Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

Here's a quick vintage Santa to finish the Christmas cards for this year. This one is from Magic Moonlight Studios.

"Golden Santa"

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I'll see you after the break :-)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Happy Christmas Ginny

Last month, I won a fabulous prize from the wonderful Ginny at  Polly's Paper Studio - thank you! I just love all the vintage colours in this set.

"Woopee :-)"

Today, I'd like to share a couple of cards I made with my prize. First up is a gatefold card.

"Gatefold card front"

300gsm black, textured card was used for the base, and covered in Crate Paper "Candy Cane" printed cardstock with the edges distressed in Barn Door. A couple of Crate Paper brads were added to the front and some baker's twine from the Crate coordinating holiday trim used to make a closure. I wanted to keep the front quite plain so that it is more of a surprise when the card is opened.

"Gatefold card inside"

I love the way you can use a gatefold card to make the walls of a room, so went for a fireside scene. The chipboard sticker edges were sanded to remove tags and distressed with ink to cover any card edges.

"Portrait and fireplace"

The inside of the fireplace chipboard was carefully removed with a craft knife and foam tape used to sit the fireplace surround on top, to provide dimension. I set fire to the logs in the grate by adding some red and gold glitter glue and added a little brown distress ink around the edges for soot :-). A length of tinsel decorates the mantelpiece. The portrait is cut from one of the Santa tickets, with some gold glitter glue added around the edge for a frame.

"Gatefold card inside"

Here, the card is flattened to show the edge panels. The tree has some gems added for baubles. You can also see the length of Christmas lights from the Crate holiday border set.

"Gatefold card back"

Of course, you need somewhere to write a greeting, so a couple of panels of Crate paper cardstock were diecut, the edges distressed and then layered onto the back of the card.

For the second card, a more typical 6" x 6" card blank was used.

"Snowglobe card"

As soon as I saw the snowglobe chipboard I wanted to turn it into a real one! A piece of acetate was diecut into a circle, and some of the Crate paper cardstock used to make a circular frame, then the two were adhered together and stuck to the snowglobe chipboard with foam tape, with tiny glass beads trapped in the gap so they would move around when the card is shaken. Some brown cardstock was cut to the shape of the snowglobe stand and decorated with Promarkers to resemble the original base, then adhered with foam tape, and a "Holiday" chipboard added.

"Snowglobe close-up"

The finished snowglobe was mounted onto shapes diecut from more Crate paper cardstock, and a strip of tickets. The tiny snowflake chipboard stickers were used to decorate the card, all the edges having first been sanded and distressed with matching colours.

Hope you like the cards and Ginny, if you email your address I'd be happy to send you whichever you'd like :-)

Entered for the following challenge:
Joanna Sheen - Christmas Wishes
Everybody Art Challenge - Anything Goes
Cutie Pie Challenge Blog - use a sentiment
Trult Madly Crafty - Christmas Images & Colours
Unstampabelles - Challenge 6 - Christmas

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Another tag!

Well, just when I thought the tags were finished, up pops another tag could I resist?

"Reindeer tag"

The background uses a double embossing technique. Clear versamark was spread over the top side of the embossing folder, used to emboss white card, then heat-embossed with red embossing powder. This was repeated to add a different part of the embossing board so that the words read in two directions. Finally, the tag was inked with Bundled Sage, Pine Needles and Walnut Stain, and the edges distressed with scissors.


A couple of swirly bits were cut from core-dinations card using a Sizzix strip die, then sanded to reveal the green core. Leaves were punched from different colours of textured card and the edges distressed with Pine Needles ink. A length of tuile was torn and added together with some red pearls for holly berries. Finally, a metal charm snowman was heat-embossed in white, a black promarker used to make buttons & eyes, and a tiny length of stripy ribbon cut for a scarf and wrapped around the snowman's neck, before attaching to a jump ring and hanging from the tuile.

"Glittery reindeer"

The reindeer was diecut from empty cat food box, heat-embossed in vintage gold, the covered with glue from a glue pad and sprinkled with ultrafine gold glitter before adhering to the tag. A red pearl was used for Rudolph's nose (it has to be Rudolph!).

"Tree charm"

The tree charm was decorated with tiny blobs of red, green and gold glitter glue for baubles. The star was filled with Liquid Pearls then a blob of holographic glitter glue added for extra sparkle. Finally, a length of frayed, green ribbon was threaded through the top of the tag.

