Thursday, 20 October 2016

October STAMPlorations CAS challenge - Mid-month inspiration

It's officially not too early anymore to use the C word, at least in the crafty world. It's about time to make sure there is a sufficient stash of C-cards. And there is nothing like a good CAS design to help build that stash. And at the same time you can play along with our STAMPlorations October CAS challenge where the optional colour twist is black. Don't forget to hop over to the STAMPlorations blog to see all the mid-month inspiration from the amazing DT. You can use any products you like, but we would love to see you use STAMPlorations products if you have them. Just remember to keep it CAS and don't forget to include the challenge graphic in your post to be eligible for the prize, which is a $10 gift card to the STAMPlorations store. You still have a good week and half to play along, so no reason to panic, but don't leave it too late either!

For my card I stamped the lovely sleigh loaded with presents and coloured with Copics, but if you prefer to die cut your images there is a matching die set to these stamps. All that was needed to complete the design was a die cut black sentiment, but I also made a smaller version of the card where I stamped one of the sentiments from the stamp set instead. Quick and easy.

I'm linking up with the following challenges:
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Christmas Goes 
Addicted to Stamps and More - ATG 
Christmas Cards All Year Round - Use orange 

Card: 250 gsm white card, scraps of black card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Warm Hands Warm Hearts
Ink and Colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics
Dies: CUTplorations Let It Snow Phrase die

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Hop To Stop

Starting today my friend Becca Cruger, aka Damsel of Distressed and the queen of gorgeous grunge, is hosting the third annual Hop To Stop Domestic Violence. Did you know that 1 of 3 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime? I certainly did not. I'm sure we all agree this is not acceptable, and more awareness needs to be raised around the issue. You can find more information about domestic violence, it's impact and available resources on the National Resource Centre on Domestic Violence or if you are in the UK there is information on how to find help over on NHS Choices with links to resources for both men and women experiencing domestic violence.

Becca's Hop to Stop is taking place from October 15th to 30th and it's a wonderful way to play your part. You can share info about the hop on your blog, Facebook or other social media and also link up a card that *features* the colour purple, which is the domestic violence awareness colour. You can find more info over at Damsel of Distressed and over on the Hop To Stop event Facebook page. You can also send your cards to Becca who will donate them to the Community Violence Intervention Shelter in Grand Forks, ND. 

My card was inspired by the sketch over at CAS(E) This Sketch as well as the wonderful sentiment from STAMPlorations Fond Expressions 2. I stamped Mixed Media Elements randomly in the background in Versamark, then I stamped the sentiment in black Versafine and heat embossed all the stamped images. I used my beloved Gansai Tambi watercolours to create the background on watercolour paper, which I had die cut using a stitched die and used washi tape to mask the edges. Last, I matted the watercolour panel onto purple cardstock and added a strip of heart patterned paper from Lawn Fawn, cut to a banner using a Lawn Fawn die.

I'm also linking up my card over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge where the theme is Totally Resistible (use a resist technique), Daring Cardmakers where the theme is monochromatic and Just Add Ink where the theme is Just Add G (G is for grunge in my case). 

Card: 250 gsm white card, 300 gsm purple card from my stash, Langford&Hill 190 gsm watercolour paper

Stamps: STAMPlorations Fond Expressions 2 and Mixed Media Elements

Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark and Versafine Onxy Black, Gansai Tambi watercolours

Dies: CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Nested Dies, Lawn Fawn Everyday Sentiment banners

Other: Lawn Fawn Let's Polka in the Dark paper, Ranger fine clear embossing powder

Friday, 14 October 2016

First Look At The Journal

I've been very excitedly creating the first pages for my new Journal/Diary/Bullet Journal (not quite sure what to call it). I mostly manage my life digitally these days but I felt like having somewhere to write down things and do some journalling might be a good idea. I also keep so much of my life on various post-it notes and digital task lists but I felt like trying to get many of these things into one place might help me be more organised. As I will only be using the journal for my private life stuff, not work, I decided to keep it to a small size (A6, i.e. a quarter of a A4 sheet) - I don't think I have that many things going on but it remains to be seen whether I want to move on to a bigger journal if this turns out to be my thing. I just thought a tiny book would be easy to slip into any bag I happen to be carrying so it will always be with me. My journal is a silver coloured Rhodia as I read some reviews about paper quality and the paper quality for the Rhodia seemed to be better than the Moleskine or Leuchtturm based on reviews.

I'm so excited to get started with the journal and it was easy to get going as I was on annual leave when I first got my journal, so I had time to actually create pages and fill them. However, after going back to work, although I've been able to keep up with filling in my habit trackers etc, I haven't really been able to create any new pages or even have time to journal. I had planned to do some journalling tomorrow as I thought I would be sitting in a car for many hours, but now due to a very long story that is too boring to tell I will have to drive for many hours instead.

Second attempt at weekly spread.
One aim of the journal was to get me writing more so I can improve my handwriting. And above all, to start to practice some beautiful lettering. I accept that it will take a lot of practice but we all have to start somewhere. I'm also looking forward to buying a nice pen for lettering at some point, but I don't think it's a good idea to buy too many expensive things immediately at the start but I'll wait and see first if the whole idea of journalling sticks first.

Last but not least I'm also hoping that the journal will inspire me to be a bit more creative and try to learn to draw and doodle. But based on my first attempts, I might just stick to using my crafty supplies and stamps for decorating the journal instead. Also, although I know it from the start, the paper is not really good for anything other than writing - I would love to find a journal with watercolour paper but as they are all for "real" art, they only come in completely white pages, not in the dotted format. The creamy paper in the Rhodia is great for writing but won't really work with any wet medium. So I probably need to use the Distress Inks and pencils only and stay away from the watercolours.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hearts All Over a Wedding Card

Tuesday is the perfect day for Happy Mail, as I do my gymmin' in the morning on Tuesdays so I get home at a decent time. And today I found this fine bunch of crafty goodness when I came home which immediately meant an evening in the craft room! 

Another reason I'm hiding away in my craft room is that downstairs stinks something horrible - one of our snake-babies wasn't hungry last night and seems like the other half left in a bit of a hurry this morning and forgot to take out the rat which has now been stewing in tropical heat for a whole day. Let me just say I hope it's a smell I hope you will never have to experience. 

Me and the other half are going to a wedding next weekend, one of his cousins who I have never even met. Fun, fun, fun... And wedding means wedding card. I really need to get a wedding stamp set, as these wedding cards always make my mind blank out completely. Any good suggestions? This time, I used a few Spellbinders dies, classic colour combo of white, silver, a bit of vellum with some pink thrown in for good measure.

For the vellum, I used Picked Raspberry Distress Ink on the reverse side for inking through the super cute ARTplorations Hearts All Over Mini stencil. I wasn't sure if it would work or not, but I think it turned out quite nice. For the sentiment I die cut a luggage tag using CUTplorations Luggage Tag Nesting Dies, stamped the sentiment using Sketchy Alphabet and heat embossed in white. To finish, I added a whole lot of adhesive gems to bling it all up.

I also just realised that I haven't shown you another wedding card I made a while ago for my Sis's friends. I was in such a hurry to get it sent to her that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product - in the picture below it's almost done, but I hadn't glued on the small panel with the sentiment yet as I had to check whether it was indeed for a Mr and Mrs or whether I needed to change the sentiment. I used the same Spellbinder dies, a Spellbinder embossing folder and Lawn Fawn Violet's ABCs.

I'm linking up with the following challenges:
Create and Makes - Anything Goes with Optional die cutting
Sunny Day Crafting - Anything Goes
ABC Challenges - Q is for Quick
Die Cut Divas - Embossing
Happy Little Stampers - Anything Goes with Dies

Card: 300 gsm white card, silver card, Dovecraft 110gsm premium vellum
Stamps: STAMPlorations Sketchy Alphabet
Dies: CUTplorations Luggage Tag Nesting Dies, Spellbinders Romantic Rectangle Nestabilities
Stencils: ARTplorations Hearts All Over Mini
Ink: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Picked Raspberry
Other: Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder, 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Think Pink

Today's card is dedicated to everyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer and particularly to all the brave men and women who have been through the long and rocky road of being diagnosed and treated for the disease. October is breast cancer awareness month as you probably know if you are playing along with any crafting challenge - there is pink all over the challenge-o-sphere (yes, of course that's a word, why are you looking at me like that?). In the last year, I have seen someone very close go through the harrowing journey of having a mastectomy and the tough follow-up treatments of chemo and radiation. I have seen how a positive attitude is so important when going though that rough journey and will probably make a big difference. I've also seen how important it is to have peer support, and it's fantastic to see how much info and peer support can be found online, it's everything from tips about the best skin care products and diet to help your body get through the ordeal to just sharing experiences and encouragement. All this has also made my work so much more meaningful to me - I'm working on a project which is aiming to help target cancer treatment based on patient's genetic make-up in the NHS (among other things). Hopefully in the not too distant future we will know what treatment works for a specific patient's cancer instead of giving everyone the strongest possible chemo which on the good side works on most things, but at the same time can come with really tough side effects. 

Today's card was inspired by quite a number of challenges, like I said there are a lot of challenges with a pink theme this month. Hopefully they will inspire you too to create something for someone who needs some pink thoughts right now. Fist, the colours for the card were inspired by Colour Q and the sketch is from CAS(E) This Sketch. I'm also linking up with the CAS Mix Up where the theme is Stamping+Ghosting+Your Choice (embossing), CASology where the Cue card this week is Support, Shopping Our Stash where the theme is Duck, Duck, Goose (use a bird or feathers), Time Out where the theme is Breast Cancer awareness with an optional twist of pink and/or embossing (used both), The Alphabet Challenge where P is for Pretty in Pink and Brown Sugar where the theme is Think Pink.

Card: 250 gsm white card, black 300 gsm card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney card
Ink: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick
Stamps: STAMPlorations Trendy Feathers 2 
Other: Papermania silver embossing powder, pink ribbon from my stash, pink rhinestone from my stash

Saturday, 8 October 2016

You Can Do This!

Busy day today, have spent most of it with my new journal. I'll show you soon, I promise (stop rolling those eyes, I can see you!). Then we went outside (yes, we did!) for a cycle ride to enjoy the autumnal weather and were very lucky as it didn't rain at all! I did manage to ride my bike into a big pothole and somehow managed to pull my back and hip. You would think I'm at least 60, although if this is what my body is like now, I don't want to think about what it will be like in 10 years time. Anyhow, I just about managed to finish this card and get a snap of it before we lost daylight. Sadly we are now back in the time where photography time is very limited and I know I won't have a chance to take any photos after work and will have to constrain all photography to weekends.

Today's card was inspired by the sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches and the gorgeous colours in the super-fun inspiration image over at Inspired by All The Little Things. I just love the gorgeous colours, as soon as I saw the image I had to drag myself from the sofa to my craft room (this was post-bikeride) and dig out my Gansai Tambis. Ok, confession, I didn't have to dig them out, they were on the floor next to the desk. Right now pretty much all my crafty gear are out on the desk/floor/any other surface in the craft room. I'm also linking up with Addicted to Stamps and More where the theme is CAS. 

Card: 250 gsm white card, scrap of turquoise card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour paper
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Wheelie Like You, Clare's ABCs
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour, Copics E00, E34, E37, E39, C1, C3, C5
Other: Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle dies, Perfectly Plaid paper

Friday, 7 October 2016

More Brusho Autumn Leaves

Today has been a good day, although also a sad day as it's the last day of annual leave I have before Christmas. But I think I have spent the day quite well, starting by visiting a small Polish artisan bakery which I didn't know existed but is actually located really close to where I usually shop. They make a really nice brioche and a rather tasty sourdough, no yeast, rye bread. Not to mention the doughnuts... Then I went to the Hotel Chocolat factory shop which is located just a few minutes from the bakery. I have been intentionally keeping away from the place, and after going there today I realised I should have continued to do so. Lots of chocolate for up to 70% off. Dangerous, dangerous place! So when I came home, I headed off for a run for quite an obvious reason. 

I also received my Rhodia notebook today, so I started my bullet journal/diary. I can't wait to show you a few pages soon. Although based on my attempts at writing in a nice handwriting, I still have a long way to go. Hence, I thought sticking to stamped and die cut sentiments is probably the thing for me, and I'll go back to practice my handwriting. Like we had to do when we were kids at school... that shows I haven't come very far from when I was 7 years old. Sigh.

And finally she gets to today's card, you sigh with relief. I had some of my Brusho card left over from my previous card here and I was inspired by the autumn inspiration images over at Lawnscaping and Daring Cardmakers. And the image from Daring Cardmakers highlighted a very important lack of horse stamps in my collection. How has this happened? I'm happy to hear any recommendations of cute/beautiful horse stamps that you have. Last but not least I was inspired by the sketch over at Retro Sketches - this week you can pick any of your old favourites from the archives and I picked #221. 

I started by a very light sprinkle of orange and light brown Brushos on the background card and spritzed with a mini mister. Then I die cut leaves from a piece of card I had coloured with Brushos a few days ago. Didn't want the rest of that lovely card go to waste, I love those warm autumn colours. I also die cut a banner and sentiment from Perfectly Plaid and stamped the matching sentiment in Versamark and heat embossed in white onto the die cut. I really love that sprinkled look from the Brushos. 

Card: 300 gsm hammered white card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Big Scripty Words and matching dies
Ink and colouring: Versamark, Brushos
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Leaves, Everyday Sentiment Banner
Other: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Fall, Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder