Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sweet Little Stockings

Hello and Welcome. I hope this day finds you well.

I've continued making Christmas ornaments - here are some little stockings that might be useful in 111 days time...

I've used Sizzix die 'Stocking Stuffer' with cotton batting and felt (stuffed with a little wadding). Added oodles of lace, trim, ribbon, charms and lashings of sparkly bling. And, those bells on the toes really do jingle!

If you like these you might like to check out my other ornaments. Mittens are here, elf shoes here and angel here.

There should be lots of ornaments for gifts this year!

As always, very many thanks for visiting and any comments you might leave are hugely appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter stockings to the following challenges:
Allsorts - Early Christmas Makes
Deep Ocean Challenge - Something Sweet
Polkadoodles - Get organised for Christmas
4 Crafty Chicks - Sewing Real or Faux (mine is real)
Craft Room Challenge - Something Old (stocking die), Something New (rocking horse charm)
Crafts and Me - Time for Anything

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

1st Wedding Anniversary

Hi there!

A quick post from me today showing a 1st Wedding Anniversary card that I made recently for a dear couple.

Papers by Maja Design. Dies by Sizzix ('Primitive Hearts' & 'Scalloped Envelope') and Magnolia ('Heart Flower Lace' & 'Heart Flourish'). Tab by Making Memories. Number is chipboard, painted and glossed. Some inking done with DIs and Archival and a little Frantage too. Pins, pearls, lace and flower from stash.

Thanks so much for stopping by and wishing you a happy day,

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
Sugar Creek Hollow - Let's Celebrate
Charisma Cardz - Wedding Anniversary
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Anything Goes

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Time Flies - Phew!

Hello and welcome.

A fortnight ago, when I saw the challenge theme at A Vintage Journey, an idea for a card formed in my mind's eye, and I thought that's great I've a fortnight.... and now I've just got a half hour left! So glad to get my entry in as it has been a very busy week.

So here's my take on 'Time Flies'

Obviously there is a continuum of 4 seasons.

Blended pale DIs through the TH 'Rays' stencil, and then dabbed further through TH 'Latticework' stencil to just give a subtle hint of nature awakening. Diecut butterflies from TH 'Butterfly Frenzy'. Dabbed on multi-medium and coated with Distress Glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy'. Using TH waterbrush painted each butterfly a shade of DI - the glitter absorbs the DI well. Stained a chipboard Steampunk cog with 'Brushed Pewter'. Then followed the Shelly Hickox recipe for faux metal effects (with UTEE and EP) to 'age' the cog. Inserted TH game spinner and words cut from Maja Design papers.

Using wrinkle free distress technique applied oodles of DIs to get some summery shades. Stamped TH 'Bird Branch', deliberated whether to clear emboss it or not, and chose not too - sorry now that I didn't! Added larger butterflies (a la Jools' DT project) that again I coloured with DIs using TH water pen. As before, script from Maja Design papers. Corner cog done in gold hues using same technique as in Spring.

Blended DIs to Ranger CS and when dry scrunched up the CS to get lots of creases. Then inked the creases with DIs and a touch of gilding wax. Stamped TH 'Time' stamp in Archival. Punched some leaves (sorry don't have any TH leaf or flower dies). Coloured the leaves as before. Added cog to corner that I've aged in copper shades, spinner and text as before.

Wrapped CS with TH tissue . Applied texture paste through TH 'Holiday Knit' stencil (this made me want to get out my knitting needles that have not seen the light of day for many years!!) Used 'Snow Cap' paint dabber on corner cog. Text and game spinner as before. Punched some little snow flakes and glittered. Diecut 'Angel Wings' - stamped and embossed them. Dabbed my fave Stickles 'Mercury Glass' to 'Winter' elements to represent Christmas during the bleak whiteout.

Base layer:
Maja design paper that I've stamped and embossed with repeated TH 'Time' stamp and embossed with Antiquities 'Weathered White'. Then blended over some 'Tea Dye' and 'Walnut Stain' to highlight the stamping.

Upper layers:
First up there is a chipboard cog. Next comes the diecut 'Pocket Watch' - I used acetate so that I didn't hide too much of underlying layers. Gilded rim of pocketwatch. Stencilled in (TH 'Clockwork') white texture paste and dabbed with 'Mercury Glass'. (My initial idea was to colour the texture paste, in line with the seasons. The result wasn't great however so this was binned). On top of that is another cog (coloured with 'Antique Bronze' stain and gilding wax). On top is diecut from the 'Caged Bird' die using Maja Design paper. Gave bird a few coats of UTEE and then cracked him!. Placed game spinner, wing and eye. I think he winked! Time flies in the blink of an eye...

C'est ça! Hope you like!

Very many thanks for your visit and as always, I greatly appreciate any comments you might leave.

Hope tomorrow brings a great start to your weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Time Flies
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Peach Wedding

Greetings from Dublin and thank-you for stopping by.

I've needed to make a wedding card and thanks to inspiration from both a challenge photo and some new purchases I've come up with this:

The inspiration photo is at one of my favourite challenges - It's all about the Vintage and Beauty.

My new purchases are a Sizzix Framelits Die Set - 'Enchanted' by Prima and the new Tim Holtz 'Gothic' stencil. I havn't done too much work with these as their beauty speaks for themselves.

Papers are by Pion Design and Graphic 45. Roses by Jeans. Silver embellishments by Nunn Design. Edges inked with Silver Brilliance. Pearls and trims from stash.

It's lovely to have your company today and special thanks to those who have signed up recently to follow.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
It's all about the Vintage & Beauty - Inspiration Photo
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
My Craft Spot - 3d Flowers
Natalie & Amy - Diecuts & Flowers
Craft for the Craic - A craft item not used before
We Love Vintage - Say It With Flowers
City Crafter Challenge - Roses

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sunny Birds a twitter

Hello and thank-you for visiting! I'm back from a lovely holiday and happy to be crafting again. I've gone for a buttery, yellow shade with my card depicting a family of little birdies twittering in the sunshine.

Several months back I won some beautiful Pion Design papers from their 'Flower Frames' collection. I've finally cut into these gorgeous papers for the first time. The family of birds is a Magenta stamp that I've gold embossed and then coloured in with my Tim Holtz water pen using Tea Dye DI. Diecut the top upper layer with a MFT die. I was wondering what to do for the lower layer and looking around the room my eyes happened upon the curtains - thus getting the idea to 'triple pleat' the lower yellow paper (used glue gun for rapid sticking of pleats). I inked all edges of the various paper layers with Krylon gold leafing pen. Drew some little dotty doodads with waco gold pearl pen. Rubbed gilding wax across some flowers and chipboard honeycomb. Added ribbon, tulle, muslin, and pins. Finished off with sparkling gems for the birds' eyes.

I'm so glad you stopped by - your visits are much appreciated. Hope there is sunshine in your life today (whether real or metaphorical).

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Craft for the Craic - A craft item not used before
Simon Says Stamp Monday - In the Family
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Make It Sparkle
Craft Room Challenge - A Summer Garden
The Mixed Media card challenge - Summer
Sugar Creek Hollow - Summer Sunshine
Our Creative Corner - Summertime

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Time for Angel Sparkles

Hello and a warm welcome to the lovely peeps who have signed up recently to follow.

As I am still struggling to find creative juices at the mo, I thought it easier to make yet another Christmas Tree ornament. I've left the photo dark in an attempt to show some of its sparkle but can't really capture it.

I started from scratch with a pile of fabric - some cream cotton batting, white felt and white muslin and then some cardstock. Using the TH pocketwatch die I cut one sheet of cardstock and two layers of cotton batting. Glued together a sandwich of cotton batting with CS in the centre for stiffness. Finger pasted lots of multi-matte medium to the front cotton batting and sprinkled on heaps of Distress glitter in clear rock candy. Sparkles galore! Then diecut the felt snowflake using a MFT die and rubbed on lots of Stickles 'Frosted Lace' to front of snowflake. Next, stamped the lovely Angel (by Stempleglede 'Vintage Christmas') onto Lesley Riley 'Transfer Artist Paper' using Archival Ink in 'Sepia'. Ironed the stamped image to the muslin fabric. Affixed the fabric image to snowflake and adorned with a pearl border. Then glued on 8 Swarovski crystals (for even more sparkle!). I lightly edged the outer rim with Stickles 'Mercury Glass' to maximise this glitz opportunity!. Finally attached grosgrain bow that I had stiched two little jingle bells to. Now all I need is a Christmas Tree!

Any ideas please ?: I also tried stamping onto TAP with Archival ink in shades of 'Hydrangea' and 'Red Geranium'. When I ironed the TAP to cloth alas the blue turned to a murky green shade and the red to a dark orange. If anyone has successfully used TAP and achieved true blue and red shades on fabric I would be grateful to learn how you did it?

Thank-you so much for taking the time. Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

Nicola x

I wish to enter ornament to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Dies and Distress
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Start From Scratch
Sugar Creek Hollow - It's Charming
Winter Wonderland Challenge - Three of Threes (Three fabric layers)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Let's Be Clear - See 'Clear Rock Candy' glitter

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Now some Snow in June!

Hi there and welcome to yet another Christmas production ...

