Monday 31 January 2011

Pretty Miss Pisces

Happy Tuesday to you, hope you have a great day planned.  Tuesday is my regular day to post on the Queen Kat Designs Dark Ink Sorority blog and this week I'm sharing a new project for a new month and that means brand new stamps too.

I was so excited to learn that I was getting the fabulous Pisces image by Che Gilson to play with for February, especially as I am a Pisces myself, being born in March !

This lovely lady has been coloured with Copics before cutting out. I used cardstock in two shades of green for my base card and to punch out all the flowers. I had this scrap of netting in my bag of bits and pieces and the pearls in the centre of the flowers were created with a Waco Pearlmaker pen.

It's so nice of you to take the time to visit my blog and see what I've been busy creating.  Do please let me know what you think of Miss Pisces and the card I created using her.

Friday 28 January 2011

Kitsune Chan

There's an animial theme for the challenge over on the Craft Mad and Loving It group on Craftbubble this week.

I had a yearning to create an oriental card recently and remembered I had this adorable oriental kitty stamp - Kitsune Chan from Queen Kat Designs -which was perfect for the challenge. 

I coloured Kitsune with Copics and followed the sketch layout, although I did turn the whole thing upside down. 

The gold coloured gems were from my stash, as was this scrap of black and gold Japanese origami paper.  I added Golden Rod Stickles around the edge of the image layer and the origami paper.

Let me know what your favourite style of design is, I love hearing what everyone else is busy creating !

Wednesday 26 January 2011

I ♥ Promarkers Challenge # 50 - Lavender & Lace

Yesterday a brand new challenge was launched over on I ♥ Promarkers for this week.  I apologise that my DT card is a day late posting on here, but I had a bit of congestion as I needed ideally to have three different projects posted at the same time!  I really wanted to give each project at least a few hours exposure time, so spread the postings over two days.

Our theme for this week's challenge is 'Lavender & Lace' and our prize sponsor is Digi Doodle Shop.  I chose this elegant lady's hat image from DDS for my project which I coloured, of course, with Promarkers.

The background paper was a piece I found in the right colour in my stash, and I used SU! Almost Amethyst cardstock to cut out the shapeability Lotus shape and the lacey edged border with a MS punch.  I found a pack of white paper doillies in the back of the cupboard, which I think I bought at a craft show a couple of years ago.  I cut out the image layer with a circle nestie and a larger circle from another of the dies from more of the Almost Amethyst which I then overstamped using Dusty Concorde Distress Ink.  The large purple flower is I think from Prima but has been knocking around in my box of flowers for ages so I can't be sure.  I blinged it up a bit with some purple Stickles around the edges of each petal and more of the Stickles around the outside edge of the patterned circle and around the sentiment layer.  I also added some strands of tiny pearls under the flower and a small flower cut from Almost Amethyst with a punch, then a pearl centre added with my Waco Pearlmaker pen.  The lace was hiding in my bag of ribbons and I think I got it at a Michaels store when I was in the USA last year.

I hope you'll enter the challenge this week, I love visiting all the different blogs to check out your work - til next week, Happy Crafting.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

New designs by Samantha Nowak

What fabulously exciting times these are over in the Court of Queen Kat Designs - we have so many new artists signed up to have their designs made available in rubber stamp format.  Today the DT are running a blog hop to introduce a new range of 'Princess' themed stamps featuring Samantha Nowak's awesome artwork. I hope that you've arrived here after seeing the fabulous project Shannon created for you with the beautiful 'European Princess', if not just head on back to the start of the hop Here to learn a little more about Samantha and check the order of the Hop.

When I learned that I was going to have the gorgeous 'Eskimo Princess' image to play with, I was just soooo... excited!  I know that in January making Christmas cards is very far from our minds but after having such a rush to get all my cards completed in time for last Christmas, I am really determined to get at least a couple of cards made every month throughout this year to be better organised by November!  With this aim in mind, I decided to use the lovely Eskimo Princess to create a couple of Christmas cards to kick off my stock ready for this year.

For my first one I used a pallet of purples and mauves with just a touch of green and LOTS of sparkle !  I coloured the image with Copics and sponged around the edge of the layer with Milled Lavender and Dusty Concorde Distress Inks.  I added Glamour Dust over Glossy Accents on her coat trims and muff and lots of Stickles dusted with Glamour Dust on the snowflakes.  A Martha Stewart snowflake border punch and large snowflake punch, a Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder and spellbinder shapeabilities die set for the smaller snowflakes, to complete the layout.

For my second card, I used a Spellbinders frame die set and the Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder again, with some Stardust Stickles and Copics to create a simple and clean design.
All these fabulous Princess stamps are now available in the QKD Store, why not call in after you finish the hop to check them all out.

Thanks for hopping by to see my creation today, I'm now sending you on your way to see what the lovely Jules has created for you - I won't spoil your fun by telling you which new Princess she has been playing with, all I know is that you are going to love it!

Monday 24 January 2011

Triple Tiara Tesday Challenge

It's my turn this week to host the Queen Kat Designs new Triple Tiara Tuesday (aka T3)challenge. There are prizes up for grabs and if you enter every week each month, you increase your chances of winning the $25 prize to spend in the QKD Store.  Full details are on the QKD Blog, just add a link to your project on the linky tool over there once you've completed it, simple as that !

The challenge this week is to create a project including the 'Chalkboard Technique' - there's a tutorial on Split Coast Stampers here if you need to check it out. 

For my DT project I chose this older stamp of a simple branch image from QKD, I stamped it with white chalk ink, brushing on mica powders rather than chalks as per the tutorial.  I used a Martha Stewart border punch to give a fancy edge to layers of SU! Certainly Celery (green) and Early Espresso (dark brown) cardstock and tied a length of sparkly green ribbon around the layers before adhering to a C6 base card.  I attached the image over a slightly larger layer of the green card to give a small border and lift the image slightly. 

I hope you've enjoyed sharing my project today and that it encourages you to have a go at this technique and enter the challenge this week.  Don't forget to check out the qkd Store for all the latest new release stamps, special offers and many other goodies.

Thanks so much for dropping by today.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Some cards are just so difficult to make .....

I am sure that, like me, you hate making cards for sending out on sad and difficult occasions, but they just have to be done.  Sympathy cards and 'letting you know I'm thinking of you' cards are just not easy to do well. 

Sadly, I have cause to create a Sympathy card for a friend but didn't want it to be too sad or morbid so decided not to use black or darker colours on it.

I got the idea for the offset frame as I was about to throw away the waste from cutting out an image with a nestie.  I thought the slightly wider area on the left would be perfect on which to stamp a flower image.  I've had this set of stamps from Insignia in my stash for some time and they were just what I wanted to create the design on my card. 

I created the base card with some A4 kraft cardstock from my stash, making the fold on the short side.  I then attached the cream frame and overstamped the flower images with Cocoa ink to overlap onto the base card.  The central 'mandala' style image was also from the same set which I stamped on the cream card and cut out, adding an amber gem in the centre.  The sentiment is from a set by Stampendous and includes a 'with sympathy' stamp which I added inside the card.

The finished card was just what I had in mind and I was so pleased with it, I decided to make a batch of them to keep in stock.  Adding a different sentiment inside or just using as a notelet makes it quite a versatile design. 

Saturday 22 January 2011

Fruit & Fibre

I seem to be in a phase of using more non-cute images at the moment and I have to say it's been quite refreshing to do something a little different for a change.  I've recently acquired a set of 12 Lettraset Aqua Markers and I thought I should try them out to see if I like them compared to using Distress Inks to watercolour with.  So far, I'm not really liking them that much, but I guess more practice is required and I probably need more colours to add to my basic set!

The Sunday themed challenge over on Craftbubble last week was 'Fruit & Fibre'.  I had this simple still life image by Stamping Up! ready stamped on to some smooth pressed watercolour paper, which was perfect for the theme.  I used a combination of techniques with the Aquas, scribbling the pens on an old plate and lifting the colour with a water brush and also applying the ink direct to paper and blending with the Aqua blender pen.  The length of fibre under the image is made from pineapple leaves and so is an added twist on the fruit and fibre theme.

I cut out the image layer using a set of rectangle nesties and used the larger dies to cut layers from SU! Early Espresso and Sage Shadow - a colour combo I really love.  I'm liking all the white space and simple layouts at the moment and I think this would make a great card for either a man or woman.

That's it from me today folks, thanks for dropping by, I hope you've enjoyed your visit.  I'd love to have feedback from you, so please leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about my current change of style.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Mirror, Mirror......

The sketchie challenge for this week over on the Craftbubble group Craft Mad and Loving it has a theme of 'Mirror, Mirror'.  I wracked my brain for quite a while over this, didn't want to just use mirror card or the more obvious options for this theme.  Eventually I decided that I would go with an 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' theme.  Now, I know that strictly speaking I've used Alice in Wonderland images, but it was the closest I could get to my theme.

I got this stamp set from Queen Kat Designs a long time ago but this is actually the first time I've inked it up! 

The text, Alice and White Rabbit images were all stamped using Cocoa Memento ink on to cream cardstock.  I used Pumice Stone and Walnut Stain Distress Inks to sponge around the background paper, text layer and the Alice image layer.  The ribbon, buttons, twine and flowers were from my stash and I added a little Platinum Stickles to the corners of the text layer, around the oval image layer and to outline the petals of the flower peeking out from under the corner.  The brown strip is a piece of SU! Early Esspresso cardstock and again I added touches of the Stickles to the edges.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

I ♥ Promarkers Challenge #49 - KISS (Keep it Sweet & Simple)

Are you ready for this week's I ♥ Promarkers challenge?  I do hope so !  This week the theme is KISS (Keep it Sweet and Simple) and our prize sponsor is Sentiments 4 You.

I've used this Happy Birthday ticket sentiment from S4U which is bang on trend right now.  I received this cute Tilda image from the brand new 2011 'You are So Special Collection'  in a RAK  - how lucky am I?

My card consistes of just the background layer and the patterned layer under Tilda, although it may look as though I've created a layered frame behind her.  The faux frame and pretty background paper are magazine freebies and I coloured the image with Promarkers before cutting her out and setting her on top, slightly raised by using Pinflair glue.  The flowers and ferns were punched from scraps of cardstock using punches by Martha Stewart and Woodware and I added faux pearls in the centre of each flower using a Waco Pearlmaker pen. 

I look forward to visiting your blogs to check out your entries for the KISS challenge this week - Happy Crafting and fingers crossed you are the lucky winner of the prize this week !

Sunday 16 January 2011

A new direction............

For me that is, as I've never tried Scrapbooking before.  My crafty pal Kathy recently talked me into joining a scrapbooking challenge forum on Craftbubble and prompted me to do my very first layout. 

There was a recipe to follow, which I managed - almost!  The photographs I used are copies of very old ones and all but the one of my Mom and me on the right were included in a book written about the small town I grew up in - Bridgtown, Staffordshire.  I was so surprised to see the picture of my Great Grandma, Grandma, Great Aunt and my Mom as a child when I read the book and also the other two in which I put a small appearance.

Being predominently a card maker and paper crafter, facing a blank 12 x 12 sheet of paper and deciding how to fill it was really quite scary !  However, I just had to take a deep breath and dive right in.  I think it's too fussy and I can already see how to improve it, but hey I've made a start at least and will learn from my mistakes. 

I hope you like it and who knows, this could be the start of something big for me !!

Friday 14 January 2011

Shop til you drop !

Can you believe it, another weekend already, January is just flying by!  Last saturday I went along to a local craft group crop and spent my time there colouring some ready stamped images which I took with me.  One of the images was this sweet Tilda, she's obviously a girl after my own heart with her shopping bags as I do enjoy a nice bit of Retail Therapy!

I coloured the image with Copics then cut it out with one of the Labels 4 nestabilities dies.  Leaving the die in place I sponged Victorian Velvet Distress Ink around the edges, then using a flourish stamp, I randomly overstamped around the edges with the same DI.

Using the next size up nestie, I cut a layer from Almost Amethyst cardstock by Stamping Up! and embossed it before adding it horizontally under the image layer.  I cut the swirl from SU! Orchid Opulence cardstock using a Marianne's Designs die and punched flowers from both colours of card, before layering them up and adding faux pearls to the centres with my Waco Pearlmaker pen.  The base layer background paper was a magazine freebie.

This week's sketchie challenge over on Craftbubble's Craft Mad and Loving It forum provided the sketch I used for the layout and the theme for the challenge is Pearls, so I'm going to enter this card.

Hope you're having a great day, do drop by again real soon, I love visitors !

Thursday 13 January 2011

Get Well Soon

A couple of our male friends have recently gone into hospital so I've been busy making Get Well Cards to send to them.  I hope this sweet Kan Ban image isn't too cutsie to send to a man, but then I don't think floral images are right either, so I decided to go with this poorly teddy stamp.

Over on Craftbubble the Craft Mad and Loving It Group sunday themed challenge this week is to use brown and blue on our projects so I'm entering this card for the challenge.

I coloured the image with Copics and Promarkers and sponged Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink around the edges after cutting it out with a square nestie.  I matted the image layer over some Early Espresso card from Stamping Up!.  The blue background paper was in my stash and I used a Martha Stewart border punch to create a strip from some Close to Cocoa cardstock also by SU!.  I added a length of blue spotty ribbon to the punched strip, finishing it with a bow made from the same ribbon.

Just a simple layout for my card today, but I think that makes a nice change and it doesn't feel right to add flowers and pretty embellies on a card for a man somehow.

Thanks for dropping by today, I do appreciate your support.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

I ♥ Promarkers Challenge #48 - Punches

Happy wednesday dear Reader, I hope today is a great one for you.  As it's wednesday that means a new challenge over on the I ♥ Promarkers blog.  For challenge #48 this week we ask you to use punched elements on your project.  The prize sponsor this week is Crafty Individuals and I do hope you'll submit an entry for this challenge.  Full details of the fabulous prize are on the challenge blog, go check it out for yourself.

For my DT card I used a stamp from Queen Kat Designs by Amy Brown - 'Waiting in Time' - and coloured her with Promarkers before cutting out with a Beaded Ovals nestie.  With the die left in place, I sponged around the edges with Broken China Distress Ink and added Spica Glitter pen on her wings.

I punched out some flowers from white card and blue dotty paper using my large Nellie Snellen punch & emboss set, layered them up and added gems in the centres.  Under the image layer I attached some handmade lacy paper which has been in my stash forever! 

I hope you'll submit an entry for this week's challenge, I love visiting your blogs to check out your creations.  Thanks for visiting today, I hope you've enjoyed sharing my project and that you'll drop by again real soon.

Monday 10 January 2011

Just Swinging By to say Hi

As I mentioned last Tuesday,starting from January, each week I'm featuring one of my projects on the Dark Ink Sorority blog for Queen Kat Designs.  This week's project features the Sugar Skeleton new release for January from the Creepie Cuties Collection.

I'm still 'into' a white on white mood at the moment and decided to add in some embossing to the mix for my card.  I coloured the image with Copics and Spica Glitter pen before cutting it out with a circle nestie, then added this over another white layer cut with a Lacey Circles nestie. I attached a length of narrow black ribbon to the loop at the top and affixed to the top so that it hangs loose.
I created the sentiment on my PC and finally added some Black Diamonds Stickles around the outside edge of the card and the edge of the image circle.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Sunday Evening

I don't have a project to share with you today, I've had a very hectic weekend with no time to complete anything.  Yesterday was spent most enjoyably at a local crop with friends and my Dad.  As this was the first time I've been along to one of these monthly events, I wasn't exactly sure what to take with me.  I decided to take just my pens and a box of ready stamped images I have in stock - even so my bag was full and very heavy!!

These are two images I coloured at the crop, a lovely Magnolia image and one from Sweetpea.  I know it doesn't look like I achieved much during the day, but there was a fair bit of chatting going on too and it was really refreshing to have plenty of time to just sit, relax and colour away with no end project in mind.   I'm sure you'll be seeing these images again some time soon, I just need to decide on papers, layout and embellies to complete projects with them.

Well, that was yesterday, today was mostly used up by taking my Dad home.  He has been staying with me for a month and I am going to miss him so much now that he's returned home.  On the way back we called in to see a great crafting pal of mine - thanks for the cuppa Kathy!  As is the norm when we meet up, we managed to chat away at a rate of knots, comparing notes on our latest crafty acquisitions and sharing details of our current projects - luckily our OH's get on well together and enjoyed having a catch up too.

Well that's my weekend, I hope yours has been enjoyable too.  I'll be back soon with another project to share with you.  Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You..........Thank You !

I'm sure that, like me, you will be busy making lots of 'Thank You' cards to send out to friends and family  acknowledging the lovely gifts we've received over the Festive Season.

I decided to do some batch card making using this lovely, sweet and simple, little floral stamp - which incidentally is one of the gifts I am saything Thank You for.  I thought that as the flowers are so delicate, I wouldn't add any fancy papers or layers, just sticking to white except for the colours on the image.  For some of them I embossed the base card using the Eyelet Squares nestie set and the others a plain square nestie set, additionally cutting out the image layers with the same sets.  Flowers all coloured using Copic pens and touches of Spica Glitter pen added - bish, bash, bosh, job done !

Thank you so much for dropping by today, it's lovely to see you.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

I ♥ Promarkers Challenge #47 - Recycle

It's the first challenge of 2011 over on the I ♥ Promarkers blog and the theme for challenge #47 is Recycle.  We are asking you to recycle and reuse materials on your projects.  Our sponsor for this week's challenge is Joanna Sheen.   Why not pop over to the blog and check out the full details.

For my card I used the kraft colour card from the centre of a roll of christmas wrapping paper, which I embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

The image and sentiment are from Crafty Individuals and is part of a set I was given as a Christmas giftie from a fabulous crafting buddy.

I coloured the image with Promarkers and sponged around the edges with the rectangle nestie left in place to create a frame.  The layer under the image was cut from Early Espresso cardstock from SU!.  I used a set of Marianne's Designs flower and swirl dies and scraps of the EE and the kraft card to create a floral embelishment.  Adding a flower reycled from a gift tag on the top to complete it.

My aim was to create a vintage photo feel to my card and I hope I've achieved it !

I do hope you'll submit an entry for this week's challenge, I love to hop around all the blogs checking out your fabulous creations.

Monday 3 January 2011

I've slipped over to the 'Dark Side'..........!

Well, the dark side of Queen Kat Designs that is!!  Now we are in a brand new year, I've moved over from the Whimsical Ink Sorority to the Dark Ink Sorority.  I've so loved working with Maigan's beautiful mermaid images, but I felt I needed to push my boundaries and stretch my creative abilities a little more.  So, you will be seeing another side of my work over the coming months when I post every Tuesday on the Dark Ink Sorority blog and also on here.  The Royal Court are no longer running weekly blog hops, we are instead hosting weekly challenges and we're calling them our Triple Tiara Tuesday (or T3) challenges.  There will be prizes up for grabs and entering all the challenges each month will increase your chances of winning.  This week there's a sketch to work with and I followed the sketch for today's card.

QKD release a series of brand new stamps every single month throughout the year and the January new release stamp I've used for my project today is from the Creepie Cuties Collection and is called Sugar Skeleton.

This style of image is very different to anything I've worked with before, but it was fun creating my card.  I think the image could work well as an alternative approach to a Valentine's card.  I know it's early to be thinking of Valentines, but the weeks whizz by so fast and February will be here before we know it!

I used Copics to colour the image, paper from the gorgeous Costco set I've had for some time now and also the Papermania Heather Capsule Collection.  I cut the image layer out using a rectangle nestie, leaving the die in place whilst I sponged Black Soot Distress ink around the edges, thus creating a white border.  I've had these pieces of organza in my stash for some time and I love it tied in a knot to create the impression of a bow - I think more pieces of this will be used up on future projects!  I created the sentiment on my PC, printed in purple ink and layered up over purple card cut with a petite scalloped circle nestie. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing today's card and are looking forward to travelling with me deeper into the Dark Side with my new DT work in the coming months - scream if you want to go faster !!!!!!!!

Saturday 1 January 2011

Congratulations !

Good morning dear Reader, welcome to my first post of this new year.  I do hope you have enjoyed a fabulous festive holiday and are now rested, relaxed and ready to start 2011 full of creative inspiration !

Today's card is the one I've made for a dear friend who celebrates his 60th birthday this month.  I did originally create it as my DT card for the Just Cute Bears & Friends challenge, which was due to appear on the blog tomorrow.  Sadly, this challenge has now closed down but I thought I'd post the card on my blog anyway.

I used the adorable 'Arthur' image from Sugar Nellie - I've had this stamp in my stash for years, but he is such a cutie that I use him often.

I coloured Arthur and his balloons with Copics, the bp is a magazine freebie and I embossed the kraft layer with a star pattern embossing folder from Crafts Too.  I attached the bp over a piece of 'Early Espresso' cardstock from SU! (a luscious and rich colour).  The 'Time to Celebrate' sentiment is a free stamp from Craft Stamper magazine and I created the 'Big 60' on my computer.  I cut a couple of fine slivers of the SU! cardstock and wrapped them around a pokey tool to create the little swirly elements, adding them with tiny touches of Glossy Accents.  Finally adding some Platinum Stickles around the edges of the layers to complete the card.

I do hope John likes his card, I just need to get a feminine version finished for his twin sister before the party on 15 January :O)

Do you have a Hotmail Email Account?

If you do, I urge you to log in and check it immediately.  Hundreds of thousands of MSN customers have had all their old emails, folders and even contacts deleted and they are opening their mail boxes to find them empty except for a 'welcome to hotmail' message as though their account is brand new.  I am a victim of this catastrophic problem and I have lost a huge amount of important data.  It has apparently not affected every hotmail customer, so I hope you are luckier than I !

Update:  Much to my astonishment, Microsoft have sorted out this problem and restored my 'lost' emails and data - thank goodness !!