Monday, 29 September 2008

Two Projects - "Christmas" and "Something Funny"

The 25th of September marked the start of another month in the countdown to Christmas and time once again for Fab's Big Christmas Challenge. This month the nutter's challenge would be to make nine Christmas cards. I might even make that many but most of them will be quickie cards with using stuff like, dare I say it "peel-offs" I doubt if I will be adding them to my blog or to the challenge. Whew, OK I hope nobody noticed that shame-faced admission! Anyhow here is my entry for the September's challenge, but who knows, I might manage to make another 8 cards worth blogging about before the 25th of October comes around.

This one was stamped using a lovely Christmas Wreath stamp from Hearth and Home themeplate by Elusive Images. I stamped and embossed the wreath in gold, painted it with Twinkling H2Os, added a touch of red Stickles Glitter on the holly berries and some red Sakura Glaze pen over the bow to change the colour and texture of the bow when compared to the colour of the poinsettia leaves. With my wreath all coloured I decided it would be nict to cut it out. This was mounted onto a circle of gold mirror card with foam pads and then that was mounted onto my card. The card itself is a from some cream pearlised card I bought in the Paper Mill Shop and cut to a 5 inch square card. I covered this with a lovely paper from the Artylicious Season's Greetings CD leaving just a border of the cream card showing and then added some gold strip peel-off borders round the edges of the paper. More foam pads were used to mount the gold circle of card onto this for more dimension and as a finishing touch added a narrow bow of red organza ribbon to provide more contrast with the green design on the paper.

My other project was to make "Something Funny" for Florries Weekly ATC challenge on Craft Swap forum. I have a small set of mini clear stamps by Inkadinkadoo which are definately meant to be humourous so I thought this was the ideal project for giving these stamps and outing. The actual text on the stamps says "I gave up coffee, sex and chocolate" but as I had decided to make a chocolate bar for my background I only stamped the bit about chocolate.

The chocolate bar was made by inking a white ATC size piece of card with some brown ink from a Petal Point ink pad then I used the box making side of my score board to score grooves into the card to form a grid. I used the edge of the same ink pad to darken the brown colour in the grooves so as to create the appearance of more depth and a chunkier bar of chocolate. The stamps were just stamped onto some pink card with Adirondack dye in (Espresso), cut out and adhered to the chocolate bar background with foam pads.

Edit : Perhaps I ough to own up and say my comments about peel-offs were meant to be rather toungue in cheek. I do use them, mostly I use borders and/or corners, also sentiements. There are infact both a gold border peel-offs and a "Merry Christmas" sentiment on the Christmas Wreath card.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Peacock Fan - Getting A Round Tuit

Well, it only took me four months to make this card - for me it's been a bit of an epic, in fact you might even describe it as an obsession! I saw the Peacock Fan themeplate by Elusive Images with it's beautiful stamp of a single fan blade at the end of May this year and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make it into a fan and add real feathers behind each blade, but as the stamp was the Graphicus Guild members offer of the month at the end of July I waited to buy it at the offer price. I finally got my themeplate when I was at Graphicus for some workshops during my summer holiday. By this time I had a copy of the Artylicious Peacock Summer Party CD which has been designed to co-ordinate with all the lovely Elusive Images Peacock Stamps so now, early August, I was all set to roll.

I knew it would take me some time because I am not particularly good at cutting out and I knew that cutting the feather detail at the top of each fan was going to be fiddly so I decided that I would make 1 or 2 "feathers" at a time till I had the 7 I needed. In all it took me about 3 weeks to get all my feathers made and painted in between making cards for birthdays, challenges and trying to build up a stock of Christmas cards too. So since the end of August my fan elements have sat with me picking them up at regular intervals, popping my Peacock Summer Party CD into my computer to browse through the designs and pondering what to do next! This is perhaps one of the downsides of Glenda Waterworth's Artylicious CDs - there are so many beautiful designs on each CD to choose from that I often struggle to make a choice over which one I will use and for this fan card I had spent so much time making the fan I wanted to be sure I had the right paper.

I finally took hold of myself today after seeing a challenge called "A round tuit" on the This Thursday It's All About challenge blog. Yes that was what I needed! I needed to get "a round tuit" and make a decision about how I would turn my fan into a card!

Anyway here is the finished result, at the end it just suddenly came to me which paper to use and I hope I got it right, I think I did. With this card finally "out of my system" perhaps I can get my teeth properly into that fabulous Peacock CD because there are so many lovely card ideas I have been pushing away until I got my fan card made.

Each blade of the fan was stamped using holographic black EP, then painted using Twinkling H2Os. The black parts were coloured with a Sakura black Glaze Pen and I used a clear Sakura Glaze pen over Twinkling H2O paint on the gems in the fan to make them look more like facet cut Amethysts, Emeralds and Paraiba Tourmaline. The "Pearls" were created by using Ranger's Liquid Pearls in White Opal.

The card itself is A4 - the fan is too big to fit on an A5 card - and because Glenda creates Full Bleed images on her CD's I was able to print the peacock feather design borderlessly to cover the whole sheet of card. I then lightly spritzed the sheet with gold Glimmer Mists to give it a gentle lustre.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Damask Delight and not so delightful face injury

One of my dogs, Brock, is the eternal puppy - full of bounce and always up for a lark. However last night was not such fun. We were playing with his ball and as he brought it back I bent over to take it just as he jumped up to give it to me which lead to a nasty crash between my face and his head! End result was over 3 hours spend at the Accident and Emergency unit last night getting my face X-rayed. At first I thought I was OK, but a few hours after the accident I needed to blow my nose but when I tried to a huge lump suddenly appeared right under my eye. I must admit that kind of freaked me out a bit! Apparently I have no broken bones in my face, but the A&E doctor is referring me to the Facio-Maxilliary clinic (think I got that name right) but I have no idea how long it will be to get an appointment to see someone.

Today, as my eye is still half closed due to the lump and I still have a headache, I don't feel up to finishing of the project I started yesterday so I thought I would share a picture of a card I made some time ago. I came across it yesterday when browsing through some photos trying to decide what papers I wanted to use on my latest card.

This card was made using the Artylicious Damask Delights CD and stamps from the co-ordinating sets by Elusive Images. First I printed the backing paper and 2 of the greetings tags from the CD onto cream card stock. I chose some dark green card to make the card itself and covered it with some of the paper I had printed from the CD. When printing the greeting tags I had left one of them blank and on this one I stamped and heat embossed the central motif using gold embossing powder and a stamp from the Delightful Damask Themeplate. This was layered onto another piece of cream card stock which has been stamped and embossed using the co-ordinating stamp from the Damask Backgrounds Themeplate. I had printed the other tag with a Birthday greeting and this was layerd up on more of the gold embossed background and dark green card. Finally I added a narrow bow of gold organza ribbon as a finishng touch and then mounted my finished elements onto the card with foam pads.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Thank you Sandra

... for this award, I am honoured! If you haven't visited Sandra's blog yet then do pop over there. Sandra is an inspriation for crafters, not only because of the lovely cards she makes but because of her story too. She was the winner of a competition to design some stamps for The Craft Barn and now she is one of their DT members and regularly designs more stamps for them. So if you have ambitions to make stamping more than just a hobby, let Sandra inspire you too!

In my turn I would like to pass this award on to Roni over at Ink Stains. She has a fabulous blog and almost daily shares inspirational techniques and tutorials with her readers. If you are not sure how to use products then often you will find some great ideas by checking out Roni's blog archive and labels for posts that contain the tips you need.

Autumn 4x4

The theme in a recent 4x4 swap that I joined was "Autumn". So here is my take on the theme.

