Friday, 15 January 2021

CAS Robin & Holly

Over at The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up it is the Merry Maidens turn to showcase some fabulous Christmas cards.

This paper pack Velvet Textures Jewel Tones designed by Decosse's Dynamite Doodles 
is up for grabs to the lucky winner who follows the Optional Twist to make the card Clean & Simple

If you want the chance to win this month's featured paper pack, be sure to create a card that features the twist.

The Sponsor for this challenge is Lunagirl who is offering a $10 gift certificate from their store.

I don't have access to a colour printer at the moment and cannot print out the digital papers so I have made a fully digital card. This way I can honour both the image artist, and use Lisa's digital papers.

I chose to use the Christmas Birds & Holly Rounds using the little robin from the top row. I really do love robins and this is such a lovely pose.

I use a program called Affinity Designer to make my digital layouts. 

The base layer is the emerald green paper from the Velvet Textures kit. The subtle texture stops the background from looking too plain and gives a slightly two tone mottled effect.

I have used a Holly & Berries paper from the Christmas Greenery kit.

The image has been cropped from the Lunagirl image sheet and framed with a red circle to match the robin.

Finally I added a sentiment from the Holiday Hoopla Wordart Collection

As this is Clean & Simple there are no embellishments and I have kept the layers to a minimum. I am not know for having a CAS style so this was a very hard challenge for me I can tell you.

I do hope you will take part in our challenge and look forward to seeing your creations.

Supplies Used :  

Digital Papers - Velvet Textures Jewel Tones & Christmas Greenery (Decosse's Dynamite Doodles)
Digital Sentiments -  Holiday Hoopla Wordart (Decosse's Dynamite Doodles)

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges (in Alphabetical Order)

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Heart Flower

This card has been made using the single flower image from the Heart Flower set by Pinksy Doodles. It is a lovely set with the main plant and the single flower. As soon as I saw this I just knew what I was going to do with it.

I printed the image 3 time to create layers. The back layer is the full stamp,  layer 2 follows the spiky flower petals and layer 3 is the heart flower petals and the centre.

All layers are coloured using a combination of Promarkers and Spectrum Noir markers. The final layer has lots of shading with Arteza pencils. All layers were fussy cut and raised up on foam pads.

I filled the centre with glossy accents to act as a glue base. I then used a combination of small flower beads and then filled in the rest with tiny accent beads. I added some tiny purple gems to the flower beads to add a bit of sparkle. You can see the centre in more detail in the image below.

I used a spotty patterned paper cut into 4 squares laid onto the lilac card base. These squares have been edged with a Pentel silver paint marker.

The sentiment is from Brenda's Sunny Sentiments pack from the Pinksy Doodles Etsy store. You get loads of lovely sentiments perfect to cheer someone up

I printed the sentiment, edged with the silver marker and added some tiny purple star gems in the corners.

This card is for a neighbour and friend who cheered me up with a bunch of flowers when I needed it. She is a teacher, working from home with 2 kiddies and I imagine she is a little overwhelmed at the moment. I wanted to thank her for her lovely gesture when I needed a boost and will be returning that with this thank you card and some pretty flowers. The sentiment on the front is particularly apt and I decorated the card centre with a typed sentiment, edged with the silver pen. This is a pre-bought card blank that I don't usually use as I think they are too thin so I added a white one on the inside as the 'insert' and then added some more of the patterned paper to the inside.

I do hope you like this card. I really enjoyed making it as the bold flower outline really lent itself to layering in this way. It took quite a while to do but crafting brings me so much joy and I know the recipient will appreciate the work that has gone into it.

Card Details -

Size - 5" x 7"
Digital Image - Heart Flower (Pinksy Doodles)
Colouring Medium - Promarkers, Spectrum Noir Markers, Arteza Pencils, Pentel Silver Paint Marker
Embellishments - Flower beads, Accent Beads, self adhesive gems

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges (in Alphabetical Order)

Sunday, 10 January 2021

A Bookworm Birthday


I am absolutely delighted to announce that I have been chosen to be on the 
Creative Team of Kate Hadfield Designs

There was a CT call early December and I applied.  I first became aware of Kate through digistamp downloads with one of the UK craft magazines.  I then signed up to the free downloads section of the website Doodle Den and had used a couple of the stamps in different projects.

I love Kate's doodles, they are so bold and cheerful and suit my style of crafting. There are just so many digi packs in the store to choose from that it is so easy to be enthused. The very talented team use the digi papers and elements in so many creative ways. It is an honour to be amongst them. There is a fabulous gallery on the website where the members show what they have made using the digital packs too.

This card has been made for out best friend's little girl who is 3 today. We live very close by and during the lockdowns we have seen them many times as we are within walking distance. This last year she has really come out of her shell and loves to learn and reads books (and is read to a lot too). I always want to nurture that so have bought her some cool picture books for her birthday that have jigsaw pictures inside them. I would play with them myself if I was her age so I hope she likes them.

So the gift I have bought her has really inspired the theme of this birthday card using the Bookworm Stamps pack.

You get 30 stamps in 3 different formats. Bold outlines which are great for enlarging. Many of the resources are used in educational settings so these images are perfect for that. You get standard digital stamps and also a white filled version which can be useful when layering different images together.

I started with the heart and made it a large size to be the background of my ensemble. I sat the girl towards the bottom. I added the 'I Love Books' onto the spine of the book. I had intended that the main image would be decoupaged so also printed the girl and a separate book layer.

The little bookworm I flipped so it would be looking at the girl and printed a stack of books from the set. I added the text to the banner and then all the elements were printed out and coloured using Promarkers and Spectrum Noir Glitter Markers.

The heart is coloured using shimmer chalks from Pebbles Inc. I have a stencil which has lots of different shaped hearts on it. I used 2 medium ones to chalk hearts in the background and then used an Ultra fine pink Sharpie pen to draw open hearts.

All the elements were cut out using some super sharp Fiskars embroidery scissors I have had for about 20 years. They give me the control I need for the fine cutting required for decoupage. I have tried other scissors over the years but nothing compares to these. When I cut out images like these I use a Promarker to go around the outside edge with a light touch. This covers up the white edge and makes it look a lot neater. I mounted all these onto foam squares, you can see the dimension more clearly in the close up below.

The base of the card is an 8" square card blank. I used a colourful hearts patterned paper and added a layer of pink underneath so this is the perfect girly card for a very special 3 year old.

Card Details -

Size – 8” square
Stencil - Hearts
Colouring Medium – Promarkers & Spectrum Noir Glitter Markers
Embellishments – I Kan Dee Chalks (Pebbles Inc)

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges (in Alphabetical Order)


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Beat Those Winter Blues

It is our first challenge of the year over at The Paper Funday.
Our challenges are always Anything Goes with an optional twist. 
The twist this time is to use blue in your project.

We have 2 sponsors for each challenge this year. I opted to use images from a new to me designer Karamfila. I was truly stunned at how many digital papers, clip art and outline stamps there are in her Etsy store. They are so elegant just like the lady herself.

For this project I chose to use Articland Doodles. It has a fabulous selection of winter themed images which will be perfect for Christmas cards. I have already got my eye on a few other images from the set but particularly wanted to use the penguins.

I had seen a little video of how to make a hat for a pom pom snowman garland using a toilet paper roll and wanted to have a go at making a hat to adorn the penguins heads. I tried and better tried to get some blue wool. I managed to get some aqua but it was far too green to use for this project. 

Plan B - I did have was some blue stranded cotton skeins which I use for cross stitch. I cut some lengths and started looping them round the cardboard. I however totally underestimated how much thread I would need. I used 2 full skeins of the light blue but still needed more to fill it. No more thread the same colour so I used a darker blue and created a striped effect which looks better anyway. It took nearly 4 full skeins of thread to make this so I will definitely use wool next time!

The hat is really easy to make. You loop the threads and secure with a slipknot. Then group all the threads together and tie another piece around them. The loose ends can then be fanned out like a pompom and trimmed as required to neaten. I then used some wadding to stuff into the hat so it would keep it's shape.

Once I had the hat made I could then print the image out to fit. It is coloured with Promarkers and I then cut it out with my small pointed trusty Fiskars scissors. I used some grey card for the body and rolled it up into a tube. I then added it to the inside of the hat and stuck the penguin on with red line double sided tape.  

The first image from the set at the top of this post has the ear muffs on. I have put this on one side of the tube so it is double sided.

On the other side is the plain penguin. I posed him with some little snowmen my Mother in Law knitted for me. They are having a snowball fight with some glittery Docrafts snowballs.


I am really pleased with how this has turned out. I just love it when I see an image and a little idea pops up of how to use it. It's nice to create something different from a card every now and again too.

We have so many fabulous sponsors this year and I am looking forward to working with their images.

I hope you will join myself and our fabulous team over at The Paper Funday Challenge.

Project Details

Size - 13cm high
Digital Images - Penguin Outlines 1 & 3 from Articland Doodles (Karamfila)
Colouring Medium - Promarkers
Embellishments - almost 4 skeins of embroidery thread!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges (in Alphabetical Order)

Sunday, 3 January 2021

2020 A Year to Remember


First of all I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Over at Beccy's Place we are being encouraged to post our favourite cards of 2020.

Now I know it was a pretty strange year. We have lost so much, people we loved, freedom to do many 'normal' things that we took for granted. It was a nothing year in many respects but it was also a year which gave us the opportunity to slow down, connect with people in a different way, change some bad habits and enjoy new ones.

For me in January I started the 2nd part of a meditation course with a local company Mindspace. This 6 week course was about Peace. I can honestly say I truly believe it prepared me for what was to come. The course was about not overthinking things and situations, living in the now, not stressing about past present and future and to slow down. I know without that my stress and anxiety would have been through the roof. I meditated every day, listened to the teachings at every opportunity. Did a lot of soul searching and felt truly calm and free of burden. I actually felt completely content for the first time I cane ever remember. Best £56 I have ever spent I can tell you. The guy that runs it (Adam Dacey) has done so many meditations each day during lockdown, completely free and still available on his YouTube channel. I have never been able to meditate until I went to his beginners course in September 2019. He has a really calm voice and his style of meditation is different to any others I had previously tried.

Many people see 2020 as being a bad year and I know it was for a lot of people. I personally know 3 people who have passed away from Covid, one as recent as the 30th December :( . I have a very good friend who is a nurse who has been on the frontline, my sister and niece work at a care home, again on the frontline and putting themselves at risk.

Fortunately my Husband has been working from home. He would have travelled on the bus so I am happy that he has been safe at home. I have not been working, my plant to take a break and then start looking for a new role after Easter hasn't quite panned out but we are okay on hubby's wage. I have been decorating, gardening and running the house. This has given him so much more free time and made his health better. He has even started a new job in a more fulfilling, employee orientated company and I am very proud of him for that.

For me, crafting has been a really important part of my year. I have been on several design teams which has kept me focussed, expanded my creativity and I have made things completely different to other things in the past. I have entered lots of challenges and had lots of wins and top 3's. I am not a bragger, I find it very difficult to 'big myself up' but I am proud of what I have achieved this year. Beccy's suggestions

So to start off we have a card I made for our friend's Daughter in January. Original Blogpost is here

February my favourite card was the little robin. Original Blogpost is here

March my favourite was this card I made for Mother's Day. Original Blogpost is here

April saw me making a series of cards to cheer people up. I never make 2 cards the same so they all featured the same sentiment and butterfly but in different colours, papers and layouts. This is one I made for my MIL. Original Blogpost is here

May we had a socially distanced street party for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. It was a marvellous day and a great way to get the neighbours together. This is a card I made for a neighbour who had organised it. Original Blogpost is here.

June I made this fab card for my Father in Law. I am so proud of the tools I made on this. 

July is actually really hard as there are 4 I really liked a lot and am proud of for different reasons. I have picked this one as my fave as it features my new favourite embossing folder.

Gosh August is another month where there were 3 I really liked. This one in particular really stretched me so far out of my comfort zone. Original Blogpost is here.

September's favourite is this pretty butterfly card. 

October had me choosing the smiley sunflower card. 

November had me making loads of Christmas cards for the 
Month long challenge at Beccy's Place
I have 2 favourite cards, 1 Christmas and the other for a little girl.

December has got to be the card I made for my husband's birthday.

It was so hard to choose only 1 for each month as I have made so many cards last year. 
Hopefully this crafty spate will continue into 2021.

Currently the majority of the UK is in a very high state of lockdown restrictions and it is being rumoured it will get worse as the numbers are rising. My panic level is still low. I have realised I am mostly an introvert and as long as my hubby is safe and we are still so happy together then we will ride whatever storm is to come. I am lucky to have a craft room full of supplies, Netflix, a good coffee maker and I will be decorating the Hall Stairs and landing when the weather gets warmer. I am sure I will be able to keep myself occupied.

Beccy, thank you for the opportunity to do this. It's weird how until I reviewed my cards I hadn't realised how many I had made and also how many I really liked for different reasons.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Fall PEAR-fection

Happy New Year! I know 2020 was not the year we would have wished for. 
My deepest condolences to all who have lost loved ones and suffered illness from the virus. 
I hope you have gained some positives from 2020 and we can be hopeful that better days are ahead of us. We may just have to be patient for a while longer.....

I am very proud to announce that I am now on the Design Team at The Freebie/Progressive Challenge at The Outlawz. This is something I have taken part in for a long time and to have been asked to join the DT is a great compliment.

As it is a New Year anyone can can request the free image for this month. As long as you make a card with it by the end of January you will automatically get the February image free. It is a fabulous way to use images from artists you many not have used before. Also sometimes the image is completely different to something you would normally use. It has been a good way for me to stretch my creativity and take me out of my comfort zone. 

I would highly recommend anyone who is not already taking part to jump in and have a go. We are a really friendly bunch at The Outlawz.

This month we are sponsored by Jan's Digi Stamps.

We have been given an outline stamp and sentiment which are from the Fall PEAR-fection stamp set.  Jan's sets are always such good value as you get the images in both outline and colour and lots of sentiments which can be used for many occasions. They always print out so crisp and clean and are a pleasure to work with.

I started out colouring the image in Promarkers and added shading with coloured pencils. I am new to pencils and find they add a different level of shading which compliments my pens very well. I used an ultra fine green sharpie for the veins in the leaves. A blender pen was used to create the mottled effect on the vase to make it look weathered like real terracotta is.

The image has been cut with a Nestabilities die. I used some chalk in green and orange to distress the edges. My hubby got me some of those cosmetic brushes from Amazon and they have made a huge difference to my blending. I am far less heavy handed now.

I had used the largest die for the image so drew around it to create a brown mat to go underneath. This has been popped up on foam squares to create dimension.

The base of the card is a an A4 sheet of dark green card folded in half. The top paper is a bronze swirly card from Kanban. The bottom is a flocked paper with leaves on it, it feels lovely and very dimensional. I added some brown flocked ribbon to cover the join and some green flower shaped gems. Finally the sentiment has been cut into a banner shape.

I hope we will see you enter our challenge at The Outlawz and look forward to seeing the entries using this this image.

Card Details -

Size – A5
Dies – Labels 17 Nestabilities (Spellbinders)
Colouring Medium – Promarkers, Arteza pencils, Sharpie Ultrafine
Embellishments – ribbon, flower gems

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges (in Alphabetical Order)