Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Christmas decoupage and some challenges!

I recently posted a set of decoupaged  'robin Christmas cards' on here - and it reminded me of what a gentle and relaxing technique it is. 

I then spotted someone selling, in a FB 'Decluttering Group', a huge (24!) Christmas bundle of Katy Sue's die cut Christmas decoupage sheets. I've assembled a few images and really love them. This is the first completed card:

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white scalloped card blank, made by Craftwork Cards - it's years since I used a scalloped card and have fallen in love with them all over again - just as well as I have a box full of them in various sizes!

- decoupage sheet called 'Bear with Snowman' from the Katy Sue 'Christmas decoupage bundle' 

- popped out all the pieces, keeping them in their respective layers - snipping off the little 'pips' of card where they'd been attached to the whole sheet as I went

- and this is where things almost went askew (to put it politely) - I usually use thin snipped up sticky pads for the assembly process - but had a wild idea that Pinflair silicone glue for decoupage would be quicker and even cheaper and so had ordered some from Amazon

- I really love the end result but almost gave up in despair partway through - that stuff is sticky and oily at the same time and I hated using it!

- layered the completed decoupage panel, using Collall glue, onto a 5.5" x 5.5" square piece of Tonic 'Firestone Red' mirri card - having run a silver calligraphy pen around the edges of both the image panel and the red mirri card 

- then glued the whole panel onto the front of the card

- added a little tag which also came in the decoupage sheet, having also run a silver calligraphy pen right around the edge - I added the label using thin sticky pads as by then the silicone glue had been given its marching orders - amazing how quickly the tube goes down as well - not a money OR time saver

- before sticking the tag to the image panel I made a dinky little bow using red metallic cord and glued it onto the tag using a tiny drop of 'Glossy Accents', which I'd weighted down using a thick very heavy old acrylic stamping block to let it dry and not make a leap for freedom!

- finished off by adding a couple of the 'extras' including a border strip from the decoupage sheet to the envelope - not something I usually think of doing but am always impressed when others decorate their envelopes!

So, my big lesson was that silicone glue and I do NOT get along well together - it took ages to clean up my glass mat as well as any tool that had come near the stuff - thank goodness for  having a bottle of 'Sticky Stuff Remover'!

Another thing I realised was that some of the topmost layers on the few images I've assembled so far are too small and fiddly to add without jeopardising the look of the whole  thing. So I just glue those flat onto the topmost layer using a glue pen. I'm referring to really teeny, tiny pieces - and it doesn't spoil the 3D effect in any way.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #54 - the whole set of decoupage sheets was my NBUS item 

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Sunday Snippets and a thank you card

We're seriously thinking of building an Ark here! The rain has been torrential and temperatures have dropped radically.  I'm not complaining though as it's an improvement on some of the steaming hot weather we had prior to that.

My snippets offering for today is a Thank You card with a really heartfelt sentiment:

A close-up of the sentiment - my camera didn't capture the gorgeous shine of the embossing too well on the main image

The snippets I used for the leaves and the sentiment

I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" white card blank, side opening
- a selection of snippets from the Dalton Manor 'Pearlescent Greens' card pack 

- for the stamped images and sentiment I used MFT's 'Geometric Greenery' set of stamps

- stamped and heat embossed onto the snippets of various shades of green card, using an ancient 'Emboss' pink tinted ink pad and Stampendous 'Pirate Gold' embossing powder (such a true gold!). The embossing pad was so old I had to totally revive it using some of the refill bottle of 'pink refresher gloop' but it worked really well and I will happily carry on using it if/when I do more heat embossing **
- die cut the stamped leaves using the matching set of MFT dies and then the sentiment using a die from the MFT 'Mini Mail' set of dies. The sentiment die was a tad too long so I die cut it then replaced it in the die with it partially poking over the straight end to die cut the straight end to suit

- time to assemble the card - bit of a heart in the mouth event after all the work thus far

-  trimmed a piece of white card to a bit smaller than the same size as the card front

- then used a NBUS Penny Black die called 'Curved Stitch' to cut right across the piece of white card, ending up with two curved pieces to use

- dived into the packet of Dalton Manor green pearlescent card and, shudder, had to slice off the end of a piece of A4 unsullied card to used for the 'separation' piece area of the two white curved edge panels held in my sticky paws

- at that point I went for broke and guillotined the right side of the bottom curved layer so that the pattern ended without partial holes

-then did the same with the upper portion of the white panel and glued both parts onto the strip of green card I'd cut just earlier - making sure it was lined up at the right hand end

- then trimmed the complete left hand side, complete with the backing piece of green card to the closest complete holes

- so now I had the width measurement and just trimmed the top of the curved panel to make an exact square

-  ran a gold calligraphy pen around the square front panel and also the sentiment strip for some definition

- glued the unadorned but waved panel onto the card front 

- used easy peel masking tape for a straight line for the leaves across the top portion of the card, which I added using snipped up thin sticky pads 

- did the same with the sentiment strip and called it a wrap!

** That was my first foray into heat embossing for absolutely ages - and I know why! So much of my craft stuff is tucked away on shelves behind custom made sliding doors in categorised and accessible Really Useful Boxes but it's quite a palaver hauling all the bits out to heat emboss the likes of a single card. I just can't craft in total chaos and having everything to hand would probably discombobulate me!

I'm entering this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #54 HERE.  The MFT stamps and dies as well as the Penny Black die, were all NBUS items.

The results of The Snippets Challenge # 462 are over on the Snippets Playground blog HERE.

Dudley Pupdate: The change in the weather here has made Dudley very reluctant to venture out in the rain unless it's really essential. We have to literally push him outside at times - any chance of Dudley ever entertaining a proper walk for sheer pleasure in the rain is not in his DNA! I suspect that Len doesn't mind that to be honest - and there's no way I could easily give Dudley a run around the block!

Earlier in the week I had all of Dudley's numerous grooming tools, sprays etc. spread all over our bed to be sorted more logically into additional baskets for easier access and then loaded into a wheeled trolley to be kept in Len's study/small lounge where much of the day to day grooming takes place. And one little guy must have been watching me with growing horror and the fear of an impending grooming session 'cos he went missing! He eventually was located - tucked right down by the hidden side of a guest bed! By that time the sorting out was finished and he had nothing to worry about after all - what a silly sausage! BTW, his new dew claw is doing really well - hooray!

There's still one week of the current Snippets Challenge to go, hope to see you in the Playground soon if you haven't played already - make a card, come and play. No doubt Sarn is getting ready to dispense hot chocolate drinks the way the weather is going! 

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley

Sunday, 17 September 2023

Sunday Snippets and a bunch of Christmas robins

I was digging through a pile of stuff on my desk the other day and came across some decoupage sheets that I'd made a start on then put to one side. Purely so that they could find their way down the increasing pile and be temporarily forgotten - as one does! I suddenly felt in the mood for some evening crafting and assembling a load of decoupage robins using snipped up thin sticky pads fitted the bill nicely. The following day I made up the cards and produced six in no time at all - two of each design:
Sorry, no photos of snippets - they're the scraps of pearlescent gold card that I used for the sentiment die cuts

I used:

- 5.75" x 4" white card blank, side opening

- piece of Tonic pearlescent 'Majestic Gold' card for the outer 'frame' - cut at just under the size of the card blank and glued in place (sometimes wonky, just for fun!)

- piece of white card, embossed using a Sizzix 'Holiday Frame' embossing folder and trimmed to just slightly smaller than the gold layer of card before being glued on top of it

- glued the decoupage robins in place - such fun to play with and so relaxing. They 're made by Craft UK - Line 000430. I bought them years ago at a craft fayre and doubt if they're available now. The beaks are properly lined up - those are shadows you can see.

- then die cut the sentiment twice using the mini Altenew die cutting machine (if you don't have a mini die cutting machine to quickly grab for small dies then you're missing out. The plates are 3" wide and 6" long so it's surprising how versatile such a small machine can be)

- the die I used for the sentiment is one I return to time and time again - Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' 

- glued the two sentiments one on top of another for more stability and dimension then glued them onto the card front - using a glue pen

We now have our latest Challenge, run by Sarn, over in the Snippets Playground HERE - with a lovely prize made up of several goodies.

Dudley Pupdate: The drop in temperatures here in Hampshire, and no doubt most of the UK, is SO welcome! We're sleeping well and Dudley is much more settled during the night. The past day or so he's been holding up his left paw where he ripped out the dew claw. Len managed to take a look - a bit like wrestling a box of frogs dealing with Dudley at times - and there's a new claw just poking through the end of his left 'thumb'. Gosh that's got to hurt - rather like teething. But, he still manages to do zoomies around the garden when he's not having a little 'pity party'. We're watching closely of course and are on standby in case he needs to see the vet. In fact, as I do the final check on this post on Saturday, he now seems to be just fine!

It was my Birthday on Tuesday and, as always, Len came up trumps with his cards for me. The one 'from Dudley' is below - and never was a truer word spoken/written!  

Love from Dudley - and of course me,  

Friday, 15 September 2023

Christmas cards and the 'Fractured Card' technique

Ages since i posted on here, other than on a Sunday - gotcha!

I revisited the Fractured Card ' technique the other day. Using just two pieces of patterned paper and one and a bit of 'almost minus a pattern' pieces of beige paper from the same pad - I made four cards. Two of each colour layout and here's a couple of them - the light caught the right hand card so the left hand one is the truer colours:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" cream card blank, side opening

- a snippet of white card measuring an eight of an inch less than the card blank on all four sides as the base for the patterned paper layer

-  whole sheets of 6" x 6" paper from the First Edition 'Perfect Christmas' paper pad

- die cut a piece of beige very lightly patterned card from the paper pad using a die from The Works 'Square Stitched' set of eight dies

- this time I used one of Ann Melvin's sticky pads in the mini Misti - I love it (thanks for the tip-off Val). And  stamped 'MERRY and BRIGHT' using a sentiment from Penny Black's 'Yuletide Wishes' set of stamps and a VersaFine Clair 'Shady Lane' ink pad (think I first spotted Kathy K using this gorgeous colour - love it!) 

- glued the sentiment die cut onto a further piece of the same paper, already die cut with the same die to make it into a double layer then glued it onto the 'base' piece of white card 

- cut four quarter inch wide strips of the beige lightly patterned paper 

- then, one at a time I used a glue pen to glue them from a corner of each side of the sentiment panel, right down to the edge of the white card layer

- flipped the paper over and trimmed off the 'overhanging bits'

- then used the two complimenting patterned papers to 'fill in the blank spaces'. It's very easy, so long as you always butt a 90 degree corner of the patterned paper into the 90 degree angles you've created with the strips

- and also remember to alternate the patterned papers!

- I just trimmed them by hand, first of all roughly so I could move onto the next area and then from the back, using a large pair of Fiskars dressmaking scissors - kept purely for card making. My dressmaking scissors are almost under lock and key key here

- glued the completed panel onto the card blank - finished!

Oh boy, what bliss to have the drop in temperatures here. We've all slept quite well for at least two nights now - not sure how long it will last but we do feel really refreshed!

I had a lovely Birthday on Tuesday - still trying to get round to thank everyone for the lovely cards and good wishes. You helped to make the day wonderful! Mwah!! x 

Sunday, 10 September 2023

Sunday Snippets and a fun Birthday card

WARNING: put your sun specs on! I wanted have a play with lots of different coloured snippets - and this is what I came up with:

The snippets - I also added a snippet of black as the card evolved

I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" square white card blank, side opening

- first of all I die cut the bottom portion of the card using a Memory Box die called 'Cascadia Background Strip' - which left me with a row of apertures

- backed the aperture section using a snippet of double sided adhesive sheet - leaving the backing in place on the inside of the card

- then die cut a load of 'rainbow' coloured pieces from small snippets and inserted them one by one into the apertures - they form almost two complete rainbows with a black one in the centre - fearing for the state of my own sanity doing this fiddle faddle to be honest!

- using the leftovers from the snippets I began with, then die cut a selection of stars using an unbranded 'Stitched Stars' set of dies

- at that point I glued a 5" x 5" square panel to the inside front of the card to hide the double sided sticky panel

- put the stars to one side and returned to the already sized up final remains of the snippets of yellow and green card - along with the leftovers from the black snippet I'd had to fish out along the way

- die cut and glued together the 'happy birthday' dies with their black 'shadow' backings (my original plan had been to use vellum for the backing die cuts but that wasn't going to have an impact). I used Julie Hickey's 'Happy Profile die set' along with her 'Birthday Profile die set' for the sentiment 

- now I had a selection of stars and the sentiment words so just placed the stars slightly randomly  and glued them in place using a glue pen

- finally, added the already glued together 'happy' and 'birthday' sentiment words using thin sticky pad pieces with a coating of glue stick to allow some movement whilst putting them in place

- and that was it - done!

I actually made two identical cards as we have some 'younger' folks Birthday's in the near future. One thing I find is a great advantage when making two identical cards with lots of elements to be positioned is that you can set the layout up on one card with no adhesive and then eyeball it to actually glue the pieces in place on the other card. And of course follow suit with the 'sample' you set up for the layout. Easy peasy.

I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #54 HERE. 'Cascadia' die, the star dies AND the Happy Birthday dies were all having a first outing.The stamp set was having its first outing. 

AND, big cheer from me when I spotted that the new Allsorts Challenge Week 745 theme HERE is 'Use die cuts' - and this card certainly does exactly that. 

Sarn has posted the results of Challenge #461 over in the Snippets Playground HERE.  

Dudley Pupdate:  So much for me mentioning last Sunday that we'd had a bit of a nip in the air - this past week has been like Hades here! Not only red hot but also very humid - to the point that my reading specs have steamed up at times! Dudley hasn't been coping at all well with the heat and is constantly on the move trying to find places to keep cool. He's up at around 3am, panting and wanting to be out in the garden - not that it's much cooler there to be honest. But, having a little snuffle around with the huge family of hedgies we're currently feeding does seem to distract him a bit. His paw is doing great - thank you for all the 'virtual' waves and cuddles you sent to him! 

There's still one week of the current challenge left to run! Make a card and come and play - there's a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw! See you on the swings!

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley,

Sunday, 3 September 2023

Sunday Snippets and a new Challenge #462

Challenge 462 is now up and running over on the Snippets Playground folks! 

As there's been a little bit of a nip in the air lately, I'm ramping up Christmas card production and made this one, using some snippets:

You'll have to trust me that I used some cream snippets, left from cutting the card blank and image panel - as well as a snippet of Tonic's 'Scarlet Organza' mirri card.

I used:

- 6.25" x 3.25" cream 'mini slimline' card blank

- a very slightly smaller layer trimmed from a snippet of Tonic 'Scarlet Organza' mirri card and glued onto the card front

- the image panel was die cut from a snippet of cream card stock, using a die from Lawn Fawn's stitched border 'Large Mini Slimline Stackables' set of dies  

- stamped the stack of robins and sentiment onto the image panel using VersaFine Clair 'Nocturne' ink and a NBUS set of Woodware 'Bubble Robin' stack stamps

- then stamped the individual 'part images' onto snippets of the same cream card

- coloured the robins on the image panel as well as the robin 'part images' on the snippets - using Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending solution - at this point it was important to colour far enough beyond the stamped 'part image' as it would be die cut using a circular 'bubble' die

- die cut the part images using Woodware's 'Big Bubble' die - made a few mistakes but I'd cut spares and basically my mind wasn't fully on the card at the time

- once I had four images cut into 'bubbles' - I backed them with 'bubbles' of the same size to make a total of three layers to add dimension. An alternative is to 'round' the circle from the back using a foam pad and a large ball embossing tool - either would work fine IMHO

- glued the 'bubbles' onto the images on the image panel using a glue pen and 'wham!' - it sort of sprang into life

- glued the image panel on top of the already adhered mirri card layer and there it was - all done!

Along the way, I did question why Jane Gill designed the 'part image' stamps and didn't just rely on using the outlined images of the robins. But, they would never have lined up perfectly I expect and I'm converted to her way of thinking! Clever lady and I always love her designs. I made two at the same time of course.
I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #54. The Woodware stamp set and the 'Big Bubble' die were having a first outing. 

Dudley Pupdate: Dudley has been in the wars, poor little guy. He managed to remove one of his (front) dew claws in a rather traumatic fashion. We had one almost sleepless night with him - severely shocked (as we were too). Of course it bled at first and I can't imagine how much it must have hurt him. Len found the offending claw and thankfully, it was a clean removal job he'd done on himself and after loads of cuddles and more than his share of treats, as well as the aforementioned almost sleepless night with him - he's practically back to normal now. We did have the 'poor paw' scenario for a while - which was heartbreaking to see. 

Ha - then I returned home from having some blood tests and he ran to greet me and forgot to hold up his 'sore paw'! Err, hello Dudley - did you forget something? 😉 For now he's only out in our own back garden - away from any dirt he might choose to investigate. As he hates his front paws being touched at the best of times, I can only monitor progress by taking photos, when he's dozing on his back .......... and it's healing really well. 

Love from myself and Dudley (aka 'Sore Paw, Need Sympathy, Dudders' right now) - as always. Life is never dull with him around for sure!

Friday, 1 September 2023

Make a note on your calendars ...

Please share the news!

Sunday, 27 August 2023

Sunday Snippets and Rudolph Days August 2023

It's hard to believe we're heading towards September really fast. As a September baby, I really love the Autumn and look forward to cosy evenings in front of the dancing flames of the (electric effect only these days) lounge fire, using the slow cooker more for lovely stews and casseroles, not sweltering trying to keep cool with fans blowing from all directions etc and most likely still able to spend time in the log cabin to enjoy the Autumn days and evenings. 

BUT, then the panic as Christmas looms closer. So, my snippets card for today is a Christmas card - and I made two the same whilst the place was in an uproar of umpteen dies and goodness knows what else:
The sentiment circle is bright silver but our shower room (usually a great place to take photos) is bathed in golden light for much of the afternoon and so I had to go with the photo I managed to capture!

And the snippets I used:
I scrabbled around in my box of 'best' white card and found a ton of snippets, which I thought would look more interesting as 'leftovers' from some of the die cutting than just plain white snippets

I used:

- A6 white card blank, tent style

- loads of white snippets and a bundle of dies from the Sizzix Tim Holtz 'Funky Festive' set of dies. I did the die cutting using my Altenew mini die cutting machines and assembled the foliage etc. as I went along as it was much less confusing that way

- I also used white snippets to die cut a Creative Expressions Tree and star using their 'Christmas Tree Triple Layering' die set. Sizzix Micro dot sheets were a life saver when assembling the intricate layers of the tree!

- finally I had what I could see in my mind's eye enough foliage etc. to decorate the card so I then turned to the backing layers and for those I used fresh whole sheets of the same white card and two dies from the Spellbinders 'Resplendent Rectangles' set of dies

-  ran the smaller die cut layer through the Gemini using SU's 'Freshly Falling' embossing folder - and then it was time to assemble! So I went to bed for a good night's sleep to approach the 'White on White Marathon' with renewed energy - the following day

- before I went to bed I did swipe a Wink of Stella clear glimmer layer over a lot of the die cuts - not the main part of the Christmas tree as I liked it how it was, and some of the small foliage pieces only had parts 'glimmered'. Not that it matters as the camera absolutely refused to show the glimmer anyhow

- did my morning yoga session with Dudley (he strikes a cool downward dog pose during our sessions and then back to the card). OK, so truthfully I got up and just trundled into the craft room - but yoga sounds pretty impressive huh?! 

- glued the two pretty Spellbinders die cut panels onto the card front (btw, those intricate Spellbinders dies are not the best cutters so I'd had a tussle the previous day with them)

- then added the Christmas tree using red line tape and popped the star in place with a little SU sticky pad 

- next, it was just a matter of faffing around adding the foliage pieces to two opposite corners using partly glue pens and partly red line tape

- final touches, adhered with pieces of thin sticky pad, were the assembled poinsettia - from the same Sizzix set of dies - plus a sentiment circle by Craftwork cards. It IS silver, and a lovely bright shiny silver too - but once again the light and the camera weren't on my side at all! 

So that was my first 'proper' foray into making a White on White card. I did enjoy the process but am not sure that the time taken is really justifiable. The 'in house critic' hugely approved  - probably as it kept me quiet and occupied for a good while! 

I'm entering this card into two challenges:

Rudolph Days for August - HERE 

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #53 HERE.  The Tim Holtz Sizzix dies were NBUS.

The results of The Snippets Challenge # 460 are over on the Snippets Playground blog HERE

Dudley Pupdate: Poor Dudley, he's super quick to pick up on most 'vibes' - no matter how subtle we are. Every other week, his grooming session includes the application of either anti-flea or anti-tick liquid just in a little strip down his back, between his shoulder blades. In Winter it's just a monthly thing with the 'anti-flea' as the ticks here die off in Autumn. However, he seems to just know when the required vial/tube of a single application of liquid is brought up by Len to where I groom him. He does get groomed but he knows that 'vial application' day is serious stuff! He has light grooms meanwhile and his eyes are cleared every single day - but the 'vial of doom' is something else for him! 

When it was time for Len to lift him onto the table where I work on him, he (Dudley of course) hid right towards the far corner under my desk. He had to be coaxed, quite strongly at one point, but it's only ever verbally - to even stick his nose out from under the desk! I was sitting on my desk chair, pushed back from the desk when he popped his head out. Before Len could even lift him up - Dudley whipped out, put both of his paws up onto my knees and buried his head in my lap as if to hide from his fate. It was heartbreaking - especially as I'm the one who was lined up to do the grooming session! Talk about pulling at the heartstrings!

However,  Duds and I  got through it OK - with Dudley stood up on the table on his hind legs like a boxing hare - fighting me for much of the time. What a scamp!l

There's still one week of the current Snippets Challenge to go, hope to see you in the Playground soon if you haven't played already - make a card and come and play and also have a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw! 

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley (aka 'The Boxing Ring Scamp/Champ'!),

Sunday, 20 August 2023

Sunday Snippets and the 'Fractured Card' technique

I spotted a 'new to me' technique the other day, perfect for using up a few snippets. and this was my first play, and the snippets I used:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4" white card blank, tent style

-  a snippet of black and white patterned paper, found in the back of my Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pad - it was only 3.75 " wide, which is why my card blank is slightly narrower than a true A2 size. Trimmed the paper to 5.25" long and put it to one side

- then die cut a snippet of white card using a die from The Works 'Square Stitched' set of eight dies, one of my best bargains ever, but sadly no longer sold by them. The square measures just over 2" square BTW

- for the first time I used some Sizzix grid-lined sticky plastic in the mini Mistii to grip the square whilst I stamped the sentiment **

- stamped 'Happy Birthday' using a sentiment from Woodware's'Deco Sayings set and a VersaFine Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad onto the white square, twisted to a diamond shape

- glued the sentiment onto the piece of black and white patterned paper

- cut four quarter inch wide strips of reddish paper - from the same 'Snippets' paper pad

- then, one at a time I used a glue pen to glue them from a corner of each side of the sentiment panel, right down to the edge of the paper

- flipped the paper over and trimmed off the 'overhanging bits'

- glued the completed panel onto the card blank - finished!

