Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 199 – Thankful

Maike is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Thankful. This could be a thank you card, or your might want to show us a scrap layout with your child/grandchild. Just anything you are grateful for really.

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it’s Thankful themed.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

oct thankful

Now, like lots of people this side of the “Pond” I didn’t realise that Canada had a Thanksgiving Day too… but they do!  It is earlier than the American version, in October rather than November.

I found this out because my eldest nephew’s girlfriend is Canadian – and this year she was going to miss Thanksgiving with her family because of work commitments, so we had a Thanksgiving Dinner here for her!  It’s Turkey, but with other vegetable sides to what we are used to – and lots of maple syrup in things.

I thought it would be nice to make a card for her and I used my trusty 6 x 6 stepper card die, which I decorated using for a base layer some gold mirri, topped with a really nice orange card I got in a Linda Chapman’s World of Paper set which came with a Pollyanna Pickering DVD.

I had some random leaves from a Hunkydory kit that I utilised, along with a die cut banner.

For my topper, I downloaded a picture of bountiful fruitfulness from the internet that I cut into a fancy shape using a die from my collection.  Beneath this topper, I used a larger version of the die to cut a shape from card which I embossed with a Sheena Douglass embossing folder, coloured with distress inks and finished with gilding cream.

I really liked the way this one came out…


Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 198 – Spooky

Glenda is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Halloween.
As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it follows the Halloween theme.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

spooky 1
Now here, I have a confession.  I’m not really a fan of halloween… and I don’t like Spiders and the like!  So every time I have to make a card for this holiday I am a bit stumped.
For this card, I have used my favourite 6 x 6 base, and onto that I have layered dark blue and a gold mat.  For my topper, I decided to use some stamps I got from hunkydory – this is the little monster set, and came complete with a mask.  The other stamp (the owl) and branch is also from hunkydory.
For the background, I used distress inks and did the top half of the card first.  I then remembered the moon… which I had forgotten to mask.  But not to worry – one of the joys of distress inks is that you can bleach colour away afterwards using water!  I did this and quite liked the misty effect I got.  I covered the moon with a clear wink of stella pen afterwards to give it a bit of sparkle….
The green jagged grass at the bottom of the page was made using the edge of the monster mask – hunkydory think of everything!
I did remember to mask my monsters as I stamped them though, so there is some perspective (although note to self – when you use fresh masking paper, take the edge off! – because my yellow monster is a bit rough as some of the surface came away when I removed it).
The monsters were coloured in using promarker alcohol pens.  I need to practice more with these again, as I was a bit sloppy round the eyes…
I hand wrote my trick and treat! sentiment with a black marker pen, and overall, I was quite pleased with my halloween “lite” card!

Crafty Cardmakers challenge 197 – Fancy Folds

Margaret is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Fancy Folds.

This particular challenge is for cards only.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

fancy folds 1

fancy folds 2

This card is one of my favourite bases – it allows for much decoration, yet at the same time seems quite clean and simple!  And the insert allows room to write your own message, which is not being seen by casual viewers as it is on display.

I made a 6x 6 inch gatefold card base out of cream card, and in the centre inserted a “flap” made of the same card, which came down inside the gatefolds.

On the front of the card, I die cut a topper (tonic, I believe) and layered onto that with the inner die in cream.  Onto the topper, I stuck a heart, die cut in gold.  A few pearls finished off the front.

On the inside of the gatefold flaps, I stuck some art deco paper from my stash (possibly from a Debbie Moore cd) as a layer, and overlaid that layer with a die cut bride and groom (from Joanna Sheen).

Lastly, I decorated the flap with the same art deco paper, and in the centre added a die cut heart in cream, with the hearts paper pieced in gold, and small toppers with the bride and groom’s initials.  The final touch was to add the sentiment.


Crafty Cardmakers # 96 – Autumn



Kim is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Autumn.

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it’s Autumnal themed.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!


For my card, I used a 6 x6 inch card base, and layered onto that some black card.  I then embossed some white card using a leaf embossing folder – I think it might have been a Sheena Douglas one – and coloured it in autumnal colours using distress inks.  I used some orange card from my stash to cut the swirls and finally added some toppers from a hunkydory kit.


Crafty Cardmakers #95 – Monochrome

I am hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Monochrome. We would like to see your monochromatic creations, these do not have to be black and white. Anything with hues of just one colour is fine. We will, of course, be okay with hair and skin colours as well, but your major colour scheme should only have one colour in it.

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it’s Monochromatic.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule! 

My card this time was one of those we all have to do at one time or another – and like doing the least.  My condolence card was made for a colleague whose husband had lost a long and painful battle with cancer.

I used a stepper card die to make this card – I like these shaped cards as they give you additional dimension.  I wanted to make a white on white card, but to be successful, it looks better with different textures.  I ran the base card through my cut n boss with a butterfly embossing folder and cut the panels for the sides and base out of white linen textured card.  My arch for the centre panel is (I believe) a tonic die, and the sentiment was cut out of  the white linen textured card and dusted with a lavender distress ink to give a small amount of colour.  The sentiment was stamped using a charcoal stamp pad.  I like to use this for sentiments where you don’t want a deep stark black message – it’s dark but not intense.

Finally, I added the pearl embellishments from my stash to the base of the card front.



Crafty Cardmakers #194 Under The Sea or At The Beach

Judy is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is either Under The Sea, or At The Beach.

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it’s matches either of the two above themes.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

My card was made for  friend’s little girl who was going to be 4 and who was a big fan of the Little Mermaid, Ariel.

I wanted the card to be one she could keep – but it needed to fold flat!  In the end I made a shadow box type card.  I cut a scalloped edge aperture in the front, and stuck acetate into the opening, which I embossed with a snowfall embossing folder to simulate bubbles.  I used an under the sea background picture I got from a google search as the background, and some stickers backed onto card for the characters.  Inside the “box” I put some sparkly string that I “liberated” from a plant in work last Christmas when we packed the decs away, because I thought it looked like seaweed… I imported the sticker image of Ariel into Serif to create the big 4 with the sentiment.

Lexie loved it – I hope you like it too…


Life changes….

So after next week I will have a lot more time on my hands!   Earlier on this year I decided to address my work/life balance issues and take early retirement, with the aim of doing more of what I want to do instead of what I have to do.  It took a while, but now the time is almost here.

It’s a big step – and less money – so a bit of a scary proposition, but I’m giving it a go.  I’m reassuring myself with the thought I can always do some temping if I run out of cardstock and glue and the pension won’t cover it!

I do have some boring household issues to address first, (although, if I’m going to be in the house more I suspect replacing the boiler will be a good thing) but then my plan is to sort out my craft room and create!

I thought it might be fun to record my progress here… let’s see how I get on…


Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 193 – lots of layers

Chanya 13 is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Lots of Layers
As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it has lots of layers to match the theme.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule! 

I don’t normally make cards with lots and lots of layers – my style tends to veer towards the clean and simple with minimal layers on the whole.  But layers don’t have to be frothy or lacy – so I decided to utilise one of my birthday gifts of a hunkydory stacker pad and just do lots of mats and layers.

I used 2 pages from the stacker – one background paper and one sheet of die cut decoupage/topper images.  My base card was my favourite 6 x 6 white card and originally I was going to put the backing paper directly onto it.  Then I thought, no! layers!!!!  and added some gold mirri behind it.  I didn’t have a full sheet of gold, so used the small A6 mirri sheets I use with the little book pages, and covered the join by sticking a further layered ribbon strip on the top to cover it. The layers on the strip was gold mirri, strip of background paper (reverse side) strip of gold mirri and finally a strip off of the embellishments sheet.

I used the edge of the embellishments sheet that had a gold trim as a further ribbon strip to go across the page horizontally (for the bees to stand on at the top!) and then stuck one of the flowers where the strips intersected,  with a small embellishment in the centre.  Finally I used some of the bee diecuts on foam pads to decorate the rest of the card.  I stuck one embellishment slightly too high up at the bottom, which irritated me because it looks wrong to my eye.  You probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out though,.. which is what I console myself with!

The last touch was a bit of quickie glue and clear glitter around the centre of the sunflower, and 4 AB gems in each corner.

I liked the final effect very much – I think these stackers are really good value and ideal for those times when you don’t have time to pull a design together from scratch.    This one was a gift, but I may just treat myself to some of the others!


Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 192 ~ Tic Tac Toe

Marlene is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Tic, Tac, Toe. We were asked to choose a line from the grid below, either top to bottom, left to right, or diagonally.

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as your all the items in one straight line from the grid.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

tic tac toe

I used my favourite 6 x 6 card base for this one, and used some nautical backing paper from one of the cds I have in my stash.  I think this one may have been a serif digi kit…

This card was going to be made at a craft club I go to and as I had to make 25 kits for ladies to use, I wanted to see if I could make a card with the minimum of raw materials, and pretty much all of this was printed out on one sheet of A4 paper.  Of course, I could have made it simpler by layering the anchor patterned paper onto the blue pattern paper digitally before cutting it out, but in this case I set the squares on the paper so they could be cut and layered individually.

I used a plainish piece of the blue patterned paper to stamp out my sentiment, which I heat embossed with silver detail embossing paper.  I really like this sentiment and use it a lot – it’s perfect for men’s cards, as it isn’t overly sentimental.

For this card I used a porthole stamp from Creative Stamping magazine that I overlaid on the shape I cut from the scan n cut in silver card.  I didn’t get it quite square on, so I need to rethink how I do this if I do it again!  Maybe the cut image needs to be a smidge bigger…

I love that turquoise/teal blue, and I managed to find some Butchers Twine on the interwebs that was JUST the right colour (I think it’s Eton Blue) and I used it to wrap around the porthole.  This gives an extra embellishment, but again, isn’t as feminine as ribbon and went well with the anchor – with hindsight, I should have had it going through the ring of the anchor, but hey ho!

I used self adhesive pearls to frame the corners of the base card and the main topper, and to make the centre point of the anchor.

The final touch was some faux stitching around the edge of the card and the main topper – Twilight sky promarker around the white card, and white gel pen on the teal coloured topper.

This card can be turned into a feminine one really easily – just swap the anchors and porthole for floral paper and a fancy frame.  And have ribbon, not twine, with a bow!


Crafty Cardmakers challenge 191 – Here comes Summer


June is hosting our challenge today, and the theme is Here Comes Summer, appropriately themed given our hostess’ name!

As usual anything you care to enter is fine, a card, scrap layout, mixed media piece, some home decor, as long as it’s Summer themed.

Please remember our 15 total challenge rule!

* * *

I made my card this time for a friend who was having a bit of a rough time.  I loved this image from the Hunkydory USB key,  and the sentiment – things often are better after a tough beginning!

My base card was my favourite 6 x 6 inch portrait.  Onto this I layered some orange paper from  my stash, and then added the images I printed from the cd.  In order to make them “pop” I used some Lynda Chapman black card to edge them – I always thought black might overpower a card, but used this way it definitely doesn’t!

The embellishments were printed from the USB too, and the pearls were from my stash.

I know some people think using computer images is cheating in crafting – and yes, stamping the image and colouring it yourself would be more in keeping with the term craft and I do love to do that.  But when you need to make a card quickly, this type of cardmaking is a gift.  I’m pretty disorganised, so I tend to use computer generated images a lot, but it still takes thought and time to actually make the card, which can be made as plain or elaborate as you like!  I use photographs to personalise cards sometimes too… and on those occasions, you really have to have the whole topper a printed image or it doesn’t really work.