52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge

Thursday 30 November 2017

Winter Wishes (Squirrel) Christmas Card

I'm guessing this will be my last make for November.  Looking back, it's been a productive month.

For this card, I started off by making the background using Tim Holtz Distress Inks in shades of greys and blues.

Using a die, I cut the tree trunks in white card and stuck them onto the background.  Free hand, I cut two snow slopes and glued them on top of the tree trunks at the base of the card. I then used a Signo Pen for the snow flakes.

I used a Papertrey Ink sentiment stamp from their "Winter Hills" set and stamped it at the bottom right hand side of the card.

The squirrel is from a stamp set that came free with Crafts Beautiful Magazine (Dec 17 issue).  I stamped the image then coloured it with Promarker pens.  I added sticky foam pads to the underside and stuck the image onto the card. I added a little grey shadow beneath the squirrel using distress inks.

Here's an image of the magazine and stamp set, in case you want to shop for it too.

Forest Silhouette Christmas Card

Today, I have continued to play with the stamps from the December issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine.

I created the background using three colours of Tim Holtz Distress Inks, then stamped the forest scene onto it.  On plain white card, I then splattered the same coloured Distress Inks to make a speckled background for the whole card.

I then die cut the image into a circle and then die cut a black circle frame for the image.  I stuck the two to the middle of the splattered background and then stamped the sentiment using a Woodware "Season's Greetings" stamp.

(Here's the magazine and stamp set, so you know what to look out for in the shops if you want to get it too).

Rabbit Winter Wonderland Christmas Card

I made this card yesterday, but didn't get round to popping it on here.

I'd been to the supermarket earlier in the day and was drawn to the free set of stamps on the front of "Crafts Beautiful" December 2017 issue of the magazine.  

I was especially drawn to the rabbit, hedgehog and squirrel stamps, so knew that I would be playing with those.

For this card, I used my water colour pencils to create the blue grey wash for the sky.  

While that was drying, I stamped the rabbit, coloured it in with three shades of Promarkers and then cut out the rabbit shape. 

Using an off-cut of white card, I cut a gently curved slope to replicate a snowy hill, which I stuck on top of the water colour sky.  I then mounted the coloured square onto a piece of brown card and trimmed to size.

Finally, I added sticky foam pads to the back of the rabbit to give a more 3-D look.  I added snowflakes to the sky using a white Signo pen and added the Papertrey Ink sentiment (from their "Winter Hills" stamp set).

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Birthday Cake Card (Stampin' Up "Big Day")

I've gone for something a bit different to my usual style with this birthday card.

I've used the Stampin' Up set called "(Saleabration) Big Day" for the sentiments and the cake shape.  The little pink flowers were stamped using a tiny stamp from a Papertrey Ink set called "Love Lives Here" which was stamped in a "Ranger Adirondack Raspberry" shade of ink.

Monday 27 November 2017

Just Sew Tag

Crafting often takes you in a different direction to the one you'd planned to go - this is one of those occasions.  I'd intended to make a card but ended up with a tag. Sometimes it is nice to craft with no agenda and just see what you end up with.

I've used a mix of Tim Holtz Distress Inks to create the background.  I've used an assortment of sewing related stamps, unfortunately, I don't recall who made them.  I added real buttons too.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Week 48 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 48 is "Warm"

For my tag, I went with the idea of winter outer wear, so all the items that lay dormant in a drawer through the warmer months.

I went for a cool blue look for the background using Tim Holtz Distress Inks, with white dots to signify ice.

The scarf, hat and glove set is from a small DoCrafts stamp set called "Warm & Cosy".  The Merry Christmas sentiment is a stamp that I have had for some years.

Stampin' Up "Christmas Pines" Card

As it's so cold outside today, it seems only right to be making winter/Christmas cards.

It feels as if I have thrown a lot at this card, but actually now that it is completed, it doesn't appear too fussy.

I started off by using two shades of Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean), blending them to create a background with darker edges and lighter central area.  I then splattered the "Chipped Sapphire" shade to lift the background.  Once dry, I glued it onto a black background.

I stamped the sentiment, using StazOn ink on white card then used the first two distress inks to create a wash of colour.  Once dry, I then die cut the sentiment, using Memorybox die called "Stitched Rectangle Layers" into a rectangle shape.

I then turned my attentions to die cutting.  Using Stampin' Up "Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies", cutting two wreaths in black card.  I threaded a wreath from the two shortest ends of the sentiment rectangle and glue them together so that the wreaths framed the sentiment.

Using Stampin' Up "Pretty Pines Thinlits Dies" I cut  6 branches of fir tree in a silver glitter paper, two seed heads in black card, two fir cone bases in black card, 2 fir cone top layers in silver glitter paper and arranged and stuck them down to the left hand side of the sentiment.  I then cut two layers of the white bow, layering with foam pads.  I then cut another bow in the silver glitter paper and layered it over the top.

Finally, I used a small snowflake punch to cut the snowflake shapes in a white velum.  I stuck the snowflakes to the card with a touch of glossy accents and then topped with a small turquoise gem stone.

Saturday 25 November 2017

Below The Surface Tag (Distress Inks and Stampin' Up)

Today I have been playing with Stampin' Up stamps making this tag.

I've used a mix of Distress Ink colours to create the seascape background.  The jellyfish is from the Stampin' Up set called "From Land To Sea.  On the edges of the tag, I have used another stamp from the Stampin' Up set called "By The Tide".  I have inked the edges and added white dots using a Signo pen. Finally, I added self adhesives alpha stickers to make up the words.

Friday 24 November 2017

Lovebird Tag

The plus side of not being to sleep is getting up and faffing with ink and stamps - this is exactly what I have done this morning.

The background of this tag is a mix of blue and pink distress inks and lots of splatters.  I used a red rubber stamp I've had for years for the bird, scrolls, script & hearts (I've not got a clue who made it).  I inked the edges in black.  Coloured the bird with a Promarker and added some white accents using a Signo pen.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Christmas Winter Wishes Wreath Card

It's just over a month till Christmas so I thought I'd better crack on with a few cards.

For this card, I used the Stampin' Up "Softly Falling" embossing folder for the background.

I then cut two branch wreaths (using Stampin' Up "Swirly Scribbles" thinlits dies, over lapping the die cuts to give the impression of a fuller wreath.

I then used Stampin' Up "Christmas Pines" stamp set for the cones.  I die cut the cones and the foliage using the co-ordinating "Pretty Pines" thinlits dies.

I positioned and glued the foliage and the smaller fir cone.  The larger one, I elevated using foam pads.  Finally, I added a red die cut bow, pearl gems and used a Sakura "Jelly Roll" pen to add highlights to the fir cones.  I stamped the sentiment using a stamp from the Papertrey Ink set called "Winter Hills".

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Spellbinders Birthday Card

What a wet, windy and miserable day it is today.  I need to venture out to the supermarket but have been putting it off by making a card instead.

For this card, I have used patterned paper from the "Sweet Paris" paper pack by Trimcraft.  I think I purchased it from The Range.

I have used the "Savoy Decorative Accent" die set from Spellbinders for the central areas.  The sentiment is by Stampin' Up from their "Iconic Occasions" stamp set.

Monday 20 November 2017

Hello Flower Tag

I've been feeling a bit meh today, so have not really felt like creating till this evening, when I made this tag.

I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks in shades of yellow for the background. Using a Stamper's Anonymous stamp, I added the rays in a "Black Cherry" StazOn ink.  The "Hello" sentiment from the Stampin' Up set called "Sale-a-bration Hello" is in the same ink.  I then inked the edges of the tag a little in the same shade and also a touch of black.

Finally, using the Spellbinders "Timeless Heart Textured Flowers" die set, I cut and layered the petals, securing with a brad.  (I purchased the die set from Hope & Chances site).

Sunday 19 November 2017

Week 47 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 47 is "Clean and Simple".

Quite often in crafting less can be more, so this week keep your creativity relatively simple.

For my tag "Clean and Simple" goes hand in hand with white, so that's the way I went to match this prompt.  Using dies from the Stampin' up "Banners Framelits" die set, I used the two large dies in the set.  The smaller one, I put in a Crafter's Companion "Scandinavian Christmas Embossing Folder" then glued it to the top of the large die.

Using the Stampin' Up "Christmas Greetings Thinlits" dies I cut the word "Peace", sticking is across the centre of the tag.  Finally, I cut two pieces of mistletoe and a bow using the Stampin' Up "Pretty Pines" Thinlits dies.

Don't forget, if you want to see a list of previous prompts for this challenge, there is a list at the top of the page next to the "home" button.

Also, if you are taking part in this challenge, I would love to see what you make.  You can share your makes on "A Crafting Niche" Facebook Page here.

Warm Winter Wishes Christmas Card - Spellbinders & Stampin' Up

I seem to have been generous with the glitter with this Christmas card and spread it across myself and the house!  A sure sign that Christmas is not too far away!

This morning, I lit a favourite Yankee candle called "Holiday Magic", played Christmas songs through Alexa and made a Christmas card - it's beginning to smell and sound a lot like Christmas in our house!

The patterned paper I have used for this card is all from a 12x12" stack by K&Company called "Verbena Scrap Pad".

I started with the sentiment which was actually a free gift in a magazine last year stamped in a StazOn ink called "Claret".  

I used a Spellbinder die to cut the shape and then a larger size of the same shape to cut the burgundy colour shape I'd stuck both to card to strengthen.  This allowed me to use foam pads to elevate the sentiment without there being any dips in the paper.  

I used a Versamark water-mark pen to edge the burgundy shape then coated it in Papermania "Enchanted Gold" embossing powder and then heated with a heat gun to set the glitter/gold embossed edge.

Next I used another Spellbinders die from the "Royal Circle" set to cut the decorative edge doily in the light coloured paper.  I cut a circle in the green colour and layered everything, sticking it to a layered base of green and burgundy.

I then turned my attention to the top section of the card by using Stampin' Up "Pretty Pines Thinlits" dies to cut the foliage and bow.  

I stamped the pine cones using Versamark ink coated in Papermania "Enchanted Gold" embossing powder and heated with the heat gun.  Once set, this gave a nice raised glittery/ice look to the fir cones.  I then die cut the fir cone shape using Stampin' Up "Pretty Pines Thinlits" dies.

Finally, I positioned the arrangement to my liking and stuck everything down, adding some small self adhesive gem stones to the lower section of the decorative doily.

Saturday 18 November 2017

A craft project and storage all in one!

While having a nosey around on-line shops this morning, I came across this little drawer set.  A great little project for altering with inks/stamps/pretty papers and storage too - what's not to like, especially as it is reduced at the moment too.  Click here to see the full details.

Friday 17 November 2017

Grunge Heart Tag (Urban Chic CMS086)

I received some used stamps I'd purchased from ebay, so had to have a play.  The stamps are Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous "Urban Chic - CMS086".

I used a tag with a Distress Ink background using reds, pinks and yellows.  Using StazOn ink, I stamped the heart image in the middle of the tag, then added the sentiment at the base and filled in the other areas with various designs.  I added alphabet stickers for the word "Love" and then inked the edges of the tag in black.

Finally, I mounted the tag onto black card to make the colours pop more.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Sunshine Sunflower Distress Ink Tag

I couldn't wait to have a play with a new stencil I received in the post today, so as soon as dinner was out of the way, I made this tag.

The background was a mix of olive green and yellow distress inks.  It then had a few areas of a raspberry coloured ink added with brown ink splattered across the surface.

I used a stencil and shades or oranges and browns to create the sunflower.  The central area I used a black pen and some black Woodware "Fluffy Stuff" for the middle of the sunflower.

Finally, I used a "Sunshine" word stamp (I think I got it from a magazine) and then inked the edges.

Home Again / Happy Post

I've been away for a couple of days this week, returning to my roots, in the form of the village where I was born and lived in for the first twelve years of my life.

The reason for my visit was to attend the funeral of a friend of the family, but it did mean I got to spend time with my brother and his wife too.

It was nice to come home and feel a little pressure behind the front door too.  Over the past ten days or so, I've ordered a few crafting bits and pieces on-line (some new and some used) and they all seem to have arrived while I was away, so it was a little bit like Christmas morning.  I've missed faffing with paper and ink, so I think there will be a crafting session this evening!

Sam x

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Post Polly - an emotional time

Sorry, this post isn't craft related, but I wanted to share.

The past three weeks have been the longest and so emotional for me after saying a final goodbye to our gorgeous and loyal Polly. She was my shadow and life is less interesting without her here.

Hubby and I have talked at lengths about what to do.  Do we get another dog?  Do we try to manage without?  Do we get an adult dog or a puppy?  and so the questions keep coming.

Walking alone on the beach on Sunday made me realise just how much I need another dog, so I have taken positive steps and signed up for SARR (Spaniels Assist Rescue & Rehome).  Here's the link to their web page

I'll keep you posted on our progress.  Sam x

Monday 13 November 2017

Gnome Snowscene Tag (Papercraft Essentials Magazine, Issue 150 - Enchanted Corner)

I sat down at my craft desk today with a totally blank mind.  I had no idea what I would be making.  If truth be told, I wasn't quite in the right head space having attended a funeral earlier today.  However, I was pleasantly surprised with this fun little tag.

The tag started life as a Tim Holtz Distress Ink background in slate blues & grey colours, with a few navy coloured speckles across the surface.  I added a few white spots with a Signo pen too.

I die cut a circle in a sort of orange colour and then dabbed the circle with Cosmic Shimmer Blending Ink (in a shade of "White Clouds") to provide a more mottled/moon type surface.  I then added a few dabs of yellow ink to it too.

Sorting through my die-cut off-cuts box, I came across the skeleton trees.  They were a bit short, but I decided I could cover that area.  I stuck the moon on to the tag and then layered the trees above, to give a kind of forest effect.

I found another off-cut of white embossed card.  It was originally embossed using the Stampin' Up "Seaside" die.  I cut the card into three sections, following the waves and layerd them above the trees to provide a snowscape look.

Finally, using a free stamp and die from Issue 150 of Papercraft Essentials magazine (the set is called "Enchanted Corner").  I stamped the image, coloured it with Promarkers and then die cut the little gnome.  I used foam pads to stick him to the tag, so that it gives the impression of dimension.

I'm rather happy with this cheerful little fella!

Sunday 12 November 2017

Week 46 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 46 is "Dance".

In previous years, I have never really been into "Strictly Come Dancing", but this year I have become almost addicted!  So it seems only right that this should be the theme of the tag for this week.

My tag started out with a Tim Holtz Distress Ink background of shades of oranges and yellows with a touch of raspberry flecking across the surface.  I had purchased a little set of stamps from ebay, which I believe may be a replica of a Stampin' Up set.  However, these are quite small and ideal for decorating a tag. I used these for the dance figure and the sentiment. Colouring in the hat and dress using a red Promarker pen.

Using a Memorybox die "Honeycomb Background", I cut a section of yellow card and then cut it into sections, sticking it to areas of the tag.  I then inked the edges in different shades and mounted the tag onto black card to make the colours pop more.  Finally, I added random dots across the surface of the tag and some self adhesive gem stones.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.  Have a great week.  Sam x

P.S.  I forgot to mention that as always, the up to date list of prompts are available at the top of the page, next to the home button.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Christmas Card (Hero Arts stamp "Tree With Ornaments" K5257)

Well it is almost mid November, so definitely time that I start to think of making a few Christmas cards.

My Christmas stamps are tucked away in a cupboard, so it feels a bit like the excitement of bringing the Christmas decorations down from the attic when I start to delve into my Christmas stash.  Like the decorations, I tend to buy a new stamp(s) each year too, but I often return to one of my favourites.  In this case it is a wood mounted Hero Arts stamp called "Tree With Ornaments" (ref: K5257).  For me it just hits the spot, so is often used for the first card I make for the year.

I had a rubbish night of sleep again last night, so I was up at 3 am playing with stamps and paint brushes.  I started with embossing a background.  I used the Stampin' Up, "Softly Falling" embossing folder.  

Using StazOn ink, I stamped the tree image onto plain white card.  I coloured the image using my water colour pencils with a brush.  Once dry, I added some snowflakes using a white Signo pen.  I mounted the image onto green card then added it to the top of the embossing.  At the bottom right hand corner, I stamped the sentiment using a stamp from the Papertrey Ink set called "Winter Hills".

Friday 10 November 2017

Spellbinders "Four Seasons Silhouettes" Cards

Another die from my "happy post" the other day is this set of four season dies + a frame which I purchased from Hope & Chances website - they specialise in Spellbinders die sets and are often the first to have them in the UK.This set comprises of five dies in total.  One for each of the four seasons and then a frame.

The first card that I made was the one for Spring.  I wanted to create quite a fresh feel, so opted for an embossed white background (using a Sizzix embossing folder).  I then mounted the white die cut seasonal square on a mint coloured card,  The sentiment is from a Penny Black "Garden Friends" set.

For Summer, again I opted for a white embossed background (using a Cuttlebug embossing folder).  I used pastels with a paintbrush to apply the colour to the square die cut and then mounted it onto a pink card.  The sentiment on this card is from a Stampin' Up set called "Good Greetings".

For the Autumn season card, I went for warm shades of orange and brown.  The background of the card is a piece of craft card.  I randomly stamped different leaves onto the card (using Stampin' Up Vintage Leaves stamps).  I cut the square die in brown card this time and mounted it onto an orange shade.  The sentiment is something I have had for a while and may have come free with a magazine. Finally I added some little gem stones for interest to the background.

The Winter season is a personal favourite and I've stripped the card right back to having a plain white background, with the die cut square being mounted onto a grey coloured card.  The stamped sentiment is from a Papertrey Ink set called "Winter Hills".  For me the simplicity of this card works.  It's a quick make too, so I may make a few of these for Christmas.

Thursday 9 November 2017

A Pokemon Pikachu Birthday Card

Our Grand Daughter is absolutely mad about Pokemon, but her absolute favourite is Pikachu. So it seemed only right to make her a birthday card with that character on it.

A close up of the card

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what a Pikachu looked like.  All I could remember was that it was yellow.  Thank heavens for Google images.  I was able to find one suitable and printed it.  I cut round the image, but somehow managed to cut his tail off - at four years old, I don't suppose Willow will notice!

Using my Sizzix Big Shot, I put a Stampin' Up embossing folder called "Softly Falling" through it to create the textured background.

Using a Stampin' Up die from the "Hello You Thinlits" die set I cut the word "Hello".  For the number four on the Pikachu chest, I used a Cuttlebug die to create the number.  Finally, I used a Stampin' Up stamp from their "Hello" stamp set to stamp the "Birthday Girl" sentiment.  I then positioned everything and stuck it all down.

Completed Saundersfoot 2017 Scrapbook Album

Back in June 2017, we rented a beautiful holiday home in Saundersfoot, South Wales for a week.  We were joined by our family, so Hubby and myself, our younger son, elder son, daughter-in-law and their two children.  It was the first time we had holidayed together and we had a fabulous time.

While away, I kept a brief note in my phone of what we did each day, so I had them to refer to.  When we got home, I started to make a scrapbook of our time together.  I was like a train, steaming through the project.  For some reason I got distracted and it became an "unfinished project"!

I am guilty of having a few "unfinished projects" so this week, I made a pledge to myself to complete one of them.  As this album had the least work to do till completion, I opted to do this.  In fact, I only had a few pages and the cover to do.

I'm happy to say, I have completed the scrapbook and I am really happy with the way it has turned out.  The layouts within the album are 6" x 6" (the cover size is 7" x 8").  Due to there being so many layouts in the album, I have used 3" book rings to keep it all together.