Thursday, 16 March 2017

8x8 Layered/Mixed Media Tag Card, Butterflies/Time, Female

If you saw my last post, you should (hopefully) recognise this tag.
If you did but you don't, then...  well...  I can either go crawl back into bed and have a good cry or decide that you've had a very long day.  
And if the latter's the case, maybe you should go crawl back into bed and take a nap!
Do you like the sound of that?





So my challenge for myself was to take this layered/CAS tag and to turn it into something not CAS at all.  Yet overall, there's still a 'clean' look to this design. 
Let me tell you what I've used...




Supplies Used:

Dies:
Mama Elephant 'Tags A Lot'
Lifestyle Crafts/Quickutz 'Clock'
Poppystamps 'Theo Butterfly'
Sizzix/Holtz 'Tiny Tattered Florals'
Papertrey Ink 'Wet Paint Cuts'
Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'

Embossing Folders:
Spellbinders SCF-002 'Fabric Weave'
Crafter's Companion/Textures 'Wood Grain' (8x8, 5x7)
Crafter's Companion/Textures 'Hessian'
Crafts Too 'Cherry Blossom'
Cuttlebug 'Butterflies 3x3 Tag Team Combo Set'

Holtz Distress Inks:
Frayed Burlap
Walnut Stain
Bundled Sage

Stencil:
Crafters Workshop 'Ferns'

Other:
Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle' - Pearl Diamond
Ranger/Holtz 'Distress Collage Medium' - Crazing
Pebeo Gilding Wax - Silver
Dew Drops - Clear
Crocheted Lace
Paper Tearing Rulers x 2
Raffia/Thick Paper String - White
Silver Twine
Tonic/Holtz Distress Tool
Paper Punch



 I may have beaten my personal best for how many different elements to incorporate into just one card - and trust me when I tell you that this was not a labour of love, but of sheer grit and dogged determination.  
(Now there's a phrase I'm going to have to try and remember to look up).

I hate being beaten by a card that refuses to 'play nice' - Don't you? 
And I hate how my lace strip in the photo looks like a badly drawn straight line...  which it isn't.
It's as perfectly straight as straight can be.  There are just some very strange optical illusions at play - mainly caused by where the white raffia wraps around the card, I think).
Grrrr...  Maybe my card got it's own back on me after all!




Challenges I'm Entering...

(Handmade Flowers)



(Week #406    'Ladies and Girls')


(CFC169    'Off The edge')



(#255     'Dry Embossing')


(Trend Week #384     'Use A Stencil')






Wishing you a 'Happy' day, wherever you may be...

Donna. x

Friday, 10 March 2017

Butterfly Clock Tag, Textured/Layered/CAS, Female




This is an exceptionally simple, but textured/layered CAS tag, created for the new challenge starting today at Tag You're It.

I don't think you can tell from the photo, but there are two layers of glitter varnish on the base tag - sprayed on and left to dry between coats to build up that sparkle that so many of us know and love.

I have to confess, I'm not much of a glitter girl at heart, but this spray gloss varnish with added glitter had me hooked as soon as I saw it being demoed on a UK craft channel.  
It's subtle...  just the way I like it.
(And I just so happen to know that the company that make this product launched into the US market last year).



My tag was inspired by this very pretty creation by Marion Vagg...



It really is quite beautiful, isn't it?

I wanted to stay true to the beauty and the texture and the layers...  but in a simpler, more CAS form.  So I've kept the clock face (mine's die cut and embossed rather than using texture paste), swapped out the layered flower with that pretty central focus for a butterfly with a central feature and swapped out the foliage for the clock hands.  

Many, many thanks go to my oh so very lovely friend Pam who very kindly sent me this butterfly die - along with a few others to play with.  
I actually didn't know that I liked this die at all until it arrived in the post and I used it.  I'd looked at it so many times in 'die' form and discounted it as not for me.  
How wrong was I...  and how right was Pam.
It's actually turned out to be just what I needed and one of my favourites, too.
(Seems she knows my craft tastes better than I do)!
But in my defence, I am still learning...
(Don't be surprised if I still use that excuse in five or ten years time).
Shhh...  Don't tell! x



So what exactly have I used to make this tag?
Let me tell you...


Supplies Used:

Dies:
Mama Elephant 'Tags A Lot'
Lifestyle Crafts/Quickutz 'Clock'
Poppystamps 'Theo Butterfly'
Sizzix/Holtz 'Tiny Tattered Florals'

Embossing Folder:
Spellbinders SCF-002 'Fabric Weave'

Holtz Distress Inks:
Frayed Burlap
Walnut Stain

Other:
Crafter's Companion 'Spray and Sparkle' - Pearl Diamond
Raffia/Thick Paper String - White


Think of this as Part 1 of a two part post, as next time I'm planning to show you how I used this tag to create an 8x8, Clean and Layered/Mixed Media card.

And why do I want to show you?

Because I'm hoping to inspire you to play along - I'm not going to lie about it!

You see, a few of you very lovely people (you know exactly who you are)! keep telling me that you don't make tags - yet you make very lovely cards or I wouldn't stop by for a visit.
So I've decided to come up with a few ideas as of late that show how to use a tag in a slightly different way.  In other words - you've inspired me to try and think 'out of the box' - even if it's only just a little bit.
I've made a bookmark, a CAS tag on a CAS card...  and so this time the obvious choice was a CAS tag on a non CAS card.
You see, there's a perfect logic to what I've been doing!
Make a CAS tag, play along with the challenge...  and then spend time making it into a card.
Like I said, perfect logic...

(If you could see me now I would have a big grin on my face at this point)!

So if you can, come and play.
And if you can't, thank you for looking/for stopping by/for sharing your time with me.
Because either way, it's people like you who make people like me very happy to be a part of 'blogland for crafters'.    

Bye for now...

Donna. x

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mini Lindt Bunny Treat Boxes, Easter Gift Idea, All Ages

I know that one or two of you spotted this on FB yesterday evening, but for those of you that haven't seen it, I'm just stopping by today to share a little Easter treat idea that I had.
Like many of you I like to be inventive from time to time!  

But before I show you, let me just say this...
Yes, I could have added more detail - even if it was only to lightly emboss the boxes.  
But taking my time out of the equation, these are a little 'test piece' idea that I'm taking to sell for a very small profit margin on my craft stall this coming Saturday.


Am I looking forward to it?  No...
Did I take up this wonderfully time consuming hobby with illusions of making money in any way, shape or form?  No...
Do I think that my stuff is actually good enough to sell?  (If I consider you to be a very good blog friend then I'll PM you and let you know after Saturday)!
And yes, of course I dread the idea of everyone walking by and ignoring me...

But it's given me a goal to work towards this past few months and to be perfectly honest, that's what I need.
Grief is a long, hard journey...  and although my daughter is not dead, she is gone.
And that's so hard to bear some days.

...  And crafting/craft shopping/sorting through my craft stash are the only things that seem to help.
Plus talking/messaging some of you who have been so very, very kind to me.
(You know who you are). x


I know that others of you may be uncomfortable with my grief and/or simply do not know what to say. 
And yet others of you have your own difficult journey to walk through and like me, use blogging mainly as a distraction.
So as much as is possible I do tend to try and ignore it when blogging online.

That's why I took the decision to do the mini blog.  It keeps it separate and saves me from having to explain or apologise yet again as to why I'm so infrequent with my blog posts or repaying your kindness if you've been kind enough to stop by and leave a comment.
But I don't want to pretend either...  
Especially when it's relevant to what I'm 'talking' about.



So...  I guess I should show you these little treat boxes?





I did come up with a few alternative design ideas that I've also made to sell on Saturday - but this was my favourite by far.
But just to give you a few more ideas, a well placed die cut 'bow' or some punched/die cut 'grass' work equally well as deterrents to stop bunny from falling out of the box!


As these are pretty straightforward to make, I won't include any 'how to' details other than to say that I used a Sizzix Bigz/Where Women Cook 'Cake Pop' die for my boxes...
but I will share this idea over at The Playground as 
a) I've used up some of my craft scraps/'snippets'  
and 
b) I'm wanting to try and get a 'gold shiny star'. 

