Sunday, 7 December 2014

Winter Wonderland

No, we haven't had any snow yet, although the weather forecast is saying we might get a bit this coming week! In case the post title has misled you, let me hasten to explain that

* * * * * WINTER WONDERLAND * * * * *

is our December Challenge theme at Stamping Sensations!

We have a cracker of a prize for you this month! Once again we are sponsored by Chloe of Chloe's Creative Cards (Stamps by Chloe), who has generously donated a bumper bundle of her gorgeous stamps and accessories, and our lucky winner will also receive a bonus prize of beautiful ribbons from Crafty Ribbons.

I like this month's theme so much that I've made two cards for it! 

The first one uses a stamp from Chloe's "Snowflake Cluster" set for the background, along with a sentiment from her "Christmas Mini Messages" set.  Country Landscape die is by Memory Box, Santa's sleigh stamp by Crafty Individuals, and the snowflake die, which is by X-Cut, was a magazine freebie. The snow is made with Fluffy Puffy Stuff (love the name!) from Inkylicious, to which I've added some glitter. The background snowflakes are also glittered.

My second card is an easel card. All stamps are by Inkylicious. The tree scene (Treescape 1) in the oval is, I think, my new favourite stamp! It reminds me very much of the countryside around where I live, and it could be used to create a scene for any time of year, as it wouldn't be difficult to add some greenery to the bare branches for spring and summer, or suitable colours for autumn. However, it certainly makes a gorgeous winter scene too. 

I used my ink dusters to colour the sky, having masked off the lower part of the picture, and a moon, and added a touch of glitter glue on the snowy fields.
The deer and rabbit were stamped and cut out, and mounted with foam pads, as was the sentiment. The oval was cut with a Spellbinders die, and I cut out the sentiment panel by hand, having first punched out the little snowflakes with a Fiskars corner punch. Background papers were a freebie from Making Cards Magazine.

Here's a side view.

I think the tree scene will be featuring on many of my Christmas cards this year. And probably some spring, summer and autumn ones too!

Well, I'm really looking forward to seeing lots of  lovely Winter Wonderland scenes. Last month we had a phenomenal number of entries, over 300! Can we better that this month, I wonder?! If you should need any inspiration, have a look at the DT's stunning examples on the Challenge Blog. My terrific teamies have really outdone themselves this time, and I know they would really appreciate it if you were to visit their individual blogs too.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Christmas? No, it's ages away yet! Isn't it??

After a brief chilly spell a couple of weeks ago, the weather has turned so unseaonably mild again that it doesn't seem possible that Christmas is just around the corner. But it really is only a few weeks away! So to get us in the mood, the November Challenge at Stamping Sensations is simply


If, like me, you've hardly even thought about making any cards yet, now's the time to get going and show us your festive creations. Our lovely sponsors for November are the wonderful Little Claire Designs, who have generously donated a £35 voucher for the lucky winner to spend in their store.

Now of course, I don't do cute, but I make exception for some of the gorgeous Little Claire stamps, especially their Owl designs, one of which I've used for my card. This is the Christmas Owl Tree.

I stamped the owl tree, coloured it with Promarkers, cut it out with a Spellbinders die and sponged green pigment ink around the edge while the card was still in the die. 

The base card was stamped with the Classic Holly (Hero Arts) and the sentiment (freebie from Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine). The Owl Tree was matted on to patterned paper (Hot Off The Press) with foam pads and adhered to the base card. Oh, and the photo bombing (or should I say card bombing!) character in the corner who couldn't resist getting in on the act (and who for undisclosed reasons I'm calling Steve!) is from another Little Claire owl stamp, the Little Owl Family!

As always there is plenty of gorgeous inspiration over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and have a look. For more details of each project, click the name link above the relevant photo to go to my teamies' individual blogs. I look forward to seeing all your Christmas creations!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Although my favourite season is spring, I do love the glorious autumn colours and misty mornings. And evenings, come to that. When I looked outside last night just before bedtime, it was like looking at a fantasy world. The sky was quite clear, but there was a low mist lying over the fields, with just the tops of the trees peeping above it. Lit by the moonlight, it was an eerily beautiful scene. Just wish I could have photographed it, but my camera sadly isn't up to the job. On Friday we had a day and night of torrential rain, quite a shock after such a dry September, and the river here flooded over its banks for the first time in several months. The weather has turned decidedly chilly too, time to break out the winter woollies, methinks!

Anyway, let's warm things up with our October challenge at Stamping Sensations, where we are celebrating the season with a theme of


We would like to see lots of lovely greens, browns, yellows, oranges and reds.

Our sponsor this month is the fabulous Imagination Crafts, who are donating a very generous £35 voucher to the lucky winner.

I've used the Lillies Decoupage Stamp Sets by Imaginations Crafts for my card.

I began by stamping the image with black Brilliance ink and heat embossing it with clear embossing powder. The background was then coloured with Distress inks. I decided to leave the flowers uncoloured so that they would stand out. The Decoupage stamp sets are, obviously, ideal for 3D decoupaging, which would also have given more prominence to the lillies, but as the card was to be posted, I wanted to keep it quite flat.

I matted the image on to a piece of textured green card and layered it with a diecut by Britannia dies on to to the base card, which had been stamped with one of the stamps from the set, in the same Distress ink colours. The same stamp and inks were also used on the tag, along with a sentiment from the set. Some diecut leaves (Cheery Lynn) and autumn-hued threads completed the card.

For some truly gorgeous autumn inspiration, do hop over to see the wonderful projects my talented teamies have posted on the Challenge Blog. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Been doing the dusting....!

Inspired by Sally's fabulous new Inkylicious ink duster video tutorial and her stunning sample cards, I decided to have a go at doing something similar with my Inkylicious tree.

I kept it quite simple, a) because that's how the tree looks, up there on its hill all by itself, and b) because I needed to make it quickly and get it in the post for a friend's birthday!

Having first cut a circle mask for the setting sun, I made the ink dusted background using the colours of Memento Inks which Sally used, but substituting Danube Blue for the Bahama Blue, which I don't have. An Inkylicious Mountain Valley Stencil helped to produce the receding hills. I love these durable and reusable masks, much better than fiddling about with torn pieces of paper.

Once I was happy with the background I stamped the tree and buzzards with black Versafine ink. I wanted the base of the tree to go right across the card so I extended it using a black pen. The sentiment was ideal for filling in the space at the top left of the picture. All stamps are from the Inkylicious Old Beech Tree set.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Come and have a flutter!

Last month at Stamping Sensations we had a bumper crop of entries - over 350 - which was fabulous, and huge thanks to everyone who joined in. This month our theme is


One of my favourite topics, of course! My winged thing is a beautiful fairy by Lavinia Stamps. I've set her against a background created with Inkylicious ink dusters and Memento inks, surrounded her with foliage by Inkylicious and Lavinia Stamps, and glittered her wings. The gorgeous poppy ribbon was bought at the Stamp Magic show earlier this year, but unfortunately I can't remember the name of the company selling it.

Here's a close up of the fairy, gazing at the moon!

Our lovely sponsor for September is Crafty Devils, who have donated a very generous £35 voucher to be spent on their website, and I can promise you that the lucky winner will be spoilt for choice!

As always, do have a look at the stunning projects my brilliant teamies have made to inspire you. Thanks for looking, and I will be looking forward to seeing lots of beautiful Things With Wings fluttering by to join our challenge.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

"The Shire"

Proud Grandma alert!! My young grandson, Andrew, aged 5, saw the picture I made with my tree stamp and Brusho paints (see here) and he wanted to make one.

First he punched a circle from a post-it note to make a mask for the moon. Next  he made the Brusho background by dipping a paintbrush into the powders and tapping it over the paper where he wanted the colour. Then he sprayed water over the picture until the colours had merged to his satisfaction. He did all of that with instruction but no physical help.

Having finished his background, he compared it with mine and decided that my picture was too plain, as it only has the tree and a bird. We looked through my stamps, and he found the Hobbit Door (Lavinia Stamps) and said that he wanted his to be a picture of The Shire (from Lord of the Rings. He's a big LOTR fan!) He chose some other stamps to go with the Hobbit Door (from Lavinia, Inkylicious & Hobby Art) and decided where they all should go. I helped him to hold the stamps as he was stamping them, just to make sure that he didn't smudge the images, because it would have been a shame to spoil his lovely background, but everything else was entirely his own work. He finished by colouring the door surround and the tree with coloured pencils.

We both decided that his artwork was far superior to mine!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Anything Goes at Stamping Sensations!

Summer certainly arrived last month at Stamping Sensations  and it was an absolute treat looking through all the beautiful entries full of gorgeous summer blooms! But now to this month, and we have an open theme for our August Challenge. It's

*****  ANYTHING GOES  *****

You can enter any project on a theme of your choice. The only stipulations is that as we are a stamping challenge it must contain some rubber (or polymer!) stamping done by hand. Any project which uses only digital "stamps" (which are of course not stamps but clipart) will unfortunately not be eligible for the prize. And it would be such a shame for you to miss out on the prize opportunity, because this month it's a stunner!

Our wonderful sponsors are Tonic Studios, and just look what they are offering the lucky winner! Absolutely gorgeous and newly released!

For my card I've gone with a Scottish theme. I took my inspiration from the thistles which have now replaced the spring bluebells on the bank across the road from my craftroom window, and also from this month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
I'm still loving my Brusho paints, and have used them to make the background. I'm also trying to challenge myself to go outside my comfort zone a bit with my colour choices. Not too sure about this one but I *think* it works ok.....! I'd got in my head that the official Games tartan had orange in it, but when I checked later it's more pink! Oh well, never mind! The thistle silhouette (Chocolate Baroque) was stamped on to the background and surrounded with the Tonic Studios Celtic Circle die (from which I cut out the middle with a Spellbinders circle die to make it into a frame). The border at the side was made with the Tonic Studios Celtic Border Strip punch. The final touch was the tag with the sentiment (Chocolate Baroque) which I thought was quite appropriate to the ethos of the Commonwealth Games as the "friendly games".  I sponged around the edges of the tag with pigment ink, trying to match the Brusho colours as closely as I could.
I love open themes, as there are always some lovely surprises among the entries! I look forward to seeing yours!


Monday, 14 July 2014

The Tree - the sequel!

The Brusho has been put to one side for a moment while I tell you about something far more exciting!

For the background to this story you need to read my earlier posts about The Tree, see here (scroll to end of post) and here.

The Tree is an old beech tree which stands alone on top of a nearby hill. I see it every day from my house. It is quite a landmark, and, tree lover that I am, it has fascinated me ever since we came to live here. I have taken hundreds of photos of it. I don't know how old it is, but it must be quite old. It has been there through all seasons and withstood all weathers, buzzards and crows dwell in its leafy heights, the sheep and cows enjoy its shade and shelter. What a story it would tell if it could speak!

This is the view I see of it from my garden, up on its hill in the distance.

I managed to make one of my photos into a digistamp, but being a stamper at heart, I really wanted it in rubber. Chatting about it with my good friend and fellow Tree lover Sally, it occurred to us that Deby, the lovely lady who owns our favourite stamp company Inkylicious, and who is surely a kindred spirit as there are none of her stamps that we don't like, might be interested in turning my digi into a stamp. So when we saw her at Stamp Magic last month we asked her, and she was!

This is the photo which became my digi.

You can imagine my excitement when I received the stamp this morning! Not only has Deby made the tree into a stamp (and you can see from the photo above how faithfully she has reproduced it), she has also included two buzzards and two sentiments to make up a brilliant set! I love it! Of course, I had to ink it up straight away, and here's the result!

For the first card I wanted to show the image of the tree alongside a photo of it in its setting, so have kept it quite simple, with just some stamped greenery around the edges of the card as a backdrop. (All stamps by Inkylicious, of course!) The background to the tree was lightly coloured using ink dusters and Memento ink.

Back to the Brusho for my second card! I masked a circle for a moon, sprinkled and sprayed the Brusho over, stamped the tree, extended the base to fit the frame with a black pen, stamped the buzzard, and matted it with a black border on to a 7" x 7" card base. I think I will frame this one.

This will be a great design for a man's card. All the men in my family will probably be getting a variation on this theme for their birthdays for the next year!

Well, I have lots more plans for The Tree, but wanted to share these with you just now. I have to say a huge thank you to Deby for my fabulous set. She's a star! And by the way, if anyone else likes it, I think Deby will be putting it on the Inkylicious website in the near future.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Brusho Meadow

On a roll with the Brusho now! This card took about 15 minutes to make!

Sprinkled various colours of Brusho on  to water colour paper, sprayed it with water & blotted it. Stamped over with Crafty Individuals stamps. Mounted it with a narrow black border on to a 6" x 6" blank card. Quick, easy and colourful!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

One layer at the Butterfly Challenge

Challenge No. 10 at the Butterfly Challenge is One Layer. I decided to see whether I could recreate the card in my previous post in a one layer format. It involved a lot of masking! My base was a 7" x 7" blank card.

To begin with, I outlined the main image area very lightly with pencil, so that I could see where to place the masks. I used a waterproof masking film. The first ones went around the outside of the area so that I could stamp and clear emboss the grasses inside. With the masks still in place, I then sprinkled on some Brusho (this time sandstone rather than black, for a change), lightly sprayed it with water and blotted off the excess. The butterfly was then stamped with Versafine ink. As before, all stamps are by Chocolate Baroque.

I removed the outside masks and then masked the main panel instead. Next I stamped the grasses at the edge of the card. By this stage it was looking okay but a bit untidy where a bit of the Brusho had leaked under the mask. The final step was to draw the black frame around the main image with a drawing pen, which covered the untidy edges and pulled everything together.

Looking at the two cards side by side, I don't think this one is quite as crisp looking as the original version and I think I prefer the effect of the black Brusho rather than the sandstone. Perhaps brown ink rather than black would have gone better with the sandstone. However, given the limitations of the one layer format I was quite pleased with it, and it was an interesting exercise to try.
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