Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Holidays to All My Friends and Followers.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

"Poinsettia Book Card"

These are just a few more...

"Vintage Stepper Card"

...of the hundreds of Christmas cards...

"Joyeaux Noel"

...I made or sent this year.

"He's Making a List"

I hope you've enjoyed the journey,

"A Joyful Christmas"

and look forward to sharing some more cards with you.

"'Tis the Season"

Please join me again after the holiday.

"It's Me!"

Love Maddy x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

We Three Kings...

This is one of the more "arty" cards I made this year. I love playing with unusual colour combinations for Christmas cards and thought this had a magical feel to it.

"We Three Kings..."

The snowflakes are stamped and heat-embossed in gold before inking the background by sponging with distress inks. I used lots of ink to get some depth to the colours. The three kings are overstamped in black archival. I thought the fringed ribbon made for some unusual desert foliage! The image panel is matted and layered onto antique gold and black card.


The sentiment is printed from a CD. The rectangle is cut using a guillotine and the oval background using a die. The layers are inked separately to match the background and some snowflakes stamped onto the oval using archival ink. Glitter glue adds some sparkle to the sentiment and a few gems are used for a finishing touch (they remind me of jewelled berries). The layers are separated with foam tape for dimension.


This charm was bought as a blank and the jewels are added by embedding in glossy accents. The charm is attached to a length of chain with a jump ring and passed through an eyelet set into the card, then a larger ring attached to the back to keep it in place. I sent this card to Lee (craftyloops) and I know that she loves to play with charms and beads, so I thought she could detach the charm and put it to good use in another project. Anyway, its position on the card is to represent the star.

And guess what? I managed to resist giving one of the camels a red nose :-)

Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz
Snowflake stamps
Distress Inks
Versamark clear ink pad
Stampendous Embossing Powder, Antique Gold
Archival Ink Pad, Jet Black
Eyelash Ribbon, red
glossy accents
red gems
jump rings, chain, eyelet

Entered for the following challenge:
Sweet Stampin' Christmas - Anything Goes
Fab 'n' Funky Challenges - add ribbon and/or lace
Simon Says Stamp - Merry Christmas
Ribbon Carousel - Holiday Spirit

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Button Trees

A little bit of fun with Tatty Button's Button Tree...

"Blue Buttons"

I enjoy working with monochromes. The first card is blue! These were all made by stamping the button tree in black archival and heat-embossing in clear before colouring the buttons with different coloured promarkers. Distress inks are lightly sponged onto the background using torn paper for a mask, giving a cloudy mountains effect. Some real buttons are added to the tree with Pinflair, which is a great, flexible glue for odd-shaped embellishments. Many of the buttons are just cheap, black, plastic ones which have been hand-decorated.

Background papers used are all from magazine freebies, and holographic card is diecut to make the snowflakes, swirls and poinsettias.


Ribbon and a sentiment add the finishing touches.


This last card has some alcohol-inked glossy card for a background. You might recognise it from an earlier project - I had some left over and never throw anything away :-)

Tatty Button Button Tree stamp
Justrite Large Fancy Holiday Sentiments stamps
Spellbinders: Poinsettia, Fancy Framed Tags One, Creat-a-flake Four, Snowflake Pendant 2012,
Metallic Aquamarkers
Distress Ink Pads
Patterned papers from magazine freebies
glossy card
Adirondack alcohol inks
Archival ink, jet black
Stampendous embossing powder, clear detail
Entered for the following challenge:
I Love Promarkers - Anything but square
Top Tip Tuesday - Anything Christmas

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wishing You An Enchanted Holiday Season

This is one of my favourite Christmas card designs this year, I love the colours.

"Wishing You An Enchanted Holiday Season"

The background is inked with distress inks and overstamped with gold snowflakes. The scene is stamped in black archival and heat-embossed in clear, which gives a lovely texture to the trees and helps the reindeer jump off the page. The sentiment is printed, diecut and coloured with distress inks, then raised with foam pads. The whole scene is matted onto black card before fixing to a card blank.

Distress Ink Pads
Brilliance Galaxy Gold ink pad
Archival Jet Black ink pad
Stampendous embossing powder, detail clear
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz reindeer flight stamp set
Spellbinders Petite Ovals
Entered for the following challenges:
Songbird Challenges - Christmas
Creative Craft Challenge 2 - Non-Traditional Christmas
Top Tip Tuesday - Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Study in Scarlet...and black and white!

This card is inspired by Sue Wilson. She did a marvellous card with the Holiday Tree stuck together like this, and I had to give it a go. Such an intricate die demands a simple colour scheme, so we have a study in scarlet, black and white.

"A Study in Scarlet... and black and white!"

Three trees are diecut and folded in half, then the halves are glued together (I used a thin smear of PVA which makes for a good hold). The glued tree is stuck to black pearlised card and cut out with a thin border. Pearlised card is embossed and stuck to the front of a blank A5 card, and the tree adhered to the centre. The "Merry Christmas" card is cut to A5 and an aperture diecut, then raised on foam tape onto the front of the card.

"Side view showing dimension"

One of the baubles is diecut three times and assembled in a similar fashion for the top left of the card, and the poinsettia is diecut in red. holographic card and assembled for the bottom right. A small bow and some gems finish the decoration.

It's pouring with rain here in Northern Ireland, but I'm not complaining since at least there's no snow (fingers crossed it holds off 'til next week!).

Spellbinders Holiday Tree, Labels 28, Poinsettia
Embossibilities Twigs and Tweets
cardstock: pearlised white, Kanban Merry Christmas, red holographic, white 300gsm card blank
adhesives: PVA, foam tape, glossy accents, Pinflair
Red ribbon
red gems

Entered for the following challenges:
Ladybug Crafts - Christmas and/or Winter
Natalie and Amy - Christmas or Winter
Oozak - Anything Goes + Red
Pretty Little Ribbon Shop - It's Christmas
Sparkle Forum Christmas Challenge - Button or Bow

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Card Holder

I'm really gonna have to get my finger out and blog a bit more often this week, there is so much more to share with you all! First up, here's a really simple but effective Christmas Card holder that would make a great gift:

"Reindeer Card Holder"

It's hard to get a good picture because of the size and of course because I couldnt wait and had to hang this one up before taking any photographs!

"Reindeer Close-up"

I diecut some vintage-patterned card (a gift from a friend on Docrafts so I've no idea where it came from) into Reindeer, strung them all together by tying a length of string around each one in turn, and disguised the string with small bits of craft tinsel. A tiny peg is glued to the back of each deer behind the neck. A couple of goes at this and I discovered that glossy accents works best or you wake up to cards all over the floor (ask me how I know lol!).

"Reindeer Close-up 2"

These diecuts balance perfectly from hanging around the neck, and you can even get the deer to cock his back leg either side of the card! If you had a big Father Christmas in his sleigh to hang up behind the deer, I think that would look great too.

"Birds Card Holder"

If you don't have any patterned card, have no fear! It works just as well with diecut cardboard and cheap patterned paper. These birds were diecut from old dishwasher tablet boxes, and the patterned paper diecut from a free pad that came with a magazine. The papers are glued onto the card (make sure you cover the decorated side of the card, so that the plain side shows at the back.This one took a bit more fiddling to get the birds to hang the right way and I ended up tying in two places, around the neck and tail. Claudine Hellmuth's Matt Multi-Medium is great for sticking paper on card.

Finally, tie a slip knot in each end of the string to hang over a couple of nails. Hope your Christmas preparations are going well!

Sizzix Bigz Reindeer Flight
Sizzix Bigz Birds
Claudine Hellmuth Matt Multi-Medium
patterned card, recycled card, patterned paper
glossy accents
small pegs
Entered for the following challenge:
Pretty Little Ribbon Shop - It's Christmas!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Variations On a Timmy Theme

This week, Simon Says Stamp and Show.."Inspired by Tim's 12 Tags", and boy was I inspired! Hubby brought me home one of those cans of air to play with, and I used it to make a frosty, spiky effect on some gloss card inked with alcohol inks using Tim's method from Tag 2 of 2008.

"Reindeer in frosty trees"

I like to work on A6 card (roughly 6" x 4" for my American friends ;-)) rather than tags since it is nice and easy to mat and layer onto an A5 card (about 8" x 6"), creating an interesting focal point. The reindeer is heat-embossed in gold onto white card and fussy-cut. A few of the flowers in the embossing pattern are picked out with a red promarker for a splash of colour. I actually managed to resist the red nose for once lol! The background is inked using the "swoosh it about on a craft sheet" method and overstamped with snowflakes using the same inks. Some glitzy ribbon and some of my gorgeous lace (thanks Lee!) are stuck across the card before adhering the matted image. OK, I like that one, but I have some more card. Do I stop? Nooooooo...

"A different reindeer..."

I decided the background needed a frame, and it would be nice to have a sentiment on the front too, so the design is tweaked and another card arises. This time, I kept the background a bit more simple by using patterned paper, but still overstamped with snowflakes. Using paper, I was able to mat onto silver card for a frame. The sentiment is stamped in black archival in the top right of the main image (it's a bit hard to see in the photo with all the reflection from the camera flash, but it stands out better in real life). A diecut reindeer is a lot quicker, and much easier to match with a couple of diecut snowflakes to draw the eye up towards the sentiment. More lace and a strip of teal ribbon is understated and takes less away from the main image. I prefer this one, but there's more card. Do I stop? Nooooooooo...

"Christmas in Pink"

I have a niece who loves everything pink. I wondered how this card would look with a different colour scheme. This time I used a sentiment from a free vintage image I found on the internet, and cut the deer from some papers that came free with a magazine. I thought she looked more girly! The background paper (more free stuff) is overstamped with images fromt he same stamp set, again in pink. It's not a colour I work with very often, but I think it turned out funky and makes for an unusual Christmas card. Do I stop? Noooooo....

"Green and Camels"

You don't have to use reindeer. What about camels? These are heat-embossed in gold on white card, fussy cut and stuck onto the front of the card with some blobs of Pinflair to raise them up. Some metal snowflake charms are used just for something different. I never make two cards the same, but this is the closest I've come so far and I call them "variations on a Timmy Theme". I hope you have enjoyed the journey, have a great week. Maddy x

Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz stamp sets: Reindeer Flight CMS052, Joyful Song CMS119
Sizzix Bigz Tim Holtz Elegant Flourishes
Spellbinders Create-A-Flake Four, Snowflake Pendant 2012, Frosty Forms
Distress Inks: Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Spun Sugar
Adirondack alcohol inks and metallic mixatives
can of air
Versamark ink pad
Stampendous embossing powder: pirate gold, clear
Archival Ink pad: Jet Black
cardstock: glossy white 200gsm, plain white 300gsm, plain white 200gsm, gold 200gsm, silver 200gsm
patterned papers
lace and ribbon

Entered for the following challenge:
Simon Says Stamp and Show...inspired by Tim's 12 Tags

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Screen Card

Today's card is a little different, I haven't shared one of these for a while so I thought you might like to see a screen card:

"Screen Card Side One"

These are great cards to make for patterned papers because you have eight sides to decorate! To see more details, click on each of the pictures and enlarge them.

"Screen Card Side Two"

Thick, black card is stamped with gold snowflakes and diecut. Holes are punched to allow the book rings to join card pieces together, and they are decorated with patterned papers and diecut snowflakes. Beads, tinsel and jingle bells are hung from the book rings for added decoration.

Sizzix Bigz Tim Holtz movers and shapers Ornamental & mini Ornamental
Spellbinders Snowflake Pendant 2012 & Create-a-Flake Four
Graphic 45 8" x 8" paper pad: Christmas Emporium
snowflake stamps
Brilliance ink pad: Galaxy Gold
6 x bookrings
cardstock: black 300gsm, soft gold 200gsm
tinsel, beads, jump rings, chain, jingle bells

Entered for the following challenges:
Crafty mess - vintage Christmas
Charisma cards - Christmas
Delightful challenges - all about Christmas
Simon Says Stamp - snowflakes
Top Tip Tuesday - Christmas

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bird House Stepper Card

This week, Simon Says Stamp and Show... House Rules! Well the talented design team covered all my ideas and I do like to be a bit different (what do you mean you hadn't noticed? :-), so here's a Bird House. If you've never made this type of stepper card before, it's very easy and there's a tutorial with all the measurements.

