Monday 23 December 2013

Merry Tweetings To You

Hi there and welcome. I hope that everyone is all set for Christmas and able to wind down now and enjoy the festivities.

I was both surprised and thrilled when the Crafts-Too Challenge You team selected my card amongst their Top 3 again in November (having already been included in October - see my previous spotlight piece here). This time I've made some Christmas ornaments for my spotlight - I can't decide which pair of birdies I prefer!

My project was to meet the Challenge Theme of 'The Natural World ' with a twist of 'any winged creature'.

I've used the Sizzix Bigz 'Bird Scroll' die by Brenda Walton for the ornaments. The papers used are Velvet paper by SEI in 'Blaze' and 'Tomato' plus 'Ferro Gold' foil paper. (Each bird and scroll has a matching back and front - I glued the paper sheets to both sides of a sheet of grunge paper and then diecut). Also ran the Birds through embossing folders once they were diecut (Sizzix 'Holly Swirls' and 'Sheet Music'). For further nature related elements I addded sparkled snowflakes, Snow-Tex, branches and jingle bells to emulate the sound of birdsong!

Very many thanks to all at Crafts-Too Challenge You for featuring me in their spotlight today!

This is my last post prior to Christmas so I'd like to thank everyone for all your visits and wonderful compliments through the year. I wish you a joyous and peaceful Christmas and every happiness in 2014.

Nicola x

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Snowy cabin

Greetings dear readers - welcome to yet another Christmas card post!

I was delighted recently to have won at The Artistic Outpost referral programme, and even happier still to select my choice of their gorgeous stamp sets as prize (not easy to choose from fab array!). After lots of deliberation I went for the 'Midwinter' set and now love it. I bet the occupants of this cabin are blissfully content in their isolation.

The top circle is Stardream card cut with a Cheery Lynn die. I stamped the cabin image and embossed with Stampendous 'Twilight' EP. Did lots of frantage for the snow 'blizzard'. Painted gesso for the snowy foreground and coated it whilst wet with Distress glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy'. Also glittered the roof, windows and tree branches. Next inked the circle edges with Versamark and embossed with Judikins 'Silver Twinkle' EP. The two sentiments are from the AO sets 'Midwinter' and 'Snowy Woods' and are embossed as per cabin, silver ringed again and dotted with sparkly gesso. Sentiments also have faint shadow inked snowflakes.

The lower circle is cut using a Noor die. Again I've embossed the edge with 'Silver Twinkle' EP and glittered it too with more 'Clear Rock Candy'. The two circle layers are each propped on cardboard circles and foam tape to heighten dimension.

For the blue 'galaxy' layer I inked white CS with a combination of Distress Inks 'Chipped Sapphire' and 'Stormy Sky', Perfect Pearls mist 'Perfect Pearl' and Distress Stain 'Picket Fence'. I then gave it 3 coats of UTEE for a good thick glaze. Whilst the UTEE was hot I sprinked on silver glass glitter and little stars. Then edged it with Idea-ology silver tinsel.

Added metal key and little star brads from stash as finishing touches.

Thanks so much for visiting - I genuinely appreciate all the lovely comments you leave me.

Have a Happy Day!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Artistic Outpost December Referral - Anything Goes using AO
Vintage Stamping Challenges - Cold and Frosty Colours
Stamping Sensations - Free and Easy
Country View Challenges - Bah, Humbug!
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Anything Goes
C.R.A.F.T. - Use Metal / Add a charm
Kaboodle Doodles - Start of Winter
QKR Stampede - Starting to Look a lot like Christmas
Everybody-Art-Challenge - Winter
Live & Love Crafts - Stardust

Friday 29 November 2013

All Wrapped Up

Hi there and many thanks for visiting. A very warm welcome too to new followers and a belated 'Happy Thanksgiving' to everyone who celebrates same.

A while ago the lovely Lynne kindly gifted me some canvas printer paper that I had admired on her blog. I held off using it until I saw just the 'right' image. Then a couple of weeks ago I saw a beautiful picture at Nancy's blog here that I felt would be perfect - thank-you Nancy for finding this beauty.

Papers: Bazzill, Papermania, SEI Velvet, Doily and Lynne's canvas paper

Dies: Cheery Lynn Reflections 'Pearl French Flair' and 'Horizon Coved Rectangle'. Simon Says Stamp 'Faceted Snowflake'. Memory Box 'Berry Sprig'. Sizzix Bigz 'Mini Styled Labels'

Sparkle: It is not showing in photo but oodles of Distress Dry Glitter 'Clear Rock Candy' has been added around rim of each layer and main image. Ditto on snowflake, berry sprigs and around sentiment. Edges of cream layer are also versamark inked and then embossed with Sparkle and Sprinkle EP 'Gilded Ivory'. I've frantaged the focal image using Stampendous 'Shabby White' aged embossing enamel

Dry Embossing: The cream velvet paper has been embossed through a Sizzix 'Holly Swirls' folder

Stamping: The stamped sentiment is by 'Cats Life Press'. It's been inked using versamark and then embossed with Ranger 'Queen's Gold' EP

I then tied silk bow using 'Boweasy' and wrapped the gorgeous girl up in luxurious lace, cosy feathers (despite my being allergic!) and other trims from stash. The metal snowflakes are by Nunn Design.

Isn't she lovely?

Wishing all a very happy weekend. Your visits and comments are truly appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Cheery Lynn Designs - Non-traditional Christmas Colours
Craft Room Challenge - Vintage Christmas
Rhedd and Rosie - Christmas is Coming
Simon Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Ribbons - Anything Goes With Ribbon
Crafts and Me - Christmas Vintage
Songbird Challenge - Die Another Day
Moving Along With The Times - Girly but NO Pink
A Creative Romance - Vintage Style

Monday 25 November 2013

Let The Bells Ring - Spotlight at 'Crafts-Too Challenge You'

Hello and Welcome!

Recently I was thrilled to be selected in the Top 3 over at 'Crafts-Too Challenge You' blog and am delighted to accept their kind invitation to feature today in their Spotlight post.

Their challenge theme this month is 'Vintage Christmas' with the current twist being 'polychromatic' - meaning multi-coloured. I've adapted a Melissa Frances chipboard 'large church/house' for my spotlight piece. Here it is:

My three main colours are gold, blue and red. I've used all Scandinavian papers (By Inkido, Pion Design and Maja Design) as they have the perfect vintage look. The lacy roof is made using a Cheery Lynn die and the roof papers are sprayed with a Perfect Pearls mist for a frosty look. The little windows are painted with PaperArtsy 'Nougat'. The whole project has been liberally treated with Melissa Frances crushed glass glitter, Snow-tex and Mica Flakes. The eaves are painted with PaperArtsy 'Old Gold' before being wrapped in paper and speckled with glitter.

The surrounding fence has also being painted and then stenciled using Crafty Individuals mask and Dreamweaver paste. When dry I coated the fence with multi-matte medium, somehow the chemical interactions have produced a greenish tinge in parts - but doesn't that all add to the vintage feel! All the church/house edges were inked with Versamark and then embossed using my favourite Ranger's 'Queen's Gold' EP. I've hung some bells in the belfry so that they can ring out on Christmas morning! The spire was stencilled using a Crafter's Workshop 'damask' stencil, painted and then gold embossed. The same stencil was used on the doors - can you see Santa peeking out from one door? Idea-ology ring fasteners make really cute door knockers too.

I gilded a cocktail stick and attached a Moon diecut (Sizzix / Tim Holtz) and stamped/embossed sentiment (Artistic Outpost). There's also a lot of script type stamping on the 'ground' area but as usual I've gone and covered most of it up! I also ran a ribbon trim around the 'ground' edge. The little Christmas Tree has been gilded and frantaged (thank-heavens I noticed the smoke before it turned to flame!) and dotted with pearls.

It took a lot of careful training to coax those dashing reindeer to slow-down and stand 'unaided'! Added a selection of embellishments, tossed on even more glitter and stickles for good measure and afixed to the Idea-ology box feet that I had rubbed with some Treasure Gold to warm up. The whole piece sparkles fabulously in artificial light so I'm looking forward to seeing it on display at Christmas!

Very many thanks to 'Crafts-Too Challenge You' for generously allowing me feature - why don't you pop over and join in with their fantastic challenge blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by,
Have a lovely week,
Nicola x

Thank-you to the hosts, sponsors and design teams at the following challenges that I wish to enter:
Frilly and Funkie - Christmas Preparations
Vintage Udfordring - Christmas
Fashionable Stamping Challenges - Shabby Chic Christmas
Rhedd and Rosie Challenge - Christmas Is Coming (with key items)
Stamping Sensations - Christmas
A Creative Romance - Vintage Style
Allsorts Challenge - Bring On The Bling
Crafty Hands Challenge Blog - Sparkle and Bling
Vintage Stamping Challenges - Traditional Christmas
Bunny Zoe's Crafts Challenge - Shabby Chic / Vintage

Monday 11 November 2013

'Tis The Season

Welcome to yet another Christmas card post. Thank-you for visiting and a warm hello to new followers.

Stamps: Graphic 45 'Christmas Emporium', Kaisercraft 'Twig & Berry Postmarks' and Artistic Outpost (using snowflakes from 'Snowy Woods' set)

Card / Papers: Bazzill, Neenah, Inkssentials 'Manila' CS, SEI Velvet 'Tomato'

Dies: Spellbinders 'Floral Ovals' and 'Decorative Labels 27', Joy Crafts 'Vintage Flourishes Corner'

Inking: Archival Ink 'Crimson', Sparkle & Sprinkle EP 'Japanese Lacquer' and 'Gilded Ivory', Versamark, Delicata Golden Glitz, Ranger 'Queen's Gold' EP, Embossing Antiquities 'Weathered White', Stickles, Frantage 'Shabby White'

Ribbons: May Arts (tied with Boweasy) and velvet from stash

Embellishments from stash and completed by adding Distress Glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy' to parts of little girls' outfits and Santa's beard (not showing up very well in photo).

