Monday, 16 April 2018

How is that possible?? The impossible card!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all having/had a brilliant weekend, it's been rather foggy here on the Yorkshire coast but the weather's supposed to be improving next week, just in time for the kids going back to school - it's always the way isn't it! My husband was very brave and went out to meet some friends from his past on Friday the 13th (dum, dum, DUM!!!) so I spend a quiet evening catching up on a bit of housework then watched some lovely TV. He came back at half past midnight proclaiming his love and clutching a takeaway bag in his hand. Unfortunately he'd decided to 'treat' me to a Spanish omelette which true is one of my favourites but not exactly the food of midnight feasts especially if you're prone to indigestion after late night eating (I'm part Mogwai - never ever feed me after midnight, ok 8pm if I'm honest!! Unless of course you want me miserable and bad tempered lol). As a result I didn't get much sleep and I've spent most of the weekend half zombied as a result. So all in all not a huge amount of cleaning's actually got done even though that was my plan for this weekend - smh. Still I did manage to find a new card style to try - the impossible card! I saw it on Facebook, I think it might have been a post by Trimcraft but I'm not positive. It didn't give much details on the post so I did a search on YouTube and came up with two videos, the first one was by MayMayMadeIt but at nearly 30 minutes long, I decided to watch the tutorial by Mixed Up Craft - here's the link to the video I watched . For an even shorter tutorial click the link to view the Trimcraft video tutorial .

Here is my version using a piece of 5" x 7" smooth white card stock to make the base.

I used smooth silver glitter card to make the base layer of mats and then added another layer using Sheena's stamping card stamped with a beautiful dragonfly which came free with the fairy stamps in a recent magazine subscription that came last week. It includes a die for the wings, a tiny flower and a toadstool for the fairy to sit on but with a bit of masking I decided to have my blue fairy sitting on the tree branch instead. The die cut butterflies are some I cut out ages ago and kept in my scraps folder - I wanted something a bit different to decorate the edge and these seemed perfect. The dragonflies on the base panel pieces were stamped out using a new mini ink cube that came free with the latest issue of Creative Stamping magazine and is a lovely emerald green. The thin strip under the sentiment was stamped out using Broken China Distress Oxide ink which gives a soft chalky look to the finish but has the drawback of smudging quite easily. I coloured the stamped images on the stick up panel using FlexMarkers and added shimmery highlights with a Gelli Roll stardust pen in clear.

I really like this style of card, it looks complicated (especially in real life where you can pick it up and try to see how it works - how is it possible to have a stick up panel that's larger than the gaps??) but it's actually quite easy to make once you get past the cut and fold lines, tbh the hardest part is probably adding the panels and I will admit my first glitter panel was actually the wrong way to fit on the L shapes and I used it as a template for the next one I cut, I'll keep it as a template for future cards. It was my own fault though as I didn't bother writing the panel measurements down as I thought I could 'wing' it instead! The great thing about this card is that it will fold flat for postage even though the panel sticks up without support and if you you don't decorate the top edge it's easy enough to find an envelope to fit it or even better make your own with the WRMK envelope punch board (probably the best investment I've ever made craftwise - it's so handy!)

I'm not sure how long this card style has been around but the fact I could only find three videos in total (though I didn't scroll through the hundreds of impossible playing card tutorials on YT!) suggests that it's a fairly new style though it could just be one that's been re-named from years back.

I hope you like my quick card share, the video tutorials probably explain it a lot clearer than I have but if you have any questions about it or anything crafty in general then please leave your questions and comments in the usual places. I shall be making a few more of these card types once I've tackled my Spring Cleaning (yep it's mucking out time again lol) and I'm quite happy to do a step by step photo tutorial to accompany my next post featuring the impossible card if anyone would like to see one, just let me know. Until next time - keep crafting (and spring cleaning!)!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A very belated blog challenge post...

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and have had a good Easter etc. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, hopefully I'll be adding posts a bit more frequently once I've got a few things sorted out in my home life. Apart from the odd day it's still a pretty miserable start to spring but at least it's getting lighter (sort of!) so we can enjoy the natural light for longer. It doesn't really make much difference to my crafting because my crudy is north-facing and I can't actually reach the windows with any ease so I tend to keep the curtains closed most of the time, once the weather has warmed up (we still have the odd frosty/foggy start) I'll be opening my window to get some air in which will be very welcome.

 Michele and I finished our cards for last month's challenge within a week of the last post being added but I've not had the time to add them here before now - a huge apology to Michele and my lovely readers for the delay.

For some reason the Christmas photos and the top photo have saved the right way on my PC but have come out the way shown when I add them to the blog - I'm really sorry about this but I can't alter the orientation. For her three Easter egg cards, Michele has used the blossom basket dies that came free with Die Cutting Essentials magazine a couple of months ago. I'm very impressed with Michele's cards because in all honesty I really disliked the basket die that came as part of the set though I like most of the other dies but Michele has to managed to make it look really good and I'm now quite looking forward to using it myself at some point. I love the embossing folders she's used on her cards too especially the script one and the green glitter card on her second card adds that lovely shimmery accent.I love the images and colour palette of the Christmas cards, they have a really contemporary feel to them. A fantastic set of cards as always Michele.

Woodland themed circle swing card
Die cut topper made using circle sentiments from Crafter's Companion

Close up of woodland scene

My first card was made using a freebie called Butterfly Dreams from issue 173 of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. The leaves were made using a generic die from my stash and the tree branch was actually a tree stamp on it's side. The sky was coloured using Broken China distress oxide ink (I now own two oxide inks and I love them!!!) and a couple of cloud masks. The ladybird and sentiment were from another magazine freebie and I added some glossy accents to the ladybird to make it stand out more.  My Christmas card was made using a snowflake die that came free with Crafts Beautiful magazine, I've had it for months but this was my first time using it, I also used one of the snowflake dies that came with my CC Advent calendar last year to make the smaller snowflakes. I managed to get some glue on the background that looked awful once it had dried and rather than starting over again I added dabs of Dovecraft glitter glue all over the background to disguise it. My final card is a circle swing card decorated by a die set that came free with Diecutting Essentials magazine issue 32 called Woodland Friends and has a distress inked background. I used the circle swing die set that my lovely husband bought me for Valentine's Day to cut the card blank out and the circle sentiment. I added panels of wood grain paper from my stash.

I hope you like our blog challenge cards. This month's challenge is another magazine freebie but this time using the Tonic Studio Flip Flop card dies that came free with last month's issue of Diecutting Essentials Magazine, we'd like you to make a minimum of two cards using this die set with one of them being a Christmas card, you can use any items from your stash but don't go out and buy anything extra - apart from the magazine of course!- if you join in because our challenge is about encouraging you to make use of what you've got not an excuse to buy more stash (and who needs an excuse to buy more lol). If you don't want to spend a tenner on the magazine (and I wouldn't blame you to be perfectly honest) then it is possible to make a flip/flop card using any layered die in your stash. Google flip flop cards and see where it takes you or check out a video or two on YouTube - this style of card was very popular about four years ago and there are loads of videos to choose from. If you ask nicely I might even do a step by step photo tutorial for you using a basic shape die *winks* it will have to wait until I've sorted a few things though. If you'd like one then please leave a comment in the usual places.  The current flip/flop card challenge will close in two weeks time and we would love for you to join in, just email me photos and details of the finished cards or leave a link to your blog in the comments section. There isn't any prizes just the satisfaction on delving into your stash and using items you might normally not use in a new and exciting way.

Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Spring is here - pass the news on to the weather!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all having a brilliant week, apparently today (20th) is the official first day of spring, unfortunately someone forgot to remind Mother Nature (she can't have been cc'd on the email! lol) and it still feels very wintery here on the Yorkshire coast.

There's going to be a bit of a delay in adding the cards for the March Blog Challenge because I think we're both having a bit of trouble getting our cards made. I'm afraid I have no real excuse apart from the card I originally had in mind as my Spring card has become a bit of a OCD (Obsessively Crafting Dilemma) and I can't stop making the same card - I've now made seven and they take a minimum of three hours per card to make! Each one is slightly different and very detailed, I don't want to hog the blog with loads of photos when it's a challenge so Michele and I both agree I should use it for a blog post on its own. Have I whet your appetite? Lol I'm such a card tease because I've actually got quite a few other cards which need showcasing so I'm not going to give anymore hints about it until I actually write the post! It's been quite a busy few weeks in terms of cards needed so I have lots to share with you today.

The first card I'd like to share is one that I made for my sister-in-law's partner's daughter, I actually missed her birthday (didn't know it and I've only met her once) by nearly a week by the time I got this card made and sent out and it was a real rush job. I knew she liked unicorns because one of her presents was a BaB unicorn (it has roller skates lol) and I had this pink one already stamped and fussy cut out so all I needed to do was make a suitable background out of rainbow distress inked clouds and a matching sentiment from the MFT stamp set (don't know if you recognise it but I won it in a FB giveaway many moons ago - I've not won anything in months *sobs quietly*)

My second card is a Mother's Day card for my mum-in-law, it was the first one I'd made using the gorgeous circle swing card dies that my lovely hubby treated me to for Valentine's Day #soblessed! I kept the design fairly simple as it was my first time using the dies and I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

My next card is a water-coloured Get Well card that I made for my best friend. He's not been very well and I wanted to send him a hug through the post, I thought this image was very cute but not too cute for a man especially teamed up with the striking black and white backing paper.

The final card that I'd like to share with you is another circle swing cards again made using the Crafter's Companion dies that my lovely husband got me for Valentine's Day. After making the plainer version for my mum-in-law, I decided to add the extra panels to make this stylish black and white Mother's Day card for my mum - she loves butterflies so I added a die cut butterfly on the flip side instead of a circle sentiment. I decorated the front and back with the flower design which looked great especially with the addition of some half backed pearls but it meant I didn't actually have anywhere to add my message so I ended up making a quick note card to write my message on instead.

I've still got quite a few cards to share but they can wait for another day as I've added lots of photos to this post already. I hope you've enjoyed looking at my latest (at least the ones done in the past month!) creations, I think I've been crafting too much to blog which is why it's been a while since my last post - I really need to blog more! If you have any comments or questions about these cards then please leave them in the usual places - I might not reply to every one but I love to read what you have to say and I appreciate you taking the time to both read this blog and comment on it. Hopefully I should have the challenge cards ready soon but if not I still have a shed load of cards to share *winks*. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Friday, 2 March 2018

March Blog Challenge

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a good week and if you're affected by the bad weather, you are managing to keep warm and safe. I've only been out in it once on Monday when my husband and I went to babysit our nieces. The youngest two were fast asleep by the time we got there and didn't stir all evening. I enjoyed spending some quality time with my eldest niece on my husband's side of the family, admittedly she spent most of the time playing with her phone but she did give me a big hug when she went up to bed which was lovely. I did manage to catch a bit of a chill while we were out and my hubby did too so we are both feeling very sorry for ourselves at the moment lol.

Michele has set the challenge this month and it's a good one - we are challenged to make two cards this time using mostly magazine freebies and the theme is "seasonal". To reflect the weather here in the UK and the fact that it's still winter one should be a Christmas card (great for keeping on top of those Christmas cards that we'll need before you know it!) but she would like the other to be a lovely spring card - it's Mothering Sunday next weekend and Easter a few weeks after that so it would be great to see cards for those. We'd love it if you joined in, I'm afraid there's no prize for entering just the satisfaction of making two gorgeous cards using your existing supplies - I know a lot of us get almost as big a kick out of buying as we do creating crafty goodness so this is a chance to save some pennies by shopping our stash! Plus it's an opportunity to get some cards made that we might otherwise leave until the last minute like Christmas cards (I'm so guilty of that usually but I've already made 20 Christmas cards!) I'd really like to make Easter Cards for my family and friends who didn't get Christmas cards for the second or even third year running *hangs head in shame* so this challenge is perfect to inspire me to start making Easter cards. If you'd like to join in then email me your photos to and I can add them to the blog post once the closing date is reached - 16/03/18 which gives us two weeks to complete the challenge. Please include the supplies you used, your name and location (it's down to you how detailed that is, it could just be your country or you might like to say what town you live in) Please only include details that you are comfortable sharing online and feel free to use a nickname instead of your given name if that makes you feel more confident to share your creations. I'm happy to add links to blogs so you can increase traffic  but I will only link craft blogs as this is a craft challenge.

I hope you are all as excited as I am about the challenge Michele has set us - it's going to be a lot of fun making a frosty Christmas card and a lovely bright spring card - it's the perfect reminder that although there's snow on the ground and it's freezing cold, spring is just around the corner patiently waiting her turn.

If you have any comments or questions then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Monday, 26 February 2018

FINALLY!!! Blog Challenge Cards

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook. I hope you have all had a brilliant weekend, we are bracing ourselves here in the UK for a spot of nasty weather with freezing conditions and even lightening storms forecast in the coming week, there's a possibility that it may last until the middle of March which isn't good news. If it is as bad as predicted then I may not be blogging as often because I'll probably invite my mum to stay with us. Our flat is a lot easier to heat (hers doesn't even have central heating just ineffective wall panel heaters that are designed to heat unused rooms to prevent pipes from bursting!) even if it's not in town like hers is (making shopping challenging - thank goodness for being on a bus route AND internet shopping!). If she does stay over she'll be taking over the lounge as we don't have a spare room but the put you up bed is comfy enough and we have spare bedding etc, the downside of it is that the computer is in the lounge and I like to write blogs etc late at night and my mum likes to go to bed early so unless I change my writing habits I'm not going to be able to add blogs like usual. Of course she may choose to stay at home so it might not even be an issue - watch this space!

Let me apologise to all my readers and especially to my fellow blog challenger Michele for the delay in getting this blog post up. Michele sent me photos of her gorgeous cards more than two weeks ago and it is totally down to me that they've not been shared before now. There were some extenuating circumstances (losing my mojo, then one of the finished cards, running out of batteries then getting new ones not realising that re-chargeable ones need to be charged before first use lol) but I should still be more organised when it comes to crafting (and most other aspects of my life really). Anyway we'll start with Michele's gorgeous creations.

Michele's first card is the CASE card and is copied from the one on page 67 of the magazine.

Isn't it lovely? Her second card is her non-CASE card and is a very sweet Christmas card.

I love the way Michele has managed to turn a very floral embossed image into a frosty Christmas design while still retaining the wreath elements. I absolutely love the silver snowflakes - very apt considering the forecast and a great addition to a card that would be perfect for batch making (you could use different colours for the embossed panel - white would look stunning especially if it was a shimmery white cardstock such as Centura Pearl hint of silver).

Here are my two cards - my CASE card is more an inspired by than a true CASE card as I wanted to make it into an easel card and I didn't have some of the components needed such as the scalloped circle die cut and the same card stock colour.

My inspiration

As you can see, the butterfly, flowers and placement on the embossed image are the same as the inspiration card but I used Core'dination card in green and sanded the embossed image back using some sandpaper. The flowers, leaves and butterfly were diecut out in white then coloured in using Promarkers. The easel card was made by folding a piece of white card in half and placing it on a Bigz circle die with the folded edge slightly below the cutting area so it didn't cut through both layers at the top. It makes an imperfect circle but as another circle of the same size was layered on top, you can't tell. The easel part was made in the usual way.

As soon as I saw this magazine freebie I knew I wanted to make a non-floral card with it. One of the things I dislike about the freebies you get with craft magazines is that they often lack originality - around half of them are floral, a quarter are Christmas and the remaining quarter cover everything else like men's cards and kids. I'm not actually a huge fan of florals as I like to make cards that reflect the recipient's personality (hobbies, favourite colours, animals etc) and flower cards seem a bit generic in my mind. Stars are gender neutral so a bit of a favourite for men's cards if I'm unsure of their likes or if I don't have anything suitable that they would like (for example it was my brother-in-law's birthday on Friday and he likes penguins and tartan - both are Christmas items and I couldn't get what I had in my stash to work on a birthday card so I made him a card with a starry background and a spaceman with a die cut star on the sentiment). This card was a good way to use up some of my scraps too as I die cut a lot of various sized stars to cover the floral elements of the embossed wreath. The wreath was embossed into some navy blue Core'dinations card and lightly sanded to highlight the wreath. The stars were die cut out of scraps of holographic card and the tiny stars were punched out of rainbow holographic card - in that case I used the perforated strip from the top of a 6" x 6" card piece taken from a paper stack (The Works, sadly no longer available as it was only £1.50 for 24 sheets of foiled card stock including the rainbow holographic card, I really wish I'd bought loads of them now!) I stuck the stars over the floral elements of the wreath as shown and added some of them with foam squares for added interest and also a scattering of the tiny stars on the unembossed areas. The sentiment was from my stash and heat embossed directly onto the topper piece.  It says reach for the stars but isn't very clear as I don't own any fine detail embossing powder. I made matching envelopes for both my cards using my envelope punch board by WRMK.

I hope you like Michele and I's cards - it was a really interesting challenge as neither of us CASE cards very often and I love the way we both chose to make non-floral cards for our second cards. I'm not sure what our next challenge will be - I think I might 'challenge' Michele to come up with a theme. Once it's been set, I will share it on here. If you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx