Friday, August 31

Focus on flowers

It's Friday, which means it's time for a new dare at the Daring Card Makers and Rein has chosen to 'Focus on flowers'.
For my guest designer card I've chosen this lovey image from A Day For Daisies of a girl with with birds and flowers in her hair and coloured it with Promarkers.  The colours used are Denim Blue, Twilight Sky (from the new limited Autumn collection), Lilac, Almond, Putty, Tea Green and Soft Green.  The little Melody Ross chipboard bird is coloured with Promarkers too.  The only other decoration on the image is a little Stardust Stickles on the flower centres.
To decorate the card I've used flowers and pearl string from Wild Orchid Crafts and stamped the sentiment onto a Pink Paislee Ticket.  Everything is finished off with dots of Liquid Pearls.

Pop over to the Daring Card Makers to join in with the flower challenge and to see all of the design team's cards.

** Kate **  

Thursday, August 30

Photo in a photo

There are a couple of photo effects I have always liked and wanted to try out.  I was reading a tutorial at My Memories and realised I would be able to give both of them a go with the v3 software.  Here's my first attempt at one of them, a photo within a photo of my sisters on a day out earlier in the summer.
I've started my page from scratch rather than using a template this time and all of the digi elements are from My Memories.

Challenges:
Crafting For All Seasons #34 - Stitching
Crafty Creations #185 - Summer scene
Can You Digi It #17 - What's your number
Digital Tuesday #175 - Coral with tan/kraft

Please pop over to my giveaway if you would like to win a My Memories v3 scrapbooking suite.  Or you can purchase v3 with a $10 discount by pasting STMMMS87792 into the promotional code and as a thank you will receive $10 to spend at My Memories with your receipt.

** Kate **. 

Wednesday, August 29

WOYWW #169

It's time to share workdesks with the world again via Julia's Stamping Ground.  Today she's offering "2 shots of the same shame" and that's just what I have for you too.
The desk/changing table (just the right height to stand and work at) is still in an unusable state, but there's almost a danger of being able to find things on it, so you have to count that as an improvement.

There are piles of finished cards waiting to be boxed up in a tidy fashion, my big crop-a-dile and a rack full of nonsense at the back, 80% of which could probably go in the bin.  There's a blue Claudine Hellmuth folding water bucket at the back with my Copics in.  I quite like them in there, easy to transport and use whilst sat in front of the TV.  Liked them so much in fact that I bought a Royal Langnickel one for my Distress Markers.  Despite being a lovely shade of blue in the picture it arrived pink, but I can live with that.
You can see it better from this angle, although it looks to be lurching dangerously.
Up to date with all my projects at the moment, so no works in progress.  I have started to pull out a kit to use for Learn Something New Every Day, because it really is September on Saturday!  Fingers crossed for a warm Indian Summer style start to Autumn.

Due join in with my giveaway if you fancy the chance to try some scrapbooking software.

In the rest of my world the plumber has decided he can't sort out our leaking cistern today after all.  A day watching England lose at cricket yesterday appears to have affected his schedule.  He has promised to be here 9am Monday, so I guess that means I need to go and dry out some of my mopping up towels.  And my cup still runneth over!!!!

** Kate **

Tuesday, August 28

Scrapbooking with My Memories and a Giveaway

The lovely people at My Memories asked if I'd like to try out their digital scrapbooking software and, as I only have Word available to me at the moment, I thought I would give it a try.  I've made a slide show of my first super quick album using the Winter Snow designer template.

The album was really easy to make.  There were 6 different pages available in the design and you selected as many of each as you wanted.  Adding the pictures was really quick, just a matter of selecting them then hovering over the space on the template and they just 'snapped' into place.
Quick and simple, but there's also the option to personalise everything.  I added embellishments and text and resized things to accommodate the pictures I wanted to use.  For example on the 'Snow Baby' page it originally just said 'Snow' but I altered it to add the word 'baby' and the journalling text.

Now for the giveaway part!!  I have a My Memories Suite v3 to give away.  For your chance to win visit the My Memories store and have a look at the fabulous digital add on kits available, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which is your favourite one. Comments will close at midnight on 21st September (UK time) and then I'll draw a winner!

Wait there's more!  Just in case you don't win or if you've spotted something you like and just can't wait I've got a coupon code for everyone.  Cut and paste code STMMMS87792 into the promotional code box on the shopping cart to get $10 off the My Memories Suite v3 and as thank you a further bonus of $10 to spend in the My Memories store will be sent with your receipt.

Now I've made some simple digital pages I'm off to see what else I can make and print out some elements for hybrid projects.  Of course, I 'll be back to share them here.

** Kate **  

Friday, August 24

Daring Card Makers - Beside The Seaside

The lovely ladies at the Daring Card Makers have very kindly asked me if I would like to be a guest designer for a few weeks and of course I said "Yes, please!"

My first 'dare' is to use the theme 'Beside The Seaside' which was chosen by Gez.
I've stamped a Stampendous scene directly onto a blank card and then coloured it with Distress Inks allowing the colours to wash over the edges.  The scene has then been masked off and a Lawn Fawn postcard has been stamped over the top.  As well as a post mark from the same set.
Using a fine tipped black Faber Castell pen, I then took some of the black lines on the image and continued them outside of the frame.  The sentiment to finish off is from Kaisercraft and is such a favourite of mine I bought a whole set just to get that one!

If you haven't popped up here from the DCM blog, then please do go and visit to see the design team makes and enter your own seaside card.

An update from my post on Wednesday:  Front door is all fixed and back door is usable from the inside out, just have to be careful not to get trapped out in the garden.  They say 'things' come in threes and 'things' in this case refers to household woes as we now have a leak between the toilet cistern and the bowl.  My cup runneth over, literally!

** Kate ** 

Wednesday, August 22

WOYWW #168 and the door handle incident

It's Wednesday, so that means time to share workspaces and have a nosy around the world at the lairs of creative types via Julia's place, where today she is contemplating altering a van.

Well, hush my mouth for saying I had no inspiration yesterday, the devil does make work for idle hands.  Or should I say little devils!!!  Late yesterday afternoon the children, in an amazing combined effort involving the Dinky Diva outside and the boys inside,  have managed to jam the front door shut and break the door handle trying to force it open.  So here is my work for the day.
I know about the internal workings of a door handle, yes I do.  I suspected that the spring inside the handle had gone so I took it apart and was indeed correct.  A very helpful man who runs a garage in our street levered it back into place for me, but alas it still would not turn the catch and was pronounced deceased.

The DIY store was open until 8pm so I hopped into a taxi and went and bought a shiny new handle and assembled it to find that the blessed door still wouldn't open.  At this point I called for reinforcements and my brother-in-law will call by on his way home from work tonight.
I felt fairly sure that we would be safe for the night as no-one was coming in through a door with no handle and a jammed catch, but just in case, by some miracle the latch popped in the night, I locked it for good measure.  This morning the barrels on the lock won't turn.

A tale of woe you might agree but you haven't heard it all yet!

Bright and early this morning, in anticipation of Mr Waitrose delivering my weeks groceries at 8am,  I got up to review my options.  I could get him to pass the carrier bags in through the front window, but that would be ridiculous, and yet I would come to regret the decision to just use the backdoor!?!

Small-n-Grubby alerts me to the arrival of the van and I scoot out back to catch him before he thinks there is no-one home.  The bags are unloaded onto the pavement and we laugh about my wonderful start to the morning.  Aware that I cannot transfer all the bags into the house in one go, I call through the letter box for the Dinky Diva to come out and help me.  She arrives on the pavement and I casually enquire whether she has shut the dog in and am assured that she has.  We get to the back door, bags in hand, and IT IS JAMMED SHUT!!!  You could not make this up, really?  She has slammed it and the catch, which is a bit iffy at the best of times, has caught tight.

Lesser beings would have crumbled at this point, but not I!  DD runs to the front and calls for Small-n-Grubby to come to the back door.  I instruct him on where to find the large screwdriver I left by the front door and he levers it against the catch whilst I wiggle the back door handle and we are in.

Now as I type this it is still only 8.50am.  Stiff drink anyone?

** Kate **

Tuesday, August 21

On the edge of my seat

Not been feeling very creative the last couple of weeks and only made the 'odd' thing here and there, hence the lack of blogging.  The summer holidays are winding to a close and we have actually had some sunshine.
At the weekend the whole family went over to an 80's party in the park, although there wasn't a great deal of 80's about it other than a few rock ballads, but it was live music, free and very good.

The park also has a shallow stretch of river running through it complete with an island.  Every child should spend at least one sunny afternoon of their life paddling in a river and trying to set foot on their very own island.

Whilst I wait for crafting inspiration to strike I am also waiting very impatiently for new products launched at CHA to arrive in the stores.  Here's a run down of my top 5, not including the wonderful new selection from Sir Tim, he gets a post all of his own later in the week!)

1. Amy Tangerine - Ready Set GO!
American Crafts AMY TANGERINE
Pretty much the entire line has caught my eye and there is no doubt that what Amy is doing right now is a big hit with the scrapbooking world.

2. Lawn Fawn - Dewey Decimal
Lawn Fawn SUMMER 2012 Clear Stamp Set - Check This Out 4x6
Library cards and drawers are just two of the papers that I HAVE to have and this stamp set will be mine, it will!

3. Pebbles Inc - Walnut Grove
I think this one has caught my eye because it combines elements that have been popular of late.  Little butterflies, woodgrain, ledger, polka dots and chevrons.

4. Studio Calico - Wonderland Star Mask
331181_Hueys_Mask_Stars
Love the way this one is graduated with only a few stars at one end so you can just have a few stars or a whole lot.  Turn it up the other way and it will look like a mass of stars with just a few falling to the ground.

5. Penny Black - new season stamps
Silent Night from Penny BlackWinter Ledge from Penny BlackMoonlight Owls from Penny Black
At last something I can order but which ones to choose?!?!

Also 5 on my list with a few question marks beside them (I'll need to see more in order to decide) are:
Lily Bee - Autumn Spice
Prima - Zephyr
Crate Paper - On Trend
Pink Paislee - Portfolio and City Sidewalks

** Kate **

Friday, August 17

Do CAS cards feel like 'cheating'?

Do you ever feel like making a clean and simple (and yes, sometimes quick) card is 'cheating' in some way.
I decided to make a card for this week's Less Is More #80, fur or feathers one layer challenge and combine it with the monthly challenge at Penny Black & More as it had a similar theme.  In my mind I had several ideas including masking off an area for inking, but nothing came together right and in the end I just had the cute little mouse in the corner.
 I coloured him with Distress Markers and was going to add a sentiment at the side, but I couldn't find anything with a small enough font that didn't over power the image.  I'm sure I have one somewhere but I couldn't lay my hands on it!
So, there he stayed on his own looking sweet and you can see it's a Christmas card from the words on his wish list, but have I taken the clean and simple style just too far?    

Challenges:
Less Is More #80 - Fur or Feathers (one layer)
Penny Black & More - Whiskers or wings
My Time to Craft #185 - Christmas in August
Christmas Card Challenge #37 - Texture (optional)

** Kate **

Wednesday, August 15

Half way to .........

We are half way through August, half way through summer, half way through the school holidays and what does today bring us ................... heavy rain with the odd clap of thunder thrown in for good measure!

To lift the mood and think of sunnier things, I have another fruity card for the By The Cute And Girly August challenge where the theme is, well, 'Fruity!'
I've used 3 stamps, a lemon from Imaginisce, a strawberry that came free with Craft Stamper way back and a sentiment from Dovecraft.  The background is coloured with watercolours and the lemon with Distress Markers.
I've popped the lemon on some 3d foam to make it stand out a little more from the background.

There's lots more inspiration and fab prizes to check out over at the challenge blog.

** Kate **

Friday, August 10

Totally Tilda

Totally Tilda's a great name for a challenge blog, once you get the Magnolia bug you do become crazy in a 'Totally Tilda' kind of way!   Anyway over at Totally Tilda they are looking to expand their design team in a major way so I have created this card for their design team call.
I've used summer flower Tilda and coloured her with Copics taking inspiration from the DT call photo.
All of the papers and stickers I've used are from the BoBunny Country Garden collection.  The blue flower with the sentiment on reads 'It's the little things in life that make life beautiful.'
For the rest of the decorations I've used Wild Orchid Crafts ribbon, punched butterflies and a little Star Dust Stickles because you couldn't have wings like that without at least a little sparkle on them, could you?

Challenges:
Totally Tilda - Design Team Call
Daring Cardmakers - Get knotted!
Copic Europe - Summer

** Kate **

Wednesday, August 8

Lawnfawn One Layer

The latest challenge (#39) at Lawnscaping is for a one layer card made with Lawn Fawn products.  When ever I want to add 'depth' to one layer cards I always this of stamping and masking and that's what I've done.  Of course I was so keen to get on with it I completely forgot I was going to video my next bit of masking, however, there was no extreme masking called for here, just a simple bit of stamping and covering up.
I've combined stamps from 3 packs.  The Polaroid from Say Cheese, butterfly and flower from Flutter By and sentiment from You've Got Mail.
The inks are from the Distress range and I've used Dusty Concord, Shaded Lilac, Picked Raspberry and Mowed Lawn.

Challenges:
Lawnscaping #39 - One layer
Daring Cardmakers - August colour combo

** Kate **

Tuesday, August 7

Society6 FREE shipping

I'm just setting up some of my photos and artwork for sale through Society6 and I see they have a promotion on at present for FREE shipping worldwide* until 12 August 2012, so I thought I would pop on here and mention it in case something of mine or any of the other fabulous artists takes your fancy!

(*Offer excludes Framed Art Prints and Stretched Canvases.)

** Kate **

Monday, August 6

Sweet Pea Stamps

I bought some stamps from Crafts & Me a few weeks ago and have just coloured a lovely image by Ching-Chou Kuik called Spring Twilight.
She is coloured with Copics and all of the patterned papers I've used are from  BasicGrey Lemonade 6x6 pad.
The feathers are hand-cut (inspired by Jenni Bowlin's wired feathers from the latest CHA release.)  I've sprayed them with some Perfect Pearl mist to give them a subtle shimmer.
Challenges:
Crafts & Me #95 - Green
My Time To Craft #184 - Fantasy
Craft Your Passion #122 - Anything goes
BasicGrey #74 - Bright and bold
Sir Stampalot - Take flight

** Kate **

Sunday, August 5

Hearts and Kraft

It's been a lovely weekend.  I've helped my Mum with her gardening in return for a yummy lunch and the Dinky Diva has returned from camp (her 2nd of 3 planned so far this year).  Whilst I wait for Mr Bolt to entertain us in the 100m later this evening there's time for a little blogging.
Whiff of Joy challenge #135 is 'Hearts and kraft' so I've got stuck in straight away colouring the lovely Maya Picking Toadstools stamp on kraft cardstock with my Copics.
I've used a kraft card blank from Joanna Sheen (but I can't seem to see them in stock at the moment) and decorated it with American Crafts Neapolitan papers from the 6x6 pad.
The stickers and stamps are all from the Neapolitan range too.  The little banners have been attached with tape on one side and 3d foam on the other to make them flutter.  The big heart is a Fiskars squeeze punch on kraft card, coloured with the same red Copic as the toadstool.
I've just used the Paperchase tape from the front of the card to decorate inside and to finish everything off there are some dots of white Liquid Pearls.

Challenges:
Whiff of Joy #135 - Hearts and kraft
No Matter Which #1 - Anything goes
Moving Along With The Times #157 - Summer

** Kate **

Friday, August 3

Tim Holtz Blueprints

There are some wonderful new designs in Tim's Range from Stampers Anonymous (designed by a relative of Mario's, I believe).  I couldn't wait to get my hands on some and have a lay.  It's great when one of the new products at CHA is ready and shipping straight away, it gives me something to play with whilst I wait for everything else!
For this little 'canvas' I started out with some old Papermania V&A papers which have more or less totally disappeared beneath Claudine Hellmuth Trad Tan paint.  I've used sequin waste to stipple on more colours in brown and blue.  I've then sprayed with Mr Huey in Spiced Pumpkin.  I found I got more control if I sprayed it onto the mat and then dipped the project into it; was really pleased with the effect.
There is a little MME stamp dotted around the background with the main Tim Holtz stamp onto tissue paper and then glued on.  It's been finished off with Faber Castell Pitt markers and a few DCWV rub-ons.
But, did you guess, it's not a mini canvas at all?  No, it's the bottom of a chocolate box (chocs are all gone, sorry!)

Challenges:
Creative Inspirations #174 - In the garden
Fab n Funky #132 - Anything but a card
Deep Ocean #31 - Anything goes

One of the reasons I chose the leaf stamps from the range is because I am starting a nature notes sketchbook/diary, in a kind of Smash style, but using an old notebook that belonged to my Dad.  I haven't started it yet, as I've been gathering together supplies to give the whole thing a cohesive feel.  In the meantime I had a little play with a possible page style.
Using Tim's stamp, of course and Distress Inks in Gathered Twigs and Dusty Concord on Studio Calico Heyday Crush paper.  The little border along the side is a Jenni Bowlin torn paper stamp and I've added some Tim Holtz Chit Chat words in the same style as the words on the leaf stamp.
I think this page will make it into the notebook and I will do other 6x4 cards to stick in as well as whole pages worked directly onto the actual book.  Or maybe it might end up a tied mini book.

I mixed up some coloured texture paste for the mini canvas and then decided the look was too heavy.  I ended up covering 4 cards in different background styles with it, so it looks like I have plenty to be working on!!

** Kate **   

Wednesday, August 1

By The Cute And Girly - August

August already and I hope you're seeing the sun where you are, it seems to have been and gone here!

Celine has chosen the theme for this month's By The Cute And Girly challenge and it's 'Fruity!'  So we want to see your projects with a fruity theme, fruit, any sort of fruit.  I've made my 1st page using the July kit from Scrapagogo (if you have the kit, then there is plenty of fruit in there to use for our theme!)
The background paper is Websters Pages Sunday Picnic collection in the Picnic Basket design and I've used the Poppy Fields paper to make the rosettes.  (My newly purchased kit for using 12" dies in my BigKick worked and I think I will add a demo to my list of videos I am planning.)
The strawberries are cut from Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Pretty Please paper.  The sandwich flag, Websters fabric label and Neapolitan Serendipity letters are from the kit too.
I've added Mr Huey in Pumpkin Spice and washi tape from Papermash and Cath Kidston.

This month's sponsors are:
Simon Says Stamp


Hop on over to the challenge blog to see the other DT members projects and share your 'Fruity' makes with us to be in with a chance of winning a fab prize.

** Kate **