Monday, 12 March 2018

When The Boys Are Away . . .

Yesterday, Sunday, it was Mother's Day here in the UK.  However, hubby plans were to go to see his pals to watch the Old Firm game and teenage son was going away to Largs with his pals.  It was just going to be me and the dog at home!  When I mentioned this fact to aforementioned teenage son, he said "Just think about it, you'll have the house to yourself and plenty of peace and quiet!".  

Late on Saturday night I had an unexpected email from Amazon telling me that the Tim Holtz Mixed Media #5 die set (the one with the roses) that I had ordered ages ago was finally being dispatched out and would arrive the next day.  So with both boys away doing other things I would have a few hours to myself to play with my new dies.

I had everything ready and waiting for my parcel to arrive and quite literally just as hubby left the house the delivery driver arrived with my dies.  When I was playing I realised that one of the dies in particular was lending itself to making a card that fits in with the Freshly Made Sketch for this week.  

OK, I know, I already have one in this week, but . . .  


It had to be Distress Ink - Fired Brick and Barn Door reds with some Mown Grass, Peeled Paint for the flowers and an added hint of Wild Honey on the butterfly.  

Of course I had to play with the other two dies as well.  For the other rose die, I used Wild Honey & Mustard Seed with the same two greens as before.

The more ornate die I kept simple by just using it with a matt metalic gold cardstock.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Is it Spring Yet?

Last week we had "The Beast From The East" weather front that brought lots of snow and wind & this week they are talking about "The Pest From The West"!  Fortunately this time around it looks as though it is going to miss us over here in the Kingdom of Fife.

The snow from last week is almost gone, just the remnants of where it was piled up from path and road clearing & we can see the snowdrops and crocus in the garden again.

I've been staying warm indoors & been trying some crafty things I've been meaning to for a while now - been ages since I experimented with something messy!  I've had Brusho colour powders for ages but not really done much with them so I dug them out and had a play - should have worn latex gloves!  Got some backgrounds done and then decided to have a try at doing some resist techniques with them, faux bleach effect.  Out came the embossing kit and some new stamps to try.  Put the new stamp on to the stamp platform and started applying the Ranger Perfect Medium that I've had for a while but not used in ages - what a mess!  As I am applying it the Perfect Medium sponge (or whatever it is) decided that it was now chewing gum and left lumps all over the stamp - not impressed and not the kind of messy crafting I had in mind when I started!  Fortunately I had a different embossing pad and could use that instead.  I ended up trying the faux bleach effect with the Brusho colours and also using my Distress Inks as watercolours with two of my new Woodware floral stamps; "Wiggly Stems" and "Tall Flowers".  I used one of these efforts as the background to this weeks Freshly Made Sketches Challenge.

This background with the faux bleach effect was made using the Woodware "Wiggly Stems" and Distress Inks.  I originally had the Crazy Bird stamp also with the faux bleach effect but it just look weird - sort of had that "You're not really going to make me wear that!" look my son gave me as a toddler when I bought him a hat with teddy ears on! I soon changed it to a normally stamped  image instead.  The bird was coloured with Promarkers, which I then went over with the blender pen to give the appearance of watercolour and to try and tone to match the Distress Ink.

and using faux bleach effect on the Bird Crazy bird, not one of my better ideas - maybe a finer detail powder would be better.

The Woodware "Tall Flowers" stamp using same technique with Distress Inks

This is one of the Brusho backgrounds I came up with.  I had the stamp in mind when I was making this one so was trying to aim to get some of the colours in the areas I wanted to colour the flowers.  It's an A5 piece of cardstock which was cut down for stamping once it was dry.  Compared with the Distress Inks, the Brusho colours seemed much more vibrant and intense.

Monday, 5 March 2018


"Sunshine? You're having a laugh aren't you!" were the words of my darling husband as he saw the card I had made for this week's Freshly Made Sketches ChallengeTeenage son's comment "Oh, the irony of it!" I suppose sums it up!  It's supposed to be Spring but we have been in the midst of the worst weather we've had in Scotland for years! They have been calling it the  "Beast from the East" - a weather front consisting of lots of snow and strong winds.

My sister was snowed in for three days as she lives in a small village that the snow ploughs never quite seem to get to, the snow drifting up to chest height.  We've not been quite so bad, the only drift we have is where the snow has blown up about 2ft against the shed door.  Our wee Jack Russell has been loving it - hates to get wet but loves the snow!  I opened the patio doors and the snow fell in so I started making snow balls and, to the delight of Jack, threw them into the garden for him to "catch".  Our next door neighbour's teenage daughter and two of her friends have built an igloo in their back garden - it took a couple of days but the three of them managed to get in it.  It was really nice to see it finished off with fairy lights!

I'm pleased to say that the thaw now seems to be setting in and we can get out and about again - we even got mail today, hooray!!!

I had recently bought a Tim Holtz Mixed Media set from Amazon Warehouse that I had been wanted, it that said it had damaged packaging - there was a couple of quid off it and free delivery so I thought why not.  It turned out one of the dies had a slight kink in it but this didn't affect it.  The die I was looking at was a mosaic effect & I was wanting to use it but not sure how but on a look through my stash I found a Sizzix set "Rainy Days and Sunshine" which had, funnily enough, sun dies and a pair of sunglasses.  The light bulb went off when it occured to me that the mosaic could be the bottom of a swimming pool!

This is the sketch:

and this is my interpretation.  The pineapple top I am trying to grow is pretending to be a palm tree:

The backgrounds are three shades of blue Distress Ink - Broken China, Salty Ocean & Faded Jeans and three shades of yellow/orange - Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey & Mustard Seed.  The background was coloured then once the mosaic die cut place on top, more colour added to blend in the top layer.  The area under the die cut and the central area of the die cut were stamped with Perfect Medium and embossing powder added to try & give the "pool" a wet look.

It's not very obvious but I used a die cut of the mosaic design to emboss some texture onto the orange/yellow cardstock.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Be You!

Nice to see the days getting longer & soon the clocks will be springing forward but today it is a bit on the chilly side.  It has been trying to snow and apparently it is going to be rather a cold week, it looks as though my heated throw will be staying out storage for a bit longer!

I was having a look for something among my crafty bits and bobs during the week and came across a sheet of Bird Crazy stamps I had coloured in a long while ago.  A couple of days later one of hubby's nephews had posted this Gif on his Facebook page

 so I just had to do something with the stamps which may be appropriate

I hadn't used these stamps for ages and when I saw the latest Freshly Made Sketches Challenge sketch
I originally thought that I would use one of the other stamps I had found as there were some ready coloured and cut out.  I came up with this in combination with a Tim Holt's Mixed Media #3 die but wasn't very happy with it so it was back to the drawing board (or rather the craft stash).

After a lot of staring at things I decided I hadn't really done many male oriented cards lately so set myself the goal at finding something to fit.  I had a checkered plate embossing plate (Crafters Companion "Gun Metal") and used that as my starting point and then the industrial theme began to take shape so the Tim Holtz "Gearhead" cog wheel dies came out. 

Originally it was just going to be an arrangement of the cog wheels but when it came to looking out a sentiment for it I found the Dyan Reavely "Be you, the world will adjust" stamp and remembered I also had a Tim Holtz world globe die.  My thinking behind this card was to set the globe slightly at an angle to the cogs as if it was part of a mechanism.  Oh well, it was just a thought, but this is what the reality of that looks like:

Monday, 5 February 2018

Life In The Fast Lane

Life in the fast lane is going at a snails pace!  My teenage son has very kindly just treated me to a new to me laptop!   I only got it today so have been trying to get used to it - slowly!  The new keyboard is smaller than the last one as this has a separate number pad so I am a bit hit and miss with the typing!!!

Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

Monday, 29 January 2018

Good Grief Part 2 - Just for You

After I had made the two lots of heart cards I was concerned that perhaps they weren't quite following the sketch from the Freshly Made Sketches Challenge,
so, I decided to have another try.  The hearts went back into the folder and out came the flower dies, banner dies & an embossing folder.


I originally used the plain green card to make the outer and inner parts of the flower but felt, that colourwise, it looked a little flat against the background  I used left over embossed card for the base part of the flower and the textured patterened card I had used as a mat as the upper part, it has a slight sparkle to it but that doesn't seem to be picked up by the camera.

Good Grief ! Part 1 - Love Hearts

Good grief - two weeks in a row and two more posts!!!

Bit like a bus you wait for ages for one and then they all appear at once I have actually managed to put together a couple of more posts!

Not been sleeping too well so these are some insomniac specials.  I was having a look at this weeks challenge at Freshly Made Sketches and hauled out one of my die folders and see what there was that I could use.  Valentine's Day is only a couple of weeks away so I had a look for something appropriate that would fit with this week's sketch

Once I'd found the dies I wanted to use I couldn't make up my mind how to put it together so instead on one version I came up with two:

Monday, 22 January 2018

It's been how long???

Wow, I didn't realise it had been over 5 months since I last posted on my blog!

There's been a lot going on, some good but unfortunately a lot that's not been quite so great and I've just not had the enthusiasm I perhaps should have had.

Whilst I have still been following the Freshly Made Sketches Challenges and have even made a few things I haven't posted anything, mainly due to the time it takes me to remember to take the photos, the link has closed!  This weekend the planets have, eventually, aligned and I made not one but two cards and taken photos in plenty of time (with a couple of hours or so to spare) to actually enter something - hooray!!!

I actually had a wee laugh when I saw this week's sketch as, as a wee pick me up, I had just treated myself to the Tonic Studios Design Collection Magazine & Kit 4 which had a set of 10 "Hello Beautiful" Layering Hearts dies, 8 stamps, an A6 embossing folder and some papers.  Yippee, off to a good start, I had something in the design I could work with!

I have a few Tonic dies, especially after being alerted to some great bargains on the CraftyDevils website last year.  This "Just for You" die being one of them . . .

and "Dance All Night" being another . . .