Thursday 27 February 2014


Hello. Thanks so much for visiting!

Today's card is in keeping with February's 'romantic' theme and incorporates words, texture, stenciling, paste and lots more and so fits well with a number of my favourite challenges.

This is another of my cards where I put lots of work into underlying layers and then went and covered them up!

Papers: Mixture of french book text and Prima papers that have been variously stitched, torn and aged using several DIs and Prima chalk inks. Lace has been added to fill in torn gaps and the papers were also splattered with gold calligraphy ink.

Stenciling: Papers and heart stencilled using Wendi Vecchi texture paste. Stencils from Heidi Swapp (Hearts) and The Crafters Workshop (Art Is).

Frame and heart: Both were treated to Kroma Crackle medium for leathery crackle effect. Used DIs and pearlescent sprays to colour and topped with Treasure Gold for the frame and gold stamped script on the heart. Both cut from Tim Holtz grungepaper with Sizzix Bigz dies.

Lovebirds: Using multi matte medium I glued some burlap and some cotton cloth to grungepaper. When dry I diecut the 'fabric' birds using Sizzix Bigz die. Frantaged both with Stampendous 'Aged Ivory' though it doesn't show too well on the burlap. Also stamped gold script on the cotton bird. Rubbed gilding paste on both wings. Ran Prima chalk ink around their rims for definition. Mounted each onto some muslin with gave them perches of pleated ribbon / tulle.

Other embellishments: The 'Je t'aime' is from 7 Gypsies 'French Enamels' that I have dabbed with DIs and sealed. Ribbon, pearls, pins and flowers from stash. Finally a little Snow-tex has been dabbed on the flowers.

Thank-you for all the lovely comments and visits that you make - I truly appreciate each and every one.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Show It With Words
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Paste
Frilly and Funkie - Stencils and Texture
Craft for the Craic - Heart
Simon Says Wednesday - Anything Goes with Pearls
City Crafter Challenge - Do You Speak English?
Stamping Fantasies 5th Blogaverary Celebration - Favourite Item - mine is the Sizzix 'Caged Bird' die
We Love Vintage - Use favourite mold/pons (die/punch) - mine is Sizzix Bird die
It's All About The Vintage & Beauty - Use Lace

Friday 21 February 2014

Thank-you for the Memories!

Hello again! No doubt you know that the Extraordinary Shirley Temple died this month. For me anyway, She leaves behind only the happiest of childhood memories, watching re-runs of her movies, usually on a weekend matinée (likely having fought for negotiated viewing as my brother would have wanted to watch some sport programme!).

In my mind Shirley represents an era (Depression America) whose earnest values have long since diminished. She, and her movies, had a charming innocence (though I acknowledge some now could view aspects as a little risqué). She played a darling poppet who seemed to genuinely radiate abundant love and happiness toward all, regardless of age, race, wealth or crankiness of disposition. Her performing abilities were remarkable and the icing on the cake is that she managed to move from 'The Movies' to the adult 'real world' and lead a successful happy life. Rest in peace Shirley Temple Black.

The idea for my card came about on a tangent. One of the challenges I'm entering has restricted entries to an unusual colour combination and I was finding it difficult to make something I liked. Reading about Shirley's death I came across a free vintage image of her (thank-you Janet K Designs) that I thought could be adjusted to fit the requirements of the colour challenge and other challenges as outlined below. I edited the image in Photoshop to remove any black and imbued strong sepia tones. Also altered the polkadots of her pjs to shades of plum, purple, blue and navy. Added too some of the lyrics of the delightful "Good Ship Lollipop" song from her movie "Bright Eyes". For the full song lyrics see here. Seriously, who could not smile at thoughts of "happy landings on a chocolate bar" etc!

The layers:
I've used plum and blue sheets from Prima 'Firefly' collection. 1st layer plum sheet. Next is blue debossed with Cheery Lynn 'Petite Hearts' plate. Then plum sheet embossed with Cheery Lynn 'Stitcher' plate and on top of that blue diecut using Cheery Lynn 'Sophia Heart' die. On lower half I embossed a blue CS with Sizzix Music texture fade. Then liberally coated brayer with Versamark chalk ink in 'Purple Hydrangea' and rolled brayer over embossed music several times to give the purple notes. (This looked great so it's a pity I had to cover up so much of it!). Also included two Magnolia border diecuts.

For the layout there was only one way to go and that was to put Shirley 'centre stage'.  Edited photo as above and printed onto canvas paper sheet. Matted that onto SEI Velvet paper in 'Chocolate'. Stenciled in little hearts and stars around Shirley using a Heidi Swapp mask and Wendy Vecchi texture paste.

Top Left - Well Shirley had to have a nice big jaunty bow for her cameo appearance on my blog today. I then added two stars (cut with Sizix Bigz 'Stars' die) that I had coated with Distress Glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy'. The 'cutie' charm is by K&Co.

Top Right - painted a starry corner charm with gesso and then anointed with Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate ink. Diecut SEI 'Chocolate' velvet with film strip die.

Bottom Left - The candy cane is diecut using Sizzix Bigz 'Stocking & Candy Cane' die. As before, applied lots of Distress Glitter to the Candy Cane. Wrapped some beige cord around for decoration and affixed grosgrain bow.

Bottom Right - There had to be a lollipop and I bet Shirley loved to have M&Ms on hers! Punched an oval from SEI Blue Velvet paper and glittered as before. Affixed it to cotton bud. Added lots of brads, bow and 'Sweet' charm.

