Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Waltzingmouse October Pajama Party - Challenge 1. Texturise it.

Hello! Today I am joining in with the Waltzingmouse Stamps October Pajama Party - challenge 1 - Texturise it. You can check out the full details here .

This challenge was to use embossed textures but without using an embossing folder. I decided to make my own embossing plate by cutting lots of the Gingerbread Family shapes using my WMS Cutting Edge dies.

I started by cutting lots of the smaller gingerbread boys and girls out of thick greyboard, so that I could use them to make an embossing plate. While I had the dies out I also cut several of each size and shape out of some self adhesive cork sheet, which was ideal as they looked like real gingerbread men!

I took a piece of smooth, thick greyboard and marked out the size of my card blank (5" x 7") in pencil. Inside that I marked out a 6" x 4" panel with a small border to represent the area which I wanted to emboss. The card was also divided vertically, horizontally and diagonally in order to assist with the placement of the tiny gingerbread boys and girls, which I stuck in place with some strong red - lined double sided tape. 

Here is the finished embossing plate complete with eighteen little gingerbread men in neat rows.

I took a piece of 6" x 4" Core'dinations red Kraft-Core card from the Tim Holtz Nostalgic collection and held it in place with some low tack masking tape to prevent it from moving as I passed it through my Grand Calibur machine (using the tan mat and pale pink embossing plate). The photo above shows the embossed piece before I sanded it to reveal the kraft core.

Here is my finished card, matted and layered onto a Kraft card blank with red paper and kraft gingham card. The cork gingerbread men were stamped with Versamark ink, coated with Zing Opaque White embossing powder and heat set to give the effect of icing. They turned out really textured too and I think they look very effective! The sentiment was from the same stamp set - Oven Fresh Gingerbread Joy - and was heat embossed onto a small stitched sentiment flag die cut from a Lil' inker designs die and using kraft card.

I'm very happy with my first Christmas card make of this year and I have enough pairs of Gingerbread men ready to make eight cards in total - so that's a result! Thanks for looking!


Monday, 6 October 2014

Cupcakes galore and Happy Stampers at Port Sunlight.

I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Happy Stampers show at Port Sunlight on Saturday. I was really excited as I hadn't been to a show for ages and was missing seeing all my friends. An added bonus was the fact that Waltzingmouse Stamps were exhibiting there for the first time and I was looking forward to meeting the owner, Claire Brennan. I was also thrilled that my good friend Penny was able to attend for the first time, as she had recently moved up to the north west from the south coast and I hadn't seen her for about four years. Apologies for the large number of photos in this post, but I have lots to show you!

The day before (and inspired by the Great British Bake Off), I decided to make some cakes to take with me as gifts. I started by making a batch of carrot and walnut cakes with cream cheese frosting.

Then I made a big batch of toffee and date cupcakes, which were topped with buttercream, chocolate crunchies and Thornton's fudge.

I packed a tin full of cakes to give to the lovely ladies of the Happy Stampers club, in appreciation of all their hard work (as volunteers) in organising the show at Port Sunlight twice a year. The labels were made with Waltzingmouse stamps from the Rescue Remedies set stamped with Memento dye inks and cut with Spellbinders Labels Four dies.

The photo below shows the reverse of the labels. I used Waltzingmouse Stamps - Country Labels 4, a sentiment from Tag Collection 1, the smallest cupcake from Frame It and the question from the Eat Cake set. The tops of the tags were completed with the addition of pairs of tiny grommets cut from the folding tag die set by Waltzingmouse Cutting Edge Dies. My lovely personalised tree stamp was a birthday gift from my daughter Jessica and was made by My Rubber Stamp in Texas, USA.

I had bought some pretty cake boxes from Morrisons supermarket. Each held four cakes and I tied them up with plum and pink organza ribbon and made the co-ordinating tags as above.

I hardly slept that night, but I was up bright and early to set off to Port Sunlight. I travelled by tram and bus to Manchester then a train to Liverpool, followed by a second train to the pretty village of Port Sunlight. Even the railway station below looked pretty!

The village of Port Sunlight was built by the philanthropist William Hesketh Lever (later Viscount Leverhulme) at the end of the 19th century in order to house workers from the nearby Lever Brothers soap factory (now the global company Unilever). Over thirty architects were employed to build the model village, resulting in buildings that were both beautiful and unique. The half timbered building below is used as the local tea rooms and is directly opposite the railway station.

The red brick building below has an unusual octagonal shaped tower and is situated to the far end of the road at the right of the photo above. 

Opposite, this lovely building has plenty of character, with leaded windows and black pebbles inset in rendered panels between the stonework. The surrounding hydrangeas looked beautiful too. 

This row of half timbered houses leads down towards Bolton Road, where Hulme Hall (the historical venue for the stamping show) is located. Unfortunately in my excitement to meet up with Penny and go inside I forgot to take any photos of Hulme Hall itself.

Once inside I distributed cupcakes to the Happy Stampers, a box to Jill and Sarah at The Stamp Man and a box to Claire and Sandie at Waltzingmouse Stamps. Now I had room in my bag to shop!

The photo below is of the lovely Claire from Waltzingmouse stamps and myself, which Penny kindly took for me. (This one is especially for you Jeanne)! Then I put my camera away and promptly forgot all about taking any more photos as we were so busy catching up, chatting and of course shopping!

I had the best time ever and really enjoyed the company, talking stamping all day and acquiring lots of new and interesting products to add to my stash! All the artwork samples were outstanding and there were plenty of demos to watch too. We loved what Sarah Anderson was doing with the Frantage kits at The Stamp Man and Penny and I bought a set each so that we can try it at home ourselves.

The rest of the photos below show my crafty haul from the show (there are quite a few of them, but please don't tell my husband)! First we have four packs of A4 pearlescent card, an 8" square Christmas paper collection, Graphic 45's 12" Twelve days of Christmas paper pad (at a bargain price) and four of the gorgeous Lili of the Valley NitWit collection pads.

These are the dies (Lawn Fawn, Impression Obsession and Spellbinders), alphabet stencil (Tim Holtz) and tree skyline mask (Clarity) that I bought. 

Below are a set of transport stamps and matching dies from Clearly Besotted - our eldest Grandson will love these as he is fascinated by planes and helicopters. The pack of ribbons was a freebie form Clearly Besotted too. On the right are the Zigzag background and Splat That stamps which I bought from Waltzingmouse. Claire added a lolly and some love hearts to my bag - you've got to love free sweeties!

Those of you who know me well will also know that I love Waltzingmouse stamps very much - so you may be thinking that I was very restrained in only buying two stamps from there. However, you would be wrong, as I have to confess to placing an order for the new releases just last Sunday and they arrived on Tuesday - see below! 

Other stamping purchases included the new Merry Christmas stamp and Chocolate gilding flakes from Kay at Indigo Blu, a JustRite Butterfly vines background stamp which I had been coveting since it was released and a very large and deeply textured Impression Obsession seashell and starfish background stamp. 

Our next visit was to Lavinia stamps where I bought two packs of SceneScapes background cards and two very detailed stamps. I can't wait to use the tree branch stamp together with the new squirrel dies for an autumnal card!

We both bought a spray to assist with die cutting intricate shapes (I hope it works). I also got a new Archival inkpad, a Gelatos set (reduced) and the Frantage encrusted jewel kit that I mentioned earlier.

Finally, I visited Paper Artsy just before the show closed and added to my collection of Fresco paints and Treasure Gold waxes - Spanish Topaz (top), White Fire (middle) and limited edition Lilac (bottom). The stamp and swivel clip were freebies from Mark and Leandra :) 

I suspect that I shall be on a stash ban for the foreseeable future, but I have plenty of new goodies to play work with and I am inspired to start creating again as soon as possible. If you have managed to read this far - thank you very much! 


Monday, 15 September 2014

Waltzingmouse September Pajama Party - Challenge 4. Bedtime Story Sketch.

I'm back again with my second post today for the Waltzingmouse September Pajama Party - check out the full details here .

Challenge 4 is the Bedtime Story Sketch as shown below.

I really liked this sketch and I needed a couple of new home cards, so I decided to make two versions of the same design in different colours. 

I had received a lovely parcel of new stamps and dies from Claire on Saturday and I couldn't wait to play, so I chose to use the Funky Flowers stamps and dies, together with the Gift Card It Stamp set and dies.

I started with two white 5"x 7" card blanks and matted one with Aqua Core'dinations card and the other with pink card. The two large white panels were then stamped with tiny flowers and leaves using Memento Pistachio dye ink. I added some of this ink to an acrylic block, misted it with water and used a small paintbrush to paint the leaves. I used the same technique to paint the flowers, using Teal Zeal and Angel Pink inks. 

The two centre panels were cut using the gift card die and stamped with the smaller leafy vine border. The tiny house (from Country Labels Four) was stamped with Desert Sand and Gray Flannel ink, which I also used for the sentiment. I added a band of ribbons to each card and mounted the centre panels with foam tape to add dimension. 

Finally I added flower and leaf embellishments, cut from felt with added tiny spotted buttons for the blue card and pink card stamped with flowers for the pink one. 

I am really pleased with how these turned out! Thanks for looking!

Waltzingmouse September Pajama Party - Challenge 1. Doodle Do.

Firstly I must apologise for my long absence from blogging. I haven't been able to create anything recently as my husband unfortunately suffered a stoke at the beginning of August and our lives were turned upside down for a while. Things could have been so much worse though, so we are very thankful for the wonderful treatment he received and that he is continuing to get a little better each week. Given the circumstances, I thought that it would be appropriate to make a thanksgiving card!

I am joining in with the Waltzingmouse September Pajama Party today - you can check out all the details here . Challenge 1 was to create a card and add some doodling. My offering is not so much Cock-a-Doodle-Do but more Turkey-a-Doodle-Do!

I decided that I'd like to create my own Thanksgiving turkey by using the Funky Feather stamps. I also used the small pair of wings from the Fine Feathers stamp set. I chose the lovely oak and maple leaf stamps from the Peace and Plenty stamp set to stamp my background with Memento Espresso Truffle dye ink and the sentiment also came from the same stamp set.

I started with an eight inch square white card blank and added a layer of khaki coloured card which I had stamped with the two leaves. I used the fine tipped end of a Memento Espresso Truffle marker pen to add doodling - trios of small dots, veins on the maple leaves and dots around the frilly edges of the oak leaves. 

I used a grand scalloped Spellbinders die to cut a large scalloped circle from smooth white card. Then I inked up one of the long feather stamps with Desert Sand ink at the top, a stripe of Espresso Truffle ink and Toffee Crunch ink towards the bottom. The feather was stamped repeatedly around two thirds of the circle to form the turkey's tail feathers. I used each scallop as a guide for the first layer and overlapped the feathers towards the centre of the circle (see below).

The photo below shows the detail of the tail feathers, once I'd stamped more feathers in between each of the the first ones.

I used a similar technique (with the addition of Potter's Clay ink) to stamp the next layer of smaller feathers onto a separate piece of white card. This was fussy cut out, doodled with extra markings and added to the card with clear foam tape to add dimension. Then I took another piece of card and stamped the short plump feather to form the turkey's body. I added the wings (from the Fine Feathers set), doodled his legs and feet, cut it all out and added it with clear foam tape. The final layer was the plump feather body again - this time with the addition of a doodled turkey head! Details were added with Memento marker pens and I used more clear foam tape to assemble the turkey. Finally I added a few turkey footprints, some more doodles around the scalloped edging and the stamped sentiment. The photo below shows this in more detail.

My Thanksgiving Turkey was so much fun to make! Thanks for looking!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge # 173 : No Outline Watercolour - Friend Card.

Hello again! This is my second post today as I have made another card for the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday challenge - see all the details here

Please click on the photo above for an enlarged view.
My second card also uses the "Friends 'til the end" stamp set, rustic look card and second generation stamping with Smokey Shadow ink. Again I used a number of masks to give the illusion of depth. This time I used New Leaf ink to watercolour the leaves and Orange Zest, Canyon Clay and Terracotta Tile inks for the flowers. I went around the flower arrangement with a very light wash of Fine Linen ink and stamped the sentiment (also from "Friends 'til the end") with Smokey Shadow ink. The final touch was the addition of some orange and lime green twine (True Hemp crafter's cord) to the spine of my card.
I am really happy with how this turned out! Thanks for looking!

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge # 173 : No Outline Watercolour - Sympathy Card.

This week's challenge at the Papertrey Ink blog saw Heather Nichols demonstrating how to obtain a beautiful watercoloured card without the stamping showing too much. You can check out Heather's lovely card here .

Please click on the photo above for a clearer view.
I used the lovely "Friends 'til the end" stamp set, some rustic looking cardstock and a smokey shadow PTI inkpad. This ink was still a bit too dark for this technique, so I used second generation stamping to achieve a lighter look. I made masks for several of the stamps to gain depth as I was stamping. I dabbed some inkpads onto an acrylic block and spritzed with water before using a waterbrush to watercolour the image. I chose to use Spring Moss and Ripe Avocado for the leaves and Plum Pudding and Royal Velvet for the flowers. I went around the outside of the floral arrangement with a very light wash of the Smokey Shadow ink and stamped the sentiment, from the Meadow Greens stamp set, using the same inkpad. Finally I added some purple twine (True Hemp crafters cord) around the spine of my card to complete it.
This was a fun technique to try and I ended up making another similar card in different colours as well - I'll be back later on to show that one.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday challenge # 172: Rainbow Medallions.

Hello there! Sorry that I have been missing for a while, but I have been enjoying some quality time with my daughter who is home from University for the summer holidays.

This week on the Papertrey blog Dawn Mcvey has been stamping the same image with many ink colours to create rainbow medallions. You can check out her card and video here .

I had a rummage through all of my Papertrey Ink stamps and settled on the pretty frame stamp from the "Boutique Borders: Love" small stamp set to make my card with.

Please click on images for a larger view.
I selected the same eight colours of ink that Dawn had used. From top left to bottom right - Pure Poppy, Summer Sunrise, Limeade Ice, Raspberry Fizz, New Leaf, Winter Wisteria, Blueberry Sky and Hawaiian Shores.

Using smooth white card I started to stamp the frame image in various colours, overlapping in the centre as shown.


I continued to stamp in this way, changing inkpads and rotating the card for each stamped image, as shown below.

This is how it looked after stamping six different coloured impressions and you can see how they all overlapped in the centre of the card.

The bottom layer complete. I then trimmed it down to fit onto a five and a half inch square black card blank.

The circular stamps that I have from PTI are all quite small and I decided that I wanted to cover a larger area in the centre of my stamped base layer, so I die cut an octagon shape from white card and repeated the different coloured stamping. This time I only inked up about half of the stamp so that I would get a crisp image all around the edges of the octagon.

Next I cut an even smaller octagon from the same white cardstock and this time just inked one end of the stamp before repeating the rainbow stamping. You can see the completed second and third stamped layers below. I cut slightly larger scalloped octagons from black card and used them to mat the two extra stamped octagons before layering them onto the card.

Finally I cut a tiny octagon from white card and used black dye ink to stamp the circular "just for you" phrase from the "Around and About Sentiments" stamp set. I also stamped the larger flower from the same set - just about managing to ink each of the eight petals with a different ink before I stamped it! This was also matted onto a small black scalloped octagon and added to the card. The final touch was the addition of a tiny black pearl to the centre of the flower and I was done!
I am so pleased with how this turned out and I shall certainly be on the look out for other stamps to use with this technique again.