Thank-you for spending time at my blog - I'll be catching up with blog visits later today.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Vintage Stamping Challenges - Traditional Christmas Time
Vintage Udfordring - Vintage Jul
Crafty Hands Challenge - Vintage
Simon Says Monday Challenge - Got Ink?
Sugar Creek Hollow - Anything Vintage Goes
Crafty Little Fairies - Christmas in November
Stamping Sensations - Christmas
Deep Ocean Challenge - Winter

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Joyeux Noël

Hello and welcome! I'm well and truly into Christmas production mode now - they certainly are my favourites to do.

Stamps: Artistic Outpost 'Snowy Woods' set

Papers: Maja Design, Pion Design and French book text

Dies: Mini trees and deer by Tim Holtz / Sizzix. Postage Stamp by MFT Dienamics. (The stamp 'frame' is triple layered for dimension).

Inking: Distress Inks ('Vintage Photo', 'Tea Dye', 'Walnut Stain', 'Brushed Corduroy'). Prima chalk edger 'Branch Bark'. Ranger Archival Ink 'Coffee' and 'Red Geranium'. Versamark. Stuart Gill Clear EP. Embossing Antiquities 'Weathered White' EP. Frantage 'Aged Ivory' embossing enamel. Glossy Accents. Crackle Accents. Gesso. Snow-Tex. Inkssentials white pen.

Punch: Woodware

Embellishments: from stash

I hope this post finds you all well and warm. I'm sending a special Get Well wish to dear Anne. May my pals in UK not have suffered too many ill effects of storm.

Thank-you so much for your visit - it's a pleasure to have you stop by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:

Artistic Outpost - October Referral Programme
Simon Says Monday Challenge - Anything Goes
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Christmas Card Challenges - Bows
Christmas at Sweet Stamping Challenge - Cards for Men
It's All About The Vintage - Use at least 3 stamps
Flourishes Tuesday - Plaid/Houndstooth (on one of trees)
ABC Christmas Challenge - V for Vixen (Reindeer)
Rhedd and Rosie Challenge - Anything Goes

Saturday 26 October 2013

Cosy Christmas Cottage

Hello All. I'm sorry to have been absent from visits and comments recently but 'real life' has been occupying all my time. Thank-you so much for your continued visits and I hope 'normal' patterns resume soon.

I wanted to enter the challenge at Inkido this month which is 'Scraplift our Design Team'. When I looked back through the gorgeous Inkido blog creations I came across a beautiful little altered house and decided to alter a a chipboard ornament house with Inkido papers. Here it is ...

Look at those happy children playing with their beautiful new toys. I bet those munchkins were good as gold all year long for Santa to have delivered so well!

Here is the wonderful little house by Mette that I used as inspiration:

Chipboard Farmhouse by Melissa Frances (Measures 3.25" x 2.75")
Papers by Inkido ('Coming Home for Christmas' and 'Forever Santa' collections)
Decorated with lots of distress dry glitter and embellishments from stash

A look at the left side

And a twirl to the right

I wish to enter cottage to:
Inkido - October Scraplift our Design Team
A Gem of a Challenge - More than one fold
Paper Crafting Journey - Anything Goes
Aud Sentiments Challenge - Christmas Sentiments (on sides of cottage)
Moving Along With The Times - Shape Up
Southern Girls - Shine On
Totally Papercrafts - No Squares Allowed
Rhedd and Rosie Challenge - Anything Goes

Thank-you so much for visiting,
Have a lovely weekend,
Nicola x

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Angel Rays

Hi there! Thank-you for stopping by and a warm welcome to new followers. Well I just can't put away all the Christmassy sparkle and glitter...

Stamps: Tim Holtz 'Joyful Song', Various script, music and map stamps for background paper. Sentiment by Crafty Individuals.
Stenciling: Tim Holtz 'Rays'. Wendy Vecchi Metallic Gold embossing paste. Stampendous Gold crushed glass glitter.
Inky stuff: Gloss paper inked with a mix of DIs 'Weathered Wood', Broken China' and 'Tumbled Glass'. Stampendous Frantage in 'Shabby Blue'. Delicata 'Golden Glitz'.
Embossing folder: Tim Holtz 'Snow Flurries' texture fade. Embossed areas inked with Versamark using brayer and then heat embossed randomly with embossing powders (Ranger 'Queen's Gold' and WOW 'Opaque Bright White').
Embellishments: Metal snowflake by Nunn Design, Silk ribbon by May Arts tied with 'BowEasy' and little stars from stash.

Today's post has to be short and sweet!

Many thanks again for your visit - I appreciate each and every one!
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Fashionable Stamping Challenges - Use a mask or stencil
The Cheerful Stamp Pad - Let's Stencil
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Use a stamp
Bunny Zoe's October Challenge - Ribbon

Friday 11 October 2013

Miles to go ...

Hello All and thank-you for your visit.