Finished off with lots of gems and bling - this girl most definitely merits glitz!

Thank-you so much for stopping by and I hope you share my happy memories of Shirley. It's a long post so thank-you if you've read it all the way through!

Have a lovely weekend and here's hoping that the approaching storms in this part of the world won't do further damage.

Nicola x

Thank-you to hosts, sponsors and DTs of the following challenges that I wish to enter:
Our Creative Corner - Use Blue, Brown and Purple/Plum with no black or white
Inspiration Journal - Show It With Words - I've included lyrics
Simon Says Stamp Monday - A Cameo Appearance - Shirley is making a Cameo appearance on my blog!
Craft Your Passion - Girly Girl
Charisma Cards - Inspired By A Movie
Southern Girls - Bling It, Bling, Bling
Crafty Ribbons - Anything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Heart
Crafty Hands Devon - Heat/Dry Embossed background

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Handmade Bouquet

Hi there and welcome. It's a gorgeous sunny day in Dublin - just perfect for my card today.

Prompted by the current challenge at 'Frilly & Funkie' I've finally sprung some of my flower dies to action. I've borrowed the card style from the wonderful Dorota whose blog I love. I havn't come near her standards but it's a start!


Papers: Maja Design 'Vintage Summer Basics' and some Indian handmade cotton / tissue papers for alternative texture and smaller buds

Dies: Joy Crafts - '6002-0156', MFT 'Rolled Scallop flower', 'Mini Rolled Roses', 'Mini Royal Roses', Magnolia 'Rose Leaf', Cheery Lynn ' Mini Fanciful Flourish' and Spellbinders 'Fancy Trelllis'

Inks: Distress Inks - 'Worn Lipstick', 'Victorian Velvet', 'Tea Dye', 'Brushed Corduroy' and some Bobby Brown blusher

Mists and Drops: Perfect pearls mist, Waco Pearl Maker Pen for drops and Snow-Tex

Stencil: The Crafter's Workshop 'Damask' using Wendy Vecchi texture paste

Other: Used my new sewing machine from Ikea that's a little humdinger so far. Pearls and lace from stash.

Thank-you to the lovely Jennie for her terrific flower tutorials. I followed her instructions here for the flower on extreme left and am very pleased with result (a rare event!).

Thank-you so much for visiting. May the sun shine on you too!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Frilly & Funkie - Bloomin' Marvellous
Vintage Udfordring - Use paint, spray and or drops
ABC Challenge - F is for Flowers
The Crafter's Cafe Challenge - Vintage or Shabby Chic
City Crafter Challenge - Flowers and Lace

Wednesday 5 February 2014

A Love Meringue!

Hello from drenched, dripping Dublin! Special kind thoughts go out to readers adversely affected by current appalling weather. If the sun shines on you however be sure to soak it up and enjoy!

It's a love/wedding card from me today, all in lovely white/creamy tones, and yes I do love meringues!

I recently was very lucky to receive a phenomenally generous giveaway from the lovely Cathi. Amongst the huge haul was this gorgeous large rose that I have built the card around.

Used a Martha Stewart punch on base card edges with lots of card and doily layers then laid thereon. Whilst I wanted a vintage look I didn't darken too many edges as it seemed better to keep it pristine. The two hearts are cut with Sizzix die 'Primitive Hearts' and dotted around their edges with Waco pearl pen. Added lots of Snow-tex and Frantage to rose and hearts. The little metal words (by Making Memories) are painted with white pearlescent mix. Added some Frantaged Magnolia and MFT die cuts with lots of ribbon, lace, tulle and pearls to make it pretty!

It's really lovely to see you have visited - thank-you for looking.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Vintage Café Card Challenge - Flower Parade - Rose
Sugar Creek Hollow - Love and Adore
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Love Notes
Inspiration Journal - Show It With Words
The Ribbon Girl - Hearts
Craft Room Challenge - Ribbons and Lace
Crafty Hands Challenge - Shades of the Same Colour
A Creative Romance - Show Us Some Love
Kort o Mania - Laces and Ribbons
Allsorts - Love is in the Air
Simon Says Wednesday - Have a Heart

Sunday 2 February 2014

Fairy Whispers

Hi there! Thank-you for visiting today and an especially warm welcome to all those who have signed up recently to follow.

Today I have the pleasure of Guest Designing for Stamping Sensations Challenge alongside the very talented Brenda and her fabulous team. (I had won their December challenge for my piece here). Their challenge theme this month is "Wings, Fantasy and Fiction".

I wasn't too sure what to make for this theme other than that I should include book text (supplied by J.). A browse through some of my papers happily led me to two Prima collections 'Fairy Rhymes' and 'Nature Garden' and then the card just took flight!

As you can see, the base layer is book text framed by some paper that I've stamped with a Hero Arts stamp 'Antique Writing' and edged using a Martha Stewart punch. Then did a lot of fussy cutting from the Prima papers and double mounted some elements. I also painted each cutout with Glossy Accents to give a decoupage type sheen and edged each with chalk edger. Embellished further with some muslin and drew on dots using Waco Pearl Maker pen in gold and pastel brown.

Why don't you pop over to Stamping Sensations and try your hand at the challenge - there is always a great prize to be won! Thank-you again to Brenda and team for inviting me to guest design.

Wishing all a bright and creative week with hopefully a lot less wind and rain,

Nicola x