Sunday, 22 April 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge # 323 - results

Don't know about where you live, but we're having a mini heatwave down here in Hampshire. Jumped almost overnight from cold and damp to scorching hot. Looks like we skipped right past Spring just now - although it's bound to be too good to last.

Despite my misgivings that I'd left it too late, we do have another lovely Guest Designer this fortnight - Viv of 'Viv's Visuals' kindly emailed me and offered to take up the baton so I'm extra delighted! And this is the snippets card she made:
I always love Viv's cards, she manages to get the perfect balance of CAS and freshness with some lovely added detail. Do hop on over to Viv's blog for more details and also to say hello!

This is what she said about her card:
The stamp is from Technique Tuesday. Stamped and white embossed on a scrap of watercolour card. Coloured with Peacock Feathers Oxide then fussy cut the flower heads.
Another oddment of watercolour card and stamped and embossed the Cosmos flowers again. I then washed part of it with the same ink using lots of water to dilute to create my background and positioned the stitched die frame (a leftover!) over it, before popping on the flowers with foam pads
The stitched rectangular piece was just another odd bit on the desk so I used it! Finished it off with some liquid pearls in the centre of the flowers and a couple of bits of bling. 
And here's a bit about Viv herself, and it's another very happy photo as well:

  
"I live in the North West of England with my poor long suffering other half who puts up with my passion for crafting!

I've been crafting for a long time and have dabbled in all kinds of things from Mixed Media to CAS. I don't think I have a particular style that I can say is my favourite although whatever I am making,  stamps and inks always feature somewhere.

Am happy to be here this week in the GDT spot and hope you like my card!"
 
Thank you once again for being our Guest Designer for this fortnight Viv - another one of my long-time followers. And, sometimes I wonder at how Viv manages to find any time at all for crafting, given her commitments to having just done a year traveling from event to event as President of Bowls England, and Vice-President before that. And, I think this coming year will be spent in a support role - so Viv isn't off the bowls trail just yet, and believe me - I bet she now knows England like the back of her hand!

A really quick scamper through the fortnight's picks as I had a flare-up with the back a couple of days ago, thankfully it seems to be under control - thanks to enough pills to sink a battleship!
Hazel of kbrandy4's creations made this really fabulous card. I love easel cards and all the pretty frilly details are just so perfect.

 

A really great way to store stencils - made by Liz. Such a clever idea and one that you might want to copy girls!


And finally, some beautiful paper piecing by Lynne - love the soft mauve and aqua combination! It has a really fairy-like look - IMHO.

And - it's pure coincidence that the three picks are centred around shades of blue as well.

We had no new Playmates this fortnight but we did have 56 entries, which is still very healthy.

Prize draw time now and our winner of the MFT 'Peek-a-boo' Window rectangle die, and also the MFT 'Hog Heaven' stamp set is:

Katrina (aka CornishKat)

Well done Katrina! Do please send me your address, with full name at the top so I can copy and paste - for speed and ease, and also because I don't keep addresses of previous winners although am sure this is your first win :)  I'll be off to the Post Office on Tuesday if I hear from you in time. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #324 HERE. The prize is a Clarity 'You Hung The Moon' stamp set, as well as a Whimsy 'FaDoodles 2' set of stamps and they both make up a single prize.

Love from the little white peril Parsnip - and of course me,





Wednesday, 18 April 2018

We Three Kings

I wanted to boost the number of Christmas cards I have here and chose what I thought would be a quick and easy design. Huh, not really the case but I ended up with six cards all the same and it's always good to have cards depicting the real meaning of Christmas:
I used:

- 5.75" x 4" dark blue card blank

- piece of white card stock, embossed using a free embossing folder that came with a magazine a while ago - then trimmed the embossed panel so it had an even border all round when added to the blue card

- to be honest, the dark blue card started off at 6" tall but I then chopped quarter of an inch from the height so that the white panel would fit evenly. It's a trick I use now and then and a useful one to remember - besides which, I often find that working 'backwards' is easier

- now I had a pile of cards and a pile of white embossed panels to play with, so I put them to one side to concentrate on the die cutting

- OK, about the die set (it's the central image plus a surround which creates the 'frame') . It was a freebie along with the matching embossing folder - but it had a couple of 'dull' spots where the Kings' arms are held in front of their bodies which I thought might mean a rethink or even disaster

- I used XCut self adhesive foil paper in copper for the die cutting and after trial and error (but no wasted foil thankfully!) I found that adding three layers of paper as a shim  over the 'dull' spot ensured a really clean cut

- then peeled the backing paper off and added the image panel to the embossed panel before gluing it to the card front

Hmm, just realised I'm way too late to ask anyone to be Guest Designer this coming Sunday. Looks like I'll be making a snippets card myself :)





Sunday, 15 April 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #324

Well hello there once again! It looks like Spring really is on the way - and the rhubarb is growing like crazy in the garden. It's a good job we both like the stuff and it does freeze quite well. A little tip, lightly stewed rhubarb, with a little bit of sugar if you like, makes a fabulous alternative to apple sauce with pork - IMHO.

Anyhow, onto my snippets card and this time I only have one quite large snippet as a deep pink 'frame' because I wanted to let the two stamp sets do most of the work. And large snippets are really fine in the Playground but obviously any examples and ideas of ways to use up sizes right down to tiddy-widdly snippets are always most welcome.

Here's my card:

This time, taking note of one sweet Playmate who really isn't into die cutting, I used only stamps this time.

I used:

- 5" x 5" white card blank

- piece of deep pink card, very likely SU, as the 'frame' which was trimmed very slightly and put to one side for now

- a whole (gasp!) sheet of paper from the Prima 'Firefly' collection, cut down to size 

- I was really wary about using the patterned paper I used next and did a couple of test strips - first to see how the ink/stamping worked out and also would it be problem gluing it to the the background as sometimes glue can show through on porous paper, but they were fine after I'd used the Misti to make sure the solid stamping was fully covered (always the bane of my life before the Misti came along)

- I laid out the image stamp and the sentiment using the Misti, as already said, and stamped them in place onto the patterned paper using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and both stamps from the Clarity 'You Hung The Moon' set

- then I looked at the other lovely set of stamps waiting on the desk for a first outing - it's the Whimsy FaDoodles 2' set. Designed by none other than the lovely Faye - who is Mrs A's daughter of course

- so many lovely doodles to choose from so I picked one stamp 'lines and kisses/hugs'-  to 'ground' the little set of ladders on as they did look a bit as if they were levitating. And then a corner stamp of doodled dangly hearts for the corner above the sentiment

- again, set them in place and stamped with Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- and all that was left to do was to layer the image panel onto the deep pink snippet of card and then adhere it to the card front

Compared to last week's snippets card, this was so quick and easy - the part that needed most concentration was positioning the stamps correctly!

The paper pack I used ('Firefly' by Prima) is really gorgeous. Some of the papers actually look very much like Distress Oxide backgrounds.I've had the pack for ages so am unsure if it's even still available.

I've loved the Clarity pair of stamps from the first time I saw them needless to say and Faye's designs were snapped up by Whimsy (her second FaDoodles set BTW) and of course I had to buy those as well. I so envy those of you who add freehand doodles to your work but, to be truthful, I shy away from it lest (as would be very likely) I spoil a card right at the very end stage. And I totally love these stamps! Dies to Die For in the UK usually have them in stock BTW :)

So, here's this week's Snippets Playground prize - and for a change it's purely stamps, for those of you who perhaps give a sigh and thought 'Oh no, not more dies!'. Sorry, there will be dies coming along for sure in the future though:
It's a Clarity 'You Hung The Moon' stamp set, as well as a Whimsy 'FaDoodles 2' set of stamps - just like the ones I used on my card for today.

I'm making this one single prize girls - the sets work so well together and I think you will agree too, plus it saves me working out who wants what and possibly posting a split prize of course. Just take another look at the variety of doodles stamps - just so many for every style and occasion, love them!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 28th April. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.
Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you're wanting to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' - just in case you're playing only for fun.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Be sure to call back next week to see the winner(s) of last fortnight's MFT 'Hog Heaven' stamp set plus the MFT 'Rectangle Peek-a-boo' window die, plus (hopefully) a Guest Designer and fortnightly picks of course.

Love from Parsnip - who is now into gardening, always up to something!! Our lovely DIL sent us a beautiful card from Germany for Easter, which comes with some nasturtium seeds encapsulated in a circle of thin fleece ready to pop into a plant pot. They came with the matching card and such a lovely idea to market cards with matching seeds as well.

I spotted a great make in the Playground doing something similar with packets of seeds just very recently! Anyhow, Parsnip got me to translate the German 'destructions' and is all ready to send me out to buy a little bag of compost, a new small hanging pot as we have a lot of (sadly neglected due to the back problems) hooks and hangers in place around here in the Playground. AND he also wants a bear sized gardening apron as mine is too'grown-up sized' - for goodness sakes, now he really IS taking the Mickey!!

And love of course from me,


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Decorative Corner Card

I wanted to make a Birthday card for a friend and also wanted to try out a 'Decorative Corner Card'. Sarn was the person who first introduced me to this particular style of card - HERE. I absolutely love this design! Sorry for the odd angle but it's to give you an idea of how the card opens out to stand on its own:

I used:

- for the card basis, which is a 'square tube' shape, I used some SU card which I think may be 'Melon Mambo'. If so, it's pure coincidence that I used the same colour as Sarn's gorgeous Birthday card to me in September - HERE, as I was working around some patterned 'bunting' paper I'd found and wanted to use up

- I followed Sarn's instructions to the letter, apart from cutting the card structure to be 5.5" tall and adjusting the top to bottom measurements of the panels as I knew the image I wanted to use was tall and narrow. Of everyone I know, Sarn writes instructions just brilliantly (she used to run classes), and has encouraged me immensely to try out new ideas/techniques

- the 'bunting' patterned paper was from one of those freebie booklets that sometimes comes with craft magazines - it's old, I know that much! Plus one white panel for a message - which I backed with deep turquoise card, in keeping with the colour scheme

- did all the cutting and sticking as explained by Sarn on her blog and assembled the 'square tube' all ready for the front piece. I used red line double sided tape to join the sides - a long tab, which is a simple little addition to the original idea Sarn had found meant that the 'join' part was an integral part of the card 'tube' rather than being a 'double hinge' add-on. Little hint, I didn't fall foul of it this time but if you have any doubts, then do check if your patterned paper will be OK using liquid glue (just use small scraps to test) if that's your preference. The paper can be thinner/lower and more absorbent quality. I didn't even do a 'bleed through' test as the paper quality already seemed prone to problems so I used a Stix2 tape runner instead

- now the basic box shape was all ready to go so put it to one side and moved onto the image panel

- stamped the image onto a snippet of white card stock using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a sweet little (ATC size) Paper Artsy JOFY stamp called 'Best Wishes - JM22' which a lovely bloggy friend recently offered to me when she was 'culling' some of her craft goodies. The amazing thing is that I'd spotted someone else using the very same stamp(s) just days before and had been sighing over it! I bet it was one of you lovely bloggers who was doing the using - and I do consider myself super-lucky that the offer came my way, mwah!

- coloured the image to pick out the colours in the 'bunting paper' and the bright pink card I'd used for the box. I used Pro markers and my very old Pro marker fine nibs which clip onto the fine tip end for even finer work. Not sure if you can still get those now but so useful

- then I hunted high and low through every single die here and just couldn't find one the right size/proportions. So, just trimmed the image to suit and mounted it onto a slightly bigger snippet of the left over bright pink card

- now I had the box all made up and also the tall rectangular image panel

- peered at the instruction sheet and next step was to make the mechanism tabs for folding the panel onto and also away from the card 'front', And, could I find a circular die or stamp that measured 1" - or even a size that divided by two - essential for the next step? Not likely - sat a bit dumbfounded at first I admit!

- but here's what saved me - I used a SU 1" square punch instead. Followed the instructions to punch out, and score down the centre at 1/2 an inch, two bright pink tabs. Flushed with success, used red line double sided tape to fasten the mechanism to the card and then attach the image panel- stood back, checked the card opened up fine and gave self a little pat on the back - job done! Ahem - how wrong can you be 😓

OOPSIE!! I now had bunting pennant flying upwards - had only gone and stuck the panel in place upside down! The rescue job entailed prising the image and tabs from the box shape - which also meant wrecked tabs, tears behind the pink backing to the image panel and also one bunting panel torn. Red line tape is really fabulous stuff, but not if you make a mistake for sure.

Too much work had gone into it so I tracked back and corrected the torn bunting panel with a fresh one, added a slightly smaller pink rectangle to the back of the image panel pink 'frame' to hide the little tears (to be honest, it strengthened the whole image anyhow) and made new tabs. Then checked and double checked things were the right way up before the panel was stuck in place - success at last!

So, it ended up being rescued although am not sure I'd have gone to so much trouble for just a 'run of the mill' card. Too much time and effort had gone into this one to give up straight away.

And you know what, I was looking through my file of ideas and 'how-to's' as I filed this one away and so many of them are printed and carefully kept and used, thanks to the lovely Sarn. I disposed of a lot of magazine stuff I'd kept (it does eventually date) - but not one single thing from Sarn 'left the building'. Thank you, my very clever friend!





Sunday, 8 April 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge # 322 - results

Well, that fortnight certainly raced past! We've finally had a little bit of sunshine here - and it's so welcome after what seems to have been such a long Winter, albeit with some rain as well.

And, we have another lovely Guest Designer this fortnight - this time it's Elizabeth of The Silver Scrapper's Craft Space, and this is Elizabeth's card:
Oooh, I really do love this card - and it's very appropriate for the April showers we seem to have, with a bit of sunshine thrown in just to tease us. Great paper piecing! Do hop on over to her blog for more details and also to say hello!

This is what Elizabeth said about her card:

I’ve used the Make A Splash die, stencil and stamp set that came free with this month’s Papercraft Essentials magazine, Issue 158. I stamped the Wellingtons with a black ink pad on three different coloured spotty snippets and fussy cut them out. The three puddles were die-cut from snippets of aqua cardstock. There’s a tiny die for the raindrops – great for the teensiest weensiest snippets. The greeting was stamped, again with the black ink pad, on a scrap of white card stock, then trimmed down to size. To put it all together I started by positioning and gluing the middle puddle and the green and pink boots down. Next the left and right puddles were positioned in such a way that they just overlapped with the central puddle. The blue boots and the greeting were then attached with sticky fixers to give a bit of added dimension. Finally, I used some wet glue to position the raindrops fairly randomly.

I can’t say the idea was entirely mine – it was inspired by a slightly different version, with the boots coloured with markers and that includes a very cute duck, in the magazine – I just adapted it to use as many snippets of spotty paper as I could and now I have several more Wellies to make a few more cards.

And here's a bit about the lady herself, and such a lovely, happy photo too:
I got into card making through scrap booking because making pages created a lot of leftover scraps of paper. Making a card or two seemed a good way to use up all the leftovers, especially the snippets. The more snippets I created the more cards I made which led, eventually, to me joining in with Sunday Snippets – firstly hosted by Jules and now by you, Di. I also find it almost impossible to throw away any pretty card I receive so now up cycle many card fronts as toppers. Because of that, I have no special style – I’ll have a go at anything – but I do like using dies and, for my sins, own three die-cutting machines to date.

Thank you once again for being our Guest Designer for this fortnight Elizabeth - one of my very first followers! And having THREE die-cutting machines is just a tad unfair I think, sigh.

Onto this last fortnight's picks now:

First of all we have TWO Gold Star picks this time round:
I chose this card for two main reasons - firstly it's just perfect for Easter with such a great design, and secondly because it's a brilliant use of snippets by Carol L. I love all the little squares - and bet it took ages to make too! So you have another Gold Star to add to your collection Carol - terrific card.!

Our second Gold Star is another Easter card, made by Barb, and so clever! The very splendid bunny (love his bow!) is die cut from packaging, loads of texture and dimension there Barb and such a clever idea! Please take your Gold Star from the RH side bar.

And my other picks this fortnight are:
I picked this card, made by Heather, as it uses up loads of different snippets and it's so pretty. The added thing I thought might inspire some of you is how Heather has added a little tag, with the initial of the recipient on it. A lovely way to personalise a card, especially for an adult where you wouldn't necessarily want a whole name spelled out.

Megan brought this really pretty card to share with us - and it's a great reminder of the 'sunburst' technique, which is such a super way to use up snippets. Megan has a link to a tutorial over on her blog post if you want to have a play. It's good fun and gives lovely results.

And finally, Trina hopped in waving this utterly gorgeous card that she made as DT member over at 'Less is More'. It's a CASE for their latest challenge and, quite apart from the beautiful flowers and overall design, I chose it because of the sentiment. You really need to nip over the Trina's blog post for a closer look - the word 'thanks' is die cut from snippets of silver foil paper and black card - and then slightly offset to create a shadow effect. With the current trend of large die cut words it's a great technique to bear in mind.
 
We had no new Playmates this fortnight but numbers crept back up to 60 entries.

Prize draw time now and our winner of the Mama Elephant 'Favour Bag Accessory - Bear' die set is:

Well done Gail! Do please send me your address, with full name at the top so I can copy and paste - for speed and ease, and also because I don't keep addresses of previous winners.  I'll be off to the Post Office ASAP. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #323 HERE. The prize is a MFT 'Peek-a-boo' Window rectangle die, as well as the MFT 'Hog Heaven' stamp set if you want to play for both. You can play for one or the other as this is one of the few occasions when I will split a prize.

Love from the little white peril Parsnip - and of course me,





Friday, 6 April 2018

A first play with alcohol inks and Yupo - Part 2

The other day I posted about my first play on Easter Sunday with alcohol inks and Yupo paper. I showed the two cards I made with the darker colours - and here are the two lighter ones:
At first glance they might look identical - but in fact I used the positive and negative pieces of the inked Yupo sheet and a snippet of white card:

I used:

- one sheet of Tim Holtz white Yupo paper, just the small size (5" x 7")

- two white card blanks,  5.25" x 4" (tent style)

- three different alcohol inks (Aqua, Mountain Rose and Eggplant)

- as with the darker piece I just added drops of the inks plus some blending solution onto the sheet of Yupo paper then blew through a straw onto them, for as long as it took to add more coverage and spread the inks around a bit and repeated the process until I felt it was time to stop

- then die cut the Yupo sheet using the MFT 'Bold Stripes Cover-Up' die and kept the waste as well as the frame

- did the same using a snippet of white card

- backed both pieces with Stick-It adhesive sheet and added in the contrasting strips

- stuck the completed front panels to the card fronts

- die cut ovals for the sentiments using snippets of white card and a Spellbinders oval die (I glued two oval layers together for dimension for each card and added definition by running a ball tool around the oval die cut whilst it was still in the die)

- stuck the ovals to the card fronts using red line tape (mostly as I wasn't sure of just how Collall glue would react against the alcohol ink) - I found out with the darker cards that fun foam and Yupo slither about a lot before they dry properly. Fine if you leave them alone but it made me aware of possible reactions with a medium I'm only just getting to know

- die cut the sentiments from two layers of white card (snippets) and a top layer of the inked Yupo. The word I used is 'hi', from the MFT 'Hello There' set of dies

- glued the words 'hi' to the ovals

- two cards from one piece of inked background!

Jennifer McGuire used a fabulous 'Starburst' die for this technique but I just used the dies I already had. Thinking back, I have other cover-up dies such as the MFT 'Stitched Diagonal' which may work better. It's all trial and error, as they say! Half the fun of crafting :)





Wednesday, 4 April 2018

A first play with alcohol inks and Yupo - Part 1

Crumbs, quite a few bloggers that I follow have used the Easter holiday to play with alcohol inks and Yupo paper - me included!

The previous week I really wanted to enter the Mixed Media challenge run by Loll and Bonnie, where the theme was acetate. I got my heart set on using a poor man's version of alcohol inks and bought some blending solution, which I then dropped onto scribbled Pro markers on acetate - but the colours hardly moved so I gave up. Sigh.

Then, too late for the challenge, I spotted that Clarity Stamps had a really great offer of 8 Tim Holtz Adirondack alcohol inks for £20 - wahoo!! That's £2.50 per bottle with free postage and seems hard to beat?! The slight catch is that you get what colours Clarity choose from available stock, but I figured it was good enough for a first try and also might form the basis of a few more to be added later on. I think the offer is still on folks! I got three colours in the brown spectrum but in fairness they're varied enough (Caramel, Teakwood and Pebble) to work really well together, whilst being different enough - and thanks to Clarity I'm set up with a pretty decent variety of colours to build on.

I spent Easter Sunday having a first try - my results most certainly aren't any more than very basic - but I was left with two pieces of inked up Yupo paper and made two cards from each of them. These are two from the darker sheet:


I used:

- one sheet of Tim Holtz white Yupo paper, just the small size (5" x 7")

- two white card blanks, one is 5.25" x 4" (side opening) and the second one is 4" x 4" square

- three different alcohol inks (Currant, Bottle and Caramel - and possibly a little drop or two of Teakwood right at the end). I was so excited I didn't keep a note - was also trying not to get the stuff over myself/desk/floor despite having protected what I could. However, I learned that disposable gloves are a must, I have them by the boxful here, just got carried away :)

- in true amateur fashion, I added drops of the inks plus some blending solution onto the sheet of Yupo paper then blew through a straw onto them, for as long as it took to add more coverage and spread the inks around a bit and repeated the process until I felt it was time to stop

- other crafters use an air 'puffer' or hairdryer apparently to move the inks around - as well as rubbing alcohol (on order) and various other wonderful techniques such as adding gold foiling. I have the silver and gold mixatives on order but, from what I've seen, the foiling would be stunning if I can get the spread of inks more subtle! And I yes, might very well still have some thin sheets of the very fine foil - dating back to the year 'dot'!

- then die cut two sets of frames using the Impression Obsession 'Rectangle 6 in 1 Frames' die

- selected two frames to suit what I wanted and also the duplicated ones from the other die cut sheet - glued ttwo frames together for more stability

- then trimmed the piece of Yupo, picking out which pieces I wanted to use and adhered them to the back of the frames by running very narrow red line tape around the back of the inner edge of each frame

- backed each framed piece of Yupo with fun foam for dimension then glued them onto each card - centrally for the first card and then leaving space for a die cut sentiment on the second card

- die cut the sentiment (hello) for the first card three times from white card, using a die from the MFT 'Hello There' set of dies, and glued the layers together before gluing the 'hello' in place

- die cut the 'smile' sentiment twice from white card and once from a snippet of the inked Yupo using a die from the Penny Black 'Hooray' set of dies, then glued the layers together before gluing the 'smile' in place underneath the framed piece of inked Yupo

- two cards - finished!

I've since taken the time and trouble to read a lot more about using Yupo and alcohol inks - Loll has some really great videos on YouTube. I love the softer look that folk manage to achieve - my next aim, providing the weather is good enough to have the craft room well ventilated! I didn't even know about ventilation being important when I was playing on Sunday, thankfully not in full rubbing alcohol mode, else it could have been dodgy to say the least. Will I ever learn to always do some research before launching headlong into something :) Doubtful.