Sunday, 22 November 2015

Off we go ......Christmas cards!!!

Hiya All,

I've finally knuckled down to making some Christmas cards.  I don't know why it's such an effort to get started because I love making them, lol!  Anyway, the other day Mr Postie brought me a stamp and stencil set called Holiday Birds by Dina Wakeley.... I love her scribbly birds and had to have them inspite of the fact I have oodles of Christmas stamps already!

I made a batch of 10 with this first simple design.

I made my card bases 15 x 15 cm and also cut squares 13 x 13 cm.  I stamped the bird off the edge so it looks like he's peeking round a corner or in a window.  There's a choice of 3 hats in this set and I stamped this one as though it's falling off and added the little lines to emphasise it.  I then deliberately painted him very badly with watered down Distress Inks.

Next I stencilled the snowflakes (from the stencil in the set, stamped the sentiment (from the same set) and finally gave his had some Stickles sparkle which you can see if you click on the pic.  I edged the square with a metallic brush marker and stuck it to the card base.

My second design is made with a Woodware clear stamp that I bought at the Stampmagic show a month ago.

Basically, I used stuff that was out on my desk from another project.  I stamped the trees onto a piece of vellum with White Versamagic ink and embossed with white ep and then drew in the ground with a white Pitt pen.  I dry embossed some lines around the edges and also the baubles with a ball tool, glued the topper to a piece of dark blue pearl card just in the corners and placed some pearls on top to hide the glue.  

I stamped the sentiment, which comes with the trees, onto the card base, adhered the topper to the card base and added some dark blue Stickles to some of the baubles.

So I've made a decent start on my Christmas cards and need to keep up the momentum this week and they'll be done in plenty of time except ..........then I have to write on them all, lol!

I hope you're all well on the way to getting your cards done and pressies bought.  That's something else I've been putting off........

EDIT  I forgot to mention that I'm linking my birdie card to A Monthly Challenge which is a new challenge set up by the lovely and very talented Paula just for the fun of entering ie no prizes or winners.  There are hardly any rules, just a theme to kick start the creative juices and which this month is 'Take Flight'.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A different kind of swap for me!

Morning everyone,

I hope if you're from the UK you haven't been blown hither and thither or even worse, flooded by the storms battering us this week.  OH and I did manage to get out yesterday to a lovely Christmas Market at Chatsworth in Derbyshire (only about 40 mins from us) and although we got a bit damp it wasn't cold and was well worth going to. Lots of lovely products to browse (or buy ;D), gorgeous food to sample and if I get chance next week I just might go again, lol!  I'd definitely recommend it if you're in the area.

Anyway, my post for today is to show you my makes for a matchbox swap I'm taking part in this month.  It's supposed to be 'mini' creations but I don't do mini very well plus the only empty matchboxes I have are some 'Cooks Matches' ones which I've been saving over the past few years and they are 4.75" x 2.75" x 1" so not exactly mini but they are within the allowed limits.

I began by making a wrap for the box cover using Kraft card.  I stamped the two baubles some discontinued *Chocolate Baroque sets using Versamark ink and embossed with Wow white embossing powder.  I added colour with Sakura Gellyroll pens which has given them a lovely enamelled effect.  When they were dry I masked them with post-it note circles and sponged white Versamagic ink through a circles stencil. 

For the base of the boxes I used Kraft coloured wrapping paper to cover them as I needed something thin but fairly strong.  The base was already a snug fit into the cover so I couldn't use anything thicker and if I'd used paints that would have caused a problem too.  I stamped another CB bauble using a multi metalic inkpad I've had for years and embossed with clear ep.  I did use Kraft card for the inside bottom of the box.

For the contents I decided to create a couple of Christmas decorations.  The little angel was a supermarket buy last year and only cost me 25p!  It was a horrible brassy bright gold colour with heavily glittered wings so I gave it a coat of Stone Fresco Finish paint followed by another one in Nougat.  When the paint was dry I added lots of Treasure Gold highlights.

For the hanging snowflake I used a Tim Holtz snowflake strip die and then created the medallion for the top with the CB bauble stamped onto Shrink plastic and lightly coloured with Derwent pencils before heating to shrink.  I must say I love the way the bauble turned out once shrunk.

Here they are nestled on a comfy bed of torn tissue paper.

And now I'm just waiting for the name of my recipients (we are swapping two each) before these go winging on their way in time for Christmas.  I can't wait to receive my swaps exciting :-)!

Stay safe everyone, wherever you are!

Lots of love and hugs to you all!
Lesley  Xx

*  I checked Chocolate Baroques webshop and there is a clear set of stamps which has a lovely selection of the bauble stamps I used.  They are only in one size though, not 3 different sizes as my old sets are.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A 2nd PaperArtsy Challenge entry and ..........It's shouting 'CHRISTMAS'!!!

Evening everyone,

Are we all fireworked out yet?  I blooming well hope so because inspite of it raining heavily we have had fireworks going off since before dark (about 4 hours) and OH and I are exhausted listening to our poor Snoopy barking like crazy to protect us from the nasty bangs! Still got at least three more nights of it too I bet!

Oh well, at least after this week's not long to Christmas (just sayin'), lol, and that leads me nicely onto my project for today.  I'm on a bit of a roll with the Triptych theme over on the PaperArtsy Blog and made another entry to the challenge.  I was partly inspired by Alison Bombers lovely trio of tags HERE but decided to make mine Christmassy with some of the PA Hot Picks Christmas stamps so I can either give it away as a special Christmas 'card' or keep it myself and put it on display ;-).

I chose a fairly rustic style using red and Kraft with just a little colouring of the lovely images from PA Hot Picks Xmas 03

Left side tag. 

Right side tag.

There is star stencilling in Chalk PA Fresco Finish on the red tags and stamped tiny black stars.  I can't believe the only PA star I have in my collection is a huge Sara Naumann stamp so the little one I found after an extensive search through all my stamp stash, lol!  I then went round the edges randomly applying Versamark ink and Seafoam White embossing powder.  I added some of the stamped stars with Potting Soil Archival to the Kraft tags at the last minute.

Middle tag.

On the Kraft tags I very roughly brayered Chalk Fresco Finish paint followed by stamping the music strip from ESN13.  I'm so pleased to have discovered brayering the paint onto the stamp works so well for me as I've never been successful stamping with paint using other methods.  I also stamped the holly flourish using Potting Soil Archival (second generation stamping) and then went all round the edges with embossing.

The bells and street lamp were stamped onto Kraft card and fussy cut.  I used pencils to add colour because the card I used is extemely porous and it was much easier to use pencils than paint.  The sentiment is from the new Hot Pick Xmas 08 set.  I liked the bare wood stars as they are so left them that way and added eyelets to the tag sides and laced them together with gardners twine.

Well I hope you are having a more relaxing evening than we are, lol!  Snoopy is still being driven bonkers by the bangs ....... I'm off to link to the challenge.  See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 2 November 2015

A PaperArtsy Blog Challenge Entry....Love Theme #20!

Hello again,

After my early bird post this morning showing a snippet of my triptych project as a guest blogger on the PaperArtsy Blog (not my mistake surprisingly, lol) I decided to blog the card I made yesterday, as an entry to the challenge, in tonight's 7:00 pm slot instead of tomorrow.

I love this theme of Triptychs, there's something very pleasing to the eye about trios and as I need to get in front with my birthday card stash I decided to create a card.  I also decided it was time I used some of my hoard of gorgeous PaperArtsy 'Chatsworth' designer papers instead of always creating my own backgrounds so paper piecing/layering was my main technique for this design.  It's really simple to do but can be so very effective and although the layers can be left flat I like to add some dimension by using dimensional adhesive.

I selected a couple of co-ordinating paper colours and used Lin Brown's stamp designs from set ELB20.  Multiple stamping, cutting out and layering up of the flower created my triptych of blooms and I stamped the tiny leaf image using Versamark Ink and clear embossing powder on the bottom paper layer.

Quite simple but I love the effect! Off to link up to the PaperArtsy Challenge post!

Have a good week all!

Lesley Xx

A Bit Early for Bluebells?

.......not on the PaperArtsy Blog it isn't!

Hi everyone,

EDIT  : As most of you will know the PaperArtsy Blog posts usually go live at 7:00 pm (19:00) but there has been a little blip ;-) and mine has gone out at 7:00 am so I am altering the scheduling here.

There's a fab challenge theme of Triptychs over on the PaperArtsy Blog at the moment and I'm so thrilled (and as usual a bit nervous) to be contributing as a guest blogger tonight.  Here's a little snippet of my triptych and I hope you can pop over to see the whole project and how it was created as well as see the rest of the fabulous DT contributions.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 25 October 2015

PaperArtsy Challenge Entry ..... I caved in!

Happy Sunny Sunday All........

....well, it is here at any rate! 

The challenge over on the PaperArtsy blog for the past two weeks has been 'Faces' introduced by Leandra HERE.  There has been some amazing inspiration as always from the designers and my own personal favourite was Darcy's fabulous skull clock HERE.  However, right from the get go I wasn't remotely interested in making an entry myself .......that was until Friday evening when I went back over some of the posts I'd missed and also took a look at the lovely entries to the challenge from other crafters! 

So, I picked up a very soft pencil from a sketching kit I have and my A6 journal (a gift from my friend Sam) and started to sketch some facial features.  I was totally surprised and chuffed with how it was shaping up and decided to go over it with a sepia pastel stick from the same set.  With hindsight (wonderful thing that ;D) I should have rubbed most of the pencil lines out first but I still didn't think this face was going to be shown to anyone.  I was convinced I would muck it up completely when I started to add to the page!

I forgot to mention the page I chose already had a pinky wash of left over paint.  From here I stamped a butterfly (PA Hot Pick 1203) on her cheek using Black Archival Ink and thought......That's it, I've messed it up!  It looked horrible so I went to bed in disgust, lol!

Yesterday morning I took another look and thought it couldn't look much worse if I messed about with it some more so I started playing with the background but unfortunately I didn't take pics of the steps because I still didn't think it would be shown.  First I stamped an image from Hot Pick 1304 using 3rd generation Sepia Archival Ink, then using a couple of stencils, also from PaperArtsy, Mini Texturised with Distress Inks and Mini Moving Vines with Fresco Finish paints.  

You can just make out the girl hidden by the vines! I stamped the wording from the new release Hot Pick 1506 using Black Archival and then decided to use pencils to add a bit of subtle shading to the vines.

Then I plucked up courage to go back to the butterfly!  At first I stamped and embossed it using white onto acetate and cut it out.  I thought I'd overlay it to reduce the effect of the black butterfly but I wasn't really happy.  Then I decided to colour in the butterfly with pencils (I could have used Frescos but the pencils were already out) and Voila! I loved it!!!

At the last minute I added a bit of white pencil to the eye, lips and butterfly and some second and third generation stamping of a PA mini script stamp.

I am so pleased the other entrants to the challenge shamed me into having a go because this is the first time I have ever come close to achieving something that looks fairly realistic.  Maybe I should take some lessons from my Art Tutor Son who's portraits are amazing and you can see some of them HERE on my Pinterest board if you're interested.

I'm off to link up to the PaperArtsy Blog as the deadline is in a few hours time.  Thanks for visiting today.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Stamps and Pretty Papers!

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's a lovely day here weather wise (not, lol) so a perfect excuse for spending most of it on craft related fun starting with this blog post.

I bet there are a lot of people just like me out there who have bought oodles and oodles of pretty paper pads and scrapping sets just because the papers are so gorgeous (love the smell too ;D) and then left them languishing in the cupboard totally neglected.......  Well, when I had my lovely day at Port Sunlight, Happy Stampers show a few weeks ago I spent some time chatting to and watching Lesley Wharton, owner of Chocolate Baroque, demoing her beautiful stamps.  She was using them in conjunction with some lovely Crafty Individuals papers and it reminded me how effective paper piecing can be.  I don't have the lovely Patchwork Landscape set of stamps that Lesley was using that day (on my Wish List, lol) but I searched through my CB collection for an alternative and decided to use Woodland Dreams instead. 

I also wanted to join in CB Challenge 16 which has just started and these two cards are the result.

My apologies if the colours are a bit dull but even in my conservatory/craft room it's very dull today.

Card #1

I chose two co-ordinating papers from the CI paper pad and stamped the tree tops then cut them out.  On a third design I stamped the images again and then extended the 'ground' to create little hills.  I cut myself a mask following the lines I had drawn and then used a brush to apply Distress Ink shading and then stuck the cut out treetops over the images.

I layered up onto black card and then used a Tim Holtz crackle stencil and Distress Inks to create the border on the basecard before layering on the 'topper'.

Card #2

This was made in exactly the same way as the first card except I used a different background design which was a bit bright for the treetops and they didn't show up enough so I gave it a wash of watered down white acrylic paint to knock it back a little before creating the little scene.
I decided to layer this one up twice onto black leaving a plain white border between and I love the way this 'pops' the scene.  I think this is nice enough to frame!
The words Imagine and Dream come from a discontinued CB set I think (sorry).
There's lots of wonderful inspiration over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog as well as their Challenge Blog which I'm off to link up to shortly.
A Tag for Fun
Here's a tag I made just for fun the other day.  I found it in my 'bit box' having just blended the Distress Inks and then left it, so I decided to play and finish it off. Really liked how it turned out!
Have a fun weekend all!

Lesley  Xx