Monday, 31 May 2010

Fantasy Land

Finally I got round to subscribing to my favourite Craft Stamper magazine. And the reason why I did it was because they were giving away some gorgeous FREE Lavinia stamps. They always give free stamps away with their subscriptions but I've never liked what they've offered before.

So if you want those stamps check out this page here. Think you better be quick before they change the offer. Also the June magazine was giving away a cute black cat stamp that I had to had despite the fact I have quite a few black cat stamps :)

So this card has all the free stamps I received. I love them, especially the fairy ontop of the mushroom. I did all the background colours with a stipple brush and used TH distress inks (tumbled glass, pumice stone) and Adirondack Twilight Lavender.

Today is another Bank Holiday here in the UK and it's looking to be a beautiful sunny day.

Thank you again for stopping by ...

Friday, 28 May 2010

One-Layer Wednesday 6: Overlapping

It's not like me to post twice in one day but I suddenly had an idea for Susan Raihala's OLW Overlapping Challenge. Thought I better post it today before anyone else came up with the idea, lol. The idea is to have a one layered card with an image and overlapping sentiment.

Both racoon and sentiment are from Hero Arts.

Asian Collage

It's a shame that this photo is not showing the glossy accents on these dragonflys as they look highly lacquered. I smooched chalks all over the background. The dragonflys and kanji are by Non-Sequitur stamps and daisy, ginko leaf and block kanji are by Stamp Addicts (called Carole's Cube). I added a few sprinkles of glitter here and there which are looking like black spots judging by this picturs.

I've been a bit lite this week on the stamping front. I'm just not in the creativity mood, and I guess in part it's because of the weather being so nice. Sometimes I'm full of ideas and then I just get a blank and I find it's best just to have a break till I get re-inspired.

Here's someone who always seems to be having a break ...

Looking miffed at being woken up but seems to think it's okay to wake me up every morning by running a sharp claw down the length of my nose!!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by ...


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Video of M as a kitten

video

Miss Miaowski was a kitten around 4 years ago. I discovered a very short video of her on my computer the other day. I was so excited to see her as she used to be. Tiny, with short, fat stubby legs :). As another day has gone and I haven't made a card, I thought I'd upload this very short video, not least cos it's a way of keeping this memory of her - I worry my computer will fail one day and I'm going to lose things like this. When I say short, it is approx 11 seconds long (why didn't I take any other videos of her when she was so young?). Anyway, check out Guzzle Guts :)

I'm glad to say, the weather forecasters got it all wrong and we had another sunny day yesterday and due another one tomorrow - yippee. The only thing is, my card making suffers somewhat, but I'll make up for it at the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by ...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Card Lite



I am inspired by Susan Raihala's blog. I love her clean and simple style. She makes some really cool cards. So I thought I'd try out her 'box' cards. She gives a tutorial on how to make them here.

However, I didn't follow the tutorial, I did it a quicker way which is not as professional looking, but I wanted it to look a bit looser (or truthfully I didn't have a lot of time :)). I used a Nestabilities square die and drew around it with a pencil. Then I stamped the bird and sentiments (Hero Arts). Instead of rubbing out the pencil marks, I went over them with a black marker so that I wouldn't get totally straight lines. The 'Hello' should have been stamped a bit lower down as opposed to above the line but never mind, I will do it better next time. I love this style, simple but effective.

Yesterday was our last day of heat for the time being (not too long, I hope!) We've had wonderful warm weather in the high 20's and now we are due for some temps in the low teens :( And that's why I made such a quick card yesterday, so I could spend as much time outside as possible.

The upside of having no sun is that I will spend more time on my cards, yay!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Birdy Friend

I made this card using some free papers given away in PaperCraft magazine. As well as dots, I like stripes too, especially in these colours. I separated the papers with some adhesive ribbon (by Anitas). The cat is by Judikins and I gave her a nice pink gem collar. The bird in the cage, with sentiment, I bought from Lakeland Plastics when they were selling craft goodies - don't think they do them anymore.

I'm lost for words today (I know, it's a miracle!). So I'm keeping this short.

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by ...

Monday, 24 May 2010

Daisy bunnies

Well I had a go with this sweet Penny Black stamp 'Daisy Bunnies'. I did it pretty much the same as the card I saw at the PaperCraft show. But I added some Flowersoft to the centres of the flowers and added a Stampin Up punched tiny tag and Stampin Up border punch. To be honest, the colours brown and pink are right out of my colour comfort zone, I'm really not a fan of that combo but I wanted to use the new colours by Stampin Up, Soft Suede and Melon Mambo - not gonna be putting them so closely together again. Next time I make this card, I'm planning different colours altogether.

I admire people who make such detailed cards but cutting up those daisies was a bit fiddly for my liking, though it was worth it in the end. I really like the pots with glossy accents, just think it really works well. And I had to layer the bunnies paws over the top of the pots to give them a 3D effect.

It has been such a beautiful weekend. REALLY GORGEOUS weather!!!!!!!!!!!! 27C - I was in sun heaven :). I've read a lot of blogs by people in the UK and everyone has mentioned the beautiful weather. That's because we don't get it that much and when we do it's so precious we appreciate it.

Look, even my fish are looking bright and cheerful ...

I watched two Kate Winslet films lately, 'The Reader' and 'Revolutionary Road'. I'm not a professional film reviewer but I'll give you a nutshell review anyway ... the first one was depressing, the second - miserable and depressing. End of review :)

Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by ...

Friday, 21 May 2010

Cheetah Love

I had yet another busy day yesterday and so didn't get time to make any cards. So thought I'd show some more of my art work. I hadn't intended this blog just to be about my cards so it's about time I showed more paintings. I really need to do some more art work as I have neglected it lately. I think I just love making my cards so they take up more of my time.

This watercolour I painted a couple of years ago, was copied from a brilliant book 'An Artists's Safari' by Ralph Thompson. He illustrated a lot of books by Gerald Durrell. I just loved his style so wanted to see if I could reproduce it. I don't think I could do a painting like this in my own style as I would have probably tried to do more detail and then messed it up.

Cheetahs are my favourite wild cat of all. I just love the markings on their face and their sleek athletic bodies. Also, young cheetahs have very fluffy heads which make them so adorable :)

I was in such a rush yesterday, I didn't tell you which card won that red white and black challenge I did for Inkurable Stampers. It was this card. I am still excited that I won something!

We are due for some nice warm weather this weekend so I'm looking forward to a bit of sunbathing. Hopefully will still find some time to make some cards.

Will be back on Monday. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by ...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

C is for Cat and I won a Challenge!

Just a quick mini card for today. Over here in the UK, Stampin Up have introduced the new colours and this is one of them. Melon Mambo is replacing Pink Passion, I really love this colour, it's one of my favourites and I love the fact ythere is this matching gorgeous grossgrain polka dot ribbon.

My friend Monica makes lovely cards and she sent me one recently I liked a lot. It was a simple design but very stylish. So I tried to reproduce it but not as good as her version unfortunately. I used SU's 'C for Cat' set (another ebay bargain!). I hadn't intended to use the gems but seeing as a great gunk of glossy accents dropped onto the card, I had to cover it up with something! I used glossy accents to stick the ribbon down, works great - there is no way that ribbon will ever fall off that card!

I won a challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited, it's the first one I've won so far. Over at Inkurable Stampers they had a black, red and white challenge for April and I won as an Inkurable Newbie. I won these stamps at Darkroom Door. I'm thrilled! Ooooh maybe I will try and enter more challenges now, I don't do them too often as I look at the other entrants and think they look so much better than anything I can think of.

Has anyone seen the UK's 2012 Olympic mascots yet? China's Olympics celebrations were amazing and they had cute mascots. What exciting idea would the UK have? Oh yes, of course, I'm really sure that one eyed aliens (called Mandeville and Wenlock - why?) represent what the UK is all about!!!!!!!!! OMG I do worry about this country sometimes. You have to take a look to believe it. Apparently they are being seen as a key money spinner for the Olympics? How? The 'designers' were talking about them on the radio this morning saying they wanted the design to be 'all inclusive'. Is it me, or do some people talk a load of drivel???

LOL! I better go before I offend anyone!

Thanks for stopping by ...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Japanese Style

I used Stampin Up's Asian Artistry and Seeing Spots sets for this card. This is before I learned the stippling technique so I brayered the middle circle. As you can see I didn't do it too well and I don't have a perfect circle. But I still liked it :). I trimmed a couple of strips of black card and adhered them to give a different kind of embellishment that I thought complimented the Asian feel. Added some gloss to the bird - love that bird!

Here some more Penny Black images from the PaperCraft show. The cat with the flute caught my eye. Actually it was the card that I admired so much I had to buy the stamp! Whoever made that card is very good at cutting out as I looked at it close up and it's so perfect, I wonder if they did it with a craft knife. I'm thinking of getting Tim Holtz's craft knife as I need a good one to do work like this


I couldn't resist taking another picture of these cute cards. I asked the lady from Butterfly Kisses if it was okay to take pictures and she said it was. There is a lovely card at the back with a mouse and cherries - my friend bought that stamp!

The other pictures I have from the show are not very good - too many people in the way unfortunately. Next time they have the show (which will be 14 November), I will try and take better pictures, and more of them. We are thinking of going later on in the day when, hopefully, there won't be so many people.

Thanks for stopping by ...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My first stipple

This is my first go at stippling instead of brayering a background. It worked out really well. No lines and no white gap around the moon, hurray! This came out a bit light and I tried adjusting the levels in photoshop but just couldn't get it right.

Can you see there is a weird looking giant bonsai tree on the distant mountain in front of the cat? Well that was an ink splodge that shouldn't have been there. I was so annoyed after finishing the card. I thought how the heck did that get there? I was about to chuck the card in the bin when I grabbed my pen and tried turning it into a tree. It looked better before the mistake but never mind.

The cherry blossom tree is from Lavinia Stamps and the cat is from Rubber Stamps of America. I'm not sure where I got the bamboo plant from, it was from a japanese set of stamps. I did the 'stars' with a white gel pen. Oh, and I coloured in the blossoms with a pink Sakura Souffle pen, I like the puffiness it gives after the pen dries. Inks for the background were TH Mustard Seed and Adirondack Eggplant.

Meanwhile, back at the PaperCraft@Taunton show. There was one stall there selling Penny Black stamps. I love PB stamps but haven't used mine that much. However, when I saw all the lovely cards the lady from Butterfly Kisses had made, I was inspired. So I bought two stamps! I loved this gorgeous one with the bunnies in the pots. I don't think I would have bought the stamp if I hadn't seen this card
You can't see in the picture but the pots are really glossy with glossy accents. And the bunnies and flowers are are so beautifully decoupaged. Wow, I hope I can reproduce this as well as this example. Mind you, those whiskers are cut out so finely, I wonder if I can do it without cutting them off?

Back with another picture from the show tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by ...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Stampeding Zebras and Papercraft@Taunton

Here are some stampeding zebras from Stampin Up's 'In the Wild' set. I wasn't happy with my brayering at all. Too many lines, colours too harsh and what happened to the sun? It kinda melted! I was getting quite disillusioned with my brayering as it is all touch and go most of the time. But things have changed since going to the Papercraft@Taunton show.

A nice man showed me how to use TH distress inks in an easier way. I'm not great at using the sponge applicator, I get too many lines. So he showed me a much easier way using a stipple brush. You use the same hand movement as with the sponge, circulating the brush over the Rangers heat mat and onto the card but the different is, you don't get any lines at all and you get a really even finish as if it's been air brushed. While he was showing me, I was thinking I could do the same thing instead of brayering. I might have to try and do this zebra card again using that technique. I was so excited, as soon as I got home I was stippling ink all over the place :)

I really enjoyed myself at the PaperCraft show. There were lots and lots of people there. Sometimes the stalls were 3 people deep and I couldn't get to see things but now and again I spied a gap and managed to get through. Took this photo of this lady demonstrating cut n' dry pads with distress inks. This was after the man had showed me the stipple brush technique, wish I'd taken a picture of him doing it but I didn't think at the time.
I took other photos but rather than showing them all today I thought I'd show one every day this week otherwise this post is going to be too long and I don't have too much time today. Actually this week it's a busy week so I'll be lucky if I get any cards made, but I'll try.

I'm so happy today, the sun is shining and you can actually feel some warmth in the air at last! Happy Monday everyone, and thanks for stopping by...

Friday, 14 May 2010

Asian Artistry

Oh I have wanted this Stampin Up stamp set for a long time. It is another cool bargain from ebay that I manage to snaffle. I do love ebay for a good bargain, it's true.

So, just a simple design which I did try and make a bigger picture of, but it didn't work out so I used Nestabilities Labels 4 to crop the picture. Then used another Oriental Cuttlebug embossing folder for the background.

Couldn't resist enhancing the bird with a bit of Rangers Glossy accents - oops a bit went over the edges but it doesn't show up as much as this picture.
I'm hoping it's going to warm up this weekend. I'm looking forward to the PaperCraft Show on Sunday - yippee! Hoping to meet up with friends there and have a good old chat and hopefully see lots of nice things.

Wishing you all a Happy Weekend and I'll be back Monday ...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Magical Garden

I like to think that little fairy/sprites flit around at night, in our gardens, and add a touch of magic and beauty to the flowers.

So that is the inspiration for this card. I found it hard to brayer this card how I wanted it which is why it turned out quite dark in places. My aim is to do it without any lines showing but that is easier said than done. So whenever lines showed up I had to try and cover them up with more ink. And I still haven't managed to stop my moons and suns getting an eclipse around them.

The leaves are by Lavinia Stamps, the Dandelion seed heads are by Hero Arts and I have no idea where I got the fairies from, but they are from years ago when I didn't think I needed to keep a note of where I got them from. Well, I remember I got them from Blockhead Stamps but they don't sell them anymore. The jewelled brads at the bottom of the card are from Stampin Up.

Hope you have some magic in your day, thanks for stopping by ...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Kawaii Kokeshi

Today's card features (ha ha sounds like a movie) the cute Kawaii Kokeshi (cute doll) from Banana Frog. The blossom tree is also from the same set and I used some Flower Soft on top which gives the impression of mini blossoms. I had to put a butterfly on the doll's head because although she has a flower there, I had put a gem in the centre but it didn't look right and when I took it off it tore the paper. So the butterfly is a nice cover up :). The lavenders are from Lavinia Stamps and the oriental embossing on the card is from the Cuttlebug Orient embossing folder.

Oh dear, the tassle looks like Miaowski has chewed on it! Actually that wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Where is that cat? Oh here she is, looking innocent as usual... She's not impressed that it's May and it's 2C as I type this.

We have a new Prime Minister here in the UK, maybe he could make the weather a bit warmer lol!

Have a nice day and thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Seahorses

Whoa! I adjusted the levels in Photoshop for this picture and it has all gone a bit pear shaped! The colours aren't quite as vibrant as shown but today is a murky day and the original photo was very dark and dingy so I adjusted it a little bit too much! It must be the worse picture I've taken in awhile (ha ha there are plenty more on flickr unfortunately!)

So, for this card, I masked off the edges and smooched some colorbox chalk inks over the middle. And then embossed these seahorse images over the top. I made a few bubbles with Rangers Glossy Accents and poured glitter over. The sentiment is by Hero Arts.

Did you want to see the leopard print broom I was talking about yesterday? Here it is in all its kitsch glory :)
Ok I don't need it... but I want it!

This morning started off good, then went really bad, and then went really good again. What happened? Well my phone alarm went off and then when I went to put in my 4 digit pin to turn it on, my arm had gone dead from sleeping in a weird position. So I didn't put the pin in right, so I did it more than three times wrong and the phone got blocked! Oh no, no, no!!!! It told me I now had to enter my PUK code. My PUK??? What the hell is that? So I had to get onto my computer and google it. Ahhh, my Personal Unblocking Code that can only be got from my network provider. So I had to ring them using my landline phone which costs a fortune while they give me a number of menu options and then keep me on hold for absolutely ages because 'we are too busy to take your call' - huh at 7.15am? I gave up in the end and tried later. I was so happy when finally I got to speak to someone called Singhma who gave me my PUK code and I was reunited with my phone, hurray! He must have a great job reuniting people with their phones as he seemed as happy as I was when my phone worked again. Phew... I am far too dependent on that damm phone!!

Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Serengeti Sunset

There is an obvious mistake with this card and even though I try and ignore it, it is bugging me. Instead of masking out the giraffe and brayering over it, I embossed it after I'd coloured it, and used a Versamark clear embossing pen. Trouble is, it's clear and I didn't have my bright light on so I embossed over the edges. So when I brayered over it, it's left lines around the legs - aaargh!!!!

I still like the background though so I kept it as it is. The inkpad colours from top to bottom are TH distress inks Barn Door, Mustard Seed, Adirondack Sailboat Blue and TH Distress Crushed Olive. The giraffe is from Stampin Up 'In the Wild' set. I got the set second hand from ebay and it was an absolute bargain. All the stamps in the set are gorgeous and I'm planning to make a similar card with zebras soon.

The other day I was annoyed about the lack of choice of colours in the shops. For instance I wanted a nice dustpan and brush set but all the local shops only seemed to have beige and grey on offer. Well thank goodness for the internet and Amazon as this is what I found in the end...Now that is what I call bright and cheerful. They had a cool stripey version too and I was also very taken with the leopard print broom! A company called Vigar seem to know some people want pretty things to clean with :)

Not sure what's going on with our Spring - we have all been freezing our socks off over here in the UK, and in Scotland it's snowing! The temperature this morning is 8C which is definitely not impressive for May.

Happy Monday everyone and thanks for stopping by ...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Fairy steps


Oh I love this beautiful fairy from Lavinia Stamps. And I love the mushrooms too, or are they toadstools? Whatever, they are magical. I added some glitter to the fairy wings just to give a bit of sparkle. She's tiptoeing off the page somewhat because the original picture was bigger, but I had to crop it due to many mistakes around the edges!

I am all excited because my ticket to Papercrafts@Taunton arrived yesterday. Woo hoo, we are having a craft show in Taunton at The Castle School Sports Hall on Sunday 16th May and I can't wait. Ok it isn't a big show but at least it's something. I used to love the ones they have at Alexander Palace when I used to live in London. And I'd like to go to the big ones they have at the NEC in Birmingham. And I would really LOVE to go to the CHA in California - maybe one day I will, who knows? There will be demonstrations and lots of goodies to buy so it should be a fun event.

I still haven't found my box of rubber stamps. I'm still searching but I'm running out of places where they could be. I thought they were in a yellow box but maybe I'm wrong. Which reminds me of that Chinese Proverb

Never look for a black cat in the dark
Especially if it's not there...

Ha, gotta love that!

Have a great weekend living life in excess!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Lonesome Fox


With only his reflection to keep him company - aww!

I got back into the technique of brayering when I saw the stunning cards by Michelle Zindorff. She, as my friend Monica says, is the Queen of brayering. I would love to be half as good as her and I will keep on practicing. Her blog is full of brilliant tutorials, just love reading it all.

So this little foxy card is inspired by Michelle's gorgeous creation here. The sweet fox is by Stampin Up (Fox & Friends), the plants by Lavinia Stamps. The sky, water and land are TH distress inks, Stormy Sky, Pumice Stone, Broken China, Pine Needles and Adirondack Sailboat blue.

I liked doing the reflection. Such a great technique, just stamp the image of the fox onto acetate and press that down in line with your original image (but upside down) and then brayer the 'water' colours over the top. I used a white Signo gel pen for some ripples on the water.

Today I'm feeling all cosy. It's dark and rainy outside which means I'm going to have a great day crafting. I'm always at my most creative when the weather is bad. If it is gorgeous and sunny outside, I'm too distracted and can't enjoy being indoors.

I'm also going to go searching for my yellow box full of landscape and foliage rubber stamps. I've had them for years, some from the 1980's even. But after using them so many times, I put them away. Now I want to use them again, I can't find them... typical!

Ah well, have a good day! It's Election day here in the UK, I think voting turn out will be low because of the rain which is a shame.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Bird on a branch Part 2

Here is that cute bird again from Stampin up (and the flowers from the Boho blossoms punch). In their latest mini catalogue, there was a picture of a card that used this colour combination and it caught my eye. Normally I would have black and white with a splash of red but I thought it looked really good with bright yellow so I had to try it out myself. Using SU's Night and Day papers and Sunshine yellow card, I punched out all my shapes and added some Kaisercraft black beads for the bird's eye and centres of the flowers.

I love that houndstooth check pattern, so gorgeous and reminds me of the 50's and Doris Day! I used to have a pair of leggings in that pattern in the 90's (yes, when flares were all the fashion again, not leggings, ha ha I like to be retro), they were my favourite I wish I still had them.

The temp this morning is 7C and it is May!!! What has happened to Spring and the warmer weather? I heard that New York was in the 30's at the weekend and Canada is also hot. Meanwhile over here we are freezing. I would LOVE to emigrate.

On a more cheerful note:

Today, I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.

Seen on Susan Raihala's blog


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

More brayer practice

I managed to get the sun how I like it this time, more subtle and without the solar flares! I was also happy with the soft pink hills. But the placement of the trees wasn't so good. All the stamps are Lavinia stamps. The shrink plastic dragonfly was a Judikins stamp that I stamped kanji characters inside the wings and chalked orange and yellow and then shrunk. Hero Arts for the sentiment and little dragonfly.

I'm enjoying brayering with inks, just like to see that soft effect and see what types of backgrounds I can create. It does take up a lot of space on my table though. I really need to clear up a lot before I start and when I finish the whole table is full again!

I watched an enjoyable dvd yesterday. Woody Allen's 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' About two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain who become involved with the same man, unaware that his demented ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture. I'm a Woody Allen fan, love a lot of his films and I think this was a return to form. You could tell this was one of his what with the flowing dialogue and at times if I wasn't looking at the screen, thought Scarlett Johansson could have been Diane Keaton's character Annie Hall. Loved the shots of Barcelona, think I would love to go there. My main interest, I have to say, was the very sexy Javier Bardem - OMG!!

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Dreamy Cat

When brayering inks onto card, the best way to do it is without any lines showing so you get a beautiful air brushed effect. I haven't quite managed to do that with this card but I am a newbie to this and still need to practice. But I have to say I like it anyway as it came out better than I expected.

All the stamps used were by Lavinia Stamps and I used Adirondack Eggplant ink for the landscape and lavenders and TH distress inks Mustard Seed and Barn door for the sun. The sun is a little bumpy in places but that is all down to solar flares lol!

I can't image Miaowski dreamily contemplating dragonflies. I mean, if she ever saw a dragonfly there is no way she'd just sit and look at it. She would leap up and grab it within seconds and then she'd eat it. Last night there was a tiny fly (so tiny I couldn't see it) flying around the light. It drove M to distraction, she just had to have it and was trying to get on top of the highest piece of furniture in the hope she could get into the lampshade and get to it.

I've taken many pictures of Miaowski inside her box, but it never fails to surprise me how she fits so neatly into a small space. It doesn't look comfortable to me but it's her favourite place...

I have no idea why this sentence seems to be turning into a link as I haven't linked it to anything! I just wanted to say Happy Bank Holiday to people in the UK and have a Happy Monday to everyone else!