Of course, these super bright and shiny gold star's are very rare and therefore very hard to come by, so I may have to try even harder next time.
But I will keep trying...
I just hope that The Playground cat (Parsnip, to those of you that know him) doesn't scare the bunnies away!


Speaking of which,  I had the fright of my life early last Friday morning...

To make a long story short, I went to feed the bird's just before leaving to go food shopping rather than after (as I normally do).  After all, it is finally getting brighter earlier in the morning's now.
The bird food is stored in the garage.  It was about 6.45am.   
Who did I not notice at all, sitting in a bag of Suet Pellets, completely unaware that it was well past the time that they should have been tucked up in bed?
Well a little Wood Mouse of course!
The first I knew of it being there is when it jumped about a foot in the air because I had plonked a lid down very close by and not very gently at all.

I'm not sure who actually had the bigger fright out of the two of us!

I think Wood Mice are adorably sweet and we have a whole family or more living under our shed, but when you are just going about your business this is not a sight you expect to see.

Needless to say I got my husband to deal with poor Mousie - who was taken back outside to the shed.
Just as well we know where they live!

As for the bird food? 
Everything now has a lid on it, so they can't help themselves any more.
But I do put out a little food for them every evening - I have since discovering them there a month or two ago.
Rice Krispies and Porridge Flakes are particularly popular - as is a crushed Digestive Biscuit.
I wonder what Parsnip would make of those - the Wood Mice, not the food?!


Challenges I'm Entering...



Challenge #68     'Something New'
(Although it's an old die, I've only recently purchased it and never played with it before).





If this idea inspires you to make a treat box of your own, stop by with a photo of it - if you can. x

Wherever you are, enjoy the rest of your day...

Donna.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Bird/Heart Tag Card, Missing You, Female

I have noticed that many in Blogland are suffering from what I'm going to refer to as 'Lost Mojo-Itus'.
It does seem to be reaching pandemic proportions, doesn't it?
I think that the cold and a lack of sunlight affect many of us far more than we realise.

So with that in mind, perhaps my tag card for today's new Tag You're It challenge is paying homage to what so many of us seem to be missing...





It's a simple offering that shows just how easy it can be to make a tag into a card.

A bird stamped on vellum, some sparkle from the ink used (and a pen) plus a tiny gem and clear embossed sentiment just give this a little something extra to add visual interest whilst still keeping to a clean look.

Where did my inspiration come from?
Let me show you...





I was inspired by the colour scheme but wanted softer, gentler colour tones for my design.  As you can see, I also stuck with the heart and animal theme but swapped out the cute critter for a bird.
And for those of you who haven't seen it (inspiration can be a funny thing like that.  For some it's obvious, yet for others it's anything but) Lisa's 'tag on a tag' has become a 'tag on a card'.





Supplies Used:

Die:
Paper Smooches 'Gift Tags'
Memory Box 'Heart Delights'

Stencil:
Creative Expressions 'Birch Tree'

Stamp:
Inkadinkado 'Luv Ya'

Inks:
Holtz/Distress 'Pumice Stone'
Brilliance 'Starlite Black'
Tsukineko/Memento 'Gray Flannel'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium'

Other:
Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen - Clear Overlay
Vellum
Emboosing Powder - Clear
Raffia - White
Tiny Gem - Clear
Sentiment stamp from stash




Challenges I'm Entering...

(I Heart You)


(Tag, hearts and vellum bird all from Snippets)



(Inspired By Words...  Friends are connected heart to heart, distance and time can't break them apart').



(Young at Heart)


(Challenge #39    'Shimmer and  Shine')







Wherever they may be hiding, I hope that Mo and Jo come back soon for those of you who can't seem to find them! 

Stay warm...

Donna. x

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Unfolding (Penny Black),Easel Backed Card w/Acetate,Female

I'm showing you something very different for me today.
Do you want to see it?
Well, here goes nothing...





That's a lot of colour for lil' old me, isn't it?
Did you think you'd gone to somebody else's blog by mistake?

Here's the card from a different angle...





And just look at what I've done with the back...







I stumbled across this 'find' (Sizzix/Holtz 'Small Easel') and just knew that I had to have one...  and I plan to have a lot of fun using it this year - just so you know!



Now...  if you were on FB yesterday you may have noticed just how 'over the top' happy I was to find out that Penny Black had released some more Brushstroke stamps to their range.
When I tell you that this was my first ever go with a Brushstroke stamp you'll understand why I was so elated.
You do understand, don't you?

I mean seriously, I am not a stamper and I know that this card isn't perfect...
but when my husband saw it for the first time he thought I'd painted it!
(I wish.  I'm no artist, either)!

Now if this style of stamp can make me look far more talented than I actually am then it's a no-brainer for me.  
More Penny Black Brushstroke stamps coming my way.  And they are natured themed to boot.
Woo hoo!!!
(You did cotton on to the fact that virtually everything I make is nature themed, didn't you)?


So that's me very, very happy...
And I may as well spend my pennies on that, hadn't I?




As I'm not sure about just how much detail you can actually see in the photo, I'll do a very brief 'How To'...

Stamp image using MISTI (or similar).
Ink around edges.
Cover flower stamped image with scrap paper, then wet hands and 'clap' over inked edges.
Blot to dry and 'lift' some ink.
When dry, use a score board and 'draw on' some random, broken lines.
Cut a piece of acetate to size, emboss it and attach with screw brads.
Cut a bigger piece of brown card to size, emboss it, then add some gilding wax.
Glue acetate fronted image to card back.
Cut a larger green piece of card to size, slightly sand it and distress the edges.
Cut a slightly larger white piece of card to size and distress the edges.
Glue all layers into place.
Add cut, glued and stacked word die cuts.


Now I glued several pieces of card together to create a sturdy base for all of this - which is why I needed to use the easel.





Supplies Used:

Stamp:
Penny Black 'The Unfolding'

Tsukineko/Memento Inks:
Lady Bug
Rich Cocoa
Bamboo Leaves
Pistachio
Stormy Sky
Broken China

Embossing Folders:
Sheena Douglass 'Snowfall'
Sizzix/Holtz Texture Fades 'Woodgrain'

Dies:
Memory Box (Sketchbook) 'Create Art'
Sizzix/Holtz 'Small Easel'

Other:
Pebeo Giling Wax -  Silver
Screw Brads
Acetate




Challenges I'm Entering...

(Your Favourite Flower and Why)
My favourite flower is the Magnolia - a stunningly beautiful flower.  Mine flowers right on the cusp of Spring...  which makes me happy as I hate Winter!!!


(Use Your Favourite Stamp)


(Try Something New)






I may look super duper inactive online right now, but I have been busy beavering away.
Honestly I have!

Have a good week...

...  and thanks for stopping by...

Donna. x





Friday, 13 January 2017

Bookmark Tag, Flowers, Female

To those of you who were kind enough to stop by after reading my last blog post - and the mini blog attached to it, I want to say, 'thank you'.  It's people like you who help me on the bad days...

Just one quick update to those of you that had the time to read the whole thing...  
I made contact with a researcher who works for the BBC just yesterday.  I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hoping that somehow what I've written will help others some day.  
If I get any news worth mentioning I'll let you know, but either way...
at least I've tried.

*

Well...  It's 'Tag You're It Friday' time today, and I wanted to take a little twist to my tag by making it 'bookmark' shaped...







What do you think?
I've elongated the shape of the tag by adding a 'skirt' and I've made a tassel - my first one ever! 
(Don't you just love it when an idea in your head actually works)?

 I just love making tags.  
There's none of that effort involved in lining up score lines or trying to cut straight  (Do not get me started on shop bought card blanks as they are never cut properly either)...  
Simply cut out a tag shape and then straight to the fun part of choosing a design.
(Okay, I confess that sometimes it's the other way 'round for me and I know the design before I know which tag shape I want to pair it up with.  But you get the idea, don't you)?

But you see, I hate the thought of tags being thrown away...  or anything handmade for that matter.
I mean seriously, have you ever seen some of the breathtaking works of art that sneak their way into our challenge?  And I'm not just talking about our Featured Artist or the DT, you know.  

So my tag is bookmark 'shaped and styled' today.
Why?
Because it gives the recipient the option to repurpose it...  (plus hopefully it's an idea you might like to try out someday, too). x

So be encouraged to play along, and then maybe use your tag to make a card, or a bookmark...  or leave it just as a tag.  It's good to have options :)
As long as you're following our guidelines and include how you were inspired (that's the important part that some of you forget to mention) we would love to see your creations.
Plus the winner gets the chance to come back and play along as our Guest Designer if they so wish.
So what are you waiting for? 
  


 Karin Ã…kesdotter (our Featured Artist) has put together this oh so incredibly cute little tag for us to use as our inspiration for this challenge - the first of 2017.


I loved the gentle tones of her colour palette as soon as I saw this tag and immediately knew that that would be my focus, but I have also included a bow and a spotty, dotty background of sorts.

How will you be inspired, I wonder?





Supplies Used:

Die:
Mama Elephant 'Tags A Lot'

Embossing Folder:
Sheena Douglass 'Snowfall'

Stamp:
Uniko 'Pure Florals/Cosmos'

Inks:
Stazon 'Black'
Holtz/Distress 'Pumice Stone'
Holtz/Distress 'Broken China'
Holtz/Distress 'Stormy Sky'

Other:
Enamel dots from stash
Crafter's Companion/Spray and Sparkle 'Pearl Diamond'
Twine




Challenge I'm Entering...

(It's another 'all snippets' make from me)!




Have a good weekend...
and stay warm and well if you possibly can.

'Bye for now...

Donna. x

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Engagement Card, Photography Enthusiast, Male/Female

I haven't posted for a while, have I?
There is a reason why, and for those of you that have been on my Facebook page today you may have already seen and clicked on the link...  so you will know.

But for those of you that may not use Facebook, you can click 'here' if you want.
At least then you'll understand why I disappear from time to time...

Anyhow...

I wasn't planning on making anything for a few days yet, but on Tuesday of this week at around midday my husband messaged me to ask if I had an engagement card to hand for one of his work colleagues.

I did not, but being a 'crafter' meant that the need to make one couldn't be dismissed - even if time constraints meant it would be dark in a matter of four hours max.

And I can't craft in the dark.

Believe me, I've tried...

Even with decent 'daylight' bulbs and lamps I can't get past the fact that I'm not seeing colours in their 'true' form.

So this was a quick 'make' for me that took about three hours - 
at least half an hour of which was used just on trying to get this card blank 'square'.
I still haven't figured out why I can't manage this feat which is why I'm not even attempting to cut and score my cards from scratch as yet - except for the odd exception when I have no choice, of course!



Here's the card...




It's not my best work, but it's ok...  especially as the main recipient was for a man and a suck at making cards for men!
(Should I 'say' that out loud?  Oh well, I just did)!

At least it's not overtly girly!

As this photograph was taken in the dark (it went straight off to work with my husband the following morning), the colours may look a little 'off', but I've messed around with the White Balance (thankfully my editing app now supports this), so hopefully you will see that you are looking at a white, black, red and grey colour combination.







Supplies Used:

Dies:
Simon Says Stamp! 'Sketch Heart'
Marianne Designs 'Filmstrip'
Memory Box 'Heart Delights'

Embossing Folder:
Sizzix Texture Fades 'Notebook'

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress 'Black Soot'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium'
Memento/Tsukineko 'Tuxedo Black'

Embossing Powder:
WOW 'clear'

Other:
Tonic/Holtz 'Paper Distresser'
Stamp from stash
Padded fabric heart from stash






Challenges I'm Entering...

Pixies Crafty Snippets Challenge
A card made entirely from scraps/snippets



Simon Says/Wednesday
'Something New'
(Hopefully an engagement counts)!





Now that November and December are finally over with (I completely ignored Christmas just to be able to cope with it - but I did at least make a batch of last minute Christmas cards that hopefully made their way to those of you whose address I have),  I'm hoping to get back into the swing of craft making.
I haven't wasted my time away from Blogland, though...
Sometimes tidying and sorting is just as therapeutic as 'making'.


Thanks for stopping by...

Donna. x