Saturday 31 December 2016

Favourite cards of 2016

As the old year draws to a close most of us think back to what has been and what is to come.
2016 has been a bit of a shocker, in that many famous names have left us. For some it was after a long and successful career, others were plucked far too soon, surely 2017 cannot be as bad.

On a more frivolous note, having already listed my favourite Christmas cards, I set to looking through my file of cards again. Its a bit difficult to choose just a few but the following cards made me smile and represent a cross section of techniques and styles.
Some were acknowledged by others and some, well, I loved them.

The first of my choices was made in a bit of a rush if truth be told. I needed a card for a DT commitment (here) and I was running out of ideas.

The theme was pink and brown and in my rush to complete I did add some green! Too late to make another I left it as is and in the end it worked out OK. Plenty of others liked it too, it was recognised at CAS(e) this Sketch and at the Paper Players and it is one of this years most pinned! I used Altenew's Painted Flowers and an ancient Cuttlebug die plate for the raised sentiment.

I love LOTV images, they are so cute and a joy to colour, so for my next card I chose this.

I love making cards for the men in my life, just as well as I'm on the Cardz4Guyz DT! This was for our Dig it Challenge and won over at the Cutie Pie Challenge. I have a stash of DP in the cupboard but I always seem to revert to my favourites like this cloud DP from NitWits. I like to fussy cut my Copic coloured images rather than have them just on a panel and here I framed him with a simple white mount.

My next choice introduced me to a new technique, Faux Mother of Pearl. It was the CAS challenge over at HLS that asked for us to use it in a project. After a bit of research I worked out what was involved then had a go and this is the end result.

The ladies at LIM had a Citrus colour challenge so that is why I used these colours. I made three different panels and used them to create the coloured elements using another of my favourite styles, die cuts.

Do you watch the crafting channels? I do sometimes but usually the presenters annoy me so I tend to record the odd one or two programmes that interest me and whizz through the presentation, otherwise known as the big sell! Anyway I caught a session that interested me because they were using Brusho for painting. So I recorded it and settled down with the hoofer doofer on hand to fast forward.  I was fascinated by the demonstrator and had to have a go myself. I produced a few panels and these are two of them.

The first features a poppy I drew and coloured with DI in a watercolour manner with Brusho in the background and the second I stamped STAMPlorations daisies in DI then masked them and added the Brusho background. Find more details here and here

My next cards are made from dies of various kinds, one feminine and one masculine, more details (here) and (here).


The first uses my favourite Gardenia die, it was so popular when I took it to Swindon on the HLS retreat, that at one point there were none to be got anywhere in the country! The masculine one uses MFT's zipper die set.
I do love to use die cuts in my cards and when Kylie asked for DT applicants for a dedicated die challenge over at HLS I had to apply! Luckily I was accepted.
This next card also uses die cuts but ones I coloured with Copics rather than cut them from coloured card. I think you get a more dimensional feel. 

I made this card for a GD spot over at Less is More, so honoured to be asked. I've made another one similar for the launch of Kylie's stamps, more details here.

My final card mixes my favourite styles, CAS, die cuts and colouring images with Copics.

I used a layout from Sketch Saturday, another of my favourite ways to create, especially when the little grey cells aren't firing and a DT commitment is imminent! Find all the details here.

So that's it. A run down on my favourites of 2016, hopefully 2017 will not be quite as traumatic out there in the world.

"To all my Facebook friends, have a good one. x"

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Altenew's Year End Review

Afternoon folks.
We are in what some wag at Radio 1 has nicknamed Chrimbo Limbo! You know that period twixt Christmas and New Year. It's also a time when although you have time on your hands and lots of Christmas goodies, the challenges are very quiet, for good reason I may add. Anyway I needed a card for my SiL's 70th birthday and I wanted to use my new Zig markers that my gorgeous son bought me for Christmas, he even got me the full set, despite me only asking for the 40 pack! So, I was looking for inspiration when I remembered the Altenew's year end challenge.
Here is my card.

I used the Beautiful Day set for this and the colour choice from July.

Altenew July Inspiration Challenge - Wedding Season!

I used the sentiment from this set , again adding 'TO' to it. I love the sentiment but I can't help being a grammar nerd, so people at Altenew please think about  us sad pedantic folk, the same goes with the lower case Christmas sentiments I bought and never used because they don't start with a capital letter! There must be a way round this, I've a feeling there might be a stamp set of capital letters!
OK, enough of the rant, here's what I did.
Using a Crafters Companion die I cut a jali panel in the middle of my top panel, which I made by extending a MFT stitched rectangle to just a tad under 5 x7, then stamped, coloured, and fussy cut the flowers, arranging them in a corsage in the bottom left. The stamped banner was slotted under the flowers and that was it complete.

On another topic, its been a really weird day weather wise. The forecast was for a frosty start but overcast later. This was the view from my window first thing this morning.

However, just 20 minutes later the previously frosted over cars in the front were dripping in water as the mist descended and persisted until I closed the curtains and saw the glorious sunset about 1/2 an hour ago, sadly too late for a piccy! 

I'm joining in over at -


Anything Goes option of a sketch ( no sketch for me)

Monday 26 December 2016

Favourite Christmas Cards of 2016

It's that time of year again where we all sit back and take stock. In past years Debby of Debby4000 has hosted favourite cards of the year but this year she has decided not to.
So I thought I would share some anyway, starting with my favourite half a dozen Christmas cards of the year.

First cab off the rank is this card influenced by MUSE Christmas Visions.

A really old freebie stamp, heat embossed with silver on linen card then mounted on a panel of red.
I couldn't resist popping a small red diamante on the end of his nose.

My second card is based on a layout from Sketch Saturday. I really loved this sketch and I have used it for lots of cards since.

I loved the idea of a Christmas card using a non traditional colour and of course my Marianne Christmas tree landscape die cuts layered up.

My third card was another MUSE inspired card.
I love this Memory Box die and have used it many times but never before with black card.

The background has a soft blended sunset with the starlight reflecting off the roof tops.

I do love LOTV stamps and this snowman family is no exception, they are so cute and jolly.

I used a layout that I did over at my craft class at the Craftbox in Elsecar. They are a great set of ladies, always up for a laugh as well as a good natter while we craft. The fab Kaz tries to keep us in order. I tend to gravitate towards the simple A6 top fold style, so it was good to go with a different shape for once. Copic coloured snowmen were fussy cut before gluing the bottom of my scene to the base card.

My next card is also based on a LOTV stamp. Love this cute teddy with the robin.

A scrap of NitWits paper and ribbon strips and some Cosmic Shimmer white glue for snow come together on this cute Sketch Saturday layout. The greeting, handwritten because I lost the stamp, grrr, mounted on a snowflake and another cut up and coloured green as festive foliage.

Finally I'm sharing a card made with a fab stamp from Bev at Uniko. I bought it at the stamp festival at Port Sunlight last October. My bloggie friend Sarah (Sazzle Dazzle) was helping out on the stand, so after a bit of a catch up I browsed the stamps and was immediately drawn to this set and I've found the sentiment greeting elements so useful, as well as this fabulous and stunning stamp image. You don't need anything else as the image takes center stage.

I simply stamped and embossed the flower with gold EP and washed in some DI. Nothing more was required.

Anyway hope you all had a fab Christmas with the ones you love, I know I did.

Edited 26/12/16     I would also like to link up at -

If I can only choose one then I will go for the last one, poinsettia on white OLC

Tuesday 20 December 2016

More Poinsettia Cards

Evening folks.
I feel a bit adrift in the run up to Christmas, no DT commitments 'til after the New Year and Pressies wrapped if not tagged, colour coded so only I know whose is whose! 
I'm the world's worst pressie squisher, trying to find out what is hidden in the packages when the go under the tree. As child I would hunt out hidden pressies, Mum's wardrobe, dressing table etc, careful to leave no trace of my furtling, my sister didn't have the same technique, always left something out of place! My hubby one year, decided to wrap my Christmas gift in the waste inners from chocolate boxes so that I couldn't work out what it was.
Anyway, I think all my cards have been delivered so I can share some I made for ease of posting.

As promised here are a couple more of my Uniko Poinsettia cards.

The first I coloured with pastel pencils as I needed something that would show up against the grey hammered background. The second is exactly the same layout and stamps but mirrored  and embossed in gold on white. I used a mixture of DIs to wash in a water colour manner the bracts of the poinsettia. The tiny yellow flowers were also coloured with DI. 

The silvery grey card doesn't photograph well as it reflects the light and the intensity of the colours don't show but are really vibrant in real life. The same stamp gave a totally different look but they both show off that fab poinsettia stamp from Uniko.

Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

I'd like to join in over at -

with my charcoal silver and pastel poinsettia

Influenced by the dark background and red poinsettia


With my white watercolour poinsettia


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Friday 16 December 2016

STAMPlorations, a reminder

Afternoon everyone.
Just stopping by to remind you of this month's theme/sketch challenge over at STAMPlorations.
Here is my inspiration card for you using this month's theme.

I used the collage theme, cutting multiple Christmas tree images from tissue paper using one of the CUTplorations Trendy Trees dies an layering them onto a base panel of white card using watered down PVA glue. It gives the finished panel a translucent finish. I used this technique a lot with children when I was a teacher. You can create a fab abstract background with strips of tissue, but best keep the colours in a similar group, such as blues or reds, then cut out as required. We used to make calendars based on the four seasons, blues for winter, fresh green for spring etc. Four panels arranged in order in  window pattern, simples.
I simply stamped a greeting from the matching Trendy Christmas Trees set to finish.
 Please pop over to the main STAMPlorations site for more fab inspiration from the team and GDs and you can also find all Ts and Cs there too.

I'm joining in over at-

Thursday 15 December 2016

One layer Christmas

Afternoon all, just a quick post today.
I thought I'd finished my Christmas cards but I realised last week that I better get a few more OLC made for overseas postage. I've already shared one of those here, but I thought I would share another as it matches the challenge over at the Paper Players. I should have posted on Monday but spent most of the day writing cards to post locally and I forgot.

I recently acquired a MISTI which has made multiple card making so much easier. I don't go in for mass single design making but it is useful for half a dozen stamped cards that can be coloured in different ways, perhaps I will share some more later. Some of these cards are inked over the embossing but for this one the layout is the same but I used gold and silver EP instead of just white and left it clear of ink. I even shaded the sentiment using both gold and silver embossing for some more interest.

I'd like to join in over at -

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Kylie's 12 Days of Christmas with Friends

Good evening folks.
As many of you may or may not know, Kylie (is Addicted to Stamps and More) is hosting a 12 days of Christmas card challenge over at her blog and she very kindly asked me if I would participate as one of her friends. I was lucky enough to meet her in person at the 2016 HLS retreat, I don't know how she finds the time to organize everything but she does and does it so well.
Here is my contribution on the final day of the 12.

I made this for my old next door neighbour Audrey. 
When we moved in next door to her over 45 years ago, she welcomed us kids and started taking me to football matches as she had a spare season ticket that her Mum was unable to use because of ill health. Well that started a long tradition of blue and white owl themed cards and pressies, both for birthdays and Christmas. Why owls you may ask, well she is an ardent supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC whose nickname is the Owls, because their original stadium was in Owlerton but now play at Hillsborough. I did go to the odd Wednesday match but I was really a red and white supporter, the Blades or Sheffield United and Audrey went along there as well! She even went to the smaller non league Hallam FC when there were no League games, a true sports fan!
This Lawn Fawn owl was coloured with Copics, including his blue and white supporters scarf, before being fussy cut and mounted on his die cut branch (Memory Box) and the inked and masked panel. Snow on the panel was added with white Cosmic Shimmer white glue and the base using an old Cuttlebug EF.

She has wonderful sponsors joining her as well for this fun event

Winners will be drawn at random.

Thanks for asking me to participate Kylie, hope you will all join in too.

I'm also joining in over at -

Take It, Make It Challenge
Snow and Ice

Dry embossing and die cuts

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Air Mail

Morning all.
Hope all your Christmas plans are coming together and you aren't running around with last minute prep. Mind you if you are short of a few Christmas cards the latest challenge at Cardz4Guyz  may give you some ideas for last minute Christmas cards as the latest challenge is -


Here is my card, very quick and easy and flat for easier posting!

I needed a quick card for my husband's cousin in the US before the final posting day for Christmas, so I made it one layer to keep the postage costs down and went for a traditional image, Uniko's fab Poinsettia stamp. Using some hammered charcoal silvery card from the stash I embossed the image with gold EP. I was going to colour the poinsettia but because it was such a fab detailed stamp, I decided it could stand on its own! The sentiment was also embossed in gold and that was it finished, so quick and easy and because of the colour quite masculine.
For more inspiration check out the rest of the girls' inspiration here.

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"Less is More"

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Floral Fancies

Thursday 8 December 2016

Snowflakes are winter's butterflies

Evening all.
Just popping by to announce the start of a brand new challenge over at Happy Little Stampers.
As usual it's -


Here is my card which apart from the stamped sentiment is all made from die cuts.

I started off by sing a Sizzix die cut plate, Confetti, mounting the resulting panel on a black base card,  stamping and embossing the sentiment with white EP. The snowflake die set I used is from IO and here I used 4 of them, plus a large freebie die to cut out a variety of snowflakes in white, silver glitter and crystal glitter card. The really small ones I cut with an assortment of punches.  I arranged the snowflakes across the panel, some in the recesses and some on the circle die cuts which I popped up on pads, it gave dimension and interest without too much detail to detract from the snowflakes.
So that's it from me. Please check out the rest of the team and join us.

I'd like to join in over at -