Sheltering tree



The next 3 months are the busiest for me in terms of family’s & friends’ birthdays. I have 7 birthdays in September and several in October and November. Fortunately I have made most of the cards required – just finished this one for my nephew whose birthday is in November. I’ve used another current favourite stamp set – Stampin’ Up’s Sheltering Tree. Stamped images with Distress Inks (gathered twigs, spiced marmalade & fossilized amber). The background paper is also by Stampin’ Up.

Garden in bloom



A more summery theme to this post! A recent purchase is Stampin’ Up’s Garden in bloom set of stamps which I love – they are so versatile.  Here are two cards using stamps from the set but completely different techniques.



On this card I have used heat embossing resist and Brusho. Started off by stamping the flowers, leaves and butterfly with VersaMark ink and embossed with white embossing powder. Then I sprinkled ultramarine and emerald green Brusho crystals over and spritzed with water.






The background for the second card is a gelli print. I brayered ink from a Kaleidacolor inkpad over the gelli plate and pulled a print, then stamped the flowers over the plate using the same inkpad and printed for a second time.

I have used other stamps from the set to create the finished card, including the sentiments. The little bees were coloured with a Pro-Marker and I added some glitter to their wings.

Christmas concertinas



Here are a couple of nice little projects I have been working on ready for my autumn classes at the WEA in Leicester – a concertina flag card and a concertina card in a matchbox.

flag1For the flag card I used some mint green card which I stencilled over with a snowflake stencil and Cracked Pistachio Distress ink. I decorated the front with a stamped sentiment (stamp by Stampendous) and the flags inside with some die cut words and snowflakes. I used seam binding for the ribbon tie which I coloured using Dylusions White Linen spray and more of the pistachio ink.



I used a large matchbox for my second card, one that had contained extra long matches, although you can use any size and they are fun to make and to receive! I started off by giving the ‘drawer’ a coat of acrylic paint then covered the sleeve with patterned paper. The concertina card inside was made with cream card that has been stamped with trees (Sheltering Tree by Stampin’ Up). The houses (stamp by Crafty Individuals) were stamped on separate card, coloured and cut out, then added to the card. I have also applied some Polar White Flowersoft below the houses and in the trees for snow. The final touch was to decorate the top of the box: I have added a stamped greeting, some die cut foliage and a little bell attached to linen thread.

Winter Wonderland


It seems very odd to be posting these cards when we are expecting a heat wave in the UK over the next few days! But, yes, I have made a start on my Christmas cards. This is partly because I am currently planning for my card making courses in the Autumn term and partly because I wanted to try out some new stamps and dies I have recently bought. These are two of my favourites so far.

deer This card was quick and easy to make, using various shades of Distress Inks blended onto white card for the sky (I used a punched circle as a mask for the moon), and blending very lightly over strips of torn paper for the snowy hills at the bottom. Then I stamped the trees (Stampin’ Up Lovely as a tree) and the sentiment at the top (this was from Woodware’s Huge Snow set).

The final touch was to add the die cut deer (die by Tim Holtz) – this was cut from cream card and then coloured with Distress Inks.


For my second card I started off by stamping Watercolour wash background stamp by Stampin’Up using 3 different blue DIs. Then I applied texture paste through a snowflakes stencil over the top. In this instance I used translucent paste into which I had mixed some glitter. Unfortunately it was impossible to get a good photo to show up the glistening snowflakes. This close-up shows them slightly better.


I die cut the word ‘wonderland’ (die by Tim Holtz) four times from white card, coloured three of them with blue ink and then glued them one on top of the other with the white word on top.


Route 66


route66I’ve just made this card for the husband of one of my friends, whose birthday is coming up this month. The background is a piece of card left over after some experiments with Brusho. I was inspired to try out this technique after seeing some of the fabulous work by Amanda Southern on her blog. I sprinkled some grey Brusho onto a craft mat and sprayed with water, then pressed a piece of watercolour paper into the wet ink. Deciding to go a little further, I used a ‘squares’ stencil which I dipped into the ink left on the craft mat and pressed that onto parts of the paper as well. I liked the effect this gave me especially where the two wet inks overlapped. When it was dry I cut off what I thought was the best part for another project. However, when I came to stamp on it I completely messed it up and sadly it had to be binned!! So I thought I’d better use this bit which was left over at least. I’ve kept it very simple and just used 3 stamps on the background (all from Tim Holtz’s Road Trip set). Mmmmm, just thinking this would make a good 66th birthday card!

SDC 194: stencils



I haven’t been able to take part in the Stampotique Designers Challenge for quite a while but I couldn’t resist the latest one which is to use stencils. Not only do I love using stencils but I have recently bought some of the new Dylusions acrylic paints which I wanted to try out. I started off brayering three colours of the paint randomly over white cardstock. When the paint had dried I stamped the image (La femme aux oiseaux by Carabelle Studio) and the word (Dovecraft) in black ink. Then I used a Crafter’s Workshop stencil (mini daisy cluster) and more paint to add the flowers. I had to do these in layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. As a final touch I added some Glossy Accents to the word and the woman’s eyes and lips.  I love the vibrant colours of these Dylusion paints and they dry beautifully flat and smooth, so great for stamping on!

Bokeh backgrounds


I got together with some friends on Saturday to do some crafting. We were trying out some faux metal techniques and bokeh backgrounds which are popular at the moment. Here are a couple of cards I’ve made with some of my results.

bokeh1I have used Distress Inks blended onto white card for both of these backgrounds, although you can use a variety of mediums to create this first step, such as watercolours or spray inks. Then sponge through circle templates with white ink (Brilliance or pigment). I cut my circles from a piece of acetate which is handy as you can see precisely where you are putting them, but you could use card instead. On this card I have stamped the Doc Marten boots (by Deep Red) in black, used a die cut greeting, and finally added a few sequins. I will probably send this card to one of my friends as she told me she has always fancied a pair of pink Doc Martens!



On my second card I have added a die-cut ‘umbrella man’ (die by Tim Holtz) which  was cut from card which I had covered with aluminium tape. then I embossed it with an embossing folder and finally added some colour using alcohol inks.


Stamping with embossing folders


I love this technique using embossing folders & ink to print with, you can achieve some beautiful, loose watercolour effects. It’s very simple to do: open up the embossing folder and decide which side you want to use to print – depending on the design of the folder, it is usually best to use the side where the background is raised. Apply dye inks to the raised surface of the folder (I used Distress Inks), mist lightly with water, then press a piece of card onto the wet, inky surface.


On this first CAS example I have stamped the flowers (Lavinia  Stamps) and sentiment  in black.

I have stamped again in black on this second card – the quote stamp is by Tim Holtz and the flower by Visible Image.





Calligraphy and Brusho


I’ve just been away for a few days at the lovely Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire to do some calligraphy. I decided to take my Brusho crystals with me to try out. I had a short poem about the sea which I wanted to write out and had the idea of using Brusho at the bottom to resemble the sea. ???????????????????????????????Well, I had a go and was quite pleased with the result – I used cold press watercolour paper which I stretched before adding the Brusho ‘sea’ at the bottom. The poem was written out using gouache paints.

I made a few other trials using the Brushos including writing over Brusho backgrounds using gouache. I was pleased to find that I could get crisp letters on the backgrounds. I used cling film on the ‘carpe diem’ background.


I also tried using rock salt on a Brusho background – this time I wrote the word ‘flowers’ onto the watercolour paper using art masking fluid before adding the Brusho colours and then sprinkling the salt over. Once completely dry I removed the masking fluid to reveal the letters. ???????????????????????????????

Card in a box



I have been wanting to try and make one of these cards for ages but had never got around to it! I think I lacked the inspiration and impetus before, but recently decided I really must get on with it!! So here is my first attempt at this 3-D card which, incidently , folds flat for posting! I found it much easier to make that I thought, although I have to admit that it is very helpful to use a score board for the score lines to ensure that they are all parallel. I decided that it would make a lovely mother’s day card (fortunately my Mum doesn’t have a computer so won’t see this post!). The flower stamps are by Stampin Up.