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Friday, 30 March 2012

Steampunk for the Girls! Friday 30th March


Normally I would be saying thank goodness it's Friday, as it's one of my non-work days, but this week Friday signifies that  the end of my week off work is near and I have to go back to the office on Monday! Oh well, it's been a great week of crafting with a little bit of enjoying the sun in between, so I can't complain!

Steampunk - what is it? I think it has slightly different interpretations for all of us crafters. To me, it means something that life would have been like had we not experienced the technological revolution (Sam Poole put it really well on Create and Craft yesterday, but I'm going to have to re-check my recording for the exact words. However I remember thinking that were are on the same wavelength about it!). The Industrial Revolution really set the Victorians imagining the future in weird and wonderful ways and that's what Steampunk is all about..I wonder what the 22nd Century version of Steampunk will be looking back at us? I doubt it will be as interesting, as things progress so quickly now that there is little room for such vibrant imaginings....anyway I digress!

I'm very girly in my card-making, but in the way that I like cute images, ribbons, flowers and muted pinks and purples, browns, greens...I love 'distressed' and shabby chic, not hugely bright colours or lots of glitter. So this is probably why I prefer to embrace  the more feminine side to Steampunk and this is my take on it....

The background is a "That Special Touch of...' Mask (Cogs). I used dark cream card and put the mask through my Grand Calibur. I then shaded the edges and slightly 'into' the card all round with Vintage Photo distress ink. The greeting is from  Sam Poole's 'Inventor' Stamp set, stamped with Vintage Photo on to Kraft Card. The flower was made using the Spellbinders Floral Creations die set (all the flowers layered). I used the old book I got from a charity shop and distressed the edges of some of the layers. It's held together with a metallic brad.

The mannequin is chipboard from Craftwork Cards, bought in a pack at my lovely local craft shop, Out of the Blue (Chipping Sodbury). I covered it with paper from the book and distressed it with Vintage Photo.

I cut the Wings from the Fanciful Flight Spellbinders die set, using brown card which had been stamped with a Script stamp from Lilli of the Valley. The little toppers in the corners are the 'waste' from this die-cut.

To finish off and carry through the Steampunk theme, I added the clock, hanging from a brad which has the effect of a screw - both from Creative Expressions. Just to soften the card a little, I finished off with sheer ribbon.

I still believe (and this is only my opinion) that Steampunk is something that a lot of us crafters really enjoy playing with because there are no rules, no limits to the imagination...but in the end, it's just for us to enjoy...well, there is so much Steampunk craft stuff out there, but has anyone seen a Steampunk style card for sale commercially - even for men? I've never been commissioned to make one either.  I still occasionally look at cards in shops just to see what's about and it's not something I've seen...maybe us crafters are just a few years ahead of everyone else!

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Troublemaker 2 - Thursday 29th March


This is a variation on a previous post, in which the same stamp was used (and there is one more to come later in the week).

The stamp is 'Troublemaker'  by Kenny K (from Whimsy Stamps)  and I just love it because it's suitable for any pre-teen/early teen girl. This is an 8x8 card, which I first covered with black card and then matted and layered with bright the green polka dot from stash. The dark green  polka dot is Coredinations 'Tilly Dot' paper, which I sanded to raise the dots. I cut a strip for the centre of the card and added a strip of teal vintage ribbon.

I coloured the girl with Promarkers (colours listed below) and die cut on Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles, shading the edges with Faded Denim distress ink and adding a few flowers from stash.

To finish off I cut another strip from the Coredinations paper and punched the edge with a Martha Stewart Punch.I added a few co-ordinating diamantes. I also cut 2 shapes from Spellbinders Teardrop Circles and added a greeting. Final touches: a bow with a button from stash and a little hint of Cosmic Sparkle.

Promarkers used:

Skin: Ivory, blush, baby pink (lips0
Hair: Cinnamon, Chestnut, Caramel, Ivory
Ice-cream: Cocoa, vanilla, baby pink
Hoodie: Turquoise, Marine, Soft Green, Silver
Jeans: Denim, Sky
Trainers: Ice Grey 2, Ice Grey 4, Silver
Grass: Leaf Green, Grass 

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for leaving comments, I very much appreciate them,
Carole X

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tres Chique - Wednesday 28th March


From Venice to Paris today and another card using the Sam Poole Dressform Stamps and Indigo Blu Flitterglu and gilding flakes (yes I was having a 'play' at the weekend!

I started with a base layer of cream card and shaded the edges with Tea Dye distress ink; I also inked the greeting directly on to the card using distress ink. I inked the dress form stamp and the butterfly  with Flitterglu and also the butterfly, which is from Joanna Sheen's Classic Melody stamp set. I then let the gilding flakes (Winter Dawn) do their magic!

A piece of cream card was then die-cut with Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles and shaded with Tea Dye again. The dress form and  butterfly were cut out  and stuck to the die-cut with sticky pads. A piece of ribbon and a bow were added to the card and the dress form, before the die-cut was placed. To finish off I added Vintage Bakers Twine, three little dots of gold Cosmic Shimmer and I cut the smallest die from the Romantic Rectangles set and sewed around the edge before adding three little buttons.

The buttons and Stick Pins were white, so I coloured them with a caramel Promarker.

I have the week off this week, using up leave and told Tom I would be making cards to replenish the box he keeps at work for colleagues to buy from, as well as intending to get up to date with I have some more 'crafty' homework to's already almost Wednesday and I have accomplished so little...but let's face it, I just can't make quick cards, it's not in my DNA :) !!!! Plus I still have a poorly hen to keep checking on!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bella Venezia - Tuesday 27th March

Good Morning Friends,

Before anything else can I please say a big thank you for leaving comments, I really enjoy reading them, just as I enjoy following your blogs and leaving my comments there as well!

Today's card has a Venetian theme and probably well over due for me when I tell you that my father-in-law is Venetian and I have spent many a happy time there visiting family and enjoying the little places not generally on the tourist route! I have been going to this wonderful city for many years now and it really is very special to me, I'm a lucky girl!

Anyway, less dreaming  of holidays and back to the card...

The base layer for the card is printed from Debbi Moore's Shabby Chique Vintage Travel CD;I inked the edges with a mixture of Tea Dye and Tattered Rose distress inks to give it a vintage feel and stamped the gondola with Tea Dye. The stamp is also from Debbi Moore crafts, the Venice Collection. I just wanted a faint effect to make it look like it is almost part of the paper.

I also stamped the greeting with Tea Dye and die cut it using Spellbinders Fancy Tags Three, which I covered with some Nestabling to lift it with some sparkle, yet remain quite elegant. The main reason I set out to make this card was that I wanted to see how these Carnivale Masque stamps looked using Indigo Blu Flitterglu and Gilding Flakes. The stamp is again from Debbi Moore's Venice Collection. I stamped it with the flitterglu and gilded it with Yorkshire Dales flakes and was really pleased with the result. I just finished off with a few black diamantes and some sheer ribbon.

Now I have the hang of the flitterglu I am finding it quite easy and less messy to use! Phew!

Carole X

Monday, 26 March 2012

Fabulous Day! - Monday 26th March


This card was inspired by a Creative Expressions demo on Create and Craft Saturday and an urge to dig into my stamp pad box and resurrect something I hadn't used in a while! 

There are a lot of elements to this card, so I'll describe as best I can....

Firstly I took a piece of cream card from the card stock that Sue Wilson brought to Create and Craft the last time she was on and I ran it through the Grand Calibur using a 'That Special Touch' (Creative Expressions) Mask, to emboss it. I then added three strips of mauve coloured ribbon and adhered it to the base card. I took a  Spellbinders Grand Oval Nesatability and cut and embossed from the same cream card. Leaving the die on the oval, I laid the Mask over the top and inked through using Milled Lavender distress ink to create a background.

The image was stamped from Sam Poole's Vintage Dressforms set. I stamped with Perfect  Medium and heat embossed with black embossing powder to raise it and give it a gloss. I then used a damp paint brush and Milled Lavender ink  to colour the image before cutting it out.

The greetings were stamped from the same set, cut out using Spellbinders Labels Four Small and shaded with Milled Lavender.

The Wings....I wanted to give the card I very feminine but slightly 'Steam Punky' feel: A packet of Fantasy Film was something I bought ages ago, used a couple of times and put in my box of stamp pads. The 'thing' with creating cards for commissions is that you don't often get the chance to make cards that take a really long time and to make these wings consisted of:

Using PaperArtsy's mini Dragonfly stamp, I inked it up with Stazon and laid two layers of Fantasy Film (Krista's Eyes) over the top, pressing in slightly. On top of this I put a piece of baking parchment. I had already pre-heated my iron to medium and ironed the film for about 20 seconds, giving it time to form. I then cut out the wings.

Okay, it doesn't really take long and isn't even that much of a faff and I'm glad I did it, because the end result is quite beautiful!

I attached the wings to the back of the dress form and attached  the stamped image to the Oval and the card. I finished off with a double bow.

Thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment, I love to read them!

Carole X

Sunday, 25 March 2012

It's My Party! Sunday 25th March

Good afternoon...and another warm and sunny one it is too!

Lilli of the Valley is one of my favourite stamp design companies - apart from producing such cute and endearing images, the stamps are also top quality. Today's card is the stamp entitled 'It's My Party' and I love it! I recently saw a post  on the LOTV blog where this stamp had been made into a 'Keep Out' sign for a child's door - brilliant idea!

I stamped on to Neneh card and used the following to colour:

Promarkers: Ivory, blush - skin
                    Caramel, shale, ivory - hair
Flexmarkers: Wild orchid,  soft mauve, pink pearl - dress, parcel, boots

The 6x6 card was matted and layered with paper and card from stock and I used a Martha Stewart punch to add another layer of mauve glitter card. The image was die cut using a Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Rectangle and the edges were shaded with Milled Lavender distress ink. I added these two layers across a ribbon added to the card and left to hang over the edges. I used some flowers I had in my stash box (having made an attempt to tidy my craft room yesterday, I am making an effort to use some items that have been in the box a long time!) and used little purple diamantes in the centre. I finished of with a bow and typed sentiment cut into a Spellbinders Heart Circles die, with edges shaded in Milled Lavender....and of course, a little dusting of Cosmic Sparkle was needed here!

I think the sentiment was really hard on this would really have to be the right person to send it to I think!

Enjoy your Sunday!
Carole X

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Off to Hogwarts! Saturday 24th March

Good afternoon friends,

I hope the weather is as beautiful with you as it is here today! We did our weekly shop in Tetbury, strolled to one of our favourite little coffee shops (Hortensia), bought some plants in the market and have just got home via the bird farm to pick up some food for our hens (Buffy seems much improved by the way!).

So before I finish tidying the craft room and get out in the garden, here is a quick card to share with you today. I had been looking for ideas for a Harry Potter style card for a young fan's birthday for a while, when I cam upon these digital stamps available from

They are a Wizard and a Wizardette and what is great is that the boy Wizard comes with and without specs! I really liked the images and because they also come in png format, they can be easily manipulated.

I forgot to write down the colours of Promarkers I used as I was really just playing for the first time...I do intend to create a more 'magical' card, hopefully sometime next week and I will add the full details.

Having printed the images and coloured with Promarkers, I roughly tore the paper around the edges and very slightly inked with black soot distress ink. I matted and layered a square card with black-silver-black card and topped with the images. The flourishes and book of spells are cut using the Cricut, Storybook and Paper Doll Dress up respectively and the greeting is printed and cut using Spellbinders Labels Four Small. This greeting isn't the one being used on the final card. I also added a potion bottle from Tim Holz's miniature bottle collection and filled it with red glitter, although thanks to my bad photo it's hidden behind the label!

Back soon and have a great weekend!
Carole X

Friday, 23 March 2012

A little taste of Spring! 23rd March


No card be honest I've been a bit pre-occupied with a poorly pet hen this week..our 'old gal' Buffy, who is now 5 years old. I'm a bit happier today as once again she seems to have bounced back after a little hopefully there won't be a return visit to the vet tomorrow!

Anyway, I thought I would share a few photos from our day out on my birthday to Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park. If you watch Countryfile, you will know who Adam Henson is and his farm park is amazing, full of rare breed farm animals, many of which would have disappeared completely had his father not worked so hard to save them many years ago. I visited this farm when I was a kid with my parents and it was nothing more than a few fields and barns. We are lucky that it's not far from us and I really love visiting, especially this time of year when all the lambs are being born.

 These little lambs were just a few hours old, born 6am, March 19th - so they shared their birthday with me!
 This Cotswold lamb is enjoying life out in the sunshine - I love the curly coats on Cotswold sheep
 These little piglets were definitely enjoying the was the little Kid below!

...and like all goats, this one just wanted to eat...he even made a play for Tom's sleeve!

Back with cards tomorrow! Have a great Friday...I'm on holiday from work for a week now and am spending it crafting mostly, but today I am off to Cirencester with Tom's parents for a mooch,

Carole X

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Art Deco - 22nd March

Hi Friends,

Sorry I've disappeared for a few days...due to my Birthday on Monday as well as not being able to craft..well not cards I can readily put up here yet! Next week I am looking forward to using up some holiday, home alone just catching up with commissions and having a 'play'.

I did spend an hour 'playing' today...trying to get to grips with Indigo Blu's Flitterglu! The first attempt worked really well and then I messed up the card and am still working out a way to rescue it...after that I just kept messing up! Must keep practicing because I love the effects.

Today's card is one I made for a commission some weeks ago. I wasn't going to upload it at first because I messed up the photo, but then changed my mind!

I started with an 8x8 card and matted and layered this first with gold and then black card. The black card was embossed with an M-Bossability and then sprayed with Spray and Sparkle.

The images are from My Craft Studio software (I used and adapted the Art Deco Christmas!). I printed the greeting and die cut it on one of the Spellbinders Fancy Tags Three dies and then decorated this with Nestabling in black. The mini topper is framed with a Beaded Squares die.

I finished with vintage ribbon in a 'toffee' colour, which co-ordinated nicely and topped this with a die cut from Spellbinders Anemone, which also seems to fit in with the Art Deco period.

Hope you like it, I may not be back before the weekend unless I get some time to craft!

Carole X

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day - 18th March

Good afternoon to you!

I'm not going to spend too long here today, Mothering Sunday holds mixed emotions for me since losing my own Mum in 2007. On the one hand it is lovely to be able to thank my Mother-in-Law, who I love very much, is a lovely, popular person who is liked by everyone and who along with my Father-in-Law does so much for us and on the other hand, whilst I still miss my own Mum every day, special days like this and birthdays make missing her especially hard.

Whilst Dad was the artist, who encouraged me in all my interests in art and beyond, we lost him way too soon and a long time ago.  But Mum was always there to be the first one to see a new card design, help me bag them up for craft fairs and after she passed away, we found a large drawer filled with every card I had made for her, right back to my first attempts. Bless you Mum for your encouragement and love.

Today, I am sharing the card I made for my Mum in law, Goldie, who I also know, keeps every one X

If you read this are a Mum, I hope you are having a wonderful day,
Carole X

Saturday, 17 March 2012


I'm sorry I missed posting yesterday...I still don't have many cards I can share at the moment because I've been so busy making them for commissions, some of which I have to wait to share with you. Thank you so much to those of you who commented on my sewn projects postings...glad you liked them..and yes the bunny is my favourite too!

Yesterday, I spent in Bristol with my friend Steph who is an artist, working mostly in sculptures from metal. She and her friend have just held their first exhibition in Bath. It was superb and the first of many I hope. I had made cards for her daughter's birthdays, but I am afraid you are going to have to wait until after the birthdays to see them!

Today's card is a Mothering Sunday card I made as a commission.The person who requested it had suggested a cup cake theme and I found this image on the  Docrafts Digitial Designer Tulip and Friends program. Two ladies sharing tea and cup cakes, that could easily be Mother and daughter!

I covered an 8x8 card with some pretty pink, cream and yellow paper from stash and printed the image and greeting on to cream card. I die cut the image on to the heart circles die and used the Spellbinders Parisian Accents border die for the side and edge. I also used am off-cut from the die-cut down the side. This particular border die leaves the most amazing 'wastage'.

The felt flowers were cut using the spiral blossom one and layered flowers dies and the greeting with labels Four Small. I finished off by lightly shading the greeting die-cut with Worn Lipstick distress ink and with ribbon and diamantes and little cup cakes from the same program.

Hope you have a lovely Saturday, we are off to Bath, where we will meet my husband's parents, have a joint Mothering Sunday and birthday lunch (it's mine on Monday!) and go fabric hunting with them as one of my friends is going to upholster an antique chair of theirs.

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Crafty Bunny - 15th March


This is the last of the non paper craft projects (for now), hopefully tomorrow, I'll be back with a card!

This bunny hangs on the door to my craft room! I made him a while ago now as an Easter project, but it seemed such a shame to 'hide' him away the rest of the year that I decided to give him a permanent place. The little 'craft room' sign, I bought from a Stand at the NEC crafting event last year.

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole Z

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Angel of the Sea - 14th March


I hope you liked my Garden Angel yesterday, today's hangs on the bathroom door and she's a little bit of fun! This angel was made from a doll pattern and the material for the wings was dyed with tea. I sewed the hair on with brown embroidery thread and drew on her face with a very fine art pen. The shirt and pantaloons were all made from some fat square fabric in my fabric box. The life buoy is made from the same material as the doll, but painted and stiffened with acrylic paint, as were the stripey legs and black shoes. A cute and fun way to display that this is the bathroom, I think!

Tomorrow I have one last sewn project before I return to cards...and this will be the one that hangs on my craft room door!

Carole X

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Garden Angel - 13th March

Good Morning!

No card today - I am still busy trying to keep up with commissions, none of which I can post as yet! Today I am sharing with you a sewing project I made last year and which now hangs on our lounge door...

A friend who lives in Australia first got me into making these decorative angel dolls, although I had always seen them pretty widely in the USA. Wanda (my friend) gave me a beautiful one that she had made and I don't profess to be at her standard, but I was pretty pleased with this one when I had finished her.

I got the pattern from an American website and because I have bought from a few sites, I will need to check and amend this blog when I have found which one. The clothes are all are from scraps in my material box and I actually tea-dyed the dress the old fashioned way - with tea! I embroidered the floral detail on the front and loved every stitch. The doll and seams were all sewn with my sewing machine, but everything else is hand stitched. I bought the basket, hat and wings from some time ago.

The tag on her basket reads: 'Where Angels fly, a garden grows'

Hope you like her...I will share another tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Monday, 12 March 2012

Troublemaker Tutorial - 12th March\

Hello friends on another Monday morning....but wasn't it a wonderful Spring weekend? My husband couldn't understand why I chose to spend most of it indoors crafting, but I do have a deadline for quite a few cards by the end of this week! I spend most of today on one special card...the Wonderland theme, but I can't share it here for a week or so..that's if I figure out how to photograph it!

The card I am sharing today is made using  Kenny K's 'Troublemaker' stamp from Whimsy Stamps- hope you like it! At the end, I have also added a little tutorial (the first on my blog) about matting stamps, because a few friends have asked me about it lately.
My base layer for this 8x8 card is purple paper from stash, I matted and layered this with coredinations paper, embossed with an M-Bossability and sanded to bring out a turquoise core.

I stamped the image on  Neneh card and as I wanted something for her to be leaning against, I matted her and stamped a wall from Creative Expressions Tatty Button 'worker stamps' behind her. I coloured her with Promarkers, Flexmarkers and shaded the background with Faded Denim distress ink.

The flowers were all cut from the Spellbinders Floral Creations set and the greeting was also die cut using the Peony die. I also stamped greeting tickets using Sam Poole's  Celebration Tickets stamps with Perfect Medium and embossed these in black and white. I finished off with some lace and purple satin ribbon.

Quick Tutorial

I'm adding this mostly because a couple of friends, have asked me to and because I thought it would be fun from time to here you are, I know you never post messages but I also know you visit! Because you tell me!

1. First of all stamp the image that you want to be in the foreground of your design twice - once on the card you are using for the design and once on paper, preferably something like a Post it note, which is a  bit tacky on the reverse.

2. Cut out the post it note image as above and place it directly on top of the original image.
3. Take you background stamp (in this case the wall), place where you want it and stamp over the original masked image. The mask will prevent the background being stamped across the main image, which will now look like it's in the foreground.

This is a really easy effect to create once you have practiced it a few times, but if you still aren't confident, you can always stamp the background and cut out your foreground and matt and layer her in front...two ways with different effects!

Thanks for stopping by!

Carole X

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Christening card - 11th March


I have decided to post a card rather than another project today after all, one I made for a commission recently and hadn't got around to sharing.

This is an 8x8 card, my size of choice for a large card, which I covered with some pink paper I had in my pinks collection! I cut a rectangle of plain pink card, which co-ordinated well with the check and matted and layered this with white card, with edges softened with spun sugar distress ink and finally white card embossed using an M-Bossability. I added a little strip of lace to the lower edge before adding it to the card.

The imaged is a Lilli of the Valley (LOTV) stamp, coloured with Promarkers and shaded with a mix of Spun Sugar and Milled Lavender distress inks after die cutting using a Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles die, which is in turned layered over the the plain pink card, cut with a larger die from the same set. I time a gingham bow around the layer before adding to the card. Finally I added some little roses, buttons and pearls from stock and printed the greeting before die-cutting with Spellbinders Labels Four Small.

Today I will be crafting most of the day as I still have a lot of deadlines to make for commissioned Mothering Sunday cards, plus I am working on a special Alice in Wonderland (a la Tim Burton!) themed birthday card, which I will share with you in a few weeks time!

Have a super Sunday and thanks for visiting my blog.. would love you to follow and leave comments!

Carole X

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Little Gift Bag - 10th March


The weekend is here and whilst the sun isn't shining, Spring definitely seems to be in the air! No card today, I am a little behind with my card making, simply because I have been working hard on commissions and I don't upload any of those creations until I have handed them over to the customer.

So today I am going to share a gift bag I made last year for our friends' daughter's 21st birthday. I did upload the photo when I first started this blog, but back then I wasn't really saying very much about my creations, so please forgive me from time to time for sharing some projects more than once, if I feel the need!

I remember at the time of making, being very pleased with this bag; I used to try out so many different crafts from sewing projects to jewellery and knitting (I'm still only half-way through a chunky jumper I started last summer; good job it was a mild winter!), but papercrafts, in particular cards always win the day and leave little time for any other craft. It was my new year pledge to complete some non paper craft projects this year...I'll be posting here if I succeed!

Meanwhile, back to paper crafts and the gift bag...

To make the bag I used a template and some gorgeous A3 silk card (about 300gsm I think), that I bought from Creata about 2 years ago and had never used. It's quite a simple bag to make and if I get a chance (!) some time I will make another and photograph each step.

Everything used to make this bag was from my stash cupboard or box, so please bear with me for being vague...I didn't use one Spellbinder die for this project and there is a good reason: I made it last April and I got my Grand Calibur for my birthday last March, so I had hardly any dies and hadn't really picked up on the Spellbinder 'addiction' as yet! What I did use for almost everything else was my little Cricut. The labels  were cut free hand, just by tracing around one I already had, but the '21' was cut with the Cricut and then I sprayed the darker card and the numbers with Stick and Spray.

I  also cut the flower using the Cricut, a flower shape from the George and Basic Shapes cartridge (also used for the 21), cut on a lightweight cream paper in several sizes and held together with a sparkly brad and scrunched up to give it a kind of peony look. The leaf/flourish was cut using The Storybook Cartridge and the Scalloped Circle was just a large punch!

Two holes were punched each side at the top of the box and strengthened with copper coloured brads. However on the front of the bag, I also added some quite ornate Morrocan style beads from my bead jar and a key that was in my box of 'little metal things'. I always make sure I have some keys  there, as they come in handy for quite a few types of card and project.

I finished it off with co-ordinating ribbons. The recipient loved it and I like to think she kept it, at least for a while, but of course I'm not going to ask!

Have a good Saturday...tomorrow may be a card or one of my sewn items....

All the best and thanks for stopping by and to those of you who follow me and leave comments, a big thank you! I would also like to say thank you to Oskana for the absolutely gorgeous ATC I won on her blog, which arrived yesterday and is now on display in my craft room X

Carole X

Friday, 9 March 2012

Ahoy there Matey! 9th March

Good Morning to ya!

Today's card was made from scraps left over from a large pirate themed birthday card that had been commissioned for a little boy. The only part of the card that was not a 'left over' is the stamp. I had used the same stamp on the earlier card and wanted to incorporate it here. It's one of the Lilli of the Valley (LOTV) stamp collection. I do love their cute little images,which actually lend themselves to going overboard with the embellishments because they still pop out, never seem 'swamped'!
The stamped image was coloured with Promarkers and then I tore all around the card and inked the edges with denim distress ink. The skull and cross bones paper was downloaded from Crafts-u-Print. I couldn't believe that amongst all my CD's there wasn't anything suitable for a little boy's pirate card, the closest I came was a super design for a teenage girl on Debbi Moore's Funky Diva CD. I had used that quite a lot in the past and one day soon, I will put one up here, but the papers didn't suit a little boy card.

However on Crafts-u-Print I was quite spoilt for choice and decided on the Little Monkey Pirate Aventure Pack as it has a super selection of papers  that I will use again and again...all important when considering buying stash. The brown card with the wording was not from this pack, I got this from a pad of boy themed card I had in my stash.

I cut a rectangle from blue card (also from the boys paper pad) slightly larger than the stamped piece and then faux stitched with white jelly roll pen around the edge. I  then cut a slightly larger piece in black to matt and layer on the front of the card. The silver mirror card edge was cut using a Martha Stewart Punch.

A black velvet feel ribbon was used to divide the two papers and a skull and crossbones flag was cut from the background paper. I cut the skull and crossbones and the flourish with my Cricut (remember all these bits were extras from the bigger card) and the buttons, bakers twine and knotted rope were all from stash.

The big circle was cut using a punch and I know what you're Spellbinders die??? Wrong!
I cut the inner black scalloped shape and the white scalloped shape with the typed greeting using my Peony die!

This was just a fun, wind down card that I just enjoyed putting together at the end of a day working on commissions...often I find it so satisfying to just make one I can add to my craft fair box or box for cards to send for a charity I try to support (though never get enough sent off to)....

Have a good Friday and thanks for dropping by!

Carole X

Thursday, 8 March 2012

little brown bear - 8th March


A quick card for today! Just lately I have been receiving a high number of commissions, which is great, but with having to work at a day job in-between (!),  has left me little time to play. Yesterday, for example I spent the entire day creating three commissioned cards. The hardest part is staring at the order and trying to create a design in my head, sketching it and getting started. Once I get past that stage, it's usually all systems go. If I'm asked for something really specific I have to confess, I often cringe, whereas a general idea is a great starting point! One of the cards I made yesterday was a child's pirate theme..that was a lot of fun to make and I had just the stamp I needed. That card will be revealed at a much later date, but look here tomorrow for a smaller card I made with left over pieces of paper and card at the end of the day!

Something I do if I can after a day of making cards for commissions is to 'wind down' by making a quick card for my craft fair box or the  box my husband keeps at work. I don't always get the chance, but there have been a few nights of football on TV this week, so I didn't feel guilty about insisting he watched it on the big TV whilst I disappeared to the craft room! 
This card I made a couple of nights ago from left overs...
The last time I made a card for my blog featuring this adorable little bear (Aloysius) from Indigo Blu, I stamped him on silk art card and coloured him with tea-dye distress ink a few times ahead of making more cards.

This time I die-cut him inside a Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles die and distressed the edges with tea-dye. This is part of the set of dies I bought recently from Create and Craft as part of my birthday present (It's not my birthday until the 19th, but it seemed a shame to wait!). This die set is proving very useful as the largest one is really quite large and as of yet, I don't have many Grand dies. It also has a very pretty edge with a slightly 'vintage' feel.

I had been making a card where I had embossed with M-Bossability Mistique and had enough left over to cover a 6x6 card. I distressed this all over with Antique Photo ink and mounted the image in the centre.

To finish off I added a chocolate coloured piece of vintage ribbon, tied  a bow and added a button threaded with bakers twine.

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Friendship - 7th March


First of all thank you to those of you who have left comments, I really like reading them. I've been writing this blog for over 6 months now and I really get a lot of satisfaction from not only uploading my designs to share, but also looking at other crafters blogs and leaving messages. The world of crafting is such a friendly place isn't it?

Today's card was actually made as a commission for a wedding, but I photographed it before adding the front sentiment. For the actual card the sentiment was printed with the name of the couple and cut with the matching Spellbinders die, but for the photo I used a sentiment from my box of pre-made sentiment toppers and in doing so, converted it from a wedding card to a friendship card..but I think it actually works for either!

I first of all layered an 8x8 card with white card embossed with Spellbinders M-Bossabilities (Mystic). These are great embossing folders, the best I've used I think; they leave a really crisp design.

Next I cut a rectangle from plain white card and matted and layered this with a rectangle cut from card printed from Polkadoodles Wonderland CD. Polkadoodles never fails to come up with amazing backing papers on their CDs and Wonderland is one of my favourites. This paper gives the impression of being embossed. I also cut the leaves from Spellbinders Assorted Leaves with the same card.

The die-cut in the centre of the card is  from Spellbinders Antique Frame and Accents and is beautiful, but this time was my first use of Creative Expressions Clear Micro Beads...these really are magic! You use them with double sided sticky paper.

First of all you stick one side to your piece of card and die-cut/emboss it as usual.  After putting some of the tiny beads into an open container (I used a plastic box lid)You then  peel off the other sticky side from the die-cut and put in on top of the beads, pressing it down gently to  cover the whole piece. It leaves a beautiful glittery coating, without being too dazzling and is quite lovely. As you don't really use many beads, even on a intricate die such as this, the 300g pot should last a long time!

I laid ribbon behind the rectangles and finished the card with a flower from Spellbinders Anemone set, ribbon and little faux pearls. This card did take a while to make, but I really enjoyed putting it together!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole  X

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

18th Birthday Easel Card - 6th March


Today's card is a fun 18th birthday card I made recently for a commission. One of the recipient's likes was listed as her blue that was a starting point for me! I went through a phase where almost every card I made was an easel, but I hadn't made one in a while...

I started with an 8x8 blank and covered the base and upper half with some paper from stash...I have an apology here as I think it was originally printed from one of my craft CDs and I have no idea which! It may well be a Pink Petticoat design. The girl is a Pink Petticoat digital stamp that I coloured using Promarkers. The car is an image from Polkadoodles Paper Boutique Volume 1. I decoupaged it, added a wire steering wheel and the birthday girl's name and age to the number plate.
I then cut a large '18' with my little Cricut on to Coredinations card and used an M-Bossability (Splendid) to emboss it and give it some lift and finally sprayed it with stick and spray. I printed the greeting on to white card stock and die cut it using Spellbinders Labels Four Small, The little flower is also cut from a Spellbinders die. For finishing touches I added some turquoise gemstones, a blue diamanted brad, ribbon from stash and Cosmic Sparkle on the 'icing'.

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Monday, 5 March 2012

Wedding Day - 5th March

Good Morning!

No post yesterday, I needed time to catch up a little, plus my craft room needed a bit of a tidy (not that it looks much better now!)

Today's card features a Lilli of the Valley stamp. I always head for my box of their stamps when I want something really cute. I think they are absolutely adorable images.

First of all I stamped the image, coloured with Promarkers and cut it using the Spellbinders Heart Squares die. I shaded the edges with Spun Sugar distress ink. I then cut two of the Spellbinders Layered Flowers. Last week on Create and Craft, Sue Wilson suggested using wax paper with dies  that are intricate and hard to release. This works brilliantly, but the wax paper also has a life of it's own when used with Spellbinders. It has a lovely texture and feel. I don't use vellum much, it's just not something I like using at the moment, but this paper, has the translucent look of vellum, only thicker and I love it.

I layered an 8x8 card with pale pink polka dot paper from my stash box. It has a little motif in the corner, which I allowed to peek through when I matted and layered with plain pink card (edges distressed with Spun Sugar) and then white card, embossed with 'Splendid' M-Bossabilities. The tag is cut from Spellbinders Antique Frames and Accents and a  Spellbinders Ribbon Buckle die cut is used with the bow. I finished the card off with ribbon, flowers and pearls from my stash box and added a little glitter to the bride's head-dress and bouquet.

Hope you have a Happy Monday and thank you for visiting my blog...please leave a comment, I love to read them!

Carole X

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Rule Britannia! 3rd March

Good Morning!

This card was made for a commission, but in this instance, from one of my family to another, so in view of the fact that we have a year ahead where we are all celebrating how fab it is to be British and I'm always stuck with mens' cards, I thought I'd give it a go!

One of my Christmas presents was a Hobbycraft voucher and I used some of it to buy the Portobello Road 12x12 paper pack from Docrafts/Papermania, as well as some of their embossing folders & ribbons -  and this was the basis for this card. The card is 8x8 and is first of all layered with some vintage newspaper print paper from the pack. 

The die-cut Union Jack was also in the pack, so I centred this on the front of the card. I then die-cut three of the images and used Vintage Photo again to distress the die-cuts and the card.

The bunting and cupcakes were printed from Serif Craft Artist "British Street Party'. I downloaded this last year when we war having a Royal Wedding party, so I can see it's going to be useful again!

The Keep Calm and Carry On, I admit I have seen presented in this way on items in shops, the internet - all over the place, but I typed this one out using the Serif Program and added the crown from my clipart. I then die cut it in using Spellbinders Labels Four Small. Finally I added a little Cosmic Sparkle and the ribbon.

Have a super Saturday and thanks for dropping by!
Carole X

For this card I used:

Papermania Portobello Road 12x12 paper pack, embossing folders and ribbon
Serif Craftartist British Street Party
Vintage Photo distress ink
Cosmic Sparkle

Friday, 2 March 2012

Nautical Journey - 2nd March


This is the last of my \mixing old with new\ set of cards: I was recently tempted by Sam Poole's latest set of stamps with a sea-faring theme. Like the Vintage Inventor, it was once again a step in a different direction for me, but I do like to add a mixture of images to my crafty arsenal and I view good stamps as an investment, which will give me years of value if treated well. 

The 'new' on this card is a Spellbinders die! Last week when  Sue Wilson was demo-ing on Create and Craft, I bought one of the offers as my birthday present from my husband (it's okay my birthday is in March!). I have dispensation to carry on and use them as well! I was really tempted by Sue Wilson's own design. I think they are lovely and they are on my wish list, but this time I went for the bundle that included flowers,  romantic rectangles, antique frames, buckles and M-bossibilites. I have them now and have used the first one on this card...

Again this is an 8x8 layout, starting with a layer of black card. I then used the Debbi Moore's Shabby Chique Vintage Travel CD to print off a faded map backing paper on to cream card and I distressed this quite heavily with Vintage Photo ink. It almost looks burnt  and is the base layer for the ship's journey.

I matted and layered this over the black card, cutting it slightly smaller and added the other elements.

The map, ship, steering wheel and small compass were all stamped from Sam Poole's  Nautical Journey stamp set and given the same treatment. I mostly distressed the edges of the map, just enough to give it an old parchment look and then I curled the edges inward. The ship was layered over the map and I wanted it to stand out, so I gave that a more intense colouring. I also fixed both of them to the card with Pinflair to give them more 'lift' and curl.

The sentiment oval and larger compass were both printed from the CD and again distressed and I added vintage brown ribbon to the bottom with a die-cut buckle (which distressed in this way I think actually looks like a piece of coral or something you would find beneath the ocean). The little pearl dots at the top are Cosmic Shimmer Olympic Gold

There is one bit of 'colour' on this card. I found it when I was rummaging through my stash box -  it's a piece of stampbord that I had  stamped a compass on some time ago. It was already complete as a topper; I'd added the rope and the colour. So I tried it on the card, thinking I wasn't going to like it -but I think it works, so it has stayed!

Looking at the photo and the actual card, I noticed something quite odd..all to do with angles and bad photography I guess..on the card the little compass & wheel do not look like they are encroaching on the sentiment...honest!

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Carole X

For this card I used:

8x8 card blank; black card, cream card
Ddebbi Moore's Shabby Chic Vintage Travel CD
Sam Poole's Nautical Journey stamp set
Spellbinders Ribbon Buckles Shapeability die
Vintage Photo distress ink
Stampbord stamped with compass stamp
Cosmic Shimmer Olympic Gold
Pinflair Glue