"Bird House"

The colour scheme of blue, brown, grey makes a great Winter-themed card for any occasion. I'll be giving this one as a "new home" card. The background is patterned paper overstamped with various bird-themed stamps using sepia archival ink. I love the clear definition that archival ink gives when stamping. The birdhouse foamboard diecut is embossed in a folder and covered with layers of distress ink, starting with picket fence to lighten the colour, and including some purple to give it depth. The roof and base of the birdhouse are cut separately and coloured using Adirondack alcohol inks dabbed on with a felt applicator tool. A silver pen is used to highlight all the card edges.

The sentiment is stamped in sepia archival ink straight onto patterned paper, then heat-embossed in clear before matting onto some grey card to match the base card. It reads:

"Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she has wings"  Victor Marie Hugo
"Bird in Branch"

The other diecuts are from patterned paper, and the dies are used as stencils to add inky details with a sponge and distress inks.

"Bird House Card"

Sizzix Bigz Birdhouse die
Sizzix Tim Holtz embossing folder: Wood
Marianne dies: bird on a branch (small), bird on a branch (large), tiny birdhouse
Crafty Individuals stamp sets: CI-287, CI-234
Distress Ink Pads & Stains
Archival ink pad: Sepia
Adirondack inks & applicator tool
cardstock: grey 300gsm, white 200gsm, foamboard

Entered for the following challenge:
Simon Says Stamp and Show - House Rules

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Box of Christmas Gift Tags

I made this present for my friend Lee aka craftyloops who "doesn't do cards" :-) . She loves to go to town on the wrapping, so I thought some gift tags might come in handy.

"Box of Gift Tags"

If you're stuck for inspiration with your cards, a tag can be a great place to start. The smaller area can be much easier to fill and you can let your imagination go. All you need to remember is to add a little hole at the top with a length of string. The box and dividers are made from sturdy brown card. The acetate "lid" sits inside the box, and the ribbon holds everything closed.

"Bauble Tag 1"

This first tag is stamped with versamark and heat-embossed in white before colouring with gold aquamarker and Barn Door & Pine Needles distress markers. After colouring, quickly wipe the surface with a baby wipe. This removes ink from the embossing and mutes the colours making them more vintage in appearance. It also gives a slight colour to the background so the cardstock isn't as white. The tags are diecut before punching the hole and adding gold thread.

"Bauble Tag 2"

The other bauble tag is made in a similar way, but the embossing is in gold on a brown cardstock. Gold aquamarker is used around the edge of each tag.

"Snowman Tag"

I think the snowman tag is my favourite. The background is stamped with snowflakes from the Justrite Holiday Sentiments set using versamark, then heat-embossed in clear before inking. The diecut snowman is raised on foam tape. I make the tags with different patterns on the snowman's scarf so some have stripes and some have spots. Some tiny black gems make the coal "buttons" and a fine marker pen is used to add the face.

"Snowflake Bauble Tag"

Two different snowflakes and a circle are diecut from glitter card. The round tag is diecut from white card heat-embossed with clear snowflakes, then inked to match the glitter card. I make some with red inking & red glitter card, some with green inking & green glitter card, and some in gold like this one.

"Tree Tag"

Some more of the snowflake card is diecut into small Christmas trees and inked. A second batch of trees are cut from green glitter card. Thin green tinsel is wrapped around the inked diecut, then the inked diecut is stuck onto a glitter card diecut using foam tape and glossy accents, so that the tinsel is sandwiched between two layers of card and the back of the tag is left plain for writing on.

Justrite stamp set: Merry and Bright, Large Fancy Holiday Sentiments
Spellbinders: Holiday Ornaments 2010, Frosty Forms, Labels 20, Create-A-Flake Four, Snowflake Pendant 2012, Holiday Tree
Sizzix Framelits: Circles
Sizzix Bigz Tim Holtz Tiny Tabs & Tags
Distress Markers: Barn Door, Pine Needles
Aquamarker: Gold
Promarker: Berry Red
Letraset Fine Marker: Black 0.1mm
Versamark ink pad
Distress Ink Pads: Peacock Feathers, Barn Door, Pine Needles
embossing powders: white, gold, clear
cardstock: white 300gsm, brown 300gsm, glitter card gold, glitter card red, glitter card green
gold thread
Holiday Tinsel Ribbon
tiny black gems
foam tape
adhesives: Pinflair, glossy accents, PVA

Entered for the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Try it On Tuesday - Christmas Sparkle