I'm really on a Christmas card roll as here's another:

Stamps: Artistic Outpost (Snowy Woods), Crafty Individuals (Clock and numerals CI-354)
Papers: Pion Design 'Wintertime in Swedish Lapland' and cotton fabric for top edge
Dies: Memory Box 'Lantern', Memory Box 'Branch' and Bigz Snowflake On The Edge
Inks: Gesso, Distress glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy' (lots!) and 'Old Paper', UTEE, Adirondack Alcohol ink 'Rust', Brilliance 'Pearlescent Rust' and 'Pearlescent Chocolate', DI 'Tea Dye' and 'Vintage Photo', Prima Chalk 'Rust', Distress Stain 'Antique Bronze', Archival 'Coffee', Copper EP, 'Vintage Photo' EP, Frantage in 'Shabby White', Stickles 'Mercury Glass', 'White Fire' gilding wax, Glossy Accents, Dreamweaver paste. Paper Artsy Fresco paint 'Snowflake'
Stencil: Crafter's Workshop 'Art Is'
Punch: Woodware
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Ice Skates, bark heart, twine, pearls and clock charm from stash

Little details:

The adorable ideaology Ice Skates are 'aged' using the brilliant Tammy Tutterow's technique 'Distress stain on metal'. For the skates I used lots of rusty inks and metallic distress stain in 'antique bronze'. I opted to coat with UTEE instead of clear EP. Gesso is also on the blades.

The lantern has been aged to be 'Faux Rusted Copper' by adapting the always awesome Shelly Hickox technique for 'Faux Tarnished Silver' but instead using copper EP before the UTEE heat blast.

Before stamping the main image I painted the paper with Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paint in 'Snowflake' to have a matt 'snowy' base to stamp on once dry. The raised snow on the main image is done by sprinkling frantage onto wet gesso and drying with heat gun to puff nicely. All the 'snowy' edges are done with gesso and distress glitter.

To cut the cotton for the top edge I first needed to stiffen it ... so painted fabric with a coat of gesso and heat dried and then randomly dabbed chocolate ink. Once dry and stiff it was cut with the on the edge die.

I'm sorry I've not been blog visiting but I'm not too well this week. I hope to be properly back in action in a few days time.

Wishing everyone a warm and happy weekend,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Inspired by Tammy Tutterow
Crafts Too Challenge You - Christmas Festivities 'Scene'
Vintage Udfordring - Vintage card for a male with charm and twine
Vintage Card Cafe - Brown/Beige Colour Marathon
Artistic Outpost - October Referral Programme - Anything Goes
Fashionable Stamping Challenge - Use a mask or stencil
Deep Ocean Challenge - Christmas is round the corner
Try It On Tuesdays - Texture
Christmas at Sweet Stampin - Cards for Men
Simon Says Stamp - Use a rubber or clear stamp
Crafty Individuals - October - getting ready for Christmas

Tuesday 1 October 2013

***Candy Winner***


Huge thanks to all who participated in my 1st Blogaversary Candy draw! A very warm welcome to new followers who have hopped on board and particular thanks to the lovely people I've 'met' in blogland over the last year who've been most generous to me with kind comments, encouragement and masses of inspiration.

The total number of valid comments is 110 (as there were a couple of doublings up / deletions).

I'm delighted to reveal that the winner made comment 59.....
YooHoo!!...That's you May!!!

Please email me your address details May so that I can add a parcel to the postal system!

Have a great day!
Nicola x

Saturday 28 September 2013

Swedish Christmas

Hello and thank-you for visiting! A warm welcome to those who are newly following.

You all know how much I love paper! I recently bought some 'Inkido' papers (a Swedish brand) and am really smitten by their gorgeousness - here's their first outing ...

It's a speedy post today.

Papers: Inkido ('Coming Home for Christmas' and 'Forever Santa' collections), Bazzill CS and paper doily

Border and Regular Punches: Martha Stewart

Dies: Simon Says Stamp 'Faceted Snowflake', Magnolia 'Swedish Lace', MFT 'Postage Stax' and Snowflake Doily

Embellishments: Prima, lace from the lovely Lynne. String, pearls, berries and 'foliage' from stash. Lots of dabbed Snow-Tex.

My 1st Blogaversary Candy draw closes at midnight on monday - last chance to enter is here.

Many thanks for stopping by! Wishing you all a warm and happy weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:

Inkido - Layers and Border Punch
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Use a SSS exclusive product
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten Things (I used a border punch to meet Inkido challenge and realised that since my Big Shot arrived from Santa last Christmas I've been using dies and completely forgot my collection of border punches (Shame on me! lol)

Monday 23 September 2013

Tea for Two

Hello and welcome! Thanks so much to all the lovely ladies who have signed up recently to follow.

Papers: Maja Design 'Vintage Summer Basics'.
Stamps: Hero Arts and Wendy Cotterill.
Inks and Powders: Ranger Archival (by Wendy Vecchi) 'Cornflower Blue', Archival 'Rose Madder', Versamark and Stampendous Clear EP. UTEE on the tea china. Ingvild Bolme Chalk Edger 'White'. Stampendous Frantage in 'Shabby white, pink and blue'. Roses dabbed with 'Snow-tex'.
Embellishments: Doily available here. Spoon charm available here. Flowers and lace from stash.
Dies: Cheery Lynn 'Mini Pearl French Flair' and 'Horizon Coved Rectangle'. Spellbinders 'Romantic Rectangles'.
Vintage Image: Many thanks to 'History in Photos' Blog.
Template for side step card: Many thanks to 'Bubbly Funk'.

