Friday 30 September 2016

Bee 'fly past'

I had under half an hour spare the other afternoon and managed another really quick card - inspired by a little stamp that is so cute. It sits on a shelf within my line of sight in the craft room.

This is the end result:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank, tent style

- snippet of yellow card - my swatch shows it as SU's 'Daffodil Delight', with just a tiny bit trimmed off to be slightly smaller than the card front, then glued in place

- piece of white card stock, trimmed to an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the yellow layer of card and each of two opposite corners then die cut using a 'honeycomb' die from the Memory Box 'Distressed Baptisia Collage' die set. Had backed the piece of card using Stick-It, knowing it would be very tricky to use glue without risking overspill into the 'honeycombs'

- stamped the sentiment first, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a discontinued Elzybells sentiment

- then stamped two (and a bit) bees using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and Penny Black's 'honey!!' stamp

- coloured the bees with a couple of yellow Pro markers and added some clear Wink of Stella to the wings - done!

Bad girl - I've had that set of 'Distressed Baptisia Collage' dies for over six months now, and this is only the second time I've used it, two still haven't even had contact with card yet.

Today is the day of the 'big craft mess' up in Coventry - wish us luck!

The boy and the girl draw

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Upcycling - times three

About a week ago I was idly flicking through the box of received/shop bought Christmas cards that I always hang onto after each Christmas. Am quite selective though and if I truly can't see any way a card could be up cycled then it goes off to one of the supermarket collecting points in January for The Woodland Trust. I always hang onto hand made/crafted cards and absolutely love looking through them - those I won't ever part with, or re-use, needless to say!

Back to my 'idle flicking' - this is the glossy 'shop bought card' that caught my attention:
I love robins and it's such a pretty card just as it is really. But, nine on one card seemed much too tempting not to have a play with.  The images are quite small, about 1.5" square each and no sentiment, but a die set that I bought not too long ago came to mind.

I must confess that I'm quietly delighted with how the three cards I made out of that one card turned out - here they all are:
And here's a single one on its own, for a better view:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank, tent style

- one triple window die from the Just Rite Frame Set 'Three in a Row' to die cut the apertures. I did have to trim a teensy bit off one side of the card before positioning the die, just to be sure it would fit through the Cuttlebug in a single layer. The secret is to line up the die so you have it at equal distance from the top of the card as well as on either side - if you're aiming to make a similar card

- so now there was a card with three stitched apertures i on the front - cool :)

- next I double checked the robin images and sadly each one would need to be positioned separately - it was a gnats whisker but too risky to try and adhere strips of three at a time, sigh just my luck :(

- backed each aperture with red line tape and trimmed the images so there was a good overlap before adding them behind the apertures. One tip, I added all the red line tape around the apertures for each single square before starting to add the images from behind (by eyeballing from the front of course)  and then just peeled off as much backing as was needed as I went. Reason? Too much of a chance of accidentally sticking bits where not needed - remember am still recovering from 'turquoise-gate' here!

- now the images were in place behind each aperture - and of course this was the point at which I fretted about wrecking the whole venture, getting ready to stamp the sentiment

- backed the inside of each front of the cards with a slightly smaller piece of white card stock using red line tape, so I could work without any stray 'sticky bits'

- then, using the Misti I aligned a stamp from the triple stamp Inkyylicious 'Seasons Greetings' sentiments set and inked it up using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamped it in place - phew, always a risk but it worked just fine! Should have done that earlier really but I just couldn't visualise which of the sentiments in the triple set would look best.

The die set also comes with an outline die to cut those frames in a row, 'free-standing', as an 'add-on die to a card top - if that makes sense And there are also three dies to cut smaller 'stitched' square inserts or cutouts. Really versatile!

They also do a two by two die (ie, four squares) and I so wish I could recall just who perked my interest to go hunting! Apologies but I do look at so many blogs each week, sigh. Bad  for the purse!

Card(s) all done, and I had three almost the same - apart from the slightly different images and the in-house critic gave them a double thumbs up - yay!

This card is for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge #300 -'Use a sentiment' of course.

