Friday, 29 July 2016

Less is More - Weeks 286 & 287 - Use something Tactile

The current Less is More challenge (Use something Tactile) is running for two weeks this time as Chrissie and a lot of the team are going to be at the Happy Little Stampers Retreat in Swindon - along with Darnell of course. Oh to be a fly on the wall eh?

This is my entry:
I used:

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

- a slightly smaller backing layer of beige coloured Core'dinations card

- piece of white card, trimmed to slightly smaller than the beige layer and then (using the Misti) stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Toffee Crunch' ink and a sentiment from the Winnie & Walter's 'The Big, the Bold and the Happy' stamp set

- wrapped beige twine twice around the card front and stuck it in place at the back

- glued the panel to the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- then, using the glue gun, added a Papermania 'Burlap Bloom' and topped it with a beige twine daisy flower

The beige twine, burlap flower and also the twine daisy were gifts from Jules a little while ago. And she made that lovely daisy using an 'almost antique' brass 'Daisy Loom'. A lovely little piece of equipment, very cleverly designed with retractable 'pins' so you can slip the daisy off when it's been sewn together in the centre.

Who knows, I may even hop back with a second entry next week as LIM is one of my favourite challenges :)

Next I need to catch up on my Christmas card making - beginning to slip again!


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Rudolph Days Challenge - July 2016

Crumbs, where did time go since the last time we played over at ScrappyMo's Rudolph Day Challenge? Almost got caught out so had to do some swift card making yesterday. Whilst at it I also made my card suitable for some other challenges, listed at the end of this post. Here's the card I made, one of four exactly the same - to also catch up a bit on my slipping Christmas card target:
I used:

- 6" x 4" white card blank

- piece of slightly smaller white card, embossed using SU's 'Softly Falling' embossing folder. The idea from this came from THIS card, made by Carol L which I had as a pick on my Sunday Snippets post 10 days ago

- then I used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches sentiments set called 'Christmas Sampler' to stamp 'Merry Chrismas' in the bottom right corner, where the falling snow leaves a very convenient flat patch. Glued it to the card front

- wanting to make four cards quickly I very wisely (not) chose to stamp and colour four images all the same, when will I learn!? Used a darling snowman stamp that Andrea (KandA) sent me recently. I have no idea of the make or name except that he's unmounted red rubber, stamps like a dream and is just so cute! Any ideas folks? Elzybells? LOTV?

- stamped the little chap using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and then coloured him in using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending fluid before trimming right round his outline

- added some clear Wink of Stella to the fur trimmings on his Santa hat and jacket and some gold to the buckle and the 'nail heads' on his placard using a Signo 'Sparkling Gold' pen

- die cut a white panel using a die from the 'Rounded Banner' set of dies made by MFT, then cut a larger panel using a die one size up and red pearlescent card - sent to me just this week by the lovely Donna. Of course, I'd chosen the reds in the image to tone with the pearlescent card - I'm not totally daft!

- then assembled the topper panel using Collall All Purpose glue and popped the snowman on top before adding the whole thing to the card front using thin sticky pads

Shame it's so hard to catch the lovely gold sparkle on his buckle and the placard - it just looks a bit grubby and patchy in the photo, sigh. And, another time I'd leave his hand white maybe - I just thought 'mitten' when I was colouring :)

As I said above, I'd also like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 291 'Use a sentiment'

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for July 'Always anything goes'

Merry Monday 'Christmas in Summer Link-Up' 'Use a snowman'

'Merry Monday' is actually taking a Summer break, as they do each year, but, this time they're inviting us to make our entries over the next five or so weeks using any previous theme. What a great idea and also, at the end there's a draw to win a Starbucks Gift Card. It's in dollars so I'm wondering if the air fare is included? Sigh, I thought not! I chose a previous Merry Monday theme of 'Use a Snowman' - April 2014, challenge #103.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Butterfly Challenge #58 - Butterflies + D is for Dimension and/or Denim

Ooops, screeching into Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge at the last minute - as is often the case! Here's my 'Denim' plus (what I hope is enough) 'Dimension' butterfly card:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank, tent style

- piece of pale blue denim print paper from the Joanna Sheen 'Haberdashery' paper pack, trimmed slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place

- white card for the two front layers, die cut using the Spellbinders 'Resplendent Rectangles' set then glued the bigger layer in place

- the smaller layer needed a sentiment stamping onto it and I did some fiddling with the Misti. Basically, I was using an Elzybells sentiment stamp, which is solid red rubber and also wanted to be sure that it stamped fully. I was using Memento 'Paris Dusk' ink so knew I had a good start there. Here's how I adapted the Misti. I placed the Stampin' Up thin clear plastic sheet from the SU stamp positioner onto the Misti and popped the two magnets on it to hold it in place. Having swiped the back of the stamp with removeable tape runner, I then placed the sentiment stamp face down onto the clear plastic sheet, where it would be picked up by the lid

- firmly closed and then opened the Misti lid and at that point I had the stamp secured to the lid and the plastic held in place by magnets. Inked up the stamp and closed the lid - which left the image on the acetate. Hope you're still with me - if not just shout and I'll do a further post with some photos

- next took the already die cut top white layer of card and lifted just one of the magnets to slip it underneath the plastic sheet so I could line the sentiment up where I wanted it (could see this as the sentiment was already stamped onto the clear plastic sheet of course)

- it's really important to keep the plastic sheet in the same position whilst you slip the piece of card underneath as the stamp is going to come down in the very same place as it was picked up from. Once happy, and it took seconds, I held the piece of card in place with the magnet I'd removed earlier, removed the plastic sheet altogether and for extra 'belt, braces and double knicker elastic' also added the second magnet

- re-inked the sentiment with the same ink pad and then stamped it onto the top layer of white card. Sure enough, it took more than one go to get a clear, even image - phew, that fiddling on was so worth it!

- then die cut one white butterfly and one pale blue denim butterfly, using Memory Box dies called 'Darla' and 'Vivienne', layered them so that the denim blue lace wings were flicked up and then stuck the butterfly in place onto the card front

Hindsight being what it is, I could have saved all the fiddling round with the Misti and the clear plastic if I'd thought to stamp the sentiment onto a piece of white card first in roughly the right position and then do the die cutting afterwards - duh :(


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 239

Well, we wanted Summer to finally arrive here in the UK! And it sure did last week, phew!  What an exciting week for so many of us, Darnell arrived in the UK and is currently on her 'Grand Tour'. I wrote about it HERE.

Having been away for almost three days in Southampton with Mrs A and Darnell, there's been very little time for crafting so today's snippets card today is a repeat showing of one I made back in the middle of June - but it does lead us nicely into this week's prize. It's a Christmas card .......... in sweltering July:
I used:

- 5" x 5" white card blank

- square of silver mirri card, slightly smaller than the card front, glued in place

- square of white card, slightly smaller than the silver layer, glued in place

- more of the silver mirri card, backed with Stick It adhesive sheet then the dove and sentiment were die cut using Sue Wilson's Creative Expressions 'Dove of Peace' set

- adhered the dove and sentiment in place on the card front - clean, crisp and simple

All the silver card came from the snippets folder BTW. I always have loads of little pieces of leftover gold and silver mirri card - always handy for sentiments as well as smallish die cuts such as corners.

Now for this week's peek at the picks:

A great way to use up snippets, shared with us by Val. I love this quite abstract SU die set that Val used. It can be used for male cards, pretty girlie cards in say pinks and mauves, gold/silver for Anniversaries and Weddings, the long wavy die could be used for snowdrift backgrounds - the list goes on! There now, I've fully justified adding the set to my 'wish list' :)

I know that loads and loads of you are playing with alcohol inks and Yupo paper right now - producing some wonderful work. This card, using the technique, brought to share by Cornelia, really made me sit up - what a stunner! I think it's just breathtaking - absolutely beautiful background and the vellum panel sentiment is perfect!