The gorgeous papers are by Maja Design 'Vintage Frost Basics'. I machine stitched most straight edges and then inked with nearest shade of Distress Ink. The three 'fishtail' strips were all embossed using Tim Holtz snowflake texture fade. Got my fingers messy sprinkling on Stampendous Frantage and dabbing on lots of Snow-Tex. The garland at top is cut using Sizzix 'Beaded Garland' decorative strip. Punched lots of little snowflakes, painted with glue and then coated with Distress glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy' - love this stuff!! Finally added some pom-poms and lace bow with jingle bells attached.

As always, thank-you so much for stopping by.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Christmas in June
Simon Says Stamp Monday - I ought to use this more (embossing folders)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Anything Goes
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - Spray it! Paint it! Smear it!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Christmas in June

Hello from warm and sunny Dublin!

I seem to be going through a lost mojo phase - however I will keep searching and I will find it! To try and get it kickstarted I've made some mitten tree ornaments to match the little elf shoes in my last post. It's never too early to start making gifts for Christmas, especially with Inspiration Emporium's Christmas challenge running this month.

Again I've used cotton batting that I cut using Spellbinders mitten die. Placed a little piece of wadding in the centre before stitching two sides together. Dabbed each side liberally with multi medium glue and coated with Distress Glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy'. Used a variety of ribbons and laces to make the mittens pretty. Added lots of bling from stash and stitched on some charms that I've glittered a little with Stickles 'Mercury Glass'. Also stitched a jingle bell to each thumb for musical effects. Under artificial light the sparkle is blingalicious!

Here's a close up of one. The lace on the front was a very bright white so I've dyed it in weak coffee for vintage effect. The ice skate charms are by Tim Holtz.

Ages ago the lovely Lynne gifted me gorgeous lace that I've dyed in some weak tea. You can see lace from the rear in this snap. I've also stamped a little Christmas sentiment onto fabric and attached. Stamp is from Artistic Outpost 'Snowy Woods' set.

Thank-you to Lynn, Dawn and Nancy for their beautiful inspirational styles that I've adapted for these mittens.

I hope this week is a great one for you and as always very many thanks for stopping by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter mittens to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Christmas in June
Simon Says Stamp Monday - I ought to use this more (stamping onto fabric)
Alphabet Challenge - J for Jingle Bells
ABC Christmas Challenge - Little Gifts

Friday, 16 May 2014

Elf Shoes

Hello Again! I'm back having taken a break that went on longer than intended. Sorry to have not been visiting - I'm looking forward to catching up with you. Thank-you so much to the lovely people who popped by or even signed up to follow despite my absence.

As Christmas crafts are my favourite I'm returning with some little elf shoes. They were a cinch to make. The gorgeous pattern and instructions are available from the lovely Dawn Edmonson at her Etsy shop here. I've made mine from snuggly fleece and decorated with a selection of lace, trims and charms from my stash. Sure it's never to early to prepare for Christmas!

Very many thanks for your visit.
Nicola x

I wish to enter ornaments to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - M (for Material (fleece), Metal, Miniature and Merry)
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - Ribbon, Lace, Twine
Inspiration Journal - Celebrate (elf shoes are for a very Merry Christmas)
ABC Christmas Challenge - J for Jolly Old Elf
It's all about the Vintage & Beauty - Anything Goes

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Little Blue Egg

Hi there! It’s a record for me - three posts in three days so thank-you so much for popping by again! I certainly have been busy and it has been a great compliment to be invited to do so many Guest Design slots.

Today I’m really happy to have been selected to enjoy the guest design limelight at one of my favourite challenges - the always pretty Sugar Creek Hollow. Their current challenge theme is ‘Easter’. I was going to go with traditional yellow shades but just couldn’t put down these gorgeous lilac and blue papers so have ended up with more of a gentle lavender Easter! I think that blue egg is going to hatch any day now!

Papers: Maja Design ‘Vintage Spring’ collection

Dies: Sizzix Bigz ‘Bird Scroll’ and On-the-edge ‘Vintage Doily’

Stencilling: Crafty Individuals and Heidi Swapp stencils using Wendy Vecchi texture paste

Distress Inks: ‘Weathered Wood’, 'Dusty Concord'

Other: Frantage ‘Shabby Blue’, paper doily, cheesecloth, gems, Prima resin bird-house, flowers, punched branches and hand dyed silk ribbon

Sincere thanks to all at Sugar Creek Hollow for kindly inviting me to Guest Design. Be sure to check out their challenge for some of the very best vintage / shabby chic talents in blogland.

Thank-you so much for visiting and taking the time,
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Craft for the Craic - Easter or Spring
Crafty Individuals - Nature's Beauty
The Ribbon Girl Challenge - Spring
Simon Says Wednesday - Easter / Sweet Treats
It's All About the Vintage and Beauty - Shabby Chic
Moving Along With The Times - Easter / Spring
A Creative Romance - Eggcellent Spring
Inspiration Journal - A Few of my Favourite Things

Friday, 11 April 2014

Un Peu Français (A Little Bit French)

Hello all and thank-you so much for visiting. A warm welcome too to new followers!

