Sunday, 30 July 2017

Feeling romantic - Anniversary time!

I'm feeling the love today...
Sunday 30th July brings our 18 year wedding anniversary, and it reminded me of this dainty tealight holder I created with the recent Tonic Studios Cathedral Box die set. 

Unbelievably easy to create, all I had to do with this was snip away the top sections of the box with scissors, and die-cut the pattern through three of the four sides. I punched a hole in the top of each side and threaded ribbon through each.

The special touch is the gorgeous heart-shaped Tonic Studios die, Love Honour and Cherish, which I cut in gold and stuck onto white and trimmed round. 

Wouldn't they look stunning on tables at a wedding?! I know that if I was getting married, I'd certainly make these for my special day, not least because they are a quick and easy make and the effect as the light goes down is so pretty! But it's a stunner of a die, check out the Cathedral Box die photos on the Tonic Studios pinterest pages for further inspiration!

If I could, I'd do it all again tomorrow! 

Happy Crafting
Nicky x





Saturday, 29 July 2017

Capture the Moment with Visible Image


My Saturday share for Visible Image is this card made with the awesome camera from the Capture the Moment stamp set, a beauty to stamp and build up the layers of the lens.

I used all the elements from the set, as you see, I love the huge 'smile' stamp and the text is just perfect. 


I stamped my image and heat embossed onto white card with black powder, then cut round it, repeatinf the lens area a couple of times. Then I used my silver Nuvo Embellishment Mousse and a sponge, and rubbed the colour all over the parts I wanted to look metallic, and wiped the embossed areas clean with a cloth. I loves the effect that this created- as realistic as a stamped camera can be!
The background was created with Distress Oxides, splashed with a little water, then a funky chicken wire stencil which I also applied blue Nuvo Embellishment mousse through, as this gave a slightly raised texture to the background. A smudge of silver across the wire gave the project a distressed look to finish. 

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Happy crafting!
Nicky



Friday, 28 July 2017

Summer Garden Sunshine-Creative Stamping 46

In a desperate attempt to bring some summertime back to this rainy day, I am sharing a few cards I was commissioned to make for Creative Stamping 46, which is a stunning magazine, with a gorgeous full A4 stamp plate featuring designs by Joanna Sheen.


My male themed cards featured the gnome... 
a lazy hammock stretched between trees...
and a fun barbecue complete with a selection of sausages...
among other designs which you'll see in the magazine!

All of the how-to's are in the magazine, which is on sale in all good supermarkets, craft shops and WHSmiths right now, and the projects from the rest of the team are amazing!
But the stamp plate itself is more than worth the money, for a summer and beyond of gorgeous stamps....

Happy Crafting!
Nicky x



Monday, 17 July 2017

Win and Tonic July Challenge

It's time for another challenge over at Win & Tonic. There's an easy theme this month - ANYTHING GOES!

So here's my Tonic inspiration, in the shape of a fun card that I made with the DL layering dies - not that you'd know that's what they are, but the delicate panel detail on the smallest strips caught my eye, so I set about positioning them in a criss-cross pattern, and this is the result:

You have until 14th August to submit your entries onto the Win and Tonic Blog. The only rule is...you have to use something Tonic. The prize? The stunning new Cathedral Box Die,  so popular and there were some fantastic samples from the design team when they were launched early in July. 

Good luck and happy crafting!



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Time waits... for Visible Image

I've been playing with the fantabulous Ahead of our time and Alphabetical stamps from Visible Image, making up my own quotes using the letters, and backgrounds too...can you see the tick tock? Look into the image! Having all these possibilities allows you to really get creative. No constraints, no restrictions...think of something to say and say it!!

I inked up my backgrounds with distress oxides and splashed the card with water to get the bleached-out effect. I stamped my main feature with brown Nuvo Hybrid ink, I love this ink as you don't have to think about what pens to use with them -it's untouchable, there's no 'wrong' medium to use! Alcohol or water-based pens - they can't touch it!
I formed the words with the stamps. They look quite lively here, but once all the other elements are added they will become more of a background.
I DID use my Tim Holtz stamping platform for my stamped features. Just to guarantee clarity and a strong colour. Like I have said on a previous post, I have been stamping happily for years without one. and still would if I wasn't lucky enough to have one, but for guaranteed clear and professional results, I can't recommend one of these enough!
It also came in handy for the boxes from the Alphabetical set which I used to stamp the word 'MAN' into. As you and see, I stamped the central box first, masked it with some sticky paper and stamped either side. 
This masking resulted in a funky display of boxes into which I stamped my required lettering.
Adding extra stamps from the set, in dark colours, and shading from the outside in with distress inks, adds, I hope, to the depth of the image, or at least that's what I tried to create! I also masked over the whole of the 'MAN' boxes to bring the letters to the foreground.

Don't forget to enter the Visible Image 'Splash of Colour' challenge over on their faceboog group this month, to be in with a chance of winning an amazing coupon to spend in their shop. 
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Happy Crafting
Nicky x










Saturday, 8 July 2017

One bunny - three ways

Hello, I'd like to share today three cards that I made from the one bunny rabbit die which is by Fuzzy Lemon and is available from CraftStash.co.uk. I chose to play with this one as it's a cute die, it cuts just an outline but to me it's a perfect starting point for creating a variety of cards. so...this is what I did...
Firstly I die-cut two on plain white card, and used distress inks to shade them. I lifted them slightly with an outline of thin black pen, and this worked well with the stamping I did behind, and round the circle, with freebies from  Papercraft Essentials 144 magazine. I love that you can take the tiniest stamp, like a carrot, for example, and turn it into a major feature of a card. With these two garden bunnies, it just seemed perfect!