And here's another brilliant Yupo paper/alcohol ink creation! This time Aileen created lots of backgrounds to play with and the LOVE die cut came from one of them. So striking and I'm all fired up to take the plunge!! Sometimes, in fact a lot of the time, I fear for my pocket money when I see all the wonderful ideas in the Playground!

I picked this card, made by Sam ( Whisper) because I think it's really pretty, lots of snippets, it's pink, a lovely design ........... and it sums up the weather right now down in the Playground :) So, so sweet and made with such care - the adorable hedgie really made me smile here.

Here's a card to bring you up with a start - made by the very talented Donna. Again using vellum so effectively and a fabulous new Poppy Stamps die called 'Sticks Frame'. I absolutely love this card and, quite rightly, Donna has entered it into the brilliant challenge run by Loll and Bonnie (both of them are Playmates here).

I especially like Loll and Bonnie's really friendly monthly challenge, called 'CAS Mix Up' - link is HERE - as it's two elements for each challenge, then you choose the third element from a standard permanent list. For example, Donna used Stamping + Markers and then added in heat embossing, die cutting and punching. So, it's great fun to pick the third element (or more if you wish, I've entered using a card with two additional elements this past week) ) to go with the weekly theme. And you get to make a CAS card, along with mixing  elements/techniques - so cool!

So, here's a snippets card made by Loll - co-owner of the challenge I just wrote about. You really ought to hop over to see her method of making the background, very clever and I think her craft room might resemble a Chinese laundry at times :) Love the peachy toned background, topped with the black die cuts and then the black and white sentiment. Just so pleasing to the eye.

And, to keep us a bit focused on the 'CAS Mix Up' challenge I'm writing about, this is one of Bonnie's DT cards - which uses snippets of course plus stamping, markers, dry embossing and vellum. One neat trick to share is that Bonnie wrapped the layer of patterned vellum over the top of the card blank and then added some sticky underneath the pretty butterfly panel to further adhere it to the card front. I really love this sentiment and am sure I have a stamp with a very similar one on .......... somewhere in here!

Well, I set out to show just three picks of the week and ended up with seven - and could have kept going as well!

Anyone spot a couple of trends going on? Yup, this week it's Yupo with alcohol inks and also vellum. Len will often say to me that surely there comes a point when there won't be any new products/techniques to try. I just quietly smile and shake my head knowingly :)

We had one new Playmate this week:
Christmas card created for Camp Create Fantastic Foiling, Send a Smile 4 Kids Christmas in July, MarkerPop 99 Die Cuts, and Naughty or Nice Anything Goes.
I know - squeeal - isn't this just adorable, and a style I wish I could master! Trina P brought this wonderful Christmas card to share with us. She's only been blogging since April this year so it would be lovely if a few of you could hop over to say 'Hello'. I just love the glossy sentiment too, you need to see it for yourselves :) Trina doesn't appear to have a followers gadget on her blog so it's hard to tell how many folk do follow her :(

Welcome Trina, please come back again to play - your work is so lovely.

Now it's prize draw time, for the MFT Die-namics 'Hello There' sets of dies ('hello', 'hi' and 'there'), I had three of these waiting to be won - and the winners are:
Well done girls! As luck would have it, I have each of your snail mail addresses and will post the dies off to you ASAP this week :)

Here's this coming week's prize:
It's a Sue Wilson Creative Expressions 'Dove of Peace' two piece die set, the same as the set I used on my snippets card.

I know, it possibly seems mad to be offering Christmas prizes in July! It's partly as I didn't have time to make another snippets card so had to cheat and republish a card from June where I'd used my own die set the same as this one which was in the toy box as a future prize. Plus, sometimes it's nice to have new stuff well in advance as an incentive to get cracking on with making those Christmas cards!

