Friday, 31 January 2014

Peony Triple Layer Card

Hi Everyone,

Hope you have all had a great day and are looking forward to a fun weekend.

After making yesterday's card, Live In The Moment, my adaptation of the triple stamping, and admiring Di's clever twist on triple layering too, I had an idea for using this 12x12 sheet of beautifully patterned paper from DCWV, Vintage Collage Stack.
As you can see there's a gorgeous image of peonies in the bottom right corner of the 12x12 sheet.
It occurred to me that if I split the image into three layers I could mount them on card (Stampin' Up 12x12 smooth cardstock) in exactly the same way as is done for the triple stamping technique.

For the base I created a 6"x6" card from the black cardstock. Following Di's instructions I trimmed the patterned paper to measure 5¾" square, so that the black base would frame it. After scratching my head for a wee while, I worked out that the best, possibly the only accurate way, to cut this square to form the three layers was to measure and pencil in the cutting lines. So for the second layer I measure 1" in from the edge all round, creating a 3¾square, and the centre is 2" in from the edge and measures 2" square. With much trepidation I cut out each square with a craft knife ... an implement I'm not keen on and rarely use. Happily, everything worked out just fine ... fingers all still intact. Once the paper was cut, it was matted on to more black card and then layered up on the front of the card. Decoration is just a couple of black dew drops in each corner.

The inside and back are decorated with trimmings from what was left of the patterned paper. 

Once worked out and measured up, this is fairly easy to do - it only takes basic arithmetic, a ruler, a craft knife, craft mat and a fair bit of courage to cut into the paper, after that it's a dawdle ... can't think why I hesitated :)

The EM treated me to the pack of paper two years ago and since then it has been tucked away in a box, loved, stroked and unused! Somehow I couldn't see how it could be used for a scrap page ... that large motif would distract from any photo(s) on the page. Using it this way does make, I think, a striking card so I may well do it again with other similarly patterned papers.

Sadly, I have to report that no snippets were used in the making of the card but I did raid my hoard of stash and used up some NBUS - still keeping to my goal to use OGooS this year :)

It's late and high time I was going to bed ... I'm surprised The Boss hasn't been in, miaowing and nagging because it's her bedtime too :)) Uh-oh! I spoke too soon ... she's just arrived! So I'll bid you all a goodnight and wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Double Stamping - Inspired by Triple Stamping

Evening Folks

Hope it's been a good day for you all. Me, I've been tortured by the dental hygienist again ... if only it wasn't so necessary. But, if I want to hang on to the real thing, it's a necessary evil :( That done, it was back to the safety of my craft room for a bit of rest and recreation :)
If you've read my WOYWW post of yesterday you will have seen this card in progress. As I said, it was inspired by the triple stamping technique done by two inspiring ladies, Sarn and Di. Sadly, Sarn has deleted her brilliant tutorial on this technique but I see Di, in her post today, has developed her very own twist using heavily patterned paper - one I will certainly be trying for myself.

Basically, triple stamping relies on careful stamping over three layers of card or paper and relies on accurate cutting and layering. I've chosen to stamp over just two layers - double stamping - and created a sentiment topper of the third.

The first step was to shuffle through the snippet box. This produced a piece of leftover 12x12 polka dot patterned paper and a few snippets of white card which were trimmed into three pieces, large, medium and small ... the white card being a fraction larger than the paper to create the matting. Leaving the smallest piece for later, I then placed the medium piece over the large - and used some removable glue tape to ensure the pieces stayed where I wanted them.

The next step was to stamp the flowers and leaves randomly over the surfaces, being extra careful when stamping on the edges of the medium piece ... it's easy to miss the stamping and get it wrong here. That done, I then stamped the sentiment on the bit put by for the topper.

Once all the stamping was completed the pieces were matted with the white card to create three layers that were then layered together with dimensional foam dots - paying particular attention to lining up the base and middle layer, ensuring the flowers/leaves match up exactly. Finally, some black crystal gems were used to decorate and snippets were trimmed and adhered to the inside and back.

Materials used: a white card base; snippets of white cardstock for matting and layering; patterned paper - a leftover piece of Echo Park's Dots & Stripes, Lemon Drops Small Dots; stamps - Remountable Flower set from Claritystamp for flower and leaves and the sentiment is from Sheena's A Little Bit Scenic, Silhouette Grasses; Memento Black Ink Pad; black crystal gems for decoration.

Having concentrated on using card and patterned paper from the snippet box I will be popping over to Pixie's Snippet Playground - Week 109.

I'm not holding my breath, but it does seem that whatever was snarling up access to the Internet has been fixed. So who's a happy little blogger then :))

And, even better, there's another episode of Silent Witness this evening ... love it :)

Hope you, too, are having a lovely evening whatever you are doing.

Take care and happy crafting,

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Morning Everyone,

Another Wednesday and another excuse to reveal all for Julia's What's On Your Desk. Not a clue? Hop over to the Stamping Ground to discover just how many folk are foolish brave enough to indulge our nosiness curiosity interest with a show and tell of their work areas - desks, kitchen worktops, cupboards and even, for some, floors. And today I have not one but two desks for your vicarious pleasure :) Well, that's if Blogger/Google will let me ... something is playing up again this morning!?!?!
First up, the sewing table (photo taken late Tuesday evening). Just running up a valance for the bathroom window ... at last! I've had the fabric and instructions for ages, just waiting for me to get on with making it :) As I write the EM is fixing the pole to hang it from - if he finishes the job in time, I might be able to take a pic of the finished result.
In the meantime, here's the craft desk (photo taken early this morning). Just trying out a variation on a stamping technique called triple stamping. It has been on my to-try list for months, ever since I first spotted it on Sarn's blog, Stamping for Pleasure - unfortunately despite all my efforts I have been unable to locate the link but as Di at Pixie's Crafty Workshop was similarly inspired, you can see her lovely card here.
And just in time, the finished project. There's a brilliant tutorial for the lined valance on Katie's blog, Sewplicity. It's simple to make ... it has to be for me ... and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. As you can see we've gone for bold colours ... that is, bold for us. I found the fabric at Dunelm Mill and, because we live almost within shouting distance of the coast, the seaside theme seemed just perfect.

And that is it from my desks this week and I'm looking forward to seeing what's on yours now. First though, I need a cuppa but after that I'll be back to do a bit of blog hopping.

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday no matter what you are doing.

Happy WOYWW,
PS: I'm not sure whether it is Blogger or Google that's at fault but something is snarling up the works today and it has taken almost 2 hours to complete this post!?!?!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Rudolph Day cards for January

Morning Everyone,

Two cards for Rudolph Day this month. Well, that's what Sarn, she who hosts this challenge, at Stamping for Pleasure, and therefore must be obeyed, has demanded, because she can :) Great idea Sarn! Hopefully, with monthly participation, I should have a nice wee stock by December.
You would think it would be easy to make two cards the same ... just create double of everything ... so why do I find it sooooo difficult. Heaven help me if I ever have to make a hundred the same ... just the thought gives me the vapours!!! But I've done my best here using some paper from one of my old, but favourite, collections from Memory Box, Spiceberry, and the fab stamp, an NBUS, from the Stamper Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection, Santa Letter - simply stamped onto smooth white cardstock (Neena Solar) in Memento Tuxedo Black.

I picked out burgundy as the main colour for papers, the Stickle which edges the stamped image, and even the ProMarker used to edge the papers. The satin ribbon is also the exact shade of burgundy,but no matter how the card was angled the colour looked lighter. Evidence, if evidence is needed, that the camera can indeed lie :)

The sequins sprinkled, together with some tiny green gems, in the corners were a bit of fun ... on one of my all too rare shopping trips down the High Street I found a huge bag of mixed sequins in one of our local pound shops - an absolute bargain and a super find!

Materials used:
square black card bases; smooth black card for layering and white card for stamping; patterned papers from Spiceberry 6x6 pack from Memory Box; stamp is Santa Letter from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection; Memento Tuxedo black ink pad; Burgundy ProMarker, Stickles and ribbon; green gems from Anita's; sequins for embellishment

Once again, I've just raided my stash to make these cards so still on target not to buy any new goodies. I can't honestly say that it looks as though there is any less stash in the craft room, despite my efforts ... will just have to try harder :)

Weather report - after a really miserable day yesterday, today the sun is shining - amazing how a glimpse of sunshine lifts the spirits.

Wishing you all some sunshine today :)

Happy crafting,

Monday, 27 January 2014

Patchwork Quilts and Textile Art Exhibition Part 1

Hello Everyone,

I've not been around much this weekend though I'm not sure what took up all my time, it just did! We, that's the EM, my daughter and I, did go to the Dalgarven Mill Museum of Country Life and Costume on Saturday to view Rosalie (Rosie) Furlong's Retrospective Exhibition of Quilts and Textile Art and it was fabulous. Warning! What follows is a tad photo heavy because there was so many stunning quilts it was hard to put a limit on what to show here. Descriptions taken from the the  information notes attached to the quilts and everything in quotes are Rosie's own words.
First up, a quilt entitled Starring Ringo. Rosie found this photo of a young Ringo on the Internet, downloaded it, pixilated it and then colour-matched the pixils. The quilting group she belongs to donated many of the pieces of brown and flesh coloured fabric for this piece. Rosie was on the ferry to Norway when she planned this quilt and so the blue border was inspired by a mirrored display seen on the boat.
This quilt is called De Ora Leonis ... I could be wrong but I think that translates as Golden Lion. This quilt was made to illustrate how to use up all those pieces of brown fabric which the serious/addicted patchworker/quilter can amass over the years.
Moon Rising, Leaves Falling: This is possibly my favourite quilt in the exhibition ... for the colour mix, cheerful and bright, and the varied applique. Rosie took a magazine advert for back issues as her inspiration and then tried to complete a block a day. Each block has been "very simply quilted by machine-appliqueing the image of some object that attracted my attention that day." The many falling leaves appliqued on the quilt are an indication as to the season itwas created.
Dancing Queen: This stunning quilt was inspired by a Scandinavian tapestry which depicts the biblical story of the wise and foolish virgins. The two queens depicted here are decorated with buttons and beads and "there is a simplified use of light and shade to give a sense of form". The quilting is all done by hand, "and the title is a wee nod to its northern inspiration."
I totally forgot to take a close-up of the information note attached to this and the following quilt but they are just too wonderful to exclude.
I think this one has something to do with the stars and space but can't be sure from what can be seen of the information note.
This patchworked American Flag has an interesting history of its own ... at the request of Senator John Warner of Virginia it was flown on the Capitol Building to honour the Fergusons, owners of Dalgarven Mill, and the Museum they have created there, for their work for Scotland's heritage.
And because it was Robert Burns birthday on the day we visited, I could not omit this gorgeous quilt entitled My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose - the title of one of the bard's most popular love songs. The design is based on an illustration from a plant catalogue which was then transferred to squared paper. To make the quilt Rosie "used every red she had!" And the inspiration for the green border couldn't have been more different ... it was from a pattern on a Sorrento ware box seen on an antiques programme on television!!

There was about 60 quilts in all on display, everyone a work of art. My daughter and I took away ideas for our patchwork projects. Juli enjoys sewing tiny squares together by hand so took away the ideas for pixilating photographs and transferring patterns to squared paper to help in the making of her quilts. Me, I'm nowhere as ambitious as Juli and much prefer machine sewing to hand sewing so I won't be tackling a full-sized quilt any day soon. But what did appeal to me was the appliqued pieces like those seen in the Rising Moon, Falling Leaves, quilt. And these cushions, also made by Rosie.
They are much more my kind of project ... small enough to get right :)

Scattered throughout the exhibition were examples of Rosie's crochet pieces too - there's no end to her talents - and on a further two floors were displays of tools, machinery, photographs, furniture and clothes - so Dalgarven Mill is well worth a visit if you are at all interested in rural life as it was in Scotland going back through the centuries. I took over 90 photos in all - too many to show today but I hope to put together a couple of more posts showing the crochet work and other items on display that might interest you.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the photos of the fantastic quilts on display.

Happy crafting

Friday, 24 January 2014

My Friday Smiles

Evening Folks

It's late and I will be disappearing downstairs to have a cuppa and watch Silent Witness in 10 minutes but I just had join in with Annie at A Stitch in Time and share a few of the things that have made me smile this week.

Firstly, on New Year's Day it is something of a tradition of mine to pop out to the garden and just note what, if anything, is in flower that day. This year, of course, this was in a garden that, though new to us, is an old neglected one and we really don't know what treasures, if any, there are hidden among the weeds. And truth to tell the only flowering plants we found were the ones we brought in pots with us, for example our pot of Christmas Roses (Hellebore Niger).
Needless to say, they did not flower for Christmas, but on New Year's day I discovered this cluster of buds - the promise of things to come.
And this week they look like this - simply stunning :)

After all the horrible weather we've endured this winter it was really pleasant to have the sun come out briefly on Tuesday.
And this massive tree that we share with our neighbour, I think it's a sycamore but won't be sure until it's in leaf, looks beautiful against the blue, blue sky :)

And finally...
... I can't help smiling at this. How does The Boss manage to sleep sitting up and squeezed into such a small corner of my messy desk :)

Hope you all found a lot to smile about this week too.

Have a happy week everyone,

Winter Blues

Afternoon Everyone,

The mammoth stamp sort out is finally done and the desk is at last clear enough to let me make a couple of cards for Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #160. Hazel has asked for shades of blue this week giving me the perfect excuse to get out loads of snippets of blue card to make these two cards.
Card #1: has an embossed panel that's been lightly sponged with blue ink and a header of trailing stars.
I chose card in a variety of blue shades and finishes - mirror, pearlescent, and matte - from which to cut the stars. Some were given an extra twinkle by covering them in glitter glue.
Inside and back: decorated with trails of the smaller stars.

Card #2: of course I cut way too many stars so had to use them up on this very simple design.
Inside and back: more trailing stars inside and the last large glittered star on the back.

Materials used:
  • paper from the In The Meadow, free from simply Cards & Papercraft magazine 2013
  • card - snippets of shades of blue; a scrap of white card for embossing
  • inks - Ranger DI Tumbled Glass, Memento Dew Drop Danube Blue
  • glitter glue - Stickles Baby Blue and Crystal
  • Tools: embossing folder - Quickutz Phrases; dies - from Docrafts X-Cut Star set; die cutting machine; punch - Woodware tiny star

Usually Hazel has to remind me of her extra challenge, Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for January, where anything goes as long as it's Christmas, but not today!!!

I'm also entering both cards into Di's challenge at Pixie's Snippets Playground. I'd like to say that all my blue snippets were used up in these cards but it would be a lie ... there's still a little heap to get through yet! However, nothing but snippets and OGooS went into the making of the cards :)

Edit Note: Sue, a DT member, has very kindly suggested I enter these over at Stampin with the Dragon - the challenge is Winter Blues ... how appropriate is that.

It may be temporary, but I've now got the luxury of a neat desk. My entire stamp collection is put away in a neat and ordered fashion, AND dies, embossing folders and templates, paper and card all filed away too! And, better still, it is all easily accessible. So there's absolutely nothing to stop me tackling my crafting to-do list ... and absolutely no excuses any more either.  Now, as long as my mojo doesn't go walkabout I should be just fine :)

In the meantime, I'm off to watch Pointless and then think about dinner.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Little Bird and Ribbon Card

Afternoon Everyone

This is going to be the quickest post in history of this blog.

This card was made for a challenge which called for the use of ribbons, lots of ribbons. Now I like ribbons, that's evident by the hoard I have gracing the craft room, but it's rare for me to use more than one on a card ... could that be because I am so loathe to part with even the tiniest snippet :)  However, as ever, I rose to the challenge and, going completely crazy, picked out some of my most cherished beauties. The unusual colour combination, that is, unusual for me, was taken from the gorgeous embroidered ribbon from Anna Griffin.

No 'how I made it today' ... I desperately need to finish off sorting out the stamps or I'll never see the top of my desk again ... suffice to say there's dry embossing, colouring and stamping with a little bit of silver waxing thrown in for good measure. Oh, and the pink topper mat has a pierced border too.

Materials used:

  • card - teal (Papermill Direct), deep pink (Papermania) and white (Neena Solar)
  • stamp - Inkadinkado Bird Streamer
  • inks - Memento Markers, Rose Bud, Bahama Blue, Bamboo Leaves and Ranger DI, Crushed Olive
  • gilding wax - Pebeo Silver
  • tools - Cuttlebug; embossing folder - Cuttlebug Cindy Loo; dies - Docraft's X-Cut Squares and Butterflies; Dovecraft piercing ruler, piercing mat and a pokey tool

Because the base is such a strong colour, I created an insert from printer paper stamped up in the same combination of inks as used for the front.

Almost the entire card is made from snippets - the exceptions are the teal card used for the base, the white rose ribbon trim and the embroidered ribbon - even the green velvet ric rac came from the snippet box, so I'm skipping over to Pixie's Snippet Playground - Week 108 - where snippets are the name of the game.

Graveling update: almost done but we've run out of gravel for the driveway - surprisingly, a ton was not enough!

Update on goal to buy no new stuff but to use Only Goodies out of Stash (OGooS) - it's Week 3, 2014, and I've still not succumbed to temptation - so far all materials have been sourced from stash. I know, it's early days but so far, so good :)

Right, time for a quick bit of lunch and then back to the stamp sorting - photos may follow :)

Take care everyone. Happy crafting,

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

WOYWW 242 - graveling not crafting

Afternoon Everyone,

Wednesday, the day for revealing our desks to Julia, for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) over at the Stamping Ground, not to mention a hundred or so other interested crafters ... usually. But not today! This morning the weather cleared long enough for the EM and I to do a bit of light gardening ... not!
The driveway, though graveled, had turned into a mud bath over the winter, especially at the entrance, so the EM ordered a ton of gravel, delivered yesterday.
Man at work! The EM preparing to shovel gravel into the wheelbarrow.
Woman at work! A rare sighting of the lesser spotted Silvercrafter in yellow ... my unfavourite colour. However, this yachting jacket, ancient and unloved though it is, is the perfect protection for rainy day gardening.
And here's the abandoned craftdesk. I'm mid sorting out the stamp collection which had got into a right muddled mess over the last few months. This album is for those stamps that are categorised, admitted very roughly, as flora and fauna. An album of Christmas stamps was sorted out yesterday. That still leaves an awful lot of stamps to be sorted and put away but that will be after the driveway graveling is done :)

I hope you are all well and enjoying a wonderful WOYWW. We've been rained off for now so I'm going to take advantage of this unexpected time out and do a bit of blog hopping while I have the chance.

Take care, stay dry, and happy crafting,