks and once again I focused very much on ingenious ways to use snippets - which might inspire you.

We had 75 Playmates joining in this past fortnight (squeal!) - with three new little friends joining us:
Dorothy S
Welcome girls! Hope you came back and play with us again :)

Prize draw time now and our winner of the MFT 'Wildflowers' two- piece die set and Darice 'Picket Fence' embossing folder kindly donated by Darnell - plus a Darice embossing folder called 'Clouds' from me:
Well done Kath! Can you please drop me an email with your address in and I'll post your prize off as soon as possible! My email address is on the right hand side bar.

Our local village shop/tiny Post Office is open again so I should be quicker posting this prize. It's quite sad in lots of ways though as I popped in there during the week just gone and now that the premises have been extended and refurbished it's lost all the quaintness I loved it for. Sure it's very smart, open, amazingly spacious, bright, huge variety of stock and so on - but the heart and soul has been ripped out with all the old fittings. I think it had to be done of course to keep up with the times (and probably 'Elf an' Safety as well)  but I'm an old fashioned gal at heart, sigh :(

Anyway, keep those snippets entries coming girls, you still have a week left to play HERE remember!

See you on the swings! The weather has perked up a bit and Thursday in particular was glorious in the Playground - coats were thrown off and sunglasses were donned. Mind you, I still haven't seen anyone wandering round in shorts and skimpy tops - yet! We're fully expecting Spike the hedgehog and family to put in an appearance any time now!

Love from the little white peril, who is extra happy that April is Guest Designer this week ( I suspect something might be going on between those two!) - and of course from me too

Friday, 10 March 2017

ho! ho! ho! - with punch art

Recently I stumbled across a really old but very cute 'punch art' Santa hat on line, made using SU punches. There were no instructions, apart from a photo of the pieces, but the idea is very clever (IMHO) so it was very much a case of playing around, plus I didn't have one of the punches that appeared to have been used so had to improvise and this was the end result - and I made five cards all the same in a single 'batch bake':
And these are the punched pieces I started off with - just to put the punch art into context, I'll explain below:
Get the idea? On the photo I found there was also a plain oval punched out of the centre of the white scalloped oval - and that's where I improvised. Read on for more detail:

I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank

- the same white card stock, which is slightly off-white - mistake to buy an unknown brand on line, lesson learned! I cut a panel just slightly smaller (eighth of an inch all round) to the card blank

- then I die cut an aperture into the panel, using a Spellbinders 'Wonky Rectangle' die - having tried almost every other die I owned against the little prototype hat I made. That's one of my tips for today - especially if you want to make a batch of cards, take the time to make a little prototype, it will repay you in shed loads!

- then I stamped the 'ho! ho! ho!' sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from SU's 'Good greetings' stamp set

- next I backed the aperture with a snippet of black card stock, and added it to the card front using a layer of fun foam to lift it a bit

- I had already used punches to make the hat elements, shown above. I used snippets of course and one was deep red satin mirri for the 'cap' of the hat - using SU's 'Extra Large Oval' punch, and then I just cut a little rounded piece out of the hat using one end of the SU 'Word Window' punch 

- next I went around all the edges of the red satin mirri card using a red Whispers marker - just to cover up the white edge - not needed if you use a 'coloured all the way through' card stock of course

- the fur for the hat was die cut using a SU 'Scallop Oval' punch and a snippet of pearlescent Centura white card

- the little bobble for the hat was also die cut from the Centura white card and a SU 'Itty Bitty' flower shaped punch

- this is where I wandered away from the overall assembly bit as I didn't have a 'central oval' punch small enough (I think it's the now discontinued SU 'Small Oval' punch) or even a die suitable enough to cut an oval aperture into which the bottom part of the hat would slot

- my solution was to slightly trim away a small curve from the back part of the hat, just below the 'notch' I'd punched in to form the cheeky pointed part so that the line of the red followed the white 'fur' trim of the hat and sit the red part of the hat on top of the white scalloped oval rather than slot it through an aperture - and it works just fine. And if you followed that little explanation - take a quick go on the Playground swings!

- all that was left was to glue the three parts of the hat in place, using a fine line glue applicator and Collall All Purpose Glue - before adding the finishing touch of 'Icicle' Stickles to the hat bobble

I always leave adding Stickles and Glossy Accents until a card is completed - had too many accidents in the past trying to play with teeny embellishments and said sticky stuff :) Plus, I play safe and either use a fine line applicator for Glossy Accents or, for either, squeeze some onto a small piece of paper to work with and add it with a fine paintbrush.