Thursday, 26 May 2016

Faux Aperture, Butterflies, Woodgrain

I wonder if you have any dies in your collection that you like, but barely use...

...and if you barely use them, I guess the question must be 'why'?

My card today uses one such die.

My Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings' die, to be exact.

It's a gorgeous die...  don't get me wrong.  But in terms of design I've found that my tastes are changing.  I'm slowly (and yes, I DO mean slowly) finding out what works for me.  What 'I' want to create essentially...  and that's different from when I just started out by buying every pretty die that I liked and could afford to hoard.
So either I get this die to 'work' for me or off it goes to my 'For Sale' pile.
That was the plan.

This is what I came up with...

It's not as 'girly' as some of my other craft makes...  and it's certainly not cute.  But it still has a touch of my much loved nature theme.

So I guess the question is this...
Do I like it?

I think so.
I like the layout for sure and I'll definitely use it again...  and I like how the tiny butterflies are folded out and in.  It's visually more interesting - and I like to make things that are a little bit 'different'.

But I am wondering if this aperture panel is unnecessarily too busy for the card?
What do you think?

I like it enough to try again...  so this die gets a reprieve for now, at least.
What I'm trying to do is to use this die in such a way that it looks 'less busy' than it really is.
It might be a labour in vain, but I need to be sure...

Supplies Used:

Memory Box 'Peaceful Butterfly Wings'
Memory Box 'Blissful Butterfly Border'
Memory Box 'Woodland Branch'
Spellbinders/Nestabilities 'Circles' (large)
Impression Obsession 'Tied Line'

Embossing Folder:
Crafts Too 'Cherry Blossom'

Linen Cardstock
Altenew 'Woodgrain Bark' Paper
Foundation 'Rich Cocoa' Cardstock
Brown card from Stash (Tim Holtz)
Mirri Card
Foam Pads

Challenges I'm Entering...

Butterfly Challenge
Challenge #55   'A is for Aperture &/or Apricot'

Simon Says/Wednesday Challenge
(Anything Goes)

Make My Monday
(In The Garden)

Just before I go, I should probably mention that I used a LOT of foam pads on this card to stop the butterfly panel from being squashed.  That way the butterflies that are folded 'in' stay folded 'in'...  as opposed to getting flattened!!!

Hope you are having a good day...

Donna. x

Monday, 23 May 2016

Baby Card, Panda on Vine, New Arrival

When is a CAS card not a CAS card?
Well...  When it looks like this, of course!

I wonder who agrees with that statement?  I would certainly say that this card has a CAS 'feel' to it...  It has that all important 'white space' after all.  But then...  I did add an extra layer, a smidge of 'paper piecing', white twine as well as Dew Drops...  Do you get my point?

Perhaps this best fits Loll and Bonnie's CAS/Mixed Media Challenge style?  (If you don't know what I'm talking about then all I can say is 'where have you been')?  I know others use this style, too...  but kudos for them for coining the phrase.  Or was it already coined?  If so, I hadn't come across it...

Or maybe this best fits a CAS with layers category?  (Another challenge blog ran this for a while...  Not sure if they are on a break or whether they closed that challenge down).

Or maybe I should simply rephrase the question and ask, 'when does CAS stop being CAS'?

These are just my thoughts on the topic.  Feel free to let me know yours...  if you want to, obviously!

Anyway...  enough rambling...

Here's the inside...

Now I don't always decorate the inside of my cards...  but sometimes I just like to carry over the design a little.  

Supplies Used:

Crafter's Companion 'Baby Bamboo'
(Sentiment  - also by Crafter's Companion.  Discontinued)

Memory Box 'Grape Vine'
PaperSmooches 'Gift Tag 2'

Distress Marker 'Black Soot'  (Used to watercolour image)
Stazon 'Jet Black' 
Memento 'Expresso Truffle' (Stencilling)
Memento 'Tuxedo Black'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium' Embossing Ink

Creative Expressions 'Birch Tree'

Dew Drops (One clear, two champagne)
White Twine
Foam Pads
Stampendous 'clear' embossing powder

Challenges I'm Entering...

(An 'all snippets' card this week) 


'Use a Stencil'

'Anything Goes'

(Challenge #36 - Keep It Clean & Simple)

'In the Garden'

(Challenge #57 - 'May All Your Weeds Be Wild Flowers')


Have a good week...


Monday, 16 May 2016

Baby Card (Keepsake), Clothes Line, Female

I haven't made a card like this in a long time...
and to be honest I am in no hurry to do it again.
No hurry whatsoever...

It started off simply enough...  A request for a baby card that would be kept for a very long time.  And... well...  

You see baby cards aren't really something I have ever made before so I had to do a spot of online shopping.
See my washing line?
Beautiful stamp.  I love it.
And those super cute tiny buttons that I glued on?  They were bought especially for this project too, you know!

What can you do with a clothes line/washing line to stop it from simply floating in mid air that doesn't look plain ugly AND doesn't detract from the focal image of the tiny baby clothes on the line?
(I thought about that one for quite a while...)  
I did have to wait for the stamp to arrive, you know!

 FINALLY, I made a decision I thought I was happy with.
My 'Never Before Used Schtuff' Poppystamps frame paired with my much loved birch tree stencil.

It went downhill from there...

I could continue to elaborate in excruciating detail...  (maybe then you would feel my pain?)...  but suffice it to say that EVERY SINGLE TIME I thought I was finished and finally happy with this card I would look at it the following day and realise that there was something still not quite right with it.

This was a soul destroying card to make if ever there was one...

So I've added bits and I've taken bits away... and I've stamped bits and I've taken them away...  and I've given up all pretence of this being CAS in any form whatsoever...  
And I've painstakingly cut out and glued on each individual peg for added dimension as it didn't look right without me doing that...   and I've smooshed on Gesso and lifted up edges to distress them as it looked too neat...

Are you getting my point yet?
Please tell me you understand my pain.  Seriously please.
I can't be the only one who lacks enough common sense to simply call it a day and start over, can I?

I really hated this card at one point...
Now it's been salvaged from 'I'm seriously contemplating throwing you straight in the bin' to 'I like parts of it but I'm still not sure'.

Maybe one day I'll revisit it with a CAS makeover!

This is my second baby card out of three that I will be posting online.
I made it for mum rather than baby.  Kind of obvious, hey?

Supplies Used:

Lili Of The Valley 'Babies Companion'

Poppystamps 'Leafy Frame'
Memory Box 'Fancy Blossoms'
Memory Box 'Tall Birch'
Impression Obsession 'Bird House' Set
Spellbinders/Nestabilities A2 Card Creator 'Distressed Edges'
Papertrey Ink 'Wet Paint Alphabet' (Upper)
Tim Holtz/Sizzix (Thinlits) 'Tiny Tattered Florals'

Martha Stewart 'Branch'

Stazon 'Timber Brown'
Memento 'Expresso Truffle'
Tim Holtz Distress Marker 'Pumice Stone'
Tim Holtz Distress Marker 'Old Paper'
Ranger 'Perfect Medium' Embossing Ink

Creative Expressions 'Birch Tree'

Embossing Powder:
Stampendous 'Detail Silver'

Gesso (White)
Silver Thread
Baby Charm
Micro Buttons

Challenges I'm Entering...

(Snippets of Watercolour card...  plus white/green card and vellum) 

  'Anything Goes' 

'No Design Paper'

Week #363  'Vintage'

Country View Challenges
'Use a Stencil'

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit...

Donna. x

Friday, 13 May 2016

Torn Tag, Butterfly, Female

I'm using something a little bit different for today's Tag You're It DT challenge tag - gorgeous natural looking Spider Web.  I hadn't come across this type before and I've got to say...  I absolutely LOVE it.

My tag takes it's inspiration from the very lovely Jeanne Jachna (see below). 

An off the edge butterfly, lots of flowers, some script text and dots, patterned paper, fishtail flags, three gems, twine...  and a strip running across the middle.  Can you see the script and dots on my tag?   And the flags?
Well, in fairness to your eyesight that was a bit of a trick question...
The dots are acknowledged on the butterfly die I chose to use (see the round holes?), the script (my background) is actually from an old Lili of the Valley script stamp...  and the fishtail flags have morphed into leaves.
Oh yes...  and I didn't forget about the embossing...  I just substituted for a bit of texture paste :)

Now you might be wondering why on earth I tore the edges off those corners like that.
In truth, it was a last minute decision...
You see, Jeanne is super talented when it comes to layering up lots of pretty bits of paper...  and I am not.  So to give the illusion of more layers than there really are I opted for a bit of paper tearing.  
It also lends itself a little better to CAS with some white showing - it's a linen texture backing tag, but I'm not sure that shows up in the photo.

Supplies Used:

Die-namics 'Flutter of Butterflies - Lace'
Elizabeth Crafts 'Curvy Leaves'
Memory Box 'Fancy Blossoms'

Lili Of The Valley 'Vintage Backs' collection (discontinued)

Tin Holtz 'Bricked'

Spider Web
Embossing Paste

Challenges I'm Entering...


'No Design Paper'

Challenge #112  'Anything Goes'


If you have the time, why not join us at Tag You're It?
We would love to see how you've been inspired to play along.

Wishing you a happy/restful/peaceful weekend...

Donna. x

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Button Card, Peeping James, Male/Female

I reconnected with an old friend that I hadn't seen for a number of years recently...  She's one of those kind hearted souls that will do her best to help anybody.

This card is one of three I'll be posting over the next little while that are all baby themed...  and all for her.  She's helping me out by trying to keep me busy.

I'm still not quite ready to go into details as yet (if ever)...  but suffice it to say that this is the hardest, saddest year I have ever had to face - and it will not get better.  Not ever.  Yes, I know it will hurt less in time, but trust me on this one.  There is no coming back from it.

So...   I'm sorry that I'm behind on my commenting yet again.  I do save the emails I receive so I will catch up with you all just as soon as I'm able.

I rewrote my blog profile yesterday and coined a phrase that I'm not sure if I've made up myself or heard somewhere else before...  'Gluing my life back together one craft make at a time'.
Anyone heard that before?
Either way, it's spot on for me.

So...  Now that I've given at least some sort of explanation for being MIA, here's a peek at my card.  (He is called 'Peeking James', after all)...

This might not look much like a baby card to most of you.  Young child?  Yes.  But baby?  
They are really not my thing at all, so I've made them all 'Donna' style - and tried to make them all very different from each other.

You know...  I was messaging a lovely craft friend of mine just the other day and bemoaning how long it takes me to take a photo I'm happy with.  And I finally did it...  took a decent photo where my square card looked square enough...  and then realised AFTER spending an age editing it that the mini envelope on the card looked like it was falling apart. Which it wasn't...  It's just that the top flap is actually not glued down in reality and it made for a strange optical illusion. 
So I had to secure it with a spot of White Tac - just for the sake of the photo.  It's a shame because now it's lost some of it's dimension.  But at least in reality it's flap free!

I mess around a lot with different ideas (see photo below)... 

After more than a week of staring at the New Arrival sign that I added to the card I still couldn't decide which one I liked the best...  The before or after?
So I sent a HELP ME message to the same lovely lady I mentioned earlier and quite truthfully said I think I prefer the before - what about you?
She (thankfully) agreed with me.
But what about YOU?
Do you prefer the first or the second version of this card?
My husband and the woman I'm making them for both prefer the second...

Supplies Used:

Lili Of The Valley 'Peeping James'
Sentiments from Crafters Companion

Marianne Design/Collectables 'Tab With Text'

Woodware 'Scored Rectangle Envelope Punch'

Stazon 'Timber Brown'
Tim Holtz Distress 'Walnut Stain'


Challenges I'm Entering...

'Anything Goes'

All Snippets

Challenge #155  'Anything Goes'

'No Design Paper'

Challenge #112  'Anything Goes'

Thanks for stopping by...
Donna. x