 As well as Hazel's other Christmas challenge blog, which is Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for September.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Addicted to CAS - Challenge #97 - 'Stitched'

The current challenge over at Addicted to CAS (#97) is 'Stitched'. I had several ideas for my entry but time was against me due to the impending 'expedition'. In the end I made this card literally in 10 minutes flat, probably a first for me!
I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" card blank, tent style

- a stamp called 'Patchwork Daisy' by Funstamps, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black ink onto white card stock

- coloured the daisy using Pro markers

- die cut the image panel using a Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die

- added the word 'friend' using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches 'Sentiment Sampler' set - oh how I do love those sentiment stamps!

- glued the panel onto the card front

It took longer to write this than to make the card! The photo has a slightly blue tinge to it on my screen here - it's a pure white card and background I promise :)

And to think, I'd never used this stamp before despite having it for ages. It was one of those buys when you just don't feel it's right somehow. I think it's because each petal on the image transfer on the wooden back of the stamp is a different colour with the detail all coloured in different colours too - and it looks quite garish.

I even offered it for sale on here a while ago and was totally underwhelmed by a rush of interest, then I thought I'd just give it away at some point and popped it into a box of slightly unloved stamps that I didn't think I'd ever use again.

Got that one wrong - keeping to one colour for the petals has made me love the stamp all over again :)

Sunday 25 September 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 248

This coming week will see me 'missing in action' from Thursday to Sunday at 'The Midlands Great British Craft Festival' in Coventry with Kim and others from the Snippets Playground. If any of you plan to be there and would like to meet up - do let me know! The Friday is a pre-booked day of workshops - and they're mostly - shudder - mixed media! We booked this little jolly back in July after our Southampton meet up with Darnell, well before I had a first play with the dreaded 'messy stuff' - should be verrry interesting :) Sigh.

We plan to be there all day Saturday at the Fayre as well - doing some shopping no doubt and may even pop back for a last look on the Sunday morning before setting off for home again.

That means I'll be scheduling next Sunday's snippets post (Week 249) with a new Mr Linky and a new prize to be won. But, my post won't include any picks or the winner of this coming week's prize. Those will appear on a bigger than usual Week 250 on 9th October, with some picks from the whole fortnight as well.

Doing things this way has been really made all the more possible just a day or two ago by our lovely Jane W offering to act as Prefect when she picked up that I was going to be away for a few days. So Jane will be commenting over this coming week and will let me have a note of her picks in time for the post I'll do for Week 250. I'll still be trying to peek into the Playground now and then but, although we'll have wi-fi where we're staying whilst away, a lot of the time will be spent totally out of touch with the internet - so I can't thank Jane enough for her really kind offer to 'babysit' you for this week. We've gone for the whole week as it frees some time up for me before going away and also gives Jane the chance to build up her possible 'weekly picks' list. What a lovely bunch you girls are! It really has been such an enormous help now and then (notably from Sarn and Eve) to have someone step in to help out when things here become stretched.

Here's my snippets make for today:
I used:

- 4" x 4" white card blank

- a snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card for the frame

- a little snippet of what I think could be a leftover from a Kanban background sheet of card with the snowy landscape design already printed

- white snippets and the really sweet Poppy Stamps set of stamps called 'Love never melts'. Stamped the images using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' and did a little bit of colouring using Pro markers and Whispers markers'

- then die cut all the little stamped elements using the matching Poppy Stamps dies

- glued the pieces in place to create the scene, stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and added the heart - all from the same sets of stamps and dies

- then glued the red frame to the back of the image panel and glued the whole thing onto the card front

I love these little stamps and dies - I made it look as if my snowman was juggling one lonely snowball :) Would be great for Christmas gift tags too of course.

Crumbs, almost forgot! It's Rudolph Days over at Scrappy Mo's from today until the end of the month - so I'm linking this card into one of my favourite challenges!

Here's a peek at this week's picks - quick scamper this time:
LOVE this paper quilling, made by Val. The detail is amazing and a super use of snippets of course.

Gorgeous paper piecing, by Bonnie. The little secret is that those lovely flowers were originally coloured with a gold Uniball pen and Bonnie hated the result - so it's a real lesson in hanging on in there and using paper piecing to cover up the gold. Thereby saving a really lovely background to end up with a beautiful card.

So lovely to see Elizabeth back playing with us after a little break - and I just had to pick this card for those amazing blue poppies! Stunning colouring and a beautiful card altogether.

Ruth came back to play as well, after almost 12 months of 'truancy' - and what a card she brought too! That amazing die (Memory Box 'La Rue Heart') is so elegant isn't it - a beautiful card!

Absolutely had to include this really fun card, made by Megan. I think it's a brilliant idea, just get those circular dies out with some green, white and red snippets and away you go! BTW, the 'pips/seeds' were made from little punched out hearts and then covered with glaze. So clever!

Another brilliant idea for a card came from Kath - this one is for a 35 year old. It's perfect for either male or female but really does solve those difficult to make cards for chaps!

I really love this as a different snippets make - Alison made a quilt! It's for one of her sons and isn't it great! It just shows that snippets come in all forms - and also that a patchwork quilt needn't be 'girlie' either. Snigger, I bet it took a whole lot longer to make than a card :)

This card made by Carole D is so elegant and also very clever as well. I don't think you could beat this for a design for a 3rd Wedding Anniversary card could you? Those three hearts are just perfect!

Stopping there at eight picks for this week. Each week I tell myself to only show three picks but it's almost impossible to limit numbers as each and every entry is worthy of showing.

We had one new Playmate last week, out of a total of 63 of you who came to play - so busy, standing room only at times!
Isn't this just the most terrific Star Wars paper pieced double layout? Brought to us by 'All Kinds of Crafty' - sorry I don't know your real name but you're so welcome to join in the Playground and we hope you come back to play again!

And it's prize draw time, for the bumper bundle of the Spellbinders dies, the Penny Black flower stamp and the Paper Smooches sentiments stamps set.

I really thought there was a strong chance that this prize might end up being split as some of you opted for only one or two parts of the prize if your number was picked. However, the name that popped out was (I hope from the comment left!) playing for all three items so we'll have one very happy bunny I think. Our winner is:
Well done Lynn! I'm finding it harder to keep up with when people last had a Playground win as we're almost up to 250 weeks since I took over from Jules, but am sure it was a good while ago Lynn! Possibly as long as a year or so.

Can you please drop me an email with your address in and I'll post your prize off as soon as possible! My email address is on the right hand side bar. I'm asking folk to do this just in case I have an old address or there are any other issues with posting their prizes. I'd like to post this off as early as possible this coming week so am hoping that Lynn sees this and gets in touch ASAP.

Here's this coming week's prize and it's so, so cute!

The lovely Megan totally surprised me a couple of weeks ago by sending a selection of goodies for the toy box - with duplicates for me to play with as well! Thank you again Megan - I really had such fun using my own set of Poppy Stamps 'Love Never Melts' stamps and dies. And, there are more stamps to come from Megan folks - but I'm saving those for now.

Both these items make up one prize, they are made to go together of course.

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 1st October. 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, which won't be split of course . 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 :) I'm hoping all runs smoothly with the linking as I hate tinkering on a notebook/pad and the laptop will be at home having a few days rest.
Have a lovely week! Big hug from Parsnip, and of course me! Be good for Jane too :)


Friday 23 September 2016

Merry Monday #214 - 'Keep Warm'

It's a lovely theme over at Merry Monday again this week - 'Keep Warm'. I knew almost right away which stamp I wanted to use for my card - it was then just a matter of planning the card itself - and this was the end result:
I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank - tent style

- a snippet of holly patterned card from LOTV's 'Classic Christmas' paper pad to cover the card front leaving a narrow white border all round

- then stamped the image using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' and Penny Black's really cute 'Snowy' stamp

- coloured the image using Pro markers and also clear Wink of Stella on the furry hat trim

- at that point I'd intended to just die cut the whole image using a stitched rectangle die but then my mind wandered off in another direction and I first of all die cut a white 'Polaroid frame' using the Lil' Inkers 'Instant Camera' die

- next I took the scissors to the full sized snowman I'd stamped and coloured and chopped him down so that he looks out of the photo frame - carefully cut his scarf so that it hangs outside the frame too. Then glued the image into the frame

- stamped '# SELFIE TIME' using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a newish set of stamps that I spotted over on one of your blogs. It's called 'Good to be Bad' by Clearly Besotted - that # stamp is so tiny, bet I lose it before too long!

