Tuesday 29 April 2014

Hey chickie

I know pretty much on first look whether I like a stamp brand or not. The stamps with the girl with no mouth - freaky! Not my thing at all (and no offence meant to anybody, I know there are some seriously beautiful cards out there with those stamps, but like I said, just not my thing). But then there are others that I just fall for from the first time I see them, and would love to buy every single stamp and die they have ever made. I am a sucker for the cute cartoon characters. And Paper Smooches is definitely one of those brands. I finally bought a few of their classic stamp sets, including this one called Chubby Chums. It actually reminded me of me and Best Friend. We are both chubby chums. Chubby in a very cute and loveable way!

My stamps arrived just in time to make a card for Best Friend's birthday. I love love love the Hey Chickie sentiment. Makes me chucle every time. And I thought, what could be better than to celebrate my first Paper Smooches card than to participate in the Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge. This week it's a sketch challenge (see below). The round circles in the background inspired me to stamp the little chickie all over the background. I was also inspired by the CAS-ual Friday challenge, which this week was three thirds. I used three gems and three XO:s on the tag which covers about a third of the card surface. As a bonus, I used three colours for the chickies in the background, and there is three scalloped tag ends on the two tags on the card. How's that for threes! I will also submit the card to this week's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, despite the fact that there is already more than 430 submissions for the challenge, and this will just get lost in the crowd. But the theme this week is keep it clean and simple and I figured if the shoe fits...

For my card, I stamped the chickie onto white cardstock using black ink, coloured using Sharpies and fussycut using scissors. I used the Stampin' Up scalloped tag punch to make the two tags, one in Crisp Cantaloupe and the other in vellum. I stamped the chickie onto the background panel in Crisp Cantaloupe, Daffodil Delight and Tangerine tango. Then I just adhered everything into place and added the twine and gems. I also stamped the cute little moo inside the card.

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Cardstock, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, Stampin Up' Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock, Dovecraft 110 gsm premium vellum
Stamps: Paper Smooches Chubby Chums
Inks: Hobbycraft black pigment ink, Stampin' Up Crisp Cantaloupe, Daffodil Delight and Tangerine Tango
Other: Stampin' Up Scalloped tag punch, 80's Glam Sharpies, Papermania adhesive gems Capsule Sunshine, yellow twine from my stash

Sunday 27 April 2014

Earth day recycled cards

As my mojo has been AWOL for a while, I thought I would try something a bit different to get my brain back into crafting gear. This weeks challenge over at Shopping Our Stash is "Happy Earth Day" and that means up-cycle or recycle something. The idea is that craft hoarders tend to collect a lot of stuff you mean to use later, but it all just ends up in the ever growing stash. And I have to admit to this, I tend to collect lots of things I think I could use for crafting, but most of the time they end up forgotten in the stash. I also have loads of random mismatched cardstock that I never seem to get around to using. When I started crafting I got a huge box of mixed craft stuff from a friend and I have used a lot of it, but there are bits and bobs that have stayed lying around, particularly some really nice cardstock that sadly has some imperfections here and there, so I haven't quite figured out what to do with it. And this challenge came in perfect.

The cards are made from a drawing from a box of chocolates. I just cut the drawing into two panels and applied a lot of Stickles to bling it up a bit. I matted the drawing onto some of my left over cardstock, cleverly avoiding the imperfections. The letters are die cut from the same purple sparkly cardstock using the Tim Holtz inside out alphabet die. I felt I got away a little too easy with basically just gluing stuff on for these cards, so I also added some die cuts to the inside of the cards. 

I think the cards turned out quite nice although they are quite simple. They would work as an invitation, birthday card or as a "just because" card. And it feels nice to have actually used something from my stash instead of just expanding it all the time.

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 g Smooth White cardstock, leftover purple cards from my stash, Drawing from Hotel Chocolate box
Other: Ranger Ice Stickles in Coffee Ice and Ranger Tim Holtz Distress stickles in Dusty Concord, Spun Sugar, Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmelade, Tim Holtz Alterations inside out alphabet die, Tim Holtz alterations Vintage Lace die, Nellie's multiframe's MFD020 die

Saturday 26 April 2014

Modern Easter card

This card is completely copied from an amazingly lovely thank you card made by Pootles. I love the colours she used and I think Gorgeous Grunge is such a great and versatile stamp set. It was one of the Easter cards I sent this year, a bit different but I thought it worked quite well. But it would be easy to modify it to work for pretty much any occasion.

I'm not very good at CAS, so this card definitely was a challenge. And looking at it, I'm constantly tempted to add more stuff to it. But I will keep it as it is, and let it be simple and elegant. I stamped three stamps from the Gorgeous Grunge in Wild Wasabi, Smoky Slate and Early Espresso. I stamped the cute little bunny from the Perfect Postage stamp set. I punched a scalloped square from Wild Wasabi cardstock and then simply matted everything onto Early Espresso cardstock and attached to Whisper White carstock. Perfect entertainment for a relatively short weekday evening crafting session, but I do love to play with Gorgeous Grunge.

Inks: Stampin Up Wild Wasabi, Early Espresso and Smoky Slate
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Early Espresso and Wild Wasabi
Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge and Perfect Postage

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Blossom invitation

For those of you following the thrilling saga of the unreliable internet here at the InvisiblePinkLair, I can tell you the internet is still acting up. It works from time to time and hopefully until I get this blogpost done. Yesterday it was completely dead all evening. I suffered horribly from withdrawal... but it gave me time to sit down, take a time out and practice my watercolouring skills. I still have so much to learn, but at least I had a great time! I'm not the one to give out advice, but one thing I have learned is it's no use trying to watercolour unless you have good quality watercolour paper. And I have to try and find a better aqua brush, the cheap one I am using is leaking all over the place.

This card is an invitation for a garden/BBQ party we are having in June, so I used the garden as my inspiration. The apple tree is in full blossom right now, so I picked the colours from there. I was also inspired by four challenges. This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge is "Big Stamp", and I used not one but two big stamps for my card. For the background, I used the lovely Hardwood background stamp. For the main image I used a flower stamp which was a freebie with last month's Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine. Isn't it the perfect stamp for watercolouring? I'm not very good with watercolours, but I figured practice makes... if not perfect, at least a bit less bad. And this week's Pink Elephant Challenge is "Watercolour", so that gave me the inspiration to give it a go. I was also inspired by this week's Muse (see below), with the floral focal piece, watercolour and woodgrain background. Last but not least, the layout is inspired by this week's RetroSketch (also below) which is so lovely.

I stamped the flower stamp in grey and heat embossed with clear, fine embossing powder. This helps keeping the colours within the lines. I then used numerous Tim Holtz distress inks and an Aqua-Flo brush to do the colouring. I stamped the hardwood stamp two times next to each other in grey ink to create the background. I matted both panels onto Weathered Wood card, and tied a pink ribbon around the floral panel. To finish, I printed the word "Invitation" onto vellum using a free font called Xiomara, die cut and attached everything to the card. Despite the slightly patchy colouring, I think it turned out rather nice, simple enough with very spring-inspired colours.

Card: Craft UK Ltd kraft card, Daler&Rowney 190 gsm watercolour paper, Hobbycraft 190 gsm cream cardstock, Tim Holtz Core'dinations Distress card in Weathered Wood, Dovecraft Premium Vellum 110 gsm
Stamps: Stampin' Up Hardwood, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady Jumbo background stamp (free with the March issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft)
Inks: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Tim Holtz Distress markers Bundled Sage, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed, Picked Raspberry, Picket Fence, Scattered Straw, Spiced Marmelade, Spun Sugar, Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet, Weathered Wood and Worn Lipstick
Other: Stampin' Up Chalk Talk dies, pink ribbon from my stash, Ranger super fine detail embossing powder

Monday 21 April 2014

Blossom thank you

I was going to craft my way through the Easter break. Somehow I have managed to find next to no time for crafting. Time just flies when you are having fun, eh?

This morning I finally sat down for my Sunday morning crafting session (Monday has to play the part of Sunday this time as yesterday morning was too busy for crafting). I have been planning to participate in the current CAS(E) this sketch but not had time to do it yet. It's a double challenge with a sketch and a fashion photograph for added inspiration. The good thing is that I have had this challenge in the back of my mind for a while, so when I sat down to craft I had a good view in my mind of what I wanted to do with it. I decided to combine it with this weeks Color Throwdown, as the grey on the trousers of the model made it connect really well with the colour challenge. And I knew exactly which grey cardstock I wanted to use, I have a slightly shimmery grey cardstock that was a perfect fit with the grey in the picture. I decided to go for a very literal interpretation of the sketch as it fit right in with what I had in mind, and the colours from the challenge fit in perfectly with the inspiration picture from CAS(E) this sketch.

So here we go, my thank you card. I embossed the grey cardstock, and heat embossed the flowers in white embossing powder onto Melon Mambo cardstock before punching them with matching punches. The leaves are made using the same punches. I added a bit of bling to the flowers, inspired by the glossy textures on the fashion image. Finally, I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment and used the Picket Fence marker to draw the stitching in freehand around the sentiment for some extra definition.

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, Stampin' Up Melon Mambo and Pistachio Pudding cardstock (I don't have Gumball Green) and silvery grey cardstock I ordered off Ebay which doesn't have any indication of make on it
Stamps: Stampin' Up Mixed Bunch, Petite Petals, Vintage Verses
Inks: Tim Holtz Distress Embossing ink, Tim Holtz Distress marker Picket Fence
Other: Embossing powder Papermania Seafoam white, Stampin Up punches Blossom and Petite Petals, Stampin' Up embossing folder Vintage Wallpaper, Papermania adhesive stones Capsule Red Hot

Saturday 19 April 2014

Father's Day card

I'm trying to keep on track with the various Mother's and Father's days. Mother's day in the UK this year was on March 30th, and Father's day is Sunday June 15th. Finnish Mother's day falls in between the two, this year on May 11th and Finnish Fathers's day doesn't take place until November 11th. The good thing of course is that this means there's lots of cards that need to be made all through the year! As I've already managed to tackle both Mother's day cards this year (on the UK date for the Culinary Consultant's mother and on the Finnish date for my Mum) it was now time to start thinking about Father's day cards. I will try to post both Mother's day cards at some point, as they turned out rather nice even if I say so myself.

This Father's day card is inspired by two challenges, the Muse challenge (below) as well as one of the themes for the Friday Mashup, which was ombre. I used a stamp set from Stampin' Up called The Open Sea. I actually bought the stamp set specifically for the Culinary Consultant's Dad as he likes boats and has one himself. As all card makers know, it's always so hard to make cards for men, so if they have some special interest you can use as a theme, that makes things so much easier. I also deliberately didn't use all stamps from the stamp set, only the sailing boat as I thought I can use the world map and the anchor for another card, maybe a birthday card and in that way get more use out of the stamp set. You know how making several cards to the same recipient using the same stamps is kind of like showing up in the same dress to party after party...

I used Tim Holtz distress inks to create the ombre background for the ship, and stamped it in Hobbycraft black pigment ink. I matted it onto matching Tim Holtz core'dinations cardstock and added some Tim Holtz paper string. I made banners out of the leftover scraps of the matting cardstock, and printed the sentiment onto the DSP.

