Friday 30 July 2010

Polka Doodles Challenge - Generic Male and Female

Morning all on this bright and sunny Friday. Don't know about you but I've had a good day followed by a bad one as on Wednesday my daughter Sarah received her Art Foundation results and she got Distinction so we're jumping up and down here as it means that she's got her place at Kingston University.
I also gained another Gingersnap Creations award for my card in the last post so thanks to all those Gingersnappers.
Yesterday was not so good as I managed to end up with a scratched left eye again due to a large lump of grit getting trapped behind my contact lens. I'm currently doing everything with just the right one in so it's a bit disorientating.
Going on to this week's challenge at Polka Doodles, Nikky would like to see creations which are suitable for both male and female recipients so it's time to put the creative thinking cap on.
Here's what I came up with and I chose a peacock image as it is the male of that species that struts his stuff!
I've used the stripy background paper and embellishment from the Dad's Birthday Bundle download and combined this with the green Plain Jane paper from the Sugar Birdies CD and the peacock silhouette from the Shake a Tail Feather collection on the Back To Nature CD. The stamped greeting is from the Daisy Doodles stamp set. I added gingham ribbon and toning brads for a finishing touch.
Don't forget to pop over to the challenge blog as the fantastic Letraset Aquamarkers competition is still running with fabulous prizes on offer and all you have to do to be in with a chance at winning is to show us your colouring skills - how easy is that!
Wishing you all good luck.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Sunshine All The Way

A very late post for me today in more ways than one as I need matchsticks to prop up my eyelids as I'm really tired and I'm going to be last past the post with my entry for Gingersnap Creations GCSP4 Once In A Blue Moon Challenge - CASE A Ginger.
I chose to CASE (Copy and Steal Everything) a beautiful card by Lynn Stevens of Trash to Treasure Art as it has a bathing beauty and gave me the opportunity to use one of the gorgeous images from Dezinaworld that I have in my ever growing collection. As I didn't have all the things that Lynn has used, I've improvised quite a bit to make my own version.
I used Distress inks in Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Barn Door, Fired Brick and Spiced Marmalade for the background papers. The tiny sun is by Hobby Art and the shells by Rubbadubbado. The travel collage is by Inkadinkado and the compass by Debbi Moore. These were all coloured with Promarkers.
The corner pieces are made with sepia ink and Hampton Arts Scratch Pattern and were embossed to give texture.
I added computer generated text and a shell charm to finish.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Distress Ink Grunge Background Tutorial

Well here it is, the promised tutorial on how to make my grunge background paper with Distress inks which is not nearly as messy as those involving water although I have to say, your fingers will still get a bit inky. One of the hazzards of DIY but a lot of fun anyway as when you get the hang of this, you can make the papers really quickly (I made 4 in 20 minutes) and it may get you addicted to doing your own decorated papers. I've been doing my own for 14 years now!
It helps with this technique if you use a very smooth card as a slightly rough surface will cause the ink to be absorbed almost at once and it won't move around as mine has done. This won't matter as the technique produces a very random effect and no 2 pieces will ever be exactly the same.
Step 1 - Take a craft sheet or a plastic clipboard and 2 colours of Distress Ink, a light and medium shade of the same colour. I have used Scattered Straw and Mustard Seed. Starting with the lighter colour, apply patches of ink to the craft sheet then repeat with the darker colour, adding a few patches on top.
Step 2 - Take a piece of card (mine is approx. 15cm square) in white or a pale colour - I used cream so that you can see it better. Place the card over the ink patches and press down all over with your fingers.
Step 3 - Turn the card over and on a craft mat, rub a sponge over to smudge and blend the inks a little. If there are any uncovered areas left, turn the card back over and pick up some ink left on the craft sheet, pressing down as before and repeating until you're happy with the result. If you like the colour at this point then stop here and jump to Step 6.
Step 4 - If you want to add some more colour, choose another light and dark version of the colour - I have used Spun Sugar and Victorian Velvet and repeat step 1  and 2 with these colours.
Step 5 - Rub with a sponge as before until you are happy with the colours.
Step 6 - Stamp a design on your inked paper using the darkest of your colour choices which in this case is the Victorian Velvet. The flourish stamp is from a tiny clear stamp set by Prima, reference Go Green Concepts 850715. You may find that the darkest ink colour doesn't make enough of a contrast so if that happens just take the darkest colour of Distress Ink in your chosen shade.
Here's the card I made with the above piece of paper. The image is a free one courtesy of Craft Stamper magazine and I've put her on a mat of pale aqua and deep rose pink paper. I made a border with the same papers, a Martha Stewart edge punch and scallop scissors and added a butterfly image and golden pearls to finish.
I hope you like this and decide to give it a try as it really is very easy. I've also got another sample here to show you the very different look you can get by using another colour card. If you scroll down to my previous post, you will see a background paper made using the technique on blue card. Here are exactly the same colours using white card.
This just goes to show that the variety of papers at your fingertips can be infinite if you have just a few colours of card, stamps and ink colours.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Blue Bird

Evening everyone, a very late post today due to my computer and camera both throwing a wobbly so I've only just been able to get online.
I'm here with my entry at last for Gingersnap Creations Colour Challenge GC60 - Shades of Blue which closes tomorrow.
My card was inspired by the colours of Wedgewood China and here it is:
The background paper here was made using my Distress Ink Grunge Background Technique (I'll be posting a tutorial on this tomorrow as I couldn't do it today owing to my technical problems) using blue card instead of white with Tumbled Glass and Broken China inks. I stamped the floral corner design which is from a set by Viva Decor (available from the Craft Barn) in Chipped Sapphire.
The bird panel and blue and white vertical strip were made by using a Crafters Workshop stencil as a stamp (more on this later) with Sky Blue VersaColor ink. The vertical strip was embossed using the Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy folder.
I stamped the bird - Papermania Henbury Lane range - in Majestic Blue VersaFine ink on the square floral panel. I added a dark blue border with the bottom edge trimmed using Martha Stewart's Arch Lattice Edge Punch and a layered flower punched with a Papermania Punch and Emboss. I added a blue gem to the centre.

Friday 23 July 2010

Polka Doodles Challenge and Competition News

Hi everybody, Friday again so the next Polka Doodles challenge is here but before I tell you about it I have some MEGA news from Nikky to pass on about a fab competition which has started today.
The great news is that Polka Doodles has teamed up with Letraset of Promarkers fame to host a competition with the MOST FABULOUS PRIZES imaginable. If you pop over to the Challenge Blog, Nikky will tell you more about it and I'm totally green cos I can't enter being on the DT.
Now, on to the Polka Doodles challenge this week the theme of which is CHRISTMAS IN JULY. I hope you're not groaning as it's a great way to get started on your cards especially if you're like me and leave it to 1 December then panic lol!
I was actually making Christmas cards in June because the latest CD, Paper Boutique Creative Christmas, actually came out last month.
Here's my card which is a tent shape:
I printed out 2 of the lovely snowflake papers from the CD on both sides of the paper. I then cut an oval out of one of the squares of decorated paper and turned this over to the contrast side.
I printed out the cute penguin digital images and cut out the size to fit the oval. I stuck him on with foam tape.
I sponged clear embossing ink on some of the darker snowflake paper and embossed it with crystal powder for some bling. I used a large and small snowflake punch to make some embellishments for the card. I added a greeting from the CD to finish.
You'll find the tent card instructions by Debbie Dolphin on the Inspirational Tips and Techniques blog - this is a really great site if you haven't yet seen it as it has loads of ideas with full instructions on how to make everything.
Don't forget to check out the challenge blog for those all important Letraset competition details as you really don't want to miss out.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Creative Frenzy!

Hello everyone, hope you're all OK and have good weather at the moment. I'm here today with a mega post to show you all the card samples for a class I taught yesterday in making quick and easy vintage style cards.
I made the pale backing paper myself by washing buff acrylic paint over a piece of watercolour paper and scanning it into my computer using Photoshop. I then adjusted the colour to make it a little paler and printed it out on to thin card. I adjusted the colour again until it was pink and printed out more copies.
The images on these 4 cards are all by June at Dezinaworld from the Spring Ladies collage sheet in the case of the first 3 and the Dance collage sheet the last.
The images of the rose, hydrangea, poppies and delphinium are all digital stamps by Teri of Delicious Doodles and her shop is well worth a visit for lots more gorgeous stamps.
The lace stamp is by B Line Designs and available from LB Crafts.
The corner and border stamps are by Viva Decor from a clear set of stamps available from the Craft Barn and incredible value.
The butterfly stamps, large and small, are by Hobby Art.
The script stamp is by Hero Arts.
The images on the last 3 cards are from June's Art Freebies blog.
The stamps used on the square patterned background papers are some I've had for many years and I have no idea what make they or or whether they are still available.
Hope you like looking at these as much as I liked making them as once I started, it was very hard to stop!

Friday 16 July 2010

Polka Doodles Challenge - Stamp Away!

Morning everyone on this bright and somewhat breezy Friday. It's time for a new challenge over at Polka Doodles and this week it's Lou's turn to chose the theme. She would like to see Stamping on your creations and she challenged all the Design Team to make a card using just stamps, the gorgeous Fairy Flutterbys collection available only from Polka Doodles.
As I'm sure you all know, this is exactly the type of challenge I love as it's really me. I chose to make an easel shape card and made a resist style background with a slight difference. Read on to find out how!
I made my background paper by stamping the large flower from the Babsie collection all over a piece of white card. I ended up stamping it in Encore Ultimate Metallic pigment ink which is the stickiest I know as it took me 3 attempts to stamp and embosss the flowers - the hot weather made the other pigment inks dry off more quickly than I could get the embossing powder on!!! As the ink is coloured, I embossed with white powder.
I then coloured the flowers with Promarkers in yellow and orange.  The next step is to sponge Distress ink in between the flowers - I used Tumbled Glass. This made a pretty, colourful background but I think this would look fabulous with gold embossing too (note to self - try this soon). I cut the paper and used a square on the front of the card and the remaining strip on the base.
I stamped the very cute Gracie, the butterfly wings and 2 of the little ladybird in black ink and coloured them with Promarkers. I then cut them all out. I used a Nestabilities circle and scalloped circle to make a frame for her to sit on and embossed the white circle with the Sissix Floral Flourishes & Vines set. I did the same with a matching border strip (Tip - as the border strip was too big to fit all of it in the embossing folder, I embossed both the ends only as the middle is hidden). I inked all the edges with yellow.
The card is assembled as you see in the photos with tape and foam tape and the greeting came from the Gracie set too.
If you pop over to the challenge blog, you'll see how versatile the stamps are as there are several ideas using the stamps by other members of the DT as some of us picked the same stamps.

Monday 12 July 2010

Shy Girl

Hello folks, hope you've all had a lovely weekend and some good weather. It's been trying to rain a little here on the South coast today but the sunshine has just appeared again.
I'm here with my rather late entry for the current challenge at Ready, Steady, Stamp which I started just over a week ago and then had to stop for a while due to other commitments. I managed to finish it off yesterday evening at last. For those of you that don't know, the challenge rules have changed a bit and now every 2 weeks one of the Design Team members will make a project and list the ingredients used. The challenge is to make something using at least 5 of the ingredients and I found this good fun as the list this time is quite long and there are plenty of things to choose from.
I used the following on my card:
Cream, Brown and Green
Embossed Metal/Metal Embellishment
Distress Inks
Dry Embossing
I made my background paper using my grunge technique with Distress inks in Crushed Olive and Peeled Paint and one of the lovely stamps from the Inkadinkado Garden Delight clear stamp set which I really love as the stamps included are so useful. I stuck this to a cream card blank I made.
I made a frame for the lovely photo from June's Art Freebies blog by cutting a piece of cream card and stamping all around the edges in VersaFine Vintage Sepia using a tiny Anna Griffin flourish stamp. I put the photo on a mat of brown paper and then on the stamped panel.
I then embossed a panel of cream card with the Sissix Tim Holtz Alterations Damask embossing folder and put this on a panel of brown paper trimmed on both long edges with the Martha Stewart Arch Lattice punch. I added this to the card with some brown floral ribbon and the photo panel.
As a finishing touch, I made a metal foil flower using a Woodware floral cut and emboss punch. I deepened the embossing effect with a ball tool and rubbed on Olive Green StazOn ink. I then bent the petals for a 3D effect and added a little black StazOn to the edges to make them stand out. I then added a Making Memories round embossed metal brad in the centre.

Friday 9 July 2010

Polka Doodles Challenge - Summer Theme

Morning everyone, it's Friday yet again and I don't know where the last week has gone. I've been doing lots of crafting but can't show you anything yet as most of it has been samples for Nikky who will be demoing at the craft show on 17 and 18 July at Doncaster Race Course. She will have loads of new products with her and all the DT have been making samples for the show. If you're going, do go and say hello and have a look at the new stuff, you can take it from me that it's fabulous!
On to this weeks challenge which has been chosen by Enfys and owing to the current very warm weather, the theme is Summer so your challenge is to make anything you like to show what Summer means to you.
Summer to me mostly means being able to enjoy all the lovely flowers in my garden together with the butterflies that we get a lot of as we have all the shrubs that they like (some of my favourites too luckily)
I've made a birthday card with flowers and butterflies for someone special (can't say who as they might just see this).
I used some pretty backing paper from the Sugar Birdies CD. The flowers are part of the extra layering flowers that come with the Funky Flower 3D card on the Paper Boutique 1 CD. The butterflies are from the All Around & Everywhere CD - a whole A4 sheet of them, ready coloured or black and white for you to colour yourself. I added heart shaped gems to the bodies for a bit of bling. I added a round greeting from the same CD to finish. A really quick and easy card to make.
You have until 12 noon on Sunday 18 July to uplaod your creations and don't forget to take a look at the lovely things made by the rest of the DT.
Fliss xx

Friday 2 July 2010


I'm on a roll here with my second post today with my entry for this week's challenge at Sunday Stampers run by Hels Sheridan with the theme of Pearls. This is something I loved doing as I think pearls are my favourite type of embellishment at the moment, along with butterflies.
Here's my card:
The image I've used here is a slightly size adjusted postcard from my free vintage downloads (see side labels) so if you like it please help yourself. It's actually very versatile as you can just cut out the image and the verse to use separately if you like.
The background paper is made using Distress inks (no surprise there!) and using a technique which is my twist on a more familiar one and not quite as messy (still got inky fingers though!). I'll be posting a tutorial on this next week together with some cards I've made. The colours I used here are Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed, Spun Sugar and Victorian Velvet. I stamped on an image from a tiny set by Prima - Go Green Concepts 850715 which has 3 stamps and some bling. I used the Victorian Velvet ink.
I made a card blank from dusky pink card and used part of the left over strip to make a central border, trimmed with scallop scissors. I added pink crochet lace, some yellow pearls and a butterfly sticker to finish off.

Polka Doodles Challenge - Decorative Item

Hello folks, it's Friday yet again (don't know where time goes these days!) and so it's time for another Polka Doodles challenge which has been chosen this week by team member Claire.
As the latest Polka Doodles CD, Paper Boutique 2 Creative Christmas, launched on Create and Craft TV last Sunday, and has lots of decorative style elements, Claire would like to see something decorative for your challenge creation.
This is something I've been doing a lot more of lately as those of you kindly following my blog will know. I decided to make a wall hanging piece of art suitable for someone who's just moved house or someone who just wants to brighten up their home.
I've used a piece of mount board as the base and covered this with some clever house text paper from the Back To Nature CD. This has a white background and is very versatile as you can print it out on any colour card for a different look. I chose blue card. I then added a central panel of green polka dot paper from the All Around & Everywhere CD.
I printed out some of the pretty houses and trees from the All Around CD and added these to the panel with foam mount for a 3D effect. I then added some gingham paper ribbon strips from the Back To Nature CD and the arched text at the top was taken from one of the black and white images in the Housey, Housey section of the same CD.
I then made a flower using the pretty gingham floral layering pieces from the All Around CD which I cut out inside the black lines and scrunched up before sticking them together and gluing a flower shaped button in the centre.
I finished off by piercing holes in the top corners with my trusty Tonic Tim Holtz hole piercer which seemed to make short work of the thick mount board. I pushed blue thick wire through the holes and twisted the ends, then added pieces of knotted gingham and dotty ribbon.
Do have a look at the gorgeous creations made by the rest of the DT. I particularly like Jenny's clever and yummy looking ice cream sundae box and will be trying this out.