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 30th July. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :) 

Di and, of course, Parsnip

Friday, 22 July 2016

Meeting Darnell - Southampton July 2016

I bet loads of you will already have seen Darnell's post HERE about her 'England Grand Tour - Leg 1'. Here's a little bit more to fill in some gaps.

First of all, Darnell is absolutely everything she is on her blog - funny, dry, bubbly, caring, thoughtful and at times just plain crazy! Mrs A and I arrived on Monday at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton - by which time our little visitor was settled in and ready to play. We had a lovely afternoon and evening just chilling out in the heatwave (bit of a contradiction there!) on the hotel decking area - and no-one got thrown out for misbehaving. Knew it was a good idea to leave Parsnip at home!

Tuesday dawned hot and sunny once again so we went out for a stroll after breakfast before the heat became too much. The intention was to show Darnell the Mayflower Monument, which commemorates the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower to the New World in 1620.

On the way we passed three of these fellas:
A bit like Bristol did with the sheep, Southampton has loads of differently painted zebras dotted about the town. The building on the right in the background is the hotel where we were based BTW.

I did smile as I remember Julia of WOYWW posting on FB a photo of a truck load of these, white all over and still unpainted, zebras zooming along the motorway - months ago. Obviously getting ready to be prettied up - although at the time no-one had a clue what was going on!

Anyhow, could we heck as like find the monument in Mayflower Park, despite asking the guy in the ice cream kiosk - who just looked blankly at us. We sort of moseyed around with no sighting at all so gave up, and crossed back over the road to walk back to the hotel in the shade. BINGO!! There it was, standing quite shyly back from the road with little in the way of anything to really point you to it!
 Needless to say, that's Darnell clowning around :)
This is a closer look at the top of the monument, with a replica of the Mayflower - very much like a weathervane.

I think we three were almost melting by the time we got back to the hotel, which was really no distance at all!

Then it was time for the 'main event' - lunch for 10 of us. I truly don't think there was ever a lull in the conversations going on - and it was fabulous to meet so many blogging friends actually 'in the flesh'! Most of whom are Snippets Playmates too. I'd already met the lovely Debs a couple of times and of course my buddy and partner in crime Mrs A (usually when we travel to craft shows and wreck display stands! Her best ever was ripping a soap dispenser off the wall in a ladies loo, sigh).

Back Row: Debs WillisChristine SmithAnne RayKim Dear, me, Mrs. A.
Front Row: Sue Steed, Darnell, Jane WillisChrissie Stokes

We had a brilliant time and it was such fun learning more about one another and sharing stories - but all too soon we were at late afternoon and it was time for folk to make their homeward journeys. A few eyes filled up - certainly mine did, more than once!

Whilst waiting for Chrissie to pick Darnell up the following morning to take her over to Salisbury - I managed to snatch this photo of Mrs A and Darnell (she's the one wearing the 30lb back pack!). I just love it!
It truly was a wonderful few days but all good things come to an end.

Those of you who have yet to meet Darnell are in for a treat. Those of you who already met her will no doubt know exactly what I mean when I described her earlier. And those of you who for one reason or another haven't been or won't be able to meet her - I hope that sharing this has made you feel a little bit as if you joined in with us in Southampton.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Smile for the camera please

Another Polroid themed card, two days running I've used this die - I think the owl is a little coy :) I'd like to enter my card into the July CAS Mix Up Card Challenge where the theme is 'Stamping + Markers + your choice'. I chose the additional option of die cutting from the very generous list, although I could have used dry embossing either, and made this card:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank

- a snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card stock for the 'frame', glued onto the card front

- a snippet of white card, embossed using a Cuttlebug embossing folder from the 'Coolio' set of four folders, then glued on top of the red 'frame'

- another snippet of white card, die cut using the Lil' Inkers 'Instant Camera' die and, using the Misti, I then stamped the sentiment and little cluster of hearts using stamps from Newton's Nook's 'Sweetheart Tails' set - and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink plus SU 'Real Red' ink onto the frame

- for some contrast I die cut another instant photo from a snippet of cream card stock and stamped the little owl plus more hearts and some xOxO's

- then coloured the owl and a couple of the hearts using Whispers Marker pens

- assembled the 'photo and frame' then stuck it in place on the card front using thin sticky pads

I love this set of stamps, the sentiments and little critters are so cute! I just know I'll have spotted it initially over on one of your blogs of course :)


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'Summertime/Enjoy the Summer'

It's time again for a new fortnightly challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania - and the theme this time is 'Summertime/Enjoy the Summer! If nothing else, we're always optimists on the DT, although judging by the current heatwave in the UK perhaps this really IS Summer at last:)

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.

Details of our sponsor can be found over on the Cuttlebug Mania Challenge blog.

I was quite well prepared to make this card, for once! And here's the end result, and I had a real blast making it too:
I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" square white card blank

- slightly smaller piece of green backing paper from the Carta Bella 'Beach Day' paper pad, glued in place

- using the Lil' Inker's 'Instant Camera' die I cut a white Polaroid frame and then a blue 'inner'. And, as I don't like the teensy little gap between the frame and the 'photo' (OCD again!), I backed the whole frame with more blue card and set it aside

- the paper pad I used had a Polaroid photos image sheet in it - what a result! So, I followed the colours when making up the little scene for the photo 

- for the scene I stamped a palm tree and crab using the Paper Smooches 'Summer Lovin'' stamp set with Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink, coloured them with Pro markers and then fussy cut round them using little Fiskars scissors - and set them aside

- next I die cut the sun and the cloud using the Joy! Sun & Moon set and MFT's 'Cloud Trio' sets of dies, and used the 'Summer Lovin'' stamp set with Memento ''Tuxedo Black' ink to add a smiley face to the sun and then popped them onto the 'photo' scene I was building and snipped the corners away from the back

- then came the 'waves', another little stamp from the same 'Summer Lovin'' set and Brilliance 'Moonlight White ink - which to be honest I did go over with a Signo White roller ball 

- then glued the palm tree in place - and it was taking shape! 

- added a couple of seagulls, using the same stamp set again and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink (anyone spot that the seagulls are flying upside down? I spotted this much later, just before leaving for Southampton yesterday in fact and too late to change so they are in fact acrobatic seagulls -snigger). I then checked the stamp set itself and the acetate is printed the same way up as I used the little stamp. Still think I prefer them the other way up though.

- at that point I used the Misti to position one of the sentiments from this fabulous Summer themed set of stamps and added it to the bottom part of the Polaroid frame making sure I had a nice little gap to the right hand side

- into that gap I glued the darling little crab - as if he's escaping from the photo (anyone who's ever been 'crabbing' will relate to their abilities to escape!) and then added a couple of googly eyes for fun

-  used a half panel of the patterned Polaroid sheet from the same paper pack (the same sheet I'd been using for colour matching) and glued it to the left hand part of the card front, over the lime green layer

- added the Polaroid scene, again using glue - at a jaunty angle

- finally, added three Paper Smooches 'Beach Day' orange Enamel Dots along each right hand corner

This was another fun card to make - even though the flip flops from the stamps set which I really, really wanted to include would have been just too much :( Watch this space kids! A great stamp set for sure, despite acrobatic seagulls!

We'd love to see you over at Cuttlebug Mania, it's a great theme with plenty of scope and the challenge runs for two weeks. ALSO, we're taking a little break over the Summer but will be back with you in September so hope to see you then.

I must confess, I've been quietly almost sobbing here - so many of you have been making the most gorgeous Summer themed cards using dies/embossing folders this past week or two. And I've known that this challenge theme was coming along and of course couldn't say peep. I do hope you'll have another go and join in with us!