Wednesday, 30 April 2014

DCWV Royal Garden Matstack

I just love all the bright colours in the DCWV Royal Garden matstack, and enjoy mixing them with feathers, flowers and beads.

"Something Wonderful"

Those flowers are made by pouring UTEE into moulds. The Lapis Blue UTEE from Creative Expressions makes a great match.

"Live Life to the Full"

The swan is covered with double-sided sticky sheet and microbeads before adding embellishments.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tuesday Technique - Faux Marbling with Distress Ink and Clingfilm

I came across this technique in an old magazine and adapted it for use with distress inks. The finished effect is very subtle and great for backgrounds.

"Faux Marbling"

Here's what you need (plus clingfilm, I forgot to take a photo of that lol!):

"Distress reinkers, misters and Perfect pearls"

1. Fill the misters with water, then add a dropper full of ink and a spatula of Perfect Pearls to each of the misters. Put the cap on and shake well.  I used Bundled Sage ink + green Perfect Pearls, Tumbled Glass ink + blue Perfect Pearls, and Spun Sugar Ink + white Perfect Pearls.

"White Card"

2. Lay some white card flat over a non-stick surface and spray all over with clean water. I used 160gsm white smooth card.

3. Spray blue ink in patches on the wet card. You want the ink to puddle.

4. Add patches of pink ink.

5. Add patches of green ink. Make sure the whole card is wet and puddling with ink.

6. Tear a piece of clingfilm off the roll and cover the wet, inked card completely, leaving wrinkles.


7. Move the clingfilm and wrinkles around until you get smaller wrinkles, or however you want the effect to appear. then turn the whole thing over and leave it to dry with the clingfilm in place. Turning it upside-down helps it dry quicker. I left mine overnight...


8. So here's the finished background with the clingfilm removed. Subtle, but fun! When you get to this stage, you can add stamping, diecutting, whatever you like. I diecut mine...

You'll have to wait to Sunday to find out what I did next though, I used these on my Stamping Sensations card this month :-)

Oh, before I go, here's a tip for you. If you have one of the larger diecutting machines, you can cut four of the vintage cabinet diecuts from an A4 sheet of card ...

Monday, 28 April 2014

Cards from scraps

I had a sheet of toppers with matching acetate covers that had been in my stash for years and I was determined to use them, so was delighted when I realised the colours would make a good match with papers from an old calendar.
"Cards from Scraps"

The diecuts are made using the same card as the card blanks and this card is also used to mat and layer the toppers.

Pieces of lace are used int he background to soften the feel of the card which could be quite austere with all those silhouettes.

The flowers are made from scraps of fabric samples diecut using Tim Holtz' Tattered Florals die and joined together with brads, or just stuck onto the background with some wet PVA.


Look closely and you'll see some little gem embellishments that someone gave me. I couldn't help using them to look like strange little creatures crawling through the jungle.

"Miss You"
I just love the little brass cat charm.


The real buttons fixed to the outside of this card echo the printed ones on the topper. The frame is lifted using foam tape and the centre stuck to the card base to create an aperture over which the acetate sits. You could add something to the inside for a shaker card.


This last topper had some pink on it in the form of the flower, and so I wanted different colours. I used a patterned paper from a Teresa Collins "Fabrications" pad that came free with Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine and added an organza flower, lace, a matching feather and another of those little gem insects.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Webster's Pages Best Friends free collection

These cards were made with a Webster's pages paper pad and chipboard set that came free with a magazine, but I can't remember which one! They feature some more clay embellishments.

"Layers and Colours"

Layering up the chipboards makes for a more luxurious feel, and it's so easy to colour the clay to match using the colour charts from Martha Stewart.

"Heat-embossing Clay"

The frame is stamped and heat-embossed with verdigris powder, before die-cutting with the matching Sizzix framelits die, and the butterflies are inked with versamark and also heat-embossed with verdigris. This was just an experiment, but I'm pleased to say the clay took the heat-embossing well.

There were lots more cards from this set, but unfortunately I forgot to photograph them before I gave them away. I make a lot of small cards like these to try out new techniques and just get the creative juices flowing, then package them up into boxes and give them away as presents. It's great to always have a thankyou pressie on hand when you need one.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Some More MAMBI cards and Martha Stewart

I love making things using paperclay and Martha Sewart moulds - it's so easy and looks really effective for adding loads of dimension to your cards.

"Rest and Relaxation"

So these are a few of the cards I missed out when I shared "a pile of A6 cards" a few weeks ago.


These MAMBI cards come in a pad that you tear off for an instant banckground, then it's just a case of adding papers and embellishments and a little inking for some quick cards.

The Martha Stewart paperclay is really light, so it'd great for these small cards - not too heavy and doesn't make the card prone to falling over. I haven't found anything I like as much, but would be interested to know if anyone else has a favourite clay - leave me a comment and let me know :-)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Tim Holtz Tags of 2014: April

Just squeezing in before the end of the month, here's my take on Tim's tag for April.


We had a sunny day, yay!... and breathe :-)

I took a few shots of the intermediate stages before everything was glued together.


This was the background with the hexagon lattice attached. I decorated a couple of hexagons with gilding flakes. I have Lee to thank for the tissue tape and tag, and also the Timmy metal embellishments (thanks Lee!).

The foliage is diecut from card covered in double-sided sticky sheet using the Sizzix Bigz die, then covered in gilding flakes.

The flowers are diecut from Tim's Lost and Found paper using his Tattered Florals die. I don't have the pinecone die so made one large flower and a smaller rose. That gold stud inside the large flower is saved from an old 1980s dress that had studs all down the front!

The tattered ribbon was some of the map-stamped stuff left over from last month's tag, so I just misted it with water and coloured it with Bundled Sage and Faded Jeans distress ink to match the flowers, then added a "Breathe" token painted with some Salty Ocean distress paint just to finish it off.

There was supposed to be a vintage bee. To be honest, I made the whole tag as a background for it, but it's lost!! Tom blames the cat. I have no idea where it is. If I find it before I publish this, then I'll add it, but if you're reading this it means it's still lost. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Lol!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Two More Bluebird Cards

The first is A6 size, though they both use Graphic45 Botanical Tea papers and bluebirds made using this week's Tuesday Technique.
"Molto Bello"

A friend of mine spends a lot of time in Italy and I thought the sentiment would be apt for her. It is stamped in coffee archival ink and the pages distressed with Spun Sugar.


This second card is twice the size at A5, but uses a similar layout. That portrait frame is made using Creative Expressions Labis Blue and Cobalt UTEE poured into a Martha Stewart mould, then rubbed with gold Pinflair Buff-it. I've added a different patterned paper behind the frame because I wanted a bird.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

There'll be Blue Birds Over...

... well, no, not the white cliffs of Dover, but another Graphic45 Botanical Tea card.

"Shaker Card"

The background paper has an aperture cut into it at the bottom, a piece of acetate fixed behind and the aperture filled with sequins and seed beads before enclosing in foam tape. The whole of the background paper is fixed to the card base with foam tape, so the aperture appears "sunken" into the card. Another of my UTEE birds is fixed to the front of the card with Pinflair.
"Shaker Aperture"

A few matching flowers and a bow finish the card. I always love a shaker card - it rattles :-)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tuesday Technique - Blue bird & Graphic45 Botanical Tea

I'm a sucker for birds, well pretty much anything nature-themed if I'm honest, but especially birds, so I couldn't resist the Graphic45 Botanical Tea paper pad. Then when I got it home I wondered what I'd do with it. I mean, you can only find homes for so many covered boxes lol! So I wanted to make a collection of cards using the papers as a backdrop. This starts the design process. Ideas sparking away. What will I use for a focal point? I get out all the bird stamps, and have an idea...


I think this bird stamp started out as a thrush, but it's turned into something otherworldly.

The bird is stamped onto watercolour paper using Ranger Archival ink and coloured using Derwent Inktense pencils, then water added and the paper left overnight to dry thoroughly. The next day, the bird is dipped into clear UTEE, and a feather fixed into the UTEE. I like to add a little blob of UTEE over the base of the shaft of the feather just as extra insurance to keep it in place.


The diecut foliage is coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils to match the background paper, then shaped and adhered to the background using blobs of Pinflair glue.

I made a few of these birds, so there are some more cards to be made yet!

Graphic45 Botanical Tea paper pad
Martha Stewart stamp set Birds
Spellbinders Foliage & Carnation dies
Ranger Archival ink pad, jet black
Derwent Inktense Pencils & water brush

Monday, 21 April 2014

Free Embossing Folders from Simply Cards & Papercraft 122

I love the effect of gilding wax on dry-embossed images, but I suffer from peripheral neuropathy which makes it painful for me to rub the harder waxes onto the card. So I was delighted when I recently discovered the Pinflair Buff-it colours. You can use them in just the same way as gilding waxes, but they are really soft. Being water-based, you can also mix the colours and you'll probably get a technique Tueday post from me about that some day, but today I am going to show you a card I made using the free embossing folders from Simply Cards & Papercraft issue 122.

"Have a Lovely Day"

Now I really liked this card, but everyone I've shown it to thinks it's too dark, so I made a more colourful version. :-)

"Hope Your Day is Fabulous"

I layered up the embossing with stamped images and diecuts and sponged and sprayed inks for lots of colour. Hope your day is fabulous too! Maddy x

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Flowers and Feathers

This is one of my favourites from the week's cards inspired by Sue Wilson. The feathers are from our hens and the flower from Lee (thank you again!).I would love a really dark brown archival ink pad like the colour of that card, but the closest I can get is "Coffee", which still has too much red in it for me.
"Feathers and flowers"

The Justrite and Creative Expressions stamps on the right are stamped with coffee archival, heat-embossed in clear, and diecut using the matching labels 4 dies. I still love the look of those layered labels 4 on the Filigree background.


Here, I tried the layout using Labels One diecuts in place of the labels four. It's pretty, but I don't think it works as well.

Well that's it for the "Inspired By... Sue Wilson" collection. I hope you'll pop by Sue's blog and be inspired too.

Today would have been my Dad's 67th birthday. Happy birthday Dad.

Saturday, 19 April 2014


I love sunflowers. When we were children, like a lot of kids in England I imagine, we were given sunflower seeds to plant and grow up a wall. We had some long, hot and dry summer in the mid 70s and the flowers had to be watered every day. During the droughts, we'd use water from the washing-up bowl, or the potato peelings, or cold tea...and the sunflowers grew tall.


That fab background paper is from a pad that was part of my prize from DCWV. The other sunflowers are from an old Papermania pack. I stuck the flower heads onto a Spellbinders diecut. I do tend to mix and match products from a lot of different companies on my cards. There are products here from Ranger, Creative Expressions, Sizzix, Spellbinders, DCWV, Stampendous, Papermania, my local craft shop and even China! It's much harder for the designers who are limited to using products from one company.

"Happy Birthday"

This one uses green card as a base in place of the brown. You can see how the whole card has a lighter feel to it.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Perfect Summer Day

These cards are along the lines of yesterday's, but I've used decoupaged images and sentiments in place of the flowers and gem swirls. Some tiny stickers in the corners look like nail heads in a picture frame.
"Perfect Summer Day"

I added some colour to the stamped images using distress markers to match the background. Oh for a perfect Summer day when I can sit in the garden on a recliner, sip a glass of Cava and listen to the birds singing :-)

"To a Wonderful Friend"

That blue tit is a sticker. I just couldn't resist adding him to this card - I love birds! I'm not so sure about the sentiment, but as you know I don't use pink much so found it hard to find something to match! To me, the red is a bit overpowering on that sentiment diecut but c'est la vie.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Time to Remember

Here's another card inspired by Sue Wilson. I loved the arrangement of the diecuts on the right hand side so much, that I ended up making a pile of cards with a similar layout, although you'll see the cards come out looking quite different in different colour schemes. I actually chose this layout to do justice to one of Lee's gorgeous flowers, which I've used in the bottom left corner together with a handmade stickpin that was also a present from Lee. Each of the stamped images on the right hand side is stamped in black archival and heat-embossed in clear, then diecut with the matching die and layered using foam tape. That gorgeous lace was from Brenda (thanks Brenda!)

N.B. I like to add PVA to both sides of foam tape and foam pads when using them, so the card doesn't fall apart when the tape dries out.

"Time to Remember"

The ticket says "Time to Remember". I thought this would make a nice sympathy card.


It's amazing what a difference it makes changing the colour scheme to red! I used a butterfly gem swirl in place of the bird, though it's a little hard to see in the photograph, and another of those gorgeous flowers (thanks Lee!).

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Inspired by...

...Sue Wilson! For the next few days I'm going to share some cards of mine that were inspired by Sue Wilson. Whenever I get really stuck for inspiration, I love to have a look at Sue's blog and create a few cards inspired by her, and it soon gets my creative juices flowing again.

"Courage, Determination, Strength"

I want to dedicate this card to my cousin, Stephanie, who died recently. It has one of my favourite sentiment stamps, from IndigoBlu. The background uses a couple of Sue's favourite techniques - using two diecuts joined together to make a frame, and covering a stamped or patterned background with microbeads. That gorgeous flower centre was handmade by my best friend, Lee aka craftyloops who is a dab hand with a hot glue gun! I used it to cover up the bow knots, another of Sue's predilictions.
"Yesterday is a dream"

Here's a similar card using another of my favourite stamps, this time from Chocolate Baroque. I'm no good at those punched borders that Sue does. Mine always come out wonky so I don't bother :-)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Altered Domino Books

A box of cheap dominoes provides lots of scope for fun making altered dominoes and turning them into covers for little books. These are concertina-style books with lots of inking and stamping on the folded pages.

The covers are decorated by heat-embosssing in gold and adding gilding waxes, and ribbons are glued between the covers and end papers.

Here's another one...

It's a great way to display some of the smaller and more unusual stamps in any collection.