Card: Craft UK kraft card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm ivory card, Tim Holtz ColorCore Cardstock in Faded Jeans and Barn Door
Paper: Stampin' Up DSP Fan Fair
Stamps: Stampin' Up The Open Sea
Inks: Tim Holtz distress inks Broken China, Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean, Hobbycraft Black Pigment Ink 
Other: Tim Holtz Paper String

Thursday 17 April 2014

Mythical creatures challenge

When I saw that the theme for the Make My Monday challenge was Mythical Creatures, I could not resist a few cards using the Critters Ever After stamp set. As if I would need an excuse to use it, but still... colouring those happy little critters always makes me happy as well. And what's better than a few happy Critters and four full days of Easter holiday to look forward to!

I stamped the critters using black StazOn and coloured using 80's glam sharpies. I stamped the Yippee-Skippee sentiment from Stampin' up and matted onto coloured card. Trying to be very CAS again, it still goes against my nature but I think the cards turned out really cute.

Card: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, Stampin' Up card in Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo and Whisper White
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Critters Ever after, Stampin' Up Yippee-Skippee!
Other: 80s Glam Sharpies

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Swallowtail CAS

This week's Crafthoarders Anonymous Challenge is "Pick a stamp, Any Stamp". First I toyed with a few ideas, but they all got binned at various stages. So in the end, I decided to pick The Stamp. The Swallowtail. This is such a great stamp, and colouring it is always so much fun! To be honest, sometimes I just stamp it and colour it several times over, just for fun (I know, I need to get a life). And to show off the detailed stamp in all it's glory, I decided to make a CAS card. Nothing but the amazing stamp and a simple sentiment. I really struggle with CAS, I want to keep adding things. When I see other people's cards I think the white space is very nice, but when I attempt it myself I always end up adding more and more stuff thinking it's too simple and too plain. This time I decided to remember the best rule. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid!

The layout for the card is from this week's CAS(E) this sketch challenge. And yes, there is a third challenge as well (three times lucky) as the The Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge this week is Winged Things. And what could be more perfect for that than the lovely and colourful swallowtail wings.


I stamped the Swallowtail using Hobbycraft black pigment ink and heat embossed using clear embossing powder. I coloured the image using Stampin' Up markers. The tag for the sentiment is cut using the Stampin' Up Chalk Talk framelits and the sentiment is a detail from a stamp set called Life's Messages from Penny Black. I covered the stamp apart from the one line I wanted to stamp using cellotape, inked up the stamp, removed the tape and positioned the sentiment using a Stamp-a-ma-jig. To finish off I added two small adhesive gems and then took the photo really quick before I could add something to the card...

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, Stampin' Up So Saffron card
Stamps: Stampin' Up Swallowtail, Penny Black Life's Messages
Inks: Hobbycraft Black Pigment Ink, Stampin' Up markers in Blushing Bride, Pool Party, So Saffron and Wisteria Wonder
Other: Stampin' Up Chalk Talk dies, Ranger Super Fine Detail Embossing Powder, Papermania adhesive gems

Sunday 13 April 2014

Butterfly graduation card

My sister recently finished her finals for Medical School and I'm so excited that she finally has all the hard work over and done with. She has worked so hard for many years now. There is a bit less than two weeks to go until the results are announced, but it's very likely that she and her friends will graduate this summer. I don't want to jinx it for anyone, but I know she and her friends have excelled academically, so I find it very hard to believe any of them would have fallen at this last hurdle. And I'm very excited that my sister asked me to make graduation cards for her friends. So this is the first one for a friend of hers who loves butterflies. 

Usually I turn to the Stampin' Up Swallowtail stamp for butterfly cards, but if I can remember correctly, I have already made a birthday card for my sister's friend with the Swallowtail stamp. So I thought I would do something else, and I ended up using the Hobbycraft butterfly stamp. I also embossed some vellum using a folder I got with the latest issue of Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine. The embossing doesn't show very well in the picture, but you can see a few flowers if you look for them. I added some ribbon and some adhesive gems for that final touch.

When creating this card, I was inspired by this week's Color Throwdown colors as well as the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches. In addition, the theme for the Card Concept this week was butterflies. They have different styles for cards, and my chosen style for this card was Classy and Elegant. I am entering the card into these three challenges.

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, Dovecraft premium vellum 110 gsm
Inks: Stampin' Up Pistachio Pudding, Soft Sky, So Saffron
Other: Hobbycraft butterfly stamp, Tim Holtz Alterations Inside Out alphabet die, Papermania adhesive gems, blue ribbon from my stash

Thursday 10 April 2014

Easter chicks with owl punch

There's plenty of challenges this week that are more or less Easter Themed. And what better theme than to celebrate the approach of the Chocolate Egg holiday! I wanted to share one of my Easter projects, and enter it into a few challenges. And I loved all the inspiration from the design teams, I just love browsing these blogs and admiring the amazing creativity that is out there. The theme of the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is Happy Easter and/or Sweet treats. I would say this card has both, as to me it's clear the eggs on the designer paper are chocolate eggs... The theme for the Make My Monday challenge is Easter card or creation. And finally, the Stampin' Royalty challenge this week is a picture inspiration challenge using the picture below. Inspiring me both with the egg theme as well as the bright colours which are reflected in the designer paper I was using.

I just love the Stampin' Up owl punch, and have made several projects with it in the past. This time I turned the cute little owls into Easter chicks. I punched the chicks in Hobbycraft three shades of yellow cardstock and inked around the edges with Mustard Seed distress ink. I painted the feet and the beak using 80's glam Sharpies. The papers are from the Stampin' Up Birds of a Feather DSP and the background stamp is the lovely new Hardwood stamp, which is quickly becoming my favourite background stamp. I used leftover scraps of cardstock for the banners and stamped the Happy using Hobbycraft typewriter alphabet (I seriously need to invest in a new alphabet stamp set, I have been drooling over the ah-maa-zing Lawn Fawn alphabets and matching dies, and I think they will be my next crafting investment). The Easter is die cut from yellow paper using the Sizzix Bug in a Rug alphabet dies and inked around the edges with Mustard seed.

Stamps: Hardwood, Hobbycraft clear typewriter alphabet
Inks: Stampin' Up Sahara Sand, Tim Holtz Mustard Seed distress ink
Paper: Stampin' Up Birds of a Feather DSP
Cardstock: Hobbycraft three shades of blue 160 gsm cardstock, Hobbycraft three shades of yellow 160 gsm cardstock, Hobbycraft white 160 gsm cardstock, Papermania capsule sizzling red hot cardstock, Craft UK kraft card
Other: 80's glam Sharpies

Sunday 6 April 2014

Birthday card for a star

Today's card is a birthday card for a friend of mine who has a birthday coming up shortly. She is a wonderful person, always there to help when you need anything. She always hosts me when I'm visiting home if I need a place to stay, despite being busy with her home and family. In short, she is a star. I got the inspiration for this card from a few different places. The colour combo is from this week's Color Throwdown as well as this week's Muse challenge. The star theme is also from Muse. The layout is from this week's Retro Sketch challenge


I used the Stampin' Up Sprinkled Expressions stamp set, a set which I was trying very hard to buy on Ebay for a long time. And as the story goes, once I managed to secure it I have hardly used it since. But it's such a great set and I particularly love to use it by colouring with markers so that you get multi-coloured images. I also used some Dovecraft Designer Paper which I had almost forgotten I had. Once again a reminder how a rummage across websites and then in your own stash can result in a stroke of inspiration. 

Cardstock: Stampin' Up Pool Party and Pear Pizzazz, Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card
Stamps: Stampin' Up Sprinkled Expressions
Paper: Dovecraft Back to Basics II Designer Paper Pack
Inks: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight and Pool Party ink and markers
Other: Tim Holtz Alterations Inside Out alphabet die and Vintage Lace die, green ribbon from my stash, Papermania Adhesive Gems in Capsule Verde

Saturday 5 April 2014

Chalkboard sentiments

Today's cards were inspired by this week's The Pink Elephant challenge #244. The theme is chalkboard. I bought Stampin' Up Whisper White Pigment Ink a while ago just for this purpose, but as usual haven't gotten around to really try it out yet. So I thought this was a perfect opportunity. And looking at the creations of other crafters, I stumbled upon this beautiful creation by Creations for a Star and she had also entered her card in this week's Shopping our Stash #145 challenge. The theme for that is Faux, and indeed this is faux chalkboard. I am also entering it in Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge, as this week's theme is anything goes. 


I love the look of the white ink on the black cardstock surrounded by colour. I also love the Penny Black Life's Messages stamp set, I think it was perfect for this technique.

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, black cardstock from my stash, Hobbycraft Three shades of green 160 gsm card, Tim Holtz Distress Core'dinations Victorian Velvet
Paper: The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (freebie with Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine), Stampin' Up Print Poetry DSP
Ink: Stampin' Up Whisper White Pigment Ink
Other: Tim Holtz Alterations Vintage Lace die

Thursday 3 April 2014

Happy Birthday Simon!

This week's Challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge blog is Happy Birthday as they are celebrating five years of challenges. Not only is it a great reason to celebrate, but they are also giving away a $100 gift card for simonsaysstamp.com. Who wouldn't love that? And it seems like I'm not the only one thinking it's worth participating as there is already close to a hundred participants after only two days. So this one will probably just disappear in the multitude of beautiful cards, but I still wanted to participate. And I am quite happy with what I created, I really like colouring with Distress Markers, I particularly like the Seasonal Colours which are so bright yet turn lovely and soft when blended with the water brush.

For inspiration, I was asking myself what would Simon like to do on his birthday? And obviously realised that nothing could be better than partying with Critters Ever After (can you tell I love this stamp set??). I made a box card according to this tutorial from Monica's passions. I used papers from the Papermania Happy Birthday To You stack to cover the box. I then stamped the critters using StazOn Jet Black ink onto Watercolour paper and coloured them using Tim Holtz Distress markers in Seasonal Colours and a water brush. I fussycut the critters, and hand painted the rainbow. To finish, I die cut the sentiment from paper scraps using the Tim Holtz inside out alphabet die. Happy fifth birthday to Simon's challenges!

The card folds together and fits in a regular 6x6 in envelope.

Card: Stampin' Up Rose Red cardstock and random scraps from my stash, Daler & Rowney 190 gsm watercolour paper
Paper: Papermania Happy Birthday To You
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Critters Ever After
Inks: Tsukineko StazOn Jet Black, Tim Holtz distress markers Seasonal Colors
Other: Tim Holtz Alterations Inside Out alphabet die, water brush

Tuesday 1 April 2014


Could someone please give me a few more hours in the day? So many amazing crafting challenges out there, and so little time to craft. But I guess I have to accept that this time of year gardening takes priority over crafting. And I did manage to finish one challenge card. This week's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is "Anything goes with buttons". I'm not very big on buttons in general, as I send many of my cards back home to Finland, and it's not as expensive to send flat ones, so I don't usually bother with buttons. However, I do have a button die, and an endless supply of small paper scraps that I keep saving "just in case" so I loved that this challenge gave me an opportunity to get rid of a few of those scraps and do something useful with them. 

The card itself is quite simple. Lots of die cut buttons, a bit of Vintage Photo Distress ink around the edges, the back panel is embossed using a Tim Holtz folder and sponged with a bit of distress inks around the edges. I printed the sentiments and matted onto pink (scrap) banners and finished off with a bit of Distress Stickles and one real button. The stickles don't show up that good in the picture, but they are there and look nice and bring a little bit of subtle bling. 

Cardstock: Leonardo Stationery 350 gsm Smooth White Card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card
Inks: Tim Holtz distress inks Antique Linen, Pumice Stone and Vintage Photo
Other: Tim Holtz Alterations embossing folder, Nellie's multiframe's MFD020 die, lots of scrap pieces of paper and cardstock, Stampin' Up Sycamore Street designer buttons, Tim Holtz distress stickles in various colors