Saturday, 17 June 2017

Toy Soldiers

I'm getting behind with my blogs a bit, only getting the Christmas Card Throwdown ones posted at the moment - I'll have to have a catch up at some point, there's a really big project I want to share!

In the meantime, here's the new Christmas Card Throwdown challenge:

I don't have anything that would pass as a nutcracker, but in my "12 days of Christmas" set I have a drummer, who makes a lovely Toy Soldier.

I started by stamping him four times onto scraps of card. The outline isn't particularly clear, he needs to be coloured. I used distress markers in barn door, stormy sky, black soot and mustard seed.

I cut them all out with different dies, in different sizes.

To get started with the background, I cut stencil card to size and placed it under the Clarity harlequin stencil. I brushed over fired brick first, then moved the card and used salty ocean. For the final layer I used antique linen.

My camera doesn't focus well on the pattern!

As I liked the waste piece so much last time I did this type of pattern, I made sure to use a clean paper underneath!

For a sentiment I cut another piece of card with a die, and added "Happy Christmas" with a Clarity stamp.

I used a Sheena texture stamp and watering can archival ink to add detail to the soldiers and sentiment.

I used the same on the background, and added red around the edge.

At this point I got a bit stuck! Some cards just come together, others make me work for it! My mum is staying with me at the moment, and we were both standing over it at 11pm, trying different ribbons, colours, arrangements.

Having slept on it, we came up with some ideas! This is where we went.

I added a Clarity holly corner stamp to the background, with salty ocean.

I then used an embossing folder as well - I'm not sure where I got this one, it may have been from a magazine.

The background is now much more interesting!

I added antique linen round the soldiers.

I also added little holly leaves on the sentiment, in blue and red, to tie it in.

I added ribbons on the background. I've just sorted out my ribbons, I got a ribbon organiser from Stamps Away last year, and I finally put it together. My ribbons are now all neatly wound onto the hangers, it's very pleasing!

I mounted the soldiers and sentiment with 3d glue gel. I made a matt layer, with salty ocean distress ink, and mounted onto a 5x7 card blank.

It took a bit of trial and error to get this to card to work, but I'm pleased with the final result.

To join in with the challenge, go to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 30th June to enter. I look forward to seeing what you do with our theme.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Pretty pearls

Here's another take on the current Christmas Card Throwdown challenge - gems, pearls or sequins.

This is based on a tree I created as part of the Creative Sandbox Way play a while ago - I think it's ridiculously pretty, so wanted to put it onto a card.

I started with the border though - after a few trial runs and measurements. I used stormy sky distress marker, applied to the snowflake corner stamp from Clarity. I stamped it four times to make the frame.

I then used the tree stamp - a wooden one I got in a charity shop. I used distress markers again - tumbled glass, with dots of stormy sky and faded jeans.

I do like stamping with the distress markers, and being able to mix up the colours.

I stamped a sentiment from Clarity, using the same colours.

I found some teeny tiny pearls in a pack in my stash, so added these onto the curls of the tree. Forgetting any more photos!

I edged this piece with the stormy sky marker. This took a few tries, and some trimming in between - sharpies are easier!

For the background, I used another Clarity stamp, I can't find the name, it's an abstract swirl pattern. I inked it in tumbled glass, then added stormy sky with the marker. I stamped a frame, then trimmed it down to fit a 6x6 card blank. I edged this as well.

I mounted the background flat, then used foam tape for the topper.

I struggled to get a good photo, but this is very delicate and pretty in real life!

To join in with the challenge, head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 16th June. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Sequins and pearls

As my stint hosting the Christmas Card Throwdown comes to an end, it's time for a stash challenge. We would like to see your cards with gems, pearls or sequins.

I'm not usually one for a lot of gems, and I can't remember the last time I used sequins. But that's the point of a challenge, to push you to do something a bit different.

I decided to go for a busy, mixed media style. Not sure that's how it worked out, but anyway!

I started with a selection of Christmas papers, and cut a base layer then built up smaller pieces on top.

The first one was red colours, as I have red sequins, but then I had other offcuts of paper to use, so made another arrangement, more cream and brown.

These were the pictures I took to remember the lay out as I took them apart to edge and stick them - how organised is that!

I edged each piece of paper/card in gold wax, and scribbled in gold pen around some too. I then stuck them together with tape pen - I was going for a background so wanted flat rather than too many levels to navigate.

This is what they looked like put together, I really like the random, overlapping look.

Next I raided my ribbon bag for crochet lace, ribbon and twine, to create a band across the middle. I raised this on foam tape for the red base.

I die cut snowflakes from a selection of the papers, and gold card, and arranged them around the ribbon band.

I used a wider, mesh band for this base, so the snowflakes ended up more widely spread. I attached this with red tape.

At this point I forgot to take more photos until I'd finished!

I tied a triple bow with the twine and added it to the ribbon. The images are from designer paper that I cut up, I edged them in the gold wax and mounted on contrasting card, before mounting on foam tape. I added another snowflake in the corner, and then the all important red and orange sequins.

I mounted it on cream zeta hammered card, edged with the gold wax again, then onto a 5x7 card base.

For the cream base, I used an image from another design paper. I cut a gold frame with a die from a magazine, and backed with the cream zeta hammered card, with the gold wax. I used 3d glue gel to mount it over the ribbon. The twine bow went on the top corner, and I added pearls and gems to the card. This one I mounted on a dark red patterned paper with, you guessed it, gold wax. Then onto the 5x7 card base. (I also straightened out the pearl on the bow, but after I'd taken the photos!)

If you want to join in with our "gems, pearls or sequins" challenge, pop along to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 16th June to play along.

Friday, 2 June 2017

A boy's card

One of my daughter's friends turns three this month, we have his party tomorrow. So I made this little card for him. 

It ties in with the Berkhamsted Creative Challenge for the month as well, which is "All about the boys".

The background is something I'd wanted to try for a while. I used the harlequin stencil from Clarity, and brushed through with distress ink, offsetting the colours. I used brushed corduroy, weathered wood and antique linen. Where they overlapped, they gave a beautiful green.

I also really like the waste - I'd taped the stencil to copy paper and then moved the card under it, giving different ares of colour, then I wiped the ink off the stencil with a make up sponge in the centre.

I didn't manage a focussed photo though!

The letters are an alphabet die set from The Range. I cut them in a double layer of copy paper, just to try them out, then liked it enough to use them. I stuck them on with a glue pen. Most stuck together naturally from being pressed in the die then glued, a few came apart into layers so I glued them together.

After edging with the brushed corduroy, I mounted onto an A6 card base.

Simple but quite stylish. Possibly a bit "old" for a three year old, but I reckon at this age the cards are more for the parents than the kids anyway.