52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween Gift Bag

The loss of my Polly last week meant that I really wasn't in the mood for crafting.  However, I did make this Halloween gift bag for our Grand Daughter, using Stampin' Up "Spooky Fun" stamp set and an skeleton die.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Week 44 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 44 is "Sentiments".  

You can include one or several sentiments this week. The prompt is really loose, so open for you to create what ever you please.

For my tag, I used a background of Tim Holtz Distress Inks in yellow, blue and grey.  I used a Stampin' Up stamp set called "Pun Intended" for the light bulb, the heart and the sentiment.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

A Hell Of A Week - It is oh so quiet!

I deliberately try not to include too much personal content on my blog about my home and family, but feel I need to share my news with you.

We are a family of dog lovers.  In recent years, we have had three English Springer Spaniels.  Polly, our most recent.  She came to live with us when she was approximately two years old.

About a fortnight ago, we realised that Polly (now a little over four years old), wasn't quite herself.  She was letting us know she was in pain and we were aware that sometimes she was lifting her rear right paw.  We took her to the Vet, who prescribed anti-inflamatory and pain killers.

I don't know about you, but I was wondering how long was appropriate to wait to see that the tablets were working.  So about a week later, there was no improvement and we returned to the Vets.  This time they took some x-rays of the area.  The x-ray showed that Polly's spine was in a very poor state.  More in-keeping with that of a fifteen year old dog instead of a four year old.  As Polly was insured, they attempted to get Polly into a referral hospital at Chester, for an emergency MRI scan, but unfortunately they were full and not able to offer an appointment till the following Monday.

We took Polly home and waited.  We could see that Polly was getting worse.  She had a very bad night and was screaming in pain.  The next day (last Friday) we phoned the Vet to explain the situation.  They contacted the Chester Pet Referral hospital who said we could bring her in.  Hubby and myself took Polly along and left her there.  They were going to perform and MRI scan on her and take a sample of her spinal fluid.  Later that afternoon, they phoned to say that the scan had highlighted a swelling/growth and they wanted to take a biopsy.  We agreed.  The next day (Saturday), we drove back to Chester to collect Polly and were told the results would be ready on Monday.

Polly was in awful pain.  The Chester Vet had increased her pain killers but it obviously wasn't touching the pain.  Poor Polly was in such a state and we knew things were bad.

On Monday morning the Chester Vet phoned with awful news.  The swelling was actually a
tumour which was growing and eating Polly's spine, hence the terrible pain.  The  Vet offered a course of chemo and radiotherapy, but that would only be a temporary measure and Polly would need increasing pain relief for the rest of her life.  Hubby and I had already discussed this possibility, so asked the Chester Vet to phone our local Vet to explain the situation and arrange to have Polly put to sleep.

Within an hour we were at the Vet surgery, saying our final goodbye to our gorgeous, funny, loving and loyal member of our family.  It was a fortnight in total from when we took her to the Vet to having her put to sleep.  As a family we are totally devastated.

The house is so quiet and still.  I have lost my shadow and can not stop the tears from coming.  Polly will leave a huge gaping hole in our lives.  I know we did the right thing for her but it hurts so much that she has gone.  We have lots of photos and video clips of her, but she was my baby girl and I feel cheated that we only had her for a little over two years. 

RIP my darling Polly, you are greatly missed!

PS:  for this reason, I may be a little quiet on posts.  I'm finding it hard to think straight, let alone be creative.

Sunday 22 October 2017

Week 43 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 43 is "After The Storm".

As it's been a rather rough week weather wise, this prompt seems to be very apt.

The corners of our garden seem to have collected mounds of leaves, so I attempted to reflect this in my tag for this week.

I used assorted Tim Holtz Distress Inks to create the coloured background.  For the moon, I used Cosmic Shimmer "Colour Cloud Blending Ink".  The tree and leaves were bith from the same Stampin' Up set called "Sheltering Tree".  Finally, I added some stars to the sky using a white Signo pen.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Dandelion Get Well Wishes Card

I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest to make this card.  Unfortunately, I'm not able to find the source to credit them.

I started by splattering five different colours of Tim Holtz Distress Inks across the surface of  white card.  I used a dandelion die to cut the image from the white splattered card, then mounted it on a coral colour.  I then cut a dandelion head in the same coral coloured card and mounted it to the bottom right hand corner.  

I used a Papertrey Ink stamp from their "Fillable Frames" set for the sentiment.  Then die cut it into a circle shape, mounting it on top of the dandelion with foam pads to add a little dimension.

I thought the centre of the dandelion was a little bare, so I added a die cut spiral of the same coral coloured card for added interest.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Week 42 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2017

Wow, I've only just realised that there are only ten weeks of this challenge left!  The year is passing so quickly.  The prompt for Week 42 is "A Country".

For my tag, I chose to go with the country "China".  I started with a background of red and yellow distress inks.  

I then used an assortment of Paper Artsy stamps from "Asian - Plate 2" and also a circle stamp set "SM15".  Once an image was stamped, I masked each section so that I was then able to fill the blanks with circles and dots with a stamp.  To those circles and dots, I added some small red gems.  I highlighted some areas with a white Signo pen adding some white dots to fill the background.

Finally, I dug out some small metal coin embellishments and stitched them to the base of the tag.

Don't forget, I would love to see your tags/art cards that relate to this challenge.  You can message me/post on The Crafting Niche Facebook Page with your images.

Saturday 14 October 2017

Distress Ink Anniversary Card

Our friends celebrate their anniversary in ten days, so I made this card for them.

Using a glass mat, I started by creating a background of two shades of Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Picked Raspberry and Wilted Violet adding the inks to the glass mat and then spritzing with water.  I then placed a piece of white card on top of the puddle of colour and drifted it across the surface till all the card was covered in colour.  I then used my heat gun to dry it off.

Once dry, using dies, I cut two hearts from the coloured paper.  One was solid and one was filigree.  I also used a Stampin' Up die from their "Sunshine Wishes" set to cut the word love from the coloured paper.  I then cut another solid heart in white card and glued the filigree heart to it.

On a clean piece of card, I used the same two shades of Distress Inks to splatter colour across the surface of the card, making sure I splattered in the same direction.  This provides a kind of diagonal look.  I used my heat gun to dry the surface. Once dry, I cut the piece of card to size and glued it onto a card blank.

I positioned and glues the love sentiment into place and then played with the positioning of the two hearts.  I first stuck the coloured heart and then using foam pads, stuck the filigree heart into position.  This gives a little dimension to the card.

Embossed Snowflake Tag

Yesterday, I finished a book called "Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at The Christmas Fair" by Heidi Swain.  Available to purchase in book form and kindle here.  It is a lovely book and left me feeling all Christmassy, which inspired me to make this snowflake tag.

To make this tag, I started by dragging an anti static cushion across the surface of the tag, this Iremoves any residue from handling.

I used a Versamark (water mark stamp pad) on the snowflake, stamping the image onto the tag.  I then covered the surface with clear embossing powder.  Using a heat gun, I heated the image till the embossing granules melted into each other, which provides a raised surface to the image.

Next, I selected three Tim Holtz Distress Inks to create the coloured background.  Splattering the surface with little darker dots.  Once dry, I then added some water droplets to the surface of the tag which creates a more mottled look.

Finally, I added the "Seasons Greetings" sentiment (I've had it for ages, so don't have a clue who made it).

Friday 13 October 2017

Brickwork Tag

Today I've been playing with a stencil/mask in a brickwork design, that came with a magazine a while back.

I started using Distress Inks over the stencil in a "Old Paper" shade of green.  Using Stampin' Up "Gorgeous Grunge" stamps I added the chevron and splatters in a grey colour.  I then inked the edges of the tag in grey.  Using a Sizzix leaf die (660822) I cut two leaves and then added the three paper flowers to the bottom left hand side of the tag.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Negative Stamp and Distress Inks Card

I created this card to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary.

Some time ago, I purchased a bundle of second hand stamps.  The negative stamp I have used on this card is one of them, so I don't know the name of the manufacturer. I stamped the image on top of a Tim Holts Distress Ink background.  The sentiment is from a Stampin' Up set called "Endless Birthday Wishes".

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Hello Dear Tag (Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine)

Playing with off-cuts of patterned paper, I made this tag.  The Dear/Stag stamp,die and sentiment were all free with Issue 167 of Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine.  Once everything was stuck down I inked the edges to tie it all in together.

Monday 9 October 2017

Spellbinders Trapezed Dance Quilt Hello Card

I seem to have been making tags recently and fancied playing with a new die which I've had for a week or so, but not had the chance to try out.

For the background of this card, I have used Spellbinders "Trapezed Dance Quilt" die and for the sentiment I have used a Stampin' Up "Hello You" Thinlits.

Week 41 - 52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge 2017

The prompt for Week 41 is "Paint it".
This can be interpreted in any way.  You can paint all or just some of your tag/art card.

For my card, I stamped the image of the seed heads using a Bee Crafty "Poppy Heads" stamp and the Bee Crafty "Winged Things" stamp,  I then used a selection of Tim Holts distress inks to paint the vibrant sky.(I apply the inks to a glass mat and dilute and blend to get the colours i'm after).

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Fairy Fern Tag

For this tag, I blended pink, mauve a green Panpastels to create the background.  I used Lavinia and other stamps in a Versafine ink, dotting the fairy dust stars with a white signo pen.

Monday 2 October 2017

Week 40 - 52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge 2017

So here we are in October already!  The prompt for Week 40 is "One Stamp".

I started this tag with a blended background of Panpastels in purples, blues and green.  The stamp I decided to use is a Clarity Stamp "Dandelion" which I stamped in a purple StazOn ink.  I added small white dots to the background using a Signo pen and inked the edges of the tag.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Bee Card using Stampin' Up Dragonfly Dreams Set

I used a Memorybox (99434) Honeycomb Background die for the background.  I then die cut the bees using the Stampin' Up "Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits".  The sentiment is from the Stampin' Up "Dragonfly Dreams" stamp set.

Stampin' Up Dragonfly Dreams Card

This morning I have played with Tim Holtz Distress Inks, splattering them onto the surface of the card to make the background.  Once dried, I shadow stamped a script using a stamp by Oak House Studio.  The dragonfly and the text are both from the Stampin' Up set called "Dragonfly Dreams".

Clarity Stamps Workshop with Jo Rice

Yesterday, I was fortunate to attend a stamping workshop actually on the island.  Jo Rice, demonstrator for Clarity Stamps showed us some lovely inking techniques using stencils.  Take a look at Jo's blog, there is lots of inspiration!

Here are my makes from the workshop.  

Although I was familiar with most of the techniques, it was lovely to create with fellow crafters and I'm now not scared to use Gesso!