The little details:

This card took quite a while to get together! It is my first attempt at a side step card so it took a little practice. Also, distressed inked edges and 'aging effects' were abandoned in favour of clean lines with slightly chalked white rims. The papers and photos were frantaged.

The china tea cups took a few tries because I didn't have all of the necessary ingredients ... I followed the wonderful Sherry Hickox's tutorial for 'Faux Crazed Porcelain'. I tred to subsitute with products I had but couldn't achieve clean stamped images. In the end I skipped the element of crackle paint on board and instead stamped onto white specialty paper, coloured in the flower petals using watering pen, heat dried and fussy cut out. Then gave them two coats of UTEE treatment. I adapted the 'faux' technique by popping the UTEE'd china into the freezer for 5 minutes. I then snapped each so that they have 'faux' cracks.

It's a beautiful sunny and mild day here in Dublin. I hope the sky shines on you wherever you are.

Finally, don't foget about your chance to win my 1st Blogaversary Candy - please click here.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Frilly and Funkie - Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Inspiration Journal - Falling for Faux
Vintage Udfordring - Folding Techniques
Live & Love Crafts - Inspiration Collage (using pink roses)
Crafting Musketeers - Vintage
Crafts 4 Eternity - Cute Kids
SSS Wednesday - Use a product from SSS - UTEE
Cherish This - Memories for Life - Åpen utfordring

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Santa O'Clock

Hi there and special greetings to my new followers! In case you missed my recent post about my 1st Blogaversary Candy, please click here. Remember, if you're not in, you can't win!

Apologies for the dark shadows in this photo but you see it was taken at night whilst Santa and Co. were doing a test run for imminent globetrotting!

A brief post today...

Papers: Melissa Frances 'Countdown to Christmas' and Clear acetate for the clock (the latter had been forgotten but found when I was searching for something other than plain paper to stamp on!)

Dies: Sizzix Bigz - 'Stars' and 'Mini Reindeer & 25', Spellbinders 'Circles' and 'Eyelet Circles', Joy Crafts 'Round No 3', MFT 'Postage Stamp Stax'

Stamps: Crafty Individuals Clock Face 'CI-354', Inkadinkado 'A Visit From Santa' and Unity Itty Bitty 'Ticket to Christmas'

Little details: All the stars and the 25 are cardboard backed and coated with Distress Glitter 'Clear Rock Candy'. The clock (on clear acetate) is embossed using Stampendous EP 'Winter Wonderland'. The clock hands 'Prima Junkyard Findings' are also coated with Distress Glitter. Santa is embossed using 'Red Tinsel' EP on patterned paper. Padded reindeer are coated with Stampendous Silver Crushed Glass Glitter. Ticket is embossed on acetate with Judikins EP 'Silver Twinkle'. Little tree on the postage stamp image is decorated with Stickles. Most edges are inked with DIs for definition 'Salty Ocean', 'Festive Berries' and 'Bundled Sage'. Gems and twine from stash. Top Banner by Melissa Frances.

I'm so glad you took the time to visit! Enjoy the rest of your day.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Stamp on anything other than paper
SSS Wednesday - Product from SSSS - Melissa Frances Papers
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten Things
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Cut It Out
Creative Card Crew - Christmas
Cherish This - Memories for Life - Åpen utfordring
Crafts Too Challenge You - Texture with a twist - style Shabby Chic

Friday 13 September 2013

Snow Baby

Hello! Thank-you for stopping by and a warm welcome to new followers. In case you missed my last post for my 1st BLOGAVERSARY CANDY then please click here.

Well I've finally made a start on Christmas cards. Isn't she sweet? I know she looks cold but she has her teddy for cuddles!

I've used a pink Bazzill CS for base and cut a Sizzix on the edge die snowflake border. I glittered those snowflakes with Distress glitter and daubed with Snow-tex. Discovered that by layering vellum over vellum it achieved a good ice slab appearance so the background is two layers of vellum with the upper one embossed with Sizzix snow flurries texture fade and liberally covered with Snow-Tex. I then cut two more layers using Spellbinders Fleur de lis squares. The lower layer is white CS and upper layer is vellum again embossed with snow flurries folder.

Next stamped the gorgeous munchkin - stamp by Crafty Individuals (CI-240) with a pink Brilliance ink and embossed with Adirondack EP (Wild Plum). The little ticket at the top left (Unity Itty Bitty stamps) and the Jingle Bells text (freebie from Crafty Individuals) were also done the same way.

I thought I had some silver stickles as I wanted to coat edges in silver for definition - unfortunately there was none in my stash. So all the sparkly silver edges that you see were done by heat embossing. (Ran Brilliance silver ink around the edge and then coated withg Judikins EP (Silver Twinkle) before blasting with my heat gun. Any edge that wasn't silvered was instead coated with Snow-Tex.

Added some bobble ribbon along the base of the Snow Baby to resemble snow. I really wanted to make the card sparkle (though that isn't captured too well by photo) so I was delighted when I went thru my stash to find some Idea-ology tinsel that I had bought when reduced last January and had long forgotten about - ran that along left edge. Diecut some Memory Box 'Precious Stars' and again inked and sprinkled with Judikins EP to get some silver blingy stars. Also diecut some Winterberry sprigs (Memory Box) from white SEI Velvet paper so that there are lots and lots of textures going on.

