Monday, 25 April 2011

Off centre squares!

I didn't manage to get a card made for the inaugural Crafty Individuals Challenge before I came up to Dumfriesshire, but I was determined to enter it, so I had to come up with something with the limited amount of stash I brought with me. The theme is "Simply Squares". Being very close to the deadline, and not having much time to spare, simple was good! Fortunately, it also meant that my card could fit this week's Less is More Challenge theme, which is "Off centre". It isn't often that I combine challenges, but I didn't want to miss either of them, so this time it was a case of needs must.

All stamps, and the printed picture, are by Crafty Individuals.

Easter hols

First of all, I hope you all had a lovely Easter, and thank you very much to everyone who's commented on my blog over the past week or so. I'm sorry I haven't had much chance to reciprocate but I'm up at my daughter's in Dumfriesshire for the Easter holidays and my grandsons have been keeping me busy. The weather has been gorgeous, and we had a great day at the beach on Friday. I actually got my feet wet in the sea, so you can tell how warm it was.

My daughter lives close to the River Annan, and I love to go for a walk alongside it and watch the wildlife, especially on a beautiful spring evening such as yesterday's was.

On my walk I met a local man out with his dogs, and he told me that there are otters in the river and that  last week he saw three there early in the morning. I'm not very good at early rising, but since I was awake at 6.15 this morning, I thought I'd get up and go and see if I could spot them. Needless to say, I didn't, but I did enjoy being up at that time in the morning, with no-one else around except the birds and a few cows and sheep. The sun was up when I left the house, but there was low mist lying in some of the fields and over the river, eerily beautiful.

It was also very cold at that time in the morning! I think I'd have to be up even earlier to see the otters, so I don't think a repeat performance tomorrow morning will be on the cards!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Clearly a challenge!

The theme for Week 11 at Less is More is "Acetate". Now this is one I like! A favourite technique of mine is to colour acetate with alcohol inks, to use either as a background or as an overlay. Here I've made an overlay for the Hero Arts Poppies.

I stamped the poppies on to white pearlescent card, which gives a lovely sheen to the picture through the acetate, although unfortunately it doesn't show up on the photo. The pearlescent card, being shiny, doesn't take ink very well, it tends to puddle a bit, so after it had dried I went over the solid black areas with a Promarker to make it nice and dense. I ran the card through my Xyron machine to put the adhesive on the right (picture) side, so that I could then stick the coloured acetate over the top, letting it overhang the picture a little so that when mounted on to the base card with foam pads you get a 3D effect.

To get the requisite white space, I mounted the picture on to an 8" x 8" card, and finished it off with a Darkroom Door sentiment.

Great challenge this week! I'm looking forward to seeing all the other entries.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Another great Blog Girl Day at Sir Stampalot

This was our third get-together, and it was lovely to see some familiar faces again and some new ones too, especially Lisa Jane, who I'd been looking forward to meeting for ages. As usual, Brenda and Chris had designed some beautiful projects for us to make, and not only that but they had each made us little gifts. A wallet filled with flowers from Brenda, and a butterfly bookmark from Chris. Thanks, both of you, they are gorgeous! Here they are.

Our first make of the day was a twisted easel card, by Chris. I'd never made a twisted easel before, so I was really pleased to learn how to do it. Next was a card by Brenda, featuring a Penny Black stamp (which was the first thing into my shopping basket!) and a flower (made with Tim Holtz Tattered Floral dies) dipped in UTEE using a Meltpot. A fabulous effect, but I don't think I'll be buying a Meltpot. Sally & I reckoned that we could do it by melting some UTEE in a tinfoil dish with a heatgun. Haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know if it works when I get round to it!

Once again, Brenda and Chris co-ordinated a delicious lunch, to which we all contributed, but the highlight of it had to be Chris's amazing raspberry cheesecake, which didn't last very long!

Hunger pangs banished, we went back to work on two more pretty cards (which I've yet to finish off), and finally a delightful little divided box designed by Chris for holding stamped images waiting to be used, or paper snippets, or recipes, or photos, etc etc. Chris had put Molly Bloom on the front of hers, but not being a fan of cute characters I decided to be different and have a butterfly on mine instead. We made the flowers with the Cuttlebug quilling dies, which are good but very expensive! (They didn't make it into my shopping basket!) A Marianne swirl die completed the decoration.

The day flew by, but we managed to save a bit of time for some retail therapy at the end! Huge thanks to Brenda and Chris (and Janice and Andy) for another fantastic Blog Girl Day. Can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Focusing on the sentiment

Week 10 already of the Less is More Challenge, and this time they would like to see one layer cards with the focus on the sentiment. Having just taken delivery of the brand new Teeny Weeny Meadow stamp set from Chocolate Baroque, I couldn't wait to start inking it up and soon found a suitable sentiment to go with a tree from the set.

The sentiment is from the Tall Trees set by Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque). One of the tall trees in the set has a mini counterpart in the Teeny Weeny Meadow set, and I thought I'd make another version of the card using that one. I can't decide which one I like best! Good challenge this week. I might be tempted to have another go at the theme.

It's been a great weekend. Yesterday Sally, her daughter Megan and I went to Sir Stampalot for another fantastic Blog Girl get-together. It was a brilliant day. I'll be back later to tell you all about it!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Seeing red!

My heart sank a little when I saw the theme for this week's Less is More Challenge. The word RED leapt out at me! Now, I use red in my cards even less than pink. I much prefer cool colours - blues, purples and greens. I might stretch to yellows if I'm feeling a bit chilly. Hey ho, I thought, guess it's all part of the challenge. Then the red mist cleared a bit, and I saw "Touch of". Phew! The theme is a Touch of Red, which I decided meant that I could get away with as little red as possible. So I did!

If you look closely (might have to click to see a bigger pic), you can just see a dot of red in the flower centres! I hope that's enough to qualify! The stamp is one of the first I ever bought. It was made by Stampendous, in 1992! That's nearly 20 years ago. Have I really been stamping that long? I used it a lot when I first bought it, but it's been languishing in a drawer for years, and so I decided to bring it out of retirement. The sentiment is by Paula Pascual.

When I'd finished the card, I decided I really liked it, in spite of the red. Or, just maybe, because of it. Hmmm...

Friday, 1 April 2011

A birthday and a secret!

It's the first of the month again, and time for me to let you in on the secret I've been sitting on for the past few weeks! I'm now a member of the Sir Stampalot Challenge Design Team! Sadly, Lorraine has had to step down, and while she'll be a very hard act to follow, I'm thrilled to bits and very honoured to have been asked to join the team.

April the 1st marks a special day for the Stampalot Challenge because it's our 1st Birthday! It has been a brilliant year, and with fantastic support from everyone in blogland, it's become one of the best challenges around.

Now, not only is it our Birthday, it's also April Fools Day !! So this means as well as a brand new challenge we've got something extra special lined up with a twist or two. But let me tell you about the April challenge first. The theme has been chosen by our very own Lady (Janice) Stampalot who has decreed it will be:


For one lucky winner, this is the fantastic prize on offer from Sir Stampalot:

So now for the real fun bit.........this month the Design Team will be displaying their Challenge work on their own blogs only. And on the Challenge Blog we have a collection of pictures and pieces of artwork.............a picture of each DT member along with a piece of their work with they have selected which they think best depicts their style of crafting.

Have you guessed what you need to do? That's right, you have to decide which of our Design Team fits which pairing of picture and artwork! Hop over to the Stampalot Challenge Blog for all the details of what to do. When you think you have the answers, email Brenda with your list. There will be a couple of prizes on offer selected from those with all or the most correct pairings that reach her before 25th April. Any received after that date will not be included.

Anyway, here's my card for the “Ladies and Fashion” theme.

Stamps by Hero Arts (the sentiment is part of a larger stamp), coloured with Promarkers, background paper by Basic Grey (sadly discontinued), lace and recycled button from my stash.

I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone's entries, and hope you all enjoy our first birthday challenge!
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