52 Week Mini Art Card/Tag Challenge

Sunday 30 December 2018

Week 1 - 52 Week Art Card / Tag Challenge 2019

Hello and welcome to a brand new year of the 52 Week Art Card / Tag Challenge for 2019.

For those of you new to this challenge, you will find all the info you need here.  

There is a Facebook Group for this challenge, where you are more than welcome to join, chat with others taking part and upload images of your creations to the weekly albums. This is a very relaxed challenge for all abilities.

So now down to business.

The prompt for Week 1 is "Celebrations"

We celebrate many things, birthdays, an anniversary, Christmas, new babiesm passing a test and so on.  I've based my tag on new year, but you can of course chose any form of celebration.

I started my tag by making the background using various shades of Distress Oxide inks.  I used a Stampin' Up stamp for the "Celebrate" sentiment.

Using a round punch and an old dictionary I have had since school, I punched circles of text and stuck them on top of the Oxide background.  I then ran the whole thing through the Big Shot in an embossing folder with concentric circles. I then inked the edges of the tag with a grey and black ink.

I die cut the numbers and coloured them with Versafine Clair ink in a shade of "Blue Belle".  Using a silver glitter Signo pen, I added dots onto the blue numbers. Then stuck the numbers to the tag.

Finally I mounted the tag onto a dark blue card and added sequins across the surface of the tag.

Friday 28 December 2018

Design Team Make 28th December 2018 (Something New) - My Time To Craft Challenge #387

It's time for another prompt from the "My Time To Craft Challenge Blog", this time the prompt is "Something New".

I went rummaging in my paper off-cuts box to make this card.  It's nice to make something out of nothing.  I used a Papertrey Ink die from the "Love Lives Here" set for the house shape.  I die cut a couple of nesting circles, stuck them together and added the little house shape and added a contrasting heart for the centre of the house.

The sentiment is from a Hobby Art set called "General Greetings", stamped in a Memento ink, in a "Rhubarb Stalk" shade.  I then mounted the card onto a piece of matching patterned paper (which was from the Pretty Posy stack I'd purchased from The Range, some time ago.

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Christmas Wishes

If you are one of those people that drop by my blog and leave lovely comments, then I just want to say thank you for your time and kind words.  They mean a lot.

What ever you are up to, I hope you have a very peaceful Christmas.  Sam xxx

Sunday 23 December 2018

Week 52 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2018

We made it to the last week of the tag challenge for 2018.  Congratulate yourself if you've taken part, even if life has got in the way and you've had to put your tags on the back burner for a few weeks - you are wonderful!

The Week 52, final prompt for 2018 is "Metallic".

For my tag, I started with a sheet of striped foil paper from a 6x6 stack called "The Gift of Christmas".  Using a flourish/scroll stamp by Creative Expressions called "Leafy Swirl - UMS011" I made multiple stamps across the surface of the tag using a Versafine "Black Onyx" ink.

I stamped the "Merry Christmas" sentiment (the stamp was free with a magazine) using a Memento ink called "Rhubarb Stalk" and then die cut into an oval.  I then mounted it on another oval in black cardstock.

To finish the tag, I added some light gold Nuvo sequins and then tied black ribbon to the tag.

Saturday 22 December 2018

Nigella Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars

I am not ashamed to say, that I am a bit of a Nigella fan.  I like the fact that she takes short cuts in recipes and is not afraid of using shop purchased items as a base for her recipes.

One of my long standing favourite recipes is the "Sweet and Salty Crunch Nut Bars" which features on page 310/311 of her "Kitchen" recipe book.  I had forgotten all about this lovely treat till a memory popped up on Facebook which prompted me to make the bars again.

It is a simple recipe really, consisting of butter, syrup, milk and dark chocolate melted in a pan, then added to a bowl of crushed crunchie bars and salted peanuts.  But the taste is fabulous.  When I make it, I make a double batch as my friends absolutely love it.

When I make this, I always use disposable foil trays.  I find that they are easier to get out of them than solid tins.

Visible Image Butterfly Birthday Card

Another December birthday.  I made this card using the Gelli Plate for the base.  The butterfly is a Visible Image stamp.  The sentiment is a Papertrey Ink stamp from their "Stylish Sentiments" both stamped in Versafine "Black Onyx".

I've used a Sakura Jelly Roll Pen to add silver shimmer dots across the card, which unfortunately do no get picked up very well in the photograph.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Rudolf Christmas Card

I made my last Christmas card today, making this rudolf card.

I embossed a piece of white card, using the Crafters Companion "Scandinavian Christmas" embossing folder.  I die cut the rudolf face (the die came free with a magazine last year, I don't recall which mag though) and stuck it to the embossed background.  I added a large red sticky peal for the nose and googly eyes.

I stamped the Woodware sentiment in Versafine Clair "Tulip Red" ink.

Monday 17 December 2018

Christmas Fairy Card (Lavinia Stamps)

It's been a couple of weeks since I played with my Lavinia Stamps, so I decided I would make something for their December Creative Challenge.  The theme for this month is called "All I want for Christmas is a fairy". I've used Lavinia Stamps throughout this project.

I have used a Gelli Plate to create the coloured background.  I then used the "Sacred Spells" stamped in Versafine "Stormy Grey".  Then stamped the "Whimsical Whisps" tree, the fairies from the "Fairy Foragers" set and the "Fairy Wishes" stamped in Verafine Clair "Monarch" shade.

Finally, I added some sticky gems as decorations and some touches of a silver Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Week 51 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2018

So it's the penultimate week of the 2018 tag challenge.  How the time has flown.

The prompt for Week 51 is "Christmas Decorations"

For my tag, I went the traditional bauble shape.  I made a background by masking off a circle for the moon and then using various shades of blue and grey Distress inks to create the night sky.  While the mask was in position I splattered Gesso using a fan shaped paint brush to create the snowflakes.  I then left the Gesso to dry.

Using plain white card and dies that came free with issue 168 of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine, I cut two layers for the snow scene.  I then die cut into a circle and layered the scenes using foam pads.

Returning to the sky scene, I removed the mask and dabbed some Distress ink to shade the moon,  I then die cut the sky-scape into a circle too and then layered the snowe scene . onto the sky-scape.  

Finally I added a little rectangle to the top using an off cut of the sky and punched a hole through it to allow for hanging.

Saturday 15 December 2018

It's another baking day - Toffee Tray Bake

The poor weather has sent me into the kitchen to bake.  I tend to make the same comfort cakes, so today I wanted to try something a bit different and opted for a toffee traybake. 

I was really impressed with this cake.  The base is light and the toffee topping isn't overly sweet but the sea salt gives it a lovely surprise kick.

Here's the recipe I used:

Ingredients for the sponge base

200g chopped dates
160g light brown sugar
80g unsalted butter
300ml boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175g self raising flour
75g chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of salt

Ingredients for the top

200g mascarpone
100g light brown sugar
100ml double cream, whipped
75g unsalted butter
Pinch of sea salt
Walnut pieces to decorate


We're going to make the sponge mixture first.

  • Line the base of a tin approx 25cm x 20cm x minimum of 5cm
  • Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4
  • In a saucepan, add the dates, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water
  • Simmer over a low heat for a minute or so and then remove from the heat and leave to cool and soften (for around 10-15 minutes)
  • In a mixing bowl add the butter and beat until creamy
  • Continue to beat and add the sugar then gradually add the eggs and vanilla essence
  • Add the  pinch of salt and flour and mix till smooth.
  • Add the cooled date mixture and the walnuts
  • Pour into the prepared lined tin and bake for approximate 25 minutes.  Turn out and leave to cool.
Once the sponge base is cool you can add the topping:

On a low heat, in a saucepan add the sugar, butter and double cream and gently melt.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-4 minutes (I kept stirring mine so that it didn't stick to the pan).  Remove from the heat and then leave to completely cool.

When the toffee is totally cool, add it to a bowl with the mascarpone.  Add the sea salt flakes and stir.  Spread across the top of the cooled sponge base and then top with walnut pieces.


I also made a chocolate orange sponge too.

The Crow and The Butterfly (Shinedown) Birthday Card

My friend celebrates her Birthday today.  She is fanatical about a band called "Shinedown" and has a tattoo relating to one of their songs "The Crow and The Butterfly".  With this in mind, I made this birthday card for her.

The background was created using a Gelliplate.  The crow is a stamp I purchased second hand, so I don't know who made it.  The tree branches are part of the "Sacred Tree" stamp by Lavinia.  The sentiment is by Papertrey Ink and is part of their "Stylish Sentiments" stamp set.  In all instances, I have used Versafine "Black Onyx" ink to stamp the images.

Friday 14 December 2018

Design Team Make 14th December 2018 (More Than One Fold) My Time To Craft Challenge #386

The prompt for the "My Time To Craft Challenge Blog" #386 this time is "More Than One Fold (no easel cards)".  For my card, I decided to go for a gate-fold style card (a card with two folds).

I cut a piece of white card into 6" x 12".  I then scored lines at 3" and 9" (on the shorter side).

I decided on the patterned paper (one from Stampin' Up, I don't recall the name). I wanted to use and cut it to size and then stuck to the card base.

I then die cut an oval in a cereal box and a further two die cuts in co-ordinating plain coloured card. I glued and sandwiched the cereal card between the two pieces of coloured card and left to dry.

Using a Spellbinders die called "Floral Tags - S4-652" for the ornate detail in white and stuck it to the front of the dry oval card.  I then stuck the oval to the central area of the card, only adhering it to the left hand side of the card.

I stamped the sentiment, using a Stampin' Up set called "Petit Pairs" and then die cut it into the oval shape, sticking it to the intricate oval design using foam pads to give it a raised look.  I added some self adhesive pearls to the centre of the flowers.

This is the card fully closed.

This is the view of both sides of the card flat.  The lower photo shows the interior of the card.

Thursday 13 December 2018

Let It Snow Christmas Card (Craft Box UK)

Today I have played with some of the goodies from the November Craft Box Signature collection. I used a sheet of patterned paper from the box and stamped horizontal lines across the page.  I then inked the edges in three shades of ink.  

I decided the area I wanted to work with and die cut a circle of that area. I then covered the circle with Glossy Accents and left to dry.

I then mounted a co-ordinating card on the underside of the square paper.  Once the circle area was dry, I added foam pads to the underside and stuck it back in the place it had originally been cut from.  The highlighted the area.

Finally, I added drops of liquid pearls in shades of silver and white.  Stuck some blue sticky gems across the page and then added the "Let It Snow" Snip Art that came in the Craft Box.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Woodware "Berry Wreath" Christmas Card

I'm on the home straight of making my Christmas cards.  Although I like to make fancy backgrounds, I actually love the clean and simple look.  This card falls into the "love" category.

To create this card, I used the Woodware "Berry Wreath" clear stamp, stamped in two shades of Versafine Clair ink - firstly "Verdant" and then "Shady Lane".  I deliberately didn't cover all the lighter colour as I wanted a bit of variation in the shades used.

The sentiment is also by Woodware, from their "Seasons Greetings" two pack of clear stamps, which I have stamped in Versafine Clair "Verdant" ink too.

For the berries on the wreath, I used Liquid Pearls in a "Ruby Red" shade.  I then left to dry fully before I ran it through the Big Shot in a Stampin' Up embossing folder called "Softly Falling".  I then cut the image to size and positioned onto a blank red card.

Sunday 9 December 2018

A Cake and Ice Cream Day

Yesterday, I had a session in the kitchen making cakes and ice cream.  I made two bar cakes, chocolate chip cookie ice cream, mincemeat pastries and mince meat ice cream.  I also cooked and sieved raspberries to make raspberry ripple ice cream which I will finish making today.

Week 50 of 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2018

The prompt for Week 50 is "Stripes"

For my tag, I decided to give it a Scandi feel, by using mainly red and white.

For the stripes, I used Stamper's Anonymous "Ornate Trims" to create the stripes, stamped in Versafine Clair "Tulip Red".

The trees are part of the Stampin' Up "Festival of Trees" set, stamped in Versafine Clair "Rain Forest".  I used a snow fall embossing folder that came free with a magazine to create the snow at the top of the tag.

The I die cut the deer, Using a die and stamp set that came free with a magazine and then backed the tag in red, stamped the deer face and then added a sentiment from the "Festival of Trees" set used in the other tag.  

Finally to both tags I added some touches of silver Sakura Gel glitter pen.


This challenge will continue through 2019.  If you are interested in joining in with the challenge, click here for all the info you may need.

There is also a Facebook Group for this challenge where you can add images of the tags to the weekly albums and chat to other members.  The group is really relaxed and you are more than welcome to join.  Sam x

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Tree With Ornaments (Hero Arts) Christmas Card

For more years that I care to remember I have made Christmas cards using the Hero Arts "Tree With Ornaments" stamp.  It has to be my most used stamp and the results never disappoint.

The image is stamped in Versafine "Smokey Grey' and painted using water colour pencils.  The sentiment is from a Hobby Art Ltd set (CS010D).

Finally, I added some twinkly gold shimmer using a Sakura Jelly Roll Pen.

Monday 3 December 2018

Take Chances Card (Visible Image)

I needed to make a card for somebody about to make a huge change to their life, so I wanted to send a card to recognise the turmoil and also the strength needed to move foreward.

I stamped the background foliage using a Crafty Individuals stamp (Ref: CI-493), stamped in Versafine Clair "Verdant" ink.

The sentiment is called "Take Chances" by Visible Image and is stamped in Versafine Clair "Paradise" ink.

Sunday 2 December 2018

Week 49 - 52 Week Mini Art Card / Tag Challenge 2018

The Prompt for Week 49 is "Family".

Family means so many things to so many different people.  I have an on-off thing working on my family tree, so for my tag, I have gone in this direction.

The background of this tag started out with gorgeous shades of Distress Oxides.  However, I had a mis-hap with it when I accidentally used Gesso instead of a texture paste through the stencil, which resulted in most of the fabulous background I had created disappearing.  After it dried, I made the most of what I had by adding extra ink to the surface before adding the people image and wording.

Saturday 1 December 2018

Design Team Make for Love To Craft Challenge Blog #29 (1st December 2018)

This is my Design Team make for the last challenge of 2018 for the "Love To Craft Challenge Blog" #29.  Please do pop over and have a look at all the other fab makes by my fellow Design Team members.

This month I decided to play with Shrink Plastic.  I've had a pack in my stash for longer than I care to remember, so it was definitely time to put it to use.

For all of the images on this tree, I have used a selection of Lavinia Stamps, stamped in StazOn ink.

The Shrink Plastic that I had was totally smooth and clear.  I wanted to give the ink a key, so I lightly sanded the surface with a foot file (it's like a large emery board for dry skin - it's ok, it's not been near my trotters).

I stamped the image, then die cut into ovals or circles.  I then punched a hole in the top and placed on a non-stick baking sheet and put in the oven at 130 for about three minutes.  When you take them out they have shrunken quite a lot.  You can see from the example in the photograph below:

I used fishing line to suspend the discs from the mini tree.