- I wanted a sentiment to allude to the 'warmth' aspect of Snowy's hat and scarf and used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink again, plus a stamp from a really old Whimsy Stamps set called 'Winter Notables 1 Sentiments', to stamp a sentiment which I then punched using SU's 'Modern Label' punch

- glued the image panel and sentiment in place using Collall All Purpose glue

- final touch, added a couple of dark green Josy Rose hot fix nail heads to the sentiment piece

Another one for the box! And I'm down to just one small scrap of that green LOTV holly patterned paper now, sigh :(

Wednesday 21 September 2016

CAS Mix Up Card Challenge - September 2016

Okey dokey, after the 'big mess' with mixed media here I decided to revisit a technique for the current CAS Mix Up Challenge, which is marbling plus two other techniques of your own choosing. I figured that after the MM fiasco - 'shaving foam marbling' would be a total breeze. Ha! Not so!

Somewhere along the way I managed to press a Dylusions spray bottle with the nozzle pointing right at the lap top! Such a fetching shade of turquoise immediately covered the silver flat part, thankfully in front of the keys though. What a scramble for baby wipes! Luckily it all cleaned up fine but did absolutely nothing for my confidence at playing with anything other than straightforward paper!

I was so jittery by this point that, despite making quite a few marbled pieces of card, I handled them badly and a lot of them ended up in the bin. But I did manage to make this card:
I used:

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

- 'the marbling' itself (shudder) for which I used the lid of an A4 plastic box from Hobbycraft. It's deep enough and also big enough to be able to have a good play - and between times it belongs on top of the box holding Playground Toy Box overspill :) The challenge itself has so many wonderful examples plus loads of links to 'marbling' tutorials as well - not just using shaving foam. I used really cheap Sainsbury's shaving foam from their basics range left over from my previous foray into marbling and spread a layer of the foam all over the inside of the box lid before levelling it with a craft spatula. Then I added drops of Dylusions inks all over, using 'Funky Fuchsia', 'Crushed Grape' and 'Vibrant Turquoise' before swirling them using the wrong end of a paintbrush

- next I laid pieces of Clarity White Silk card onto the swirled and now coloured shaving foam

- then scraped the foam off the card using a ruler and set the now patterned pieces aside to dry. A lot of my pieces had too much white showing - I'd been too scared of 'over mixing' and ended up with a bit of the opposite really

- however, I selected one piece I did like and framed it using a white card frame die cut using Impressions Obsession's 'Rectangle 6 in 1 frames' die and glued it to the centre of the card blank

- added the sentiment using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a sentiment from a Whimsical Designs set called 'Whimsical Fun - Vol. 1'

- the butterfly was die cut from a snippet of matt card which I'd already sprayed with Dylusions 'Funky Fuchsia' and allowed to thoroughly dry - I used the Memory Box 'Isabella' butterfly die as I figured it needed a solid butterfly rather than a lacy one, to keep the CAS look

- then it was just a case of popping the butterfly in place, using a couple of small pieces of thin sticky pad

My additional techniques to the marbling are die cutting and stamping BTW.

I'd used Distress Ink refills when I tried this previously, which came out very pale and soft so was quite astounded at how vivid the Dylusions inks are. Love them though!

I quite like the impression of movement in the marbled piece - but it's nothing compared to the rapid scramble here when I had the 'leetle accident' and sprayed the laptop turquoise. I really shouldn't be let loose to play!

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'New Home'

Time for another Cuttlebug Mania Challenge and the theme this time is 'New Home'. Blame me if you don't like it :)

NB! Edit to say that the new challenge wasn't yet up and running. Jannie has now sorted it out!

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.

Details of our sponsor can be found over on the Cuttlebug Mania Challenge blog.

This is my DT card:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank

- a piece of SU's 'Real Red' card stock, trimmed slightly smaller than the card front then embossed using SU's 'Elegant Dots' folder and glued in place

- a piece of white card stock, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the main stamp from Woodware's 'Bless This House' stamp set

- coloured the image using Pro markers then die cut around it using a Spellbinders 'A2 Distressed Rectangles' die

- used one of the two sentiment stamps from the Woodware set and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' to stamp 'All the best in your new home' 

- die cut the sentiment using a smaller die from the Spellbinders 'A2 Distressed Rectangles' set

- glued the image and sentiment panels onto the red embossed card front

- final touch, a tickle of clear 'Wink of Stella' on the pinky-red roses, red front door heart and the birdies red heart shaped wings - it's just added that extra bit of interest for when it's turned and catches the light

We'd love to see you over at Cuttlebug Mania and the challenge runs for two weeks. It's always useful to have a new home card on hand, I've been caught out a few times in the past when a 'we've moved' card has arrived here out of the blue and it's been a scramble to make a New Home card!

Sunday 18 September 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 247

Good grief, from really hot and humid, we then had horrendous thunder storms on Thursday night over a lot of the UK. The air was much fresher yesterday and today (Saturday) it's positively Autumnal! Bit of a plummet in the temperatures overnight and it's not terribly warm even as today wears on.

Mind you, that might mean a few Christmas cards appearing in the Snippets Playground? :) I read somewhere during this past week that it's only 100 sleeps until Christmas arrives. OK, I bet you truly did so not want to hear that!

Let's move straight onto my snippets make for today - and the camera lies yet again, the 'pink' paper is actually peach in real life:
I used:

- DL white card blank

- I then made a lightly larger panel than the front of the card using thin white card and covered it with a snippet of peach dotty paper from Prima's 'Fairy Rhymes' paper pad which was then topped and tailed with snippets of a cream dotty paper I found in the snippets folder

- at that point I trimmed the whole piece of card down to fit the front of the DL card - so much easier than fiddling on trying to make sure the layers were exactly lined up onto the card front

- glued the whole panel in place on the card front

- used another cream snippet from the same patterned paper pad and stamped the flower using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a 2006 Penny Black stamp called 'dotted petals'

- then die cut the image panel using a die from the Spellbinders 'Labels Ten' set (I first spotted Carol L using these dies and thought they were such a lovely and very useful shape), and ran a ball tool around the edge before removing from the die

- stamped the flower head onto a snippet of the peach dotty paper and fussy cut around the outline before running a black Whispers marker around the edge (from experience a long while ago, don't use a Pro marker as it will most likely bleed and spoil the crisp black outline you're looking for)

- glued the flower head onto the cream panel and coloured the leaves using a green Whispers Marker before adding a tickle of Signo 'Gold Sparkle' to the stamens

- using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches 'Sentiment Sampler' set, I stamped the word 'thanks' onto the die cut panel

- finally glued the panel in place on the front of the card

Hindsight being 20/20 vision, perhaps I should have used a less 'bold' stamp with the delicate flower - but as you might guess, I wanted to use certain items to make this Sunday snippets card. It's been in my mind for a while, and the duplicate goodies have also been waiting in the Toy Box for a while too! Jules really kicked me into action with her lovely post about paper piecing (featured as one of last week's picks) as the stamp lends itself so well to that technique. I just checked back through the blog here and it's almost five years since I bought this Penny Black stamp from a lovely friend (pre-loved). And, shame on me, this is only the second time I've used it!

Time for a peek at this week's picks:
I picked this card, made by Lynne in NI, for a few reasons. Love the image, great colouring and use of snippets too. And the thing that pulls the whole card together is that lovely striped butterfly - clever idea to introduce just a little piece of the patterned paper into the main image panel.

Carole hopped into the Playground waving this fabulous card, which immediately went onto my 'tips and ideas' list. Quite apart from being a really beautiful and very feminine design - I just love the wavy die cut lace edge to the side of the card. Instant impact! I've spotted a few cards using this sort of 'vertical wave' idea, either flat part way across a card or down one edge and it's so eye catching!

I totally adore this wonderful and very magical looking card, made by Karen P. So much beautiful detail - the more you look the more you see. It's a bit like looking into fairy land - and great use of loads of snippets too!

I know that a few of you lovely Playmates have brought really beautiful cards made using 'That Folder', which was a prize won by a few of you recently. I just have to let you see this card, made by Jenny L using her embossing folder. Isn't it stunning? Monochrome at its very best!

Some people say in comments that they really don't know how I manage to choose the weekly picks - given my way I'd feature every single entry! I'm sitting here so conscious of the lovely makes I don't have the time to show you and do encourage you to get a cup of tea, coffee or whatever, and take the time to have a hop around each week's entries. There's so much talent and variety in this challenge!

Here's a great idea, from Barb. The basis of this really rich looking man's card is an image cut from a magazine! How clever is that then? And, I also love the embossed panel on the left hand side of the card - Barb made that by embossing a scrap of silver mirri card, giving it a good sanding and then rubbing a black Stazon ink pad over it! Two great ideas on one card :)

Yippee, we have a Christmas card! And a very special one too as it's a 'slider/spinner' card - made by Suzy (Ike). Really beautiful colouring of the mouse and also loads of snippets used at the same time - such a fun card :)

Shaz in Oz came to play again this week, I'm so pleased to see that slowly she's returning to blogging and feeling better as time goes by. I love this card and really do suggest you nip over the Shaz's blog for a closer look - the gold and red are just incredible! Always so difficult to take photos of gold/silver and certain colours, unless you're at a weird angle!

I absolutely adore this card, made by Francesca! So much pretty detail, a cute image and beautifully thought out and balanced - as well as loads of snippets used of course! A good while ago I attempted to make cards of a similar ilk and basically had to accept that they were out of my league!

I've saved this card, made by Jane W,  to the last as it sums up Autumn so perfectly! And we're fast heading into the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' here for sure. I love those toadstools and the addition of the beautiful Autumn coloured leaves down one side is brilliant!

I'm stopping at nine picks - more than I usually have time for. Right now there's a basket of ironing calling my name so I'd best move along!

We had no new Playmates last week - but the turnout of 53 of you playing in the Playground is really great! Makes it all worthwhile :)

And it's prize draw time, for the  stamps on offer - House Mouse cling 'Rain Flower' and the Kaisercraft 'True Friendship' set of four sentiments.

And our winner is:

Well done Elly! I see that it's just over two years since you first came to play and this is only your second win - so I expect it's 'happy dance' time :)

Can you please drop me an email with your address in and I'll post your prize off as soon as possible! My email address is on the right hand side bar.

Here's this coming week's prize - bit of a bumper selection too:
From left to right we have: Spellbinders Labels Ten set of dies, Penny Black ''dotted petals' stamp (I was thrilled to find this available new on line to offer!) - and a final set of sentiments stamps from Tara of Seven Hills Crafts - one of my favourite Paper Smooches sets called 'Sentiment Sampler'. We actually had a sentiments stamp set the same back in February as part of a prize, which Jean won.

All of these items will make up one prize if the winner wants that. Otherwise, you can select one or two of the items only - in which case I'd do additional draws for whatever is left. But I do need to know in advance please.

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 24th September. 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 - either all of it or just one or two items. 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 :)
Have a lovely week!

and, of course, Parsnip

Friday 16 September 2016

More gift cards, using a lorra stamps!

As is the way of things, I needed more cards (six for now) to enclose with Snippets Playground prizes.

In the 'wee small hours', when sleep eluded me, my mind drifted to cards and I just couldn't get this design out of my mind. Perhaps I spotted it elsewhere - but it stuck so hard and fast I had to make a card following the general idea - and this was the result:
I used:

- A6 white card blank

- background 'Hello etc.' stamped using Memento 'London Fog' ink and a stamp from the Hero Arts 'Dictionary Greeting' set - all the stamping was done using the Misti as I had six to make remember?!

- next it was time to stamp the flower using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and Altenew's 'Meadow Flower' stamp (so dinky and useful!)

- then used SU's 'Work of Art' set, the smeared/swoosh stamp and Memento ink 'Rhubarb Stalk' (the other cards differ slightly in colour of course - I needed variation to keep me sane!)

- coloured the flower petals and leaves to 'match as closely as possible' using Whispers markers. I love those markers as they don't bleed through the card - they aren't easy to find now and are almost a cross between alcohol ink markers and true water colour markers. With care you can use them with Memento inks :) Goodness knows what I'll do when they dry out - it's been about 12 years since I bought them so they owe me absolutely nuffin'

- stamped the word 'Hello' using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and part of a stamp from the Hero Arts 'Truly Appreciated' sentiments set (yup, I do cut up stamps where necessary - and for someone like me it does hurt, but needs must sometimes!)

- finally, used Signo 'Sparking Gold' pen to just add some 'oomph' to the centre of the flower

What a laugh really. I trotted into our local Hospice Charity shop a couple of weeks ago and bought (for a whole 50 pence!) a copy of the Oxford Dictionary - with this card in mind. I'd totally forgotten that I had the Hero Arts set of four stamps sat sitting, unused, in a box here!

Watch this space, I could end up chopping at the dictionary and heading for mixed media! Yesssss, I just saw Santa fly over for a practice run as well :)

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Make the most of it...........

