A happy accident

Today, inconveniently whilst at work, a card idea popped into my head and just would not quit. I could picture it clearly, albeit in a few different variations, and I knew it was achievable and would look pretty, if I did it justice. Once home I set about making it. It was going to take a while as there are quite a few different elements – some of which I have to go on the now daily hunt for – so it was not going to get done today. Who cares? This occurs so rarely I have to make the most of it!

But, having stamped my roses and started to do my die cutting, as I was setting things aside, this more or less happened. And I quite liked it. So, the intended card(s) will have to wait another day or two, but in the meantime I have something unexpected, and quick to boot!

AN rose silver card

The rose and single leaf are stamps and dies from Altenew. I also used Altenew inks. The leafy sprig die is part of a set from Tattered Lace. All the leaves have been cut from Woodware White Shade vellum.

AN rose  silver card detail

Rediscovered Roses

I’m still rediscovering stamping. The inky kind, not the hissy fit kind (although sometimes the latter is tempting). This means trawling through boxes of old stash, usually looking for one thing and finding another. Sometimes I have no idea what possessed me to buy the sorry item I have found, but sometimes a little nugget of gorgeousness fights its way to the surface and winks beguilingly at you, just begging to be used. This has just happened. Whoo hoo!

It is Wednesday, so it has to be quick and easy again. “No point in adding extra pressure by trying to produce a midweek masterpiece” was my original resolve when I decided to try and make a card a day. I have already flunked that anyway, and now I have for some mad reason decided to up the ante and sometimes try for two! I can’t even explain or justify the logic of this to myself…

This Darkroom Door stamp is divine, and straight away a couple of ideas popped into my head. Here is the simplest one to accomplish:

Cream and grey look classy and a bit softer than cream and black – although I love that combination too! The embossing folder is from Tonic, the punch is a Martha Stewart one and the heart was in a mixed batch of embellishments that I have also had since for ever.

OK. now off to try and rustle up card number two…..it might be a plaster stuck on a blank card with Get Well Soon scribbled underneath it….would that count??

 

Heart-shaped box

I have just tried out my new heart box dies. This is the first one, warts and all:

kraft heart box

I used some very sturdy patterned Kanban kraft card I have had for years. It’s not a terrible effort, but you can see it is untidy at the top. Also around the ‘shoulders’ of the heart it is not a seamless join. So I tried again.

Attempt number two is now introducing itself to the contents of the bin. It has plenty of other craft disasters there to keep it company. I tried making it from really thin card, thinking it would be easier to bend into shape, but actually it just magnified every flaw. I can’t show you a photo because I screwed it up in frustration!

So, how about a medium weight cardstock? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you attempt number three:

This time before adhering the side panels I went over the fold lines on the base and lid with a ball embossing tool, hoping that this would help the heart shaping of the shoulders to happen, and paid more attention to getting the join at the top neatly finished. Better, but not perfect. Still, I liked it enough to stick a ribbon on it.

So, am I happy with my purchase? Yes, I think so, but I need to play with these dies some more to get the best out of them. I can think of worse things to have to do!!

Back in the game?

In. Not ‘on’.

Yesterday I posted a request for suggestions of what to do with some stamped backgrounds I had wrestled with most of the day. I couldn’t even call them work in progress, because no progress had been made. Here they are again:

rose background

Some lovely bloggers were kind enough to reply (go check their comments on Bad Ink Day and their blogs too). A common theme emerged, along the lines I had a vague picture of in my head when I started out, but had been totally unable to accomplish.

Everyone suggested ribbon or a bow, and using a base card in a colour similar to the shade of ink. Then I took further suggestions of embellishments, Anna Griffin style and making it either a wedding or sympathy card. I also liked the idea to cut it into three panels, but after a bit of head scratching and pondering over how to make each panel interesting and keep the pattern in sequence I decided to embrace this in spirit rather than literally.

Here’s the end result:

Ribbon – check. Toning background – check. Embellishments – check. Anna Griffin – check. Sympathy sentiment – check. Cut into three, not exactly, but it is divided/sectioned so ‘nearly check’.

The rose stamp is from The Ton. The embossed sentiment is made with Anna Griffin Interchangeable/Mix and Match Sentiments. Thanks guys! Might play this game again!

P.S.- the Spun Sugar pink one turned a patchy yellow overnight. Still suffering the after effects of the Wild Honey ink I guess. I have officially given up on that one…

Bad ink day

The card maker’s equivalent of a bad hair day.

Today I sat down full of hope for a productive time. A few minutes spent clearing a space large enough to work in (10cm square) and I was away. Except I wasn’t. Couldn’t settle on what I actually wanted to do. Stamping? Die cutting? CDs? Cards? Notepads? Bags? Boxes? One hour gone by. Stamping then. This one? That one? One I know I have but cannot find? Another hour gone.

In my hunting I found a WIP bottle tag, so the rule of ‘if you touch it you’ve got to finish it’ came into play. There are a lot of rules when I craft. Gilding flakes and a cheery greeting are all that is needed, I thought. So, added gilding flakes and turned to the pc to print out a greeting and try to colour match it by eye. Hmm, what font? So many to choose from. Another hour gone.

Eye swerves over to a stamp I have not yet used, a gorgeous large rose background. Maybe I should just try it out? I need a thank you card anyway. I decided to do a quick and simple one, then something trickier and end up with a Nobel Prize winning effort. Ambitious on any day, even more so considering how things were going.

Card one. I used Wild Honey distress ink. Lovely colour. Never used it before so was taken by surprise when, after diligently cleaning my stamp, I saw my hands looked like I have been smoking 1970s cigarettes for a bajillion years. Nothing a bit of soapy water won’t deal with, I hoped. And a lot of vigorous scrubbing, as it turned out..

The rest of the card was a breeze. Sort of. The die cut sentiment is so fine that adhering it is tricky. So I stick it through the sticker maker. Can barely get it off the carrier sheet and some of the sticky seems to have made it on to the front of the die cut, somehow, but a bit of faffing sorts it out. Sliver of vellum, couple of dotty punches and done. Another hour gone.

rose background thank you

Now for the tricky bit. Really? Were the last four hours not torment enough? What kind of eejit doesn’t learn from such an experience? Not, me clearly. I decide to stick with the distress inks, but to go really subtle. Milled Lavender and Spun Sugar leap to my fingers.

I stamp them out – beautiful. Except, strangely, I have Wild Honey hands again. More scrubbing ensues. Then…nothing. Cannot think what to do next. I look at them for an amount of time I am not prepared to ‘fess up to, and a couple of ideas come to mind. I try stamping onto vellum, hoping to heat emboss a glittery something, but the powder refused to cling to the ink (even thought it was pigment so should have). I tried a dropped shadow with a word die but it looked rubbish. Then I gave up.

BUT, my last idea was to open it up to suggestions. Anyone got any good ideas what I can do with these?

rose background

Apparently Spun Sugar (the one at the bottom if you haven’t come across it) has extra magic qualities and pretty much disappears when photographed! They are actually really pretty, a lovely stamp and beautiful colours. They are each 14.8 cm squares.

Anyone? No prizes, just my eternal gratitude.

Size does matter

You only find out why if you read on….

Today I was out and about. A week off work – whoop de doop – and my mother is hunting for some new furniture so abroad we went. Not in the passport requiring way, just out, really. Window shopping. Except nobody bought any windows.

Aaaaaanyway. Whilst out, I came across some cute small white pegs with heart adornments. Gorgeous. Meant as wedding stationery, apparently, but brides don’t get all the fun. £1.99 for 20 meant they had a new home at my place.

Shopping over, I am home and admiring my hearty pegs. BABY CARD shouted the inner voice, in capitals, so as to not be ignored. I wanted something quick, but really pretty, so the Louise Tiler digikits in Serif CraftArtist seemed perfect.

Happy with my choice I selected the pram filled with flowers as the main image. Then I made my own background paper using a matching floral embellishment, copied, pasted, and twisted around for randomness. Whenever I do this kind of project I try to fill the page with extra bits and pieces, maybe images I was dithering over, because you never know what might happen when you go to put it together and I hate wasting posh paper having to print that one thing you realise at the end is just what you need.

I decide to use a fancy tag die I have had for years, because it is so pretty. I cut the background paper to size for my card and the pram image with the tag die. All going swimmingly.  I fetch the hearty peg and voila!  Except the hearty peg is too big for the pram tag, and stands too proud from the top, and just looks all wrong, really. My balloon is well and truly deflated. But then good old Brain remembers what it is there for…….MATCHING GIFT BAG?? it proffers, tentatively, given my darkening mood. Hurrah. We are back in the game.

Back to Serif, make another sheet of background paper reducing the image size, dig out the trusty WRMK gift bag punch board and rustle up a bag to fit the peg. Yes, really, a bag to fit the peg. Don’t judge me. I can do it fine myself.

LT baby girl floral

LT baby girl floral plain background

And this is why size matters.

Made with free stuff!

Imagine the joy. I am in a well-known high street stationer-cum-bookshop just to kill a little time before meeting friends for lunch and I find Altenew layered rose stamps and dies FREE, yes FREE with Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine (naming it so you can go get yours). I have some Altenew stamps already and have been trying to get accompanying dies but they seem to be rarer than hen’s teeth in the UK. So I had to purchase. It would have been rude not to. Just to give it a go, right? Who am I kidding. If the fire alarm had sounded I would have saved them before saving myself.

Today was my first chance to play. I have one I am happy with and think is finished.

freebie altenews blue

I tried to stick with the ‘free stuff’ theme as much as possible, so the wood grain embossing folder is one that came with a Crafter’s Companion magazine a while ago. The FREE (can’t help the capitals, still got the smile on my face) rose was stamped using Altenew inks. My stamping is still a bit rusty, but these inks seem to blend into each other over time; so, if you stamp with them and think it looks a bit harsh, give it a little while (pour tea, coffee, wine) and then look at it again. Chances are it will have mellowed quite a bit. Just my experience, anyway.

They also came with a diagram showing how to align them, which is really helpful. I have heard some people saying to work from the lightest to the darkest images and ink colours, and others saying they do the opposite. I have tried both and, for me, it depends on the image as to what I find works. This time round, I tried both and found it easier to do neither…

So, the set is a three layer image. Select your three inks, dark, medium and light. I still used the stamping guide, but started at image two in the sequence, in the medium shade. Then I layered the smallest stamp (image 3 in sequence), in the darkest colour over this and finished with the biggest stamp in the palest colour over the top.  So 2, 3, 1, basically. It just worked better for me, so if you have them and are struggling, it might be worth a try.

Card number two I think still needs a little something. Perhaps just be a greeting, maybe in a nice clean font?

freebie altenews red

Or ribbon tied at the top. Can’t decide. Both? Neither? What would Scarlett say? Tomorrow is another day…

 

In the pink, again

CWC Heritage Rose 3

Pink and black again. Like a moth to the flame…no wait, that’s a gory end…why are so many of our day to day sayings actually rather gruesome? Like ‘keep your eyes peeled’? Who on earth would do that?? And yes I know not to be quite so literal, but it evokes a mental image of a nasty encounter with a potato peeler that just won’t quit.

Like a bear to honey…much better. Except now I am likening myself to a big old furry lump of a beast with a sweet tooth. Far too close to the truth for comfort. And I have never even been camping….

Anyway, I love pink and black together and revisit it time and again. Here we have another card made with Craftwork Cards Heritage Rose loveliness, some vellum and Hunkydory Adorable Scorable card. I didn’t try the Adorable Scorable until about six months ago (trying to chip away at Mount Cardstock which had erupted in the spare room), but I bought some when it was reduced in price because the colours were just what I wanted, and now I find it difficult to use anything else. It makes a really good and strong card base and the range of shades is super.

I have been peeking at a few other blogs today and am reminded of the existence of my alcohol markers. I think the black and white paper here might look good with a bit of subtle colouring so I may give that a go. Add it to the project list….

Love triangle

TL Love trio

Ok, so it’s not really a triangle, but ‘three cards made with a LOVE word die’ is the dull alternative title. Actually the photo is dull too. Not quite the arresting starting point I was hoping for…

Anyway, card one is similar to that in my previous post. Very simple design and muted colours:

TL Love and Charisma rose

The second one is unashamedly old-fashioned in colour and pattern:

TL Love floral muse

I am not sure I like this last one:

TL Love and Charisma peony

I’ll look at it again tomorrow. Perhaps I just need to add another little something. Or perhaps I just need to throw it in the bin. Time will tell!

Achoo…

Fighting the germs. Cutting, folding and sticking helps. NHS has missed a trick. Should be available on prescription. See, am so germy I can’t…form…a whole…sentence.

TL rose on taupe

I wanted to emboss the sentiment on to vellum with this, but I couldn’t make it happen and kept messing up, breaking things and even did some permanent damage to tools. One of those days. Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier to just cut a word die from vellum too and stick it on. Have chose to blame the hazy head. I am very happy with the end result, although this could be a paracetamol-induced state and tomorrow I may be covered with embarrassment.

The roses are from the Tattered Lace Charisma die and CD range, the Love word die is by Memory Box and backing paper is Dovecraft Floral Muse, which is gorgeous. The vellum is from anywhere that sells vellum! Oh look, I’m cured! Paper is a powerful weapon. Use it wisely.