Fellow admirers of vintage genre / Tim Holtz will probably be well aware of fabulous new challenge ‘A Vintage Journey’. I was over the moon happy to have won their inaugural challenge for my ‘vintage suitcases’ project. I’m thus thrilled to be Guest Designing at their blog today for their current challenge with theme ‘A Little Bit French’.

As my 'suitcases' project involved the more traditional shabby aging techniques (with lots of shades of battered brown) I challenged myself to make something without any brown ink. Pairing this with the theme of ‘A Little Bit French’ I found myself reminiscing about my four Parisian visits, one of which included a day tour to nearby Palace of Versailles. The main colour that came to mind was GOLD! Lots of it! So I teamed gold with the traditional French red, white and blue and came up with a ornate gilded scene of how the sights of Paris might have looked centuries ago (excuse any time anomalies!)

I’ve altered a Prima ornate metal frame. It came in a shade of blue which I lathered with gesso and coats of white paint. The back of the frame is detachable so that one can decorate its two sides and better place embellishments inside.

Here you can see the background more closely:

Background: Coat of Paper Artsy 'Old Gold', followed by layer of crackle, then painted with coat of 'Snowflake' - this gave lots of lovely golden crackles. Next, stamped an ornate gold chandelier and randomly stamped lots of French text and doo dads in red and blue ink (Archival 'Hydrangea' and 'Red Geranium'). To tone that down then applied Distress Stain 'Picket Fence' and Paper Artsy metallic glaze. Then stencilled lots of lavish flourishes with a Crafters Workshop stencil and texture paste. Next, painted the top of all the stencilled work with Krylon gold leafing pen in two shades.

The Mona Lisa: Stamped Tim Holtz 'Paris Collage' onto cream muslin and embossed with black ep. Then coloured with DIs (Tea Dye, Weathered Wood and Bundled Sage). Heat dried inks. Affixed image into a Melissa Frances resin frame that I've been hoarding for ages. Painted the raised parts and sides of frame with Krylon gold leafing pens and covered Mona with lots of glossy accents to dry overnight. (Actually did this twice - the first attempt was with crackle accents but didn't like the result so re-tried with glossy accents and happy with outcome).

Other Paris landmarks: La Tour Eiffel and L'Arc de Triomphe are stamped on acetate using an Artemio set and embossed with copper ep. I would have loved to have Tim's stamp of the Moulin Rouge but couldn't locate one in time so cheated and printed stamp out on gold card instead. Affixed a gilded cog and metal bit to it also.

Carriage: The gorgeous chipboard carriage came in a giveaway. I coloured the wheels with gold leaf pen and attached 2 of Tim's hitch fasteners and a gilded game spinner. Then inked the top with red distress marker followed by several coats of UTEE to give it a nice gloss. Added some gilded metal bead string for 'reins'.

Other decoration to front: Diecut the pennants from faux leather papers. Stamped / embossed some black text on acetate and affixed around project. I'm dating the scene to the month of April so have gilded some chipboard blossoms and dotted same with white snow pen. Added too a dictionary definition for 'amour' and little golden butterflies.

Inner and outer frame sides.

I took 2 sheets of Neenah cardstock and splattered with lots of gold and copper paints using Liquitex splatter brush. Heat dried. Then embossed sheets with Tim's Eiffel Tower / French Script texture fades.

Applied variously blue and red archival inks to brayer and rolled it over the embossed edges. Heat dried as I went with each colour. Cut into long strips and painted with a pearlescent paint. Once dry, sprayed each strip with water so that it would be roll nicely into place around inner and outer sides.

Finally, a view of the back.

As outlined above achieved gold crackle lines with Paper Artsy paints. Printed out a music sheet of song 'April in Paris'. Also 'cheat' printed one of Tim's letter stamps on gold card. Stamped the Bird Branch once onto tissue and again as if positioned across the music sheet. Pasted the stamped tissue with multi-medium matte glue so that it 'melted' in. Using Tim's new butterflies decorative strip diecut little faux leather butterflies and arranged around bird, together with some flowers. Rubbed gilding wax on metal charms and affixed.

Et, c'est ça!! Thanks again to all at A Vintage Journey - it's been a pleasure to make this little french scene and feature today at your blog.

Thanks to all for visiting - it's been lovely having you drop by.

Have a super weekend,
Nicola x

I wish to enter altered frame to the following challenges:
Simon Says Monday Challenge - Journey
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - Pick a Stamp / Any stamp
Inspiration Journal - A few of my favourite things
Eileen Hull - Art With Heart challenge - April Showers
Vintage Stamping Challenges - Anything Goes
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Altered Art
The Artistic Stamper - Embossing & Texture
The Kraft Journal - Paris or France