Punched several size snowflakes from CS, vellum, and silver paper (that I ran thru a flourish texture fade so that it wasnt just flat paper) and affixed all to the card. Gave the snowflakes little gem centres too. Also included some Magnolia silvery berries. Finally attached the metal bells and little teddy to complete.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing all a lovely weekend!
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten Things
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Embossed
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Emboss It
Crafts Too Challenge You - Texture with a twist style (Vintage)
Country View Crafts - Layers
Creative Creations Challenges - Early Christmas Makes
Flourishes - Make A Good Impression
Sparkles Christmas Challenge - Non Traditional Colours
Christmas Stampin All Year Long - Cute and Cuddly Christmas
Inspiration Emporium - Falling for Faux (Faux snow and ice)

Tuesday 10 September 2013

My 1st Blogaversary!

Candy now closed.

A warm and special WELCOME as TODAY (Sept 10th) is my 1st Blogaversary!

A heartfelt THANK-YOU goes to all those who have left lovely compliments and followed loyally over the past year. Your presence is the reason for my continued blogging and has made whole heaps of a difference to the enjoyment crafting brings me.

To celebrate in blogging tradition, I am sharing some 'stash'. To have a chance to win the candy all you need do is:
a) Comment at the end of this post and
b) Place a picure of my candy on your blog sidebar with a link back to my blog
c) To win, you don't have to be a follower but IF you like my work and would like to sign up to follow then that would be terrific.

'The Candy'

I am happy to ship worldwide. 'Candy-only blog' comments will be deleted. Draw will stay open until midnight September 30th. The winner will be drawn at random thereafter.

Good Luck everyone and thank-you again for making my experience in 'blogland' such a very happy one.

Nicola x

Wednesday 21 August 2013

For The Newlyweds!

Greetings from Dublin! Firstly, thank-you all so much for your very kind welcome back and good wishes to my last post. Secondly, a warm welcome to the lovely ladies who have signed up recently to follow. Finally, I have yet another wedding card to share! It's going to a couple very dear to me who are getting married this Friday.

There are a few challenges at the moment with themes of 'words' or 'sayings'. In making this card, those challenges made me ponder weddings and come to realise that a vital element to every wedding (after the Bride and Groom of course) is the exchange of vows i.e. words are key. So I typed some vows, stamped and embossed script and used some paper with text thereon.

The paper at the top third is by Maja Design - I've stamped it with a La Blanche script stamp (1174) using 'Tea Dye' DI.

The paper on the lower two thirds is from Prima 'Fairy Rhymes' collection. I first embossed it with Cheery Lynn 'Petite Hearts' embossing plate and then edged it with a Cheery Lynn border 'City Girl Edger'.

The 'central' die cuts are done with Sizzix 'Majestic Labels' dies. One is cut from handmade paper and the second is cut from 7 Gypsies 'Trousseau' collection. I embossed both using Cuttlebug 'Script' embossing folder and did my very best to line up the script on both! Edges are tipped with 'Tea Dye' DI.

Printed out in a sepia shade vows and names on the Prima paper. Distressed edges etc with 'Tea Dye'. Then positioned the Melissa Frances floral resin frame having first applied some 'Tea Dye' ink and Treasure Gold to the frame to warm it up a little.

Put it all together and added some ruched ribbon peeking out at the base, and frilled ribbon at the top (that i had carefully sized my typed vows to). Layered it all up too with lots of lace and pearls. Die cut two Magnolia 'Heart Swirls' from the 7 Gypsies paper for even more subtle detailing. Finished with some pearl embellishments and a bow of pearl string.

Thanks so much for visiting. See you all again in the middle of next week when 'normal' blogging services should resume. I'm heading tomorrow to the West of Ireland for a break and to celebrate a wedding!

Nicola x

Thank-you to the hosts and DTs at the following challenges that I wish to enter:
Our Creative Corner - Words, Words, Words
Country View Crafts - Quotations and Sayings
It's All about the Vintage and Beauty - Summer Flowers
Paper Crafting Journey - Distressed/Vintage
My Time To Craft - Aperture
Papertake Weekly - Flower Power
'ABC' Challenges - Lots of Layers
TokBobok - Vintage
Aud Sentiments Challenge - Anything But a Birthday Card
Kort o Mania - Flowers

Friday 16 August 2013

I only have eyes for you!

Hello all and thank-you for stopping by.

I'm sorry I've been absent from blogland for some time but there was a bit of a crisis that meant I was away from my crafting goodies. I'm hoping to catch up with all your blogs later today. In the meantime here's a wedding card that I've made for a special couple.

The highlight pieces are of course the gorgeous owl charm (that I gave eyes of pearls) and their backing wooden house. The owl charm was a freebie with an order from Live & Love Crafts (thank-you Sandy) and the wooden birdcage is compliments of the lovely Alison as part of her fab candy haul that I luckily won.