I used torn paper to mask the background to create the skyline and hills and the setting sun. The tree is a stamp from the Elusive Images "Arboretum Design-A-Tree Set". I stamped the bare tree using Adirondack dye ink (Espresso) and then added the leaves by colouring the small leaf stamps with Stampin' Up marker pens in various autumn shades and stamping them on the tree and on the ground around the base of the tree. The leaves on the background were stamped using Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I think are from a set of clear polymer stamps I got a while ago in Partners, I think they were sold under the Partners brand name.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Glimmer Mist & Masking in Blue

My friend Jan kindly sent me a Heidi Swapp mask as a little extra treat along with a card she had made for me. I had some fun making a simple card by sticking the mask down onto some pale blue pearlescent card and spritzing it with darker blue glimmer mists. I cut the result out and mounted it onto some deep blue card and then onto a card made from the same pale blue pearlescent card. Added some gems and ribbon for a quick, but I think rather effective card and it's definately "Blue" so it works for the challenge this week on My Time To Craft.

Thank you Jan and Cazzie

How kind both Jan of Farth North Designs and Cazzie of It's CazzieTime are to think if me when deciding who to pass this award onto. Now I shall have to think about all the lovely blogs I read regularly and pick some people to pass it on to in my turn.

The rules for this award are :

Here are the rules for this award:
1) The winner can put the logo on their blog
2) Link the person you received your award from
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Put links of those blogs on yours
5) Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated

Edit 24th September
OK after visiting some of my favorite blogs here is my list in no particular order of who I would like to pass this award on to.

Glenda - Artylicious
Lynn - Inkyartitude
Rachel - Craftyideas
craftimamma - Crafty Love N Hugs
Fabyon - Cardmaking, Scrap Booking and ATC: from a male point of view
Michelle Zindorf - Freedom in Creating
Deby - Just Add Love

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Something for the Boys

I just realised there is a new fortnightly challenge called "Anything goes" on Craft Swap Forum. There is a theme to follow each time but you can make anything you like, a card, a scrap page, an ATC etc. so long as it fits the theme. The current them is "Something for the Boys". Here is my attempt at something suitable for the men in our lives.

The stamp on the main image is from Stampscapes and was stamped using Black Onyx Versafine then watercoloured with Lyra Aquacolors. The matting layer is silver foiled card that has been coloured with Adirondack Alcohol inks (Bottle, Ginger and Stream). The strip behind that is just white paper that I coloured using a brayer and one of the Adirondack Rainbow ink pads (Mountain Lake) This pad has 4 colours in it which include Bottle and Stream. As these were the colours I had used from the alcohol inks I kept to that end of the pad with they brayer. Finally I used a stamp from Lavinia Stamps to stamp the trees onto the strip using the same Rainbow Ink pad, but allowing the stamp to pick up colours from right across the pad.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Sunday Stampers Challenge - Alphabet Street

This week the challenge on Sunday Stampers is Alphabets and as I am still trying to crack on with Christmas card making I decided to make a Christmas themed card using the Elusive Images Illuminated Alphabet stamps once again. Only this time instead of using the complete word stamp as I had done recently on the UTEE card, I used the individual letters to create the word "Noel" These are big letter, measuring 2 inches tall!

First I cut some squares of Moondust card in an ivory colour onto which I stamped and heat embossed each of the letters using a fine detail gold EP. I then painted the illuminated detail in each letter using Twinkling H2Os. I matted my finished letters on to more Moondust card this time using a claret colour, and edged these with a gold Sakura Pentouch pen. Next I chose some dark green card stock and a lovely green printed paper from one of the Graphicus Guild paper packs. I cut the printed paper down so as it was just a little smaller than the size of my card and edged the paper in gold again. I then cut a small strip of gold foil card, added some claret coloured organza ribbon which I tied into a bow and applied the paper and the gold card and ribbon to my card blank. Finally I placed my 4 letters onto the card using sticky foam pads.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Word about "that word"

.... yep I mean that bliddy annoying word that appears in the word verification box, aka a Captcha.

Recently I have seen on more than one blog campaigns to persaude people to turn this annoying little device off. I have tried to leave a comment on one of these blogs which clamied they would accept comments both for and against the idea. It seems however that my comment and the aruguments I presented in favour of word verification was ignored.

Edit : I have since re-read that post and realised I have mis-interrpreted the bloggers statement about accepting comments. While the blog owner was happy to read politely worded arguments against the idea of turning off word verification there was no guarantee made that such comments would actually be published.

Anyhow this is why I have word verification turned on :

Firstly I have seen, by chance in real time, a friend's blog being spammed. I subscribe to her blog and saw she had posted so went to look - her post was only a few minutes old and I was surprised to see there were already about 5 comments! I clicked on the link so I could leave my comment and low and behold there were now 7 comments.... duh? how did that happen so fast..... well I looked at the comments and it was immediately obvious to me that the blog was being spammed and it was happening right there and then!

Google (it was a blog hosted on Blogger) then took over and I assume some safety measure in their programming stepped in to shut down the ability to comment on that blog. Certainly that stopped the spamming in it's tracks, but it left the blog comments facility locked up for quite some time - I know because I really wanted to leave that comment to tell my freind how fab her work was so I kept trying and it was quite a while before I was able to access the comments page!

I have seen spamming happen in real time to on a forum, the spam posts were hitting at a rate of over One Thousand per hour and were full of profanity. I worked as a sysop on the site and alerted a tech to the took him over an hour to write his own script to block the spams and delete them faster than they were arriving! That was the only way he could fight it at the time as the site owner was not available and the tech did not have full access to all aspects of the programming. The next day the site owner promptly added a Captcha to the forum to prevent similar spam attacks in the future

So while that word verification tool can be annoying why make it easier for script kiddies to have fun at our expense? Do you really want to find profane comments on your blog.... or adverts for god knows what unsavoury web sites? Sure the "word" can be the pits to read sometimes...but you know what ... some of them are dead easy to read ... so just keep hitting submit and the "word" will change each time till you get one you CAN read easily and type back into the verification box.

Edit : Incase anyone would like to know a little more about captchas then this site offers relatively simple information which you may find interesting, particularly if you have been led to believe that captchas are so easily broken that they are effectively worthless.

Monday, 8 September 2008

UTEE Card for DCM Mid Week Challenge

It's been a busy week, but I love messing with UTEE so when I saw the midweek extra challenge on Daring Cardmakers I just knew I wanted to play along. The challenge was to stamp into Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE). But first I had to cut out my stamps, a full Illuminated Alphabet set from Elusive Images which I bought recently! Anyhow here is my card.

I made the UTEE piece by using an Adirondack Rainbow ink pad to stipple colour on to a piece of chipboard. There are quite a few variatons of there Adirondack pads, the one I was using is called "Noel" Perhaps I should say there were several variations of these ink pads, because I hear that Ranger have discontinued most, if not all of them. Such a shame as they are lovley to use. Once I had coloured my chipboard I covered it with UTEE heated and stamped the word "Noel" using gold Encore Metallic ink into the hot UTEE. Next I mounted my UTEE piece onto some gold foil card.

The matting layer was created by using a brayer and the same Adirondack "Noel" Rainbow pad to colour some glossy card stock which I then stamped and embossed a patten over using detail gold EP and a stamp from the Elusive Images Filigree Fusion themeplate. This was also layered onto more gold foil card. Finally I used the same stamp from the Filigree Fusion Themeplate and the rainbow pad to stamp a background all over some Stardream Pearlescent card and then mounted my elements.

Sorry about the photo, it's a tricky card to get a photo of because the light keeps shimmering of the pearlescent cardstock.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

We Have A Winner !

The lucky winner of the new Elusive Images "Dragonfly Faery" themeplate is . . . . .



Congratulations Claire, I hope you have lots of fun using your new stamps, and that when you have time you can blog some of what you make with them. Please contact Glenda to let her know where to send your prize.

Claire said :

"CraftyC said...
I would love to win some of Glenda's stamps, she has a narural talent and creates some wonderful works of art!!Clairexx"

I would like to say a huge thanks to Glenda (Artylicious) for coming up with the idea of this fun Blog Candy Treasure Hunt and for offering such beautiful stamps as the prizes. Also thank you to everyone who has visited my blog and left such lovely comments. Now that the draw is done I will be trying to pay return visits to everyone over the next few days.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Not a Tree

I can't exactly say most times where I get the idea for a card from, probably something in my subconscious, but for once I do know what inspired this card!

While I was cutting out the stamps from my Arboretum Themplate from Elusive Images I was struck by the fact that the canopy of one of the trees was exactly the right sort of shape to fill a pot full of flowers! In my garden, despite the dreadful wet and horrible summer, I have some lovely tubs of Impatiens (Busy Lizzies) in flower. I had been admiring how pretty they looked that very day. Have you ever noticed how the petals of these flowers are almost irridescent? I had also seen some beautiful things made by Glenda Waterworth which involved using shimmery embossing powders to add flowers to the trees from the Arboretum themeplate and it occured to me that the tree stamp and Glenda's embossing technique would let me create my own version of the tubs of flowers in my garden - ideal for a birthday card I needed to make.

First of all I stamped the tree by inking it with green inks, then used shades of magenta and pink chalk inks to stamp the flowers. Next I went over each flower with a Versamark pen so as it would be sticky and then sprinkled on some Cosmic Shimmer "Iced Blush Luster" Embossing powder and heat set it. It'a very pale translucent powder so the colours of the ink show through. Next I cut out a plant pot shaped template, wrapped some ribbon round it, added a tag with the greeting on it and attached it just under the tree branches, hiding the trunk part. This was matted onto some of the same green card I had used to cut my pot template from and I had my "pot of Impatiens" ready to afix to a card.

I made the card from some of the same green card and made a backing paper by starting with some pale pink paper to which I added some depth by applying some Cerise and Magenta colour if ink with a sponge. I used a pouncing movement to dab the ink on, rather than sweeping the sponge around on the paper. Next I took the little flower stamps I had used on the main image and stamped them randomly over the paper, and finally spritzed the whole thing with some pink Glimmer Mist to give it some shimmer. This was applied to the card and the pot of flowers was then adhered with foam pads.

I guess it's not a very elaborate card to look at in some ways, but I do think it looks very like the real flowers in my garden! In case you are wondering which tree from that themeplate I used, it's one of the smaller ones - the one that sits upside down in the top right quadrant of the plate. I would have added a photo of the real tub of flowers to this post, but once again it's a horrible wet day here, not good for taking photos! Perhaps I can add a picture before they all fade for the winter if the sun ever decided to show it's face again.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Fairys? ... Oh, You Said Faeries...

So you're hunting for Faeries .... did you mean these faeries?

I thought so! Nice eh?

Now if you want a chance to win this gorgeous themeplate then you need to scroll down a little to the blog candy post and leave a comment there, and don't forget to visit Glenda the "Crafting Faery Godmother" who is offering this generous prize and let her know how much you like her lovely stamp designs, I am only Glenda's Little Helper.
Remember you need to leave your comment by midnight of Saturday, 6th September 2008, or you just might turn into a pumpkin!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Glittered Grungy Tree

I was playing with my Artylicious Season's Greeting CD and remembered the print your own toppers section. I have always liked this tree design, which Glenda refers to as the "grungy tree", although I think it's too nice to be called "grungy". Anyhow I printed of the page and then dug out my glitters from Foilplay and that set of tiny text stamps I have.

First I applied some of the glue onto the image of the tree that was in the foreground and sprinkled this with added green glitter, I did the glitter in stages as I was not sure how fast the glue would dry and there are quite a lot of tiny branches on the tree to apply glue too. Once my tree was glittered I stamped the greeting then wrote over it with the glue pen and added more green glitter. I used Stazon for stamping with so as the ink would not bleed when I added the glue. Finally took some Star Dust Stickles and added a few tiny spots to the snowflakes that are falling in the picture.

Once all my glitter was dry I mounted the picture onto some green Mirri card and then chose some icy blue shimmery card to make my main card with. I felt the main card looked a bit plain so I used Encore Metallic Silver ink and some snowflake stamps from The Angel Company to stamp a pattern onto it. I must admit I rather like the combination of icy blue and cool green, it feels more wintery than I would have expected.

PS dont forget to check out the Blog Candy I am helping Glenda Waterworth to give away! you still have time to win those delightful Faery Stamps - just look for the Blog Candy post on this blog.