........... I'm not sure there'll be a repeat performance.  I completed my very first, and also possibly very last, attempt at 'mixed media'. Having accumulated loads of stuff to play with, for about the past couple of years or so, finally bit the bullet - on Friday afternoon of last week. I then had a further play on Saturday afternoon, Sunday late afternoon, Monday afternoon and then finished it off on Tuesday morning. I make that five different days!

I'm not sure I can be doing with so many steps and stages, the horrendous mess and a desk looking as if a bomb just went off! I'm a clean as a whistle kinda crafter, my stamps are all pristine and kept meticulously clean, everything is put away again once I've used it - and I hate having half finished stuff hanging around waiting to dry or for the next stage.

Anyhow, after the good ole moan - this is the end result:

I used (I've only written it down here as a reminder in case I ever lose the plot again and decide to have a second go!):

- 6" x 6" Clarity stamp canvas board, which I covered with white Gesso

- next took Paper Artsy Grunge Paste and added some dimension to opposing corners - using a Stamposaurus 'Brickwork' stencil and a Clarity 'stripes' stencil

- once it was dry I then painted all over the canvas with acrylic paint - a mix up of Violet and White to produce Lavender, then left it to dry. I know I could have used the heat gun at various points but I was curious to see just how long it took for each stage to dry naturally

- once dry it was too bright, so I painted all over it with watered down white acrylic paint and used a baby wipe to just dab away until I'd lifted enough of the white to produce a more pleasing shade of lavender

- I had a rough idea of what I wanted to add into the canvas and next I die cut the leaves, hearts and butterflies out of white Centura Pearl card to get an idea of how they might work. Too stark by far and way too neat

- so, I stuck the leaves in place using Ranger Multi Medium Matte - which confirmed the starkness - gulp

- I'd cut doubles of the butterflies and hearts knowing they were being added to uneven surfaces so I layered those together using Glossy Accents and then layered one heart overlapping the other

- out came the embossing ink refill fluid and a brush - plus some Stampendous 'Shabby White' Frantage embossing enamel and I embossed the butterflies, heart and also added some Frantage to the leaves

- still too stark - so I brushed more embossing fluid onto the bricks and stripes on the canvas, scattered with more Frantage and embossed that. By this stage the entire craft room was sparkling with tiny little pieces of gold from the Frantage

- ha! So now the butterflies and hearts totally blended into the backgrounds didn't they? To counter that I took a broad nibbed gold calligraphy pen and went round all the edges of the butterflies and the hearts - as well as adding a few scribbles to the fronts as well. It looks just like gold leaf in real life.

- the sentiment is from LOTV's 'Life's Journey', stamped onto the rough side of white tissue paper using Stazon 'Jet Black' ink and then the edges torn (not cut, straight edges wouldn't blend into the canvas well - that much I did know!) around very carefully. Then stuck the sentiment in place using Ranger Multi Medium Matte

-used a SU 'splodges' stamp from the 'Sheltering Tree' set to stamp a few times using Stazon 'Stone Grey' ink - and was left with the impression that a mouse with dirty feet had run across the canvas - so I added a few gold splodges with the calligraphy pen there as well - and also some gold scribbles on the flat areas of canvas which looked a bit bare

- the leaves needed some flowers so I found lavender flowers in the neglected box of flowers, added white brads and hot glued them in place. Didn't like the white brads after all so coloured those using the gold calligraphy pen and tickled a little bit of gold around the centres of the flowers

- hot glued the hearts in place as well as the butterflies

- used Glossy Accents to add some lavender coloured pearly gems to the butterflies as well as one of the hearts

Finally, called it done! Tell you what, that sentiment I used is somewhat ironic. If I knew I could NOT fail - I'd probably be churning out these by the dozen! But I seemed to hit so many issues along the way, many of which I've not even written about here. I had enormous encouragement via email from Sarn along the way although my guess is that it's the freedom to just throw what you like at things and see what happens that attracts many crafters to multi media. I take my hat off to them as it's most probably how true artists work - I now know that I'm a clean and 'non-messy' crafter, possibly more of an engineer, first and foremost.

The funny thing is, my in-house critic likes it a lot. Then he asked 'so what are you going to do with it, where will it go?'. At that point I just shrugged and rolled my eyes ......... I have absolutely no idea!