Tickled? Well a bit of pink, anyway…

Whilst I have something out to make a card, I often figure I may as well make more than one. Give the product a bit of a workout. But without the lycra and the star jumps. So, three simple cards with one die set: MFT Die-namics Feathers & Arrows. I have been seeing a lot of pink and copper products and colour schemes and this tickled my fancy first. I used Brilliance Cosmic Copper ink and a really old embossing powder by Personal Impresssions called Copper Kettle. I dithered over straight or fuzzy line finish for the dipped feather and settled for fuzzy. If you deliberately choose imperfect then you are bound to get it right! The dotty feather is done with a stencil – the edges of the spots are a bit ragged but hey ho. I really like how this die creases down the centre, so you can easily get some dimension but they will still fold down flat for postage.

feathers-pink

Card number two appeals to my sense of humour. The patterned papers are from theTrimcraft Paradise Crush pad, and they feature feathers. So I have feathers cut from papers with feathers on them. Just me then? Ok, fair enough. I know it looks a bit like a dream catcher, which is totally unintentional because dream catchers are something I find quite ugly! But, this is just a bunch of feather-feathers, right? I drop-shadowed the sentiment a bit to help it stand out more from the background paper.

feathers-paradise-crush

The third one is super-quick. I sprayed the die cut feather with two shades of some ancient Cosmic Shimmer misters I had, then dipped the top in gold leaf paint. I had earlier tried embossing the top section of the feather in gold, but it looked a bit too muddy for my liking. Hence the dunking.

feathers-gold

Three cards. That increases my output this week to, hmmn, three….peachy…

 

 

 

 

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If at first…

Or is it ‘Oops I Did it Again’?

I previously posted a card I made and was not happy with. What I had in my head did not make it into paper form. But I knew I liked the colours I had chosen, and the stamp is adorable, so I decided to have another go. A fellow blogger Kim (go see her amazing work) suggested perhaps a bit of depth would be good. That gave me an idea. Thanks Kim!

vintage sunbather

I used dies to make the base card and a frame. I also caved in on the clean idea and ‘vintaged it up’ a bit, which I think works better. The controversial (lol) giant shells didn’t make it into this version – I tried them but was still unsure so opted for a tiny anchor instead. Same issue, but reversed, and different embellishment!

There is glitter, but it doesn’t show in the photo. That seems to happen a lot. Someone should invent photogenic, non-camera-shy-but-still-subtle glitter. It’ll probably need a catchier name than that… GlitterArti, maybe?

I definitely prefer this version. It isn’t super, but I think it is better. Thank you to everyone who commented on the previous card post. Sometimes a team effort is just what I need!

The stamp is from Crafty Individuals; blue spotty paper and bunting are from Serif digikits and the red spotty is from Craftwork Cards.

93 to go….

Three cards, six red balloons down…

Today I set myself a challenge to use this one set of stamps only, and tossed in a limited colour palette for good measure. I often try to use just the one set, but as these only have a single image (the balloon) and everything else is a sentiment it required a little thought. Five minutes of cold hard staring pass, then, ping, lightbulb moment. I can use the balloon to be the dot on the ‘i’ of ‘wishes’. Super.AN birthday balloons red trio

So, three cards followed. I allowed myself to use the die for the balloon (no point in trying to fussy cut if you have the tool), and my own polka dot background fits in with the red, black and white colour scheme.

For the simplest two the stamping and die cut are exactly the same, just on a different sized cards. The other has a little bit more going on, and the balloons now a bouncy air-filled border, but all were super-quick, again!

AN birthday balloon red mid sizeAN birthday balloons red largeAN birthday balloons red small

Seems I am still in minimalist territory!

 

Supplies: Altenew Birthday Greetings stamps and balloon die; Altenew inks in Jet Black, Ruby Red and Grapevine; 3d foam from stash.

 

Victoria Station?

kensington dotty bags 2

Not a card today but something a bit more 3d. I got these Tonic Kensington Handbag dies ages ago, and they remained unused. Not because I don’t like them, but because once made up, the little gift bags and boxes etc which I love creating, do take up rather more room, so I only tend to make them as and when they are likely to be needed. Or when I just can’t resist any longer. I don’t think I mentioned before (and can’t be bothered to read back and check!) but when I started with stamping and paper craft, I said quite flatly that I was not going to make cards, but gift wrap, boxes and bags instead. Well, they were truly disastrous. The gift bags were the worst, made from quite flimsy paper because that was all I could get hold of and because I didn’t know any better. I stuck so much on the front that I had to counterbalance them by sticking something weighty to the back too or, when empty, they just fell over! And yet I was so proud of them…

Today we have lovely dies and all sorts of card and paper to play with. These are are actually easy and quick to construct and only takes one sheet of A4 or 12×12 for the main handbag, then you just add colour and accessories as you want. I didn’t go mad with these and kept them quite simple this time, but I can see endless possibilities! They feel nice and solid once made, measure approx. 10.5cm wide and 5cm deep. The side panels are 7cm high, although depending on how you finish them they will look taller (for example the blue one is 9cm high at the centre front).

No need for me to give instructions as Tonic have a great tutorial on YouTube. I watched it to see if what I thought I needed to do was correct…. No harm in making sure before diving on in!

 

 

Covered with spots, and confusion

I have something I need to get off my chest. They say confession is good for the soul. So, here goes.

My lovely, supportive sister had to build this site for me. She kept telling me I should do a blog and got all the usual vacillation and dithering in reply. Then one day she just rang me and said it was done and talked me through how to do my first post. Actually she got me into card making as well. Apparently she saw how long I take to wrap a present (30 minutes is fine!) and decided I needed a creative outlet.

There is a chance I might have got around to starting a blog myself, at some point, but it was about as likely as Johnson, Cameron and Gove going out together tonight for a curry. Or many a continental breakfast?!

Everything since has been all my own mistakes work. I think my sister (with amazing tecchie skills) has deliberately left me to find it out for myself – she knows me too well!! I have been let loose to do what damage I may since March of this year. Yep, four whole months. When I tell you my confession, bear this time period in mind. It only makes it worse.

(Big intake of breath) So, fellow WordPressers, you know the ‘manage your notifications’ button in the top right had corner of your screen? The one with the little red spot? Well this week, yes, yes THIS WEEK, I actually clicked on it to see what it did. I believe I mentioned in a previous post that I am not a random button pusher by nature, so some pluck was called for. No guts, no glory, right? Then I saw what I had been missing. Majorly mortified at my own ignorance I explored further. ‘This is marvellous’ I thought. ‘This will save me replying to everyone through my email, or going back to their site, and save me going back into my site to ‘like’ and so on‘, because that is what I had been doing. Nuts, I know.

Sadly though my happiness was a little premature. The same day as I discovered it I managed to delete at least one lovely comment, and I have nearly done it again since! I won’t bore you with the details, my keyboard is doing strange things at times which does not help (doubling up on letters, adding loads of spaces when I haven’t touched the space bar etc), but I’ll just have to try and work it through so it doesn’t happen again.

Now the case for the defence. I work for the NHS, and in our appointment and patient records software we have a silent panic button we can click on, providing we can reach it whilst being strangled or punched. It is a little red button in the top right hand of the screen. See where I am going here? Hit that button at work and everyone in the building descends on you, like the stretcher-bearing vultures at the football match in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. They then troop back disappointedly for a false alarm (which it almost always is, by the way). So I had some natural reluctance to overcome. It looked like it was saying ‘don’t touch this’! The completely hilarious thing is, where I work, my IT skills are considered pretty darn good! Are you allowed to laugh at me? Hell, yes!

Anyway, today I also managed to change my profile picture! I just changed it to a card I had made, rather than those mosaic shapes you get given. Although on some sites I was a pink one-eyed monster which I was quite fond of! So that was more button pushing, which I think is why I was drawn to making a couple more quick cards with spots. Black and cream is a classic combination and suits clean and simple designs well. These both took hardly any time to make.

AG cream and black duoAG cream and black bannerAG cream and black smallAG cream and black banner detailAG cream and black small detail

Supplies: Anna Griffin cake and sentiment stamps; Creative Expressions card in ‘milk’; Altenew ink in Jet Black; spotted paper I made myself using Serif CraftArtist; ribbon and pearls from stash

Please, nobody faint…

Because (a) I have done something, for me, vaguely clever with Serif CraftArtist

And (b) I have a handy tip

So (a) then. I have mentioned before how I don’t use my CraftArtist software to anything like its potential. I basically print and then hybrid craft. But, eyeing up my Altenew stamp collection I knew I wanted a black dotty background for the yellow roses I intended to make, but smaller than the spots in my beloved polka dot stamp.

My poor wee Brain told me it must be possible to make my own background digitally, but I had not much clue how. Again, my fault, I should invest some time in learning, which so far I have failed to do. Still, nothing like a deadline (bedtime) to sharpen the mind. I won’t bore you with the details of how I accidentally majestically managed it, but look, I have a random dotty background! Ok it is not perfect, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, apparently. Well of course it wasn’t built in a day. Only the three little piggies managed major real estate construction in a day and clearly that was not a model for success.

Aaaanyway. (b) then. It’s a small tip, but it might be handy. I wanted to stamp one of the roses from my Altenew Vintage Flowers, which is a three layer stamp, in yellows, but I don’t have their range of yellow inks, or any other three yellow-through-orange inks that would go together. I tested some combinations, but they were not pretty. I do though have the Four Scoops set, which has a yellow and a peach that work with each other. I stamped just two layers and actually it would have been perfectly fine, but as I don’t venture into ‘yellow territory’ often I kind of wanted to embrace it totally. Like wallowing a bath full of custard. No point in just sticking a foot in, right?

Quick mental check – apparently Brain is still in the building and happy to be called upon. Hurrah! ‘Try a water-based marker pen’ it suggested. Quite a specific instruction, really. ‘You have loads. You never made proper use of them’. Ok. I get the message. Now Brain is starting to sound like a nagging other half and as far as I am concerned it can bog off until it can be civil again. I am away, a now brainless woman on a vital mission. A pale yellow marker pen is retrieved, stamped over the Altenew inks, works fine, love it, job done.

yellow rose black polka dot

I cannot find my Label Love stamps anywhere, so again I used CraftArtist and made my own sentiment. No fear!

 

Life stages of the mojo

This is the analogy. Think of the teenager surfacing briefly from their room, summoning up half an incoherent sentence before disappearing back into their cave with no indication of when they may re-emerge, or what mood they might be in. Kind? Loving? Fun? Psycho?

This is how my mojo is behaving. Yesterday I thought it was at least making a cameo appearance. Today it came, went, came, went. Do this – yes. Do that – no. I  love you! I hate you! Where’s the pizza? You get the picture.

This card should have been simple, but the stamping gave me grief. The background was easy and quick but the coloured flower was stamped many, many times before I produced one I could live with. Not love, but live with at least. But then what next? Suddenly the background looked too harsh, the contrast between colour and mono too strong, and there was no finished design in my head. Faff, faff, and faff some more, and finally we have a card.

AN peony lines

 

The top ¾ are covered with vellum to soften it a bit. I decided to do this AFTER I had stuck the ribbon on. No point in doing things the easy way, right??!

Mojo is grounded without privileges.

Supplies: Altenew Peony Bouquet stamps and Red Cosmos mini ink set; Woodware vellum; American Crafts black card. That’s pretty much it!

 

 

A sapling of mojo

Wish it could have been a sampling of mojito instead. Actually I have never tried one. They might taste like toilet cleaner. Also, for the record, I have never tried that either.

My mojo has been totally and completely absent the last couple of days. Not the tiniest, tiniest little bit of inspiration was to be found. Then, today, I saw something in a shop window that was grey and only-just-off white. Whilst not exactly a lightning bolt from the gods of craft – more of a damp bit of kindling that fell off the barbecue really – it has at least started me off again, a bit. A tiny little sapling of mojo in an otherwise barren land. Still think a mojito might have been better.butterfly dotty card

This is not perfect, but it is a restart, which will do me for now!

I used  my Polka Dot stamp from The Ton. The vellum butterflies are made using a really old Cuttlebug set that has one shape die and four embossing folders – brilliant. The smaller butterflies are made using a Martha Stewart punch.

 

See the angry clown?

Again I am a bit short of time today. Hardly an unusual situation for most of us, I know. Lunch out, a spot of gardening and then back to the (paper) mill. Apparently there is some ironing to be done, but I just can’t seem to see it…ah well, later, maybe.

So, continuing to road test my new Altenew Painted Flowers stamps, I chose a smaller flower this time, with no ‘integral’ leaf (although you can still add some if you want). In a rare moment of foresight I had realised that if I used the same flower as yesterday, I could not make a random background in the way I usually would, and a little more thought and positioning would be required. Well, today is not the day for that (but maybe tomorrow)! I just wanna make somethin’ pretty, pretty darn quick.

I used Altenew Coral Berry and Frosty Pink inks, plus Jet Black (from, rather randomly, their green set of colours!)

The black card I used is not quite the gsm/lb weight I would like, so I also made a card mat for the back of the inside to reinforce it a bit. And stamped a happy flower on it for good measure. A Spellbinders Ribbon Tag die, Poppystamps Hip Hello die, silver glitter card and a spotty ribbon that I have had since for ever to complete it.

As for the angry clown, after I had finished stamping my background and removed the paper underneath, well, this is what I was confronted with…

angry clown

Tell me it’s not just me that sees it?!

No Surrender Day

Today I was determined to master my big stripy background stamp. In an earlier post I bored everyone with my struggles (sorry, but that is what the internet is for!). I tried all the tips I was given, and a few of my own devising, but still got a patchy result. Today, it was going to be No Surrender Day. Battle is commenced and I plan to win big.

Using the Versamark ink pad to stamp and emboss had worked, but I didn’t want to have to use embossing powder every time, and also if I want to get a good dark colour I prefer to use coloured pigment ink as well as coloured embossing powder. Or, use a clear powder over the dark ink but then I was back to the problems of inking it up again. Dye pads work best because they are firm, but the ink transfer was not so good. By the time you ink it all up the first part is drying. I inked round a lot of times, but it still didn’t come out great. Pigment ink transfer was better, but because they are squishier (technical term) pads it is really hard not to get ink in the wrong places – particularly with the dotty stamp which has large open areas. It didn’t help that I was using a small black Brilliance dewdrop shaped ink pad though, but the stickiness (another technical term) of this ink had come closest to what I wanted. Basically I need to buy the ink pad in the larger size.

But in the meantime, as I said, today is No Surrender Day. I will not fall victim to my backgrounds!! Then, a thought. Hurrah. About time too. What if I ink it first with the Versamark, then use a dye pad over the top without cleaning it, so mix the stickiness of Versamark with the wetness of a dye pad? I don’t suppose it will do my dye ink pad much good, but I’d rather sacrifice one for the sake of battle, in order to win the war.

And guess what? It worked pretty darn good!

Now though I was running out of time, so this is basically also a ‘same card but different’ day, made with what I had to hand and in a layout I know works OK. But I don’t care. I have solved a problem, I get to use my lovely, lovely stamp and everything can be covered with stripes.

Or spots. Because it was also a day I wanted to make two cards if possible. Smug from the earlier sucess I decided to just do something quick and simple. Now that I had made my point I could be magnanimous in victory. Plus I really wanted some lovely shiny gold spots! So I use an ancient but still totally fine Encore gold ink pad and some gold embossing powder, plus one of the first dies I ever bought. To be honest by this stage I was thinking ‘just stick something on it and quit’. So I did! Clearly I would have made a lousy General.

ton dotty plus hatbox