Wednesday 27 January 2021

Monochrome Melody ...... the Simply Sweet Poppy Challenge

Happy Wednesday ........

The middle of the week ..... hope yours is going well.

I'm just popping in to say there's still a couple of days left to play along with this month's Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook challenge
The theme is a nice easy one ......... Monochrome Melody.  We'd like to see cards made using just one colour, or different shades of one colour. 
(The hardest decision will be what colour to go for, and of course which Sweet Poppy stencil to use!)  

I decided to use one of my all time favourite stencils ..... the gorgeous Wildflowers, and I went for shades of blue.

I used one Distress Ink pad (Chipped Sapphire) to create the different shades.  

I used a soft brush to apply the first layer of ink, gently building up the colour.  For the second layer I used a sponge and applied a little bit more pressure when adding the ink, but again built up the depth of colour gradually until I got a slightly darker shade.  
And then finally, for the top layer, I used the pointed end of a smoothie sponge (one of those little teardrop shaped latex sponges) to really get the colour in there.

I added a few splatters onto the background using the same Distress Ink mixed with water .....

  And finished with a sentiment, stamped in shades of blue 

The challenge closes on January 29th (winner will be announced on Jan 30th) so there's time to play along if you're quick. 
There's a fabulous £40 voucher (oooh! wouldn't that be nice) to spend on the Sweet Poppy website for the challenge winner.  
So ..... just choose your stencil, choose your colour and follow the challenge rules.  You have to be in it to win it!

Happy stenciling!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
I'm having some me time today, in the craft room catching up with a few online workshops.

Cheerio until next time ........


Products used:
Stencils:  Wildflowers (Sweet Poppy)
Inks:  Distress Ink - Chipped Sapphire; Versafine Clair - Blue Belle
Stamps: Labeled Messages (Mama Elephant); Fun Birthday Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)

Sunday 24 January 2021

Oh .... go on then, just a quick one ......

Happy Sunday .......

I hope you're enjoying your weekend.  
It was a bit of a late one for us last night, we had a video chat at midnight to start of Chris's birthday.  Hubby and I had arranged dinner to be delivered to him and his girlfriend earlier in the evening, and then Myra was surprising him with the video chat and a birthday cake at midnight!  
Hopefully this time next week our little island will be preparing for our lockdown restrictions to be lifted and then we can celebrate the kids birthdays all over again ...... hope I haven't jinxed things by saying that!

Anyway ........ I'm actually sneaking in at the last minute with another entry for this month's CAS Christmas Challenge ...... I know!  Another Christmas card ...... I'm on a roll!

This is a really quick and easy one ........

I was tidying a few bits away in the craft room and I found this old Penny Black stamp hiding under a pile of papers ....... he fits the challenge theme perfectly!

It's a wood mounted stampso no MISTI (eeek!) but I thought I'd give it a go.  
Silhouette stamps, Lavinia fairies to be exact, were the reason I bought my MISTI.  I never had much luck with stamping silhouettes, there was always a tiny bit that didn't quite stamp fully, no matter how hard I tried.  I would go in with a pen or ink to try and fill it in but, I was never happy with the results ..... until the MISTI came along.  
However ....... it doesn't work with wooden stamps, and I can't bring myself to take the rubber off the wooden blocks. One day maybe.

I inked up the reindeer using a nice juicy ink pad and went for it.  Applied a little bit of pressure, let the stamp sit on my card for a few seconds and then ...... voila!  Not too bad .....

A festive sentiment stamped underneath .......

A touch of glitter for added sparkle .......

And I finished with a few dots of white Enamel Accents to create a snowy background.

Two Christmas cards in January ...... not bad going for me.  I wonder what next month's theme will be!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Cheerio until next time ........

Products used:
Stamps:  Leaping Deer (Penny Black); Joyful Season (Simon Says Stamp) - sentiment
Inks:  Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata Pigment Ink - Golden Glitz
Other: Fine gold glitter; Quickie Glue Pen; Cranberry Stickles Glitter Glue, White Enamel Accents (Ranger)

Friday 22 January 2021

I've started on my Christmas cards! ........

Happy Friday ........

I hope you've had a nice week.  We've got another weekend of birthday celebrations coming up, another virtual party for Chris's birthday this time.  He's 31 on Sunday ......... now that makes me feel old!

I've been in the craft room again, playing along with another blog challenge.  
Are you ready for this ...... look what I've been making

Christmas cards!!! ....... in January!!! 
It's only because I wanted to play along with this months CAS Christmas Card Challenge.

The theme is ....... Silhouette.
I came across these die cut trees in my bits box and thought they would be perfect for the challenge ..... silhouettes don't always have to be black ..... right!?  Although, looking at the card now, I hope it's CAS enough.

I simply inked a piece of white cardstock using different shades of blue Distress Inks, building up the depth of colour gradually

I attached the die cut trees over the top, using foam pads to add a bit of dimension and added a sentiment on the bottom

To give it all a snowy look I sprinkled on a little bit of Chunky White Embossing powder and heated gently from underneath until the powder started to melt.

That's one for this years festive box ..... lets see if I can keep it up!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your Friday, and have a lovely weekend.
We've had blue sky and sunshine today, it's still cold though.  If it stays like this over the weekend we might just get out for a nice long walk somewhere .... blow those cobwebs aways!

Yesterday it was announced that some of our lockdown restrictions were being lifted and we were starting to come out of our circuit breaker ..... yeah!
As of one minute past midnight tonight we are able to meet with other households again but, it must be outside, socially distanced and with face coverings ........ no large gatherings.  
Some businesses are also allowed back to work which is good news, and we're hoping that all restrictions, except for the borders, can be lifted once again around February 1st ...... assuming that is, that we have no new cases appear in the meantime ....... looking forward to that!

Stay safe where you are.

Cheerio until next time .......

Products used:
Stamps: Christmas sentiment from Inkylicious
Inks: Distress Inks - Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire;  Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Other: Alpine Trees Die (Memory Box); Chunky White Embossing Enamel (Stampendous) 

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Twofer Card Challenge ........

Happy Tuesday .......

How is everyone?  Safe and well I hope.
It's done nothing but rain here for the last few days, not that that makes any difference.   We still can't go anywhere because of lockdown, although we do seem to be getting things under control again here on the island.  There's been no new cases today, and the ones we have had for the past few days have all been people already self-isolating so no community spread, which is great news.

In between all Lauren's birthday celebrations, I did manage to spend a little time in the craft room over the weekend.  I'm trying to play along with a few more blog challenges this year, one to kick start my mojo, two to replenish my card supplies, and hopefully get ahead with the ...... dare I say it ......... Christmas cards!  Let's see how it goes shall we!

It's the Twofer Card Challenge today ....... Darnell put out a little reminder over the weekend to say there's just a week left to play along.

As you can see, it's challenge #34 and the theme is ........ Flowers (a nice easy one)
So ....... that's two different card designs, for two different occasions, made using the same floral stamp, stencil and/or dies.

Here goes .......... the hardest part was choosing the stamp!!

So ..... a fun birthday card, and a simple, elegant sympathy card.

The stamps I've used are from Penny Black.
For the birthday card I stamped the pretty floral spray all over a piece of white cardstock, cut to fit the front of a 7x5 inch card base.

I used ZIG markers and a paintbrush to watercolour all the images. 

I then stamped my sentiment, repeating it across a strip of card, and attached it using foam pads

To finish off I added a few random dots of Nuvo Jewel Drops here and there.

For the Sympathy card I kept things very CAS .......

Used the same stamp, this time simply stamped with gold ink, no colour added.

The sentiment I stamped in black, and a few drops of crystal glaze to finish. 

Well that's two for the stock box.  
Thanks for popping by ...... enjoy the rest of your day.
It's my turn to cook this evening ..... we're having chicken madras I think.
It should be salad after last weekends food and wine ....... Saturday we had take away from Wine Down (our favourite) ...... soufflé followed by fillet steaks, and the little man had lobster!!  
And then we had Sushi Sunday ....... and ate the lot!!

Diet ...... during lockdown ..... no way!

Cheerio until next time ........

Products used:
Stamps: Flower Medley, Heartfelt (Penny Black - T for Transparent stamp sets); Birthday Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata Pigment Ink - Golden Glitz
Others: ZIG Clean Color Brush Markers; Nuvo Crystal Glaze - Clear, Nuvo Jewel Drops - Limoncello (Tonic)

Friday 15 January 2021

More splatters for the CAS Mix Up Challenge ........

Happy Friday ........

I hope you're week's been a good one.  

We've reached the half way mark on the CAS Mix Up Challenge so here's a little reminder of this month's theme.
It's a Mixed Media challenge for January.  Hilary is our host and the theme is ...... Splatters
Remember to include some rubber stamping on your project, and at least one other Mixed Media element (you'll find a helpful list on the challenge blog) and of course follow the theme.

I do love to splatter on my projects, using inks, or paints, and I usually use an old paint brush. But, not everyone is comfortable splattering ink all over their beautiful finished cards ..... it can be a bit hit and miss as to where the splatters end up!  My advice is just go for it ....... the more you do it the more confident you get.  It's also a great way to cover up mistakes!!!

Something else I like to do is use Distress Stains to create my splatters ....... you know the ones, the little bottles with the foam tops.  
I simply turn the bottle upside down and 'splat' (technical term there) the ink down onto my card.  

I stamped the flowers using a black ink, across the bottom of a piece of card, and then used the stains over the top for a really quick and easy way to add the colour to the flower heads ......

Depending on how hard you splat the foam down onto the card will determine the size of the ink splatter ...... the harder you splat the larger the spread.

I watercoloured the stems and leaves using a little of the Distress Stain with a waterbrush to control where the colour went this time

I added a few co-ordinating gemstones for a little sparkle, and finished with a sentiment strip across the bottom

The challenge is open until January 24th so there's still plenty of time to get splattering and play along.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day and have a lovely weekend.
We've got lockdown birthday celebrations this weekend.  
It's Lauren's birthday on Sunday, so we've ordered a special take away from our favourite restaurant for tomorrow night (they don't deliver on Sundays), and we're having a family and friends video call ...... a socially distanced, lockdown birthday party ..... should be fun! 

Cheerio until next time ....... stay safe!

Products used:
Stamps: Ranunculus Field (Stampendous); Happy Birthday sentiment from my stash
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata - Golden Glitz; Distress Stains - Picked Rapsberry, Squeezed Lemondade, Dusty Concord, Mowed Lawn
Others: Small coloured gemstones

Thursday 14 January 2021

We're back!! .........

Happy Thursday ........

The weekend is in sight ......... whoo hoo!!  Not that weekends are any different than weekdays really when you're in lockdown!! 

For all you blog challenge fans out there, and if you love Clean and Simple (CAS) you'll be pleased to know that the Perfectly CAS (using one third or less) Challenge is back!
We've had a nice long break, and now we're raring to go.  
You'll see that the challenge blog has had a bit of a make over ...... ooohh! and we have some brand new designers joining the Design Team ....... a big welcome to Bozena, Charlotte (Lady Joyful), Darlene, and Joy  it's nice to have you on board.

So, we're starting the year with a nice easy theme for you ......... Stencils

If you're not familiar with the Perfectly CAS Challenge, it's all about using just one third (or less) of your card space ........ if you struggle creating CAS designs this makes it really easy!
Remember the rule of three .......... imagine your card in 3 sections across, and 3 sections top to bottom 

Now if you keep you design to just one of those three rows (top three, middle three or bottom three, or ..... left top to bottom, middle top to bottom or right top to bottom or, even either of the diagonals I suppose) you'll have used a third of your card leaving lots of lovely white space ..... does that make sense?  If not, check out the rules on the Perfectly CAS Blog 

Something like this maybe .......

I've used a stencil for the speech bubble with a couple of shades of Distress ink .......

Stamped my greeting inside .......

And then added in this cute little guy at the bottom ......

Stamped in Versafine Clair, and coloured using Distress inks and a waterbrush ....... really quick and easy.
He's from one of the Anita Jeram stamp sets from the Colorado Craft Company.  I managed to get my hands on a few sets before Christmas and this is the first time I've used one of them so, I'm linking this card up to January's NBUS Challenge

Don't forget keep your challenge entries CAS and follow the theme.  Can't wait to see you in the gallery.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time ........

Products used:
Stamps: Birthday Wishing (Anita Jeram - Colarado Craft Company); Birthday sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Stencils: Say What! (Funky Fossil)
Inks: Distress Inks - Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade

Monday 11 January 2021

Monochrome cards for the Simply Sweet Poppy Stencil Challenge .......

Happy Monday!

How you all doing? 
Not exactly the start to 2021 that we were all hoping for but ........ here we go again!

Our luck here on the island had to run out at some point I suppose.  Since my last blog post we've had a number of new cases of coronavirus on island so, we're back in lockdown.  
We're currently on Day 5 of a 21 day circuit breaker as they're calling it ........ we're back to social distancing, working from home and the schools are closed.  All non-essential shops and businesses are closed, restrictions on gatherings, and masks need to be worn if we do have to go out, all in the hope that we can stop the spread of this thing.  We've done it before so, fingers crossed we can do it again.

Things are slowly getting back to normal in the craft room ...... very slowwwwwly!  I think my mojo has been packed away with the Christmas decorations!

Blog challenges are back up and running, and I've booked on a few online workshops which should keep me busy over the next few weeks.

One of January's challenges is the Simply Sweet Poppy Stencil Challenge on the Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils FB page.  
The rules are simple ...... create a card following the theme using Sweet Poppy Stencils (of course)
Your stencil must be the focal point of your card, although you can use some stamping on there if you want to, however it must be as an accent only ....... a sentiment maybe or a small image.
Upload your card onto the Simply Sweet Poppy FB page making sure to mention the challenge in your post, and who knows you could be the winner of the £40 voucher to spend on the Sweet Poppy website!

The theme for January is .......... Monochrome Melody
We would like you to use just one colour for your designs, although you can include different shades of the colour.
Here's a couple of quick and easy ideas for you using various shades of Distress Inks .........

How about shades of purple ........

I blended two shades of purple Distress Ink onto a piece of white cardstock ...... Milled Lavender and one of my favourites, Dusty Concord
I started around the edges blending inwards towards the centre, keeping the colour pale in the middle.

To add a bit more interest to the background, I splattered some drops of clean water over the top, let them sit for a few seconds so that they reacted with the ink, and then mopped up the excess leaving behind a nice speckled look to the background.

I then used the pretty Leafy Flowers stencil over the top and the Dusty Concord ink, applied with a sponge through the stencil, building up the depth of colour gradually.

To finish the card I added a simple sentiment, stamped in a purple ink .....

and used the Dusty Concord Distress ink again, this time mixed with a little water, to add some more splatters onto the background.

For my second card, I went for a more vintage look using shades of brown on cream cardstock

Same as before, I blended various shades of brown Distress inks around the edges of my cardstock.  I started with the lightest shade first virtually all over, then gradually going darker around the edges in towards the centre ...... 

I splattered with water again  ....... I never get tired of using this technique.

Next I used the Postcard stencil and another, darker shade of Distress ink, building up the depth of colour gradually using a sponge .....

I added the pretty magnolia into the centre using my medium shade of brown ink, adding more in places to give the look of shading.

And I finished off  with a simple sentiment .....

You have until January 29th to get your entries in so plenty of time to play along.
Hope to see you in the gallery!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Stay at home and stay safe.

Cheerio until next time .......

Products used:
Purple card
Stencils: Leafy Flowers (Sweet Poppy)
Stamps: Special Sentiments (Penny Black)
Inks: Distress inks - Dusty Concord, Milled Lavender; Versafine Clair - Monarch (for the sentiment)

Vintage card
Stencils: Magnolia stencil, Postcard (Sweet Poppy)
Stamps: A6 Postmark stamp set (Sweet Poppy)
Inks: Distress Inks - Tye Dye, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, Walnut stain; Versafine - Vintage Sepia (for the sentiment)