Base: Bazzill CS covered with a layer of crepe paper (to give a rustling forest sound!)
Die Cuts: Corners (Memory Box 'Madera Corner'), Branches (Memory Box 'Woodland Branch'), Backing Oval (Spellbinders 'Floral Ovals'), Foliage cut from SEI Velvet paper (Spellbinders 'Foliage' and Memory Box 'Royal Leaves')
Decoration on Oval: I've stamped and clear embossed several wild flowers using Crafty Individuals CI-226 set and then sprinkled on shabby white frantage for more texture
Words: The white metal accents are by Making Memories. I first painted them in a cream with brown cracks finish but this didn't look right so stripped all the paint off and repainted it with Paper Artsy 'Snowflake'. Then dabbed the raised parts with gilding wax for highlights. The brass 'Mr & Mrs' has also been dabbed with gilding wax.
I adorned further with pearls, Snow-Tex dabbed roses, punched branches and lace.
To complete I wrapped card in a wide band of tulle (dabbed with Snow-Tex) and May Arts Silk ribbon tied with my Boweasy.

Thank-you for visiting - it's always so lovely to have you view my crafting.

Happy Weekend!
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Our Creative Corner - Words, Words, Words
Live & Love Crafts - Warm or Cool Colours
Craft Room Challenge - It's Bingo Time (Lace, Brown, Pearls)
Inky Chicks - Lovely Lace
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Make The Cut
Crafty Boots - Die Cuts
Fussy and Fancy Friday - Bingo Board (Pearls, Free, Lace)
Card and Scrap - Alt er lov (Anything Goes)
My Craft Creations - Ribbons and Bows

Friday 28 June 2013

Pearl Drops

Welcome to another wedding card! Thanks so much for stopping by.

A quick post so will just list the ingredients;

Dies: Sizzix Bigz 'Primitive Hearts', Spellbinders 'Fancy Lattice', Cheery Lynn 'City Girl Edger'
Embossing Folder: Sizzix 'Sheet Music'
Cardstock: Bazzill and hand-made rose imprinted paper
Bling: Music Notes done with Magnolia Knick Knackerys. Lattice intersections decorated with Viva Decor pearl pen 'Ice White'. Metal Hearts - thank-you Alison. Pearl trims, venise lace, backing tulle and silver string from stash.

If you missed my last post about votes for my butterfly box then please see end of post here. Many thanks.

Wishing all a very happy weekend with abundant doses of sunshine!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Stripes (in the sheet music and lattice!)
Vintage Udfordring - Pearls and Lace
Divas by Design - Pretty Pearls
Crafting with Dragonflies - Vintage with pearls and lace
Crafty Ribbons - Anything goes with ribbon
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Creative Belli - Wedding
Everbody-Art-Challenge - Wedding
TotallyPaperCrafts - June Bride (and Groom of course)

Wednesday 26 June 2013

June Wedding and a vote pretty please?

Hello all you lovely readers. Welcome all - especially recent new followers.

Since my last post I was thrilled to be the lucky winner of Butterfly's 1st Blogaversary Candy over at 'Words and Pictures'. Well the treasure trove of a parcel arrived in record time from the lovely Alison in UK. I'm absolutely delighted to have received such a generous and fantabulous stash all so perfectly wrapped. If you have never checked out Alison's blog - what you havn't??? - then you really should!! Thank-you again Alison!

Well you know it's summer when wedding cards are in high demand!

The base white cardstock has been covered with a veil of white tulle (you can't see it very well unless you expand photo). The next layer up is blue cardstock diecut with Cheery Lynn Reflection Die 'Mini Pearl French Flair'. I then dry embossed the card with Cheery Lynn 'Petite Hearts' embossing plate. Diecut some silver Stardream cardstock with the Cheery Lynn 'Sophia's Heart' die. Then layered up two more levels using Cheery Lynn 'French Flair' die again. I interwove some rose venise lace and adhered the various layers with foam tape for dimension. Added roses from Prima, Jeans and Kort & Godt with some silvery berries by Magnolia. Included some diecuts made with Cheery Lynn 'Mini Fanciful Flourish' die. Added snowtex to the flowers and liked it so much I also dabbed to the embossed blue layer of cardstock for more texture. Using Boweasy tied a bow with some May Arts silk ribbon and draped it around card. I used some of the heart punchouts from the 'Sophia's Heart' diecut to decorate the ribbon. The lovely centre silver embellishment is by Nunn Design. To complete I placed a silver wedding charm into a little silver frame by K&Co and attached to bow. Hope the Happy Couple like!

A little favour may have seen my recent post regarding a Butterfly Shaped box that I crafted with lots of is here. One of the challenges I entered the box to is Unruly PaperArts (Reader Art Quest June - Shabby Chic in 3D). To choose the Top entries the lovely columnists at Unruly PaperArts invite you to vote for your favourite entries. If you liked my butterfly box, I would of course be grateful and happy if you popped over to Unruly PaperArts to cast a vote here. The Unruly Blogozine is well worth a visit in any event as each month it's packed full of superb inspiration and tutorials.

Stay well...
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Cheery Lynn Design - Wonderful Weddings
Inspiration Journal - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Country View Crafts Challenge - Diecuts
Creative Belli Blog - Wedding
Everybody-Art-Challenge - Wedding
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Our Creative Corner - Recipe (Ribbon, Metal, Snow-Tex! (ok?)

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Little Bird Blue

Hello and thanks so much for stopping by.

My last project was made several weeks back so I am feeling relieved that I've produced a card today as I feared the ability might have disappeared! I've made this card to fit a few different challenges running at the mo. At Frilly & Funkie the challenge theme is Birds and Nests, both Simon Says Stamp & Show and Cheery Lynn Designs are running Kraft themed weeks and at Sugar Creek Hollow the lovely ladies there want us to incorporate mixed media. Serendipitously the new Mum that the card is going to was born in the month of March so this fits the Live & Love Crafts Birthstone theme with aquamarine.

The papers used are by Maja Design (It's Christmas Time and Vintage Summer Basics Collections). I painted the base layer with some Paper Artsy paints ('Snowflake' and 'Ice Blue') to give the impression of clouds. The 'Mummy' bird is die cut (Sizzix Bigz) from corrugated cardboard and some of the twigs are punched from Kraft paper - thereby meeting the 'Kraft' requirements. The longer branches are cut using a Memory Box die.

The nest is handcut from a cardboard nectarine holder which was perfectly curved for the nest shape. I've decorated it with muslin and burlap but then ended up covering most of that with feathers and diecut leaves (Marianne Design) and punched twigs (Martha Stewart). In order for the nest to 'sit into' the card I die cut a 'frame' shape that had just the right curve (Sizzix Majestic Labels die). Then double 3D mounted those two lower 'frame' layers so that they popped out sufficiently to hold the nest. The outer edges of the two lower panels are cut with Cheery Lynn's 'City Girl edger' - this is perfect to thread narrow ribbon through for extra decoration.

I distressed and hightlighted most edges with either Distress Ink ('Broken China') or Chalk Ink by Ingvild Bolme ('Dark Rust'). The latter is brilliantly shaped for edging. Also ripped into some of the base layer and tucked some lace underneath for pretty distressing.

Added the newly hatched chick (Memory Box) and placed some gems that Mummy was feeding having given her a nice feathery wing. Liberally applied frantage and colour fragments. (Wasn't it lucky that Stampendous make colour fragments in just the right shade of duck egg blue so that they match a broken eggshell!).

Added a frill underneath the nest and a bow and 3D sentiment to the top left. Completed with eyes for the birdies and gems at the corners.

Thank-you for visiting today - it is lovely to have your company!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Sugar Creek Hollow - Mixed Media
Frilly and Funkie - Birds and Nests
Cheery Lynn Designs - Keep It Krafty
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Kraft
Live & Love Crafts - Birthstones (Aquamarine)

Saturday 15 June 2013

A Flutter of Butterflies

Hello and welcome!

Last month I was lucky enough to be selected amongst the Top 3 by Country View Crafts for my card here. They then kindly invited me to Guest Design for their challenge this month when the theme is Die Cuts. Do pop over to Country View Crafts Challenge site to see what the rest of the Design Team and fellow 'Top 3' winners have created to inspire you - a new piece is posted every few days for your delectation! I know the team would love to see your 'Die Cuts' in action.

I had a butterfly shaped box that I felt would be perfect for this project. To meet the 'Die Cuts' theme I've used dies in a few different ways. The most obvious of course are the butterflies and wings cut using every butterfly die and punch that I possess.

The raised centre panel has been created by applying texture paste through a lattice diecut.

Some border dies feature too.

I've also used 'on the edge' dies to form a rim around part of the box (with grungeboard in between the paper layers for body).

Butterfly shapes were stencilled with texture paste - then gessoed and gilded. Most are covered up by all the die cuts but you can see the gilded outline of a butterfly hidden in the centre here.

Finally I placed a few grungeboard diecuts on the surface of the box (then again gessoed and gilded). In the centre here you might spot part of a raised golden flourish diecut.

Mixed in with all the die-cutting was a whole lot of buffing and distressing with distress inks, stamping and heat embossing, gilding paste, glass glitter, layers of crackle glaze, gloss, pearl mists and glitzy frantage. I made sure to add a floral corner as all those butterflies need nectar. I also added pearls, flowers and metal charms for thoraxes and lots of other bits and bobs to make all those fluttering wings pretty! Finally I added the sentiment (cut from My Mind's Eye paper) between musical quaver charms.

Do make sure to check out the Country View Crafts Challenge where your die cut projects are very welcome this month!

Thank-you so much for stopping by today. I greatly appreciate each and every one of you in crafty blogland. In case you missed my last post, just a reminder that I have signed up to Bloglovin' - I'd be thrilled silly if you decided to follow me there.

Have a very lovely weekend.
Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges;
Our Creative Corner: Recipe - Ribbon, Metal, Inks
Craft Room Challenge - Here Comes Summer
Simon Says Stamp - Transport (Butterflies transport Pollen)
The Crafty Bloggers Network - Bright and Breezy
Unruly PaperArts - Art Quest Chabby Chic in 3D
A Creative Romance - Anything Goes