30 April 2023

Playing with colour blocking

I decided I have to work smarter and combine a few challenges at one time. I used to be really organised and copy all the challenge buttons to a word document but a bit ad hoc here whilst I remember how I incorporated doing challenges as part of my crafting day. So today's blog post combines 2 challenges and it actually helps a lot working out what you are going to do with more "parameters" to work within.

I wanted to take part in Just Add Ink's challenge to use large letters or numbers and I had 2 ideas in my mind but thought I would have a go at Keisha Charles colour blocking a die-cut. This was one of the fab classes at the OCC Spring Camp 2022 and I loved all of Keisha's cards and this is a blogged card I made at the time that you can see HERE.

The card I am sharing today Keisha used to teach this technique but I've tweaked it to also play along with The Card Concepts spring flowers in blue/pink/grey and white and I LOVE, LOVE the final result. Imagine a more vibrant card with hot pink/bright yellow/bright orange and that would be Keisha's card ;)

My card has turned out quite dreamy and the really cool thing about this technique is you don't need any coloured card stock, all the bits in the coverplate die you want to be coloured,  you just ink-blend to create. I have "cheated" as the skies are getting really dark and I want to snap a photo before the light has gone and used a tiny strip of Smoky Slate card stock to add the wee sentiment strip. I didn't really have time to wait for the ink to dry so I could heat emboss on it.

There are some really good tips in the picture below:
  • Favourite tape for holding my dies in place is Highlighter tape (Lee Products) - best ever never sticks or tears your paper. In NZ we can buy from Ribbon Rose or Krafters Cart.
  • Run the die facing up (a lot of people do this but I don't normally do it this way) so the bits don't fall out of the die
  • Use a piece of an old mailer bubble bag between your card stock and the cutting plate, it adds a bit more shim and awesome with dies that have lots of little chads in them, they seem to pop out real easily. You can use it until its lost all of it's air (I've used mine about 6x now and think it's too flat now) 
  • When the die-cut comes out use a similar piece of Glad Wrap Press 'n Seal to hold in all the bits and press firmly to make them stick

Here is my die cut with the back of it "stuck" to the press 'n seal

Remove the frame carefully, use your fingers to hold the bits in as you lift up the frame. Attach the frame to your card base. I have gone back to using Gina K's Connect Glue in a fine tip bottle, as much as I love the nozzle on the Bearly Art glue, the glue itself has no wiggle time.

Remove the pieces of the card you want to colour block and using a small blender brush ink blend. It may look messy but dries smooth and lighter.

And the final card:

Supply List (all Pinkfresh Studios unless stated otherwise):
Stamps: You (PhP)
Ink: Sparkling Rose, Sky Blue, Misty Coast, Versamark
Paper: Hammermill White, Smoky Slate (SU!), Vellum (SCT)
Dies: Ornate Floral, Sentiment Suite : You
Other: Blush glitter drops, medium foam squares (SP), Alabaster white EP (BM), small blending brushes (TE)
Challenges: JAI #650 , TCC #194 

Well I sincerely believe doing my colour blocked card with large letters using the dreamy colours of the Card Concept made my original idea better; so definitely 2 heads are better than one or in this case 2 challenges were better than one. Hope you can play along but do check out all the fab ideas on show at both challenge sites.

Thanks for popping in.

EDITED 4/5/23: My card was an honourable mention at JAI

Here's what some of the design team had to say... "Love the inlaid design and colour scheme", "Wow! What a show stopper!", "I love the soft colours and dimension in her card. The vellum under the sentiment is perfection". Thank you all for your kind words!

✿ Karen ✿

29 April 2023

Secret Garden Window

I started off my day wanting to enter in the latest Lawn Fawn Addicts challenge and wanted to combine with a few other sites to (a) add layers (that was definitely ticked) and (b) add a window (tick but oops forgot it was a CAS challenge site). But I am really pleased I used this die I think it looks so much nicer than if I had just made an A2 standard card with my Gleeful Gardens and some grass and hill borders.

The Lawn Fawns challenge is "country or city" which is why I thought of a field for the country. AAA birthday's wanted layers and I thought a belated birthday card is always handy to have, as I don't believe I have used the snail in this set until today and I have had this set for a very long time. Probably since since 2015 when it was originally released and I would have bought the set for the mushrooms as I used to work in a Mycology Lab.

I created the front panel with DSP and cardstock and then marked where the outer bell-shape was on the card base with a pencil and covered up the edges with post it notes, as I didn't want my blending to go outside my stitched rectangle.

I have used the following distress oxide inks: Spun Sugar, Dried Marigold and Shaded Lilac. I have spritzed with my water bottle and my Sheer Shimmer Sparkle Spritz (imagine crafts) waited approximately a minute and then blotted off. Lastly I lightly splattered with white gold Gansai Tambo paint and let dry.

Supply List (Lawn Fawn):
Stamps and Dies: Gleeful Gardens
Die: Secret Garden Window, Outside in Stitched Rectangle stackables
Paper: Flower Market 6x6" DSP, Ballet Slipper, Guava, Fake Tan (love this orange)
Other: Prisma glitter

Other Supplies used:
Paper: Granny Apple Green (SU!), Daffodil Delight (SU!), Bermuda Bay (SU!), Fresh Freesia (SU!), Hammermill white, XPress IT blending card stock
Distress oxides (RNG): Spun Sugar, Dried Marigold, Shaded Lilac
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Other: White Gold paint (Gansai Tambi), white gelli roll pen 10, black glaze pen (Sakura), small square 1mm foam squares (SP), Sheer Shimmer Sparkle spritz (imagine crafts), Glitter Gloss pen (Nuvo), blending brushes (TE)

Copics used (darkest > lightest)
Snail : R12/11/01; R20; E15/13/11
Bird: R85/83/81; YR15
Mushroom: BG13/34/32; YR15; E15/13/11
Flower: YR02/61/20; YG03/21; Y21/11

Both challenges finish in a few days time but you still have time to join in and if you don't have time do check out all the fab, fab cards.

EDITED 15/5/23: Happy to say my fabulous card was chosen in the top 4 at AAA Birthdays :)

✿ Karen ✿

27 April 2023

Take 2 with the ink drops paper

I had a left over card base and my first embossed word (which hadn't stamped that fab as "new") and thought I would make another card using the Craft Consortium Ink Drops paper; this time using "Ocean".

These papers are a dreamy paint pour with gold. I like the green with a hint of blue as it is much more dramatic. My first card I made for a colour throwdown to use dusky pinks so had to use my "Rose" paper and you can see the blog post HERE which has a lot more information.

But really happy with both cards and even this one made with the left over scraps/rejects is much better than horrible!!

And the 2 cards together:

This is a really cool card design of Jennifer McGuire's and could be modified for all sorts of DSP and ephemera to whip up cards easily. I'm not sure which Ink Drops DSP Jennifer used but she has a lot more colours in her papers so I'm wondering if it is "Vivid" but they are sensational papers in real life, so keep your eyes peeled at your local craft stores for any of the range.

✿ Karen ✿

She did it again....

I was Jen-enabled by Jennifer McGuire to buy some of the new Honey Bee spring release after seeing one of her fabulous videos, if you want to see the cards she created you can check out her blog post HERE.

The Color Throwdown have the most dreamy colours as their challenge this week but I don't really own any dull or dusky pink inks which is why I had a lightbulb moment going I have some Rose Ink Drops DSP in my stash and then I can use those goodies that Jen "made me buy".

I have used a different DSP and embossing folder from her card but I do love the clean lines of this card and it should brighten up a friend's letterbox as winter is approaching real fast in NZ.

Supply List:
Stamps: Big Time Kindness (HB)
Ink: Versamark
Paper: Rose Ink Drops (Craft Consortium), Neenah White #110, Gold Opulent (Sizzix)
Dies: Big Time Kindness (HB), Lovely Layers : Springtime Greenery (HB)
Other: Orange Peel Quilt EF (SP), 1mm stamping foam squares (SP), WOW metallic rich pale gold EP
Challenges: CTD #740

For Kiwis and maybe Aussies this is a new paper to me and the mirror gold is a shiny bright gold and only recently discovered by moi. It's normal price in NZ is approx. $40 at Spotlight but I picked it up  for $28 when it was on special; along with the Ivory and you get 50 sheets/10 of each. This is phenomenal value and it die cuts really easily.

Talking about opulent there are some real dreamy and opulent cards the DT team have created as inspiration and there is still a few days to join in with this challenge.

✿ Karen ✿

26 April 2023

It's been EXACTLY one year since I re-started doing challenges

I know when I stepped down as a SU! demo last year in April one of the things that helped me re-find my love of stamping was doing challenges regularly. It is funny how I had a wee break over Christmas from them and speaking to my stamping buddy Sarah yesterday I said I was going to start doing them again TODAY and then when I look April 26th 2022 was when I started doing them last year. 

I have a wee list of challenge sites on the RHS of my blog which I used to try and do as many as I could each week. So it was hard to choose which challenge to start off with again but as soon as I saw AAA card challenge was to use a torn edge and Less is More challenge site were giving us free range as long as clean and simple (CAS), "I was in with a grin".

I have used 2 big post it notes to make my torn edge and then white embossed the falling rain. I used  distress oxides to make a blended background starting with Tumbled Glass at the bottom, then Salty Ocean and lastly Blueprint Sketch. I used Lavinia Smooth and Multifarious white card stock as my base card, as it's a great weight and distress oxides love to blend on it.

All the stamped images came from the February 2017 My Monthly Hero Kit (Hero Arts). I wanted a yellow umbrella and gumboots and a peachy dress. The wee girl has been die cut out and popped up on 1mm Spellbinders foam squares.

My Copics used (darkest > lightest):
Yellow: Y08/06/02
Peach: YR02/61/20
"Skin": E04/00

Challenge AAA #238 LIM#481

There are a lots of cool cards at both sites from the DT and the other entrants so if you don't have time to join in with the challenge, do check out the fab cards.

EDITED 7/5/23: Wow my get back into challenge card was chosen as the fav card over at AAA by Nancy so that has made my night. Nancy said she loved the amount of depth created in the one layer card. I have to admit I still have this card up on display on top of the book case as it is one of my favourite cards I've created recently. Sometimes a card just pops and this one did.

24 April 2023

More Stylish Florals with Kim

I have just finished card 3 from the Spellbinders class with Kim Kesti from SCT's Crop and Create cardmaking delivered aka the big box event!

This was a really easy card and again OMG does the Infinity Punch and Pierce plate die pack a punch as a background, I also love, love the Blue Spruce card we were given for the class. It is a bright jewel-like colour.

The floral stamp is part of the Fill My Heart Sentiments stamp pack. I have used one of the sentiments from this set which cover all sorts of reasons to send a card, I have white embossed onto the black card stock.  

We have created our background die oval then it was placed over an A2 panel in a stamp positioner (I used my Xpress IT blending cardstock so I could Copic colour), stamped with Memento Black ink and then the card panel flipped 180o and restamped to make a "reflection".

Kim was using Olo markers for her card but the only real colour you needed to match was the blue green to match the cardstock. It was about an identical match for BG49 so I have used the colour combo Verdigris from the Kit and Clowder website as my blue green blend.

Copics used (darkest > lightest):
Blue greens : BG49/57/53/11
Denim blue : B95/21
Green : YG13/03
Pink : RV34/00
Yellow : Y11
Violet : BV11

Spellbinder supplies:
Stamp: Fill My Heart Sentiments
Paper: Blue Spruce, Onyx 
Dies: Infinity Punch and Pierce Plate
Other: Aura Opalescent sequins, 1mm foam squares

I have one more card to make from this set of cards but still awaiting on my matching oval dies I have ordered so will finish this series of cards off when I receive it.

I think I only have one more class that I want to do from the box but going to take a wee break from doing classes and get into some card challenges, so hopefully I haven't lost all my mojo how to make a card all by myself ;)
✿ Karen ✿

23 April 2023

Overcoming my fear of fiddly

I realised a long time ago I'm not really into fiddly and lots of layers and yet I can colour an image for hours. One of the things I love about paper crafting is there are so many options as to what floats "your" boat. At my first Crop and Create I loved the look of the Spellbinders class but we had to die cut out what looked like trillions of bits from various cardstock to make a dancing elf and it looked fab but oh so fiddly and yes still waiting to get done one day.

This time I had a buddy to do the event and kept telling her we WE ARE GOING TO DO THE SPELLBINDERS class so we could die cut out all the bits together but we ran out of time in our homemade schedule. One of the ladies from across the ditch told me this class wasn't as fussy or as fiddly as the last one and she was right! This class was taught by Kim Kesti. The die in really a one piece stem with leaves and spots where the flowers are added too. You can also add extra layers of leaves to the leaf on the stem as well.

Saying that it's been a really busy weekend celebrating family so I managed to only make one card all weekend. I might be the only person praying for rain so I can blob out in my craft room but winter is coming.

I loved my card and it wasn't too fussy or fiddly.

I think the 2 layers for the flower centres is a stroke of genius, it really pops and looks sensational in the matt gold paper we were provided with.

Spellbinders were very generous again and we received the following items in our card kit:

The stamps, dies, sequins are all currently available at Krafters Cart in NZ and retail for $103 alone without the card stock. I've just grabbed the matching oval dies and can't wait to receive them. There are 16 dies for $39 and they co-ordinate with what I have already received and a much more modern take on the traditional oval.

Supply List (all Spellbinders unless stated otherwise):
Stamps: none
Ink: Worn Lipstick and Mowed Lawn distress oxides (RNG)
Paper: Pink Sand (pale pink), Fruit Punch (bright pink), Peridot (lime green), Rain Forest (mid-green), Portobello (mushroom brown), Alabaster (cream), Brushed Gold
Dies: Stylish Oval Hello You Florals, Infinity Punch and Pierce
Sequins: Aura opalescent

Well it seems quite funny only blogging one card from a class but I love it and the colour combo so will be back with card 2 and 3.

The next Crop and Create event registration is opening this week but I'll blog closer to the time in case others are interested in joining in with the fun. You can read a bit more about the next one HERE.

✿ Karen ✿

20 April 2023

Back to basics

Can you remember when we used to make boxes without dies, I surely can. In fact for quite a few years when I was a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I named myself the Queen of Boxes. But when dies came along I embraced them fully and their perfectly cut and scored lines.

Well it was back to basics for this box card, one of the projects at last years SCT Crop and Create event which we received from Crafters Companion big numbers as stamps and dies plus stamped bunches of balloons, presents, cake and candles. The set was called Happy Birthday (Gemini Pop Up Box stamp and die). Sara Davies was our instructor at the event and she shared lots of tips. We also received a set of Spectrum Noir Tricolour Aqua Floral Meadow set and a stamp set called To Someone Special. So a lot of goodies for a mini one hour class. I haven't used the latter 2 items for this project but still have 2 cards to make. I'm just more comfortable colouring with my Copics and matching them to the colours of the DSP and mat cardstock (Bermuda Bay from SU!)

 There is no sign of the co-ordinating box card die to buy now but I didn't look last year when I received my card kit but it is possible it wasn't available then as we were provided with a template to either print out directly on card stock or trace onto our cardstock. The former would have been great but I felt we were going to see the dotted score lines and tracing sounded really cumbersome. Lots of the ladies that were doing the event converted the template so they could use on their Cricut but I don't own one so I decided to get out my ruler and work it old the old way.

So if you want to have a go this is what you need;
  • TWO pieces of heavy weight cardstock measuring 6-1/2” x 8-15/16”
  • Score at 3-1/2” and at 6-1/8”
  • Flip the cardstock so the smallest score line is at the base, score at 2-5/8"
  • Cut and score (dotted lines are scored) as per the diagram below. 

  • From the offcuts from above cut out THREE pieces of 4-1/4” x 7/8” card and score at each end 3/8” as below:
These form insert tabs to attach the coloured images on strips of acetate (I used my Copics to colour up). I used Hammermill 1001b weight cardstock to make my base box card. 

The card actually lies flat so you can put in a very big envelope; you can obviously make it shorter.

Well that was a fun project for a "special occasion" and I certainly would make this box again for special birthdays.

✿ Karen ✿

15 April 2023

Been too long between foiling attempts

WOW I bought my Glimmer Hot foil machine last July and apart from my initial playing and trying to work out what card stock to use didn't really progress much further than that. But one of our family who is "bird crazy" recently had a birthday so I knew it was time to try again to justify buying the "Songbirds on Branches" hot foil set and stencils from Pinkfresh Studios.

I'm absolutely rapt how it all worked out but have to be honest I had to watch the videos "how to do it again" as it had been so long between trying.

I also have to admit I made this in March and I can't remember what colours I used and the scrap of paper which I probably scribbled on at the time has probably been thrown in the bin but this is my best guess of what used:

Stamps: Itty Bitty Celebrations (MFT)
Hot Foil plate: Songbirds on Branches (plus 4-piece layering stencil)
Dies: Art Deco frames (PFS), Floral Grid (PFS)
Paper: Hammermill white, Neenah White, Lemon Chiffon (SSS)
Ink (all PFS): Sunshine and Marigold (yellow); Blue Jay and ?Summer Breeze (blue), Grassy Knoll and ?Fresh Pear (green)
Other: 1/4" and 1/2" blending brushes (PFS) and Enchanted Forest Ombre glitter drops (PFS) and Gold Satin glimmer f oil (SP), stamping foam

I am very happy to report that using and A2 panel of a padded mail bag when you run your detailed dies through your Big Shot or embossing/cutting machine works fab. Only needs one wind through.

The sandwich for my old black Big Shot is: Magnetic plate or tab 1 or 2; cutting plate; one layer padded mail bag; card stock; die facing down; cutting plate

Some close ups to try and show the foil a bit better:

But maybe easiest to see the glimmer and shine before stenciling and the reverse foil:

The Olfa rotary cutter is the easiest way IMO to cut the foil to the right size (this is a Simon Hurley hack) and I picked mine up from Spotlight stores in NZ, my one is 28mm and it has a wee safety cover which locks into place when not using it. Looking at the foiled image above one of the really cool things is you colour up the WHOLE image with your stencil and then when you die cut it out the one piece die gives you lots of images to arrange on the card how you want them to be placed or you can just colour in as/is and make card with the whole image.

Well it has certainly been awhile between foiling attempts, I don't have a lot of hot foil plates as they are not cheap but I must play some more as wow the card looks absolutely amazing in real life. It's also been awhile since I have played with my Pinkfresh Studios goodies which I love, love. I am very excited Pinkfresh Studios has announced that they are releasing another 24 colours come June (the new colours families have stars). If you like stenciling this is the way to go and I love using my stencils. 

I started buying Pinkfresh Studio inks as I wanted shades of colours plus I wanted to be able to buy the re-inkers in New Zealand and choosing PFS gave me that option as we are very fortunate that we can do both relatively easily at Krafters Cart.
We have some good friends coming to stay for a few days from tomorrow which we are both looking forward too. So I will be back with another blog post after they have gone home and I can get back to playing in my craft room.. 
✿ Karen ✿

11 April 2023

Fancy cupcakes and cats!

With a combination like that; these cards will be winners for my small nieces birthday cards for 2023.

Today I'm sharing the cupcake cards I made with Stephanie Barnard for The Stamps of Life. This was a new company to me but it seems like Stephanie has been a designer for fold-it dies with Sizzix before starting her own company. They certainly are worth checking out as there were a lot of cool features to all the products we used and wow did we get a lot of products in our class kit. 

A couple of features that really stood out from other companies was she provided 2 sizes of dies; one to cut out like "normal" with an edge and the second die cut run on the stamped line i.e. no edge. I actually like the wee edge but I can see when you are doing a scene it can be distracting. So a really good feature. The next coolest feature was the cupcake dies clearly showed where you put the folds to make a freestanding card and also we had multiple dies that looked the same for our icing and again they were actually etched in the metal telling us "window" or "foam/frame" .

These are all my cards lined up and as you can see the cupcakes are A2 sized so will fit in a standard envelope:

We started with the most complicated card; the shaker cupcake using wool felt for the cupcake wrapper and the icing, also note the sprinkles we received had some tiny cupcakes in it as well. The pad of DSP we received was cardstock weight and one side had cats etc we could die cut out and the other side we could use for our backgrounds etc. The company wool felt they sell cuts with the dies so beautifully, she says it is superior to a lot of other felt as it contains quite a lot of wool and I loved it.

The second cupcake card we made as an easel card, we were also provided with a wee stencil that we could add stripes to our cats if we desired, so another thoughtful feature. We have just used card stock or DSP here, some sponging on the edge and a few epoxy sprinkles added to the icing

Our last card uses another die set called a tri-background die - apparently all the tri-background dies are intermingling-able. Sizzix must have been sad when she left, her dies are very clever. This is the tri-background birthday die. I have used my Pinkfresh Studio inks for blending here (Sunshine, Bubblegum and Aquamarine) and my Copics to colour in Happy Birthday.

We cut the die out of white cardstock. I used my Sunshine ink on the top panel and then stuck to a purple base (purple was in the DSP pack provided), the middle layer is the bright pink you can see on the cupcakes above but this time we have added an adhesive sheet to the front of the card stock to then sprinkle/smoosh in the superfine glitter we received. The glitter was almost soft it was so fine and worked beautifully for this technique. 

Now the bottom white card stock has an adhesive backing to it and I diligently removed all my dots by poking them out but of course watching the video when she removed the backing to the adhesive they all fall out so that made me laugh. 

We had ink-blended the background with yellow taking up 3/5th of the card, then coming in with pink and where they overlap making orange and the same for the RHS coming in with aqua blue to make green. Stephanie wanted us to add the Happy Birthday with a blue die cut out one, we were supposed to not ink blend on the letters I used post-it notes to cover mine up but they are quite delicate and I would use a really low tack tape next time. I thought my Copics can do that plus some of my edge was still white so they coloured that up beautifully. The stars are just die cut out of scraps lying around from doing the 3 cards and I love the stitched detail. I just scribbled my Copics on some scrap card stock and if it looked close enough used it and I think it looks great as a rainbow too. 

These are the sneak peeks of Stephanie's cards:

Last but not least our kit swag and there was so much I had to take 5 photos to snap it all. It was received in a bright pink bag with the glitter and sprinkles received in another bag with bulky items. Packing the boxes there is not a spare mm of space so very planned how each box is packed so it all fits.

I'll list the correct names below in case anyone is interested in purchasing some of the items:
Cupcake Fold-It die (A2)
Birthday Cats stamps and dies
Tri-background Birthday die
Birthday Celebration 6" x 6" DSP
Cupcake polymer clay jar (sprinkles to me)
Candy pink wool felt
Gingersnap light brown wool felt
Birthday Cat stencil
Sprinkle epoxy shapes
Super fine glitter
Adhesive sheets, adhesive foam sheets, acetate

I'm looking forward to stamping and colouring up the kitty cats but being able to die cut them out certainly speed up the prep for this class.

Well my blue box of mesh bags for each class is so empty I have added the remaining classes to the big bag I store left over classes and mesh bags in. So I can feel my SCT Crop and Create event for "Spring 2023" is coming to an end but we still have a few more classes to share, so until then.

Happy KRafting.
✿ Karen ✿

#cropandcreatedelivered #SCTbigboxevent