Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wrapped Star Christmas Box, Kraft + Textured, Female

Just a quick post today as, splints or not, I need to start catching up with you all on your Social Media platforms.

It's a 'Tattered Lace' box - decorated with one of the newest dies from the latest Poppystamps collection.  
I've used the 'Wrapped Star' here...  along with some 'Holiday Holly' from last year's release...  and I've also snuck in the Memory Box 'Snowdrift Breeze' on the silver panel.

This was an experiment to see if 'bling' could be achieved in a more 'au naturel' design.
Not my taste as I prefer things simpler...  but I've learned along the way that just because I don't like it doesn't mean that somebody, somewhere else won't.  
So I'll put it on my craft stall and see what happens.
We are all uniquely different, after all!!!

Here's a quick 'how to' recipe for how this was made - starting with the bottom layer...

Corrugated base with texture paste in corners.
Two rows of glitter ribbon added with red liner tape.
Some offset brown scraps of card that just peer off the edges a little.
An embossed, (Sheena Douglas 'Festive') matt silver square, with added detail from the Memory Box 'Snowdrift Breeze'.
Green, spotty Hemp ribbon - attached with Hot Glue.
Jute string in a random swirl.
Three of the 'Wrapped Stars' (cut from the same brown card as before) - not glued together identically so no matching inside lines!  These were sprayed with Silver Glitter spray, then had silver cord wrapped around the middle once dry...  
Add the bell to the star with string before gluing into place, then add water coloured (and varnished) leaves and a little jute bow.

This was made to play along with the latest Poppystamps Challenge...

PSC #34

...  and as it also 'fits the bill' I'm entering it into this challenge, too!

Simon Says/Monday
You've Got The Edge

It's a wet and soggy day here today.  On the plus side...  at least the plants won't need watering!

Bye for now...

Donna. x

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Enchanted Deer + Pinecone Collage Picture Frame, Christmas, Male/Female

I've used my all time favourite die from last year's (2016) Memory Box September release and paired it with one of this years Holiday release dies to create something just a little bit different...   a 'Picture Frame' - complete with attached easel.

Here's a few photo's so you get an idea of the depth created just by layering up a few die cuts between thin frames...

I did consider making this as a Diorama card, but opted for durability over any other consideration in the end.  Plus what's the point in buying an Easel die if I'm not going to get lots of use out of it? 
 Have stash.  Use stash.  
Doesn't that give us "Crafter's" some Brownie Points somewhere along the way?!!


You want to know how it was made?

I'll mix things up a bit from my usual format and give you the list of supplies used first.

Supplies Used:

Memory Box 'Enchanted Deer' Collage
Memory Box 'Pinecone Collage'
Mama Elephant 'Peek A Frame' Creative Cuts
Sizzix/Bigz 'Small Easel'

Holtz/Distress Ink:
Ground Expresso
Walnut Stain
Hickory Smoke
Pumice Stone

Embossing Folders:
Darice 'Tattered Page'
Sizzix/Texture Fades 'Birch Trees'

Recycled acetate (from craft packaging)
Pebeo Gilding Wax - Silver
Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle' - Pearl Diamond

First of all, I inked up two pieces of card stock with the brown shades of ink.  (I already had a 'mock' cut out of the Enchanted Deer Collage die so used that to help gauge where I wanted more/less ink to go).

Once happy with them, cut just the one Enchanted Deer to size - not both.  These die 'cut outs' need to match up exactly so get the one sorted (using your embossing folder for dimensions) before getting the other one to size.

Leave to one side, and using the Pinecone Collage die with another piece of card, cut out either a random pattern that you like or one like mine where there are no 'free floating' branches to be seen.

Then ink up yet another piece of card using the grey shades of ink.

With me so far..?

Now leave all of that to one side for a minute and make the frames that will be used to sandwich the layers together. 
 I used the biggest two dies from the Mama Elephant 'Peek A Frame' set to make two frames - and I doubled up the layers (which means cut out four - not two).  The main thing here is that the frames made are the same size as the Enchanted Deer 'cut outs' - and that they aren't too thick.  Even with mine I had to trim off a tiny piece that was peeking through into the 'picture'.

Whilst the glue on the frames dries, emboss one of the Enchanted Deer die cuts using the 'Tattered Page' Embossing Folder and emboss the Pinecone Collage 'cut out' piece using the 'Birch Trees' Embossing Folder. 

If everything hasn't been cut to the same size, do that now.

Then cut out a piece of card thick enough to be your base.  My easel has also been cut out from the same cardboard so the colours match.  (The thicker, the better.  I used some recycled 'grey board' used as packaging that came with some of my craft goodies.  Wish I knew how to get hold of this stuff commercially as my store of it is limited).

Now it's sandwich making time...

Glue the grey inked piece to the card base.

Then glue on one of the frames.

Now add the Pinecone Collage Cut out, gluing that just to the frame - nowhere else.

Now comes a tricky part...

Hold your two Enchanted Deer Collage 'cut outs' together - both facing the right way up and the embossed one on the top. Turn both upside down whilst still being held as one piece so that glue is on the underside of the bottom layer only.  Now turn both back the right way up - whilst still holding them together.  
(The trick here is to hold on to this die cut 'sandwich' in such a way that the two 'die cuts' look as one.  Once you've got that sorted, match up the edges of the 'sandwich' with the parts already glued into place).  
Press firmly 'round the edges and then put that top, unglued die cut to one side for a minute.

Add that second frame and glue into place - being sure that you won't be able to see any of it once that final 'die cut' is on the top.

Now I made a choice at this stage to add my acetate to the back of the Enchanted Deer Collage 'die cut' before spraying on the glitter.  It gives the grey of the pinecones a softer look - not that dissimilar to when you add vellum over bright, bold colours to tone them down.
So either do as I did and add the acetate before spraying or spray now, leave to dry and then add that acetate layer. 
 But either way, add a smidge of gilding wax along the edges first - where the 'Tattered Pages' are showing.  It just adds that 'someting extra'...

Once it's all been sandwiched together I suggest you put it under some weight for a while - and add the easel into place on the back at some point after it's all had plenty of time to dry.

Then, once completely dry, add some very thin Kraft card slivers to the sides of this frame to cover over the sandwiched layered edges and make it more 'frame like' in appearance.  


...  and the perfect thing to add to my craft stall for Christmas...

This was made to play along with the latest Memory Box Challenge.

Challenge #26

I play here often as I love their dies!

Other Challenges I'm Entering...

You've Got The Edge

Christmas In July

Thanks so much for stopping by today...

Donna. x

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Butterfly Tag Card, Garden Theme, Female

I made this 'tag' card a while ago but just haven't got 'round to posting it until today.
The inspiration for it came from a photo set up I used when posting this tag part alone on a recent blog post for a past Tag You're It challenge/my DT take on the Featured Artist.

It's a 'busy' card...  

(Apologies for the slight blur on this photo.  It's a real close up shot - but I wanted you to see the texture from sanding down a piece of Core'dinations card stock).

I seem to be in a habit of making busy cards right now - and I don't honestly know how I feel about that.  
Do people like busy cards (generally speaking) or is it a bit like a pizza with too many toppings?

But at least I've been sticking with my nature theme.  

Speaking of which...

Have you had any 'fluff puffs' in your garden?

Now you may be wondering just what a 'fluff puff' is.
Well...  they are fluffy and they're puffy and they sort of 'flitter' their wings in such a cute little way right before being fed.
And 'fluff puff' just suits them so much better than 'fledgling' when they are at their cute stage.

What am I talking about?
Baby sparrows.
Apparently in decline...   unless you come to our garden.  
Then you'll see staged feeding frenzies of activity, group dust bath sessions...
A sight of pure cuteness.

I'm sorry to say that one fledgling got misplaced by it's dad for a whole 10 minutes on the first brood of this season.
How do I know?
Because I heard it calling out for the entire duration - and then looked out of the window to watch it.  If you've heard a sparrow calling at feeding time you'll recognise the sound as it's a single, solitary (fairly high pitched) 'cheep' noise that's as long as the silence in between the 'cheeps'.  
(If I had to hazard a guess I would say a second per 'cheep')?
The poor little darling kept hopping around on the ground  - and at one point it made its way over to two slightly older girls...  and opened its beak in readiness for food as they moved a little closer - to fly off!
10 minutes must have seemed like a very long time...  and it didn't once stop calling out until found!

...  And we're on brood three right now by the looks of things.

But I digress...

So what did I use to make this card?

Supplies Used:

MFT/Die-namics Tag Builder - Blueprints 4
Taylored Expressions 'Beauty Lies Within'
Memory Box 'Blissful Butterfly Border'
Memory Box 'Tall Grassy Stems Left Corner'
Papertrey Ink 'Wet Paint Cuts'

Martha Stewart Punches:
 'Pop Up' Butterfly Border
Cherry Blossom Trim

Memory Box Stencils:

Holtz/Distress Ink:
Dusty Concord
Seedless Preserves
Milled Lavender
Victorian Velvet
Bundled Sage
Forest Moss
Mowed Lawn
Walnut Stain

Stamp from stash
Twine - Natural
Glitter Card Stock
Distressing Tool
Sand Paper

Challenges I'm Entering...

(All scraps except the green tag base).

'Distress It'
(Sanded Core'dinations Card Stock + Partially/Slightly Distressed Edges)

(Challenge #76  -  Layers)

'Anything Goes'

I'm still in catch up mode right now, but I'm getting there.
Thank you so much for your kind words of support...

Donna. x

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Distress Crayon Card, Rainbow of Colour, Female

There's a Poppystamps challenge that's almost at its end, but I've managed to make 'something' for it.  I say 'something' as at home I refer to this as my 'Crayola card made by a three year old'...
Crayola's not just a UK brand, right?
Take a look at you'll see what I mean...

It's kind of hideous...  but it kind of works (I think/hope)!

I don't embrace lots of colour so I'm never going to say anything too wonderful about this design - but at least I chucked in lots of white (or similar) where I could. 

And no...   I didn't really use Crayola Crayons.

Distress Crayons - use a light coat of Distress Collage Medium - Matt (or similar) to cover the card base first.  Helps the crayons to blend when smooshing colours.
But do use a dry baby wipe to smoosh/blend colours or your finger will start to get very warm!

And yes, as you can tell I went for a smooshing/scribbled look.
But then I don't do 'neat'...  it kind of freaks me out.

So I've smooshed and I've scribbled.
And I've embossed onto vellum, recycled an old purse only fit for the bin, made a tiny box frame that yes, I did purposefully choose not to stick together too neatly...
and I've done some 'selective' distressed edges.
Because I can and I like them.
And no distressed edges was too neat and all distressed edges would have been too much.
Perfect logic...

I've also messed around with layers - that 'thanks' has six or seven and the centre of the daisy in the frame has even more.  Seem to remember it being in the 'teens' somewhere  (didn't want to use sticky pads as used those under the frame).
There are also a few layers on the butterfly, the cream 'purse' flower centre and that rectangle underneath the vellum has a few, too.

I like messing with layers as it adds something depth wise...  but apparently camera's aren't so keen  - hence the blurriness in some places.
It's also very time consuming and no fun at all.

But at least it kept me busy for a while...

Supplies Used:

Holtz/Distress Crayons:
Festive Berries
Spiced Marmalade
Mustard Seed
Twisted Citron
Peacock Feathers
Mermaid Lagoon
Seedless Preserves

Sizzix Originals 'Shaker Box' - Square w/Window
Poppystamps 'Ragged Daisy'
Poppystamps 'Viola Leaves'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'
Memory Box 'Blissful Butterfly Border'
Memory Box 'Tall Birch'
Papertrey Ink 'Wet Paint Cuts'
Spellbinders 'Nestabilities' Rectangle
MFT 'Rectangle Peek-a-boo Window (Die-namics)

Holtz/Distress - Walnut Stain
Tsukineko/Memento - Tuxedo Black

Stencil - The Crafter's Workshop 'Art Is'
Holtz Distress Collage Medium
Embossing Powder - Clear
Embossing Folder - Cuttlebug 'Butterflies 3x3 Tag Team Combo'

Challenges I'm Entering...

PSC #33     'Rainbow Wishes'

An entire card full of snippets 

So this card won't win any prizes and may in fact be more awful than I realise, but that's ok as it gave me time to experiment with four 'new to me' items - most of which I've had for a while now.
(I have been told on more than one occasion that I'm too hard on myself...   but as that will never, ever change we may as well all accept the fact that if I post something and think it 'sucks' - even if only a little bit - I'm just going to go right on ahead and tell you).   


For those of you that know me...
Life's a struggle right now and I just hurt - a lot.
So yes, I've been missing...  and yes, I'm not ok.
But I'm better than I was.
I just need a little more time., then I'll face catching up with you all - which I will, so don't bother telling me not to. x
I'm just not up to pretending right now.
But I have missed you...
and I thank those of you that know me well enough to know already that me disappearing = me going through rough times.
And you who knows but gets in touch anyway because she's worried (you know who you are) - thank you, too.
You are all far more of a blessing than you realise.

And for those of you who don't know me and have no clue as to what I'm going on about...
Let's just say that life can be very unfair and I'll leave it at that.
After all, we can all relate to that at some level or other.

And so as not to completely depress you all...
Think of something you like to do that makes you happy - and then (as long as it's safe for you/others and it's not illegal) go make time and do it this week if you can.  

Thanks for stopping by today...

Donna. x

Friday, 2 June 2017

Butterfly/Friend Tag, MFT Blueprints 4, Female

Happy Friday to you.

I have a small tag to share for the new challenge that starts today over at Tag You're It.
Hope you like it...

With this background setup for the photo the gears in my head are already spinning on how this little tag will become a future card someday!

I just love the fact that tags can make a basis for unusual card designs, and whilst I can appreciate that they won't always be to everyone's liking I just can't seem to help but love making them.

You see for me, creating something 'cohesive' on such a small scale is still a learning curve.
But I embrace that challenge each and every time as I'm convinced that it'll help me to become a better crafter.

I guess we all have our areas that we focus on in the hopes of improving, don't we?

My inspiration for today's new challenge came from this...

...  so I went with the intricate inlay theme and tried to keep my design as simple as possible.
And on the plus side, it also gave me a chance to play with a die that I've had in my collection for a very long time.

Don't forget, we've moved to a monthly format now - so that's more time to play along if you decide to join us.

Hope you do...

Donna. x

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Dragonfly Charm Card, Scribble Flower Circle, Female

I haven't made a card like this for a while now...  

It reminds me of the stuff I started out making - not sure if that's a good or a bad thing really, but it does include lots of my favourites...
Dies, acetate, Mirri card, screw brads, dangling things hanging from invisible thread, sanding and distressed edges...  I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea!

The main difference with this card is that I've since discovered Spray Adhesive - which means no more trying to marry up dies on the back of the acetate as the spray adhesive leaves behind a shimmer that looks good enough to leave well alone.

Here's a picture of the card lying flat... 

I did spend an age describing in detail how this card was made, but for some reason or other the blog went on the fritz and everything froze - so l've lost over an hours worth of work today. 
So I'm sorry, but I can't type all of that up again...  not with sore hands/wrists that still need time to heal.
Wonder if it's just the joys of old age?

Supplies Used:

MFT 'Friend'
Poppystamps 'Scribble Flower Circle'
Memory Box 'Fabulous Phlox'
Memory Box Woodland Branch'
Spellbinders 'Nestabilities' - Circles

Flower Punch from stash

Dragonfly Charm
Screw Brads
Invisible Thread

Challenges I'm Entering...

Challenge #32   'Flower Power'

All snippets except the Core'dinations...

As always, thank you so much for stopping by today...

Donna. x

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Daffodil Dance (Penny Black), Vintage/Distressed, Female

As most of you well know, I'm having a blast learning how to use these 'new to me' Penny Black stamps...  but daft as it sounds I'm finding that the stamping/colouring is the easy part and the 'what on earth am I going to do with this now' (the design) is a real struggle.

And this card seriously 'took the biscuit' in that category.

I don't know if this programme only ever aired in the UK, but do you remember 'Worzel Gummage'?

I still remember the song...
'You put a WER after W,
A WER after O,
A WER after R and it's away we go.
You put a WER after Z,
And a WER after E,
A WER after L,
And that... (four taps/knocking noises)
Spells ME!

So can you say it?

I don't remember an awful lot about Worzel Gummage - other than the fact that he was a Scarecrow, but I do remember that he had several different heads that he would use from time to time.  He kind of just yanked and twisted them off as needed.  Not sure that that would be allowed on kids TV any more!

Well as far as this card went I had my 'stupid' head on.
I freely admit that it nearly ended up as bin fodder and the design took so many wrong turns before I finally found something I was happy with.
So this is vintage/distressed with a contemporary edge.

It might not be to everyone's/anyone's liking, but it's the best I could do...
especially as this was my first time going 'off piste' and using my own colour combination rather than strictly trying to copy what I saw on the back of the packaging.

I can't completely take credit for this colour combination though.
Here's where my inspiration came from to 'change things up' from the very yellow design shown on the packaging for this Penny Black stamp.

I honestly don't think I've ever used so many different colours.  I am pleased with the way it turned out though :) 

Supplies Used:

Penny Black 'Dancing Daffodils'
Penny Black 'Postcard'
Stampin' Up 'French Foliage' 
Lili Of The Valley 'Grunge Corners'
(Friend Sentiment from Stash)

Memento Markers:
Pear Tart
Toffee Crunch
Rich Cocoa
Olive Grove
Bamboo Leaves
New Sprout
Tuxedo Black (stencilling)
Gray Flannel (sentiment) 

Distress Ink:
Walnut Stain (edging/dyed twine/postcard stamp)

The Crafter's Workshop 'Art Is'

Sizzix Framelits 'Tag Collection'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'

Embossing Folder:
Cuttlebug 'Butterflies 3x3 Tag Team Combo Set'

Tonic/Holtz Distress Tool
WOW Embossing Powder - Detail White
Signo Uni-ball 'Angelic White'

Challenge I'm Entering...

Simon Says/Wednesday
'A Bit Of Sparkle'

Two posts in one day!
Sorry about that - I'm just so far behind.
One more post to do tomorrow (hopefully), plus I can start catching up on Instagram.

Still, it keeps me busy.

Enjoy your day...

Donna. x