Monthly Archives: March 2015

Buttons for PPA245


Today’s card is an entry for the current Pals Paper sketch challenge:


I agree with Brian King on this one – this was difficult because there are so many options – the problem is choosing just one!  Brian is part of the Pals Paper Arts design team and I loved the card he created to inspire us mere mortals!  If you’d like to see it, click here.

I was concerned that all my choices were going to paralyse me, but actually, I settled on my card quite quickly.  I think the reason for this is that the circles put me in mind of buttons.  My husband’s nickname for me is “Button” – because I am “cute as a button”, he says, and that was my inspiration:

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Ben certainly does make me smile, so the sentiment was super easy!

I chose a base of Rich Razzleberry, added a mat of Basic Black and then a final layer of Island Indigo.  I chose buttons from the Gold Basic Buttons, Designer Brights Collection and Designer Vintage Faceted sets and played around until I had a pattern I liked.  I threaded a piece of gold thread through one of them to add interest and balance.  I rubbed embossing buddy over the Island Indigo layer, stamped “you make me” and then “Smile” from the So You photopolymer stampset in Versamark and then heat embossed in gold.  Finally I constructed my card using tombow for the layers and attached the buttons using glue dots.

Hope you like it!


Stampin’ Creative March Blog Hop


Welcome to the Stampin’ Creative March Blog Hop.  You may have started here or arrived from Emma’s page, showing her gorgeous projects.  Either way, welcome!

Blog hop link

This month’s blog hop theme is “masking”.  This is a technique where you cover stamped areas before stamping again, creating depth.  It’s a technique I’ve never really used, except in card classes!  With one exception.  My lovely upline Eimear started team evenings last summer and for the first one I volunteered to do a make and take.  Team nights are great fun – we get to chat about all things Stampin’ Up!, eat nibbles and make a few cards while we do that.  The make and take I came up with turned out to be a bit fiddly but I loved the effect and I think the other team members did too, once they forgave me for the freehand stamping!

This card is a slight variation on the original I designed for our team night and I think I like it even more.  I was really proud of this idea – no doubt lots of people have created rainbows with the “swoosh” from the Work of Art stampset now, but I hadn’t seen any when I came up with it.

The card base is half A4 in Elegant Eggplant, folded and scored along the short side, with a Real Red mat and finally a Whisper White mat.  I stamped the “swoosh” on a piece of card and then fussy cut the top curved edge to create my mask.

For my rainbow colours I chose Elegant Eggplant, Night of Navy, Pacific Point, Garden Green, Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie and Real Red but these could be swapped to suit.  After a few trials runs on a piece of scrap paper, I used the grid paper to help me line the mat and mask up and stamped a partial swoosh in Elegant Eggplant.  Once dry, I placed the mask further down (this is where the freehand practise comes in), inked the swoosh in Night of Navy and stamped. I continued until the final swoosh, which I stamped without masking in Real Red:

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I heat embossed “You’re a fabulous work of art” in white on elegant eggplant (yes, I remembered the embossing buddy!) and used the Chalktalk framelits and the Bigshot to cut it out.  Hope you like it!

My second card using masking took a few goes, patience and gritting of teeth.  Yes, I know when you mask with tape that you have to remove it before stamping, but let’s just say this one took a few goes:

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The base is Old Olive, with a mat of Daffodil Yellow and then a further Very Vanilla layer.  I stamped the lemon image from A Happy Thing (a four piece stampset that’s free during Sale-a-bration – every £45 spend earns you a free exclusive item) on a piece of scrap card and fussy cut it out. I also taped where the card was really thin, to give it some strength. Next, I stamped the lemon stampvin Early Espresso on the Very Vanilla layer.  Once dry I put the mask over it, taped the stamp so I wouldn’t get more leaves on the top of the lemon, peeled the tape off and stamped again.  Finally, I masked, taped and stamped again, creating afinal image below the first.  I coloured the lemons using the Daffodil Delight blendabilities (sadly, Stampin’ Up have had to discontinue them as they had quality control issues) and the leaves using Old Olive Blendabilities.  Finally, I stamped “love life”, also from A Happy Thing, in Old Olive.  I constructed the card using tombow.  I hope you like my cards, I’ve loved creating them.

Next on the blog hop is Pip, I’m sure you’ll love her projects!  Come back next month to see what we all come up with.


Here’s the full list for this month, if you get lost or want to jump around:

Emily –
Emma –
Caroline –
Pip –
Eimear –
Kim –
Mikaela –
Lou –

Butterfly Basics for the Creative blog hop


Before I get onto today’s card I’d like to thank the Fab Friday Challenge for choosing my card as one of their “Fab Faves” for Fab Fri 59.  Thank you!

I’ve been nominated by my lovely upline Eimear to take part in the Creative Blog Hop – her post is here.  This is a one off commitment, so Eimear posted her blog entry last Monday and nominated two people – me and Louise Sims who I don’t know in real life but the three of us also take part in a monthly blog hop arranged by Louise so we are virtual friends!  (We are all Stampin’ Up! demonstrators).  I will be nominating two people to post a blog the following Monday and so on.  We are also asked to post some information about our creative process and I’ll be doing that, and my nominations, after my cards.

I decided to carry on Eimear’s idea (aka steal) of challenging myself to create my cards using just one stamp set.  I did cheat a little, as I chose a nice versatile set with 11 stamps, called Butterfly Basics.  But I wanted to show that it’s possible to create lots of different cards without buying lots of “stuff”.  I kept my cards clean and simple but didn’t restrict my colour choices, although two cards use just two colours and the first one has three:

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I’ve put two photos of it, to show the envelope I made in matching DSP!  But, back to the card.  I cut A4 Blackberry Bliss cardstock in half and then scored and folded down the long side.  I cut a mat of Lost Lagoon and then a slightly smaller piece of Whisper White cardstock.  I stamped the fern in Mossy Meadow, the butterfly in Lost Lagoon three times without re-inking and finally “Happy Birthday” in Blackberry Bliss.  Then I contructed the card using tombow glue and made a custom envelope using my envelope punchboard.  Simple but effective, I thought!  So there are three of the stamps shown off.

Next I decided to use the fern stamp again:

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This time I folded and scored the half A4 cardstock in Old Olive along the short side for a “usual” (that is, C6) sized card.  I added a map of Crumb Cake and then cut a smaller piece of Whisper White for the card front.  I inked the fern in Old Olive and stamped the central image followed by the two images to the right of it.  I re-inked the stamp and stamped off once, then stamped the leftmost image followed by the one to its right.  I stamped the postmark in Crumb Cake to add a bit of interest.  Next I stamped “Sending Wishes your way” in Old Olive on Whisper White card and used my oval framelit dies and the Big Shot to form the perfect oval “cut out”.  I edged the oval in Old Olive.  Finally, I constructed the card with tombow and popped the sentiment up using dimensionals.  I covered the flap of a C6 envelope in Old Olive DSP to tie it together.

For my final card I chose two further stamps from the set:

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I decided to use a square card for my final choice.  The card base is Wisteria Wonder and the mat is Elegant Eggplant.  I took a piece of Whisper White cardstock and had several attempts at a colour wash effect.  I was about to break my one stamp set rule when I decided to ink a plastic block (that I mount stamps on) with Wisteria Wonder, spray it with water and then stamp on Whisper White cardstock.  After several goes I had a background I loved.  After it dried I inked the flower stamp in Elegant Eggplant and stamped it on to my prepared background.  Finally, I used a border stamp (yes, it’s meant to look distressed) in Elegant Eggplant which I stamped off once to balance the card.  I then constructed using tombow as usual.  I lined the flap of a square envelope in Elegant Eggplant DSP and have to say, I love the way this looks!

So, onto the questions that are part of this blog hop:

1. What are you working on now?

I’ve been working on the cards for this blog post and will then be working on card using the masking technique for a blog hop next weekend, plus some challenge cards!

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

I’m not sure it does, really.  I like clean and simple cards and like to think I have an eye for colour.  I don’t like to overload my cards with layers, embellishments and ribbons – I try to stick to the “less is more” mantra.  I don’t know if that makes me different!

3. Why do you create what you do?

Gosh, this is a hard question.  I fell into this by accident.  I won a card class in an auction and went thinking it was an evening I would never get back (yes, really).  I got hooked that very first evening, signing up as a demo on the spot and that was over a year ago.  I love making cards and I love the new friends I have gained from it.  I raved so much that my sister (one of my nominees) also signed up – our conversations now are very much focussed on card making and craft supplies!

4. How does your creative process work?

Again, a hard question!  Most of the time I’m working to a specific brief (a birthday card for a friend, for example) or a challenge like Fab Friday or because I want to play around.  A colour or a stampset or a piece of DSP will catch my eye and I’ll start to noodle around, think, walk away, think, come back, or if I’m on a deadline I’ll keep going until I have something I like.  Or I start again!  So far, I don’t tend to CASE (copy and share everything) other people’s designs or get my inspiration from other items like wallpaper or pictures (which is a great idea I recently found out about and intend to adopt);  I like to create my own designs.  I think that when I sit down to create a card I know I’ll walk away with something – some cards come out better than others!  But it’s the enjoyment I get creating them that is most satisfactory.

And now onto my nominees!  My sister, who I recruited, is my first!  Liz signed up not long after me and blogs every single day.  She is a complete convert to all things Stampin’ Up!, even though she was sure she was colour challenged when she started!  Liz has a wonderful clean and simple style and is a demo in New Jersey.  Her site is here.

My second nominee is Angela Cormier.  Angela and I (and Eimear) share the same “ultimate” upline so belong to a large, connected group of demos.  Angela and I haven’t met but she jumped at the chance to take part in this blog hop.  Angela’s blog is here.

Well, that’s all for now!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the cards and also finding out a bit more about me.


Lotus Blossom Thank you for CAS Colours & Sketches

Hello again!

My second post today is for the CAS Colours & Sketches challenge – again!  I wasn’t sure my first card *was* clean and simple enough and decided to try again.  I’m allowed to enter the challenge as many times as I want to, so here’s my second attempt!  The challenge banner for this was:

colors #116

I’m guessing it looks a tad familiar?  Anyway, for my second attempt I decided to make a square card – I love square cards, for some reason.  I decided to use just one stampset again and this time chose the incredibly popular Sale-A-Bration (aka SAB) Lotus Blossom set.  This has been a massive hit – if you want to get your hands on it you only have until the 31st of this month, as all the free products (when you buy £45 of product you get a SAB item free) are exclusive to this short period.  Anyway, here’s my card:

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Now this, I think, really epitomises clean and simple!  The Lotus Blossom stamp is a 3 step stamp – you stamp from the smallest to the largest.  I chose Daffodil Delight for the card base (4 x 4 inches), then cut a mat in Wild Wasabi and finally, one in Whisper White.  Next, I stamped the small stamp in Strawberry Slush (stamped off once), followed by the middle stamp in Daffodil Delight and then the final, largest stamp again in Daffodil Delight, stamped off once.  The stem is a two step stamp, which I stamped in Wild Wasabi (the second, bigger stamp, I stamped off once again before stamping).  I stamped “thank you” (also from the Lotus Blossom set) in Wild Wasabi and then constructed the card using tombow.  Simple, but effective, I think.  Hope you like it!

Only after I linked my card to the challenge did I see that someone else had a very similar idea!  Oh well, great minds think alike and all that 🙂


Happy birthday for Paper Pals and Clean and Simple


Today’s card fulfils two challenge briefs – a colour challenge from Clean ans Simple Colours & Sketches and a sketch for Paper Pals.  Here are the challenge banners:


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And here’s the card that I made:

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I used half a sheet of A4 in Wild Wasabi as my card base (scored and folded on the short length), then added a mat of Strawberry Slush, followed by a mat of Whisper White. I used DSP in Daffodil Yellow from the All Abloom DSP stack and added a strip of Wild Wasabi down the centre.  I then Stamped “Happy Birthday” from the Butterfly Basics stampset in Strawberry Slush on Whisper White card and used a Chalk Talk framelit die and the Big Shot to cut out the label shape.  I edged the label in Strawberry Slush as well.  I put the card together without glue and decided something was missing.  So I dry embossed the green strip using the Heart Embossing folder and punched out a single heart in Strawberry Slush and then my card felt finished!  I constructed the card using tomwbow glue and popped up the deliberately off-centre sentiment and the single heart using dimensionals.  Hope you like it!


Smile for Fab Friday 59


Today’s card is an entry for the Fab Friday colour challenge.  Here’s the challenge banner:

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Click to go to the Fab Friday page

Now, these aren’t colours I would have thought to put together but I really like the bright, cheerful combination.  It’s nice to be reminded that Spring is on the way!  Here’s my card:


I recently bought the “So You” photopolymer stampset.  I initially overlooked this set, as it’s a Project Life set for scrapbookers and I don’t (at the moment) scrapbook.  I saw people using the “Smile” and “Love” stamps and couldn’t believe I hadn’t snapped it up.  So, I’m making up for missed time!

I created a square card – the base is Calypso Coral, with a mat of Whisper White.  I took a square of Hello Honey cardstock, rubbed embossing buddy over it, stamped “Smile” in Versamark and heat embossed using the Clear embossing powder.  I’m hoping you can see a bit of shine on the photo – I love the effect this produces.  I used the Sweetheart punch to create hearts in Calypso Coral, Blushing Bride and DSP from the All Abloom DSP stack, helpfully in Blushing Bride!  I constructed the card using tombow glue and popped the Blushing Bride heart up with dimensionals.  I finished the card by putting a large diamanté over the dot of the “i” in Smile.

I covered the flap of a square card using Hello Honey DSP to tie it together.

Hope you like it!


Happy Easter for Pals PPA243


I decided recently to try and enter a few more challenges.  This is for two reasons – to get me to blog a bit more regularly and also because the challenges tend to stretch you. Being set colours or a sketch really does make you think in new ways.  I would never have put the card for this post together if this colour combination hadn’t been set by the Pals Paper Arts:


I don’t really “do” pastels – this family was the last I bought as I’m more of a bright, bold and in your face colours type of girl.  The 2014 in-colours?  Much more my thing!  So, as you can imagine, I found this colour combination a bit daunting.  But in the end I came up with something I’m really pleased with.


I’ve wanted the Happy Easter Bunny stamp for ages and finally added it to my most recent order.  The dancing bunny is so joyous!  And I decided the subtle colours would work well on an Easter card.

The base is Soft Sky – I rounded the corners with the envelope punch as I don’t have a corner punch.  I then used my brayer to colour the star paper from the Irresistibly Yours specialty DSP with Soft Sky, which is free during Sale-a-bration (for every £45 spend you get to choose from a great selection of free products).  I built up the colour by going over the paper several times and then left it to dry.  I rounded the corners of this layer, as well as the Pistachio Pudding layer I placed on top.  I stamped the image in black Memento ink (although now realise I should have used Stazon- luckily it still worked) on Whisper White and then coloured it in using Blender pens and ink squeezed into the lids of the Soft Sky, Pistachio Pudding and Pink Pirouette ink pads.  I cropped the image using an Oval framelit and the Big Shot.  I took a length of (non SU!) white ribbon and tied it  in a small bow around the star layer.  When my sister saw that I’d made a bow she was extremely impressed – we’re both normally a bit rubbish at tying reasonable bows!  Finally, I put all the layers together, discovering as I did so that the Oval worked better at an angle and then put a small diamante on the bunny’s ribbon – who doesn’t look better with a little bit of bling?

I embossed the flap of a Whisper White envelope using the Stars TIEF and my newly acquired Texture Boutique (it’s so nice not to have to keep swapping the magnetic and multi-purpose platforms over on the Big Shot!) but then I realised that the All Abloom DSP stack has a Pistachio Pudding pattern in it and covered another envelope flap:

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I can’t decide which I like best!  When I come to send the card I’ll probably just choose one at random.

Hope you like it.