With this card, I die-cut carefully, left of centre, into a piece of card slightly smaller than A6. Then I turned my card over and did the same again, to get a mirror image of the rabbit. Although the card does show, at the point of cutting, which way the die has gone through, all that is needed is to place the card between a couple of sheets of paper (no die in it) and run it through your die-cutting machine. This flattens any slight curving on both sides and makes it pretty much impossible to see which was the original cut and which was the reverse cut.A layer of acetate and 3D tape arounfdthe bunnies on the reverse, a handful of sequins, and a computer generated greeting, and this card was complete!

For this card, I dug out a selection of pretty papers and a couple of old embossing folders, and cut my bunny several times. Some on patterned, some plain, some embossed. What's cuter than one bunny? Lots of them! The edge of this square card has been die-cut with some lovely stitched border dies, a neat finish just to add an extra touch to your project. 
I guess you could say, when I finished these cards, I was one happy bunny!

Check out the latest releases from Fuzzy Lemon on CraftStash now, there are some seriously gorgeous dies on there!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x


Friday, 7 July 2017

Christmas is coming...

Christmas is coming...in the crafting world at least! 
Here are some cards I made for the Tonic Studios Christmas Buildables launch. Really good fun to make the characters and bring them to life on cards and home decor projects!

I'm going to share a little about each card I made along with a few hints and tips along the way...
Here's Father Christmas on a 7x5" card. My favourite bit of him is his beard and moustache; the dies have slits through them for embossing, and adding a dash of colour through to give a bit of definition.

Did you know his legs and arms are the same die? You don't even need to cut them, just funny little U-bends which make perfect sense when you are putting him together. My second favourite thing about him was using Craft Perfect glossy black card on his belt and shoes. Santa NEEDS shiny boots! The sentiment is from the Christmas banner set. I love it on its own, as much as with the banner, like in this next card...
Such a jolly snowman! 
Now, the coal eyes and buttons ARE provided as a die but if you trust your Crystal Drops, go for it! I used the large DL frame die for this card, and the Christmas Banner set too. Again, you can ink through the scarf sections for a bit of detail. I also lightly inked in blue round each snowball making up his body, to bring him to life!
As if we didn't know who this guy was?!
He's a super character, quite quick to make, and he just oozes Christmas charm. The three signs in the Festive Signpost set are pretty cool, I love the woodgrain effect you get by inking through the individual panels. So realistic!
Check out the snow!!!!! For this background I used Tonic Studios Beautiful Bokeh 8x8" stencil with white embossing paste. It's so simple and gives just the effect you need for a quick and easy background.
The shiny nose - a shading of white pen so that 'you can really see it glows'
Those antlers make magnificent mistletoe by the way! 
Here's a cute elf, in traditional colours. He's a cheeky character, and the die set comes with everything you need to make a female elf too. You'll spot one of the Tonic banner dies behind him. this one is a perfect fit for an A6 card and frames him beautifully, as do the layering ovals, Tonic of course!
I have a whole other blog post on this card, showing how to make a Z-fold card. Mrs Claus is a formidable character, she's the boss on this card!
Last but by no means least, this cute penguin. From the same die set as the snowman, you will see some similarities but he takes on a life of his own with his black capped head and wings, to say nothing of the cutest earmuffs and ice skates that also come with the set. 
What I would like to share is how easy it is to make a beautiful background out of three shades of Nuvo Mousse. They blended beautifully over an embossed A6 piece of card to make a pretty wintry background. Nuvo mousses will remain close at hand for future projects, of that I am sure!

Check out the other DT blogs and Tonic Studios facebook and pinterest pages for more festive inspiration

Happy Crafting! 

Nicky x







Saturday, 1 July 2017

A splash of colour with Visible Image

Inspiration today for the Visible Image 'Splash of Colour' challenge which starts on 1st July and runs on their facebook group for the whole month. All you have to do is make a card or project using Visible Image products adding your interpretation of 'A splash of colour' and upload it into their dedicated album. I for one can't wait to see what that looks like, once everyone gets creating! It's going to be glorious!

For this card I used two set of stamps, Ahead of our Time, and Alphabetical, which are available to buy on the Visible Image website.

I also used 5 colours of Tim Holtz Distress Oxides and a Versafine Onyx Black ink pad.

First I 'splashed' my colour by laying a square of ink from a pad onto my glass mat and spritzing with a little water. I then used an old small poly bag to pick up the ink and apply it randomly around my cardstock. drying in between colours.
Once I was happy with my end result I stopped dabbing. 
I udes my Tim Holtz stamping platform to get a really good print from my bowler-hatted man. I did him three times to be sure but two would have been enough, as you can see, careful re-inking gets an incredibly black result!
I never had a stamping platform until recently. I was a happy stamper before, I guess you could say I'm even happier now! It's a great safety net, perfect for positioning your stamps and for getting the depth of colour you might not achieve on one inking, plus it is so much cleaner (or should I say I am so much cleaner) when I use it! 

All that remained was to use the letters and characters from the Alphabetical set to complete my project. I also stamped the two past and future images from Ahead of our Time onto spare card and stuck them down with 3D foam.

I look forward to seeing all the contributions to the 'Splash of Colour' Challenge - don't forget there is a prize draw at the end of it all too!

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Happy Crafting
Nicky x