Saturday, 18 August 2018

Getting scripty

It's our next challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. The month is just flying by!

For my theme challenge I chose "Script".

My card actually ended up being very simple.

I used my distress oxides - I can't believe that they've been around such a short time, they're such an integral part of my crafting now - and I know I'm not the only one!

To start, I stamped my card with an old favourite holly stamp, and a script stamp. I used cracked pistachio, wild honey, fired brick and iced spruce.

To activate the inks, I spritzed with water, and left to dry naturally.

I like the spread of colours, although wanted a bit less of the white left.

I cut the card down for a 5x7 card base, then put it into my stamp platform.

For the sentiment I used archival potting soil ink, but it didn't stand out enough so I went over again with stazon spiced chai - the stamp platform is great for trying something and getting a second shot!

I used the potting soil to stamp an IndigBlu script stamp randomly over the background, and a Clarity holly and ivy stamp around the edge.

The final step was to sponge vintage photo distress oxide round the edge, and I also sponged antique linen over the rest to take away the white and add to the vintage feel.

And then I mounted on the card blank!

So pretty straightforward, but also I think pretty!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the 52CCT blog - you have until Friday 24th to enter!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Black, white, colour

It's my second week hosting the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for August, and we have a colour challenge for you.

We're looking for cards in black, white and only one other colour - and I'm being strict and asking for no other neutrals as well!

I started by cutting card to size for a 6x6 card, then painted it with black gesso. I made two, for different versions.

I then added gesso using the edge of a scrap piece of cardboard, in vertical and horizontal lines.

I have a selection of circular "mark makers" - bottles and caps, the middle from sticky tapes, even a cotton reel that I don't know where I got! So I used those to apply paint, magenta on one piece and red on another.

Once dry I cut apertures into the card with dies - hexagons in the magenta and stars in the red.

I placed the card over the 6x6 card blank and gently drew round the apertures in pencil so I knew where I was aiming for.

I then stamped inside with archival black. For the magenta card, I used a Clarity sentiment, with a stars and swirls stamp from another of their sets.

I added more magenta paint around the edge of the card and the apertures.

The plan had been to run the black card through an embossing folder before attaching it. But I completely forgot to do this! I think it would have helped added more interest. I'm not sure if I can detach the card to do this without ruining it - I used a tape pen, but did put quite a lot on! Maybe I'll be brave.

For the red, the Merry Christmas sentiment didn't fit in the aperture, so I went with another set (not sure who from!) and used three different Christmas words. They're unmounted red rubber, and very small. I find the spray adhesive a pain to use, so put a strip from the tape pen onto the mount. It worked really well, I was pleased with my innovation, although may regret it next time I try to use that mount.

I had intended to add more stamping, but quite liked the simplicity of these words alone. So decided that I'd add more detail on the black card (and still didn't remember about the embossing folder!). I tried stamping with the red paint, but it was too thin a layer to show well on the black. After a moment's pondering, I remembered a new stencil I got, from Clarity, with a holly design. That worked brilliantly added to the corners.

I think I prefer this version. 

I'm not sure whether I'd emboss this one - maybe start with the other and see what I think!

To join in with this challenge, head over to the 52CCT page. You have until Friday 17th August to enter your card.

Have fun playing with this colour option!

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Bubble sketch challenge

It's my turn to host the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this month - well, it should have been my turn in September, but as I'm due to give birth at the start of September, I swapped!

For my sketch challenge, I chose this layout:

I realised after I'd drawn it, that I had a stencil very similar - Jo's Bubbles from Clarity. So I dug that out! 

I didn't want the whole thing as I was going for a 6x6 card (it's a 7x7 stencil), so I cut a mask from copy paper to cover some of the holes.

I attached the card underneath, taping it all in place.

For colour, I used distress oxides. The first colour combination was fired brick, cracked pistachio, and antique linen.

For the sentiment, I used a lovely Clarity stamp, I love the font of this one. I used my stamp platform, so I could use vintage photo and then black soot to darken it in areas.

I then repositioned the stencil and mask, and stamped with the small holly and ivy stamp that comes with the sentiment, using cracked pistachio, just inside the circles.

To finish off, I stamped mini stars from Lavinia Stamp, in copper pigment ink, and edged with a copper sharpie pen.

I had another go (making sure I have enough cards built up before new baby arrives!), this time with wilted violet, broken china and picked raspberry.

I used a different sentiment stamp, with black versa fine ink this time. The snowflakes are actually a corner stamp from Clarity, stamped in the broken china distress oxide.

I used silver for the stars and edging on this one.

Two more postage friendly cards for the stash!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 10th August to enter.

Have fun playing with this sketch!

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Out of the ordinary

It's time for our theme challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.

Myrna has chosen an unusual but inspired theme:

I love this idea, and so many ways to be "non traditional".

I went for an animal not usually associated with Christmas, as well as a non Christmassy colour scheme.

I started with a Clarity stencil, and brushed through mustard seed distress ink.

To this base, I added distress oxides. I applied the ink to an acrylic block, spritzed with water then dabbed onto the card. I dried between colours. I used spiced marmalade, picked raspberry, twisted citron and broken china.

I had a splodge of the orange, so spritzed the card directly to  disperse it - and lost all trace of the stencil underneath!

So I put the stencil back into position and went through with fossilised amber distress oxide.

I wanted more definition, so put the card through the embossing machine with the stencil to emboss the swirls. I also stamped through the stencil with a dotty texture stamp, in spiced marmalade, to add more detail to the swirls.

I cut the card down to size, and added broken china distress oxide round the edge to frame, with a sponge.

For the topper I die cut a flamingo from the same card. The boots and scarf came with it, the hat I borrowed from another set.

I coloured all the pieces with distress oxides and a water pen.

I used a pen for the eye.

I also die cut a sentiment, and coloured in the same way.

To construct, I used foam pads to raise the flamingo, and foam tape to attach the whole to a 6x6 card blank.

The flamingo doesn't stand out so much in the photos, it does in real life!

I think this is really fun - and I had fun making it. Partly because I was sharing the table with hubby doing lego and daughter playing, so it was a lovely family afternoon.

Hubby says this is a traditional Floridean Christmas card - which just goes to show! As we aren't in Florida, I hope this still counts as non traditional.

To join in with this fabulous challenge, head to the 52CCT. You have until Friday 27th July to enter.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Mixed media on a card

This month's colour challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is black and gold or silver.

I didn't immediately know what to do with this one, none of my ideas really appealed. So I ended up taking inspiration from my BAC birthday card (are you allowed to do that?!?) and making a mixed media style card.

I started by die cutting a fancy square from black card, as well as a reindeer (a tattered lace die I haven't used for ages). 

I also took some net - this started out pink, I painted it with black gesso.

I embossed the square using a tattered lace holly folder on one side and one of their spotty folders on the other.

This was the largest die in the set, so to cut a mount that was larger, I drew round the die on white card and cut with scissors.

I then sponged gold paint over it. This gave a more matt finish than a bought gold card or mirror card, which I prefer for this card. I die cut my favourite Merry Christmas sentiment from the centre to be frugal!

I glued the net and reindeer onto the black square base and trimmed the net. Once dry, I used the sponge from the gold paint to dry "brush" gold over to pick up the detail.

When everything was dry, I added the sentiment to the black, then onto the mount, and attached to a 5x5 card blank.

In real life, the sentiment doesn't stand out as much as in the photos. This was actually a really simple card to make, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out in the end. I'd like to make more in different colour schemes.

To join in with this challenge, go on over to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 20th June to enter.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Raiding the gel print stash!

It feels like ages since we've had a new 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge - the last one was two weeks. But a new month means a new challenge, and Myrna, our host for the month, has given us this sketch to play with:

I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to do with this one for a while! Having made quite tidy, inky cards for a few weeks, I wanted to do some thing messy and painty again.

I dug out some old gel press prints from my stash as a starting point, here's the first.

I cut them down to size (for a 6x6 card blank), then used solid Clarity stamps to add my circles and border (reinterpreted as a row of petal shapes!) I added white acrylic to a small gel press plate with a brayer to pick the paint up from.

I used the matching outline stamps, with versafine black ink, to edge the shapes. I didn't want it too neat, so tried not to line up exactly - I missed a few times and got it spot on!

I then used a black drawing pen to doodle on and around the shapes, for more interest.

I used gold embossing powder for the sentiment, with the Clarity word chain Merry Christmas.

It didn't show that well initially, especially on this background which has gold in anyway. But a bit of work with a white gel pen and...

... ta da! I love these pens, how did I manage without them?

I also gold embossed snowflakes over the petal border.

I edged with black ink to frame and finish, then mounted onto the 6x6 card blank.

The other card was meant to be the main, one, this was just using a more scrappy piece of card to see how it went, but I think I may prefer this one in the end! Funny how that happens.

To join in with our sketch challenge, pop over to 52CCT. You have until Friday 13th to enter.

Have fun playing!