Saturday, 27 May 2017

Noel, Noel....

Our May colour challenge is still ongoing at the Christmas Card Throwdown - yellow, kraft and gold.

I have some stamps that I really wanted to have a play with for this challenge, they're a Clarity Noel set.

Here they are stamped in black archival ink on kraft card.

I cut them out with a die from a nested set from The Works.

I tried gold embossing them on kraft initially, which looked great, but the detail was lost.

I also tried stamping these on yellow card, both a darker colour and a really zesty yellow.


I cut the gold lattice above with another die (not sure of the make) to layer onto kraft to make a background, but it wasn't working. Now I have the background, which I think will need more layers over it, maybe foliage built up, and the yellow letters, in my stash to play with.

So I took a different tack to make a yellow and gold background for the kraft letters. I used the darker yellow card, and stamped around it in versamark with the larger holly and ivy stamp from Clarity. I heat embossed in gold.

Not great to photograph, but I like the pattern. I mounted the letters in the middle, on foam tape, and created a kraft matt for behind. The whole thing went onto a 6x6 card base.

I had another go as well, making a very simple background. This was inspired by Deborah Frings DT card with yellow and gold snowflakes in the background. I used my favourite old holly stamp, with mustard seed distress ink and a gold pigment ink.

If you'd like to join in our colour challenge, pop over to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 2nd June to play. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Turning yellow

It's time for my second challenge as host on the Christmas Card Throwdown. This one is a colour challenge (which I love!) but a really unusual combination to play with. 

This took a bit of thinking about, but have had lots of ideas, hoping to get one or two more cards made this week.

For my first card I CASE'd one of my favourite cards from last year (see the original here).

I started with an inky background, made with a plastic folder. I used mustard seed and squeezed lemonade distress inks, with some yellow felt tip pens. The first version was a bit green - blue contaminant in the folder from a previous project! After a clean I had another go, with some wild honey added. Looked good, but quite orange, so I left that out for the final version, which is what I've used.

You can't quite see the detail and variety of tones in the photo. This is the trimmed down card.

I cut a mount from kraft card, and cut the sentiment (using a Tattered Lace die) from the centre - I never usually remember to do this!

For the gold, I stamped around the yellow card with my old favourite rubber holly stamp, in versamark ink. I then added moon gold mica powder. I sprayed it with cheap hairspray (without all the conditioners) to fix it.

This photo is angled very careful to show the shine of the mica all the way round!

I put the card together (on a 6x6 card blank) using a tape pen, so it's flat for posting. I used a zig glue pen for the sentiment.

The insert and envelope I decorated with the same holly stamp, and gold pigment ink.

This is another one of those cards that is hard to photograph! I've tried to get the angle to show the holly here. It is quite subtle in real life. You could heat emboss to get a more striking result.

To join in with the challenge, post your entries at the Christmas Card Throwdown by Friday 2nd June, at midnight BST.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A quick thank you

Hubby asked me this evening if I could make a thank you card for his form to sign (he's a teacher) - for tomorrow! But not to go to too much trouble...

So an exercise in quick and simple - which is refreshing sometimes.

I found this feather stamp a few days ago - it's a Stamps Away one I bought last year at a workshop with Ali Reeve, but hadn't used yet (and had forgotten about). This was good excuse to get it out; I simply stamped it across a 7x7 piece of stencil card. (As this needs to be signed by lots of people, I'll use an 8x8 card blank, so won't be cutting down the background for once.) I used iced spruce distress ink for a subtle colour.

I then got out this big ribbon writing Thank You stamp from Clarity. I stamped with versamark and heat embossed in silver. To make the words stand out more, I filled them in with a dark grey pencil (Faber Castell polychromo).

Then I simply edged the piece with a grey sharpie, and mounted on the card base.

Quick, simple, but pretty and clean, and quite elegant I think.

This stamp will look great in multiple colours, and shimmer - will have more of a play next time!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Grungy gelli layers

It's time for my second layers card, for the first of the two challenges I'm hosting on the Christmas Card Throwdown.

This one came from a completely indulgent play session with the gelli plates - my big 8x10 one, and the rectangle from my petites.

I got together a load of acrylic paints in Christmassy colours, Christmas stencils, my brayer and several pieces of stencil card (7x7 and 8.5x11), then went for it! I built up patterns with the big plate first, with and without stencils, and also using what was left on the plate. I pulled prints on parts of the card mostly, rather than the whole sheet. I then used the little plate to fill in details. To start with it all looked a bit disappointing (I didn't take photos, I was just playing!), but as I added more variety and built up the images, some really lovely combinations emerged.

I like some pieces more than others, of course. Some will be cards basically as they are, others will be cut up or die cut, or I may add to them with stamps and who knows what else?

I also got this piece, which was on scrap paper from cleaning the gelli plate.

This is the one I used for this card.

I like elements but wasn't sure about it overall, so perfect for cutting up to make layers!

I chose my background first, and cut the piece down to fit onto a 7x7 card blank. I then looked at what was left - the "Joy" stood out to be a topper, then the rest formed strips to lay across. There was some white on the topper when I cut it, so I coloured it with vintage photo distress ink - but that looked so dull - so I added gold gilding wax - but that looked odd with the gold layer - so I added blue gilding wax, and was happy!

Each piece was layered up onto black then gold - and yes, I did remember to gut the big piece!

I put it all together with tape pen - there are 12 layers in all, so I didn't want too much more dimension.

And the finished card again. It's not perfect - I'd highlight the "Joy" more if my white pen had been working and it hadn't been so late!

But the overall grungy, busy, mixed feel of the card I am so happy with!

To join in with the challenge, pop over to the Christmas Card Throwdown page. You have until midnight BST on Friday 19th May to enter. Enjoy playing!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Lots of layers

Sorry I've been a bit quiet for a while on the blog. I've been working on a big project - I'll share when I can!

But this month I'm hosting the Christmas Card Throwdown, so I'm back for now with a new challenge card - or two.

My first challenge as host is a sketch - any shape, multiple layers.

I've draw on an old technique for this one, to make two cards together.

I started with 5 pieces of Clarity stencil card, cut to fit A6 card blanks (9.7cm by 13.8cm).

I left two as they were, then cut the other three with different sizes of concentric dies. I used a set I got recently from The Works, but any framer shape will work.

One card is made with the outers, one with the inners.

I used a Tattered Lace holly embossing folder to emboss alternating layers, to give some interest.

The centres are small, so not a lot of scope for a big scene or picture (although by using different dies you could make this as big as you want!). I kept it simple. 

On the "inners" card, I stamped a "Merry Christmas" sentiment in versa mark, then heat embossed in platinum. I actually took two goes at this (so had to cut a second piece from a scrap of card). I was using words from a longer sentiment stamp and masking, but the masking tape made it hard to line up the two words, and I was way off the first time!

For the "outers" card, I drew round the inside of the smallest aperture on the back card piece, to show where the image needed to go. I stamped a Christmas tree from a Clarity Wee Christmas set in olive green stazon. I filled in the baubles with an orange pen, then added a dot of clear glaze on top of each (this is a new purchase for the big project, which I'm loving using). I then erased the pencil marks.

Then construction, using my thicker foam tape to give real contrast between the layers. It makes for very chunky cards - not ones for posting! - but I think it does look good.

To join in with the challenge, create your gorgeous layered Christmas Card, then link it up to the challenge here by Friday 19th May, midnight BST.