Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spring at last!

Well, today is officially the first day of spring. You wouldn't have known it here - wet, grey & dismal all day. But we have had some really nice days lately, and the spring flowers are beginning to come out in the garden. The snowdrops have been beautiful this year, and now the crocuses are blooming.

The daffodils, however, are only just coming into bud, so when I saw that this week's Allsorts Challenge  (Week 44) was "Spring is in the Air"  I thought I'd make a card with daffodils to brighten things up until the real ones take over. Lots of challenges with spring themes this week, so I'm also entering it in  Rosie D's and By the Cute and Girly. Another easel card! I really like making them - they are easy to construct, look lovely, and stand up so well!

The daffodil stamp is PSX, coloured with Promarkers, and the tiny butterfly is by Crafty Individuals. The background papers and printed sentiment (I added the butterfly) were free with Making Cards Magazine. The sentiment says " May your spirit keep the freedom of a butterfly in spring, and and may your heart be filled always with the joys of simple things" which I thought was rather nice and quite appropriate. The border is my favourite Martha Stewart punch, with ribbon from stash.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Tuesday Taggers 9th March

I haven't had much time lately for blogging, or for crafting, come to that. Unfortunately, at the moment real life is having to take priority. However, I have managed (at the last minute!) to make something for this week's Tuesday Taggers, where the theme is St. Patrick's Day. Since I don't have anything specifically to do with St. Patrick, I'm hoping a general Irish theme will be okay.

I decided (inspired by Debbie Dolphin's host of wonderful examples) to make a round easel card, which I cut with my Nestabilities. I have just bought the Celtic knot die by Joy!crafts (available from Crafts U Love ) and it seemed to be perfect for this project, mounted on to some My Mind's Eye paper. The base of the card is stamped with the Hero Arts Delicate Vine Background. The "Good Luck" stamp is one of a set of stamps free with the current (April 2010) issue of Papercraft Inspirations Magazine. The Irish Blessing & butterfly are Elusive Images from Graphicus. I finished the card with some shamrocks made from punched hearts. (Edit: I now realise, of course, that shamrocks have three lobes to the leaf, so these had better be lucky 4-leaf clovers!)

It was a bit of a rushed job (I should just about make the deadline!) but I think it turned out okay in the end.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sir Stampalot new Challenge Blog!

Sir Stampalot has a fantastic new Challenge Blog, with monthly challenges beginning on 1st April. They have a very talented Design Team, and it all sounds as though it's going to be great fun, so click the link on my sidebar to hop over and have a look.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Swirls and curls, and the case for digital stamping

My big reorganisation is still ongoing, but I managed to clear enough space on my desk to make a card for this week's Tuesday Taggers, the theme being Swirls and Curls. For the first time ever, I've used a digital stamp, the Hero Arts butterfly.

I'd previously bought a few digistamps from other companies because a) I thought I ought to try them and b) I liked the pictures. However, subconsciously I think I was reluctant to use them because they were not "real" stamps. I have thought about it for quite a while now, and come to the conclusion that there are parallels here with digital photography. Many people said originally that digital photography was not real photography. Now, especially with the advent of digital SLRs, even some of the diehard darkroom aficionados have embraced it. Photography has been a great interest of mine for many years but I never had the opportunity to have my own darkroom, so I joined the digital revolution with enthusiasm. I decided that whichever way the image was captured, the end result is what counts.

I think that this argument may also be used with stamping. Whether made with ink and rubber, or ink and printer, the image which appears on the paper is to all intents and purposes the same. It's what you then do with it that matters. This is illustrated very well by Jennifer McGuire in her video on the Hero Arts blog. I watched the video, checked out the Hero Arts digistamps, and that clinched it for me. Apart from being very good value for money (because each digistamp set comes with lots of extras) many of the HA digistamps have rubber equivalents (some of which I already have!), giving lots of scope for combining the two. Also, the digistamps can be resized, so there are endless possibilities.

Inspired by Jennifer's butterfly demo, I coloured mine with Distress inks and then overstamped it (real stamp!) with the HA flourish. To fit the swirls and curls theme, I stamped all over the base card with the flourish from Crafty Individuals (who are sponsoring this week's TT with a great prize!) and then added some swirly background papers from the gorgeous new Papermania Capsule Collection. A Martha Stewart punched border and a few Prima flowers completed the design.

I should add (in fact I'm doing just that!) that "real stamping" will always be my preference, and it's not often that I make anything without some stamping on it. However, digital certainly has its place too; it's just a different way of arriving at the end result, and I think we are very lucky to have so many and varied artforms available to us to create with.

I would be very interested to hear any other views for or against digital stamping!

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