Saturday, 8 April 2017

Branch Of Grace (Penny Black), Photo Album Style Card, Female

I'm trying out an idea today...

You see, I've decided that I love quite a few of the Penny Black flower stamp sets that are around - which means that I've got to try and find a way to make them 'work' for me.

By 'work', I mean I'm trying to fit them into a style that's all of my own...  which is very, very, very hard when you see just how many talented people out there in blogland have already posted such amazing versions/designs and layouts of the stamps I like.

It's also hard because I quite genuinely admire their design flair and the way they've paired things up.

So it's a challenge...  and one I'll be working on this year as, as much as I love my dies I want to broaden my horizons a little.

So I'm posting this one a little apprehensively.  It's a style of card I've also never tried out before.  And if this style has a name, I haven't a clue what it is!

So here goes...

The main issue I had with this is that I wanted something that wouldn't detract from the stamped branch (which I really love, by the way), yet I didn't want it to look too bare and 'unfinished' either.
And I have to confess, I only added the strip going from left to right as I was writing this post up.

You know when you're working on a design and you just know that it's not quite right but can't seem to put your finger on it?
Do you?
Please tell me that happens to you, too?
Pretty please?

Let's just say that I'm glad the 'penny finally dropped' (I think it quite genuinely got stuck!) as now the design looks better than it did.

 I've realised that I don't really have an awful lot of self confidence when it comes to trying out new ideas, but I am very blessed and oh so very, very talented when it comes to being critical of my craft 'work'.
(Hands up if you can relate to that.  And if you can't I'm genuinely quite jealous).

But before I give a quick 'how to' of how this card was made, let me fill you in on March - where very little happened craft wise...

You see, Husband has this thing where he brings home the germs from work and gives them to me to make me sick.
(He likes to share, you see)...

So He caught a cold at work (where they were all snotty and sneezing) and then passed it on to me.
(Both of our colds lasted for about a week.  On my worst day I had to eat with sunglasses on as my eyes were streaming and couldn't tolerate light.  I also slept with my Winter hat and scarf on for most of that week)!
Then I get better for a day or two before He has to work through the weekend (on top of his usual working week) for a show at the NEC  (a work exhibition four day extravaganza where you're not even allowed to sit down) - which meant extra house chores for me as He was coming home later than normal - and He was understandably very tired.
Then He gets sick again within a day of the show finishing  (He actually came home from work early)...  and this time I'm on Nurse Duty as He's confined to the bedroom (my attempt to quarantine Him).
And just as He's well enough to come out of quarantine (He had to go a full day of NO sneezing at all - which took five or six days,) who got ill again?
Yep.  Little Old Me...  For another week!

So barely any craft time...  but plenty of time to craft shop online.

That's the price He pays for making me sick!!!

And then two days later the boiler broke.  And it's still broken to date.  And the house is so cold with no heating.
And I don't do 'being cold'...

So that's why I've been so quiet - even for me.

Oh yes.  There's just one other thing (and I know I've mentioned it before) but maybe I should mention it every time - I don't know?!!

You're not looking at a black card base.
It's a very, very dark shade of brown that I just love to use, but I know that a lot of you perceive this as black on your monitor screens and I often forget to say as I know what colour it is!

...  And more one thing...

If this design is 'pants' please be gentle with me when you tell me.  But please tell me.
I'm having a rough year and although things are getting easier in some ways they really aren't in others.
Sometime's it's just too hard...

Supplies Used:

Penny Black 'Branch of Grace'

MFT Die-namics 'Flutter of Butterflies' - Lace
MFT Die-namics 'Photo Corners'
Memory Box 'Sketchbook Imagine'

Martha Stewart Pop Up Butterfly Border

Memento Inks:
Gray Flannel
Rose Bud

Holtz/Distress Inks:
Tumbled Glass
Broken China
Seedless Preserves

Embossing Folder:
Crafter's Companion/Textures 'Wood Grain'

Ranger Perfect Medium
Wow Clear Embossing Powder
Pebeo Gilding Wax - Silver

Challenges I'm Entering...

Pixie's Crafty Snippets Workshop
(All snippets except the base card).

(Foliage and Flowers)

Penny Black and More Challenge
(April Challenge - Spring)

(Spring or Easter)
(Anything Goes)

(Challenge #11)

(Challenge #132  -  Spring)

(Challenge #345  -  Flowers)

I've also moved my photo set up today as it just wasn't getting enough natural light.
I now have room for two light sources (if needed), as well as a 'rig' for bouncing a silver/gold sheet off.
It's not a professional set up, but 'make shift' works for me...
and with the expense of a new boiler I have to be a good girl for a while!

Enjoy the sunshine if you're lucky enough to have any today...

Donna. x

Friday, 7 April 2017

'Googly Eyes' Pom Pom Creature, Folded Tag, All Ages

As many of you know, the challenge at Tag You're It is always based around a design made especially for us.
You don't have to CASE it, but in order to play along you must find something about it that inspires you - and then tell us, please tell us in your write up somewhere.

We don''t always know just by looking!

Well today, our Featured Artist (Hello Joyce) used a Pom Pom!!! 
 So I couldn't help but make this 'Pom Pom Creature Feature' tag...


It would have been rude not to!

And speaking of rude...  my husband took one look at this tag and responded dryly with 
'how old are you'?

I know how old I am, thank you very much (although I must confess that one year neither my husband or I could actually remember how old we were and spent far longer than I care to admit on trying to figure it out.  And we are both the same age). 

But I digress!

I simply responded with...  'You do remember why I've made this tag, don't you'?
'It's for my DT at Tag You're It and the inspiration piece used a Pom Pom'.

And him?  
He has a new phrase he likes to quote at me.
'I only remember useful information'!!!

So all ideas of retorts to this statement are welcome.
Be creative, dry, funny...  whatever works for you.

All I know is that 'useful information ' is a subjective terminology at best...  and 'useful' doesn't necessarily mean helpful now, does it? 


Let me show you the Inspiration Tag set for this challenge...

Now that's One.  Big.  Large.  Fluffy.  Pom Pom!!!
You do see why it would have been rude to ignore it, don't you?

Now I could be clever and tell you that I knowingly took inspiration from the cat for my Pom Pom that has eyes and feet, but if I did it was purely on a subliminal level.

I simply saw a Pom Pom and ran with the idea...  and only later when contemplating how to incorporate it into the actual tag design did I stop and think that sometimes a part of 'never giving up' (the stamped sentiment on Joyce's tag)
actually involves having something, however small it is, to smile about.
So based on this thinking, my Pom Pom Creature takes centre stage with room on the inside to write/read a little note of encouragement or to send some love.

As you can see, I've made a two colour Pom Pom - just like Joyce did, but my 'inking' is a pattern through a stencil instead.  
I've kept a little of the pink, too...  but used hot pink and bright green rather than pink and red.
 But it's still just the two colours, though!
Joyce's tag base colour matches the colour tone of her Pom Pom and so does mine.

And as for how I made my folded tag?

Elongate one Spellbinders 'Deckled Rectangle' die cut.
Use a Tim Holtz 'Notch Punch' and punch at one short end.
Fold other short end of card up and into the Notch to make a small folded tag.
Cut a standard size Spellbinders 'Deckled Rectangle'. 
Glue to underside of folded tag.
Add a hole punch.
Decorate using a Tim Holtz 'Splatters' stencil with Colorbox 'Frost White' pigment ink.
Add a piece of twine/leather cord.

Oh yes...  and as for the Pom Pom feet?
They are from a die set made by Marianne Designs Collectables series called
'Eline's Hedgehog'.
And if you don't have these (or any feet) I'm pretty sure a heart shape will work just as well.

So that was 'easy peasy', wasn't it?
And if you don't have a Notch Punch you could always move the Pom Pom Creature forward on the tag and use the base of its feet as the 'fastener'.
(Just be sure to add a card backing to the feet if using felt - I don't see felt feet holding anything in place otherwise).  

I know that one of my team mates on this challenge will love this little guy just as much as I do.
Can you guess who that might be?
And did you notice him (my Pom Pom Creature) saying 'hello' to you?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Come and join us if you can.

I know I've been quiet lately.  Will fill you in on a future post...

Donna. x