Friday, 26 June 2015

Birthday Boy

Life is leaving me with very little time to craft at the moment. However, necessity breeds opportunity and I needed to make a birthday card for a friend. It is also approaching the end of the month so I had to get myself in gear to make my entry for this month's Clarity Challenge.

The beautiful wee folk and awesome Word Chains are again making an appearance.

I get so many fabulous comments whenever I use these stamps, so I hope no-one minds me providing a link to Clarity's website, from which these stamps can be sourced. I've heard that Christmas word chains and wee folk are coming soon - can't wait.

Wee Folk (as part of Miscellaneous and Travel Category)
Word Chains (as part of Verses and Words category)

Whilst I've not had much personal craft time I can't say how amazingly humbled, and chuffed, I've been to get four challenge picks this week, for cards I made a couple of weeks ago. Thank you CAS Colours & Sketches, Nacho Average, ABC Christmas and CASE-ing Christmas.

This card is inspired by a lovely simple sketch at Freshly Made Sketches, colours from Colour Q (I know there's a bit of green in there, but I promise it's a blend of the yellow and blue as a bi-product of the clingfilm squidge technique), plus Clarity's "Boys, Boys, Boys".

I surprised myself with how much of a Clarity card this is. Stamps, the clingfilm technique which I learnt from Barbara, the navy background is some of their packaging, and a black micron pen :-) Can you tell I'm a Clarity addict. Barbara is my crafty hero. If you don't follow her blog I can't recommend it more highly. I wouldn't have set this blog up if it were not for her.

Freshly Made Sketches #192
Colour Q #296: Night of Navy, Marine Mist, Soft Sky, Daffodil Delight and White (I used Adi Butterscotch, and Distress Faded Jeans and Broken China)
Clarity Stamp Challenge - June: Boys, Boys, Boys

Monday, 15 June 2015

Green Christmas

Another Clarity New Design Club stamp to the fore here, with Santa's Car. I wanted to fish this one out when a lyric Christmas challenge came out, and what do you know ABC Christmas have obliged - thank you. "Driving home for Christmas" is what had immediately sprung into my head.

As it's Santa's car, and it's definitely snowy, Tis the Season is also in the mix. As a contrast to all the summer holiday entries, this fits with this fortnight's Travel theme at Sunday Stamper me thinks, if tangentially. Last but not least, not sure where to go for layout I took a look at my sketch challenges notebook and suddenly got an inspiration to use this fortnight's Fusion sketch. Definitely not a mashed-up sea theme, but still in keeping I hope.

My plethora of Pesto - see what you think.

ABC Christmas - L for Lyrics
Fusion - Blue Skies and Smooth Sailing
Sunday Stamper #359 - Travel
Tis' the Season # 44 - Santa's Snowy Journey

Simple Sun

It's one layer week at Less is More, with the inspiration word 'home'. Amazingly, for once, I'm not running for the finish line.

I've taken their inspiration word, and combined it with Sweet Stampin' colour challenge - Black and White and a pop of colour. I chose yellow to go with the Time Out phrase "Happy is the bride that the sun shines on". At this point you'll be realising that I've taken that last challenge on a tangent - I chose to work with Happy and Sun, rather than make it a wedding card.

Less is More #228: One Layer Card - Home
Time Out Challenges #33 - Happy is the bride the sun shines on
Sweet Stampin' - Black and White with a pop of colour

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Childhood Friends

Last card for now :-) I love this one, I think it's cute.

It's a combo of a CAS Colours and Sketches layout, a colourQ palette and Simon Says Wednesday inspiration.

With the Clarity Coated stock still on the table, I chucked some colour at the cardstock with a brayer, and then used the clingfilm squidge technique to make the background. I used Distress Inks: Broken China, Mustard Seed, Scattered Straw, which I also used to enhance the three squares.

The images are Wee Folk by Clarity, as is the wordchain sentiment. The brown grosgrain ribbon came out of my bits and bobs box - wouldn't surprise me if it's upcycled from some old packaging.

CAS Colours and Sketches #128
colourQ #294: Soft Suede, Pool Party, Hello Honey, So Saffron, White
Simon Says Wednesday: Friends or Superhero

Golden Feather

This week's challenge at Just Add Ink reminded me of childhood ballet classes, with pink tights and navy leotards. No way to reproduce that memory in paper form, but a lighter than air feather seemed an interesting tangent.

This is another NBUS stamp from Clarity. You can't really see it in the photo, but I used it for the same emboss resist technique as I used for Graduated Graduations earlier in the week, as well as embossed it in gold for the main image. I think once I'd fished my glossy card stock out I kept remembering ways to use it!

