Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Twice in one week!

Well, I have been given another "Makes my heart smile" blog award, this time from Sally. Thanks very much Sally, it's much appreciated. Since I still have a few left to award, one of them is coming back to you, for being a brilliant blogger and a wonderful friend.

Another is going to Ikki (Eileen) for her wonderful ideas and inspiration. See my post here for your award!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Back in the box

A few days ago I was driving north up the M1, heading for the M18, when something made me turn off at junction 29. I couldn't imagine what, but after a couple more miles I suddenly found myself outside Once Upon A Stamp. "Well," I thought, "since I'm here I might as well go in." I was drawn to the Spellbinders display. "Ah!" I thought."So that's what it was. A magic spell!"

I thought I'd better buy something. The Large Labels Nesties and Ribbon Tags Trio found their way into my basket, along with some Distress Ink re-inkers. Once I'd handed over the money, the spell seemed to be released, and I was able to leave the shop & continue my journey.

Anyway, after the horrors of my previous creations, it was a relief to get back to my usual style, which I like to think is a bit more subtle and sophisticated. All of my recent purchases made an appearance on this card. The background uses Distress Inks sponged on to glossy card and misted with water, with a darker colour sponged around the edge for definition. It was then overstamped with my favourite flourish. The music was stamped on to a Large Label, which was then lightly sponged with the inks. The Ribbon Tag was coloured in the same way. All stamps from Crafty Individuals, as is the printed picture.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

My first blog award!

Wow! Thank you so much, Lisa, for giving me my first ever blog award. I'm thrilled to receive it. It is so lovely to know that other people appreciate one's work. I will have no trouble passing it on. There is so much talent around, the difficulty is in selecting who to choose.

Can anyone tell me, though, if I can award it to someone who has already had the same award? I understand that the award is to go to 10 people, so here are five to begin with, who I don't think have yet had this one. If the same award can be won twice, I'll add some more later.

Piddawinkle (I love your style), Megan (fab photos), Robert (a great artist), Judith (beautiful cards & interesting posts) ,Phill (generous in sharing his talent).

Please display this award with pride on your blogs.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Probably the worst card I've ever made....

The cards with freebie papers went down well at my class on Wednesday. I took along some sketches & papers, and some of the ladies had brought their own papers, and they made some great cards. However, Brenda had some papers she couldn't think what to do with, and she challenged me to see what I could make with them. Well, red rag to a bull, and all that. Or, in this case, strawberry red, lime green, orange and acid yellow. In a strange mixture of fruits, butterflies and patterns which didn't really seem to co-ordinate with each other. I almost had to put my sunglasses on to look at them.

Anyway, I thought, I'll have a go. The first one doesn't look too bad, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing. Other than the base card, a peel-off border and a Craftwork Cards greeting, I only used the free papers.

I had just bought a new Dovecraft punch which I was dying to try out, so I put it to use for the second card. I was at first totally uninspired by the paper with spots on, until I had the idea of turning a few of them into a flower to go with the border. I drew around the spots to make them stand out. One of the other patterns was a leaf print, so I cut out a couple of leaves and a stalk. Another had the butterflies all over it, so I cut out a few of those too. A Craftwork Cards button greeting for the flower centre finished it off.

I think this is probably the worst card I have ever made! I can't imagine sending it to anyone.

On the other hand, it's Brenda's birthday in May......... ;-)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Pink! And blog candy!

Here's another card to go with my three previous ones. Same rules. Pink, I have to say, is not my favourite colour. But that was the colour of the papers I had to work with, and I must admit I'm actually quite pleased with the result. The sketch didn't seem the most exciting to begin with, but in fact its simplicity turned out to be its strength.

The flower stamps are Elusive Images by Graphicus. The word is by Starving Artistamps. The ribbon was a free gift, as were the papers.

Now for the blog candy! I'm going to give away some background papers. 50 random sheets of 6" x 6". I'll pick them from various manufacturers, eg. Papermania, Crafty Individuals, Basic Grey, K & Co, etc. I may throw in a couple of unmounted stamps as well, or other bits & pieces.

Posting a comment here will gain you one entry. You can get another by posting a link to a picture of a card you have made with magazine free gift papers! For a third entry, become a follower of this blog. (Current followers will automatically qualify for the extra entry if they leave a comment here.) If you'd care to put a link on your blog to this blog candy, your name will go into the draw for the fourth time. (NB. You don't have to do all of these, only those you'd like to!) I'll put all the entries received by the May Day bank holiday (May 4th) in a hat, get an independent person to make the selection & will post to the winner anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Outside the comfort zone

I haven't previously attempted any of the sketch challenges, so I thought I'd try some of those in Stampington's Take Ten magazines to begin with. One would have thought it would be easy to follow a layout, but I often think some of my better work results when I don't start with a clear idea of what I want to make, so sticking to a sketch proved an interesting exercise!

I limited myself further by deciding that the only patterned papers I would use would be those which came free with magazines. Very often they don't appeal much to me. Either they're too garish for my tastes, or the paper quality leaves a lot to be desired. However, I wanted to see whether I could make something with them that I would be happy with. There was, of course, the added bonus of feeling virtuous that in these financially difficult times I'd have produced a card or two that cost very little to make! Finally I decided that each would have to have some stamping somewhere, and since I'm still enthralled by my Nestabilities, they would also have to make an appearance.

Anyway, here are a few of the cards. I even managed to use a free stamp in the third one! The sheep stamp is by Magenta (all one stamp with three squares which I cut out separately and coloured with watercolour pencils) and the dots in all three cards are "Card Candy" from Craftwork Cards, who also sell the greetings diecut circles (as on the sheep card).

So was I happy with them? Well, I do like the sheep card. I particularly liked that layout, and the papers do suit the stamp. The other two I'm not so sure about.....

Friday, 17 April 2009

Even more blog candy!

This one's amazing! A giant sized (14" x 12"!) multicoloured inkpad by Colorbox. It's being given away by Dorothy on her blog here. Check out the rest of her blog too, she makes beautiful cards.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

More blog candy!

This time from Sally H on her blog Crafty Salutations. The goodies are stamps by Crafty Individuals, whose designs are fantastic and well worth trying to win. Leave Sally a comment on her blog to be in with a chance, or better still, become a follower to keep up to date with her gorgeous cards and ideas.

I'll be keeping my own fingers crossed, though lately I haven't had chance to do much crafting. If anyone is giving away spare time as blog candy, please let me know!
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