Just to finish, I thought you might like to see the other tags featured this month. I couldn't bear to give them away yet :-)

"12 Tags of Christmas"

Entered for the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp and Show...a Tim Holtz themed tag
Joanna Sheen - it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
My Craft Spot - Tag...You're It!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Alice in Christmasland

Altered Alice have a Christmas-themed challenge this month, and there are some fabulous projects on the blog. It's definitely worth a visit if you like altered art. My entry is a tag:

"Alice in Christmasland"

The stamps are mostly from Indigo Blu's fabulous Alice I set.

For the background, the rabbit is stamped with white acrylic paint onto a die-cut white card tag, then the tag is inked with various-coloured distress inks and overstamped with the "Alice in Wonderland" stamp using a ghosting technique in black archival ink. The edges of the tag are distressed with a pair of scissors and inked with Walnut Stain.

The link from the the teapot charm is removed using a pair of sidecutters and adhered to the tag with Pinflair, carefully positioned below one of the rabbit's paws and in Alice's line of sight.

"WISH" is diecut in black using a strip alphabet die, fixed to the tag with PVA, and covered in Glossy Accents for extra dimension. Of course, I was in a bit of a hurry taking the piccies, and the "W" isn't quite dry - hence the bluish tinge.


The snowflakes are diecut from empty cat food box using a Sizzix die and covered with two coats of Picket Fence distress stain, drying with a heat tool between coats, before overstamping with the "Curioser and Curioser" stamp in black archival ink. More snowflakes are cut from acetate, covered with holographic glitter glue using a finger and fixed, glue side down, to the tag with holographic glitter glue. Some are adhered to the card snowflakes, and others are glued directly to the tag. A couple of small hearts are punched from white card, coloured with "Barn Door" and "Aged Mahogany" distress inks, and fixed to the centres of the card & acetate snowflakes.


Alice is stamped on grungeboard using archival ink, then cut out leaving a small border and roughly coloured with green & red distress inks before edging in Walnut Stain. Red, green and gold glitter glues are used to highlight areas and make her look a bit more Christmassy. A couple of holly leaf sequins are added to her hair along with some red glitter glue "berries". [aside: I rather like the red, glitter shoes, reminiscent of Dorothy's. Funny how they are both trapped in strange worlds and wanting to find a way home].

"Admit tickets, ribbon & rabbit"

The "admit tickets" are from a Tim Holtz set, stamped in archival ink on cream card. Red promarker is used to colour the border, before the edges are distressed with scissors and inked in walnut stain. Names are stamped in "Barn Door" distress inks using stamps from various sets.

A rabbit charm was attached to a jump ring and a length of green ribbon threaded through and attached to the tag.

"Journal ticket"

The journal ticket is from the Kaisercraft "Up, Up and Away" stamp set, stamped in Barn Door distress ink on cream card and dated "December 25th" by hand, before distressing, folding in half and adhering to the card beneath Alice.

Entered for the following challenges:
Altered Alice - A Lewis Christmas Carroll to all
Simon Says Stamp and Show... Thru' the looking glass - projects with depth (come on, it has to be Alice with a title like that! :-))

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Well if you've been following my blog, you'll know I've had a thing about reindeer for the past couple of months. There are some really beautiful images around at the moment, and this one from Kanban is no exception. The reindeer are separate stamps and were used a lot on my Holtz-inspired tags over the last couple of weeks, but I thought it would be nice to show you something made with the whole stamp set.


The reindeer and trees were stamped in charcoal versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder before colouring with distress inks in browns and blues.

"Background & snowflake"

The background has snowflakes stamped in clear ink on white card and heat-embossed in white. The snowflakes card was then distress-inked in blue and overstamped with more snowflakes in blue inks. The background panel and stamped panel were both mounted on deep blue papers, then fixed to a card base which was also distressed and snowflake-stamped with blue inks. The large snowflakes were die-cut from white glitter card for a little extra dimension.


A close-up of those gorgeous reindeer. I love the bobbling effect from the embossing here, it looks like snowflakes caught in their fur.

Entered for the following challenges:
Allsorts challenge: Blue and brown
Dream Valley Challenge - Christmas

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas with dimension & vintage images

Here's a quick dimensional card with lots of fabulous Graphics Fairy images.


This little chap throwing snowballs is just great. I added some snowflakes punched from scraps of vintage backing papers and tiny pearls, and distressed the edges of the card with Bundled Sage.


This tunnel card has the usual concertina construction. The sentiments are from a sheet of vintage sentiments found in the local craft shop. The main sentiment was mounted onto a couple of die-cut ovals, backed onto strips of greenery punched with a MS double edge punch, and decorated with more snowflakes.


More punched branches and leaves were used to simulate a holly wreath around the tunnel apertures, and tiny red pearls added for berries.

Entered for the following challenge:
Dream Valley Challenge - Christmas

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 12 - Tissue paper

Tired but happy, here I am with my last tag for the time being, based on Tim Holtz' 12th tag of Christmas published today. Of course, most of the ingredients are once again missing from my craft room, but not to worry, you can make your own! Now for the tissue, you want the type of tissue paper that you would use for candle decorating. Mine came wrapped around some Ikea bookshelves, but you can use other types as explained in Karen's blog "A Lil' Bit of Redrottiness" here (she has a great tutorial on decorating candles).

"Tag 12"

The tissue paper was taped to a piece of card with the dull surface uppermost (shiny surface facing the card), then used to print a Graphics Fairy music image. A script stamp was used to decorate a tag, then the tag was covered with a layer of PVA glue and the tissue paper added on top.


A skinny house shape was hand cut from empty cat food box, painted with acrylic (white mixed with a little blue), dried, sanded, stained and covered in glitter glue. Three copies of an angel from the Graphics Fairy were printed onto cream card, cut out and decoupaged on top of the skinny house shape, and a flower added to the angel's hand. Note: the angel's feet don't touch the ground :-)

"Tissue paper flower"

Some more tissue paper was stamped in archival ink with Tim Holtz' script  and Curiosity stamps, then turned into a paper flower following the instructions on Tim Holtz' blog (I just used a normal stapler, making sure the flower folds were wide enough).

"side view of tag showing dimension"

Silver mirror card was used instead of metal sheet on card. In place of the lace die, a piece of a swirly die-cut was cut to size to decorate the tag's edge. "HOPE" was die-cut from mirror card and black card and arranged using my usual shadowing effect for extra dimension (I was pleased to see Tim using the same technique today, guess I wasn't the only one who had this idea!).

I thought it would be fun to finish up with a list of a few things I have learnt from Tim Holtz whilst doing these tags:
1. All sorts of things can be dried with a heat tool, including acrylic paint.
2. Glitter glue spreads really nicely with your finger ( I no longer seem to mind getting my fingers dirty and frequently use them for painting now too :-)
3. Shrink-plastic can be shrunk in a melt pot full of molten embossing powder (wow, can't wait to try this!)
4. How to transfer images using sticky tape.
5. Shrink plastic & acetate can be decorated with alcohol inks.
6. How to make a paper flower from tissue paper (and it's real purdy too!).

Entered for the following challenge:
Dream Valley Challenge: Christmas

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 11 - Shrink plastic, embossing and alcohol inks

I'm a big fan of shrink plastic. Watching that plastic curl up and shrink as you heat it never fails to fill me with wonder, it's just like being a kid again! So you can imagine my delight at seeing tag 11 from Tim Holtz. Here's my version using similar techniques.

"Tag 11"

The background tag is made from glossy cardstock decorated with distress inks, water splatters, a little Perfect Pearls splatter and the odd stamp.

Hopefully, Father Christmas is bringing me a melt pot this year (yippee!), but in the meantime, the shrink plastic was shrunk with a heat-tool, then embossed multiple times with clear embossing powder on one side, and decorated by dabbing with Adirondack alcohol inks on the other. A bit more time-consuming than Tim Holtz' method, but just as effective.

"Shrink plastic baubles"

So there I was, inking my embossed baubles, and it reminded me of inking facets and acetate, and I started to wonder whether the archival ink resist technique would work... I stamped a star on the back of a bauble with archival ink, then blotted it with kitchen roll and sure enough, the alcohol ink came off. What a fab effect!

The reindeer and "Merry Christmas" stamps were from old Papermania sets, stamped onto glossy cardstock with Archival ink and decorated with distress inks.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 10 - Facet pictures

Another Tim Holtz tag and another technique: fixing pictures to the back of clear facets. I'd never tried this before, although I've seen it described on acetate. Anyway, it was great fun once I mastered the technique. Ordinary sellotape was used, but there was a bit of experimenting with the pictures. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my inkjet-printed Graphics Fairy images to transfer. I don't know whether it was the ink, or if I need to leave them longer, or something else. Paper images were ok, but the ones that worked best for me were preprinted on thin cardstock.

"Tag 10"

The background tag was cut from card printed with a vintage music image from the Graphics Fairy, then distressed with Aintique Linen, Brushed Corduroy and Walnut Stain inks and decorated with gold Perefct Pearls. After leaving this to dry thoroughly, the tag was stamped with holly & deer stamps in Forest Moss and heat-embossed in clear. The holly was further decorated with the addition of green and red glitter glue to highlight the edges of the leaves and the berries.

I wondered whether the gold embossing would come out OK on the facets (actually, not facets, but "see-thru stones" from my local craft shop), but it worked a treat. I shall definitely use this again. After transferring the images, the tape was stuck to silver mirri card with a tiny amount of glossy accents, then the facets were added with another small amount of glossy accents and left to set before cutting to size. They were fixed to the card with a little pinflair dimensional glue, and gold threads added to "tie" them to a die-cut branch.

The branch and letters were all cut from my old favourite, empty cat food box. The letters were painted with black acrylic paint on my finger, then left to dry and dabbed with Adirondack gold mixative, before fixing to the ribbon tags and covering with glossy accents. The ribbon tags were threaded onto gold tinsel before fixing to the card.

Entered for the following challenge:
Stampin' for the weekend - Christmas

Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 9 - Double heat embossed gothic tag

Just a quick one today. Wasn't the candle on todays' tag from Tim Holtz fantastic? Mine was cut by hand from grungepaper; I just had to have a go at reproducing the effect of the wax with glossy accents.

"Tag 9"

Of course, today's technique was the double-embossed background. This one was made using a V&A background stamp with Pine Needles, Barn Door and Walnut Stain distress inks.


The greenery is a combination of Martha Stewart punched leaves, a swirl from a Sizzix decorative strip die, and a piece of garden insect mesh tied into a knot and torn.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 8 - Steampunk yeehaaa!!

Wow, now that's what I call an original Tim Holtz tag! I've loved steampunk ever since reading H. G. Wells "Time Machine" as a child. I totally "get it"!! Tim's tag today is a brilliant example, and before I show you my cheap version, I want to share my love of my good friend Lee's steampunk stickpins - go on, have a look at her blog post here (but maybe finish reading this one first :-). OK, here we go, hold onto your hats...

"Tag 8"

This tag has been made entirely from dies, stamps and consumables - no adornments at all, honest! I don't have the big steampunk stamp set with the blueprints, etc., but luckily for me, I do have the little one with the top-hat men. Instead, a compass stamp was used with white acrylic paint to make the resist background, and this was inked with Barn Door, Pine Needles, Tumbled Glass & Weathered Wood inks, then overstamped with a map stamp in black archival using Tim's "ghosting" technique (no acrylic block).


The weathered clock & gadget gears were die-cut from empty cat food box and coloured with Adirondack mixatives in silver or gold before sanding and staining with Walnut Stain distress ink. A little white acrylic paint was added to the edges of the gears. More gears were cut from shrink plastic, shrunk and heat-embossed with silver embossing powder. A screw brad was used to join the gears with one of the clock hands, then all were fixed to the card with glossy accents.

"Journalling ticket"

Both tickets were stamped in Barn Door distress ink and Archival ink using masking techniques and a number of stamps (Kaisercraft - journalling ticket; Tim Holtz - hand, number, Admit One; mag freebie - Rudolph). The journalling ticket was distressed with scissors & ink, the "admit one" ticket was coloured with red promarker.

"Homemade Pen Nib"

This pen nib was made from grungepaper cut to size, then heat-embossed with silver embossing powder, a hole punched near the nib, and then the whole thing curled around a knitting needle to shape and further heat embossed to get rid of cracks.


The "JOY" and "25" were die-cut letters painted with black acrylic paint using a finger. "JOY" was fixed to the tag, then covered in glossy accents.

"25 plaque"

"25" was fixed to a small die-cut shape painted with white acrylic paint, dried with a heat gun, then decorated with a fineliner, dabbed with a little black acrylic paint to distress, and fixed to the card. Finally, a couple of "nailheads" were added with a little Pewter Liquid Pearls.

"Steampunk gentlemen"

"Tallyho" and "Toodlepip" from the steampunk top-hatted gentlemen - stamped on grungepaper, cut to size and edges inked, then decorated with holly sequins and red glitter-glue for berries.

Entered for the following challenge:
Charismacardz - no cards
Samuel Taylors Challenge - anything goes
Truly Madly Crafty - Christmas colours
Simon Says Stamp and Show - some elements of time

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas 2011 Tag 7 - Kraft Glassine, or not

Another day, another improvisation. OK, I admit it, I'm not rich. I don't have kraft glassine and racked my brains to come up with an alternative, and I think I have it. Maddy presents... stained greaseproof paper!!

"Tag 7"

I couldn't get Tim's video for tag 7 to load today (wonder if that was due to the number of viewers?), so not sure of the official colouring method, but the greaseproof paper was stained by dabbing with various colours of Adirondack inks & mixative diluted on the felt pad with a little blending solution. The paper was crumpled a few times into a ball, opened out and swiped with Walnut Stain distress ink. The holly leaves were then cut out.

"Holly ensemble"

My good friend Lee read about my predicament of not having any grungepaper and (thank you so much Lee) - sent me two sheets!!! Wow, I'd never even seen the stuff before. Now I don't know if it's just because I'm a veggie (did I mention that before? Well you know it now LOL!), but my finely tuned sense of smell definitely detects the scent of new leather in this stuff. Don't know whether it's cowhide or tanning chemicals...

 A branch was cut from Lee's grungepaper. There was no gold paint dabber available, but I did have some gold Adirondack mixative and dabbing on the grungepaper covered the branch beautifully. The branch edges were sanded and distressed with Walnut Stain, then decorated by rubbing with a little white acrylic paint from a tube and some holographic glitter glue. Small pearl beads were coloured with Cranberry Adirondack ink and threaded together with gold thread. A small length of gold tinsel and torn lace were also used.

"Merry Christmas"

In place of the Tim Holtz stamp (which is fabulous but not available to me unfortunately), a polkadoodle Merry Christmas was stamped onto Kraft cardstock in clear Versamark before heat embossing in black, cutting to size, distress staining and fixing to the tag.

You can also see the tag background quite well in this picture. The Indigo Blu crackle stamp from the Alice I set and a Tim Holtz script stamp were used on a background of Pumice Stone & Antique Linen-stained tag.

"Lace and pearls tag decoration"

Finally, a length of lace was coloured with Pine Needles distress stain and tied to the tag, and a couple of pearl beads attached with gold thread

P.S. Thanks also to Lee for the diecut tag & lace and to Linda for the tinsel.

Entered for the following challenge:
ABC Christmas Challenge - Yippee (anything goes)
Simon Says Stamp - Christmas Photomontage Inspiration
Creative Card Crew - 'Tis the Season
Create Me Pink - Christmas Colours
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas 2011 - Tag 6 - Metal embossing

Wow, today's tag from Tim was certainly different! Sticking metal foil to glossy card seems a bit extravagant to me when mirror card is readily available though, and besides, I don't actually have any adhesive metal foil, so I'm using silver mirror card.

"Tag 6"

Finally, I got the chance to use one of my new embossing folders from the Sizzix sale :) . An A6 piece of mirror card was embossed with a Texture Fades embossing folder, then coloured with promarkers (I didn't have any of the paints that Tim used). On this occasion, I avoided the letters leaving them silver. If you prefer, you can just colour the whole thing, then remove promarker ink from raised areas with a blending pen and a piece of kitchen roll. At this point, you can grunge it up a bit with some black acrylic paint, but I really like this bright metallic look for Christmas, so just left it "as is".


Another recent purchase was this Mover & Shaker ornament die & the "Joy" insert. They were used to die-cut shrink plastic, which was then shrunk to size.


Both reindeer were also die-cut from shrink plastic and shrunk.


After shrinking, all the plastic pieces were triple heat-embossed with silver embossing powder (the cheap stuff works fine for this). These pieces can also be used as charms if you punch a hole in the plastic before shrinking. Here, the deer are stuck to the tag with Pinflair, and the bauble had a loop of silver thread tied around its neck before attaching to a length of silver ribbon passed through the top of the tag.

Entered for the following challenges:
Cards for Men - "2" (2 reindeer)
Crafty Cardmakers - Heat embossing
Lawnscaping challenge - Tags