Monday, 22 August 2016

Vellum Flower Tag, Gesso and Glitter Spray, Female

Are you playing along with the current Tag You're It challenge?

If you are you will know that our Featured Artist is a lady by the name of Michelle Short.
Michelle created a tag full of colour, with one single flower that had a lot of petals!

Here's my version of Michelle's tag - made into a card so I can play along at CAS Mix Up, too.

Cards with shiny surfaces are notoriously difficult to photograph, so here's a close up shot that shows the colours in a truer light...
(If you look closely, I think you can even see some sparkle).

When I looked at Michelle's tag, I was struck by the intensity of her bright, bold colour choices.  

Let me show you so you can see for yourself...

To make this design 'me' however, I had to look past those beautifully vivid colours and see what else I could see.
A bold black outlined flower stamp with a coloured centre that draws the eye in, lots of petals, some text...  and a very pretty splodgy/dotty background.  
I can work with those, I told myself...  and set off to create my tag.  

I decided that I wanted to make something that was the 'polar opposite' to Michelle's tag, yet it still holds true to many of her design features.
I knew immediately that I only had one stamp that was similar to Michelle's.  The outline isn't as bold, but good enough for what I wanted to achieve.
Stamping the flower image onto vellum a few times - twice for the bigger flower, once for the first, (plus one bigger flower centre),  gave me my 'multitude of petals' look.  
But can you see that those petals don't really look like vellum?

Here's how I did that...

Use Black Stazon Ink and stamp image directly on to the tag.
Use Black Stazon Ink to stamp images directly onto vellum.  (Reminder: Two large flowers, one small flower, plus one large flower centre).
Flip vellum over so the stamped images are on the back, tape down (otherwise the vellum will curl like crazy) and apply a few thin layers of White Gesso
Leave to dry.
Cut out one big flower.
Do the same again, only this time leave out a few petals at random intervals whilst cutting.
Cut out the large flower centre and the smaller flower.
Using a Red Marker Pen, carefully colour all of the centres of the flowers.
Leave to dry.

BEFORE assembling the flowers...  
Colour the flower stem with Green Marker Pens, add splatters of Twinkling H20's to the tag (not a colour lift like Michelle's design, but it still gives a splodgy look - even if mine's much more sparse)...  and add an embossed sentiment.  (I stamped mine in Black Stazon Ink again, but before inking up in Black I inked up in Perfect Medium embossing Ink first.  Just stamp the text as normal, then add a clear embossing powder, shake off the excess and heat set. 

Now to assemble the flowers...
Put a small dot of glue behind the centre of the small flower, align with the stamped image on the tag and glue into place.
Do the same with the large flower, then layer on the flower with partial petals, followed by the flower centre.
Leave to dry, then shape petals on the large flower using the side of a thin paintbrush to curl around.
Mask off both flowers from the rest of the tag by placing scrap paper under the petals.  Make sure that the tag is completely covered by scrap paper and that only the flowers are showing.
Spray with Glitter Varnish and leave to dry.
(Not only does the Glitter Varnish leave a beautiful finish to the petals, it also acts as a sealant for the water soluble Marker Pen that were used for the flower centres).

Once the main body of the tag was done, I added a ring link.  This was made by gluing three layers of the die cut together (see Supplies Used for the die used), and then adding a layer of Crackle Accents to both sides and allowing to dry.  
Once dry, the link was thread through a Chain die that was treated to a layer of Silver Gilding Wax.  (I had to cut the link to do this, then glued it back together with a spot of Collall Tacky Glue).

All that was left to do was to make a quick background.
I used an Embossing Folder on a piece of Kraft Core Metallic card, sanded it to see some of the core beneath...
...  and then glued everything into place - using 3D Gel to add dimension underneath the tag.
Then I mounted the whole thing onto silver card stock for colour continuity.

It's not as complicated as it all sounds - I promise!
I'm just a very 'wordy' person!

 Why don't you come and join in with us at Tag You're It!?
The current challenge started on Friday so there's plenty of time to play along.
We'd love to see you there. x

Supplies Used:

Uniko 'Pure Florals' - Cosmos

Mama Elephant 'Tags A Lot'
Poppystamps 'Delicate Chain'
Poppystamps 'Righteous Rings'

Stazon 'Jet Black'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium Embossing Ink'

Marker Pens:
Stampin' Up 'Raspberry Ripple'
Stampin' Up 'Gumball Green'
Tsukineko/Memento 'Bamboo Leaves'

Embossing Folder:
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Alterations 'Distressed Frame' 

Twinkling H20's  - Pearl Blue
Pebeo Gilding Wax - Silver
Tim Holtz Kraft Core - Metallic
Stampendous - Clear Embossing Powder
Collall - 3D Gel Glue
Crafters Companion 'Spray and Sparkle' - Pearl Diamond

Challenges I'm Entering...

CAS Mix Up Challenge
(I chose Stamping, Spray Varnish, Markers and Twinkling H20's 'Splatting')

Simon Says/Wednesday
Make For The Border

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge
(The whole tag's made from snippets)!

I hope you had a good weekend and are ready for whatever today brings your way...

'Crafty Hugs' to you...

Donna. x


I went out early this morning and came home to be greeted by some lovely Happy Mail...  
My first Pocket Letter from my very lovely craft friend, Hazel Kingvig-Paul.
Thank you so much, Hazel.
You sure did brighten my day.

I couldn't quite fit it all into the one photo, though...

Isn't it amazing?
So much thought and attention to detail...
...  And what a lovely way to use up some of those odds and ends that I know we all have.

Sending you a very big thank you 'hug', Hazel. 
Mwah. x

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Graceful Branch Oval, Flowers and Brusho's, Female

Memory Box have a new challenge this month with the colour theme 'Yellow'...  and given that not that long ago I was able to face my aversion to this colour on their Tic Tac Toe challenge (June 2016) I decided to embrace it head on...  well - as much as I was able to, anyway!

Here's my card...

...  and one close up shot.

Believe it or not, the background set within the oval is actually made from two Brusho colours - Grey and Yellow.  I find that Brusho acts a lot like a colour wash if you spray it enough times on watercolour paper AND you're not too heavy handed when applying the powder!

This was a relatively easy card to make.  
Once the background was done it was simply a case of cutting and shaping a few dies, a smidge of Paper Distressing, adding Inks, Lace and Twine/Cord and Dew Drops...  and no glitz, shimmer or bling in sight.  Dew Drops don't count as 'bling' do they?
As I wanted this card to have quite an 'earthy' feel to it, I've even distressed the two purple flower centres a little.

Supplies Used:

Memory Box 'Graceful Branch Oval'
Memory Box 'Fabulous Phlox'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'
Memory Box 'Flower Mound'

Tim Holtz/Distress 'Mustard Seed'
Tim Holtz/Distress 'Walnut Stain'


Holtz Distressing Tool
Dew Drops

Challenges I'm Entering...

(All snippets - Except for the dark green card)

Close To Nature

Challenge #55   Doily and/or Lace

Made For The Border

There's still time to play along with these challenges.  Will I see you there, listed in the Mr Linky section...  I wonder?

'Bye for now...

Donna. x


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Shaker Box, Caterpillar on Branch, Female/Child

 I've been on a bit of a recycling/upcycling mission this past few weeks - reusing acetate and cardboard packaging on my last tag AND on today's craft project.

You see, crafting costs a small fortune.  We all know it does.  But then many hobbies do.
So if I can cut costs AND do something that's good for the environment, well then...  I'm just going to go ahead and do it.
I encourage you to do the same.  You've not got much to lose if it was heading for the recycling bin anyways!
(I'm just going to pretend you all recycle.  It's none of my business whether you actually do or not). 


This month's Poppystamps challenge has been delightfully called 'Shake It Up'.
I wanted to play along, so I got out my Poppystamps dies, (well actually, I got out the 'cut outs' of my Poppystamps dies) and played around with a few ideas before settling on one design.
One design that morphed into something else en route!  Heck, it morphed so much it's not even a card anymore!
You're no longer surprised by that, are you?

Let me show you what I've ended up with...

...  and one close up shot...

I've taken a few photo's as it's really the only way to give you any idea of what it looks like underneath the Nail Glitter/Flower Soft 'snow'.
Have you noticed that those three pink Flower Gems don't seem to have moved at all?  You would be spot on if you had.  I glued them into place on the Brusho background as they were far too integral to the design to shake around wherever they please!

This is a very 'girly' design, isn't it?   Would you give it to an adult, or only a child? 

I have to be honest and say I've never spot coloured with Glossy Accents before.  
I'll leave it to you to tell me whether this was inspired or insane.  (My husband certainly doesn't like it one little bit.  He likened it to something I shan't mention in case you are eating right now.  Let's just say I have similar thoughts every time I look at my bottle of Stickles 'Sprinkled Sugar')!

Did any of you noticed that my branch isn't embossed and want to know how I managed that?

Sizzix have a range of Embossing Diffuser sets that have aperture's set into them.  I used the Circle from Set #1 to effectively 'mask off' the branch from being embossed along with the rest of the card.  Just something else to add to that busy/plain balance I was striving for.

I guess I should tell you which part of this box lid uses recycled cardboard as the acetate's pretty obvious, isn't it?!
See that spotty/snowy base that everything else is glued on to?  It's been recycled from that super shiny cardboard you so often get with Embossing Folders.  
After using Spray Mount to attach some White Card to the back of this pretty piece of shiny card, I cut it into shape (Tattered Lace Box Die) and then ran it through the machine with my 'Snow' Embossing Folder.  And then I gently sanded it!
I just love this technique.  It's super easy and very effective...  and I'll be using it again closer to Christmas as I still have a little of this repurposed card left.  Yay!

A tiny touch of Stickles underneath the two Silver Gems, Flowers, Leaves, Blue Gems and a touch of Distressing and Black Ink around the edges...  and this was finished.
Except that I now had to make the box base!

Supplies Used:

Poppystamps 'Cute Caterpillar'
Poppystamps 'Quiet Bird Sash'
Poppystamps 'Dogwood Blossoms'
Poppystamps 'Meadow Leaf'

Embossing Folders:
Sizzix/Texture Fades 'Woodgrain'
 Crafter's Companion 'Snow'

Holtz/Distress 'Black Soot'

Brusho  'Grey'
FlowerSoft  'Polar White'
Ranger/Stickles  'Sprinkled Sugar'
Ranger 'Glossy Accents'
Flower Gems
Nail Glitter 

Challenges I'm Entering...

(Apart from the Recycled Card and the White Card needed to make the box base, it's all snippets)

(Try To Contain Yourself)

Thank you so much for stopping by today...

Donna. x

Friday, 5 August 2016

Flowers on String, UpCycling, Female

A new challenge starts today at what I now like to unofficially call 'Tag You're It' Friday.
(I can't help it.  I like the way it sounds).

My design for this challenge started off with every intention of being quite true to our Featured Artist's inspiration tag...  but then it digressed into something quite different.

Let me show you my tag...

...  and at a different angle...

...  and the tag created just for us by Michele Ferguson.

The similarities are there...

I focused on those pretty blue flowers, decided to upcycle some cardboard packaging from my Gorjuss patterned papers collection to create more flowers (there are two kinds on Michele's tag) and then stretched out my design on to a piece of string instead of keeping it quite compact on the leaves.
Don't ask me why.  
 (I may have mentioned this before, but my brain often takes 'interesting' detours when I'm crafting)!
I will say that the original intention was to use a branch in place of the leaves, but I decided against that as I felt the design would get too busy.
So string it was!
And I have used two tags (just like Michele) - it's just that one was cut and embossed from acetate before being partially glued into place over the other one.

I even managed to include dark centres on my flowers - just like the dark centres on Michele's blue flowers.
So all in all I didn't digress that far off track...  although I did sneak in one final sparkly touch before gluing everything into place!

Here's a close up so you can see it...

Supplies Used:

Sizzix/Framelits 'Tag Collection'
Memory Box 'Fabulous Phlox'
Memory Box 'Flower Mound'

SugarPea Designs 'Funky Wreath - Spring Edition'

Tim Holtz Distress 'Stormy Sky'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Broken China'

Embossing Folder:
Crafter's Companion/Textures Elements 'Snow' (8x8)

Ranger/Stickles 'Sprinkled Sugar'

Challenges I'm Entering...

Challenge #153   'Gift Tags'

Fabulous Florals

Week #374   'A Touch Of Sparkle'

We would love to see how Michele inspires you to play along, so why not join us?
Have a happy weekend.

Donna. x

Friday, 29 July 2016

CAS Tag, Vase and Flower, Female

Have you been playing along with the current challenge at 'Tag You're It'?
 There's less than a week to go but that's still plenty of time to get those creative juices flowing! 

For those of you who may not have had a chance to stop by at Tag You're It lately...  You may not know that we now have a 'Featured Artist' for each new challenge, bringing us their own design to work with and giving us and you even more inspiration to play along with.  
So if you have the time, why not give it a go?

My tag for this challenge is probably the most CAS thing I have ever made...  and boy did I struggle leaving all that white space.
I have to confess I tried many, many ways to incorporate some colour into the background...  but not one of them looked right.  And yes, I did consider Embossing Folders...  but then I would have lost the definition of the 'flight path' stitched detail.   
So in the end I resigned myself to the fact that, in this instance, lots of white space was the way to go...   but to make myself feel better I did spray the whole background with glitter varnish before adding the vase, flower and butterfly.  (And yes, it really did make me feel better)!

Here's my tag...

...  and here's a close up so you can hopefully see the glitter varnish...


I'm always trying to find ways to sneak in a little dimension with my CAS projects.
How did I achieve that on this design?
Well, firstly I chose a die that I could emboss and add colour to. Then I cut a bottom flower head in red and the top overlapping in a deep pink colour.   
Then I chose a stitched detail that adds to the scene without adding any colour whatsoever...  and added a butterfly that's glued only at the centre - so I can raise the wings a little. 
Cutting the vase from vellum and then inking around the edges meant that any glue that would normally show through was now hidden - I just spot glued behind the inked edges only.
Even my glitter varnish base gives added texture - how's that for a happy coincidence?

I will never be a one layer girl and I'm ok with that.  It's simply not in my skill set.
Why worry about what I cannot change?  We can't all be good at everything, after all!

The Featured Artist for this challenge is a lady by the name of Amy Tsuruta.
Here's her tag on a card...

It's easy to see where I got my inspiration from this time, isn't it?!

Supplies Used:

Sizzix Thinlits 'Flower Vases'
Marianne Designs (Creatables) 'Tiny's Tulip'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'
Memory Box/Open Studio 'Busy As A Bee'

Tim Holtz Distress 'Walnut Stain'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Forest Moss'
ColorBox Pigment Ink 'Frost White'

Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle'  (Pearl Diamond)

Challenges I'm Entering...

Simon Says/Wednesday 
Anything Goes

(Made entirely from Snippets)

Challenge #262   'A Stitch In Time'

Week #373   'Anything But A Card'

Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge #14
(Add Dimensional, Intricate Dies, Ribbon)

Challenge #153   'Gift tags'

Cardz 4 Galz
Challenge #27   'No Patterned Paper'

Wishing you the happiest of weekends...

Donna. x

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Stick Frames on Postcard, Vellum, Female

  If you read my last post you will know that my friend Olga kindly sent me some lovely goodies a few weeks ago - including some Stick Frames die cuts (Poppystamps).
Today's card uses the last of these...  which is good as I didn't want them to go to waste, but bad as although I have this die on its way to me from America, it's still not here yet!
No one in the UK seems to have this die in stock...  Well, no one I can find, anyway!
The truth is, most online shops over here are still waiting on deliveries of the latest additions to the range - and then it's a case of waiting to see which dies they choose to stock. 
And I'm not very good at waiting!!!
Oh well...

Today's card has been made with the CAS Mix Up Challenge in mind...

I always find CAS a real challenge, so to be allowed to blur the lines a little is fantastic news.  It means I can sneak in a layer, add some texture paste, distress some edges a little, add some ink...  and many more things besides.  As long as it's still CAS by nature, it fits this challenge theme.
Have you tried playing along?

  Here's my quick 'how to'...

Stamp Postcard image on to a piece of card stock.  Trim to size, distress and ink up edges.
Tear a piece of vellum to size.  Put to one side.
Using Embossing Ink, apply stamp image to a second piece of vellum.  Emboss and tear to size.
Wrap both vellum panels around postcard and attach from the back.
Cut out/Punch other Die Cut shapes - Spiral Flower, Leaves and Butterflies.
Add Marker details to Leaves.
Ink up edges of Spiral Flower (front and back), then roll up and glue into shape.
Glue all Die Cuts into place.

Supplies Used:

Penny Black 'Postcard'
Hero Arts Cling 'Two Vine Scrolls'

Poppystamps 'Sticks Frame'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'
Sizzix/Holtz 'Tiny Tattered Florals'

Holtz Distress 'Walnut Stain'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium'

Embossing Powder:
Stampendous 'Clear Detail'

Marker Pen:
Tsukineko (Memento) Dual Tip 'Olive Grove'

Martha Stewart 'Pop Up Butterflies'

Scrap of Glitter Card
Holtz Distress Tool

Challenges I'm Entering...

CAS Mix Up Challenge
(I chose Stamping, Markers, Heat Embossing, Die Cuts and a Punch)

That's Crafty
Feminine Challenge

Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge
(Vellum and all die cuts/punched shape from my snippets stash)

I am so glad Summer has finally arrived here in the UK.  It never lasts for very long so I plan to enjoy it.  You won't catch me complaining it's too hot!!!

Wishing you a fantastic rest of your day...

Donna. x

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Gatefold Card, Quiet Bird Sash, Female

I have a confession to make.  
It's not a big confession, but it will hopefully clear up a misconception that I know quite a few of you are under.  
You see, as well as disliking bright, bold colours I also dislike the colour black.  It's just way too stark for me.  So I use it very minimally and very, very occasionally.  Kind of only when I absolutely have to...

Now I know that quite a few of you are going to be confused now - which is kind of my own fault really as
A)  It never even occurred to me until reading through some of your comments
B)  I didn't have the heart to tell you.  Especially when you'd been so kind to stop by...


What you see on your monitor as 'black' when looking at my 'makes' is more often than not a colour called Deep Cocoa.  It's a very, very dark brown that is my absolute favourite - which you can probably tell as I use it quite a lot!

So now you know...

But before I go on to show you my 'make' for today, let me just say that just because I don't like to use big, bold, bright colours doesn't mean that a lot of you aren't fantastic at making craft projects from these colours that I do enjoy and appreciate seeing.

I'm kind of weird like that!

My card for today has been made specifically for the latest Poppystamps Challenge...

...  and as it's a Gatefold Card you get to see more than one photo...

I thoroughly enjoyed making this card, and truth be told, it's so 'me' that I'm going to struggle to part with it!
(Now I know how sad that sounds...  but I also know that I'm not the only one).

Here's a quick run down of how this card was made:

Using a Circular Mask and a Bristle Brush, apply White Pigment Ink to Kraft Card.
Once dry, use another Bristle Brush to apply two shades of Blue Ink - one light and one dark. 
Leave to one side to dry.
Cut out Die Cuts and assemble where necessary, but DO NOT add to project as yet.
Using a piece of card slightly wider than the Kraft Card, cut out the 'Quiet Bird Sash' Die. 
Make two side panels to form the Gatefolds and attach from the back.
Make two thinner panels from Kraft Card and apply Sparkle Medium through Stencil.
Leave to dry...
Measure up and make another panel with the same dimensions as the Bird Sash Panel. 
(This will become your back panel).
Cut out a 'Distressed Rectangle' Die Cut and ink around edges with Brown Ink.
Attach to back panel and add three Die Cut Flowers.
Distress edges of all Kraft Card panels using a Distress Tool.
Slide largest Kraft Card panel carefully under Quiet Bird Sash panel and glue into place.
Add thinner Kraft Card panels and glue into place.
Apply Die Cuts and glue into place.
Ink Gatefold edges of card with Brown Ink.
Cut a thin strip of card just long enough to wrap around the Gatefold card.
Glue strip and leave to one side to dry.
Cut out a Die Cut Flower, and add Stickles Glitter Glue to the centre.
Once dry, attach Flower to thin strip of card.
Spray thin strip with Glitter Spray and leave to dry.

Now I'm sure many of you will have spotted that I could just as easily have used one large piece of card, cut out the Bird Sash from that and then added everything else accordingly.  
That is the other option IF you want to OR have a machine big enough to do that on.  
It's a matter of personal preference, I guess...  and what size machine you have to use.

Supplies Used:

Poppystamps 'Quiet Bird Sash'
Poppystamps 'Stick Frames'
Memory Box 'Long Stem Lavender'
Memory Box 'Meadow Clover'
Poppystamps 'Fresh Petals'
Spellbinders (Nestabilities) Card Creator 'A2 Distressed Edges'

ColorBox Pigment Ink 'Frost White'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Stormy Sky'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Broken China'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Walnut Stain'

Memory Box 'Shimmer' 

Tim Holtz Distress Tool
Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle'  (Pearl Diamond) 
(Ranger) Stickles Glitter Glue 'Frosted Lace'

Challenges I'm Entering...

(All die cuts from snippets - except Bird sash)

(Flora and/or Fauna)

Feminine Challenge

Create A Scene

Challenge #19   'Anything Goes'

In reality, this card has a lovely soft shimmer on the side panels from the texture paste.  It just doesn't show up on these photo's at all.   
Not to worry...  
You'll just have to use your imagination!

Enjoy the rest of your week...

Donna. x

PS.  Special thanks to Olga for very kindly posting me some goodies - including the Sticks Frame die cuts that I used on my card today.  Mine are yet to arrive and are like gold dust here in the UK!
Thank you, Olga. x