Thursday, 7 December 2017

December STAMPlorations CAS Challenge - Anything Goes With Gold

And here we are, starting off the last month of 2017. And that also means starting off our last STAMPlorations CAS challenge of the year. Our optional colour twist is gold, so a perfect chance to get those remaining Christmas cards finished. 

I created a very quick CAS Christmas card, perfect for mass production (which is quite important this time of year...). I started by masking off a rectangle, sprinkled very lightly with Brushos and sprayed with water. After the background had dried, I used my embossing buddy on the background before stamping the beautiful Merry Little Christmas Typografia Christmas and heat embossing it in gold.

Hopefully you will get inspired to join us over at the STAMPlorations CAS challenge

Card: 300 gsm Daler & Rowney watercolour paper
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Brushos
Stamps: STAMPlorations Merry Little Christmas Typografia Christmas
Other: Gold embossing powder

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

4 Crafty Chicks - Monochrome

I'm very excited to be guesting over at 4 Crafty Chicks for the month of December - thank you very much for having me, ladies! The challenge this week is Monochrome.

I've seen some awesome cards and tags out there in blogland lately with pink skies, and felt I wanted to try this gorgeous look for my monochrome card, so I inked up some card with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Spun Sugar and Worn Lipstick, and cut a starry, snowy sky using the Lawn Fawn Snowy Backdrop die. Then  I created some snowy hills and stamped and coloured the cute critters. Last, I added a sentiment and scalloped background using Perfectly Plaid Winter paper. 

Hope you will come and play with us, I can't wait to see what you make inspired by the monochrome theme.

Card: 250 gsm white card, Hobbycraft 190 gsm white card, scrap of pink card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Winter Unicorn, Winter Alpaca, Critters in the Arctic, Joy to the Woods and matching dies
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Copics
Dies: Lawn Fawn Scalloped Rectangles, Stitched Rectangles, Hillside Border, Forest Border, Snowy Backdrop, Merry Christmas Border
Other: Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Winter

Friday, 1 December 2017

ARTplorations Stencil Hop Reminder

Just popping in to remind you that the ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop is still in full swing. You can find all the info in the main ARTplorations Blog Hop post.

I used the new Christmas Tree 1 stencil to create this year's batch of mass-produced cards. I feel like it's always good to have a big pile to use for neighbours, colleagues etc. I like the cards to be something simple enough to produce in a large quantity and I also want them to be something quite unique and a bit artsy, and suitable for all types of winter celebrations.

Initially, when I started working with the Christmas tree stencil, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Then I thought of layering the stencil multiple times and inking it up with different colours and all of a sudden I just fell in love with it completely and decided the artsy trees were the perfect background for this years' card. And it's so easy to extend the pattern, so I covered a whole A4 sheet with the background pattern, perfect for cutting the squares for the card backgrounds. Then I all I needed was to die cut the Christmas trees in gold mirri card. I also die cut some baubles and stars for the inside of the cards and finished off with a sentiment in black ink. Got a whole bunch of these finished already, and a few more in the making.

Card: Stampin' Up Real Red card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, gold mirri card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Homespun Christmas
Stencil: ARTplorations Christmas Tree 1
Ink: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Twisted Citron
Dies: CUTplorations Christmas Icons - Christmas Tree 1, Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle Nesting dies, Joy to the Woods matching dies

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop

Today there is a special treat over at the STAMPlorations blog as we are celebrating the annual ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop. This year we are showcasing the brand new gorgeous stencils from the talented Sanna Lippert of Papierstau. Please come and hop along with us, pretty much everyone on the STAMPlorations DT are featuring these gorgeous stencils today! And of course, there is a little something in it for you as well. You have the chance to win either a gift certificate to the STAMPlorations store or some of Sanna's yummy stencils. Prizes are randomly drawn from everyone commenting on the ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop and the participating designer's blog posts. The full list of participating designers can be found over at the ARTplorations Stencil Blog Hop.

For my first card I wanted to let the super fun Evolution stencil shine as the star of the card, so I masked off a rectangle and inked Distress Inks in Twisted Citron, Mustard Seed, Abandoned Coral, Wilted Violet and Mermaid Lagoon. Then I stamped the sentiment from Noteworthy 2. I was going to leave it at that but inspired by the sentiment I doodled a frame around the image and added a few black pearls.

For my second card I die cut a piece of watercolour paper using the medium-sized Crazy Double Running Stitch Nesting die inked three shades of green Distress Ink (Pine Needles, Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron) through the Christmas Tree 1 stencil, moving the stencil for every shade of green I used. I left the die on while I inked to create the white border around the edges. Then I sprinkled different green shades of Brushos onto a scrap piece of Watercolour card, spritzing with water from a Mini Mister. Then I die cut the shape using Christmas Icons - Christmas tree 1. I used the stencil to add some Christmas tree shapes to the die cut in Pine Needles ink, and added some adhesive pearls as decoration. Last, I stamped the Merry Christmas sentiment from Homespun Christmas onto red card, cut a thin strip and added it to the card.

I'm linking up my Christmas card over at AAA Cards where the theme is Christmas and over at Daring Cardmakers where the theme is Trim the Tree.

I'm also linking up the card I made with the Evolution stencil over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge where Anything Goes this week.

Card: 300 gsm white card, 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour paper, scrap of red card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Homespun ChristmasNoteworthy 2
Stencils: ARTplorations Evolution, Christmas Tree 1
Ink: Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Distress Inks Abandoned Coral, Mermaid Lagoon, Mustard Seed, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Twisted Citron, Wilted Violet, Brushos
Other: Adhesive pearls from my stash

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Keep Calm and Freak Out!!

Today I realised that I have exactly one more weekend left to prepare for Christmas. No, I haven't lost my capability to interpret a calendar, but next weekend we are going to Sheffield to my Sister's as my Mum will come and see us before Christmas. I can't wait to see her, and we are planning to take her to Chatsworth Christmas Market. I love Christmas markets, although instead of buying presents I end up buying a lot of yummy delicacies for myself instead! Then the next two weekends we will be in Finland to celebrate the 100th independence day with friends. We will be staying in a log cabin in the mountains, and will spend the week skiing and enjoying the Northern Lights from our heated outdoor pool! Including travel, that will eat up two whole weekends, which means there is only one more left before the big C. 

So I reacted like any sensible human being would to the news of having only one weekend to plan for hosting six people for three days. I freaked out, and started making lists. Well, first I made a list of all the lists I needed. Please tell me I'm not the only one?

In addition to freaking out about lists, I also realised that I don't have nearly enough cards to send to everyone. I've been a very bad card maker this year and completely failed to prepare for the biggest holiday in the card-making calendar. But this year, instead of feeling guilty I will accept that some people will end up with store bought cards. Oh well, we live to see another day. There are people with bigger problems in the world and I should stop being a drama queen.

However, all is not yet lost. I may be able to conjure up a few more cards and therefore spent a small part of today (in between freaking out) to give you four ideas of how you can quickly create last minute cards. I picked my favourite ever big Christmas sentiment - STAMPlorations Typografia Christmas Merry Little Christmas - but you could pick any big sentiment stamp you love (if you are still looking for your one true Christmas sentiment love, you should have a look in the STAMPlorations Typografia range, and even better if you find one you like, use code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout for 20% off!). I then created four different quick and easy backgrounds in warm colours and then heat embossed the gorgeous stamp in copper onto the backgrounds. 

My first background was made using Distress markers. I scribbled various yellow, orange and red marker pens onto a piece of acetate, spritzed generously with water and then smooched against watercolour paper. I dried with a heating tool, die cut using the Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle Nesting Dies and patted with my Embossing Buddy to remove any background static and ensure that the embossing powder would only stick to the stamped image. Then I stamped the sentiment in Versamark and heat embossed with Papermania Copper embossing powder.

My second background was created using Distress ink pads, I used a foam applicator to randomly apply inks, using the rectangle die as a mask. When I was happy with the background, I splattered some water on it before die cutting and heat embossing.

My third background was again created using Distress Markers. I used the markers directly onto watercolour card, colouring an ombre effect with the reds at the bottom, then oranges and yellows at the top. Then I used a very wet brush to blend the colours and dried with a heat tool before die cutting and heat embossing.

I used Brushos for my fourth background. I sprinkled the colour pigments very lightly onto the background and then spritzed generously with water before drying, die cutting and heat embossing. 

It actually didn't take very long to create these four cards, I think the quickest background to create was the first one which only takes the flashest of flashes.

Unfortunately we are way beyond the time when I manage to photograph my cards in daylight so you will have to put up with the bad photos, but hopefully I have been able to inspire you to create some quick cards in case you have been struggling with inspiration to get going with your cards, or realised that your stash isn't large enough yet.

I'm linking up my Brusho card over at CAS Watercolour where the theme is Holiday. I'm also linking up over at Just Add Ink where the challenge is to Just Add R (R for red) and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where the theme is Stitch Up (add stitching). Last, but not least I'm linking up with Happy Little Stampers CAS challenge where the optional twist is Christmas.

Card: Stampin' Up Real Red card, Daler&Rowney 300 gsm watercolour paper
Ink: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads and markers Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Festive Berries, Barn Door
Stamps: STAMPlorations Typografia Christmas Merry Little Christmas
Dies: CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle Nesting Dies

Thursday, 16 November 2017

November STAMPlorations CAS Challenge - Mid-Month Inspiration

Weeks are just flying by, I can't believe we are already in mid-November. Have you been playing along with our brown challenge this month? If not, you still have a few weeks to join in on the fun.  If you need some inspiration to get your mojo going, pop over to the see the mid-month reminder for the STAMPlorations November CAS challenge.

For my card, I decided to go for a one layer card with a coffee theme. I used markers in three shades of brown to colour up stamps from What's Brewing and Scribbly Splattery Grunge to create an ombre look. 

Card: 300 gsm white card
Stamps: STAMPlorations What's BrewingScribbly Splattery Grunge
Ink and colouring: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Early Espresso

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

STAMPlorations Giving Thanks Blog Hop

I'm super excited to be part of the 3rd annual STAMPlorations Giving Thanks Blog Hop and Wishlist Linky Party. If you are following the hop, you should have arrived here from the wonderful Sarah Platt of Sazzle Dazzle Crafts. You can see all the hop stops in the linky below.

It wouldn't be a linky party without a lot of prizes! There are way too many prizes to list here, but you can find all the info over at STAMPlorations Giving Thanks Blog Hop and Wishlist Linky Party. You can win prizes by commenting and sharing on social media.

There is a bunch of new STAMPlorations products which are showcased along the hop. You can find them all in the New Releases category in the STAMPlorations shop. I got to play with the Words of Gratitude stamp set which has six wonderful sentiments, perfect to use on your cards or other crafting projects.

For my first card, I started by stamping the frame from STAMPlorations Floral Bliss (retired) in Versafine Onyx Black. Then I masked the frame, and stamped plenty of sweet goodies from Sweet Cravings and Sugar Rush, which I coloured with Copics. Then I inked the inside of the frame in a rainbow with Distress Inks and stamped the wonderful sentiment. All in one layer. 

For my second card, I inked yellow, orange and red Distress ink through the Fall Floral Trio stencil. I used the same inks with some more red and some brown thrown in to ink up a scrap piece of card and then die cut the leaves using the Trendy Leaves 2 coordinating dies. For the sentiment, I used a ombre blue piece of card, stamped the frame and sentiment and fussy cut it all. 

For my last, bright, rainbow card, I started by inking Distress ink through the Layered Petals stencil. Then I stamped the sentiment in Versafine Onyx Black, and added some die cut flowers and leaves cut from coloured card using Trendy Spring Blooms Dies. A few small rhinestones completes the card.

If you got inspired to do some shopping, now is a perfect time as Shery is having a Thanksgiving Sale over in the STAMPlorations shop

Card: 300 gsm white card, scraps of coloured card, blue ombre card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Words of GratitudeSweet CravingsSugar Rush, Floral Bliss (retired)
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Copics
Stencils: ARTplorations Fall Floral TrioLayered Petals
Dies: CUTplorations Trendy Leaves 2 coordinating diesTrendy Spring Blooms Dies
Other: Adhesive rhinestones from my stash