Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Less is More - Week 274 - Designer Paper in a CAS Style

Lovely challenge over at Less is More this week, especially for those of us with snippets of designer paper to use up!

'Designer paper in a CAS style' is a little more tricky than you might think if you intend to paper piece. You need an image large enough to make a statement, but not too large in case it swamps all that important 'white' space. Initially my card was going to be roughly A6 sized but once I'd paper pieced the image there would have been a lot less white space than I wanted - so this is how I got round it:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank, tent style

- a piece of white card stock onto which I stamped the Penny Black 'pin-striped' image using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- pink and green snippets from the Tatty Teddy Me to You 'Spring Chic' paper pad onto which I stamped the flowers and leaves before fussy cutting them out

- used a Whispers marker in the same shade of green to colour the flower tems on the main image

- then paper pieced the leaves and flower heads in place using a glue pen. Always add the glue to the main image, not to the fiddly paper pieces - it's much easier and ensures good cover with no risk of wrinkling your paper pieces. I got that tip from Jules years ago :)

- that's when I realised I needed the larger card blank so I die cut the image panel using a Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die and glued it in place on the card front - leaving even amounts of space at the top and sides and a bigger space at the bottom for the sentiment

- added the sentiment using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and a stamp from the Hero Arts 'Messages' set - and once again the Misti was invaluable



Sunday, 1 May 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 227

Happy May Day folks! Did anyone rush out to wash their face in the early morning dew then? Legend has it that it 'would prevent freckles, sunburn and wrinkles. It could prevent headaches, and even walking barefoot through the dew would ease bunions and callouses as well as preventing corns!' Could be a good idea to just cut out the messing around and race out totally naked at sunrise to roll around in the stuff!? It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK so a nice extended weekend for lots of you - here's hoping the sunshine we had yesterday continues.

Enough about May Day - although I'm a little bit surprised that no-one has erected a May Pole in the Playground and sent Parsnip like a monkey up to the top to fasten the ribbons in place - rather than do it the easy way when it's lying on the ground of course.

My snippets card today is really CAS and was great fun to make:
I used:

- 4" x 5.75"white card blank

- another piece of white card for the front, with rows of chevrons die cut down either side using MFT's 'Peek-a-boo Chevrons' die. I did this in two stages, die cut the left hand side using one long chevrons die first of all

- then calculated roughly how I wanted the right hand side chevrons to be placed before stamping the sentiment using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and a stamp from Kaisercraft's 'True Friendship' set

- die cut the right hand side chevrons using a mix of the smaller dies in the set

- backed the panel with medium weight double sided adhesive sheet so that the sticky was behind the open cuts waiting for the infill die cuts

- using snippets of black, purple and orange I die cut just three long rows of chevrons and stuck them into the front panel die cuts - really therapeutic I found

- took a chance and peeled off just a little bit of the sticky backing paper along the top of the panel so I could line it up nicely on the card front. Usually I use glue as my eyes certainly don't see things straight and invariably things end up wonky. But, just having a little bit of the backing sticky exposed allowed me to carefully line up the top of the panel centrally and also the right distance from the top of the card. Once happy I just pressed it into place and peeled off the rest of the backing, smoothing it onto the card as I went - worked a treat!

I've had the chevron dies for ages and been mulling over how to best use them. I didn't think that flowers or a swirly sentiment would look quite right with the crispness of the chevrons - then I came across the lovely Kaisercraft set of sentiments.

Let's move straight onto this week's 'peek at the picks', and it's a quick canter as I'm typing this in between household chores and the possibility of more of the dreaded ironing. I just emptied the basket the other day and another load hopped in when I turned my back!

I think this card, made by Megan, is just so, so pretty! A perfect design and really pleasing on the eye. Love the flowers and that butterfly is a beauty - and I was also reminded me of my own neglected washi tape. Too much stuff and not enough time here!

Kathy K literally flew right into the Playground with this fabulous male card. Stunning background (Kathy excels at those) and the whole image has such a sense of movement. I really love this card!

I know, I do try to spread the weekly picks around you, but I just had to include this card made by Liz - who does feature here quite a bit. It was for her DT spot on Mo's Rudolph Days Challenge and a good few of you have already hopped over to admire this brilliant step card - isn't it great?

Sadly you're too late to enter this months challenge but I do recommend that you get ready for next month over at Mo's (25th to the end of the month, always anything goes so long as it's Christmas). Watch out here for a die set the same as Liz used - it will be on offer at some point in the future. I need help, I just can't help myself :(

I was delighted to find that Sue (Olliesmam) had hopped into the Playground this week after a bit of an absence. We missed you Sue - and what a fabulous card you brought to share! The attention to detail is wonderful and such a bright and happy card too.

Ha! Would that teatime in the Playground was conducted with as much decorum :)

It was also great to see Gail back playing with us this week after a little absence. I picked this card because it's another fabulous male card, love the neutral shades Gail has chosen. And, right now Gail is crafting in a caravan whilst helping to look after a caravan site. That's dedication for you :)

And final pick - the irrepressible Judy (aka PJ) scampered into the Playground with this lovely card. It's so fresh and a great way to use up little snippets of white paper for stamping. Sure looks very Spring-like to me.

We have one new Playmate this week, and what a sweetie she is. We were her very first challenge entry after about five years blogging!
And what a first entry too! A huge welcome to Theresa from all of us - I love this card, fabulous design, wonderful colours and the texture is terrific. Plus use of snippets of course:) Also, Theresa (based in the USA) is having a 'downsizing' clear out of craft goodies, mostly stamp sets I think, so I do suggest you pop over to say hello as well as take a peek at what's on offer.

Hope to see you playing along with us again Theresa - do beware of bad influences though, I already discovered that you've been invited to 'partake of some refreshments' by at least one scallywag! And I don't mean tea and scones either, sigh.

Now for the prize draw, for the set of four Cuttlebug 'Coolio' embossing folders and the Memory Box 'Woodland Branch' die. And the winner is:
Well done Jenny! I do have your address here, will need to take a trip to the local Post Office sometime this week to post your package off to Oz :)

And this coming week's prize is made up of a couple of items, the same as I used for my snippets card:
Yup, it's a set of 'Peek-a-boo Chevron' dies, made by MFT, and a Kaisercrafts 4 x sentiments stamp set called' True Friendship' (some really nice wording there too).
The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 7th May. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. If you only want to play for either the die or the sentiments stamps, just say so in your comment and if you win then I'll do a further draw for the other item. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Hope you have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing you in the Playground.

Di and, of course, Parsnip (a 'Pickle' as one sweet commenter said last week!)

Friday, 29 April 2016

Parsnip's little army

I said in Sunday's Snippets post that Parsnip had discovered the sweet little teddy bear die I bought recently. So it seemed only right to die cut a little army (six for now) and make a few cards to enclose with snippets prizes - just to stop him whining on:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blanks

- snippets of white Centura pearlescent card stock, die cut using Frantic Stamper's 'Teddy Bear' die

- little snippets of black card stock to die cut the little button eyes and nose - cute :) To adhere them I just popped a little bit of sellotape behind the die cut apertures left in the white bear's face and stuck his eyes and nose in place

- snippets of SU's 'Certainly Celery' card stock, die cut using Lil' Inker's 'Instant Camera' die

- on three of the cards I stuck Parsnip in place looking out of the Polaroid frame before backing the aperture with paper from Dovecraft's Back to Basics 'Bright Spark' paper pack

- on the other three cards I added the striped backing paper first and positioned 'Parsnip' to look a bit like he'd hopped up and was sitting on the frame with his legs outside, ready to make a bid for freedom

- then I stuck the almost completed frames onto the card blanks, leaving room for wording underneath

- using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a variety of stamps (plus the invaluable Misti) I then stamped the wording onto the Polaroid frames and the card itself. The sentiment sets I used are: Technique Tuesday's 'Stems', Stampendous ''Happy Messages' and Paper Smooches 'Sentiment Sampler'

Not satisfied with being the focus on these little gift notelets, Parsnip now wants a crash course in learning how to write!

Anyone want to adopt a little white bear? He's fairly well house trained, if a little bit excitable :)


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Rudolph Days - April 2016

That came around fast! It's time again for Mo's monthly Rudolph Days challenge where you have from the 25th to until the end of April to link up a Christmas card - with the chance of winning either a lovely poinsettia die or a really cute stamp.

Oh boy, did I struggle making my entry :( I had a lovely new Poppy Stamps die to try out and I just couldn't get a decent cut of the central snowflake part at all using anything more than just thin card. It was almost as if the die was blunt. I did Percy Veer though, trying many different combinations of sparkly card, sticky backed card, mirri card etc. etc. and eventually ended up with a result which didn't go into the bin. Not sure if I have a duff die or perhaps my Cuttlebug is feeling its age? :(
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank, tent style

- a piece of Centura Pearlescent White card, embossed using a Sheena Douglass folder called 'Christmas Greetings' and trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front

- Poppy Stamps 'Snowflake Ribbon' die and (after much trial and error) satin deep red mirri card - which looks black in the photo!

- I stuck the die cut in place onto the embossed panel using very narrow red line tape and left a bit of overhang. Trimmed off the overhang from the reverse side to get a flush cut along the edges of the embossed panel

- next, die cut a larger snowflake from silver holographic card backed with medium grade sticky sheet, using a Memory Box 'Lindeman Snowflake' die and popped it on top of the deep red snowflake (that cut beautifully)

- final touch, a sparkly diamante snowflake embellishment in the centre of the layered die cut snowflakes

It's strange really, as you know I frequently buy duplicates of stuff so that I can offer one as a Playground prize. I really hesitated before ordering this die and decided to only get the one until I'd had a play with it - thankfully!

I've since wondered if the design of the die with the long tapered ribbons (which cut perfectly) and then a really heavily detailed snowflake bulking out the centre is part of the problem. I tried it at all angles using different shims and places on the plates - and the more I think about it the more I feel there's a connection between the design of the die and my problems. Sigh :(

Unless any of you sweeties have any thoughts? And you know what made matters worse? I'd already embossed and trimmed the backing panels for three cards when I began die cutting - being a stubborn mule though, I did in fact manage to complete three cards the same!

I've emailed Poppy Stamps, so far no reply but I live in hope.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'Butterflies'

Time for another fortnightly challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania - and this time the theme is 'Butterflies' - one or more is fine. It was my turn to choose the theme, and it was so hard to keep it quiet from Mrs A who runs the Butterfly Challenge. I just had to wait until her latest #53 challenge popped up to see if my DT card could be made to suit the new theme, - 'T is for Texture and/or Teal' it turned out to be, I think I managed!

You do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine for Cuttlebug Mania entries (it doesn't need to be a Cuttlebug but it must be manual, not electronic). And, you can't mix the two, it must be all manual please. Then make your entry, link into the challenge, link to the challenge in your own blog post and and make sure that you also say what products you used for any die cutting/embossing.

Our sponsor is Crafty Individuals and you can see the fabulous butterfly stamps they'll be giving to the winner over on the Cuttlebug Challenge blog.

This is the card I made:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank

- a snippet of teal card as a narrow 'frame', glued onto the card front

- white card stock, embossed using a Craft Concepts folder called 'Dandelion Whisper', trimmed and glued into the teal layer. First outing for the folder, which I've had for a while now

- snippets of teal card in different shades from light to dark, die cut using Frantic Stampers 'Petite Butterflies' plate

- the plate die cuts eight (3 sizes) butterflies in one go, complete with bodies which you can use singly or layer up. I think they would be great fun in really wild colours mixed like hot pink, lime and tango orange for example

- I layered some of them up and left some single, using Glossy Accents and a cocktail stick before gluing them onto the card front and flicking the wings up

A really quick and fairly CAS Cuttlebug Mania DT make from me this time but it was fun playing with the butterfly die cuts and I can see this die being used a lot more.

Sigh, it was on offer at a third off so I tried to get one as a Playground prize, no luck though - they emailed a couple of days later saying they only had one available :( More annoyingly, they did the same with a lovely Christmas die I also bought and wanted one the same for the Playground toy box. I suspect they were trying to clear out their Frantic Stampers old stock. That's a pet gripe of mine when stockists don't have real-time stock levels shown - some of the smallest sellers can do it so why not the big boys?!

Grump over, hops down from soap box.

Why not make a snippets card covering both Cuttlebug Mania and Mrs A's challenge? Three challenges in one go! I'll be watching with interest :)


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 226

Hi there - another new week in the Snippets Playground! Without any further waffle, let's get straight on.

My snippets card today is THE most unashamed CASE ever - and it's a Christmas card so look away now if you're faint hearted and just think it's too soon for Christmas cards!

The story of this card: back in Week 204 in the Playground, Kim made THIS card, which I had as a weekly pick. Kim got the idea from elsewhere - but what really struck me besides the snowman as seen from above was her totally brilliant use of the swirling embossing folder, not seen that anywhere else for sure! It bugged me for ages and in the end I just had to make it (three the same in fact!) although I did also use a round swirling sentiment 'cos I already had that stamp and then made the arms a little differently (die cut them) and added a hat - but other than that it's a very obvious copy - made with much admiration of Kim's original card. And, at the back of my mind I just know that one of you girlies also did similar as well - please say if you did a 'viewed from above snowman' card and I'll add a link here:
I used:

- 4" x 5.5" white card blank (I almost used white Centura Pearlescent card stock to make the card blank but opted for plain 300gsm white - in the interests of economy :)

- piece of baby blue pearlescent card stock, embossed using a 4.25" x 5.75" folder from the Cuttlebug 'Coolio' set of four folders (an unusually modern set of folders) and trimmed to just slightly smaller than the card front before being glued in place

- white Centura Pearl card snippets, die cut into three circles using dies from the Tonic Studios 'Circle Layering' die set and edged with 'Crystal Ice' Stickles

- layered the bottom two circles onto the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- next added the arms using ultra sticky tape underneath where the snowman's head would sit, die cut then trimmed from a snippet of brown card using a Memory Box 'Woodland Branch' die

- two little snippet strips of royal blue card had the ends fringes and were then added directly onto the underneath of the snowman's head - which was then backed with a thin sticky pad and added to the snowman's body

- used small and a couple of larger black self-adhesive gems for the mouth, eyes and buttons

- then added an orange carrot nose and black hat - hand cut from teeny little snippets

- the sentiment was stamped onto a snippet of white Centura Pearlescent card stock using 'Jet Black' Ranger Archival ink and a (sadly discontinued) sentiment from Elzybells

- die cut the sentiment using a circle die and glued it onto the card front before adding three small aurora borealis gems - look closely, they are there!

The reason I used black gems instead of my intended punched black dots was 'cos even without those this card is large letter rate. Plus, for posting it'll need a small piece of bubble wrap or similar to protect the snowman if it's posted rather than hand-delivered.

Thanks so much once again for the inspiration Kim!

Let's move straight onto this week's peek at the picks:

Lots of you have already hopped over and commented on this terrific card, made by Liz - who so often comes up with brilliant ideas. I especially love the 'Pin Art' effect of the threading in opposite corners - took me back a few decades to when I used to sit hammering 'pin head tacks' into material covered board with a paper pattern taped over the material (you tore it away after the pins were in place) to create crochet thread wall art. I made a gold and silver Penny Farthing bicycle on a black velvet background once - what a dust trap but it was a real talking point (the threading, not the dust!).

Next I moved onto making macramé hanging plant pot holders, and hung them all over the place! Added to the cork tiled feature walls (remember those anyone?) it really was a bit of a 70's time capsule. I've often wondered how much the next owners of that house (they still live there all these years later) cursed us when they came to remove them - don't let's go down that road! That's why sticking anything at all to walls apart from kitchen and bathroom tiles is so off my list! We made the mistake of having some decorative wallpaper borders here about 20 years ago now - very much the fashion then but now we're trying to get the very last of the flipping things off it's a total nightmare!

Enough of the rabbiting already - let's move on:

Love these darling Babushka dolls, made by Carole J. Great use of snippets and such a clever idea to have a smaller one tucked inside the other one - really ingenious and lovely paper piecing Carole!

Laurie always comes up with new and innovative ideas for using dies - then shows them here and forces encourages some of us to run off and buy even more dies than we already have or need. Love this card, and what great paper piecing too! A perfect New Home card.

I totally love this Fathers Day card, made by Jackie T. A wonderful nautical design (clever porthole!) and lots of lovely die cutting using up plenty of snippets as well. Brilliant!

I totally went 'Wow' when I saw this beautiful card, made by Glennis. Glennis makes me smile, she make such gorgeous cards and is also a lady of few words. Right now she hasn't got the follower numbers she deserves (IMHO) so I'm asking that perhaps you hop over and add yourself. She will most probably do a (very quiet I'm sure) Happy Dance! This card is so beautiful, perfectly stamped in luscious colours and I just love the sentiment.

White on black is so 'in' right now and always reminds me of those Dymo labelling machines we had years ago. I know they've made a comeback but these days it's all electronics, back then you twiddled a dial round to set one letter in place at a time before squeezing the sides together to make the impression. I used to sit for literally hours (in a kaftan or flared trousers of course) labeling music cassettes, copied from my ex-OH's vast collection of vinyl (he copied and taped, I labeled as instructed, so we could play them in the car or caravan cassette players. Gosh, I do so sound like my Granny!

And here's another example of a really gorgeous card, made by Greta and also using the white embossing on black technique for the sentiment strip - love it! So bright and a real splash of Spring as well.

I could go on for hours here - but there's washing on the line calling to be ironed. I love that smell which seems to permeate the house when the iron is being used on linens and clothes freshly dried outdoors.

Do remember that previous Mr Linkies are always there in previous weekly posts if you get time to go and have a browse, or want to check out an idea you spotted - as always, there are so many fabulous ideas from you all that it's a real headache getting the number of picks down to something manageable.

We had one new Playmate this week:
Lesia entered this gorgeous April Showers card over at Cuttlebug Mania, I spotted that she'd used scraps/snippets and encouraged her to come and join in the fun over here. Such a sweet image and a perfect design.

Sending a huge and a happy 'Hello' to you Lesia - hope to see you back again!

Time now for the prize draw for the Uniko 'Pure Florals: Gerbera' stamp set, and the winner is:
Well done Andrea, it's almost six months since your last win and I do still have your address. In fact, I've just had a walkabout break and have packaged your prize already.Will post it this week - hope you have fun using it. It was a popular prize, not surprisingly really - and I did wish I had a few more to offer of course! Uniko's prices are creeping up so please - if you want a stamp set - order it ASAP. Bev keeps her prices as low as possible I know so just be aware that general costs are rising.

Now for this coming week's prize - a couple of (always new and unused) items, the same as I used for my snippets card:
 It's a four piece set of Cuttlebug embossing folders, called 'Coolio' in  (very modern and different with two dies sized 5" x 7" and the other two at 4.25" x 4.75", it also includes the design I used for my snippets card above of course) - plus, a Memory Box 'Woodland Branch' die.

Now, you don't need to make a snowman card of course - the folders are pretty funky and would be especially good for male cards I think - I can see robots for example! Plus, the 'Woodland Branch' die has umpteen uses besides snowmans' arms :) I've seen birds perched on it, baubles dangled from it, a cluster in a die cut vase with just a few small flowers (very Oriental!) - and many other ways of course. The vase can be cut from a bauble die BTW :) Sold you on them?

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 30th April. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. If you only want to play for either the embossing folders or the branch die, just say so in your comment and if you win then I'll do a further draw for the other item. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Hope you have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing you in the Playground.

Parsnip is was strutting round here - like a flipping peacock. Whilst on line browsing for something altogether different I found a really sweet little teddy bear die and of course had to have it for the little cards I make to enclose with Playground prizes. It's Parsnip to a tee - and he went all silly when he saw it on the desk here. As I always do, it was then popped into one of the files holding magnetic sheets in sturdy pouches and a note kept of the name at the front of the file before being put into my sliding wall of shelves.

During the early hours of Wednesday morning I heard scrabbling round in the craft room and a lot of huffing and puffing. I crept out of bed and tip-toed to take a peek and there was Parsnip, in his light blue stripy PJs, up to no good as usual! He was struggling to lift the Cuttlebug across the desk and start die cutting 'multiple Parsnips'! Ambition - to make an army and rule the craft world apparently! Goodness knows how he didn't kill himself - which he might well have if he'd got to the stage of heaving the relevant file of dies down from a shelf. I recited Elf and Safety Regs to him then tucked him firmly back in bed - threatening to tie him down with a rope through his PJ sleeves. He snivelled, wiped his little button nose on his sleeve, gross -  and said he's gonna tell you all how mean I am! If he does then I'll be posting a photo of him in his PJs on here in retaliation!

Good grief, my life is now ruled by a small white fluffy bear? 

Di and, of course, Parsnip

Friday, 22 April 2016

I wouldn't choose it as wallpaper

..........that was the verdict of my in-house critic when he spotted today's card on my desk:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- papers are all from the Echo Park 'Hello Summer' paper pad - I'm determined to finish the remaining few sheets and the snippets tucked in the back - come h*ll or high water!

- first of all I die cut the word 'Hello' using another Frantic Stamper card band die - this one is called (unsurprisingly) 'Hello', into a full sized lime green sheet of paper and trimmed the edges to just a bit less than the card blank size 

- next I backed the word using a snippet of pinky-red paper from the pad and cut it to the same width as the lime green layer - after taping it in place. I'd forgotten my usual trick which is to add the backing paper first and then trim the two layers together, to ensure a perfect fit at either side. Luckily it worked anyhow :)

- then added the 'wallpaper', which again reminds me very much of a retro dress I had a lot of years ago - when retro was 'hip' and we were creating history - snort

- then glued it all to the card front

Len and I didn't know one another back in the days when retro was actually the fashion of the day first time round. Good job maybe - some of the clothes I wore would perhaps have given rise to 'And you're really going out in that?'. Hey, wait, that was my Dad's expression.

Anyone remember the very distinctive perfume called 'Pagan'? It came in a tiny little bottle in a black box with a 'warning leaflet', which basically said it would bring out the primitive in men - as well as 'don't wear it if you're only bluffing'. I made the mistake of letting my Dad see the little warning leaflet and forever afterwards, if he smelled me wearing 'Pagan', he would beat his chest and roar like a gorilla! All these years later (far too many years) I still miss his impish and often quite crazy sense of the ridiculous.

Good grief, I Googled it and you can still buy Pagan all these years later (£4.99 from Amazon)! I ordered a bottle, just for old time's sake, it arrived in double quick time and smells exactly the same :)