Friday, 30 December 2016

Two Ombre Feathers

How are you? Did you have a nice Christmas? What did Santa bring you? Tell me, tell me, I would love to hear! I have been in a weird mood for the last few days - we recently came home after a Christmas spent with family and friends back home. I feel like I'm in a bit lost in the haze that covers the days between Christmas and New Year (I'm lucky I'm able to take some annual leave and extend the holidays until after New Years). I feel like all I do is eat and sleep. I just put marshmallows in my coffee, that's how bad it is!! And the worst part is, I'm failing to enjoy the time off as I'm already stressing about having to go back to work on Tuesday. 

Luckily I got my new crafty stash from the amazing Shery over at STAMPlorations so today I feel a bit better after spending most of the day in the craft room. New stash always helps when the Mojo has gone AWOL. I even managed to start my new Journal for next year - I have been trialling what I like to think of as my own version of the Bullet Journal since September and as I feel like a analog journal seems to be working quite well for me I decided to continue in the new year, and even upgraded from a small A6 size notebook to an A5 to give me a bit more room for my weekly layouts. But I have struggled to get started with it - some sort of blank page paralysis I guess. Luckily the crafty stash got me super creative. I can't wait to share with you my first page, but I'll leave that until January 1st. I will also have a great surprise for you relating to STAMPlorations in that post, so please check back as I promise it will make you happy if you are planning to order any of Shery's amazing products.

But enough rambling - today's card is a quick and simple creation using the amazingly gorgeous Two Feathers mask which I have been craving ever since I first saw it in the STAMPlorations store. After Christmas there is a need for thank you cards - so I thought I would get cracking with them. This one goes to my wonderful godparents who hosted us for the last night of our trip back home. 

Sometimes these very intricate masks can be a bit fiddly to work with - there's no way of taping the mask down onto the cardstock. My top tip is to put a couple of tiny drops of Tombow multi-purpose glue (you know, the glue with the green caps) on the mask. After the glue dries, it becomes removable - it's sticky enough to keep the mask in place while inking (as long as you use the foam applicators gently) but it's possible to remove without leaving any marks. Just make sure to only use *tiny* drops of glue. After using Tim Holtz distress inks to create the ombre background I splattered water with a watercolour brush. Last, I die cut the sentiment from silver card using the Thanks word die

There aren't many challenges around this time of year, but I managed to find a few to link up with:
AAA Cards - Silver
Just Add Ink - Just Add N (for navy blue)
Daring Cardmakers - Thank You
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - ATG
CAS(E) This Sketch 

Card: 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour paper
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Inks Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire
Stencil: ARTplorations Two Feathers
Dies: CUTplorations Thanks word die

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Artsy Snowflakes

I haven't made many snowflake cards this year. But when I saw the sketch over at CAS(E) This Sketch I knew I needed to get my snowflakes out of hibernation. Inspired by the CAS Watercolour challenge I made one card with watercolour resist using Brushos and inspired by the CAS Mixup I made one card with sponging, adding die cutting as my choice. I'm also linking up with Cute Card Thursday where the theme is Snowflakes and Sweet Stampin' Christmas where the theme is to be inspired by a song (Let It Snow).

I started both cards by die cutting a panel of watercolour paper using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle die. Then I stamped the snowflakes from Stampin' Up Endless Wishes in Versamark and heat embossed in clear powder. Then I used Tim Holtz distress inks in Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire to ink the background of the first card. I then spritzed the background with water with blue Perfect Pearls to give it a more distressed look and make it a bit shimmery. For the second card I sprinkled various blue, turquoise and green Brushos onto the background and spritzed with water with blue Perfect Pearls. I used a larger Stitched Rectangle Die to die cut a mat from light blue Centura Pearl paper. I also die cut the sentiment using the CUTplorations Let It Snow Phrase die from the same Centura Pearl paper. Last, I attached the panels onto white card.

Card: 250 gsm white card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney Watercolour paper
Stamps: Stampin' Up Endless Wishes
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Inks Broken China, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire, Brushos
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle Dies, CUTplorations Let It Snow phrase die
Other: Perfect Pearls blue, Ranger clear embossing powder

Monday, 19 December 2016

Gingerbread Man Parade Tag

I cannot resist the cute little gingerbread men, they seem to feature in a lot of my Christmas crafting this year. When I saw the current inspiration tag over at Tag You're It, I knew I wanted to make a tag with a row of gingerbread men. I was also inspired by the gingerbread image over at Inspired by All the Little Things. I'm also linking up over at Shopping Our Stash where the theme is Tag You're It and PDE Linky Party where the theme is All Tags.

Card: 250 gsm white card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Holiday Party Animal, Christmas Unicorn
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics 
Dies: Lawn Fawn Tag You're It, Merry Christmas border die
Other: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Christmas and Let's Polka in the Dark paper, red ribbon, twine, a gold sequin and adhesive rhinestone from my stash

Sunday, 18 December 2016

More Christmas Poinsettias

Still frantically trying to finish up the last Christmas cards for the season - note to self: Make sure to start early next year and make sure to make multiples of any card that looks good! I think today's card will be on my mass production list for next year. And I might even take the time to start next year's cards first thing when I'm back home after spending Christmas in Finland. This year it all got left slightly last minute. We have received so many cards this year, more than usual and I feel really guilty that many of the cards we are planning to send are still waiting to be written and sent. Talk about last minute...

Anyhow, I couldn't use any of my pre-made cards for my Grandma as the sentiment has to be in Finnish. I genuinely thought I had bought a Finnish "Merry Christmas" stamp last year when I was in Finland, but if I did I certainly can't find it now. Luckily I have several sets of alphabets so I could create my own. 

I also enjoyed making this card as I actually got to craft with a friend. I don't know any crafters in "real life" apart from a friend who lives in Canada. So obviously we don't really get to craft together as it's just slightly inconvenient due to the distance. But luckily she was visiting and popped up to see me for a few days so we got to sit down and have some crafty time together. I was very excited to introduce her to Brushos. I used the Brushos to create the background by sprinkling red and yellow onto watercolour paper, and then die cut the background using the CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle Nesting Dies. I stamped the gorgeous poinsettia image from Framed Christmas Peace Love and Joy three times in Versamark onto watercolour paper and heat embossed in gold. Then I coloured the images with Tim Holtz Distress markers and a watercolour brush. I fussy cut the images, adhering the top and bottom ones directly onto the background and then popping the middle one up using foam tape. Last, I die cut the banner for the sentiment using a leftover scrap of the background card and heat embossed the sentiment in gold. 

I'm linking up my card with the following challenges:
ABC Christmas Challenge - Y is for Yikes and Z is for Zoom (this was certainly a yikes, I don't have a card for my Grandma...)
Christmas All Year Round - ATG 
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Pick any challenge from 2016 (I combined two - the November sketch and the watercolour technique challenge from August)
Alphabet Challenge - U for Use something Red
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - ATG

Card: 250 gsm white card, 300 gsm Daler & Rowney Watercolour paper
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Markers Aged Mahogany, Festive Berries, Fired Brick Fossilized Amber, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed, Twisted Citron, Brushos
Stamps: STAMPlorations Framed Christmas Peace Love and Joy, Lawn Fawn Claire's ABCs
Dies: CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle Nesting Dies, Lawn Fawn Everyday Banners
Other: Gold embossing powder

Thursday, 15 December 2016

December STAMPlorations CAS Challenge - Mid-Month Inspiration

December is rushing along at a crazy pace. Just a few more days and it's finally time to slow down for a bit, enjoy good food, good company and most of all just relax and recharge the batteries. I can't wait to have a full two week's break. What are you going to be up to?

This is a reminder that there is still time to join the STAMPlorations CAS challenge. We have got togehter with the DT with some more inspiration in this month's optional colour twist - red and green. You can see all the inspiration over here. There are already lots of wonderful and festive works of art linked up to the current challenge, but we always love to see more grand designs in the linky. I hope you are able to take some time out from your Christmas prep and join in the fun! 

For my card I used the Warm Hands, Warm Hearts stamp set and started by stamping the sentiment. Then I randomly stamped the cosy mittens and sock, and filled in the empty spaces with the snowflake from Framed Christmas: Peace, Love and Joy. Last, I coloured the mittens and socks and that's it! Perfect easy and quick CAS card when you realise you are just one (or two or three) cards short.

I'm linking up with the following challenges: 
House of Cards - Red and Green Inspiration Image

Card: 250 gsm white card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Warm Hands, Warm Hearts and Framed Christmas: Peace, Love and Joy
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Distress markers Festive Berries and Mowed Lawn

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop


Today I'm am thrilled to be part of the ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop. We are getting together with a bunch of the STAMPlorations girls to celebrate Shery's amazingly beautiful ARTplorations stencils. You can find the main blog hop post over on the STAMPlorations blog. There will be stencil inspiration over on the blog for a whole week and the fun starts today.

To be honest, I didn't use to craft very much with stencils, I could never really get my head around what to do with them. However, this all changed after I found the ARTplorations stencils and the incredible inspiration over on the STAMPlorations blog. These days I love to grab a stencil from time to time and create some beautiful patterns. Often I use them for backgrounds, but today I decided to make them the star of the show. I used one of the new ARTplorations stencils called Circular One, which creates the most stunning pattern. I thought creating a rainbow coloured pattern using Distress Inks would look striking against a black and white version of the same stencil. I also used CUTplorations dies for my card - the largest one of the Luggage Tag Nesting Dies for the tag, Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle dies for the background and Amazing Word die for the sentiment. 

Card: 250 gsm white card
Stencil: ARTplorations Circular One
Stamps: STAMPlorations Bold Sentiments: Hashtag Authentic
Ink: Distress Inks Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Abandoned Coral, Broken China, Wilted Violet, Peacock Feathers, Twisted Citron, Black Soot, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black
Other: Glossy Accents

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Watercolour And Embossing Christmas cards

I have made my own Christmas cards for my colleagues for a few years now. I've posted some of my previous ones here, here (I really loved these!!) and even older ones here. I like to keep them at the 10x10cm size (about 4x4 inches) as I can get three cards from one A4 sheet of card. I need to make about 25 of them, so I want them to be easy and not have too many steps.

For this year's design I though I would try two different colourful backgrounds - one using watercolours and one using Brushos. I think I prefer the Brushos over the watercolour, although I think the more even colour of the watercolour background will let the embossed image stand out better. I just randomly applied watercolours / sprinkled the Brushos and heat embossed stamps from the STAMPlorations Joyful set in either gold or gunmetal silver.


I'm linking up with the following challenges:
AAA Card Challenges - Christmas
ABC Christmas Challenges - Y is for Yikes (there is less than two weeks left until Christmas...)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Silver or Grey 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - ATG

And here is a look at the whole batch together.

Card: 250 gsm white card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Joyful 
Ink and colouring: Versamark, Gansai Tambi, Brushos
Other: Gold and gunmetal embossing powder

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Snow Much Fun Pop-Up Card

I have had the very cool Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Pop-Up die on my desk for a while but haven't gotten around to using it. Which is a shame as I absolutely adore the cards I have seen with this die. I thought it would be perfect for a wintery snowy scene inspired by the Let It Snow theme over at Lawnscaping challenges. I'm also linking up with Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge where the theme is Christmas Gifts, Time Out where the theme is Christmas (I didn't take the optional twist of glitter/shimmer this time) and Winter Wonderland where the theme is Frame It/Night Scene. 

I started by stamping all the cute little critters, colouring and die cutting them. Then I created the snowy backdrop and hillside scene, and placed the little critters out in the snow having fun. It all looks quite intricate but it was actually really simple to do. The pop-up hills just make it look really cool without much effort at all. Last, I added a sentiment using the Scripty Merry die and a sentiment from Joy to the Woods. I also created a cute little penguin image for the front of the card using Perfectly Plaid Christmas paper for the background. 
Front of the card

Card: 250 gsm white card, dark blue card, scraps of red and green card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Toboggan Together and matching dies, Joy to the Woods
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics
Dies: Lawn Fawn Snowy Backdrop, Forest Border, Stitched Hillside Pop-Up, Stitched Hillside, Scripty Merry, Scalloped Rectangle, Extra Banners, Stitched Circles
Other: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Christmas 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Warm Christmas Wishes

I had a huge bunch of Lawn Fawn stash on backorder and then they all arrived all at once. The weird thing is that my work has been taking everything out of me lately, so I haven't been able to create anything - and all that stash has just been hanging around on my desk. That is, until I saw the inspiration images over at Curtain Call and House of Cards. I knew exactly what I wanted to create based on the sketch over at Just Add Ink. I'm also linking up over at CAS on Sunday where the theme is Christmas and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where Anything Goes.

Card: 250 gsm white card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Argyle Backdrops, Holiday Party Animal, Love You a Latte and matching dies
Paper: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Christmas, Let's Bokeh in the Snow
Ink and Colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics
Other: Lawn Fawn Scalloped Rectangle Stackables

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December STAMPlorations CAS Challenge - Anything Goes With Red and Green

And so we have entered the last month of the year. It feels like I hardly got used to writing 2016 and we are already speeding through the last remains of the year (to be fair, I still keep dating some of my documents 2015...). Another year coming to an end, another wonderful Holiday season just around the corner. Time off work, time with friends and family, and then that weird and wonderful New Year. A new start. But before we get to all of that, let's just enjoy the bitter sweet last weeks of the year along with a new STAMPlorations CAS challenge. You probably know the drill by now. We look forward to seeing your gorgeous CAS creations, you can link up to 3 cards each month and you can use whichever crafting supplies you would like but we would love to see you use STAMPlorations products if you have any. This month the optional colour twist is very Christmas-y: red and green. 

For my card I decided to use the gorgeous poinsettia from Framed Christmas: Peace, Love and Joy. I stamped the image onto watercolour card in black ink and heat embossed in clear powder. Then I used my Gansai Tambi watercolours to colour the image. To create the background for the card, I stamped the scripty text from Mixed Media Elements in Versamark and heat embossed in Gold. I did the same for the sentiment which I created using words from the Joyful stamp set. I then splattered a little bit of red watercolour over the background before attaching the poinsettia image. Quick and easy - if I already hadn't finished most of my Christmas cards this would have been perfect for mass production. Maybe next year!

Card: 250 gsm white card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney Watercolour paper
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Memento Tuxedo Black, Gansai Tambi watercolours
Other: Gold embossing powder, Ranger clear super fine detail embossing powder