The gold image was pretty, but lacked a little something, so with slight trepidation I grabbed a paintbrush and some spun sugar ink and added some subtle colour too. To stop it getting lost behind the navy flashes I edged the focal image in denim, and highlighted the flashes with gold.

Just Add Ink #266 - Colour: Pink Pirouette, Night of Navy, Gold
Sketch Saturday #365
Craft Creations #291: Embossing

Painted Squirrel

I bought this beautiful Clarity stamp at Hobbycrafts at the NEC in March, and found it at the bottom of a box a few days ago. Fished it out and popped it on my workdesk to make sure I used it, so Shopping Our Stash's "Use a critter" challenge was a perfect opportunity.

I've slightly adapted this week's CAS(E) sketch, but I hope it's in keeping with the challenge. The background is a sliced up section of a clarity stencil with a bit of black detail work to stop it getting lost.

Friday Mashup put out a colour challenge this week: Cajun Craze, Island Indigo, and Garden Green, and this is my attempt at that. I don't have any Stampin' Up colours, and started with Fired Brick, but it was a bit pink; added some Rusty Hinge, which went a bit browner than planned, but made a perfect Red Squirrel. Also used Mowed Lawn distress to paint the image, and a combo of Stream and Denim Adi to sponge the background. I didn't intend this to include the Dad Mash, but actually, I think I'd be proud to give this to an outdoorsy Dad.

Can't help but contribute to AAA as well, as the current challenge is Woodland Animals.

Shopping our Stash #205 - Use a critter
CAS(E) this Sketch #127
The Friday Mashup #213: Dad and/or colours (Cajun Craze, Island Indigo, Garden Green)
AAA Cards #41: Woodland Animals

Snowy scene

I have no shame about making Christmas cards all year round! I've had this stamp a while, but not been quite sure how to use it.

Nacho's sketch this week is deceptively simple, and it had me stumped. At the beginning of the weekend I prepped a list of open challenges that I like to follow and was mooching through my craft room thinking about what I could use. I was flicking through my files of stamps and came across this gem, suddenly a whole different take on the sketch, and a perfect tie in to Tis the Season's photo inspiration. Colour CASE'd, along with the snowflakes from Rocky's card at CASE-ing Christmas. 

Simple monochrome, with a little bit of sparkle - a nice way to join in for the first time at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Colour extended into the background with some clear embossed snowflakes for contrast.

Nacho Average #145
Tis the Season #44 - Photo Inspiration: Santa's Snowy Night
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - June Colour Challenge: Black, White and one colour
CASE-ing Christmas #44

Stencilled Bouquet

Brace yourselves, I've had an arty crafty weekend, and I'm throwing it all up in close succession. I find if I switch the computer on I lose my mojo, so I've just been pootling along creating things.

First, a bi-colour challenge from Colour Me. I've missed lots of colour challenges lately, and I like them. I've discovered they need time and attention, I can produce something quickly, but it's not usually quite developed enough.

This bouquet is the product of two Clarity Stencils, and one of their line sentiments. The first time I sponged a vase through a stencil was at last year's Clarity workshops, and I remember how tentative I was. Nine months on, a revelation, my confidence is growing. Layout from Freshly Made Sketches and image inspiration from Simon Says Monday, to top off the list.

Freshly Made Sketches #190
Colour Me #75 - Real Red and Night of Navy
Simon Says Monday - For the love of plants

Friday, 12 June 2015

Bright Stockings

Definitely not running to time today, and I'm blaming my headache on the weather and dumping a cup of tea over my cluttered workdesk - thankfully it didn't get anything vital.

On the flip side I'm running late because I've had a lovely time colouring in, getting more familiar with my Spectrum Noir pencils which haven't come out of their tins often enough yet.

Sorry the picture is a bit blurry, I thought it looked OK when I grabbed it off the camera and tweaked the levels. By the way, I'm still struggling to figure out the best way to photograph my cards. If anyone has any tips I'd welcome them.

Sketch Saturday #364  I confess I didn't add an extra sentiment, as I thought it would detract from the image
Color Throwdown #346 - Hot Pink, Limey Green, Grey and Kraft
Addicted to Stamps and More #148 - Holiday
Sweet Stampin Christmas - Christmas Stockings
Stamping Sensations - Dies and Punches (Spellbinders die for main image)

Graduated Graduation

When I first saw CASology's keyword I thought it was a 'sit it out' week. My initial thought on the word was 'colour graduation', and as you can see I've worked with that as well, inspired by 'Sunset' (fab colours like this last night) over at  Less is More! I decided to put a 'girly' spin on the theme, and use a crown instead of a mortar board (which I haven't got!).

The layout at Tuesday Morning made me think of school banners, a la Hogwarts, put together with everything else bingo - a plan

Sweet Stampin was Old and New this week - this brayering technique over versamark is probably one of the first things I saw demonstrated by Barbara Gray, and the stamps (Word Chains and Postage Stamp set) are some of my most recently acquired.

CASology #150: Graduation
Tuesday Morning Sketches #304
Less is More #227 - Sunset
Missed Deadline (stupid slow computer): Sweet Stampin - Something old, Something New

Monday, 8 June 2015

Sparkly Santa

With a whole day to myself, after catching up on my chores, I retreated to my craft room. This felt like an earned treat after ironing, vacuuming and destinking the kitchen sink ;-)

However, rather than put myself under lots of pressure trying to meet challenge deadlines, I thought I'd fish out some images to play with and see what happened.

Before I came confident enough to use all the stamps I had (! - definitely still learning) I mostly used paper crafting kits and upcycled old greetings cards. Lots of that still hanging around taking up space. I guiltily flicked through and picked out half a dozen images, one of which was this die cut centre of an old Christmas card. Most of the images have now turned into cards, quite a few for Christmas, and mostly using layouts from sketch challenges for which I hadn't managed to meet the deadlines. Very satisfying.

So there I was, minding my own business, and before I know it I've got a card I'm really proud of, and what do you know, it meets a few challenges all by itself!

Friday Mashup #212 - Realised it had got unconsciously ombred! The glittery centre almost counts as an embellishment all on its own!
Jingle Belles - Shake it Santa Baby
Shopping our Stash - Red, Red Wine
Clean and Simple FTL-15: Take Two

Friday, 5 June 2015

Special Guy

Lots of similar challenges around this week, which is great for a serial masher-upper like me. It also gives me the chance to participate in more challenges, without running myself completely ragged.

Here's a little number I knocked up this morning. I used the script stamp in the corner because I was inspired by the scripty background in the Mojo sketch. Douglas is a great 'go-to' stamp for a man's card, and it was a great opportunity to take a really bold colour palette (Black and Red Geranium Archival, Meadow Adi) and use it in a subtle way.

The sentiment feels quite high, but I can see myself adding an extra word in underneath when I know exactly what I'm going to use it for - could be birthday, or Dad, I'll wait and see.

Less is More # 226: Lucky Dip (2 or 4 legs)
Sweet Stamping - Father's Day/Special Man
Simon Says Wednesday - Make it Masculine
Color Throwdown #345 - Black, White, Red, Green
Mojo Monday #400

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Living the verve

I didn't expect to be away from the blog for a whole week, but I've just had to be sensible and not spend so much time in my craft room.

My other major hobby, besides crafting, is singing, and with half-term behind us rehearsals are well and truly ramping up. Something had to give, but there's been a little bit going on, and all month I've wanted to work on all five VLV sketches, so here goes with the last two.

Sorry the pictures are a bit dark, I had to recharge my camera batteries, and the light went!

I know it's rather a CAS vintage/shabby chic, but it works for me. The crochet ribbon is something that I wouldn't normally put on a card, and if that shoe isn't chic I don't know what is :-) The green is a scrap from the card below. Stamps from Clarity, inks were Adi Salmon, some yellow that was left on my blending mat, and Distress Evergreen Bough.

Quirky #11 - Put your Quirky Shoes on
Viva la Verve May #4
Allsorts #313 - Vintage
That Craft Place - Shabby Chic
CASology #149 - Vintage
Behind deadline - Color Throwdown #344 (Coral Pink, Pale Yellow, Spring Green)

This was an exercise in bright 'ink to paper' application. Distress inks (Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves, Evergreen Bough, Dried Marigold) applied directly to the card with a blending tool. Also attempted a bit of 'letterpressing' with some ink and a Embossability folder. Lots of mark-making with some faux stitching around the edge. It's not in the photo, but I have subsequently gone around the blue 'tails' as well to give them a bit more definition.

Viva la Verve May #5
Sunday Stamper #358 - Breaking the Law: No stamping
Addicted to Stamps and More #147: Mark your mark
Behind deadline - Colour Me #73 (Blackberry Bliss, Rich Razzleberry, Lost Lagoon, Pumpkin Pie)