Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Get Well Soon Sis

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a brilliant weekend, it's been rather quiet in my crafty nook though I have been making a few sneaky purchases on Ebay and similar. I've managed to order the stitched border dies again from a different ebay seller after my first order had to be cancelled due to it being returned back to the seller by the Chinese Customs! (I suspect a porkie or two was put on the declaration which is daft as dies aren't contraband!) It'll be a while before they arrive but the anticipation of getting an order is almost as good for me as actually getting the craft goodies. I've become ever so slightly addicted to a new to me YouTuber called CRaFTiPoTeNTiAL - if anyone checks out my YouTube history they'll stage an intervention and make me join a self help group for cyber stalking lol. Seriously though this woman is amazing, she uses things in an innovative way (my jaw dropped when I saw what she did using the shaving foam technique with her own personal twist!) and more importantly she gets the same magazines as I subscribe to and makes amazing cards with them. To my shame I more often than not look at the free gift and think wow that's great and then it rarely sees the light of day again. Now thanks to CRaFTiPoTeNTiAL and one of my other favourite YouTubers, Christina Griffiths I'm inspired to take a fresh approach to my craft freebies. I hope that wasn't too gushing - I'll admit to having a bit of a craft crush lol. Here is a link to one of her videos where she uses free gifts from a variety of craft magazines in an unexpected way

Enough of my craft crush - here is my latest card, a split panel Get Well Soon card for my sister Teresa who's recovering from having knee surgery yesterday. Hopefully she'll be home tomorrow and will get my card through the post in a day or two.

I've made these cards quite often so I'm not going to rehash how to make them, unless anyone is interested in more details. I used a Tatty Teddy chipboard embellishment which I got free with a magazine many moons ago, it also came with a 6" x 6" paper pack and I used some blue and pink spotted paper from the pack to decorate the horizontal panels. The vertical panel was originally plain white card stock but I coloured it with a Cool Shadow Copic marker (I now own two Copics!) I added a few layers of the marker until I had a nice smooth coverage and I added dots with a white gel pen and a Stardust gel pen. I also added dots of the stardust to the centre of the flowers and added black glaze gel pen to Tatty's eyes - I think the eyes  look a bit sinister now lol not exactly the look I was going for! I added some silver thread behind the topper before adding the embellishment to the green panel of card. I really like the effect of putting the thread behind things and it's been something I've wanted to try for a while. I added the sentiments to the inside of the card and decorated it with stamped stars which I coloured using the Cool Shadow Copic marker. I added Clear Spectrum Noir Shimmer marker to the stars and glossy accents to the inner ones.

I hope you like my latest creation and I wish my sister a speedy recovery. It's my niece's 18th Birthday in a couple of weeks time so I'm really hoping she'll be on the mend by then. It would be a strange coincidence if Teresa ended up being in a wheelchair post surgery for her daughter's 18th just like our mum was for hers! *cue Outer Limits or similar music*

As always please leave me any questions or comments in the usual places and I'll get back to you if appropriate. I hope you all have a brilliant rest of the week and I'll be back soon. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Monday, 19 September 2016

Another Twisted Gatefold Card

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've had a brilliant weekend, the weather here has been a bit hit and miss and I think summer is actually over now *sad face*, at least the warm sunny weather of last week has gone and been replaced with lots of low clouds making it very dark and dull teamed with spots of rain. It's also been very cold the last day or two and my husband wanted to put the heating on but I was a mean wife and said no - I refuse to have the central heating on until my birthday at the earliest! To compound my misery, I've come down with a bit of a cold so I'm feeling very sorry for myself at the moment not helped by the fact that Chris and I watched the last episodes of season 5 "Games of Thrones" last night on DVD and we don't have season 6 - how will we cope???

I have managed to have another go at making a twisted gatefold card, these look quite complicated but they are actually really easy and it's all down to scoring. To make a twisted gatefold card, cut a sheet of A4 card down to 21 cm by 14 cm and score at 7 cm and 14 cm on the longest side. I use a Hougie board for my scoring and have drawn a line all the way down on the score board at the 15 cm mark using a black marker just for cards like this one. Line the top right outside corner of the right hand panel of your scored card blank up with the black line on your score board and slide the card over until the bottom left hand scored line on the inside of right hand panel is on the black line and score diagonally corner to corner. Move the card across so that the left hand panel right hand score line is on the black line and slide the card over until the bottom left hand outside corner is lined up and score as before. Fold these scored panels back on themselves and the two triangles resulting should match each other and meet when the card is closed to form a halved rectangle panel. Decorate as desired. Here is my version - you may notice that I scored opposite to how I described but it works either way as long as the other side is scored the opposite way to the first diagonal score line.

I've made this card to send to Amy Gray as a thank you for sending me the door embossing folder and stamp set last week. I decorated the card using Crafters' Companion Sara Signature 6" x 6" Floral Delight and I used a couple of stamps from a Forever Friends collection (the canvas thank you sticker came from the FF Kraft Notes collection). I added a couple of punched out silver stars to the sentiment and coloured the FF bear using Flexmarkers.

I really like the Kraft/ white combo of the papers and tried to colour the FF bear to match. The only downside to this card is it's quite difficult to find an envelope that it'll fit into and I'll probably end up making one for it. It will actually fold in on itself but then the recipient won't get the effect of the card when they open the envelope which would kind of make the whole process a bit redundant.

I hope you like my latest card, hopefully my cold won't get any worse and I'll feel well enough to make some more cards soon. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Twisted Gatefold Card

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a good week and have something wonderful planned for the weekend. My mum is rather poorly at the moment with pleurisy so I've made a card for her to try and cheer her up. She loves butterflies so I've tried my hand at making a twisted gatefold card with a die cut butterfly embellishment on the front.

The papers used to decorate this card were from the Crafters' Companion 'Kimono' 8" x 8" paperstack and are beautifully glittered. The wavy circle was cut out using a die then embossed using an Xcut embossing folder. I used a circle die to cut out the circle and a Sara Signature die for the butterfly which I die cut twice, once in black for the outline then adding the negative pieces from one cut out of white. I added some wire for the feelers and some pale blue gems for the body. I also added the same coloured gems around the outer edge of the die cut circle as shown.

I really like how this card turned out especially as by using the wavy circle the dips act as a stopper for the opposite gatefold which is a happy accident.  If anyone is interested on how I made this card then please let me know in the comments section and if you have any other questions or comments then please leave them in the same place. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Happy Anniversary Card (for my hubby)

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a brilliant weekend. My husband and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday and we had a lovely day together. As regular readers of this blog will know, Chris is registered blind with no sight in his left eye (from birth) and little sight in his right, it's hard for me to be able to judge what he can or can't see which means making a card for him is a bit of a challenge. For example he can see some colours but others (like green) appear grey and he has a large blank area in the middle of his vision so he has to sort of peer around it. One way that I get around these restrictions is to use texture on his card so he can feel the cards and to use larger than normal elements. I was really pleased to see that this month's issue of Simply Cards & Papercrafts magazine free gift is an embossing folder, die and stamp set called 'Home For Christmas'. The embossing folder is a door in between two columns which I knew would come in very handy so I was really looking forward to my subbie copy arriving last week. Unfortunately it didn't arrive on Monday even though I knew the subscription issues must have been posted as people were sharing pics on Facebook, to cut a long story short my magazine hadn't arrived by Thursday and I was panicking a bit because I wasn't sure what card to make for Chris instead. Customer services at Practical Publishing were brilliant and have done all they could to try and get a replacement copy to me and I mentioned on the SC&P Facebook page how helpful they'd been but I was a bit disappointed not to have it yet as I wanted to make the card. Amy Gray the editor of the magazine sent me a private message asking for my address so she could send the folder herself (how nice is that!), she actually sent the entire magazine which arrived on Saturday.

Here is the card I made using the door embossing folder, a brick embossing folder from my stash, a 5 die and a couple of other items from my craft stash.

I embossed the door onto some Sheena Douglass stamping card as it's a good thickness for embossing then fussy cut around it. I cut three side of the door using a craft knife and a metal ruler then used an embossing tool and the ruler to score down the uncut side. I cut a piece of green Centura Pearl cardstock slightly bigger than the door and embossed it in the folder. I trimmed it so that it was the door size and used a small hole punch to make a hole where I wanted the door knob to be. The door knob is a Tim Holtz Hitch Fastener that comes in two parts. The first is a small flat bolt that I threaded through the punched out hole then I screwed the knob piece onto it. I covered the back of the green door with red liner tape and lined it up with the white door before sticking it firmly down. I added a die cut 5 to the front of the door to represent the number of years we've been married. I ran another piece of white stamping card through the Big Shot using a brick patterned embossing folder then blended Fired Brick Distress ink over the embossed card. I needed a sentiment to go on the front of the card and I wasn't sure which stamp set to use as most of my anniversary sentiments are quite small, I found a set of scrolls and matching sentiments in with my stamps from Papermania which I haven't used in years and the Happy Anniversary stamp was the perfect size for this card. I stamped the scroll first then added the words inside - it isn't perfect but it's handcrafted so perfection isn't expected. I fussy cut the scroll out using sharp scissors. I then spend about an hour going through all our wedding photos trying to find one that would fit inside the door way. I cut the photo I chose to use slightly bigger than the door frame and taped it inside the door way as shown. I adhered the door to the embossed brick panel then added it to a white card blank.

I really like how the card turned out and I love the door embossing folder and stamp set - it's really nice to get a Christmas themed free gift that can actually be used all year round. I've been crafting a long time and subscribing or buying relevant magazines for almost as long so as you can imagine I have a huge collection of  Christmas stash - I kind of dread August onwards as I know that I'll have at least 3 if not 4 months of Christmas stuff coming free with my magazines and they soon add up! Most of the freebies are non consumables like stamps or embossing folders so my Christmas stash never gets any smaller and that doesn't even take into account the goodies I end up caving in and buying myself, so having something that I can use all year round is perfect as it means I don't have to buy even more storage boxes for something I only access about a quarter of the year.

By the way another copy of Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine turned up today and I can't tell if it's my original subscription copy or the replacement ordered on Friday so I could potentially end up with THREE 'Home For Christmas' sets. I smell a future giveaway! :)

I hope you like my latest card, this month's free gift with Simply Cards & Papercraft has a lot of potential and would make a fantastic new home card or 18th/21st birthday card - it's quite easy to get hold of small key charms so you could hang one off the door knob if you wanted to and have the door number be the relevant birthday. The stamp set even includes a set of numbers and various door adornments like a knocker, letter box and a carriage lamp.The die that comes with it has separate holly leaves and berries so you could swap them for hearts for Valentines or small flowers for spring and summer cards - the possibilities are endless!

I've made a couple of other cards which I will share with you in my next post, so until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Saturday, 10 September 2016

It's that time of the year again....

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you have all had a brilliant week and have some crafty plans for the weekend. I'm celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow but I don't have a card to share with you as I have a specific card in mind and the embossing folder I need hasn't arrived yet - fingers crossed it'll turn up today or I'll have to have a rethink. I do have something to share with you today - my entry for the National Cardmaker of the Year 2016 competition! Normally I keep my entry a closely guarded secret until the deadline has passed but that seems a bit daft really as I doubt anyone  would copy the cards exactly and even if they did - what a compliment!

I'm just going to share photos without details on how the cards were made or this post will be pages long, I may revisit each card at a later date especially if I hit a creative dry spell.

The first card I'd like to share is a circle gatefold card featuring the very cute Little Lady Bug image from Saturated Canary. I love the card I made so much with it last time that I decided to recreate it in a different style.

The second card for my entry is a gender neutral box card though with it's monochromatic theme (ok it's kind of three but two are black and white so I'm not counting them lol) it's very masculine in feel. It took ages to make because there's a lot of die cutting involved and each piece was done twice. It was actually quite a economical card to make because apart from the sheet of white stamping card I used to make the card blank, everything else was made using leftovers from other projects, even the acetate was recycled packaging.

The third and final card is my favourite which is why I've left it until last. It features Cowgirl Tatty Twinkles from the USA collection and some dies from Joanna Sheen.

Each card had a matching or coordinating envelope but I must have forgotten to take a photo of the one I made for the pop up box card. I used my WRMK envelope punch board to make the other envelopes but because of the size and positioning of the pop up elements, I couldn't find the right measurements to make an envelope using the board so I custom made one using a sheet of A3 cardstock.

The competition closes on the 16th and winners find out 2 weeks after that. It's a very long shot but I've had fun making the cards and it's good to know that a charity will benefit from my cards as the organisers pass the cards on to be sold if you tick a box on the entry form and include an envelope and plastic bag for each card.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my comp entry and if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places. I'll have another card to share with you either on Monday or sooner depending on how things go. My lovely husband has come back from town with flowers which are beautiful - I am very blessed. Chris has wanted a wooden Director's Chair for ages and they are quite frankly crazy prices but I've managed to get him one in a sale - as it's our wood anniversary I can't think of a more appropriate present and I can't wait for it to arrive. Have a brilliant weekend and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxxx

Friday, 2 September 2016

Hello...You make me Smile.

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! As promised here is the second card I've been working on this week.

This week's challenge over at Passion For Promarkers is 'make us smile'. Please click the link here to join in . Ladybirds always make me smile (I love them!) and when I saw the price of the Little Lady Bug stamp by Saturated Canary (£2.50 from Craft Stash - currently out of stock though) I certainly smiled because I've wanted a cute girl/ladybird stamp for ages and other places have had them on their website only for it to be out of stock after I've placed the order (I shall name no names but I've stopped buying stamps from one particular website after either having my order cancelled completely or having to order replacement stamps 4 times in a row!) This isn't a big stamp but it has quite a bit of detail and was a joy to colour in. As I usually do, I coloured it in with my Flexmarkers - I'm particularly pleased with how the hair came out as I used a colour combo that was new to me - Gold for the base of the highlighted area, Terracotta and Rosewood for the mid and dark tones - I think I used Spice as well to blend over the Gold into the Terracotta. The skin was coloured using Antique White and Tea Rose. The dress and wings were coloured using a variety of reds (Molton Red, Chilli Red and one other which I can't recall). The planet head things were coloured with Cloud Blue and Pastel Blue and I used the same colours to do her eyes. I added some Spectrum Noir Clear Overlay brush marker over her dress and went over the highlights in her eyes with a Signo Uniball white gel pen (a bit pricey but oh my goodness it's fantastic especially compared to my Inksentials white gel pen which stops working after a few letters!)

I die cut this out using the largest ticket frame in a set by Spellbinders and layered it onto a piece of matt black card. I die cut the hello tab twice out of red and black card and added the black letters to the negative space on the red piece using a bit of  tape behind it to stop the letters falling out. I added this to the side of the topper as shown then added a thin piece of Funky Foam a little bit smaller than the topper so it would be raised above the foiled piece. I put this aside while I made the rest of the card. I cut some red foil to fit my embossing folder and ran it through my Big Shot using a Darice Large Dots embossing folder - this is one of 17 new folders I got from Crafters' Companion during their Summer Sizzler sale a few weeks back. I deliberately put my card stock upside down so it de-bossed instead of embossing as I wanted the dots to be recessed instead of raised. Once it was de-bossed I added black Card Candi over some of the recessed dots using thin foam squares as shown. I added my topper to the left hand corner and added partial Card Candies as shown so it looks like they carry on under the topper. Adding the black dots to the foil piece took almost as long as colouring the image but I love how it turned out. I layered this onto a piece of silver foil card leaving a very thin strip of it showing before adding the finished topper to a black card blank.

Isn't she sweet?

Dotty debossed background

Hope she makes you smile :)

How can you resist those eyes???

I've thoroughly enjoyed this week's challenge and I love this image - I will have to see if I can get some similar stamps as they are very easy to colour (you may notice I accidentally coloured over one of her ears though - oops!) I'm the first to admit that I'm not brilliant at colouring (it's a work in progress) but by following the example on the packaging I found this quite easy to do and I had a lot of fun doing it. The finished card is probably my most favourite one of the year so far and I'm thinking about framing it and putting it over my desk so it can inspire me as I craft.

I hope you've enjoyed my latest creation, I appreciate you taking the time to read this (and other) blog post. If you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places as I love reading what people have to say (and learning handy tips etc). Don't forget to check out the challenge over at Passion for Promarkers - even if you don't take part it's always fun to see what other people make and it might spark off your own creativity. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you all have had a brilliant week, it's a nice short one this time around thanks to the Bank Holiday. I keep getting confused about what day it is though lol. It's been quiet and busy here in my crafty nook, I was thinking about applying for the Crafter's Companion Design Team (closing date 2nd September) but my mojo has been sorely lacking and until the last couple of days (with the exception of last week's Mermaid image) I've felt as though I'd just been going through the motions and nothing's really inspired or thrilled me. I'm sure part of that is down to organising my crudy (craft/study room) because even though I've been doing it for weeks now there's still so much to go through. On the plus side it's brilliant to be able to find things quickly and easily thanks to the die cut labels I've made and attached to everything. As always I've got my usual problem with my organising - too much stuff in too small a space but like many crafters I suspect, crafting brings out my inner hoarder (I'll save that scrap of card just in case!) Something's clicked into place this past week and I've actually got a fairly clear(ish) work space to craft in so I've been working on a couple of cards for the past two days.

The first card I'd like to share is a departure from my usual style and is a Halloween card, I don't celebrate Halloween but I do like some of the cards you can see on YouTube. Amy R (aka Prairie Paper and Ink on Facebook and YouTube) has recently started a Halloween series and she's been buying new products like crazy for the past month or so, one of the new products she bought was a pot of Glow in the Dark embossing powder. I've had some in my stash for years and it's by Personal Expressions, I don't use it much mainly because it's a pale green colour which can be a bit distracting and in all honesty it doesn't glow much so unless you're embossing something large it's quite hard to see any details. After seeing Amy R's video on YouTube (please click this link if you want to see what inspired me!) I decided to get my embossing powder out and have another go.

Glow in the dark Halloween card

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Close up of the BOO, Pumpkins and the skeleton's knobbly knees - not sure about those boots!

Taken with the Daylight lamp OFF - slightly glowing in the gloom lol

The skeleton was diecut using the Sheena Douglass Perfect Partners "Day Of The Dead" Skeleton dies. I smooshed Versamark ink onto each diecut piece, coated them with the glow in the dark embossing powder and heat set them with my heat tool until the powder melted. I assembled the complete skeleton using a strong liquid glue to add the limbs to the the torso. I cut a piece of black card stock to the required size and added it to a Darice Spider's Web embossing folder and ran it through my Big shot, once embossed I went over all the lines and the spider webs with a Papermania Metallic brush marker in silver. I added markings to the spider using a white gel pen. I realised that the skeleton was a bit longer than the embossed piece so I extended it with another piece of black card after I punched a decorative border from the bottom using a Tonic Studio Punch (one of my brilliant £1 bargains from Every Craft's A Pound from a while back). I mounted this embossed piece onto a panel of ribbed purple card stock (Halloween colours of choice seem to be purple, orange, black and green) and I added that panel to a black card blank. I stamped a couple of Clearly Besotted Stamps Pumpkins from a stamp set released a few years ago using Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink, Lucky Clover Distress ink and Memento Tuxedo Black ink for the carved face details. I fussy cut around the pumpkins and added them as shown. Finally I added the glow in the dark skeleton using a glue pen. I should have used a different adhesive because the hands and part of the rib cage keep lifting up but the bones are really spindly and I was worried that a liquid adhesive would spurt out and ruin the card. I die cut the BOO using a new alphabet die from XCut called 'Headliner' out of a scrap of the purple card and added it below the main image using cut down black foam pads. I've made a matching envelope using my WRMK envelope punch board but I've forgotten to take any photos and my camera is charging at the moment - once it's charged I'll add a couple of photos.

I'll be sharing my second card with you tomorrow as this is already a pretty long post. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places. Why don't you follow me on Google or by email? The details are in the sidebar. Please check out Amy R on YouTube, she does some brilliant cards and you might be inspired to make a Halloween card too! Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx