Saturday, 18 February 2017

Create Yourself....with Visible Image

Today I am sharing a big piece of work, it took me a few hours to accomplish this, but I enjoyed every minute, even though it was challenging, and at times I didn't breathe...!

This 20x20cm on Mixed media card was put together using these sets from Visible Image

So it was quite the creative play!!!

1. I began by making my watery cloudy background on a piece of A3 Mixed Media Cardstock. I used Nuvo Aqua Flow pens in Indigo Dawn, Azure Blue and Aqua Splash. In turn, and drying with a heat gun between each colour, I applied strokes of brush colour to my glass mat, spritzed it with water and pressed my card stock onto it. By drying it I had more control over what went where and I built up a whole A3 background very quickly. 
Then I selected the area on which to work and cut it down to 20 x 20cm size. 

First stamp was the moon, the clouds and the stars. I heat embossed the moon and stars with silver pearl, having positioned it so that I could then stamp one of the eyes and brows over it.

I brushed over the eyelashes with an embossing pen and added some ultra fine clear sparkling embossing powder over it, for a touch of glitter. 

4.  Then I stamped the unicorn. and used a mask to cover it as I stamped the nose and mouth with Archival ink. Then I added more clouds with distress ink. Also a few more stars.
5. By applying the mask over the face and rubbing a blending tool with a little colour on, outwards, I gave her some real definition in seconds

6. From the Create It set I added the tree, some falling leaves, and then some cracks, some flowers...I just played with the piece until I was happy.

7. I tweaked the unicorn by adding touches of white pen, just by following the picture on the front of the stamp set. 

8. Penultimately - the words. I used white pen to highlight the 'Believe' sentiment, but I stamped and embossed the 'Create Yourself' in white, and used lilac distress ink and a tiny paintbrush to create shadow on the page.

9 And finally - a bit of bling - sequins, randomly planned and distributed, glued with strong pva, and one gemstone, right over the splatted ink under the face's left eye!

Wishing Helen and Mark the best of luck, they are showcasing all the new stamps from the February release at Stitches Trade show at Birmingham NEC this weekend. Be sure not to miss out on news and inspiration by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Win and Tonic February 2017

Here is my card for a teensy bit of inspiration for the February Win and Tonic Challenge

The themes for February are:

Colour - kraft plus anything
Technique -  bling it up. Add glitters, glitter drops, anything sparkly
Product - free choice so any Tonic product is fine
Theme - happy anything ie birthday, anniversary or just be happy 

I think that this time I managed to include everything!
This is a type of easel card, made with two card blanks, one Kraft, one white. 
Once I had diecut my aperture through the kraft card, as shown here,
I attached it to a white card blank and added my embellishments

The dies used in this project were:
Butterfly Circle Doily
Royal Fern
Rococo Happy Anniversary
Small Lacy Bows
A very old but lovely Tonic butterfly whose name escapes me!

 I was able to build up the layers on the inside with Sticky Pads

I used the bow as a stopper for the easel part of the card, and trimmed off about 5cms of the base card in front of it

And to finish it off...some bling of course!

I hope this card inspires you to join us over on this month's Win and Tonic Challenge on the blog. Click here to pop across for more DT inspiration and to join in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize from Tonic Studios!

Happy Crafting! 
Nicky x

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Believe it baby!

Anything is possible if you Believe...that couldn't be more true!

My card share for this week is made with the incredible new Believe in Unicorns stamp set from Visible Image, available NOW as part of the February 2017 new releases. 

The unicorn may look a bit familiar BUT look at those new additions - the moon, those clouds, the's just beautiful!

So here's what I did with it:
I am mad for my new Tim Holtz Distress Crayons right now, so I made a coloured background using the crayons and a water spritzer, and covered it in swathes of black (with a recent northern lights encounter in mind!) But it's amazing how the colour still comes through, just enough to see. I then allowed it to dry

1. I cut a rocky ground base from spare card and gave my unicorn something to stand by applying a layer of Versafine onyx black ink.

2. I stamped the unicorn with Versamark and heat embossed with white powder. I did the same for the moon.

3. I made a mask for the moon so that I could stamp two clouds behind and then one over, and embossed in silver. I then stamped and embossed the sentiment.

4. I added the crossed stars in silver and a few stamps of stars in white, then trimmed to size and mounted onto holographic card, then onto a black 15cm square card base.

Helen, Mark and the Design Team are showcasing all the new stamps from the February release, so be sure not to miss out by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy crafting!

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Tonic for Friday - Anniversary Congratulations!

Today I'd like to share the second of my cards made for the Congratulations feature in Tonic Studios Design Collection magazine, released at the end of last month

This card features so much colour, thanks to the freebie Craft Perfect card and backing papers that came with the kit, and I took advantage of them and used them to the max, for a real celebratory feel. 

All of the instructions for how to make this card are in the magazine, but basically, you need a large manual diecutting machine, like a Tangerine, and you diecut through the base card stock, to make an aperture for the front of the card. Then you cut your layers on complementary colours and just have fun with it!

This inside of the card also uses the same layering dies, Twisting Veranda, which are so incredibly popular and versatile, and a must have for creating fabulously layered cards.
I even managed to add some border strips, top and bottom, from the free papers, and topped off with the heart from the Delicate Gesture box, which is so cute, I couldn't not use it!

Fans of Tonic who have not got your hands on this amazing Bookazine, look out for it in all good craft shops and supermarkets. The projects range from simple to advanced, but every single card in there is beautiful and inspirational, not to mention the amazing die, embossing folder and stamps that come with it. 

Happy Crafting!
 Nicky xx

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Destination: Visible Image

Another sample from this month's launch of Visible Image's new collection of stamps, today I'm sharing a card I made with two sets, Destination Unknown, and a pair of awesome background stamps, Scripted Streets
I first prepared my background with my new Tim Holtz distress crayons. I used the neutral tones, the main colour being my new favourite, Rusty Hinge, but I mixed it with lighter and darker tones to achieve an aged, rustic look.
My whole background sheet was a piece of A5 Mixed Media card. From this I was able to make my square background AND my tag.

TOP TIP! If you are preparing backgrounds in advance of a project, always cover an area larger than the one you might choose to use; you then have spare colour matched background for text or testing mediums on (which was how this tag started, if I'm truthful! I was testing the background stamps on it)

So as you can see, I used the background stamps first, to add a little interest to the square, and then I stamped the words around the page, and triple stamped a few for shadow.

I filled spaces with arrows and arranged my tag, using string to secure it to the card. 
Although the base card is kraft card, as you can see, all the work was done on white card, which I then distressed round the edges and mounted onto black, with just a tiny border, This works in two ways; it strengthens and flattens the mixed media card which by now has been quite 'worked on', and it draws the eye to the detail.

The planes and boats....!
Adorable, and inspired!
I stamped onto thin white card, used grey distress ink to watercolour a small amount of shadow onto each one, and adhered them to the card, some flat, some on pads.

All of the stamps used to make this card are available on preorder (although not long to wait now!) from Visible Image, click here to see their website

 Helen, Mark and the Design Team will be showcasing all the new stamps from the February release, so be sure not to miss out by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy crafting!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hot off the Press! Congratulations Tonic Studios!

I am so excited to have my work featured in the brand new, and first ever Tonic Design Collection Magazine. An honour and a privilege to see my designs in there along some, quite simply, amazing and inspiring crafters, some of whom I'm lucky to call my friends. 

I was asked last year to design and write up for three Congratulations cards, and I'm going to share the first one here. A top folding shaker card, I built up my frames using the Ribbon and Bow layering die set, white and raspberry Craft Perfect card, and the printed papers that came with the kit. I then made a front panel with a heart aperture, which I filled with sequins and sealed. Full step-by-step instructions are in the magazine along with my two other cards...maybe I might share again soon...

 I have to say, at £12.99, with the die, the embossing folders, the stamps AND a full set of papers and co-ordinating Craft Perfect's excellent value! 
It's a definite NEED for any fan of die-cutting, and indeed any fan of Tonic Studios!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

New Release! Visible Image - Born to Perform

Oh. My. Goodness.

When something comes along that just takes your breath away...

This image of the ballerina, from the Born To Perform set of stamps by Visible Image, is truly the most beautiful image of a dancer I have ever seen. I have sought an image like this, and then Mark delivered, without even knowing how high up on my wishlist this was! 

With the brand new February 2017 release of some ground breaking new stamps, this set, Born to Perform, delivers style and potential in bucket-fulls. I chose to keep my first card simple,to showcase the beautiful ballerina, so here it is...
If you know anything of my style, you will understand (and sympathize) how hard it was for me to achieve this effect. I needed to keep the white space but my, it was a challenge that I enjoyed!

To get the background effect I took three of the new Nuvo Aqua flow pens, in Aqua Splash, Indigo Dawn, and Spiced Ginger. One by one I dropped liquid from each pen onto a large acrylic block and pressed it onto watercolour card, drying with a heat gun between each press.

Two colours:
Preparing to add third colour:

If you don't dry between colours, they can merge and go murky. It's a slow process but SO worth it to get the optimum result! And you can add more colour if you feel it needs it. 

I then stamped the dancer in purple pigment ink, which remained wet long enough to be able to add glitter purple embossing powder, and which I then heated with my heat tool.
You can see here that I then got a little splatty, mixing a couple of drops of ink with water, in my palette, and flicking the brush over the watercolour card. Again, dry with a heatgun if you can. I also dotted around my image with an embossing pen and sprinkled the purple glitter powder over it, just to match the splash of the tutu! 

The final touches were to add the key words, and then some super tiny gems in toned colours. I hope they add a little movement and flow to the project. 

If you want to see more of Visible Image's new releases for 2017 then click here to see their website

The next few weeks are going to be terribly exciting as Helen, Mark and the Design Team showcase all the new stamps from the February release, so be sure not to miss out by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

I'm off back to my creating, I look forward to sharing something else from the new release very soon. 

Happy crafting!