Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Dot and Drop - Baby Blue

These dot and drops are such fun to play with. Here I made a card blank using one of the larger Tonic Studios Art Nuvo Oval dies, then I used the Twisting Arch drop and Dot die twice, to make a nice curve. I used Salty Ocean distress ink to colour the areas of my base card which were going to show through the die cut, then I also diecut the New Baby and stamped my bear - from the Marmalade's World stamp and die set, and added colour from the same distress ink pad. 

I found a beautifully matching Nuvo Glitter drops from my stash and finished off the card by following the pinprick sized dots to decorate. 

Check out the inspiration from all the Tonic Studios Design Team, and don't forget to watch the shows on Create and Craft this week!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x


Tonic Rococo City Scene - Hello London!

My share today is from the launch of Tonic Rococo City Scene and travel dies, and is pretty distinguishable, I'd say!. On the DL card I have used the cityscape and put it through my Tangerine twice, to get the width of the card, then added a few rather well known London landmarks! 

The embossed detail on the Rococo dies is fabulous, it really brings them out!. 
For more inspiration check out the blogs of the Tonic Studios Design Team and catch the shows this week on Create and Craft!

Happy crafting!
Nicky x

Monday, 20 March 2017

Dot and Drop - Tonic Studios new launch

My first card made with Tonic Essentials Drop and Dot dies, this card features two of the dies on a simple marbled background made with  a Nuvo Aqua Flow pen in Aqua Splash (my favourite colour) and a piece of acetate to smoosh it around. 

You'll recognise the Tonic Essentials layered heart die, and the sentiment, also Tonic. The detail on the heart is using Delicate Swirl, and across the bottom of this A6 card I have used Diamond Column. The dot and drop dies leave tiny pinpricks in your cardstock for you to make an even pattern with your Nuvo drops, which adds a unique and delicate feature to any card. 


Check out the Tonic Studios design team for more inspiration with these dies, and of course Create and Craft from Monday 20th March.

Happy Crafting!

Nicky

Tonic Rococo dies - New York City Scene



I'm sharing the first of my cards made for the launch of Tonic Rococo city scene and landmark dies - and this is my take on the New York collection. A colourful creation using my favourite pens, Nuvo Aqua Flows.

Firstly I splatted a postcard size piece of white card with the pens (messy fun!) then I set that to one side and made a background panel the same size, using several of the colours and blending them together on watercolour card.

Rather than cutting out the cityscape die and sticking it on, I placed it over my splatted card and die-cut it, then trimmed the bottom of my card, and stuck the top and bottom splatted pieces OVER the rainbow coloured card. You might see this better in this close-up below
This also shows the detail in the dies, which are super cool. I applied the same Aqua Flow technique to small bits of card, allowed them to dry, and then die-cut and embossed them. 

The whole front was mounted onto gorgeous Cobalt Velour satin effect Craft Perfect card, then onto my card blank.

I hope you enjoy the shows and all the inspiration from the amazing Tonic Studios design team!
Happy crafting!
Nicky x

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Craftwork Cards Deco Ladies 2 - Double the fun!

Stamping fun from me this week!

I had the pleasure of demonstrating the brand new Deco Ladies Stamp Set 2 for Craftwork Cards at Harrogate last weekend, and they proved to be a real hit with the crafty visitors to our stand. I thought I’d do an in-depth blog post to show how you can get the best out of these stamps, as there are some fabulous features in the set that you just HAVE to play with!
These stamps match beautifully with the first deco lady set from a few weeks ago but on this sheet you get TWO gorgeous ladies to embellish.
The first thing I did was to stamp each one onto white stamping card, and quickly colour her skin and hair; I used Nuvo Aqua Flow pens and a waterbrush, but any flesh tone pen will do. However…if you look at this next photo, you will see that I then paper pieced each one’s dress, that is to say, I stamped again onto patterned paper, in this case from the beautiful Decadence paper pad, cut out JUST the dress, and stuck it onto my pre-stamped lady. I then cut each one out leaving a border of 1-2mm. This allows you to match your lady with the elements from the collection.
I used two square toppers from this kit too, one of which I sliced in half and fanned out behind the other, in true Art Deco style!

You can take your paper piecing a step further by stamping and heat embossing with gold. This looked particularly effective on pale background papers, and it adds a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the lady.
You might even see my secret cut in this very close-up picture – through the gold necklace and down the neckline! But using gold means that you can give her gold gloves too – she’s certainly stylish!







You might also have noticed a few decorative features…that curtain/ fringe adorning the top of the card was such a fun discovery. I used it a few times. Just in black, but then the obligatory Stickles glitter to make it pop.

The little peacock feather too, was an exciting litle stamp. I had a play and as well as using it as an embellishment, I made myself some backgrounds with it, just by stamping in black and adding a touch of blue and brown…

This is a little side panel from the shaped stepper cards, but with the big feather toppers from the Decadence kit, and a lady painted in aqua, the result was completely different from the reds and pinks you would expect from the Decadence kit-

Again, I made a feature out of the fringe, which I stamped onto the bottom panel at random heights, then dropped a few Liquid Pearls onto, for bling!

I have to say that I was easily able to use EVERY element from this stamp set somewhere on my cards at the weekend. If you have Craftwork Cards stamps, look closely at them and all their tiny features, there is always something you can do with each and every one, be it the musical notes, deco flowers, and quirky corners…
You can find these gorgeous ladies by clicking the link to Craftwork Cards here.

Happy Crafting!
Nicky

Saturday, 18 March 2017

No Space for Dreams - Visible Image




Hello, I'm sharing a card today which has never been seen before, despite it being lined up ready to show on Create and Craft during Visible Image's stunning show earlier in March...as it sold out!!

So making its debut (from me anyway) today is 'No space for Dreams' It's a stunning set of stamps, a gorgeous cameo with that unique Mark Alexander touch, beautifully scripted words and a stunning dream catcher, which I stamped onto heat resistant acetate with Versamark, heat embossed with gold powder, and then coloured in on the reverse with Sharpie marker pens.
Lightly laid over the background image with thin strips of black foam tape, it almost appears to float. It's a beauty.

The background of the card itself was achieved through layering up and playing with Distress Crayons, splashing with water and also, as you'll see in the stars above, dabbing through a stencil with a wet baby wipe.
You'll also see the now famous crackle from the Create It set, and the whole card is framed by me just drawing freehand with a black fineliner and filling in between the lines.

Another beautiful stamp set that can be bought by clicking here

Don't miss out on all the beautiful creations and ideas, check out Visible Image's facebook pages, accessible via the following links:



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

Happy Crafting
Nicky x







Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Win and Tonic - March 2017

I am so in love with my Aqua Flow pens, I knew I would have to feature them in my Win and Tonic Blog post this month, with the theme of 'Anything Goes'. All the colour on this card is achieved through watercolouring, smooshing and a little bit of stamping and embossing.

Products used:
  • Tonic Craft Perfect Gilded silver 6x6 inch card blank
  • Nuvo Aqua Markers in Aqua Splash, Indigo Dawn, Azure Blue.
  • Mandala Moments Love & Hugs stamps
  • Versamark pad
  • silver embossing powder
  • Heat tool
  • silver card
  • 7 inch card blank
Firstly I used a piece of acetate, my colours and a water spray to lay down a base colour on my card, using a heat tool between layers to build up depth. 

I added bolder colour to my flowers and leaves, but roughly, for a distressed effect

I stamped my sentiment words with Versamark and heat embossed silver powder over them, to match the background on the card. I used the blue and the purple on each word, creating a gradient from top to bottom of my sentiment. Even though the mandala stamps are detailed, you are under no obligation to fill in the detail, they look equally beautiful in a bold colour or two.

Assembled with a swathe of purple ribbon, I love the randomness of the background colours on this card!

 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







Saturday, 11 March 2017

Brushos, hearts, and beautiful words...

I love Brushos and have been working with them a lot for backgrounds. But I wondered what they might be like used with some of Visible Image's beautiful quotes and words... and these are the results:



Really simple yet beautiful effects, they took a little practice, but so worth it in the end
For this beautiful Brusho heart I folded a piece of thin card in half and cut out a heart shape, which I discarded. I then laid the stencil over a piece of mixed media card (I use Daler Rowney) and spritzed lightly into the shape. Then I added tiny shakes of my Brushos, using four colours. Some of the powder popped instantly, it's like a mini fireworks display on your card, others needed a spritz of water to set it, and I watched the results with baited breath. 

It's a learning experience, I must say. A few went in the bin because I over spritzed, or I didn't like the colours. If in doubt, go easy on the powders, and dry gently with a heat gun between applications...just lay your paper stencil back over. 

I found the second card much easier. If you are lucky enough to have cut a perfect heart out of your first stencil, then use that as a mask. Place it over a new piece of mixed media paper and gently spritz around it. Tiny shakes of powder - I used lots of different colours here - create an outline 'halo' for the heart.

I will just share with you my sequin fetish! I was very pleased to read in my new card making magazine today that sequins are really on-trend right now! They are my go-to embellishment of the moment,so  it's good to be a trend setter!

AND FINALLY...the words!!!
Beautiful words, put together by Helen and Mark Alexander of Visible Image, Helen's ideas and Mark's attention to detail and font, even down to quirky idiosyncratic typewriter 'errors', make for beautiful stamps that echo our thoughts exactly. 
You can buy these two stamps, and MANY more incredible sentiments from Visible Image
Click here for the Creativity stamp and here for the Love you Longer stamp. Both are beautiful, and the love you longer just chokes me....
Do not adjust your sets...with some clever tweaks, Mark has purposefully overlaid some of the letters, as was the way of ageing typewriters. I inked this sentiment in three colours - shades of blue and purple distress ink so that there are different bursts of colour in it. 

This Creativity stamp does come in two parts, but I kept them quite close together. As the type was not as clear over the coloured background, I got my white gel pen out and outlined some of the letters, just make them more distinct. Again, Mark does not just 'make' stamps...take a closer look and appreciate how EVERY random splat or dot has been purposefully designed and positioned! Love it!!!

Thanks for dropping by today, I hope you're inspired, or if you have inspiration for me - I'm always learning! - drop me a note in the comments telling me where to look!!! 

Helen, Mark and the Visible Image 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
Nicky x








Saturday, 4 March 2017

Face It - It's gorgeous!

Hello and today I am sharing with you my very first ever canvas, created with the Face it and Create It Stamps by Visible Image.


It measures 20 x 20cms and was created in an evening with plenty of stamping, colouring and cutting, and lots of fun!

I simply stamped the features onto the canvas, using a large stamping block behind it , to get a good pressure with my stamp, and coloured from the edge with shades of green distress ink and a blending tool and paintbrush to keep the edges soft. 
I added crackles from the fabulous 'extras' set, and if you look closely, you'll see I coloured the eyes in purple, just to reflect the other-worldliness of the girl. (I also did this on very thin card which I then stuck to the canvas, so that I could capture the accurate detail of the iris and pupils. 


The flowers were simply stamped in Distress ink onto thin card, and then coloured with a waterbrush. I used all three sizes of flower from the Create It set, on some of them, to build up depth a bit more, then finished off the centres with Liquid Pearls.

 For the leaves...I simply stamped the flowers in green, and from each flower I snipped out two pairs of leaves and one single, which, by the time they were strategically positioned behind the petals, were unrecognisable as the same thing!

The finishing touch was the butterfly, Visible Image of course, from the 'Own Kind of Beautiful' set from last year. 

I am so excited about this project, and even more so that it may be featured in the Visible Image show on Saturday 4th March at 10am on Create & Craft. I have never seen stamps like this, with which you can construct both human and feline features (and look out for a mixture of both from my fellow Visible Image design team...) And if you happen to miss the show, you will find it on the catch up page on www.createandcraft.com for 7 days!

Feedback from the release of these sets has been phenomenal, particularly because the crafter can choose the level of difficulty - she looks as beautiful just stamped onto plain white, or softly coloured paper, as she does all adorned with flowers! So I can't wait to see lots of interpretations shared on the Visible Image facebook pages - Here are the links:



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

Happy crafting and enjoy the show!

Nicky