52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge

Monday 25 September 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas Cake & Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

I was fortunate to receive an early copy of this book and I couldn't put it down. Received on Friday and finished on Monday morning, it's a fabulous read about real characters. It's written in such a way that readers can visualise the story, it feels as if I've watched it on TV! 

Author Carole Matthews has not disappointed with this Christmas novel. It is the follow up to "The Cake Shop In The Garden" which is a firm favourite of mine.

The story returns to the life of the cafe, and all who resides in or near it, covering the period of September to December. It was lovely to be reunited with the lives of Faye Merryweather and Danny Wilde, who are deeply in love with each other, enjoying their nomadic lifestyle on The Dreamcatcher" barge. 

When they reach Wales, Faye receives a call to say her elderly neighbour Stan, is very poorly and possibly doesn't have too long to live. Reluctantly, Faye leaves Danny to return to look after Stan and help Lija (the new cafe owner) and Rainbow, her vibrant assistant in the cafe, baking and helping with the popular Christmas afternoon teas.

Life back at the cafe is similar and different for Faye. Her canal boat, "The Maid of Merryweather" moored at the bottom of the garden, is in a poor state of repair due to a leak, leaving it rotting. Not helped by a spate of bad weather that results in the flooding of the cafe too.

Faye and Danny are living on the breadline, having used up their savings. Edie, Fayes half sister never did give her half of the proceeds from the sale of the cafe, so when Edie turns up unexpectedly for Christmas, she doesn't receive a warm welcome.

I won't go further into detail about the storyline as I don't want to spoil if for readers, but it is a lovely book. I'm sure it is another best seller for Carole Matthews.

You can pre-order/purchase a copy of this book by clicking on this link.

Week 39 - 52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge 2017

For my tag, I started with a Panpastel shaded background in pink & mauve tones.  I then put the tag in an embossing folder with a sewing theme pattern.  The pattern didn't show up very much, so I then decided to use a brayer and brown ink to colour the raised area.

Using a Hero Arts stamp, I stamped some thread reels, colouring them in with Promarker pens.  I then cut them out and stuck them to the tag.

I added cotton lace to the base of the tag and off-cuts of ribbons to the left hand side.  I added ric-rac and then white buttons with the letters "GBSB" (Great British Sewing Bee).  Finally, I added a safety pin and buttons.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Week 38 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

It's as if getting of the plane earlier in the week I have walked into Autumn, it is so cold here compared to Italy!  I suspect this has influenced the colour used on the tag for this week. 

The prompt for Week 38 is "Die Cuts".  So really it is anything goes as long as there are some die cuts on your tag/art card.

I started with a Panpastel background of light browns, yellows and greens blended.  I then used a Crafters Companion script stamp on a piece of medium brown coloured cardstock using a Versafine ink.  Using a die, I then cut the intricate pattern, adhering it to the Panpastel tag.  I then inked the edges of the tag in shades of red and black.

I then took a piece of red cardstock and blended various shades of yellows and greens to the surface, setting it with hairspray.  Using Stampin' Up "Vintage Leaves" set I stamped the leaf design and die cut the shape using Stampin' Up "Leaflets Framelits".  I stuck one flat on the tag, the other I elevated with foam pads to give a little dimention.  Finally I added a little more ink around the edge and added a wooden heart button to finish the tag.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Fairy Dust Tag

I have missed crafting while I was away on holiday.  In fact I am sure that it is the longest time I have not crafted, I usually take a little something with me just in case.  This afternoon, I found I had a spare hour, so decided to play with stamps and ink.

I used a Panpastel blended background, I used a juicy Versafine ink pad on Lavinia and other stamps.  I used a Signo pen for the white areas and dabs of stickles for the fairy dust.

Monday 4 September 2017

Week 36 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 36 is "Floral".  

Time is not on my side at the moment, so I opted for a straight forward design with a more fussy background for my tag.

I started using distress inks in shades of orange and yellows, using a splattering effect.  I then used a mask with holes cut in it and filled the holes using a red Promarker pen.  Finishing with inking the edges in two different colours.

Because the background was so busy and obvious, I wanted to dilute it a little, so I positioned a white paper doily to one side.  I then layered some flowers, shading the orange one with the same red pen used for the dots and secured them to the tag with a decorative brad.  Finally, I dug out some foliage bits from my scrap box and positioned them.

Don't forget, If you are taking part in this challenge, I would love to see what you've made.  You can find me message me on Facebook here.

Have a great week.

Sam x

Sunday 3 September 2017

Week 37 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 37 is "Serious Grunge".

I know that the grunge look is not to everyone's taste.  I struggle with it, although after many years of crafting, I find I am doing more of it.  Never the less, I still prefer pretty rather than grunge, so this prompt stretched me.

For my tag, I started off with a background of Tim Holtz Distress Inks in beige, green, yellow and brown.  Using StazOn Ink in all instances, I then used a Paperartsy floral eye stamp from their "Petals - Plate 2" set.  I made a mask to cover it.  From the same set, I stamped the butterfly number image (to the base of the tag) and made a mask for that too.

Next, I used a Creative Expressions "Hexagon Script" stamp to stamp over the tag.  I then used red ink to stamp "The Eyes See Everything".  Finally I coloured the floral part of the eye and the butterfly in red.  I added a touch of a white Signo pen to lift the eye and provide the look of light.

Friday 1 September 2017

Gnome Tag (using Papercraft Essentials - issue 150 free stamps)

I picked up a copy of Papercraft Essentials Magazine (issue 150) in the supermarket today as I liked the look of the free stamps.

I made this tag using the stamp/die set, stamping on white card, colouring in with Promarkers and then hand and die cutting the shapes and sticking the shapes onto patterned paper with inked edges.  I found the small clouds in my box of pre-cut stash and stamped the little flowers for the grass, adding self adhesive gems to the middle of the flowers and also to the hat.

This is the cover of the magazine if you want to get a copy for yourself: