Saturday, 8 July 2017

Less is More - Weeks #336 and #337

Good morning, crafters

As usual it's time for a new challenge over at Less is More, but we have something a little different for your this time.

As it's week two of the month we have our usual One Layer challenge (oh, please don't groan! lol) but this one will run for two weeks.  Here are the details...

We want to see you using any colour for your card base, except white.

And as well as this being a two week challenge, we're also linking up with AAA CAS Card Challenge.  So you can enter two challenges in one!

Please pop over to the main LIM challenge post, here, for the full details.  There will be one joint winner for this challenge and you must link up to both LIM and AAA to be in with a chance of winning.  The winner will also be invited to guest design for both challenges!

Happy Little Stampers are continuing as our Sponsor for the month of July, and we have the lovely Kylie joining us as a Guestie this week too, so please do pop over and show her some love.

Right, onto my cards, and I have two for you this week.  And both have just a single image and sentiment, and a similar layout too!

For my first I chose a pretty shade of lilac for my card base, in a textured cardstock...

I used pigment ink for this card as I especially needed the white to stand out.  I stamped the outline of the flower first in white, then used a lilac shade of ink to stamp the second layer.  As it was pigment I had the lilac ink sitting over the white which didn't look right so, once dry I went back over the original outline with more white pigment ink to define it.  Luckily I managed to line it back up ok! Next, using my MISTI I stamped the sentiment in the same lilac, then shifted my cardstock very slightly and re-stamped in white to create a shadow effect.  I finished by splattering some white and lilac watered down ink.

Materials used:

  • Coloured Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Premium Cardstock (assorted pack so shade not known)
  • Stamps: Altenew - Golden Garden; Mama Elephant - Brushed Florals
  • Ink: Hero Arts - Unicorn; Versa Color - Heliotrope

Challenge entries:

STAMPlorations - Summer CAS Card Challenge
Stamping Sensations - July Challenge - Anything with Flowers
CAS on Friday - Challenge #111 - Flowers

For my second card I made a Christmas card (two weeks running!) using stamps by our sponsor, Happy Little Stampers...

I stamped the sentiment and the poinsettia in VersaMark ink and heat embossed with copper powder.  I then used a gold coloured pencil to add the shading to the petals and leaves.  Gold Stickles was added to the centre.  To add some interest I included some score lines along two edges to help ground the image.

Materials used:

  • Coloured Cardstock:  Bazzill Card Shoppe (assorted pack so shade not known)
  • Stamps: Happy Little Stampers - Christmas Joy
  • Ink: VersaMark
  • Embossing Powder: Wow! - Metallic Copper
  • Accents: Faber Castell Polychromos - Gold; score lines; Stickles - Gold

Challenge entries:

Addicted to Stamps and More - Challenge #249 - CAS
The Flower Challenge - Challenge #10 - Embossing Heat/Dry

So what are you waiting for?  You have two weeks to enter with your clean and simple one layer creations...simple, right?!  I don't work with coloured card bases often so it will be great to pick up some inspiration from our entries this week.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Muse Challenge #223 - Brushstrokes Butterfly

Hi there

I'm super happy to be your designer over at Muse this week.

I decided to go with a purely stamped card this time.  No complicated techniques at all, just layered stamping mounted onto a black frame.  I hope you can get some inspiration from it.  I chose bright colours and a black image and frame to add a little bit of drama.

I you're not familiar with Muse, the idea is to create your own interpretation of the designer's card each week and create your own version, using whatever inspiration you want; i.e. theme, colours, layout, techniques, etc.

I'm loving the whole turquoise/pink/purple colour combo at the moment and that was my starting point for this card.  I also wanted to use this butterfly stamp that I picked up recently at The Range (a store in the UK) and it cost just 99p...for a photopolymer stamp!

So I started by stamping the brushstroke images in three bright colours, then overstamped the butterfly and the sentiment in black ink.  The panel was then popped up on 3D foam over a black frame.  That was it....super simple!

Here's a close up of that fab butterfly design...

Materials used:

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up - Work of Art; Dovecraft - Spiral Butterfly; Clearly Besotted - To You With Love
  • Ink: Versa Color - Turquoise, Opera Pink, Violet; Versafine - Onyx Black

Challenge entries:

Seize the Birthday - Anything Goes

Thanks so much for visiting today, I hope you have a lovely week.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Happy Little Stampers July 2017 CAS Challenge

Good evening

Can you believe we're into a fresh new month already, and that also means it's time for the July challenges to start over at Happy Little Stampers.  Today is the turn of the CAS challenge, and our theme this month is a super easy one...

And, once again there is a prize of a $20 coupon to the HLS store up for grabs for one lucky winner!  You don't have to use HLS products to play along (although of course we'd love to see them!) so just link up your birthday creations, ensuring you keep within the challenge guidelines which you can find here and also follow our CAS guidelines:

I've used two of the HLS stamp sets for my DT card this month, Everyday Sentiments and Birthday Friends:

On a piece of white cardstock slightly smaller than the card base I started by stamping the 'Happy Birthday' in black pigment ink and heat embossed it in clear powder.  I then placed some masking tape across the centre and stamped the bubble circles in VersaMark ink before heat embossing in white.  I then blended three shades of Distress Ink out from the masking tape, fading it out towards the edges.  The panel was then popped up onto the card base using fun foam.

Materials used:

  • Stamps: Happy Little Stampers - Everyday Sentiments, Birthday Friends
  • Ink: Versafine - Onyx Black; VersaMark; Distress Ink - Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Shaded Lilac
  • Embossing Powder: Wow! - Clear Gloss, Opaque Bright White

Challenge entries:

Crafty Catz - Challenge #377 - Anything Goes with optional twist of Embossing
Creative Inspirations - Challenge #278 - Dots and/or Stripes
AAA Cards - CAS Game #93 - Words Take Centre Stage
Seize the Birthday - Anything Goes

Thanks so much for popping by and I hope you can play along.  All of the challenges (some starting over the next few days) run until the end of the month so there's plenty of time to link up.  Please also pop over to the store for a browse, as well as the HLS stamps there are other bits and bobs available to purchase too.  If you want to get your hands on a MISTI or Mini MISTI, there are payment plans available too!

I'll be back tomorrow to introduce the next challenge over at Muse.  I hope to see you then :) x

Photography Backdrops on a Budget!

Hi guys

You may have noticed from my most recent posts that I've been using props and staging for my card photography.

For a while I wanted to purchase some photography backdrop boards but found them all very expensive....and I know absolutely nothing about photography so didn't want to spend too much on backboards if I couldn't bring out the best in them.  I take all my card photos on my mobile phone!

So, I ended up making my own...

Here's how I did them.

I was wondering around The Range (a UK home/garden/craft store, for my overseas friends who aren't familiar) as I often do as it's only a five minute drive from home, and was walking passed the DIY section when I saw some wood effect wallpaper.  So I stole ripped off some good amounts from the free sample need a good amount to get the real effect on your wall, right?! :)

I then wandered around the art section looking for some kind of foam/mount board.  They did sell foam board in packs of two but these were only A3 size and quite expensive.  So I then stumbled across some mount board.  It was larger than I wanted but better to be too big than too small, eh.  And at 'Buy four boards for £10' it's rude not to!  It's 700gsm so nice and sturdy.  You can follow the link, here, for the details.

So I brought it all home and adhered the wallpaper to the boards...done!  As you can see I didn't quite steal acquire enough of the stone wall effect paper but it's still plenty big enough for it's purpose.  I have one more board to complete when I find some more paper that I think will work.  I might eventually cut these down slightly as they are quite bulky for the amount of space I have but at the moment I just slide them behind a cupboard for storage.

So in total these boards have cost me just £2.50 each!  And if I find more designs I can quite happily adhere them to the back of these instead of buying more boards....that will be £1.25 per board!

I love a bargain!!

Here's some examples of the boards in use:

I hope you found this useful if you are looking for something similar.  Apart from being a little on the large side, these certainly work for me!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Less is More Week #335

Hi there

Back with my second post of the morning, which of course is to announce this week's new challenge at Less is More.  It's week one of the month which means it's the turn of our Colour challenge, and this is what we want to see this week...

We have a fresh new sponsor for the month of July too, Happy Little Stampers, so be sure to play along throughout July for a chance to win our monthly prize!


Ok, onto the challenge.  I'm from the UK so obviously our flag, the Union Jack is red, white and blue.  But I really do struggle with this combo and so had a different idea, and that was to use the flag of England.  The red cross of St George on a white background also makes up the central cross of the Union Jack.

I've got two red and white CAS cards to share with you this week.  Here's the first...

I started by blending some red Distress Ink onto some cardstock before using the ghosting technique to create the faded pattern with a stencil.  The stencil is laid over the blended cardstock then spritzed with water before blotting with a paper towel.  Once dry I die cut with a stitched rectangle die.  I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment in white before adhering a die cut flower onto the panel.  This was covered with some clear Wink of Stella and a single glitter dot added before the panel was popped up on fun foam.

Materials used:
  • Ink: Distress Ink - Candied Apple; VersaMark
  • Stencil: Tim Holtz - Mini Stencil Set 10
  • Stamp: Clearly Besotted - Merci Beaucoup
  • Embossing Powder: Wow! - Opaque Bright White
  • Dies: MFT Die-namics - Stitched Rectangles; Creative Expressions - Scribble Flower
  • Accents: Doodlebug Sprinkles - Silver; Wink of Stella - clear

Challenge entries:

The Card Concept - Challenge #76 (Style: Clean and Simple)
CAS on Friday - Challenge #111 - Flowers

And for my second sample this week I got all festive with a Christmas card...

This was super easy to make but I messed about for ages trying to figure out the placement.  I started out with a portrait card base but it worked so much better on a landscape design.  I simply die cut two holly leaves from white cardstock and adhered these directly to the base, then added enamel dots for the 'berries'.  A bold sentiment in red ink finished the card.

Materials used:
  • Die: Tonic - Holly Leaf
  • Stamp: Clearly Besotted - Brushed Greetings
  • Ink: Altenew - Velvet
  • Accent: Doodlebug Sprinkles - Ladybug

Challenge entries:

Addicted to CAS - Challenge #114 - White on White

For more inspiration of our theme this week please do pop over to the main challenge blog and take a look at my super talented teamies' creations this week.  You won't be disappointed.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I'll be back tomorrow evening with details of this month's CAS challenge over at Happy Little Stampers.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kit - July 2017

Good morning!

My fellow honeys and I have got together again and have been creating with another crafty bundle.  So, once again we bring you...

One of the gang puts together an envelope of the same secret crafty bits and sends it to each of us, and we then get creative with it. This time it was Hazel's turn to supply the kit.  The other fabulous honeys who take part are:

Sarah Platt - Sazzle Dazzle Crafts
Sarah Gray - Funky Fossil Designs
Shona Chambers - Twine Around
Anita Bowden - Neet & Crafty (That's me!)

Hazel named her kit 'Going Up' and this is the happy mail we received...

Kit contents:
Stamped images: Gerda Steiner Designs, STAMPlorations, Bella Stamps
Dies: MFT, Clearly Besotted, Spellbinders
Patterned paper: Stampin' Up!
Yellow twine and gems

I have five cards to share with you, and still have tonnes of bits and bobs left over to make more.  My cards this time are all very different, and I can't wait to see what the other honeys have created with the kit too :)

Card One

I coloured the koala images from the kit with ProMarkers and fussy cut them out.  I used a piece of cardstock die cut using Fluffy Cloud Borders by Lawn Fawn as a template to create a cloudy background on my card base blended with Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers.  I die cut a circle aperture from some green cardstock and stamped Clearly Besotted's Mini Leafy Accents in VersaMark around the aperture.  The koalas and green panel were adhered in place, and I then die cut two of the sentiments from the kit and adhered these on 3D foam.

Card Two

I covered my card base with a piece of blue patterned paper which has a mottled effect (it's been in my stash forever!), so I thought this would give a good impression of sky.  Along the base I added a piece of cardstock die cut using Fluffy Cloud Borders by Lawn Fawn, which I also stamped with a sentiment from Clearly Besotted's Shine Bright set.  The sun die from the kit I coloured by blending Distress Ink in Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade, and I adhered this to create a scene, along with the two die cut clouds, also from the kit.

Card Three

On a panel of white linen cardstock I lightly blended a background with Distress Inks in Wilted Violet and Mermaid Lagoon.  I then splattered with water to add some detail.  I took a butterfly and the 'make a wish' die cuts from the kit, sprinkled these with Brushos in Purple and Turquoise before spritzing with water and leaving to dry.  I adhered the die cuts to the linen panel and popped it up on fun foam, then finished by adding the gems from the kit to create the butterfly trail.

