Friday, 31 July 2009

Divine Details...

Hello all!

Today I thought I'd share with you my anniversary card I made for my DH - we have been married for 8 years now! I thought this card was a good opportunity to share my 'process' of making a card (if you can call it that) as that is the theme of this month's Project Parade over at the Verve Blog. I get quite a few 'how did you do that?' or 'where do you get your ideas?' questions at the workshops I do, so this might help explain a bit of that!

Firstly, I always start with either a sketch or a stamp set in mind. If I start with a sketch, I will then find a stamp set or image to fit the sketch. If I start with a stamp set in mind, I'll then try to find a sketch to fit. As you can see, sketched are REALLY important in my 'process' lol! There are oodles of sketches out there - on SCS, Mojo Monday, etc. etc. In fact, there are so many that I can't possibly do them all! In this card I used a sketch that was part of the SCS fan club challenges. I wanted to use this image so I chose this sketch to fit it.

Next, I choose my colour combo - this will either be based on DSP (which I do a LOT!) or a colour combo I've seen either on a challenge, or someone else's creations (I case other people's ideas an awful lot!!). I then try to colour my image to fit my colour combo (in this card I actually coloured the image first, then took the colours from there).

If you know me at all, you'll know that I LOVE to colour!! I have lots of different methods: SU's watercolour wonder crayons, markers, inkpads together with blender pens or aquabrushes are great. I also love coloured pencils (my personal fave are Prismacolors from the US). In this card I have used copic markers. These are an alcohol-based marker that are brilliant for blending. I love using copics when colouring any images that involve animals or people, as their skin/fur colours are excellent. In this particular card, once I had coloured my images, I 'defaced' them a little... lol! The boy bunny was given a mask (drawn in using an SU black marker and coloured with signo white gel pen) because my hubby is MAD about The Phantom of the Opera (don't ask...!) and the girl bunny (me!!) was labelled a rubber stamper (no need for explanation!).

One of my 'divine details' that I use on pretty much every card I make is dimension. There is something about 3D that makes a card look extra special. In this case, I layered up the image (called Paper Tole in the US, or Decoupage in the UK). I stamped it 3 times and cut different parts out to pop up using dimensionals. The image was cut out with Nestabilities (a tool I just can't live without in the crafting world!). I find that adding a layer behind the main image makes it stand out more - nestabilities are great for this.

Another little detail I will share is something I heard at an SU training event I went to last year. I was already doing this in my card making but had never heard it described this well: Just remember BLT! No... not Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato (we're not making a sandwich here!!) - it stands for Background, Layers and Texture. In my card I stamped the square panels in the background using the same colour ink as the cardstock (Creamy Caramel) to acheive a subtle tone-on-tone effect. I then sponged around the edge of each one using the same ink to get a distressed feel. I added faux stitching (still haven't figured out how to use my sewing machine!!) using a paper piercing tool and a black SU marker. I then added texture by running each panel through the Cuttlebug using an embossing folder. This adds a subtle effect but really adds something to the card.

Finally, I personalised the card by stamping out some letters using my mini SU alphabet set and punching each letter out with a 1/4" circle punch. I find this much easier to do than trying to line each letter up next to each other!

Phew... That was a long ramble! For those who have read all this... well done and thank you! Hopefully it has helped in some way in your own creative journey...

Here's my recipe:
Stamps: Verve (Bunny Duet, Father Figure), Stampin Up (mini alphabet), There She Goes (Happy Day)
Ink: Versafine black, Creamy Caramel
Paper: White, Creamy Caramel, Basic Black, Red card blank
Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folder, copic markers, 1/4" circle punch, paper piercing tool, black marker, white signo gel pen, nestabilities

Thanks for stopping by... happy stamping!

x Amy x

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Woohoo! I'm on holiday...!

Well I'm now on school holidays - yay! Actually I have been all week, but have been so wrapped up in sorting out my craft room and other bits and bobs around the house I've forgotten to update my blog - sorry!

I thought I'd share this card with you - a Christmas in July card! I stamped the reindeer on Whisper White using Choc Chip and punched out with the 1 3/8" circle punch. I created the background by arranging squares of Ski Slop DSP on Always Artichoke Cardstock. I then punched a scallop circle out of a piece of Choc Chip card slightly smaller than the DSP piece. This was popped up over the reindeer to create a frame. I added faux stitching using a white signo gel pen (a favourite technique of mine!!). The background of the card is Bashful Blue cardstock stamped with snowflakes from the SU Winter Post set using Bashful Blue ink. I dragged the inkpad around the edges to get a distressed feel.

The greeting is from the hostess set Best Yet and was stamped on Whisper White using Choc Chip ink and punched out with the SU oval punch. This was layered on a scallop circle of Real Red. I added some Choc Chip double stitched grosgrain ribbon to finish off.

Here's the recipe:
Stamps: Winter Post, Best Yet
Ink: Choc Chip, Bashful Blue
Paper: Ski Slope DSP, Always Artichoke, Choc Chip, Bashful Blue, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: Choc Chip double stitched grosgrain ribbon, white signo gel pen, SU oval punches.

Thanks for stopping by!

x Amy x

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Faux Grid technique


I made this card for two challenges over at SCS - the color challenge (Lavender, Banana, Black & White) and the Technique challenge (Faux grid).

I stamped the image from Soft Summer (in the UK mini catalogue) on Confetti White with Stazon and coloured with watercolour wonder crayons and an aquapainter. I drew the grid lines using a ruler and my black SU marker. I coloured random squares with two different grey crayons. I added shadow on one side of the image with a dark grey marker and blended with my aqua painter.

The greeting was stamped with Stazon on Barely Banana and punched out with the SU oval punch. I added white 1/4" grosgrain ribbon and Barely Banana brads for extra texture.

Here's the recipe:

Stamps: Soft Summer, Oval All
Ink: Black Stazon
Paper: Lavender Lace, Barely Banana, Going Grey, Basic Black, Confetti White
Accessories: Watercolour wonder crayons, Soft Subtles brads, white grosgrain ribbon, white Signo gel pen, SU oval punches, SU scallop edge punch, SU black marker

Thanks for stopping by... I'm off to sniffle and cough a bit more... am feeling a bit poorly at the mo!

x Amy x

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Tree Mojo...

This card is my entry for the Mojo Monday contest this month. I also combined it with the Featured Stamper challenge over at SCS. I chose this card from Schirmcat's gallery. The idea of a featured stamped challenge is to copy some elements, but change others (at least three). I kept the tree theme, used Kraft cardstock along with greens and brown and used three buttons too. I also added some faux stitching using a Choc Chip marker to imitate the stitch lines on her card. I changed the layout, the stamps used and added a ton of layers (can't help myself...! lol!).
The little tree is from Verve's Up, Up and Away set - my FAVE Verve set at the mo! The larger tree is a single Plain Jane stamp. I stamped them on Whisper White cardstock with Choc Chip ink and also on some Certainly Celery DSP (from the Wintergreen pack... in the retired section at the back of the UK catty). I cut the foliage out and popped over the top of the white image with dimensionals. I sponged around the edge of the image piece with Choc Chip and distressed with the SU distressing tool. The greeting is from Here for You and stamped on Whisper White, cut out with Nestabilities and sponged with Certainly Celery, Sage Shadow and a smidgen of Choc Chip!
The layers behind the main image are a combination of Wintergreen DSP, Chocolate Chip and Kraft. I've distressed quite a few of the layers, as well as adding the faux stitching. The ribbon is 1/4" Certainly Celery Grosgrain. I added some buttons I picked up today at my local store... I think I'm warming to using buttons...!
I decided to decorate the inside of the card too (something I never do!) as I've seen amazing examples on some of the blogs I surf (in particular Amy Sheffer). I tore a strip of DSP and layered on Kraft then placed at the bottom of a white layer. I added stitching (to match the front of the card) and stamped the little tree in the same way as the front then punched out with SU circle punches.
This card took ages but I'm really pleased with the result!
Here's the recipe:
Stamps: Verve
Ink: Certainly Celery, Choc Chip, Sage Shadow
Paper: Wintergreen DSP, Choc Chip, Kraft, Whisper White
Accessories: SU Choc Chip marker, buttons, Certainly Celery ribbon, SU distressing tool, Nestibilities, SU circle punches
Thanks for stopping by!
x Amy x

Friday, 3 July 2009

Sorry it's been so long...!

So it's been a while...! I have been really busy at both of my jobs recently and haven't had a lot of time to blog! Hopefully things will get a bit better now!

I made this card for a challenge our SU team holds every fortnight. This week's challenge was to use three of everything. So I used three colours: Apricot Appeal, Not Quite Navy and Tempting Turqouise. I also used three flowers, dragonflies, buttons, pieces of ribbon... I went to town basically!!

The flowers and dragonflies are from the Hostess set, Organic Grace. If you would like this set and live in or near Bristol, please contact me about hosting a party on and you could get this set for FREE!!

Here's my card recipe:
Stamps: Organic Grace, Live your Dream
Ink: Tempting Turqouise, Not Quite Navy, Stazon black
Paper: Apricot Appeal, Tempting Turquoise, Not Quite Navy, Very Vanilla
Accessories, Very Vanilla buttons, Tempting Turqouise ribbon, Linen Thread, glitter, circle punches

Thanks for stopping by!