Friday, 29 May 2009


After a week away from home, and keen to get back to cardmaking, I was eagerly awaiting my order from Craftwork Cards. I had sent for some of their new 8" x 8" blanks. I wanted some square cards that were a bit bigger than my usual ones, so I thought I'd give these a try. I didn't bother to visualise 8" x 8" beforehand, so I was a bit taken aback when they arrived to realise just how BIG they actually are! They are HUGE! I usually work with much smaller canvases. Miniatures fascinate me. ATCs, Inchies & the like are my thing. The fact that my workspace is small might have something to do with it.

Okay, I thought. Here's a challenge then. How to fill such a big space (having first cleared some room on my desk!), and then, since I'm not used to working on such a scale, how to fill it with something that looks in proportion. I had also ordered a Craftwork Cards Goody Bag, the Chocolate one of course. Had to have it. I was delighted with the contents. Great value, apart from anything else, but all sorts of papers, flowers, ribbons, card candy and bits and pieces, all yummy, along with some good quality square blanks, somewhat smaller than the 8 by 8s! I hadn't tried their goody bags before, but can see myself ordering more. Check them out on their website. I'm not usually a cut-and-stick person, preferring ink, stamps and paint, but these goodies were so pretty they were irresistible.

Anyway, after taking inspiration from the Craftwork Cards galleries, which are very much worth a look, here are my first two attempts with the BIG cards. Everything from Craftwork Cards except for the background flourish stamp on the first card, which is by Stampington, along with the printed picture by Crafty Individuals. The ribbon on the second card was a bit I've had in my drawer for years and which was just the right colour. I knew it would come in useful one day! The background is Cuttlebug embossed and I stamped the flowers on Nestabilities Labels 2 frames.

After that I went back to Lilliput Land and made this one, a mere 5" x 5"!

It's difficult to get a sense of scale from the photos, but the fact that the flowers are the same size in each might help. Clicking on the pictures to open up the larger image will show the detail better.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Miniature landscapes

Had a hectic week. Both my computer and my car have needed attention, and we had family to stay at the weekend, so I haven't had much time for crafting or blogging. However, I did manage to get a few cards made.

I was inspired by a project from the New Designs Clarity Club by the wonderful Barbara Gray, owner and inventor of Clarity Stamps. The project showed how to make landscapes using frame stamps and masking. They are quite simple to do but look very effective. I tried out a couple of Barbara's ideas to get used to the method, and then came up with a few designs of my own.

The backgrounds are sponged with torn paper masks to create the hills and then overstamped. On the two square cards I've used a Cherry Pie landscape stamp (all one stamp). The large silver birch in the background on the white square card is by

The ferns and grass on the blue card are from Crafty Individuals.

On the purple card I've used some Craftwork Cards stamps for the tiny landscapes. These actually qualify as inchies. I think the grasses in the background are by

It's a bit difficult to see some of the detail in the small photos, but if you click on them to open the larger image they are much clearer.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Just for once

I don't do cute. It just doesn't appeal much to me. Most of my work is likely to be nature-inspired, or tending towards "arty", but when I found this Sarah Kay stamp at a show the other day I had to make an exception. Until she got married & changed her surname, my daughter was Sarah K! When she was young she collected all the Sarah Kay stickers. We still have the album. I just had to buy the stamp as it reminded me so much of her childhood.

I painted the picture with Twinkling H2Os & stamped the base card with a flourish from the "Choko" Japanese Doll set by Craftwork Cards. The frame was cut with my Nestabilities and I embellished the card with some sheer ribbon and a few Prima flowers.

Hmmm. Maybe cute is growing on me......

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Punch cards

High on my wish list of future purchases is a Martha Stewart border punch. Well, okay, several Martha Stewart border punches. Their attraction for me lies in the crispness and fine detail which most other brands struggle to emulate. Unfortunately, they seem very difficult to get hold of here in the UK, and they are very expensive to order direct from the USA. So until such time as I can find a supplier who isn't going to want a month's wages for one, I thought I'd see whether I could get a similar effect with punches I already have.

All the punches I used are corner punches. The flower one is by Dovecraft, and it comes with removable corner guides, so it is easy to make borders with it also. The other two I have had for a long time and neither has a maker's name on it. The corner guides on these two were fixed, but it is possible to remove such guides by carefully inserting a thin object (I used a metal nail file) and gently pushing them out. I was then able to make borders with them.

The first card uses a background paper by
Crafty Individuals, who also make the flower stamp. The quote is from Penny Black. Each daisy on the label is made from two tiny punched flowers stuck together with the petals offset. I then tinted the tips of the petals with Distress ink. A jewel forms the centre. The label is one of the Spellbinders Ribbon Tags Trio, from Once Upon A Stamp.

The second card also uses stamps from Crafty Individuals, except for the background lettering, which is by Judikins.

I made a background (seen behind the punched border) for the third card by sponging Distress inks on to shiny card and then lifting off some of the colour by dabbing it with a babywipe. The embossing above the border is the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. Above that is a butterfly background paper from PDA Cards and Crafts. The flowers, by Craftwork Cards, are stamped on to a Nestabilities Large Label, again from Once Upon A Stamp. I coloured the label using Distress ink and a brayer. This had the effect of leaving a thin white border around the embossed part of the panel. A ribbon to hide the join and a couple of punched butterflies added the finishing touches.

They may not be Martha Stewart, but I wasn't too unhappy with the results. (Still saving up for a genuine MS though!)

We have a winner!

The names have gone into the hat, the independent person has drawn one out and the winner can now be announced! The blog candy from my post on 22nd April 2009 goes to........


However, since I have a few more papers & bits and pieces, and since all the comments were so lovely, I have decided to award three runner-up candies too! These will contain 10 sheets of 6" x 6" paper, an unmounted stamp and a couple of extras, and will go to...

Sally H
Go Canucks Go.

Please email me with your snailmail address and I'll post out the goodies asap. Thanks very much for entering and for all the lovely comments, much appreciated. Hope you enjoy the candy!
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