** Another time I will probably stick the double sided Sizzix Sticky mat to a piece of appropriately trimmed thickish acetate to fit inside the Misti aperture. Less mess and curling IMHO. I do have the Misti Sticky mats as well - but the cost makes me shudder 

Here's the link to the best tutorial for making a 'Fractured Card' that I found on YouTube.  There are plenty around, some using mixed papers - even better for using snippets, but this one appealed to me the most, due to the clarity, speed and simplicity.

I might make a bunch of these using Christmas paper - they really are rather effective and so very easy and therapeutic to make, I made this particular card with one of Len's G. Nephews in mind. He will be 18 so I might add a die cut 18 in the lower right hand corner. Still plenty of time to decide though.

We now have our latest Challenge, run by Sarn, over in the Snippets Playground HERE - with a lovely prize made up of several goodies.

Dudley Pupdate: Not much to report about Dudley really, he's been feeling the heat lately, despite the rain and even though we've previously had higher temperatures. I think the 'muggy' atmosphere affects him much as it does us - we tend to turn into sloths! There again, perhaps he's almost ready for yet another 'puppy cut' - whisper that one! 

I thought he'd run away the other day - major panic stations - and a 'dog hunt' through the house and garden. Turns out, there he was quietly cooling off .................... tucked in between the cool porcelain toilet and the tiled walls in the shower room having a little snooze! It seems as if no place is 'off limits', once he makes his mind up. 😃 And the way he looked up, rather indignantly, when I disturbed his dream cracked me up!

Love from Dudley - and of course me,  

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #77 - 'Just Elfin' Around' - Reminder

Jumping in with a reminder that we're halfway through the current Christmas Kickstart Challenge with Jo's reminder post HERE . It's one of my favourite challenges and always a pleasure to join in with the fun. The current theme is 'Just Elfin' Around'' - ie. one or more elves on a Christmas card of course!

I made two very similar cards, just switched the colours around a bit:

I used: 

- A6 size white card blank, tent style

- image from MFT's 'Christmas sELFies' stamp set, stamped using VersaFine Clair 'Nocturne' ink

- coloured the image using Polychromos pencils plus a little tickle of clear 'Wink of Stella' on the ornament as well as the jaunty little bell on the elf's hat (he's my absolute favourite in the whole set of stamps to be honest!) 

- the backing papers are from what's left of two well loved LOTV Christmas paper pads, die cut with a die by Heffy Doodle from their 'Stitched A6 rectangles' set  

- then die cut a backing layer from the white card which had the image stamped on it, using the same Heffy Doodle die

- things got a little bit 'tricky woo' as it might have been better not to die cut the outline of the backing layer until later on - but no matter, this little ship steamed merrily on, 'toot, toot' on the horn!

- so, I die cut the aperture around the image using the perfectly fitting MFT 'Selfie Square' die on top - into the stitched edge piece of white card, thereby releasing the image ............. and sat pondering my next move for ages as this was 'recovery from potential disaster' time!

- then a little light came on and I taped the white card (removable tape!) complete with aperture on top of the patterned paper and nestled the 'Selfie Square' die into the aperture then die cut it. Bingo, they lined up - success!

- I now had two matching 'frames' which I glued together then glued them onto the card front before losing the plot

- and all that was left was to pop the waste square of patterned paper onto the back of the die cut image to even up the levels, and glue them into the aperture!

- sorry that was so convoluted but I needed to write it here for my own future reference as a way of only die cutting one layer at a time to end up with this card - I needed a lie down afterwards! And Dudley cuddled up for 40 Winks as well!

Many thanks once again to Jo for inviting me to be a Guest Designer over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge and I'd really love it if you would come along and join in with the challenge - this is the LINK to the Challenge post itself. It's still open until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time to come and play - we need more of you!!.

Sunday, 13 August 2023

Sunday Snippets and a 'less than boring' dress!

I wanted to use a stamp set that I was sent a while ago by a lovely friend - and this current 'Snippets Sunday' seemed to be the ideal time:

These are my snippets, only thought to take a photo when they had been stamped onto. But, perhaps it gives you an idea of the basics of paper piecing - and also how my indecisive mind works!

I used:

- mini slimline card blank measuring 6" x 3" white card blank, side opening

- a snippet of white card for the image, which I stamped using VersaFine Clair 'Nocturne' ink and the main image and a sentiment at the same time (go me!) from Woodware's 'Little Black Dress' stamp set

- then die cut the image using a die from Lawn Fawn's stitched border 'Large Mini Slimline Stackables' set of dies and kept an off cut for doing 'pencil colour trials' whilst colouring the stand

- grounded the stand and coloured the 'body form' and stand using Polychromos pencils with a little bit of their silver pencil where the top of the body meets the top 'knob'

- then I stamped the outfit, using the same main stamp plus a few snippets, found in the back of some old and treasured LOTV paper pads. I used the Misty but in hindsight think that using an acrylic block would allow for easier eyeballing and positioning when you're trying to pick out pieces on the paper for paper piecing 

- fussy cut the pieces for the dress then glued them in place with a glue pen - finished!

I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #53 HERE. The stamp set was having its first outing. 

Sarn has posted the results of Challenge #459 over in the Snippets Playground HERE. As always, we had some really good entries, which always makes life tricky when the picks are done. We mostly pick our own for our own challenges - but now and then a scream for help will go up. And it always amazes me how close we are in our choices of the eventual picks!

Dudley Pupdate: Rhetorical question - when you have a poo - do you run around in circles doing 'zoomies' to celebrate? Hmm, thought not! That's fine - just wondering, that's all. 

That was a question from Dudley, by the way! Did I even need to say that?

And then of course, later on, you gobble down your evening meal in double quick time just in case it gets stolen by the 'doggy dinner thieves' before crashing out - partly on the landing and also blocking the exit from Mama's craft room! Having managed to already mess up the freshly cleaned carpets throughout the house just for good measure. It's all in a day's work for a canine security guard! 


I gave him a 'Modesty Watermark'! Just in case he sues me for publishing very personal piccies.  He slept soundly and very deeply like that for quite a while, even with me moving around and taking piccies and wot-not. To me, that's when he looks so very vulnerable and yet contented, with a full tummy. 'Forget any intruders - I'm having a snoozelet'! And of course, Honka Duck Mark II is, as always, close by!

There's still one week of the current challenge left to run! Make a card and come and play - there's a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw! See you on the swings!

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley,

Sunday, 6 August 2023

Sunday Snippets and a little bit of snarky

I lost most of this post so here is a reconstruction - minus any comments you might have made. Just for the record. These are cards I made for Challenge #460 over at The Snippets Playground:

I didn't end up using ALL of the snippets but these are the ones I started out with.

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening

- a 'Dee' stamp from the A & C 'Miss Dee #704' set to stamp the image onto two snippets of white card for the image panels and also onto the green and terracotta snippets - bearing in mind I only needed the middle part of the image (dress and handbag) - using a Versafine Clair 'Nocturne ink pad). All of the patterned snippets were all from the Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pad - appropriate huh?!

- then stamped the snarky sentiments, using the same ink pad and a 'drive me crazy' sentiment from the 'Dee Says #790' sentiment set. The 'nicer person' sentiment on the second card is from the same set as the image came from. Bit vicious but it did remind me of a particularly unpleasant teacher from my school days! 

- then coloured the images using Polychromos pencils before adding the dresses and handbags - which I switched around 

- trimmed one patterned snippet to a quarter of an imch smaller all round than the card blank and glued it in place. Then had to cut into a fresh sheet to do the same for the other card - but as someone recently commented, we have to cut into fresh sheets to create snippets!

- then die cut the image panels using a die by Heffy Doodle from their 'Stitched A6 rectangles' set 

- spent ages carefully snipping out the dresses and handbags (those were easier!) before gluing them onto the images

- glued the image panels to the card fronts

- the dresses have stamped 'beads' around Dee's neck - so I popped some self-adhesive teeny, tiny pearls in place

- yay, finished!

I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #53 

Dudley Pupdate: SORRY folks - that got lost but it's very likely he was into a pickle of one sort or another!

Love from myself and Dudley - as always

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #77 - 'Elves'

I'm back as Dotty Jo's guest designer for the month of August - over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge - HERE!  As always, it's a joy to be asked and I do love sticking to a theme - especially when it's a Christmas one.

This time, it's 'Elves' and I had the perfect set of dies, waiting in one of my NBUS baskets for its first outing! Perfick timing.

This is the result:

I used: 

- A6 white card blank, side opening

- a snippet of white card, embossed using the Crafts-Too 'Merry Christmas' embossing folder - then trimmed to leave an eighth of an inch margin around all sides 

- glued the embossed panel onto the card front

- die cut the 'elf' from two layers of black card and glued them together for stability - the dies on the card are all from the Sizzix Tim Holtz 'Santa's Helper' set of dies

- glued the elf at his jaunty angle onto the card front - using a glue pen

- then the fun began! I sat with a pile of red, green and gold snippets, my mini Altenew die cutting machine - and almost went crazy working out 'which die did what' to make the Christmas presents but I succeeded in the end. The trick, at least it works for me, is to cut and assemble ONE present at a time - it takes longer but is a lot less confusing - and also to add a further layer of card behind the main part for both stability and dimension 

- glued the presents and their ribbons together individually as I progressed until I had them all lined up in front of me ready to roll. At that point I discovered I was missing the fully assembled flat shaped present - it was like a man-hunt in here. I'd just swept the little scraps into the waste bin so had to up-end that for a search. Then, I suddenly wondered if I'd accidentally cleared it away with the tiny scraps of unused double sided sticky pads I'd been working with to prepare the presents for sticking onto the card front - and there it was leering at me through the poly bagl Big sigh of relief here

- so the final steps were to add the presents to the front of the card then glue the huge bow onto the top present - using two snippets of thin foam pads on top of one another to bring the level of the top of the bow up to the same as the present box itself

Many thanks to Jo for inviting me to be a Guest Designer over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge and I'd really love it if you would come along and join in with the challenge - this is the LINK. It's open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time.

I'd also like to enter this card into Darnell's current NBUS #53 challenge for August - HERE. The 'Santa's Helper' set of dies are my NBUS - and they might well remain as 'almost NBUS' for the foreseeable future too! 

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Sunday, 30 July 2023

Sunday Snippets and Rudolph Days July 2023

The buses all came along at once lately and so my snippets card for today will cover a few challenges. It uses snippets, so most importantly is right for the final week of our Playground 'Christmas in July' Challenge which Sarn is running over HERE.  And this is my snippets card:

And the snippets I used:

Very simple, just plain card snippets in white (mostly off cuts from making card blanks), and smaller pieces of green and peach card. The camera lied about the peach card - as usual! I also cut into a whole piece of 6 x 6 designer paper for the background - slap my wrists:

I used:

- 5.25" x 4" white card blank, side opening - don't ask me how, I got the measurements smaller than the USA A2 card size I was aiming for, probably thinking about other stuff .... or losing the plot!

- a sheet of backing paper from Whimsy Stamp's 'Blurry Flurries' paper pack, cut down to the same size as the card front

- then, to check for size and spacing, I die cut the 'MFT 'Peaceful Dove' from snippets of plain white card for later - two layers for the body and wings

- knowing the size of the dove, I could position my MFT 'Peace' word die onto the paper for the card front and run it though the Gemini

- backed the PEACE aperture in the patterned paper with double sided sticky paper, protected the sticky bits on the front that were exposed by covering them with the peel off paper from one side of the 'sticky - using easy peel tape for extra adhesion - and then set them aside 

- die cut two further 'Peace' sentiment dies from plain white card which I layered up onto the letters which were the fallout from cutting into the pretty backing paper, using a glue pen

- then stuck them into the sticky backed apertures to create a 3-layer inset for each nicely spaced letter, with the saved pieces from the middle of the letters P and A then popped in place

- glued the front panel to the card front

- time to assemble the doves! I added the beak to the top layer of the body and then coated it and the two wings with Clear 'Wink of Stella' for a nice shimmer

- next added the back and then the front wings to the body of the dove - using red line extra sticky tape

- then had a fun time adding the die cut double layered olive branch to the dove's beak before adhering the assembled birdie to the card front

- final touches, one tiny silver sparkly gem in the centre of the star and another tiny silver sparkly gem coloured with black Pro marker for the dove's eye 

It's a shame the subtle shimmer from the clear Wink of Stella on the body and wings of the dove can't be picked up by the camera - trust me, I tried! And of course, I made two cards exactly the same in tandem - me not totally daft!

I'm entering this card into three challenges - go me!

Rudolph Days for July - HERE 
Darnell's NBUS Challenge #52 HERE.  The Peace and the Dove dies were both NBUS.
Allsorts Challenge #739/740 HERE where the theme is 'Anything but square' and it runs for two weeks

The results of The Snippets Challenge # 458 are over on the Snippets Playground blog HERE

Dudley Pupdate: It's been a bit of a mixed week here for weather so at times Dudley has needed a gentle push to nip out in the rain to 'spend a penny'. Otherwise we're sure he'd cross his legs for as long as possible as he hates getting wet. News of other animal antics - we still have a huge family of hedgehogs visiting each night - they live under the shrubbery in the front garden and come to eat in the back garden - we had a gap left at the bottom of the garden gate especially for them. Dudley can lie and peek out but he can't wriggle right out. 

There's still one week of the current Snippets Challenge to go, hope to see you in the Playground soon if you haven't played already. It's the final week of 'Christmas in July' with some nice bundles of Christmas themed prizes. Make a card and come and play - one less to make for Christmas - and a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw!

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley,