Friday, 27 May 2016

Rudolph Days - May 2016

Time for Rudolph Days over at ScrappyMo's - it runs until the end of the month remember!

I needed to play catch up with my Christmas card numbers so opted for ultra-CAS this month:
I used:

- 4.25" x 4.75" white card blank, tent style - made to measure around the red mat and topper :)

- a red mat just slightly smaller than the card front, cut from SU's 'Real Red' card stock, glued onto the card front

- I found the snowmen panel already embossed, languishing in a box of Christmas bits and bobs here. I know the embossing folder used was Crafts-Too's 'Snowmen' and it was just a case of trimming off the excess surround

- rootled around to find a suitable sentiment of a size to fit in between the embossed stars and also using a quite funky font. Success! I stamped 'Be jolly' using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' sentiments set

- then it was just a matter of gluing the embossed panel in place and resisting the urge to add any colour or sparkle to the snowmen lest I ruin it!

I found four of these ready-embossed snowmen panels, which was a stroke of luck, so I made four identical cards of course. I think I embossed the little chaps when on a Cuttlebug play day at Art of Crafts, years ago! I certainly don't have the embossing folder here so either took the opportunity to use the shop's own goodies which were out for us to play with, or subsequently gave the folder away.

I'd like to enter this card into Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge (Anything Goes or Cute this week), and also Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for May (always Anything Goes).


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Happy Birthday Super Hero

A couple of weeks ago I realised that a little neighbour's 7th Birthday wasn't too far off, so my in-house critic asked his Dad what his favourite 'things of the moment' were. Last year it was Spiderman, which was a challenge in itself - this year it's the Avengers film! Talk about a challenge and a half - one of those times you wish you never asked a question :(

Anyhow, I poodled around the internet looking for free downloads and, after truly spending almost a full day on it, this is the card I ended up with. The image governed the card from the word go and there was an awful lot of compromising along the way. Not least as the in-house critic kept on throwing in suggestions:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank, tent style

- backing layer of silver card stock, trimmed to just slightly less than the size of the card front and glued in place

- then a slightly smaller layer of SU's 'Raspberry Ripple' card, trimmed to slightly smaller than the silver layer and glued in place

- the image was trimmed and mounted onto a backing of silver card - then kept to one side as I fiddle-faddled around with the rest of the card

- using snippets of silver card, backed with Stick-It adhesive sheet I cut the letters for the 'Taylor' panel using the Tattered Lace 'Anniversary - Classic' set of dies

- then the words were constructed onto a snippet of 'Raspberry Ripple' card and backed with a snippet of silver card. Tip for positioning letters when you don't want to risk using faint pencil lines, especially when the card itself is dark anyhow - use a strip of removable tape as a guide. I use the almost clear stuff but it's good enough to still see where you're going - and I've learnt the hard way over time to always press it onto whatever trousers or top I'm wearing first, just to get rid of any excess sticky - even removable tape can rip some card stock :(

- die cut the 'Happy Birthday' from silver card, again backed with Stick-It, using a new die by Paper Smooches called 'Birthday Words'

- then cut a number seven using a left over snippet of sticky backed silver card

- glued everything in place and just felt there were some gaps to fill so out came the box of confetti and sequins and I just added three silver stars to finish off

Almost went into total meltdown when I realised that the two stars on the 'Taylor' panel were just slightly out of alignment with one another and I'd stuck them in place using Glossy Accents so absolutely no hope of re-positioning them :( Isn't it always the way, if you're gonna do a boo-boo then you'll do it right at the last knockings! I know it's just a fraction, but it might as well have been a mile at that point in what had been a looooooooooong day!

The Paper Smooches 'Birthday Words' die set was 'enabled' by Jules when she used it on a card the other week. She used it 'inlaid' - which I actually think is more effective but I'm not unhappy with the way I used it. It comes with the Happy Birthday words plus two other celebratory words - and of course when I nipped off to buy one set, a second one fell into the basket for the Playground toy box so watch this space at some point in the future :)

Jane W made a really interesting point recently. With dies becoming more and more intricate we're almost creating our own peel offs when we back card with adhesive sheet and then cut fiddly dies. It look like Little Claire have twigged this and apparently they've got some really great peel offs in stock - who knows, perhaps peel offs are due to return into favour. Hop over to Jane's to see what I mean - HERE.

As it's another very important 7th Birthday this week, I'd like to enter this into the current 7th Birthday celebratory challenge over at Allsorts. Well done to Brenda and the team for all your hard work and wonderful inspiration!

And - I'm pleased to report that little Taylor was delighted with his card! He must have wonky eyes like me :)


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'Embossing'

Time for another fortnightly challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania - and this time the theme is 'Embossing' - either using an embossing folder or embossing using a die.

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 Challenge blog and this is the card I made:
I used:

- 4.25" x 6" white card blank 

- piece of white card, embossed using Sizzix folder called 'Corner, flower vine' and trimmed to about an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card front 

- the next step was to add the sentiment, using the MFT 'You were meant to sparkle' set and SU's 'Smoky Slate' ink pad, having worked out the placement of the flamingo.

- glued the embossed panel to the card front

- out came the snippets folder and I used two shades of pink, grey and black card stock snippets - all backed with Stick-It adhesive sheet - to die cut the flamingo using MFT's 'Flamingos' die set

- then the flamingo was assembled straight onto the card front

- final touch, five sparkly sequins, glued in place using Glossy Accents

We'd love to see you over at Cuttlebug Mania, it's a great theme with plenty of scope. The challenge runs for two weeks so you have plenty of time to have a think, make something and then come and play :)


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 230

We've had some lovely weather this week and the Playground is full of activity with birdies nesting and Spike visiting each night to play football with his feeding bowl :) Having said that, today (Saturday as I write this) is just a tad wet!

Let's go straight to my snippets cards for today - note the use of plural! First card:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- snippets of patterned paper from LOTV's 'Country Gent' paper pad, die cut using a square Spellbinders die (approx. one and three eights of an inch across) - four squares from each snippet

- then they were glued in place onto the front of the card blank. By a stroke of luck my calculations were right and they fitted perfectly but the contingency plan was that I started gluing the squares in the top left corner and worked across and down towards open edges. That way, if the spacing ended up with too much white at the right hand side or along the bottom, I could give the card blank a swift trim

- next I stamped the image using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and a Little Claire stamp called 'We Six Dogs'. Coloured the image using Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending fluid - I chose the papers first deliberately so I could try to match the pooches up :)

- die cut the image using a Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die and popped it onto a plain brown snippet from the same LOTV paper pad then glued it onto the card front

I'd like to enter this card into the current challenge over at Cardz 4 Guyz #120 where the current theme is 'Man's Best Friend'.

My second snippets card is for cat lovers:
I used:
- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank

- snippet of white card, embossed using SU's 'Square Lattice' embossing folder, trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place with Collall all purpose glue

- the image was stamped using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and a Little Claire stamp called 'Hello Cats'. Coloured the image using Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending fluid then just trimmed it all round

- popped the image onto a snippet of light turquoise card (same colour as the balloons) then glued it onto the card front

Time for this week's 'peek at the picks':
Alice made this absolutely fabulous vintage styled 'jar' which will hold a packet of chocolates - using so many wonderful elements, including what I picked up as a tumble dryer sheet for the rose leaves! I can see from the comments left since I first popped this on my list of picks that many of you also love it - what a clever crafter!

Mo hopped over with this really sunny card - it's so pretty and I love it. Really great idea to wrap the organza ribbon across the image. And I also picked up that the plain yellow mat behind the white stamped image layer provided all the yellow flowers and the scalloped circle behind the sentiment. Impressive way to get the most out of one piece of card where the gaps would be hidden anyhow!

Do remember that it's Rudolph Days over at Mo's, starting on Wednesday until the end of the month!

This is such a sweet baby card, and another example of loads of pretty elements being perfectly added to compliment the really cute and beautifully coloured image - made by Karen P.

Brenda always makes such fabulous cards, and this is no exception is it? It really is like looking into fairyland :) And, it's a perfect entry for Mrs A's new challenge which is butterflies (as always) + A is for Aperture and/or Apricot. Ticked all the boxes here B!

Gosh, I totally adore this card, made by Heather. Lots of tips and hints over at Heather's blog about the making of this beauty as well! I did get the 'wibble-wobbles' when I read that Heather used her craft knife to cut out the centre of the frame - lil' ole me and knives don't get on, let alone super sharp craft knives!

Just had to include this terrific card, made by Sue S! It's such a great design and the 'pièce de résistance' is the fabulous 'pleated skirt fold'. As Sue says, there are plenty of tutorials to be found on line and I'm certainly gonna have a go!

This is my last pick of the week, made by Meena. It's a mixed media canvas and the detail is just stunning! So many techniques and different layers - the dress alone is an absolute work of art, constructed totally with 'bits and bobs'. It's all the more impressive as Meena is unable to sit at a regular desk and craft, yet she produces amazing work! I wonder in my comment how long it took her - four days was the reply. To be honest, I'd take more like four weeks and am so aware of all the love and effort that went into this canvas. Meena, you get a big gold star this week!

Guess what, we had no new Playmates this week - although 56 of you came to play, which is pretty amazing! I love that you return to play and also that you are so kind and supportive to one another as well.

Now for the prize draw, for the really popular 'Eline's Elephant' die set and the 'New Baby' word dies. And the winner is:
Well done Lesley! It's almost six months since your last win so this was about due I think! I still have your snail mail address and will post the dies off to you this coming week :)

This coming week's prize is made up of a little selection of stamps - it's the Little Claire's Designs 'We Six Dogs' and 'Hello Cats' stamps, the same as I used for my snippets card:

Plus, an absolutely gorgeous Anna Griffin 'Flora Collection' stamp set, kindly donated by Mary Anne - thank you again! The set even has a beautiful poppy in it :)

Now, those of you who use Little Claire's Designs stamps will know that they don't go overboard on fancy packaging, but the stamps really are excellent quality. And interestingly, I could be wrong, but having bought these some while ago for the toy box they are larger than the 'dinkie' size they now produce. I think they reduced the stamp sizes in December 2015 and these cuties have been here longer than that :)  Anyhow, as I didn't have my own Anna Griffin set to use for my snippets make this week, I thought I'd add the Little Claire's 'critters' in as well. You are very welcome to play for all three stamp sets as one prize if your number is drawn - the choice is yours.
The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 28th May. 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. If you only want to play for one or two of the stamp sets, just say so in your comment and if you win then I'll do a further draw for the other item(s). 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 :)

Wishing you all a lovely week, with more sunshine, and I hope to see you in the Playground. I read on line earlier today (Saturday) that the UK is due to have a three month long heatwave from June to August. Hotter than the scorcher of 1976 apparently - I was peeping out of my pram back then and thought it was a bit on the warm side, wink. But, IF the weather folk are right (which I doubt anyhow) - can you imagine how we'll fare over here? We are so not geared up for extreme temperatures! I'd better break the news to Heath Robinson and see what mad cooling systems/schemes he can dream up :) 

Di and, of course, Parsnip

Friday, 20 May 2016

Happy birthday- one of a kind

Shame on me, just over four months ago I coloured and die cut a load of Tim Holtz 'Bird Crazy' critters with matching accessories. Used one set for a card, popped the remaining sets into individual cellophane bags and promptly forgot all about them until I was searching for something else the other day.

This is a card I made as the result of my 'find':
I used:

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

- black card from the snippets folder as the first layer, then topped that with a trimmed down piece of DP from MME's 'Sunshine' paper pad - using Collall All Purpose glue

- stamped the sentiments using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and the NBUS Tim Holtz 'Simple Sayings' set, snipped them apart and ran a black Whispers marker round the edges. I like this set a lot, tons of useful everyday sentiments in a typewriter font that you can mix and match

- to add the hat to the bird I just snipped from the bottom of the hat up to the front edge of the brim and then trimmed away enough from the back and the brim so that the hat would sit nicely over the Crazy Bird's head. Poor thing, I had to snip his little crest from the top of his head :)

- fiddled around working out where things should go before then gluing them in place using Collall glue

- then added Glossy Accents to the bird's eyes 

Job done! The still to be used birdies are staying within my line of sight now :)


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Less is More Week #276 - At Sea

The current one layer challenge over at Less is More 'At Sea' had me pondering for a while as lots of my thoughts had already been channelled into some brilliant entries. Then I thought of a set of stamps here which always makes me smile - and as a result made this card:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- image and sentiment stamp from an Acid Drops & Whatnots set (magazine freebie a while ago), stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- coloured the image using Faber Castell Polychromos pencil and Sansodor blending solution

- added two little drops of water underneath the sentiment and coloured them in - really just to link the water together more so the sentiment wasn't just like an add-on

- finally rounded off the top right hand corner using We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

This does remind me of Mrs A and the duck pond diving board saga! :)


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A little 'batch bake'

In an effort to keep on top of the target I set myself (make 12 Christmas cards per month) it was time to resort to a little bit of 'batch baking' so I made a run of four cards exactly the same:
I used:

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

- a slightly smaller piece of white card, embossed using a Crafts-Too folder called 'Poinsettia Frame'

- next I made up the little row of trees and set them aside. I used pink card and the Memory Box 'Pine Border Background' die as well as Stick-It backed silver card with the Memory Box 'Pine Border Outline' die for the trees

- was then able to use the die cut row of trees to work out just where the sentiment should be positioned - so far, so good

- I wanted to use a particular sentiment (from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set) to fill in the top right hand corner of the poinsettia embossed panel and as it was a run of four cards the Misti was going to be invaluable. But, choosing the ink to stamp the sentiment was a nightmare!

- I tried, Delicata silver ink pad (too juicy for the small font and the centres of the letters sort of merged), VersaMark with silver embossing powder (same problems), Memento 'London Fog' ink pad (the grey looked too blue) - then finally SU's 'Smoky Slate'. That worked fine and I didn't push my luck by attempting to clear emboss the sentiment - give up whilst you're finally ahead! On hindsight, perhaps a different sentiment stamp might have been much easier :)

- then I glued the panel to the card front and added the made up row of trees (using Collall glue in a Woodware fine tipped bottle)

- final touch, a shiny silver Josy Rose star shaped nail head on top of the tallest tree

I know I keep banging on about it, but the fine tipped bottles are fantastic - wish I'd bought them sooner.

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

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 281 'Colour - pink'

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge for May 'Anything Goes'

Happy Little Stampers May - 'Anything Goes with Dies'