Card Four

I've not coloured with my ProMarkers for ages and certainly need more colours, as well as more practice!  I wanted to pair the girl image with the patterned paper in the kit so coloured her in some co-ordinating colours.  I adhered a strip of the balloon paper to the card base and overlaid two white panels popped up on foam, one stamped with a sentiment from Clearly Besotted's Sentimental Type set.  I fussy cut out the girl and adhered her across the panels.  I then finished off with one of the die cut balloons from the kit, blended with Peach Perfect ink by Altenew

Card Five

For my final card I wanted to use more of the die cut balloons from the kit.  I watercoloured these with Zig markers and I'm really pleased with the shading.  I gently blended some Milled Lavender Distress Ink through a Diagonal Stripes stencil by MFT to add some interest to the background.  I die cut the sentiment from the kit using a stitched oval die by Lil' Inkers.  All the elements were popped up on 3D foam but I felt it needed something more so I stamped the little star clusters from Uniko's Balloon Bash set in silver pigment ink.

Challenge entries:

CASology - Week 255 - Fly
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Stencil It

So there you have it, five very diverse cards using different techniques too...go me! :D

I'm now off to have a mooch around my fellow honeys' blogs to see where this kit took them.  Follow the links above if you want to do the same.

I'll be back in a short while with the details of this coming week's challenge at Less is More.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Less is More Week #334

Good morning

Wow, what a hot week it's been here in the UK!  I love the sun but this heat has been taking it out of me.  Thankfully, since Thursday it's been a little cooler so it's much more bearable now.

So, let's get to the reason for today's post.  At Less is More this week we have a Sketch challenge for you.  It's been a while since we've had a sketch challenge so here it is...

We continue to have STAMPlorations as our fab sponsor this month so please do play along for a chance to win the monthly prize.

I find sketch challenges the most difficult but I've managed three cards for you this week (it might have something to do with the fact that I designed this week's sketch! haha Hope you like it!)

So let's get to it with my first card...

I used a curved die to create some masks and then blended in between with Distress Inks in sunset colours.  After removing the masks I stamped the flowers in waterproof black ink.  I then 'painted' the petals with clean water and blotted with a paper towel to remove the colour.  I went over the petals a couple of times to achieve the faded look a little more.  I finished by stamping the flourishes and sentiment.

Materials used:
  • Die: Avery Elle - Dotted Borders Dies (to create the masks)
  • Ink: Distress Ink - Squeezed Lemonade, Carved Pumpkin, Candied Apple; Archival - Jet Black; Versafine - Onyx Black
  • Stamps: Honey Doo Crafts - Flowers for Design; Clearly Besotted - Message Me

Challenge entries:

Addicted to Stamps and More - Challenge #247 - Make Your Mark (sponge blending)
Penny Black and More - June Challenge - Anything Goes
The Flower Challenge - Challenge #9 - Anything Goes

I chose a kraft and lace theme for my second card...

On a panel of kraft cardstock slightly smaller than my card base I used some thin paper cut from a curved die to mask the wavy section.  I then stamped the lace design in VersaMark and heat embossed in white.  I chose thin paper for my masks as I wanted to achieve the best impression from my stamp.  With thicker masks you usually get a narrow margin that doesn't stamp properly.  I also heat embossed the sentiment and die cut around it with a stitched heart die.  The main panel was mounted on fun foam to the card base, and then I adhered the heart and added a single white pearl.

Materials used:
  • Kraft cardstock: Neenah - Desert Storm
  • Dies: Mama Elephant - Landscape Trio Dies; MFT Die-namics - Stitched Heart Stax
  • Stamps: Wow! - Lace; Clearly Besotted - On Your Day
  • Ink: VersaMark
  • Embossing Powder: Wow! - Opaque Bright White
  • Accents: Hobbycraft - 3mm white pearl

Challenge entries:

CAS(E) this Sketch - Challenge #227
Alphabet Challenge - 'H' for Hearts

I reached for some patterned paper for card three...

This patterned paper pack has been in my stash for about ten years!!!  So it was nice to create with it again.  I adhered a strip to my card base and then cut a panel of white cardstock, split using a curved die.  I stamped the sentiment in grey before adhering both white panels on 3D foam.  I used a die which co-ordinated well with the design of the paper and used this to cut a flower from some bright pink cardstock, adhered over the panels to finish.

Materials used:
  • Dies: MFT Die-namics - Snowdrifts; Tim Holtz - Wildflowers
  • Patterned Paper: Dovecraft - A Hint of Pink
  • Stamp: Wplus9 - Fresh Cut Florals
  • Ink: Versa Color - Sky Gray

Challenge entries:

Happy Little Stampers - June Challenge - Anything Goes with Dies

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Please do pop over to the LIM challenge blog and check out my teamies' creations this week, they've really shown how versatile this sketch is, and no doubt will have more inspiration for you over on their personal blogs too.

Have a lovely weekend :)

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