Saturday, 29 December 2018

How my Colouring has Improved

After finding out that Lili of the Valley are now selling their digi stamps on Etsy, I was looking through some photos of my early cards this morning, and I found this picture of a card I made with my first LOTV stamp.  This is from March 2011.

I had only just bought my first promarkers, and had yet to be introduced to the joys of die cutting.  I had an electronic cutting machine for my birthday that year that did not stay on the market for very long (and I could tell you why), and a pair of decorative scissors.
Anyway, I decided this morning to stamp off this image and see how much my colouring has improved.  Here's a close up from 2011

and here's what I did this morning.

A slight improvement, I think!  To be fair, in 2011 I had one blue pen for the dress, for version two I used four.  😂  But that's what it's all about, isn't it?  Practicing and getting better.  What you can't see on version two is that I also added Nuvo drops to the necklace, and glossy accents to the mirror to make it look more like glass.  The bows on her shoes are sparkly thanks to a slick of my Wink of Stella pen.  

This little girly made me think of her getting ready for a party, so I decided to make her into a card to enter into the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge, and "Anything goes" at Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge, and Watercooler Wednesday, so I have linked up there too.

So here is my card.

You can just about see the glossy accents on the mirror in this photo.

Thank you for stopping by,

Lili of the Valley is on Etsy!

Yay!  Lili of the Valley are selling their stamps as digis on Etsy.  You can see the collection here.

I said in this post how disappointed I was that they had stopped selling their images in digital form, then I went to their website this morning to find this

I am so excited!

Thank you for dropping by.  I am off to do some shopping...

CAS(E) this Sketch #302

The sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch this week looks like this
and here is my card

I'm also linking this up with Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge, where the prompt, "Party Time!" made me instantly think of this stamp.  It is a WPlus9 set called Party Animal, and was my first stamp set with matching dies.  My favourite card I have ever seen using these cute giraffes was this card by Debbie Yates.  I coloured these cuties with my zigs but it was a bit rushed.  Still, I think it turned out ok.

Thank you for stopping by,

MFT 417 Card 2

I have another card for the MFT sketch challenge where this week's sketch looks like this.
Here is my card

The window die is from Poppystamps, and the cute bunnies are from two different MFT sets - Snuggle Bunnies, and Beach Bunnies.

Thank you for dropping by,

MFT Sketch challenge 417

The sketch at My Favorite Things this week looks like this
and here is my card

I don't have the die that cuts four windows so I used a rectangle from Lawn Fawn's scalloped Pop-up box die set, and had great fun lining it up to get the windows square with each other.
I have used the Fly-By Friends stamp set.  For this card I stamped them with memento ink then coloured in with copics;  while I had the stamps out I also stamped up a set and heat embossed in white, then coloured in with my zigs.  I was quite pleased with how they turned out, but not sure about how to make antennae and stalks visible.  I tried different things as you can see, and in the end decided a fine line in an appropriate colour next to the embossed line worked best.

I'm also joining the challenges at Watercooler Wednesday and Simon Says Stamp, where "anything goes."

Thank you for dropping by,

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Freshly made sketches #368

The sketch at Freshly made Sketches this week looks like this.

I decided to use another background I made during my inky embossing session.  The trouble was I didn't really want to cover it up with other papers, nor did I want to cut into it.  So I came up with this

Vellum. Yes!

So the background is the MFT Garden Flourish background stamp.  I clear embossed it onto a sheet of paper that I had smooshed with distress inks, then after embossing I smooshed it some more!

I made the hearts by cutting them from glitter paper then coating with glossy accents.  You get this lovely enamelled effect.  I got seriously carried away though, with lots of paper scraps, and will not be short of enamelled hearts for some time to come!

I'm linking this up to the MFT birthday project, where they are looking for sparkle and shine, and Watercooler Wednesday, where Anything goes.

Thank you for dropping by,

Maths and Crafting

The Monday Challenge at Simon Says Stamp this week is "All Stitched up."
So, my poor brain went into overdrive with what to do.  I could use some of the many stitched dies I have.  I could cross stitch a quick design, but all my stuff is still in packing boxes from our last house move.  I decided to cross stitch a design on to card.  Since I don't have any of the fabulous dies that punch the grid for you, this meant punching the holes myself, not a problem.  So I started my design, and as I was beavering away Hubby walked past (I work on the dining room table) and asked what I was doing.  I explained about the challenge and he said, "You could do a curve of pursuit."  Instantly I dropped my half cross-stitched design and got started.  

And here is my card.

The shape I have stitched is called a cardioid, and is kind of a heart shape.  Once Upon a Time I taught mathematics to secondary school students, and my classes used to love making these curves.  Apart from providing the occasional light relief from algebra, they also reinforce ordered thinking, working systematically, and for younger children they help with multiplication tables.  

The definition of a cardioid is a plane curve traced by a point on the perimeter of a circle that is rolling around a fixed circle of the same radius, as beautifully demonstrated by this gif from Wikipedia.

I made mine by marking off 60 points evenly around a circle, then join with a thread (or draw a line with pencil and ruler) point 1 to point 2 (1 x 2 = 2), then point 2 to point 4 (2 x 2 = 4), then point 3 to point 6 (3 x 2 = 6), and so on.  It is much easier if you write the numbers round the outside!
The sentiment is from WPlus9's Modern Petunias stamp set.

Well, there you are - an impromptu maths lesson!  Thank you for stopping by,

Saturday, 22 December 2018

MFT Bundles of Blossoms

Here is my card for MFT's Sketch challenge 416.  It also fits their Birthday project, with that shiny heart.  I'm also joining the Watercooler Wednesday challenge, where "Anything goes."

Believe it or not this simple card provided me with hours and hours of fun.  Initially I planned to use an embossing folder to make the panels, so I ran several different designs through my Big Shot, but none of them just felt right.  I was also conscious that, while MFT do not insist you use their products to enter their challenges I should at least try.  So I decided to see what I could do with this Bundles of Blossoms background stamp.  I heat embossed it on to some white watercolour compatible card; I use the 160gsm card from The Range, which copes really well with Zigs without breaking the bank!  

I made one panel with white embossing and one with Hero Arts Platinum powder.  I intended to colour it in with my Zigs, but the problem was I couldn't see the design with the white on white.  I knew the colour palette I was going to use as I had made the heart first (glitter paper with a generous coating of glossy accents), so I picked out Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers, and Mermaid Lagoon distress inks, and made a pile of background papers, and I mean A Pile. Here are a few of them drying

Now I know I could have smooshed the ink straight on to the already embossed sheet, but I had by this time forgotten all about the challenge, and was in "What if..." mode.  

I embossed one of the papers with the design in white, and one in clear.  Then I started to colour in the white one (yes, you guessed it! I couldn't see the clear embossing).  I opted to use my distress inks oxides (same colours, plus some Faded Jeans) as watercolours instead of zigs.

Clear embossing
White embossing

I coloured the white one in with loving precision, and when completed it looked like this.

I splodged colour onto the clear one, then spritzed it with water.  Hmmm, not so good.  

This is one time when the photo looks better than real life.  
Does it looks murky because I spritzed it, or because the lines were clear embossed over similar colours?

Meanwhile I did a little experiment.  I stamped and embossed a sentiment onto a piece of paper, then masked it off and stamped and embossed the same background over it.  Then when it was dry I smooshed it in the distress inks still sitting on my craft mat.  It was only a quick try, so I didn't worry about inking up the whole stamp, or making sure all the paper was covered with the distress inks.  

It looked so cool I made it into a card too, following the sketch.

So, for anyone who is still here, having read all that, which card do you like best, the one at the top of the post or the one at the bottom?

Thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Altenew Inspiration Challenge

This card started out to be a different design altogether, but I got half way through stamping it and decided that I really liked it like this, and started to colour it in.  I used my copics for this. I am taking my inspiration from the September prompt, which looks like this,

and my card is mostly pink and lilac, with green leaves 😉 (yes, I have just worked out where the emoji button is).  Here is my card

Apart from the fact that the "Spring daisy" and some of the leaves are a bit dark I am really happy with this.  Some days I have to work quite hard to get my pens to blend nicely but this time I hardly had to work at it at all.  Also I am not dreadfully good at coordinating colours, but these seem okay. 

Thank you for dropping by, 

Freshly Made Sketches & Altenew Inspiration

So, as I said in my last post, I had another idea for the sketch at Freshly made sketches using some of my Altenew stamps.  I love Altenew flower stamps.  They are so pretty, and great to colour in.  I decided to have a look and see if Altenew have a challenge blog, and yay! they do.  The current challenge is 2018 Year in Review, where you can choose one of the inspiration pictures from the previous eleven months.  I chose September, firstly for the inspiration colours of purple (my fave colour) and pink, and secondly because the photo is of one type of flower in different colours.  I only used one flower for this card.

Here is my card

I was so pleased with how this turned out.  The stamp is from the "Spring Daisy" stamp set.  I stamped the daisies in a rough square, then masked off the border and coloured that in with my zigs.  I am not particularly confident using zigs.  I have watched this video by Kristina Werner so many times.  Wow.  Still, we all have to start somewhere.  

So in the sketch there is a star.  I decided to make this a sentiment.  I heat embossed it first time on a piece of green card

but I just didn't feel it worked, so I coloured a piece of card with zig #082, and embossed the sentiment onto that instead, and liked it much better.

Before this card I started one that was going to be completely covered in different Altenew flowers with the open square coloured in, but I got half way up the card and decided to do something different with it (yep, you guessed it - next post!)

Phew!  Is it just me or is this post longer than normal?

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read it all!

Freshly Made Sketches #367

I decided to try a one layer card for the sketch at Freshly made sketches.  This is the sketch:

So I made a start on my card.  I wanted to make a border - the teal bit in the sketch - from my card-io stamps, but didn't settle on what to do for the star until I opened my book and saw the "Sweet Birdhouse" set, then it all just fell into place in my head. Card-io stamps are great, so versatile.  You can use them for a main image, a border like I did here, wreaths or backgrounds.  In the summer a friend and I made 250 orders of service for a wedding (Hubby was the photographer).  Talk about pain!  I could hardly move by the time we had finished!  But they looked fab, just like these lovely bridesmaids who are modelling them singing from them:

So here is my card

I stamped the birdhouse first, then masked it off with a mask that was slightly bigger so that there would be a little gap between it and the border.  I used Memento Rich cocoa ink instead of black for a softer look.  Then I masked off the white areas.  And yes, I measured it; I am that sad. Once I was happy with the border I removed the masks, added the birds, and chose the sentiment.  This sentiment comes from the MFT "I'm Tweet on You" set, which I believe is discontinued.  I stamped it on to a scrap of paper to help me decide whether to put it inside the border or outside.  Hubby agreed it should go outside, and there it is.

While I was making this one I was having ideas with my Altenew stamps...

Thank you for stopping by, 

Sketch Saturday #544 & SSS Monday Challenge

I have another New Year's card, this time using the sketch at Sketch Saturday.  I was making this card at five o'clock this morning, after lying awake for more than an hour, very quietly in order to make sure I didn't disturb the dog.  Misty is adorable, but she is firmly of the belief that the whole world revolves around her.  

So I was lying in bed, trying to relax, but all these ideas for cards were spinning round my head, so in the end I got up and got started.  This is the sketch:

and this is my card.

I think the sentiment (printed with my computer) needed to be a little to the right, but everything was well and truly adhered when I came to this conclusion, and I am not very good at taking things apart without damage.  

Simon Says Stamp are looking for "Warm winter wishes" on the Monday challenge.  

Thank you for dropping by,

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Sketch Saturday #544 & Watercooler Wednesday

We have another fabulous sketch at Sketch Saturday (where I made top three last week - yay!) and here it is
I continued with my monochrome phase for this sketch, and here is my card.

I love white on white cards, and was really pleased with how this one turned out.  I think the photo makes it look wonky, but it is straight 'in the flesh.'  

Watercooler Wednesday is all about occasions this week, and occasions don't come much bigger than a wedding.  I love weddings, so being married to a professional photographer is great, as I get to 'help out.'  Hubby used to be a secondary headmaster.  Helping out wasn't nearly as much fun...

Thank you for stopping by,

CAS(E) this Sketch #301 & SSS Monday Challenge

This week at Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge we are sending warm winter wishes.  I thought I would make a New Year's card, and used the sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch as my starting point.  

I am quite into monochrome cards at the minute, with the interest lying in the dimension created by layered die cuts.  They are so hard to photograph, though.  This one is not completely monochrome, as I printed the sentiment on with my computer.  

Thank you for dropping by,

Freshly made Sketches #367 & Watercooler Wednesday

The sketch at Freshly made Sketches this week looks like this:

and my card looks like this

The picture is from a Lili of the Valley printed art sheet.  These are great for when you want an image but don't have the time to create it yourself.  The violet frame was created with MFT's stitched rounded rectangle frames, and the rosette is a Tim Holtz/Sizzix mini paper rosettes die.  I hardly used this die when I first bought it because I could never get it to stay together, but this is the first time I have a hot glue gun.  Bingo!

I am also linking this card up to the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge, where this week it is "All about Occasions."

Thank you for dropping by,

My Favourite things

This week I decided to try and make a card that fulfilled the requirements for all of the MFT challenges.  I didn't look at the blueprints one because I don't have any, so that left the Sketch Challenge, Colour challenge, and the birthday project.  This is the sketch:

these are the colours:

and for the birthday project we need wild animals.

So here is my card

The cute little hippo is from the Happy Hippos stamp set, the sentiment is the Happy Birthday Circle Frame, and the flags are from the Up in the Air stamp set.  It only has five flags and I needed six to get from one side of the circle to the other, so I stuck two together, overlapped.  I coloured in the flags with cotton candy and summer splash by masking off each flag and rubbing my stamp pad over it.

I have to say, these are not colours I would naturally put together, and I'm not sure I've done them justice, but it was fun trying.

Thank you for stopping by,