Thursday 31 January 2013

Tulip Butterflies

Hello and a warm welcome to another blog post.

Well you sure can tell that my Big Shot is still novel to me with the amount of die cuts that I've included today - hope I havn't overdone it!

The flower and script panel has been created by stamping with Versamark (onto speciality stamping paper) and then clear embossing the image to form a resist. The stamp is by La Blanche 'Tulips Script'. Then sponged on a melange of distress inks including the new Peacock Feathers. Had fun with lots of spritzing and flicking. Die cut image with Spellbinders die BUT hadn't allowed ink to dry sufficiently so managed to rip the edges to bits! I wanted a shabby look but not ripped to shreds! So I redid the stamp resist, die cut the rectangle and then enjoyed more inking all over again. My tip today is to make sure paper well dry before doing a detailed diecut.

Printed out the lovely sentiment kindly created by Cec for a recent win at Sugar Creek Hollow. Got the die cutting done and then used the die to mask the image and sponged on even more ink. Also diecut butterflies and circle from corrugated CS and ink them to match.

Using my new butterfly stencil I added some texture paste butterflies to link various panels of the card together. I decided to leave the white paste as is for contrast although I see that the paste has absorbed some of the underlying distress ink whilst drying.

I assembled lots of layers including papers from Prima Firefly collection that were a great tonal match, doiley, tissue paper and some flourishes. Mounted the two main butterflies onto embossed CS to add further dimension. Added some gems and a little bow to complete.

Thank-you for visiting today - it was lovely to have you stop by!
Nicola x

Thanks to the hosts, sponsors and DTs at the following challenges that I wish to enter;
Sugar Creek Hollow - Lots of Layers
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Top Tip Tuesday - Lavishly Luscious Layers
Twisted Tuesday Challenges - Anything Goes
Flutter By Wednesday's - Anything Goes
Perfect Sentiments - Anything Goes with a Die-Cut
Whimsy Stamps Inspiration Challenges - Fancy Edges

Sunday 27 January 2013

Loving Correspondence

Hi there and welcome to another blog post.

I'm really thrilled to announce that I've been invited by the super talented Elaine to join her Design Team at Eclectic Ellapu. Needless to say I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be asked and hope that I can live up to the challenge. Today is my very first design team slot as part of Eclectic Ellapu 'Pink Team'. The theme this week has been set by Dawn and is 'Black & White and Read All Over'. The quest is to use black and white only and to incorporate text into your project. Do pop over to Eclectic Ellapu to see the beautiful and inspiring work created by the rest of the team. We would be so glad for you to join in - go on - stretch those abundant talents of yours!

Here is my take on the challenge;

I've made an easel card. The black background of each 'half' is cardstock that has been embossed with my Cuttlebug 'Script' embossing folder. Both white coved rectangles have been cut using a Cheery Lynn die. The lovely stamp on the top part of the card is by Frantic Stamper (Stamp FRA-CLG-3801). (In fact I bought this stamp when I saw it as I thought it would fit well with the precious pen nib that Lynn sent me last year as part of a very generous candy win - I love that ribbon can be threaded through the nib). I stamped and embossed the image twice and paper pieced the parts that fit a) under the pen nib and b) under the metal frame that I've added around the lady's face. Both of these are then mounted on foam squares for dimension. The script stamp on the lower part of the card is by La Blanche (#1174). Next I cut a fleur de lis square with a Spellbinders die, formed an envelope and inserted a little letter (script stamp by Andy Skinner). Also stamped/embossed and die cut the 'Paris' label from an Artemio stamp set (Vintage Paris). I punched some little butterflies and gave them white roses for 'hearts'. Added some tiny black gem hearts running from the writing hand of the lady down to the letter below. All stamping done with black Archival ink and embossed with Stamp n Stuff EP (Detail Black). Some pearls, lace, velvet and organza ribbon added to finish.

Thank-you so much for spending time at my blog. I hope you like what you see. Don't forget to pop over to Eclectic Ellapu to join in the challenge as we would love to see your creations.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Simon Says Stamp & Show - What are you known for? (Embellishments)
Simon Says Stamp - Paper Piecing
Craft Room Challenge - Monochrome
Crafts & Me - Vintage
Vintage Stamping Challenge - Vintage
Polkadoodles / Studio 12 - Monochrome
Little Red Wagon - Text Me!
C.R.A.F.T Challenge - Valentines Day / Love
Fashionable Stamping Challenge - Show Some Love

Friday 18 January 2013

White Valentine

Hello from a cold, sleety Dublin with snow forecast for today.

Lots of challenges this week with a white theme which is so appropriate for snowy region. Hope you are snuggly warm wherever you are.

The background layer is Lace Paper - tissue weight paper is pulsated with high speed water jets through a silk screen to create the 'lace pattern'. I've then die cut 4 borders from velvet paper (by SEI) so that edges are lovely and soft. (Magnolia die "Old Swedish Lace"). The doily is cut from Bazzill CS using Cheery Lynn's Sophia's Heart die. I painted the primitive heart die cut with Paper Artsy's Fresco Finish in Snowflake. Then stamped and embossed swirls using Crafty Individuals stamp (CI-182) and embossed with Stampendous EP (Winter Wonderland). The top chip-board die cut was first painted in Paper Artsy's Nougat paint. I then applied their crackle glaze paint. When dry, painted again using Snowflake paint and the lovely cracks appeared. The top embellishment is a beautiful french enamel by 7Gypsies. I tried 'crackling' the enamel but it didn't work out so I've just dabbed it with Adirondack paint dabber in Snowcap to 'remove the bare look'. I received the pretty corrugated butterflies as a freebie with an order from The Funkie Junkie Boutique - thanks Linda! I've painted them with Paper Artsy's Snowflake paint and then dabbed the ridges with Paper Artsy's Metallic Glaze which gives a lovely pearly shimmer. I've completed by adding roses, pearls, Cheery Lynn flourish die cuts and lace.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Stay warm and have a lovely weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter my card to the following challenges;
Sugar Creek Hollow - Winter White
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Lace Love
Flutter By Wednesday - Winter White
The Pretty Little Ribbon - Flowers & Ribbon
Make My Monday - Diecuts and Punches
4 Crafty Chicks - Pearls, pearls, pearls
Crafty Ribbons - Love, Romance, Anniversary

Monday 14 January 2013

Pretty In Pink

Hello from a very chilly Dublin. Thank-you so much for all your wonderful compliments on my last post - your taking the time and your words are so encouraging. A warm welcome and gratitude too to my new followers.

I needed to make a CAS Valentine card so I've come up with this card inspired by a beautiful card (photo here) at The Case Study Challenge Blog. The centre tag can be removed to use as a bookmark.

Papers are a silk thread tissue embedded with hearts, Bazzill CS, vellum and a Japanese screenprinted Chiyogami paper
Butterfly punch by Woodware
Stamp by Limited Edition rubber stamps (LE4543G)
I used a dark blue versafine ink to stamp the sentiment so that the Sparkle and Sprinkle EP (Japanese Lacquer) that is a beautiful deep red became an even deeper red.
Metal hearts by Nunn Design
Satin Bow by Anna Griffin

Wishing you all a warm, happy and creative week.
Nicola x

Thank-you to the hosts, design teams and sponsors of the following challenges that I wish to enter;
Case Study Challenge Blog - #123
Craft-room Challenge - Valentines
Paper Creator's Crafts - Love Is All Around
Inky Impressions - Add A Sentiment
The Pink Elephant Challenge - TPE182 Pink, Red and White
There She Goes - TSG190 Love is in the air

Thursday 10 January 2013

Treasure Chests

Welcome to a special post today! As you may know I was previously featured at the stunning blog Our Creative Corner for twice winning their Top Talent Challenge. For that spotlight I crafted 'A Christmas Tree'. I was lucky enough to win again there recently for my 'Vintage Santa' card and was kindly invited to feature once more and make a project to showcase. So I took the term 'showcase' literally!

I very much appreciate Our Creative Corner hosting this spotlight piece. Their design team are a platinum talented group of ladies whose crafting will ALWAYS inspire. Please do pop over Our Creative Corner for more details of my showcase today and a q and a session. My first spotlight interview from last November is here.

I have altered a pair of miniature papier-mâché suitcases to turn them into little vintage Treasure Chests. Apologies for photographs that were tricky earlier this week given Dublin's dark skies.

Firstly I gave each case a coat of Gesso. Next I applied a coat of Paper Artsy's Fresco Finish paint in Nougat. Then painted a thin coat of Fresco Finish Crackle Glaze. Once dry I followed with a coat of Fresco Finish Vintage Lace for one case, Ice Blue for the other. Also painted the corners and leather strap elements with Fresco Finish 'Old Gold'. The resulting crackle effect was super (thanks Alison). I then (for the first time) stencilled using Crafter's Workshop mini damask stencil together with Dreamweaver embossing paste in white. It wasn't possible to tape the stencil down flat given the raised 'leather straps' either side so the stencils aren't as clean as could be if they had been entirely flat. I sponged Distress Inks liberally over both cases.

Next stamped a mix of script and scroll stamps using Archival Rose Madder and gold inks. I then painted a coat of Fresco Finish Metallic Glaze - resulting in a gorgeous pearlescent sheen. However given that I had used pale colours at the crackling stage I lost some of the detail of the crackle and paler stamping as I applied the glaze. Paper Artsy's site does explain that the metallic glaze can be mixed with Satin Glaze to lessen the pearlescent sheen and I will follow their advice next time. I re-sponged a mix of Distress Inks for layering effect.

I 'recrackled' the leather handles and straps to 'age' and nubble further. Using my finger I applied a gilding wax (LeFranc & Bourgeois Pale Gold) over the damask stencilling and left to dry overnight. The next day I did a second stencil layer with the embossing paste to heighten. Again it wasn't possible to lay stencil flat but the second layer gave the pattern a better definition. I then did my gilding wax trick again. (Whole project done over several days).

Given the wonderful results achieved by Joanna and others and tip from Anne I just had to try out some Stampendous Frantage. For the pink chest I used Stampendous Shabby Pink embossing enamel speckled with Melissa Frances pink glass glitter. On the blue chest I scattered Aged Ivory embossing enamel flecked with gold glass glitter. I ended up covering some stamping again but I loved the jewel encrusted texture so much that I didn't mind! I also embossed edges of cases with Ranger Queen's Gold EP. Added the little pearls to the case corners and handles with Viva Decor pearl pen.

I die cut the tags with a mix of Cheery Lynn and Spellbinders dies and some Brenda Walton tag and Nunn Design embellishments and charms from stash. I gave them the same paint, glaze and frantage treatment and attached with gold cord.

I 'aged and gilded' the crown charm and Melissa Frances resin bird and fixed to the pink chest. Similarly decorated the blue chest with bird charm and butterfly by Brenda Walton.

During the early stage of the project I also made 'linings' for the cases using silk fibre tissue with petals. I stamped the tissue and then fixed inside with modge podge. Inside the pink case is a sentiment by Paper Bag Studios (PBS-038-C Beauty) and Justrite Stamps (Damask Background) - stamped with Worn Lipstick DI. The blue case has Flourishes Stamp (Antique Map) and the very lovely Crafty Individuals Stamp (CI-101). Stamped with Chipped Sapphire and Broken China DIs. Also stamped mini flowers, fleur de lis and butterflies and dabbed with DIs.

Very many thanks once again to all at Our Creative Corner for giving me the opportunity to shine. Being invited to produce a special project inspired me to push my boundaries. This is my first 'altered item' - I have learnt a lot in the process and had fun along the way!

Thank-you so much for spending time at my blog. Your visits and comments mean a great deal!

Nicola x

I wish to enter my Treasure Chests to the following challenges;
Fashionable Stamping Challenges - Surprise Us
Vintage Stamping Challenges - Vintage
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Embrace The Old
Crafty-emblies - Toy Box or Toy or Box
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday - #202 New (with flourishes stamp)
Live & Love Crafts - Something Old
Craft Your Passion - Vintage / Shabby Chic
Kaboodle Doodles - Vintage
Crafty Creations Challenges - Something New - new stencil
Little Red Wagon - Bring On The Bling

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Blue Snowland

Hello and welcome to my Big Shot inaugural post! I officially declare my new toy from Santa as active and much loved already!

I've used Bazzill CS. The beautiful top quality papers are from Maja Design (It's Christmas Time collection). Dies are by Cheery Lynn and Memory Box. I'm just loving how easy it is to create diecuts and the 'extra' punch that they can add (no pun intended!). Distressed the first layer and edged with Antik Metallic paste in silver. I've stamped the forest using stamp by 'Just for Fun' and little snowflakes stamp by Fiskars and embossed them with Stampendous Winter Wonderland EP. I daubed some 'snow' with Adirondack paint dabber and gesso. Added some frantage silver glass glitter. Snowflake punches by Martha Stewart, pearls from Kaisercraft, Bird House by Prima (Ingvild Bolme). Partly distressed the papers and 'house' with Distress Inks.

Thank-you so much for taking time at my blog. I hope that it's warm wherever you are!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Maja Design - January Mood Board
Creative Craft Challenges - New Beginnings
LEJ Designs - New Beginnings
Try It On Tuesday - New Stash
Tuesday Throwdown - Shiny and New

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Dear All,

I do hope that your Christmas has been very happy and peaceful (mine has, and thank-you to all who made it so). (SPOILER ALERT LOL - Santa brought me a Big Shot so there will be lots of die cuts coming to a blog near you very soon!!)

I wish you a New Year that brings an abundance of good health, fulfillment and happiness. I'm very much looking forward to your blogging company and to future creations from both you and I ...

Thank-you so much for stopping by.
Happy 2013!!
Nicola x

Thank-you to the hosts, sponsors and design teams at the following challenges that I am entering;
Tuesday Throwdown - Bright and Happy New Year

ABC Challenges - New Year Sparkle
Kaboodle Doodles - Anything Goes
Crafty Mess - Show Some Sparkle/Bling
Card Crafter's Circle - Anything Goes