3 March 2024

AAA Cards Challenge 260: Sketch Challenge

The challenge at AAA Cards turned out to be a real easy one for me this week as I had the perfect set to just do the sketch "as is". I've used  a few of my oldest Altenew stamp sets; Painted Butterflies and Label Love. I'll also pop my card up in Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with "Anything Goes".

The only tricky thing was getting 5 butterflies along an edge, so I made a bigger card (7" x 5") to squeeze them all in). 

I was stamping on a 6-3/4" x 4-3/4" mat when I decided I wanted to add some washi, at this stage the balance looked wrong to me, I was worried I had too much white space. I found an old striped black and white washi in my stash which I feel works perfectly. As I ended up "placing" the mat on the RHS directly I ended up cutting  off 1/4" off the top of the card to balance it all up and my final card's dimension is 6-3/4" x 5".

Pinkfresh Studio inks used for my colour combos (top > bottom; lightest > darkest):
  • Cherry Blossom/Peony
  • Sunkissed/Mimosa
  • Limoncello/Bay Leaf
  • Waterfall/Paradise
  • Soft Lilac/Lavender
And the sketch which was my inspiration:

Just a reminder what CAS means to AAA Cards, we maybe the most restrictive of all the CAS Challenges but it also means the card is relatively easy to create. Now the trick is to make your images pop, and I hope I have done that today.

As always you have 2 weeks to rise to the challenge and I hope you can join us and please do check out the other fab designs on display at the AAA Cards blog. Thanks for popping in.

Overboard on green

I've been inspired by a few challenges for this card, Time Out Challenges latest photo inspiration is a GREEN frog as their challenge started on Leap Day (29 February), Simply CAS monthly challenge has the option of Green, Tic Tac Toe wants your "favourite colour" and mine is Lime Green (the line I choose also had "free" and CAS") so the stars seemed to be aligning and Lawn Fawnatics want Spring Cards. I always think of the colour Green when I think of Spring, new leaves and fresh lush grass; hopefully green frogs and green clouds are Spring-like - well my frog can do "springing too" and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge has an Anything Goes.

As it's clean and simple I tried to keep it to minimal layers so used the double stitched circle die to add some interest to my card  panel. I then made a mask out of a 4.25" x 4.25" square of masking paper and die cut out a circle from the middle of the square that was slightly smaller than the stitched circles.

I placed this mask panel over the stitching and added a post it note top and bottom to protect the top and bottom of my panel. From the die cut circle middle I drew a "hill" free-hand which I cut out. I placed this bit back inside the circle mask and keeping with the GREEN theme did a very, very light blend of Twisted Citron to make my clouds. I placed the top of the circle back in and removed the bottom bit blended with Salvaged Patina to make my pond then splattered with a small paint brush some smooshed Blueprint Sketch ink. I felt it was too white at the end which is why I used my Master Layouts #1 to add a hint of a green mat.

Supply List:
Stamps: Toadally Awesome (LF), Hive Five (LF - wee trail)
Ink: Jet Black (LF), Versafine Clair Nocturne, Twisted Citron (RNG), Salvaged Patina (RNG), Blueprint Sketch (RNG - splatters)
Paper: Cilantro (LF), Xpress IT blending, Neenah Solar White
Dies: Toadally Awesome (LF), Just Stitching Double Circles (LF), Everyday Sentiment Banners (LF), Sweet Circle stack (WF), Master Layout 1 (GKD)
Other: Copics, mini cloud edges stencil (MFT), Masking Magic (GKD), blending brushes (TE), 1mm foam squares (SP), white Gelli roll pen 10 (Sakura), clear embossing powder

Well that was a lot of fun I'd better go sort out the craftastrophe as surprisingly for such a simple card it actually used a "lot of stuff"


1 March 2024

Geometric Fun with AAA Birthday Challenges

Hi everyone I'm absolutely delighted to be the Guest Designer at AAA Birthday for their March Challenge, as soon as I saw the graphic it reminded me of a hot foil plate I had sitting in my stash.

I hot foiled the plate with black foil and then thought maybe I should have just stuck to gold so did another one this time with matte gold. My first go was with the matte gold and Slumber, Sapphire, Lavender and Raspberry Bliss inks using my 1/2" blending brushes. It was pretty but it wasn't as dramatic as I wanted, partly because I'd graduated my blending and the colours faded back more than I thought they would when they dried. I also used 4 of the 5 stencils in the set as I wanted some areas to remain uninked and white.

So it was back to PLAN A and the black foiled image and this time I just went for the 3 darkest inks and also used my bigger blending brushes so easier and quicker to do a heavy ink blend for each stencil layer. I've only used 3 of the 5 stencils so I also have more uninked areas and more white spaces.

I wish I could show how vibrant the black foil is in real life but it is crisp and shiny, a bit like it has been black heat embossed. I've also laid 2 plain die cuts under the sentiment to make it have a bit more dimension.

Supply List (all Pinkfresh Studio unless stated otherwise):
Hot foil plates: Modern Design Blocks (and stencils), Perfect Sentiments (and cutting die)
Ink: Sapphire, Lavender, Raspberry Bliss (plus Slumber for gold foiled card)
Paper: Hammermill White (foiling), Neenah Solar White #110 (base card)
Other: Glimmer Hot Foil machine (SP), Black glimmer foil (SP), Matte Gold glimmer foil (SP), Magenta glimmer drops, blending brushes (TE) and 1/2" blending brushes
Challenge: AAA Birthday #59

Well I hope you have time to play along, you have a whole month to get creative, I for one am really interested to see what the Design Team came up for this Challenge as it certainly is different than the norm.

Thanks for popping in.


29 February 2024

Citrus Twist with Lea

Sharing today my second class from my Pinkfresh Studio Create and Connect and today's card showcases the lovely Citrus Twist stamp set, dies and stencils. Our teacher for this class was Lea Lawson who is the marketing director for PFS and she often shares creating cards with their products via YouTube and monthly classes in Zoom. 
These were quite simple cards to put together as the stamp set is one piece but we did a bit of surgery to create extra citrus fruit. The wee flowers and leaves die-cut out separately but were part of the stamp. Both cards used our essentials from our swag, the Stitched Octagons coverplate die, Notched Corner Frame dies, gems with gold dust and for card one a sentiment from the Extra Special Sentiments stamp set.

Pink grapefruit and lemons card:

The images were gold embossed before stenciling and die-cutting out. It's a really fresh colour combo. This was actually the first card I made at the event as Class One was live whilst I was sleeping and I think I maybe a bit heavy handed with my ink blending but it's still really pretty and lots of little details.

Oranges and lemons card:

I really like how we've used our Versamark (embossing) pads to add some random ink to the frame before pouring on the gold embossing powder. The embossing powder Lea used looked amazing like a burnt gold (she said it was an Iridescent gold powder, I thought she said from WOW but they don't make one but Hero Arts does and I own that so might try it out) - see her cards lower. We used up excess ink on our blending brushes to make a delicate background on the coverplate die panel, you also see the gold dust in the gems they provided as part of our swag, they're really pretty. The sentiment on this card came from the Citrus Twist stamp set.

Lea's cards sneaks (and again I think she's done a fab job teaching us our cards):


28 February 2024

Not just cards

The sun is shining again so just a very quick blog post today, I thought I'd share the joy and camaraderie of crafting with friends. I was very fortunate to be able to share my weekend away at a friend's crafty space, as it turns out she also got some candid moments on her camera. So a big, big thank you to Denise and Jackie for making it such a fun weekend.

Start of the first day Jackie and me are concentrating hard at this stage.

Time for lunch (and a wee glass of bubbly).

Ready for Mindy's Class:

Chicken pie for dinner anyone (and salad and bread and wine). I made Annabel Langbein's easy smoked chicken and mustard pie which I have modified to make super easy. 
  • In an essence mix in a bowl one diced (sliced or shredded smoked chicken breast ~300g), add a tub of sour cream (250g), 2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard, good handful of chopped parsley, zest and juice of a small lemon, salt and pepper. 
  • In a flan/pie dish line with baking paper and add one sheet of thawed ready rolled flaky puff pastry ~11" x 11" - I use Heritage Bakers brand now Edmonds no longer available
  • Add mix in middle, leaving gaps at side to wrap the "pie" up
  • Add another square of pastry on top so the points this time point to middle of first square. With a pastry brush wipe all edges with milk and fold and squeeze them together. Make a few slits on top and bake at 200oC for approx. 25 minutes

End of a long day, 15 hours later and looks like I may have lost my marbles or I maybe laughing at myself for losing more embossing powder on the floor again.

Next day hard at it again for Heather's Class:

And what I returned home with - 4 of the 6 classes completed and some beautiful cards and great memories. So still 2 more classes to do and all the make n' takes plus playtime.

Pinkfresh Studio have already announced their next class dates for 2024. Click HERE to see more details. They also run Scrapbooking events too.

Thanks for popping in.