Thursday, 24 April 2014

If you want to get ahead, get a hat!

The current challenge over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge is 'If you want to get ahead, get a hat!' - so (naturally) you have to use a hat on your creation. I rootled round in the box of Christmas cards to upcycle from 2013 and found a wide card with five dancing penguins on, a bit sparkly AND wearing hats :) After some careful chopping, these two cards are the result, with one little penguin from the centre of the original card left over to play with another time:

I used:

- A6 white card blanks

- the images, just trimmed to suit and the corners punched with a Woodware notched corner punch

- snippets of coloured backing card - SU 'Melon Mambo' and 'Island Indigo'

- white card embossed using Crafts Too's 'Snowflake Banner' folder

- little snippets of the coloured card across the 'banner' as a belly band - so small they don't join in the middle but that's hidden by the image topper :)

These cards are also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for April.

My Rudolph Day cards are ready for tomorrow too - are yours?

And thank you so much to those of you who helped out with the 1.25" square punch. Eve sent me a link to Sirstampalot (EK Success who make SU punches) and one arrived here yesterday :) Err, and I also ordered a set of square Nesties too, sigh. Bread and jam for the rest of the week.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

More 'huff and puff' stamping

Needed a Birthday card in a hurry so I had another go at colouring a stamp and then 'huffing' on it to remoisten the inks before stamping:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- a floral stamp from SU's 'Serene Silhouettes' set, coloured with a mix of TH Distress Ink and Whispers pens, then die cut with a Nesties plain oval and popped onto a white Nesties 'Floral' oval 

- SU's 'Perfect Plum' card stock for the main backing

- spotty mauve paper from a Christmas paper pack - Wild Rose Studios 'Wintry Christmas'. All of the designs are fine for use other than at Christmas btw :)

- Elzybells sentiment (I masked off the word 'belated' with tape before inking then removed the tape before stamping), stamped using SU's 'Perfect Plum' ink pad, punched with SU's 'Word Window' and then popped onto a punched snippet of 'Perfect Plum' punched with SU's 'Modern Label'

- final touch, a little 'Perfect Plum' butterfly punched with a small Woodware punch and topped with a white pearl

Little tip, which I bet you already know. The sentiment covers different thicknesses on the card, the backing paper and the layered ovals. To make it sit level just add a piece of thin sticky pad to the back of the 'paper' end and flat tape or glue to the back of the 'layered' end of the sentiment before popping it on.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A learning curve

On Easter Sunday it was raining cats and dogs here most of the day, so I spent a few hours having a play in the craft room. I'd bought the Craftwork Cards 'Kitsch' Collection of papers, embellishments and mini candi specifically to have a go at a handbag card as the papers remind me so much of Cath Kidston fabrics.

Plus, I also spotted that Kath had made a handbag card, much more detailed than mine but with no secrets of how she made it - it's absolutely fabulous! I wanted mine to stand up and open at the bottom but could I find a decent template in the size I wanted, nope - not a chance. Sooooooo, I set to and just made it up as I went along. This is only a first try and I did have a few (ahem) hiccups along the way but after it was all finished I'd learnt some things I'd change to make life simpler.

So, the next time I try this out I'll hopefully have an easier time of it and will also try and do a little tutorial as I go:
And the back so you can see where the spotty flap came from:
I used:

- 2 pieces white card stock - approx 6" square

- the handbag shape was then cut out by first doing the handles on both pieces of card. To do that I used two oval Nesties, one inside the other, but only cutting halfway across the dies, just by careful positioning of the Cuttlebug plates. On the front I cut the extra curved inner part of the handle away straight across the 'bag', but I left the rear one attached and scored across it so it formed a curved flap to push through the handles and to the front of the card

- then I cut up the sides of the card pieces at an angle from the bottom corners to the handles and rounded the bottom corners with very old Fiskars Scissors

- each side was covered with papers from the Craftwork Cards 'Kitsch' paper pad and that was the really tricky part. I've thought how to get round that next time 'cos I almost abandoned ship and ran away at that point

- the front and back of the card were then glued together, round the handles and across the top of the 'bag' only, with the flap pushed through from the back to the front - then the flap was also glued down

- phew! Then it was just a case of adding a leftover snippet of spotty paper across the card front, a flower, bow and some mini card candi from the kit. The mini card candi hides some wonky hand cutting :)

- final touch was a Craftwork Cards sentiment

Lessons learnt and one heck of a mess to clear up afterwards :)


Monday, 21 April 2014

Playing with 'inchies'

If this card looks very much influenced by some of those that Irene makes, you wouldn't be far wrong:
Last week I had a couple of very welcome telephone conversations with Irene - what a lovely person she is too. We spoke firstly because I'd bought a Stampin' Up 1" square punch and then realised that Irene uses their 1.25" punch. Guess what, it's been discontinued :( Why, oh why, does that always seem to happen to me. Then we got talking about how Irene colours her stamps and gets such lovely results - I picked up a secret but that's for Irene to disclose, it works brilliantly! My first attempt was a bit 'iffy' so it was put to one side ready for another try.

Then, a lovely selection of punched papers and card arrived through the post from Irene, so yesterday I had a little play and came up with the card above.

I used:

- A6 white linen card blank

- white linen card, embossed using the Cuttlebug 'Swiss Dots' folder

- six white squares and three pink patterned squares plus the pink hearts and a teeny blue butterfly, all from Irene

- my previously mentioned 'iffy' go at colouring a stamp (blue and green) from SU's 'Serene Silhouettes' set, three squares were punched with SU's 1" square punch

- some white pearls to finish off

I tracked down SU's 1.25" square punch on a USA eBay site. Brand new ones to be had - at approximately $60 including postage! Guess who had to be revived and has gone back to the drawing board :(


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Urgent message from Parsnip!

Will someone please adopt me!

'Miss' was putting out a few Easter decorations on Saturday and she came across a couple of 'fun' items, left from when she used to dress up at Easter (don't even ask her about that one!).

So, she put them on and popped her head round a door to show Mr Len - his reaction was 'You look ridiculous!'.

Stupidly I nodded my agreement with Mr Len's observation - so guess who's now sporting a set of fluffy bunny ears plus nose and whiskers - yup, yours truly :( Miss is still sulking here 'cos I fought off the furry bunny tail that attaches with velcro. A bear has to have SOME dignity, sigh.

Hope you're having a lovely Easter!

Hugs, and let's hope the novelty wears off soon here. Bad, bad Miss Pixie :(

/) /)


Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 121

First of all, Happy Easter everyone! I'm writing this on Saturday but the weather forecast for Sunday is wet in the Playground so (if they got it right) I hope you brought your wellies!

Here's my snippets card:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- Penny Black's 'Pin-striped' stamp, stamped using Memento 'London Fog' and then the stem coloured with the fine end of a Whispers marker. Then I got Tatty Teddy's 'Spring Chic' paper pad out and sure enough, there were just the pink and green snippets I wanted, tucked in the little holder at the back of the pad so I re-stamped parts of the image for the flowers and leaves and paper pieced them. Just a tickle with a Pro Marker on the stamens

- after trimming the image to size but leaving spare at the top of the oblong I die cut along the top edge using a My Favourite Things die called 'Notebook Edge'

- snippet of SU 'Certainly Celery' backing card

- pink backing paper from Tatty Teddy 'Spring Chic' paper pad - a whole sheet almost, shock, horror!

- two little green spotty snippets were punched with Martha Stewart's 'Vintage Lace' punch to form a 'belly band' - which doesn't even meet in the middle but that's hidden underneath the image

- the sentiment was stamped using a LOTV 'Small General Greetings' stamp and Brilliance 'Pearlescent Orchid' ink pad, sigh, AFTER the image was paper pieced and die cut along the top edge. Talk about heart in mouth but it worked and I didn't wreck the thing, phew. Note to self, a bit of forward planning would be good

I'd like to enter this into the current Penny Black and More challenge, which is  'Blossoms and Blooms'. Thank you Linby for the prompt!

A couple of tips about paper piecing this 'ere card. As I learnt from Jules, it's always much easier to apply the glue pen to the main image rather than the fiddly little pieces. And, I'm always scrupulously honest when saying I used snippets on a card and what little bits I had to play with needed a bit of thinking about. I did think about using the stamp-a-ma-jig to position the wooden stamp on the little snippets but then remembered a trick I just read about recently. It might have been on one of your blogs, if so let me know and I'll give you the credit. What you do is ink the stamp (let's say one of the leaves), lie it rubber side up and then place your snippet patterned side down onto the stamp, very carefully 'cos you don't want to end up with a smudged image. Take an acrylic block, place that gently on top and press firmly. Of course this isn't an issue with clear stamps anyhow :)

Oh, and by adding the green belly band in two pieces it was easier to make sure the pattern of the punched edge was equal at either end of course.

OK, let's get on with the weekly picks now:
Love this card, made by Christine - super use of snippets and the colours go so well together.
Isn't this iris folding brilliant, made by Judy. I just love the way the centre of the apple looks like the core!

I picked this card, made by Hazel, as I love the way the daisies have been added to the embossed stems and then echoed on the sentiment.

You can always rely on Darnell to come up with something to make you smile - and this bunny is no exception! Sugar overload maybe?

I love the soft vintage look of this card, made by Juls, and all the sewing related embellishments - really lovely!

As it's Easter there were a few cards made with that in mind, I picked this lovely card made by Greta. Such a pretty design and colour combination - isn't the egg die gorgeous as well?

This brooch was made by Jenny, using snippets. There's a step-by-step tutorial over on her blog. It's not an easy time for Jenny right now due to severe back pain and also it's affecting one arm so I think Jenny must be our little star of the week for struggling on and making this. Get well soon honey!

Lynn made me laugh earlier in the week when she commented about last week's picks and said she needed to up her game (you really are all getting to use snippets so cleverly) - and then she popped back with this to show! A beautiful snippets card, great gate fold design and even the butterfly charm was made from a snippet of shrink plastic!

I could keep adding more and more picks, but this self-imposed (and policed by Len) limit on time spent sitting at the computer means I ought to move on before he catches me!

So, we had a nice surprise in the Playground this week - hands up who remembers Nessa (The Crafty Laydee blog)? Nessa closed that blog a while back but now has a new one here (Just 4 Challenges) - do please hop over to say welcome back! And this is her card:

And we also have a brand new playmate, Crafting Vicky, who brought us this sweet Easter card:

I do hope you both come back to play soon!

And now, the winner of last week's prize, the Marianne Creatables 'Scandinavian Hearts' die set is:

Well done Cornelia, and thank you for being such a regular playmate too. I just checked back and it's six months since your last win so you were well due another one! Can you please drop me an email ( to remind me of your postal address.

And while we're on the subject of Cornelia, I'd like you girls to see this lovely card, made by Cornelia:
It's for a little girl called Lauryn, currently being treated for leukaemia, you can read more over at Cornelia's blog. Wouldn't it be lovely if some of us could also send a card for Lauryn - the address is over at Cornelia's blog post.

The prize this week is a stamp the same as the one I used today - Penny Black's 'Pin-striped'. A nice big stamp at approx. 3" wide and over 4" high, perfect for colouring and of course paper piecing:
The funny ripple down the left of the stamp isn't damaged wood by the way, it's just how the light caught the plastic decal/covering with the image on.

As usual, the snippets challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 26th April and will open again at midnight UK time on the same day. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

Have a great week - keep those snippets coming :) And remember, it's Rudolph Day from Friday over at Sarn's, plus Mrs A will have a new Butterfly Challenge beginning on Wednesday. That should keep you out of mischief :)

Di (and a wave from Parsnip, err, and Puggles the Platypus I guess)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

'Easter March'

This card features one of my favourite Penny Black Easter stamps:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- snippet of plain pistachio green backing card

- Easter Egg patterned paper from the Tatty Teddy 'Spring Chic' paper pack

- Penny Black 'Easter March' stamped in Memento 'London Fog' and coloured with Pro Markers, then die cut using a Nesties 'Labels Eight' die and layered onto a backing snippet of pistachio green card - hand cut in the usual way

- once again, I stamped the Easter sentiment inside the card 

That's the last of the Easter cards - now where was I?

Ah ha, hedgehogs - that reminds me, Spike the hedgehog is doing his nightly rounds in the Playground after his Winter sleep. Aw :)