Sunday, 30 December 2012

Favourite Five of 2012

I've seen a couple of people posting this and thought it looked like fun so I'd have a go too... Debbie at A Scrapjourney is asking people to blog their favourite five cards of the ones they've made during 2012. A nice way to take a look back at the year's creations, I think... :)

So here, in no particular order, is my top five... and boy, oh boy, it was a tough decision!
2012 has been an awesome year for me craft-wise, because, amongst other things, I was thrilled to bits to be invited to join the Sweet Pea Stamps Design Team. This card was one of the first few cards I made as part of the Design Team and I used a newly-released Ching-Chou Kuik digi stamp that I just fell in love with as soon as I saw it and HAD to have it. I posted about this card and how I made it here.
This card was the second one I made using a Rick St Dennis digi stamp. I only recently came across his artwork, thanks to seeing one of my DT pals using them, and I had to get some for myself. Rick set up his own challenge blog this year and so I entered this card into the very first challenge... and was thrilled to not only be picked as one of the winning entries by the DT but also to be selected as the very first "Rick's Pick", whereby Rick himself selected his favourite entries, gave a wonderful in-depth constructive critique of them, and chose one as his winning choice. My blog post featuring this card is here.
I was also honoured to be invited this year to join the Design Team at Sweet Pea Stampers - a challenge blog focusing on Sweet Pea Stamps products. This card was one of my DT cards for Sweet Pea Stampers and it's one I'm really pleased with. I tried a new technique colouring the hair on this image and kept the colours pale and pastel and went for a shabby chic look with the card and somehow it all just came together perfectly, with the lace and the doily and the punched border etc. I blogged about this card here.
This was a card I made for a couple of blog challenges where the themes involved white... and I had the idea to do a monochrome, white on white card. I love how this turned out. It's such a striking and effective technique. I coloured the image (another Ching-Chou Kuik stamp from Sweet Pea Stamps) in shades of grey and for the card I used texture rather than colour to build detail and interest. My original blog post about this card is here.

I made this card using a gorgeous Sweet Pea Stamps image by Renee Beirtempfel. I was really pleased with the colouring I did on this card, and the glittery accents I added using Stickles (you can see the image, and the sparkly touches, in more detail in my original blog post here). I used papers and embellies in toning shades of blue and the whole thing just works really well together.

So that's my top five. And oh look, four out of the five feature Sweet Pea Stamps images! :lol:

Friday, 28 December 2012

Sweet Pea Sale

Until the end of December you can get a whopping 50% off rubber stamps at Sweet Pea Stamps! :)

Don't miss this chance to pick up some stunning Sweet Pea Stamps images at a fabulous price!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My first attempt... a Suzi Blu-stylee girl. :)
My mum pretty much always asks me what she can get me for Christmas/birthday so this year I emailed her a short list of a few mixed media/art journalling books I'd been lusting after on Amazon and she bought me two of them... one of them being Mixed Media Girls with Suzi Blu.
So as we're having a fairly lazy day today, huddled in the lounge/study (the only two rooms with gas fires) while the plumber works to fix our central heating boiler, I thought I'd get out pen and paper and have a go.
I quite like Suzi's technique for drawing and shading faces and luckily faces are the one thing that I am quite good at drawing. I used to draw a LOT when I was a child/teenager and faces were what I drew most... in fact, whilst at school I drew portraits of just about everybody in my class! I'd get them to sit and pose for me! :lol:
So I do feel like I have a bit of a head start here because I'm not starting completely from scratch, as it were. Nevertheless, I am rather pleased with my first attempt.
Next step will be to clear enough space in my craft room (once the heating is working again cos it gets chillllllly in there! :lol:) and start playing with some mixed media backgrounds to go with my faces. :)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Welcome to the last WOYWW of 2012! :) I hope you all had a lovely Christmas?
Ours has been busy - with two little ones, one of whose birthday is Christmas Eve, it was bound to be! :lol: They had a quite silly amount of presents between the two of them and we had a fun day opening them all up, playing with them, eating Christmas dinner, etc etc.
Consequently, I've not been doing much in the way of crafting lately! Not only because of the pre-Christmas chaos but also because the craft room is in disarray once again... because DH decided to buy this behemoth:
It's a rather fabulous colour laser printer, which is going to be useful, but he decided it had to go in my office/craft room, rather than his study, and the only place it could reasonably go was on top of the filing cabinet. Which I *was* using for storing things like my drawers of embellies and my files of scrap paper. So I've had to move all those and they are currently cluttering up the spare desk, waiting for me to find the time to have a reorganise and find them a new home.
So the desk is back to being chaotic:
I did manage to clear a teensy bit of space in the work area, enough to make this card for the Sweet Pea Stamps blog:
I used a beautiful Meredith Dillman digi stamp called Steampunk Fairy. I love Meredith's detailed images and I love steampunk stuff too so this was perfect for me! :) I started colouring her in shades of gold and green, using my Promarkers, but then I added some red too and found that my image had turned out quite festive in colour scheme, appropriately enough! :) I also dug out my Flexmarkers to add a bit of a pale pink colourwash to the background.
I kept with the steampunk theme and used a steampuk stencil for the card background and spritzed over it with golden Smooch Spray and then rubbed Inka Gold over it.
I attached the image with foam tape and added some leafy flourishes and a filigree butterfly, cut from textured gold card, and finished things off with some wooden doilies coloured with Inka Gold and some Stickles in red and green.
A rather festive-looking, not-exactly-Christmas card! :)
That's it from me. Hope you're having a nice - and relaxing, if at all possible! - boxing day and not suffering too much from the after-effects of yesterday's festivities.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Winged Things

I had a quick play today and made a cute little ATC using one of my Stampotique stamps:
I made the background using Distress Stains and stamped the Smile image onto the background, then stamped him again onto white card and coloured him with Distress Markers before attaching him to the background, over the stamped image.
I stamped him twice again onto white card and coloured in the hearts and cut them out, attaching one over the coloured image using a foam pad. I attached the second heart, again using a foam pad, to the background and added some wings which I drew onto white card (coloured with Distress Stains) and cut out.
To finish, I hand-wrote the wording, cut them out and attached to the background and doodled a border with black fineliner and white gel pen.
I'm entering this ATC into the Wings challenge at the Stampotique Designer's Blog. :)

Purple Woods

I have another new project up at the Sweet Pea Stamps blog today.
This week I chose to work with another of Ching-Chou Kuik's gorgeous digi stamps, this one is called Purple Woods:
I love colouring hair in unusual colours and the wistful, melancholy expression on this beautiful lady's face put me in mind of wistful colours... purples and blues and greens, like a muted forest scene.
I coloured her with my Promarkers and ripped instead of cut the image out, for a distressed look. I also ripped the edges of my papers (yet more magazine freebies) and finished the card off with a die-cut flourish (cut with my Cameo) and some flowers that I cut from patterned paper using a Nellie Snellen punch and embossing set.
You can buy this beautiful stamp in red rubber or digi format at the Sweet Pea Stamps store - and don't forget until Friday there is 30% off red rubber Ching-Chou Kuik stamps and special offers on digi stamps. :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Merry Christmas Lynette! :)

This time each year the Sweet Pea Stamps Design Team like to create a special blog hop for Lynette, owner of Sweet Pea Stamps, as our little Christmas gift to thank her for the gorgeous stamps she offers and for her generosity in letting us loose to play with them! :)
For my card for this special blog hop, I have used a gorgeous digi stamp called Cold by a new artist to Sweet Pea Stamps - the very talented Marlon Teunissen.
I love this pretty, wintery image and I chose to colour her in soft pastels.
I used wintery papers in similar colours and added some die-cut snowflakes and snowflake flourishes, finishing things off with a couple of pretty pink blossoms and a computer-printed sentiment.
But what would a blog hop be without some candy? To celebrate our Christmas thank you hop, we are offering you the chance to win these gorgeous rubber stamps:
All you need to do is follow the hop and leave comments along the way - each comment you leave gets you another chance in the prize draw.
You should have come here from Alex's blog and your next stop along the hop is Connie. If you missed the start or get lost along the way, just pop along to the Sweet Pea Stamps blog for the full list of participating blogs.
And Merry Christmas! :)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas Blog Hop!

Welcome one and all to the One Stitch at a Time Christmas Blog Hop! :)
Yes, to celebrate the festive season, instead of our usual weekly challenge, OSAAT is bringing you a great big 3-week Design Team blog hop - each member of the Design Team has posted a Stitchy Bear creation on their blogs and you have 3 whole weeks to follow the hop and visit each of the Design Team blogs, and to create your own project and link it on the Blog Hop post at the OSAAT blog.
You should have come here from Josephine's blog but if not and you want to start from the beginning, you can find the full list at the OSAAT blog here.
The theme of the challenge is Use a Digi and I was given some gorgeous Christmassy digi papers by Stitchy Stamps to use for my card - I also used a Sylvie's Stamps digi image called Santa Lady 2.
I chose to make an easel card and decorated it with two of the pretty Christmas-themed papers. I coloured in the digi image with Promarkers and cut her out before mounting her onto the card with foam tape, framing her against a decorative oval accented with gemstones. A layered snowflake finished things off nicely. :)
There are goodies galore to be won in the blog hop - and here's how you can win:
1. Follow the blog hop and leave a comment on every blog. Each blog will also have a letter to collect - when you have collected all the letters, email with the answer. Everyone who takes part will get themselves a fabulous Stitchy Bear Stamps freebie digi stamp and one lucky winner will be chosen at random to win ALL the Stitchy Bear stamps/papers used by the Design Team on their blog hop projects.

2. Each member of the Design Team will also be giving away the Stitchy Bear stamp (or papers) that they used for their Blog Hop creation - one winner will be chosen at random from all those who comment.

3. If you enter the OSAAT challenge using a Stitchy Bear digi stamp, you will be entered into the draw to win the entire set of Stitchy Bear images used by the Design Team in the Blog Hop.

4. If you enter the challenge without using a Stitchy Bear image, you will be entered into the draw to win one of the digi images used in the Blog Hop.

Your next stop on the hop is Nataliya's blog. And don't forget to Please Pick uP the Pertinent letter from my blog to be in with a chance of winning the Primo Blog HoP Prize! ;)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Quick and Easy Christmas Card

A new challenge starts today at Sweet Pea Stampers and the theme is Quick and Easy Christmas Card. It does exactly what it says on the tin... we're looking for your gorgeous creations that were quick and easy to put together, not taking hours to make.
For my creation I used Connie Fong's Angel of Christmas Stars digi stamp:
I decided to colour her very simply in shades of blue and grey (I envisioned her as a kind of ice angel) with just the flowers in colour to add highlights.
I teamed the image with some freebie Scandi-style papers that I got from a craft magazine and finished things off with some flowers (I've had these in my stash for years and years - aren't they just a perfect match for the flowers in the image?) and some gemstones.
Et voila, quick and easy. :)
The challenge is open for a month and you don't have to use a Sweet Pea Stamps image to enter but  doing so will give you an extra chance to win and we'd love to see your Sweet Pea Stamps creations.
You can buy this image in digi or red rubber format from the Sweet Pea Stamps store.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Hello Birdie

It's Digi Wednesday again over at the Sweet Pea Stamps blog and the image the Design Team got to play with this week is Valarie Wade's adorable Hello Birdie:
I decided this cute little character would look lovely in pastel colours so I coloured her with my Promarkers and teamed her with some pretty girly HOTP papers that came free with a craft magazine:
I used a Martha Stewart border punch on white cardstock and layered that with the pretty papers and finished things off with some flowers and some little birds cut with my Cameo. :)
You can buy this image in red rubber or digi format from the Sweet Pea Stamps store - and don't forget there's a 50% off sale on until the end of Thursday! :)


Short and sweet post from me this week cos I honestly have nothing to share on my desk.
There are two main reasons.
1. I've had to sort some urgent paperwork this week and it involved sorting through huge amounts of paperwork. As a result, this is what the chair at my craft desk currently looks like:
2. The main reason however is..... this:
I have pretty much overnight become completely and utterly addicted to Criminal Minds. I'd never watched it before and it's on Season EIGHT now so there are soooooo many new episodes for me to watch and I ordered the Seasons 1-7 DVD boxset and it arrived last Friday and I'm pretty much spending every evening on the sofa mainlining one episode after another. I'm in full on geeky fandom heaven and as a result am not doing much crafting.
I will get back to it though, real soon. Honest. Just as soon as I get over the initial squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee of "soooo many new episodes, must watch them all NOW!" :)
Have a good Wednesday. I'll be right here in front of the TV with Messrs Reid, Hotch, Gideon et al. :D

50% Sale!

That's right, until Thursday of this week, you can get a massive 50% quality red rubber stamps at Sweet Pea Stamps!
Quick! Get shopping! :)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Pop Goes Christmas!

Anyone else remember those "Pop Goes..." albums? Pop Goes Mozart? Pop Goes Beethoven? No? Just me showing my age then... ;)
(P.S. My dad had those albums... I'm not *that* old! :lol:)
Anyhoo, Pop Dots & Layers is the theme of the current challenge at Dilly Beans Designers & Friday Challenge blog and this is the card I made for the challenge:
I used this sweet Amalia's Christmas Lights image and had a bit of a play with some different techniques... I paper-pieced her dress (by the simple expedient of taping a piece of patterned paper to a piece of A4 copy paper and printing the digi image a second time onto that paper), coloured the rest of her with Promarkers, and for the christmas lights I printed the image a third time, onto plain white card, coloured the lights with Promarkers, added highlights with a white gel pen and then covered them in Glossy Accents before cutting them out and attaching to the main image using foam pads:
I decorated the card base with christmas themed papers and a die-cut snowflake frame.
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