Monday, 6 July 2015

21st Birthday

Hi again and welcome! The sunshine we enjoyed last week made me go with a summery theme for a 21st Birthday card I needed to make. Short post as I know lots of people are rightly busy making the most of their summer.



Papers: Prima
Dies: Sizzix 'Upon a Time' decorative strip. Memory Box 'Grape Vine', Cheery Lynn 'City Girl' edger, Martha Stewart butterfly punch
Flowers: Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts and faux dew drops courtery of glossy accents
Embellishments: Resin frame painted with pink pearlescent paint. Metal corners painted with matt white paint. Diecut numerals and metal key (on butterfly) coated with Krylon 18kt gilding pen. Also sank pearls, seed beads and glass glitter into glossy accents in centre of resin frame. Added little pearls to corners too.
Splatters: Daley Rowney Pink and Gold paints, Paper Artsy white and pink paints, Tattered Angels Pink and Gold sprays
Other: Ribbon by May Arts and Glass Glitter from Melissa Frances

Huge thanks for stopping by and for any comments you might leave. Thank-you too to the lovely people who have recently signed up to follow - you are most appreciated!

Have a lovely week,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
The Ribbon Girl - July - Anything goes
Vintage Cafe card challenge - Botanical
Card and Scrap - #100 Anything Goes and blog hop
We Love Vintage - Picture Inspiration
Allsorts - How does your garden grow?
In The Pink - Shabby / Vintage pink
Craft for the craic - Summer Time!
Alphabet Challenge - J for Jewels

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Snowy Woods

Hello, it's lovely of you to stop by today.

I thought it was time to make a start on Christmas cards (never too early!) so what better way to begin than to use some of my Artistic Outpost stamp sets - 'Midwinter' and 'Snowy Woods'.



Firstly, thank-you to Linda Coughlin for spotting how well the cabin fits into the TH / Sizzix window die!

The green background paper is by Maja Design. I've used the TH 'Holiday Knit' stencil to create a border around the page and sprinkled the embossing paste with 'Clear Rock Candy' glitter whilst paste still wet. I think the pattern suits the rustic scene. The foliage is cut using TH Sizzix 'Holiday Greens' die - again liberally applied glitter. There are also stencilled little snowflakes in the background but true to form I went and covered most of them up!

Painted ranger manila cardstock with white paint to lighten it but still left enough 'yellow' to suggest a soft glow. Stamped the cottage, rabbit and sentiments with versamark and then embossed with Sparkle and Sprinkle EP 'Japanese Lacquer'. Added snowy effects to the scene with paint, paste and glitter.

The window is made using chipboard that I diecut with the TH / Sizzix window die. It was first coated with Kromacrackle and left a day to dry. Then I inked with lots of DIs until I thought it looked sufficiently faux wood. Coated with Ranger crackle paint in 'Clear Rock' for even more distress effects.

Dabbed much of the scene with Snow-tex and assembled it all. As a finishing touch included some pine cones that I collected last winter (from the ground) at Dublin's Botanic Gardens. Hope that's not an offence!

(Edited to add, since posting it is bugging me how 'twisted' the card appears - it honestly is one of my straightest cards so am blaming lens aberration or odd angle I held camera!)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thank-you so much for your visit.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Artistic Outpost - Show us your art - June
Craft for the Craic - The Big Occasion
Anything But Cute - Make It Masculine
Use Your Stuff - Wood
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Mixed Media
Sparkles Forum - Christmas Animals
Stamping sensations - dies and punches
Christmas card challenges - #30 Anything Goes
Fab n Funky - Christmas
A Vintage Journey - Celebrations - (I'm going with Christmas and a hot whiskey!)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Thoughts to Berkeley tragedy

Warmest wishes from Dublin.

A few weeks ago I sent this card to a lovely blog pal whose Mum had very sadly passed away suddenly. Many in Ireland have been grieving this week too by the heart-breaking tragedy for 13 young Irish students when a balcony collapsed in Berkeley California. Thinking of all the bereaved families as they fly home this evening and sending very best wishes and strength to those in hospital for fullest, speediest recovery.


Thank-you so much for taking the time.
Nicola x

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tea Time

Greetings to you - it's been a while and I was so glad to get back to my craft table this week! Thank-you for your visit!

Sending my card today to a lovely lady who is poorly at the moment.



When I received a recent prize order from Linda she included some lovely freebies as she customarily does. Amongst these were some diecut cups and saucers from the Sizzix 'Tea-Time' die. I stamped and clear embossed the diecuts with a music script stamp and then gilded them using my Krylon 18 kt gold leafing pen - aren't they fit for a regal afternoon tea! Then watered down some 'Tea Dye' DI and rubbed onto the two little teabags. Stamped these with a script stamp using DI 'Victorian Velvet'. Affixed to the cups with May Arts jute string and decorated with roses and a butterfly on each handle.

I stamped the background base paper (Pion Design) with a Hero Arts 'butterfly script' stamp - again using DI 'Victorian Velvet'. Speckled the base layer with pink and white frantage. Diecut a tag and stamped and gold embossed the sentiment. Randomly tore the edges of the base paper and tucked little roses and pink lace behind each tear.

Affixed everything to card including a pristine doily layer. Added Melissa Frances pink frou-frou tulle beneath the cups,Nunn Design embellishments in two corners and two heart stick pins in the cups. Completed by adding lots of 'pearls' using a Waco pearl pen.

Warmest wishes to you for a happy weekend.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Vintage Udfordring - Script
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Royal
Country View Challenges - Shabby Chic
Inky Chicks - Pearls
Aud Sentiments - Bingo (Flowers, Rubber Stamp, Embossing)
That Craft Place - Shabby Chic
Card and Scrap - Use Dies
Creative Inspirations - For A Friend
Card Mania - Use a metal embellishment

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Marjie Kemper's 'Tuesday's Texture' feature

Hello and warmest welcomes to you!

Firstly, I've been absent lately from 'blogland' but you know how sometimes 'life happens' and my time had to be diverted. I really hope to catch up with visits during the coming week and start to get crafting again very soon.

Secondly, I'm genuinely thrilled to today be featured by the seriously talented Marjie Kemper over at her 'Tuesday's Texture' series. When Marjie contacted me with her lovely invite (for my post here) you really could have blown me over with a feather. What a wonderful accolade for my little ole blog. Marjie is an incredible artist and educator - if you haven't already visited her site and blog then you really should hop over tout de suite. Looking at the line-up of crafters that Marjie has already included in her fantastic 'Tuesday's Texture' series makes me very proud to be part of such an impressive group.

The piece that Marjie is highlighting is in the post below 'Spring into Stencils'.

Huge thanks Marjie for including me.

Thank-you as always for your visit.
Nicola x

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring into Stencils

Hello and welcome! I'm so pleased to have a special post today as I am the lucky Guest Designer over at the wonderful Frilly and Funkie challenge blog (on foot of my win for my creation here).

When I was invited to be Guest Designer I was delighted to learn that the theme to work to was 'Stencil Mania'. I find it difficult to make anything now without using stencils so this is right up my alley. Using several stencils I've made a card showing a little Springtime scene...


All the papers are by Maja Design. The window, window box and iron fence are all diecut using Sizzix / Tim Holtz dies. The diecut bird is from a Memory Box die. Foliage is done using Tim Holtz and Marianne dies.

There seems to be quite a blitz in blogland at the mo for DecoArt products so I'm joining in by painting the diecut chipboard window with DecoArt paint in 'Light Buttermilk'. Once dry, I applied DecoArt 'One Step Crackle' (best crackle medium there is imho) to the window and the window box. In no time at all the lovely crackles appeared and I then rubbed some distress inks into the cracks using a babywipe.

For the window 'pane' I applied texture paste through a Wendy Vecchi 'vintage quilt' stencil onto heat resistant acetate. Using the technique outlined by Tim Holtz in his March tag I magically turned the paste silver for a faux 'leaded window' effect. (The trick is to sprinkle embossing powder onto the texture paste before it dries. Then once the paste is fully dry heat it with your heat gun and the embossing powder will transform into your colour of choice). Simples! If you havn't heat embossed acetate before take care with static and handling. Use a narrow brush to disperse any stray flecks of embossing powder before you start to heat.

As further window decoration I made a faux window blind that I've stencilled with Tim Holt's 'gothic' stencil by just blending distress ink through the stencil.

On the background I've again applied texture paste through Tim's 'latticework' stencil and a Memory box 'tessatina' stencil to add extra interest. Lightly dabbed a variety of distress inks over the raised paste to add colour and then went and covered most of it up with window and fence diecuts!

The window box was also given some crackle treatment and attached using double layers of tape. I've placed some dried moss and little resin roses into the window box to make it pretty. Crackle medium was also coated onto both birds.

The iron fence was painted and then aged using 'Brushed Pewter' stain and lightly dabbed with silver gilding wax. I also painted some honeycomb chipboard shapes in a pink shade and placed in corners. These helped to further raise the fence in the bottom corners. Finally, I fussy cut florals and butterflies from Maja Design papers and dotted around the little scene.

Thank-you so much to all the talented ladies at Frilly & Funkie for allowing me feature today as Guest Designer. It’s always a privilege to be associated with their challenge and one of my very favourite design teams. To have a chance to be 'Guest Designer' or to win a generous voucher for Linda's beautifully stocked Funkie Junkie Boutique why don't you grab some stencils and enter your creation here!

Enjoy the rest of your week and thank-you so very much for your visit,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Through the Looking Glass
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Due Date (my Guest Design slot had due date 21.4.15)
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Die-ing for Spring
Crafts for Eternity - Spring
Stamps and Stencils - Anything Goes
Creative Moments - Anything Goes - twist of Spring
Simply Create Too - No digis or stamped images
Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge - Springtime Flowers

Monday, 6 April 2015

Blues in Bloom

Greetings to you and thank-you for visiting. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Dublin - hope it is lovely where you are too.

Some of you will have seen before my take on altering a Tim Holtz configuration box. To see my earlier boxes take a peek here and here for more details on how I altered and decorated each box.

First of all, here is a shot of the box lid from my latest alteration:


All papers used are by Maja Design. The paper on top outer lid was embossed with a flourish texture fade to match the flourish pattern on the 4 metal idea-ology corners. The chipboard (by Wycinanka), just like the corners, has been painted white, and also has some blue frantage added. I stamped and gold embossed the sentiment and tucked it around the gate. The little messenger bird has been diecut from chipboard using Sizzix 'caged bird' die - he looks much better set free! Added floral elements - some from stash and some diecut. The cream embellishments are by Prima and the gold ones are by Nunn Design. Edges are inked with distress inks.

Here's another, fuller shot of the box.



Next snap shows the box front. I've used idea-ology feet that are also painted white. I adhered lace around the top rim. Also, stencilled some texture paste right around the box using Crafty Individuals 'leafy border' stencil. Sprinkled on distress glitter in clear rock candy while texture paste was still wet to add a little sparkle. Ran a loopy grosgrain ribbon around it too - the tiers remind me of a wedding cake. Diecut the chipboard 'lock' from Sizzix 'hardware findings' and added key by Maja Design. Affixed a little bow for extra prettiness.



Here it is from a side angle:



Now, let's look inside to see the scene on the inner lid. There's a little diecut bird (Memory Box) with a painted watering can. Again some Wycinanka chipboard that I've painted white with a dusting of blue frantage on the blossom. Also added some 'florals' both diecut and from stash, and little metal embellishments.


Now a twirl to view the right side of 'garden'.


Finally, a view of entire inside. All the compartments are painted white on the outside with the insides then lined with a selection of beautiful Maja Design papers.



As always, your visit and any comments you may leave are hugely appreciated. Enjoy the remainder of your Easter weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - A is for 'Altered' configuration box
Frilly and Funkie - Put a Ribbon on it!
Stamps and Stencils - Anything Goes
Live and Love Crafts - Signs of Spring
Crafty Cardmakers and More - Wings
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - April
Really Reasonable Ribbon - Things With Wings
Mixed Media World - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sending Get Well Wishes

Hello and Welcome! It was great to see so many worldwide sharing our St. Patrick's Day yesterday - hope you enjoyed it.

Just a short post from me. I've made this card for a dear lady who is ill at the moment.



Papers by Maja Design. Both dies by Sizzix - 'Bird Scroll' and 'Scallop Lace Envelope'. (I also die cut the Bird and Scroll in chipboard to layer it up and make it sturdy). Punches by Martha Stewart and Woodware. Lots of Stampendous frantage. Stamped a sentiment, inked most edges with DIs, dabbed with Waco pearl pen and lace from stash. Added rose, bow and heart pin to complete.

Thank-you for your visit and for any comments you may leave - they are greatly appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Animals
Inspiration Journal - Spring Blooms
Craft For The Craic - Bingo - (Sentiment, More than 2 layers, Chipboard)
Allsorts - Flowers and Pearls
Crafty Creations - Chevrons or Stripes
Moving Along with the Times - Bingo - (Die, Flower(s), Lace)
The Ribbon Girl Challenge - Going Green

Thursday, 12 March 2015

For Mum

Good Morning and Welcome.

An unusually early post from me today. We celebrate Mother's Day in these parts this coming Sunday so my card today is for my Dearest Mum.



Papers are by Pion Design. Die cuts are made using Cheery Lynn circles and MFT Dienamics fishtails. Most edges are inked with DI 'Tattered Rose'. Included 2 doilys amongst the various layers. Lots of pink frantage speckled around for texture and glam, including on the resin angel's wings (angel by Prima). Dotted Stickles 'Mercury Glass' to Angel's eyes. Added a selection of roses that I've dabbed with Snow-tex. The printed sentiment came with a gift from a dear friend of mine so I'm now 'recycling' it. Decorated with wire with pearls thereon and added lots of little pearl dots using a Waco pearl pen. A chunk of pink Melissa Frances vintage glitter is on the spoon instead of sugar - to match the afternoon tea theme.

Wishing all the Mum's out there a very Happy Mother's Day.

I hope your day is kind to you and thanks so much for your visit. It's hugely appreciated!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Live & Love Crafts - Photo Inspiration
Frilly & Funkie - Bring on the Bling
Simon Says Stamp Monday - B is for (Butterflies and Baking)
Inspiration Journal - Spring Blooms / Use Flowers
Craft For The Craic - Bingo (Flowers, Sentiment, Image)
Crafty Cardmakers - For a Special Woman
In the Pink - For A Special Lady
Try It On Tuesday - Pearls for Girls

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Blending Tim and Anne!

Hello and welcome.

I needed to make a 25th birthday card so reckoned I should join in with the 'Special Numbers' challenge at 'A Vintage Journey'. I've only entered the Tim Holtz tag challenge once before so I'm way overdue to try that again too. I've ended up with the following card that fits both challenges. It's also a salute to the terrfic inspiration obtained during every visit to the lovely Anne's blog. She consistently delivers beautiful creations with clean lines and i.m.o. the very best use of the colour black in blogland.



My card is a take on Tim's March tag here. I don't have any distress paints in bright colours so my background is done with distress inks instead. I used Tim's 'Bird Branch' stamp and his 'Clockwork' stencil. I hadn't used the embossing powder on texture paste technique before and really love the results so will definitely do again. (That's Ranger's 'Queen's Gold' popping up there).

I wasn't sure how to adapt Tim's tag design into a card but having recently admired Anne's clever card here I decided to copy her technique so as to place a second bird on the branch (slightly floating alongside the one in the circle). Anne kindly sent me a link to a video showing how to do extended die cuts. It looks easy in the video but my M.E. brain really struggled to actually get the cut right - having several times amputated the bird the wrong way! I've watercoloured the 'extended' bird using my TH waterbrush and D.I.s so that it might appear to be the same lesser spotted species as the one in circle.

One of my other blog pals recently used jigsaw pieces but can't recall who - please shout out if reading! (or 'Reach Out' in parlance du jour!). (Edited to add, it was the fabulous Lisa from You made me Ink). I painted the jigsaw pieces with Adirondack 'Snow Cap' and then with crackle paint in 'Picket Fence'. I tried edging each piece with black ink but it made the card look too busy so abandoned idea and made them pristine again. The digits 2 and 5 are rather handily on the TH 'Christmas' stencil so stencilled same onto pieces to left side, again coating the texture paste with gold powder and heating once dry.

The glossy black 2 and 5 to right of circle are die cut using Sizzix 'Mini Reindeer 25' movers and shakers. Inked them with Ranger black archival and coated liberally with glossy accents. I further decorated card with various idea-ology elements that I black embossed. To complete, I arranged black string to right side around an Idea-ology hitch fastener to mirror the wraparound that Tim often does with his fabulous tags.

Very many thanks for your visit - it's a pleasure to see you stop by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Tim Holtz - 12 tags of 2015 - March
A Vintage Journey - Special Numbers

As there is a smidgeon of green ink within the circle I hope it's not too much a stretch for me to also enter:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Just a hint of clover

Also delighted to join in at the 2nd birthday celebrations at:
Country View Crafts challenge - theme is Anything Goes

Monday, 23 February 2015

For New Grandparents

Hello again. I hope this day finds you well. I've made another baby boy card, this time for a dear couple who have just become new Grandparents.



I had been browsing Pinterest for a few minutes hours the night before I made this and saw a wonderful Christmas card by Ana Z. I then made this card with Ana's card very much in my mind's eye - thank-you in advance Ana.

The lovely vintage papers are by Pion Design. I used Anna Griffin stamps for the silver embossed pram and text. The metal elements are by Nunn Design and Making Memories. The lower sheet has been embossed with hearts using a Cheery Lynn plate. For the borders I used a Martha Stewart punch and edge dies by Magnolia and Cheery Lynn. The fishtail flags are cut with MFT Dienamics dies and the circles with Spellbinder dies. Sprinkled around lots of blue frantage. Then completed with oodles of silver and white pearls (Waco pens) and a blue satin bow.

As always, huge thanks for stopping by.
Warmest wishes,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Anything Goes
Inspiration Journal - Love is in the Air
City Crafter - Love Metal
Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes
Crafting for all Seasons - Dies and/or Punches
Fussy & Fancy Friday - Tic, Tac, Toe (Charm, Dry Emboss, Sentiment)
Cheery Lynn Designs - Anything Goes

Monday, 16 February 2015

Welcome Beautiful Baby Boy

Hello and thanks so much for visiting. My card today is for a precious baby boy who arrived recently - he is an absolute darling and has everyone besotted.



Background paper from Pion Design and balloons and all other papers by Maja Design. Balloons are cut with Sizzix Triplits Balloons die. The sentiment banner is cut with MFT Dienamics stax pierced fishtails. Ran Krylon 18ct gold leafing pen around all the edges. Added texture too with blue frantage and texture paste through a TH lattice stencil. Silk ribbon by May Arts and yarn from my Mum's sewing box. Sentiment stamped and embossed using an Anna Griffin stamp. Charms from stash.

Warmest wishes to you all for a lovely week ahead.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - A Piece of Paradise (Holding this little one sure is a piece of paradise)
Inspiration Journal - Love is in the air
Allsorts - Any occasion other than Birthday
Card & Scrap - Anything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Birthday or Anniversary
Live and Love Crafts - Hearts
Art With Heart - Projects to Love
Fab n Funky Challenges - Charm Us

Monday, 9 February 2015

Coming Up Roses

Hello and welcome! It's been a while since I'ved posted - I hope to dip in and out a little more often. Thank-you to the lovely people who have signed up recently to follow despite my absence.



It looks rather grey outside (in Dublin anyway) - I hope the Springlike hues in my card will warm everyone's day.

I've used papers by Maja Design that I tore and layered. Flowers are from my stash. Surrounding dots were done using Waco pearl pen.

Thank-you for stopping by - I hope to catch up with visits in coming days.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Card & Scrap - Use Flowers
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Red & Pink (I'm much more of a pink gal)
We Love Vintage - Use a theme from collage - I'm using Flowers
Craft For The Craic - Birthdays or Anniversary (Card was given for a birthday)
Moving Along with the Times - Pastels

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas to You

Welcome!



Main image by Inkido. All other papers by Maja Design. Dies by MFT and Sizzix (thank-you to the lovely Anne for kindly sending me lots of those new snowflakes. I had no trouble blinging them up!). Music stamps from Katzelkraft. Distress ink - 'chipped sapphire'. Glitter in 'clear rock candy' and Melissa Frances 'aged silver'. Lots of Frantage in 'shabby blue'. Silver gilding paste turned the brass music note silver. Dotted with Waco pearl pens in White and Silver. Lace from stash.

This is my last card post for 2014. Thank-you all for your visits, comments, friendship and encouragement over the past year - I wouldn't be in blogland without all your kind wishes and inspiration. May you and yours have a very happy and peaceful Christmas and all that you wish for in 2015.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Sing, Sing It Loud
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas card (Vintage)
Country View Crafts - Nostalgic Christmas

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Christmas View

Warmest greetings from Dublin. Just sharing my penultimate card for this year...



'Window' die, 'on the edge snow flurry' die and 'mini holly' die all by Tim Holtz / Sizzix. Focal image by Pion Design. All other papers by Maja Design. Stencilled little snowflakes by Memory Box. Sentiment Stamp by Cat's Life Press. Edges inked with DI 'Weathered Wood'. Plenty of my fave TH 'clear rock candy' glitter applied. Tinsel twine by TH Idea-ology. Bells, 'foliage' etc from stash.

Last card tomorrow... Hope everyone is winding down now so as to recharge for the main event!

As always, huge thanks for visiting.

Nicola x

A special shout-out to all the design team members who are continuing to 'work' today. I wish to enter card to the following challenges:

A Vintage Journey - Let's Celebrate - I've used lots of TH products
Sparkles Forum - It's a blue blue Christmas
Simon Wednesday Challenge - Winter Inspiration
Inspiration Emporium - Sing, Sing It Loud - (Sound of bells on card)
We Love Vintage - Bingo (Pearls/Blue/Knot - Parels, Blauw, Knopen)
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas card (Vintage)