Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bloomin Happy Birthday

I needed some crafty time this morning to distract me from all the horribleness going on in various bit and bobs of the world and my life. I did what I usually do when I want to craft but can't quite get my mojo to focus enough to have a clear idea of what to do - I browsed some challenges for inspiration. The winners this time were Freshly Made Sketches, Color ThrowdownLawnfawnatics where the theme is Custom Sentiments and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where the theme is Add a Sentiment.

I started by stamping all the small flowers and leaves from Penelope's Blossoms in Stampin' Up Blushing Bride, Melon Mambo, Pistachio Pudding, Wild Wasabi and Pear Pizzaz and die cut with the matching die. This was a bit fiddly which was exactly what I needed to keep my mind focused on the task at hand rather than some other things which are distracting me. This is why crafting works as therapy! After generating a pile of flowers and leaves, I die cut the Bloomin for the sentiment using Cole's ABCs from a scrap of Melon Mambo card. Next, I cut the yellow background and arranged all the flowers and the sentiment. Last, I completed the sentiment with a stamp from Scripty Sayings. 

Card: 250 gsm white card, Neenah Solar white card, light yellow card and scrap of Melon Mambo card
Ink: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Stampin' Up Blushing Bride, Melon Mambo, Pistachio Pudding, Wild Wasabi and Pear Pizzaz
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Penelope's Blossoms and matching dies, Scripty Sayings
Dies: Lawn Fawn Cole's ABCs

Friday, 18 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - CUTplorations Dies

Happy Friday all you lovely people out there! We made it to the end of the working week, but that also means we made it to the end of the STAMPlorations Christmas Release. Today we are showcasing the new Christmas dies, and I've had sooooo much fun while exploring the new dies. Today is your last chance to comment on all the designer's posts for a chance to win prizes so if you were planning to do that but haven't gotten around to it yet, now is the time!

I had so much fun playing with the new dies so I made three cards. For the first one, I got out my Brushos which had been abandoned for a while. I simply scattered various blue Brushos onto watercolour paper and spritzed with water. After drying with a heat tool I die cut the panel using the Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle die. I also created a card with green Brushos and used that for die cutting the Christmas Icons - Christmas Tree #1. Last, I heat embossed the Merry Christmas sentiment from Homespun Christmas in white onto a thin strip of black card and attached everything to a white card base.

My second card is all about letting the fun Holiday Words Plate Die shine. I used green Distress Oxides and Inks for the background and red ones for the panel I used for die cutting. Then I die cut the whole shebang with the Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle die and adhered to a white card base. You can't really see it from the picture, but I sprayed some Perfect Pearls onto the card for a subtle shine.

I think one of the most under-used colours for Christmas is rainbow. You can never have too much rainbow! So I thought I would do my best to rectify this horrible injustice. I started by masking off a rectangle and inking through the ARTplorations Retro Circles stencil using a rainbow of Distress Inks. Then I coloured a scrap of white card into a rainbow using Copics and die cut the Christmas Baubles #1Layering Dies from the rainbow coloured card, and the background in black. I adhered the bauble onto the rainbow background and created a custom sentiment from a part of the Holiday Words Plate Die which I die cut in black and covered in lots of elf dust (or it may have been Ranger Ice Stickles). 

Card: 250 gsm white card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour paper, scraps of black card
Stamps: Homespun Christmas
Dies: CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch RectangleChristmas Icons - Christmas Tree #1Holiday Words Plate DieChristmas Baubles #1Layering Dies
Stencil: ARTplorations Retro Circles
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Brushos, Distress Oxides, Distress Ink, Copics
Other: Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder, Ranger Ice Stickles

Thursday, 17 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Homespun Christmas

How time flies when you are having fun. I can't believe we are already at day four of the STAMPlorations Christmas Release. Today we are showcasing two stamp sets by our fearless leader, the boss-lady Shery Russ herself. I hope you get inspired by all the designs from the STAMPlorations DT. Don't forget to comment for your chance to win! 

For my first card, I stamped the adorable log cabin from Homespun Christmas onto watercolour paper in Versafine and watercoloured the image with Distress Oxides. Then I added some blue colour to the sky through the ARTplorations Dots All Over stencil to look like snow falling. Then I die cut the hillside using CUTplorations Stitched Winter Landscape and added some colour to the snow. Last I adhered the layers and cut the panel using the middle sized Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle die. Last, I stamped the sentiment in Versafine and attached the panel onto light blue card.

For my second card, I was inspired by the second house in the stamp set, which totally reminded me of a gingerbread house. So I stamped the image in Versamark onto light brown card and heat embossed it in white. I then watercoloured the image using Distress Oxides which really work well on coloured card as the colours of the inks will still be really vibrant. All the card needed was one of the sentiments in that beautiful font in white heat embossing and we are done.  

Card: 350 gsm Daler&Rowney Watercolour paper, 250 gsm light brown and light blue card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Homespun Christmas
Dies: CUTplorations  Crazy Double Running Stitch RectangleStitched Winter Landscape
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Oxides
Other: Papermania Seafoam White Embossing Powder

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Christmas Elf

So far we have covered Christmas cookies and Yuletide deer. Today, on the third day of the STAMPlorations Christmas Release we are showcasing stamp sets from the talented Shirley of Bee's Knees. Hope you are still having fun hopping along with us and getting inspired for Christmas. I'm enjoying getting the whole business of card crafting ticked off the good old "to-do" list! Don't forget to hop along and leave comments for your chance to win!

For my card, I couldn't resist having a play with those hilarious elf legs just dangling off the edge of the card. I started by stamping the legs from Shirley's Christmas Elf stamp set and colouring them with Copics. I then die cut the panel using the Crazy Double Running Stitched Rectangle die and masked off a smaller rectangle as well as the lanky legs. I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks to ink through the ARTplorations Holly Background stencil, using colours to match the Christmas-y leggings of our little elf. I stamped one of the fun sentiments from the elf set and matted the panel onto green card. 

Card: 250 gsm green card, Neenah Solar White card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Christmas Elf
Dies: Crazy Double Running Stitched Rectangle
Stencil: ARTplorations Holly Background
Ink and colouring: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Festive Berries, Ground Espresso, Copics, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Yuletide Deer

I hope you enjoyed all the delicious cookie creations yesterday. Welcome to day two of the big STAMPlorations Christmas Release! Today we are spreading some Yuletide Deer using Deepti's new fabulous stamp set. I absolutely love these gorgeous deer, perfect for heat embossing (and of course many other things as well). I hope you enjoy all the fantastic inspiration from the DT and leave a few comments on your way for a chance to win some of the fun Christmas sets or dies.

For my card, I created a watercolour background using a mix of Distress Inks and Oxides on watercolour paper. Then I stamped the deer and some grungy background stamps from Scribbly Splattery Grunge in Versamark and heat embossed in copper. I die cut the panel using Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangles and attached it to a red card base. For the sentiment, I die cut the Merry using CUTplorations Merry Christmas Phrase Die in copper card and heat embossed the word Christmas from Homespun Christmas (which you will see more of in just a few day's time!) in copper onto a strip of red card. 

For my tag, I die cut the tag using Luggage Tags Nesting Dies and heat embossed another deer from Yuletide Deer, this time in gold. I coloured the deer and the tag using Copics (I couldn't resist a bit of rainbow...) and added the sentiment as I did to the card. I added some gold ribbon from my stash as a finishing touch.

Card: Daler&Rowney 300 gsm watercolour paper, red card stock, 250 gsm white card, scrap of gold mirri card and copper card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Yuletide Deer, Scribbly Splattery Grunge, Homespun Christmas
Dies: Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangles, Merry Christmas Phrase Die, Luggage Tags Nesting Dies
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Festive Berries, Barn Door, Distress Oxide Fired Brick, Worn Lipstick, Copics
Other: gold and copper embossing powder from my stash, gold ribbon

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Monday, 14 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Christmas Cookies

All set for Christmas? No? You think I'm crazy? Well yes, I am, but that's beside the point. Today I'm super excited to join a group of super talented STAMPlorations design team ladies to show you the new Christmas products. I usually have made a good bunch of Christmas cards by end of July, but this year I have really struggled with inspiration. Until I got a look at the awesome new Christmas stamps from STAMPlorations that is. Now I have most of my Christmas cards sorted. I'm hoping that over the following days we can inspire you to get your Christmas cards and tags sorted as well. After all, when December is here there are so many other things to worry about, so having your cards and tags all done in good time is a great start.

Today we are playing with the super fun Christmas Cookies & Cheer stamp set from the awesome Becca. You can find more inspiration from my STAMPlorations sisters over at STAMPlorations Christmas Release Day One. To join in on the fun, and of course for your chance to win some awesome prizes, you can leave comments on the main STAMPlorations blog and participating designer's blogs from August 14th to 21st. All the awesome prizes are listed in the STAMPlorations Christmas Release Day One post. And if you are not one of the lucky winners but want to get your hands on the stamps, you can use my discount code  STAMPGIRLKAROLA in the  STAMPlorations store for a 20% discount on your shop!

I thought this stamp set would make super fun tags for home-made Christmas cookies. I started by die cutting the tags using the CUTplorations Luggage Tags Nesting Dies and stamped the super cute sentiments and cookie stamps on the tags. For my kraft tag I stamped the images in Vintage Photo Distress Oxide ink. I really love the way it stamps, it's super crisp. I used the same ink to watercolour the cute little gingerbread men and the rolling pin, but the colour looks a bit different as it gets oxidised by the water. Last, I added some icing on the gingerbread men using a white gel pen. For my white tag I stamped the sentiment in Festive Berries Distress ink and stamped the cookies in Vintage Photo Distress Oxide, again watercolouring the cookies.  

Card: 250 gsm white card and 250 gsm kraft card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Christmas Cookies & Cheer
Ink and colouring: Distress Oxide Vintage Photo, Distress ink Festive Berries, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics, White Gel Pen
Other: CUTplorations Luggage Tags Nesting Dies, red ribbon from my stash

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Have a Wild Birthday

Today I and the Culinary Consultant started the weekend with donating blood. We've been putting it off for too long since our last time, and finally got around to doing it. It only takes an hour, and the thought of being able to save someone's life makes it worth the effort. You also get a text message telling you which hospital your donated blood ended up in, which always feels great. Did you know that less than 4% of the eligible UK population donate blood and the majority of donors are over 40 years old, so new donors and particularly young donors are always needed. Have you ever considered donating blood? If not, maybe you would be willing to look into it? There is a lot of useful information on the NHS Blood and Transplant website as a starting point and there are donation sessions run all over the country, easy to search online or using the blood donation app, which also allows you to conveniently book an appointment when it suits you. Many of the blood donor centres across the country are also open on Saturdays and in the evenings during the week. I'm really proud that next time I donate will be donation number 10 here in the UK, in addition to the dozen or so donations back home before I moved to the UK.

Anyhow, before our bloody morning, I had a bit of time in the craft room and created a fun safari themed birthday card inspired by a bunch of challenges. First of all I was inspired by the Safari theme over at CASology and the Birthday theme over at CAS on Friday and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. I was also inspired by the Custom Sentiments challenge over at Lawn Fawnatics and last but not least I'm playing along with Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where the theme is For A Child.

I started by creating a savannah backdrop in watercolour using Distress Inks and Oxides. Then I stamped the tree from Lawn Fawn Critters On The Savanna and coloured it in black. I also stamped the giraffe from the same stamp set on white card and coloured him in Copics and die cut using the matching dies. I then stamped the sentiment using partly a sentiment from Critters On The Savanna and partly using Milo's ABCs. I still felt the card needed a little festive touch to emphasise the birthday theme, so I added a fun little party-hat using the Party Animal stamp set. 

Card: 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour card, Neenah Solar white card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Critters On The Savanna, Part Animal and matching dies, Milo's ABCs
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versafine Onyx Black, Copics, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Distress Oxide Fossilized Amber and Fired Brick