Saturday, 24 May 2014

A more colourful accordion card

If you liked last week's accordion card but prefer things a bit more colourful, then this might be the one for you.

"Our Back Garden"
The inspiration for this card has definitely come from our back garden, which is buzzing with wildlife at this time of year, and we even heard our first cuckoo of the year a few days ago. It reminds me of a poem my Nan used to say:
"The cuckoo comes in April
He sings his song in May
In the middle of June he changes his tune
And in July he flies away"
I grew up in the South of England, but where I live now in Northern Ireland, people have a slightly different version...
"The cuckoo comes in April
He sings his song in May
He lays his egg in another bird's nest
And in July he flies away"
I love all the old country sayings don't you? Anyway, back to today's card.
"Live Every Moment"
The background for each panel is inked with distress inks in Tumbled Glass, Tattered Rose and Bundled Sage (this is my favourite combination of colours for nature-themed cards).
"Laugh Every Day"
Next I did loads of background stamping with tree stamps, and coloured with green and brown Perfect Pearls.
"Love Beyond Words"
Then diecuts are added from white card coloured with distress inks.
"The far side :-)"
 The other side is decorated more plainly with inks and stamping, but no diecuts. This side uses the same free IndigoBlu stamps as last week's accordion card.
"The Box"
Lastly, here's a pic of the finished card sitting on its box. The covers and box are decorated with dry embossing and Pinflair-Buff it.
Here in the UK it's a bank holiday weekend, so I'm wishing you all a great long weekend. Hope there is lots of good weather to get those barbies out! Maddy x

Friday, 16 May 2014

Accordion Card using the free IndigoBlu stamps from Simply Cards and Papercraft

Oh, I do enjoy working with IndigoBlu stamps and this month's free gift from Simply Cards is just perfect for an accordion card.

The inside is made from a full length of A3, about 42cm, folded and diecut as in the tutorial. You can use many different shapes. but you really need a steel rule die like the Sizzix Bigz.

The butterfly on this left hand double panel has an acetate layer stuck over the top with some glossy accents down the spine. Small gems are used to hide the adhesive.

Flower-shaped gems are added to the hair of this stamp. Have you noticed the gorgeous colour all the stamps have? I used one of the new archival inks called "Hydrangea". It has a beautiful vintage blue hue.

The background is inked in Tumbled Glass distress ink and some gold edging is provided by Pinflair Buff-it.

A sizzix birdcage folder is used to emboss brown card for the front and back covers, and blue, red & gold Pinflair buff-it is rubbed on to highlight areas.

There's more stamping on the other side, so this type of card is ideal for people who love to place their cards on a windowsill.


Here's a photo of the finished card sitting on its matching box.

Entered for the following challenge:
Feeling Crafty - One for the ladies

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A Salt Pot

Entered for the following challenge:
2 Creative Chicks - food container

Whenever I think of salt, it reminds me of my Nan. If even the tiniest bit of salt was ever spilt, we had to draw a cross in it and throw a piece over our left shoulder to "hit the devil in the face". It was bad luck to spill salt. It was also bad luck to walk under ladders, put your shoes on the table, put an umbrella up indoors, take your clothes off to turn them the right way if you had put something on inside-out, turn back if you'd started your journey and forgotten something, etc. etc. But she always maintained "I'm not superstitious" lol! If you know Terry Pratchett's writing, you can think of my Nan as a cross between Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax. In fact, I swear Terry Pratchett must have based the characters in his books on half the people who lived in my Nan's road when I was a kid. There was even a "Nobby Nobs"! So, bearing in mind that salt is not to be wasted, how about recycling the salt packaging to make this...

"Paintbrush Pot"

OK, I admit, it's not my best work, but it was free :-) Well sort of, if you don't count the money I spent on the pretty papers...

"Empty salt pot"

This is the type of salt container that I started with. Just get someone to cut the top off and make a nice neat job...

...a good pair of scissors should be all that is needed.

Cover the outside and inside with patterned papers and cover up the join with some hessian ribbon before adding some flower trim. Keep the decoration fairly simple if you want to be able to use the pot!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hi Chickadee!

Entered for the following challenge:
A sprinkle of imagination - a sprinkle of colour
The artistic stamper - in the garden

Here's another card using from more of my bargains from the Sizzix Mega Sale. This one is just for a bit of fun :-)

"Hi, Chickadee!"

The "stamp and diecut" pieces are backed with red card using a technique learned from Sue Wilson, diecut the red card using the same dies and cut in half before fixing to the back of each diecut so that the card is showing.

A "stamp and emboss" set was used to make the central white flower motif (do you recognise it as the same one used to make yesterday's card? It looks so different with a different colour scheme!). I also used a Stamposaurus stencil to ink through to make the rays of the sun and the lattice marks in the grass.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Thank you

This should have been a quick card to make, but after creating the main stamped and embossed panel I ummed and ahed for days trying to decide on a layout. I'm still not happy with it, but wanted to share it with you since I like the colours and the main panel. It's the first time I've tried one of these "Stamp and Emboss" sets from Sizzix, and I loved playing with it! The stamping is done using a clear embossing ink-pad and embossing enamel to create a resist for the inking. Plenty of distress ink is added using my favourite method of rubbing with pieces of cut 'n' dry foam, then the panel is spritzed with a mist of water to get the droplets.

Oh that reminds me, I got this fabulous little spritzer bottle from Sainsbury's which is just perfect for spritzing! It was in that section that sells empty cosmetics containers for flights. It is soo much easier to use than those misting pens, although if you had a bunch of them I guess they'd take up a lot more room on your desk...

...where was I? Oh I'd better show you the card before I forget :-)


Monday, 12 May 2014


Following on from yesterday's card, I used a similar technique to make today's framed collage. The frame is painted with Viva Decor Ferro Gold. My pot is thick and crystallised and makes for some great texture.

"Fly, Feather, Frame"

That feather is from one of our Barnevelder hens, they have the most beautiful plumage.

The bird and butterfly are vintage images shaped and dipped in UTEE...

...before fixing onto tiles with Pinflair dimensional glue.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

My take on Tim Holtz' May Tag of 2014

Have you seen Tim's tag this month? It's just great inspiration for using up those little treasures of odds and ends. The tiles make things match together so nicely! I gathered some bits together and came up with this...

I couldn't find any shadow stencils I liked, so diecut some letters from chipboard and patterned paper using one of the Tim Holtz Bigz dies. That little cherub is from the Love Struck die, I cut off the wings (is that bad?) and replaced them with some feathers from our hens. He is running along trying to catch that bird (the one set into UTEE - he's not very bright that cherub).


I love the dimension you get from arranging the items on chipboard tiles.


Sorry for not making a tag, but I couldn't wait to try out this Tim Holtz easel die I bought in the Sizzix Sale. No more toppling card fronts, it's a great job!

We have had a glorious day in Northern Ireland today with the Giro d'Italia visiting our shores (that's a bike race to you and me). Everything has been painted pink and we were all out lining the roads cheering the riders on in the pouring rain, and now that it's all over the Sun is shining! Maybe you saw some of the coverage on the tv? If not, you might like to check out some of the videos on you tube, especially the ones featuring our beautiful coastline. Tonight is Eurovision night. It's not a big thing in our house but it's always good for a laugh when Graham Norton is commentating :-) Have a great weekend everyone. Maddy x

Entered for the following challenge:
Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 - May

Friday, 9 May 2014

Birds and Butterflies

The background for this card uses the free embossing folder from Papercraft Essentials. Gilding wax is used to highlight areas.

"Thinking of You"

The swirls are diecut from gold mirri card, and the butterflies and flowers dipped into UTEE.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Kanban Bird Toppers & Sizzix Accordion Flip Card

This card is made using the Sizzix Accordion Flip Die to cut three panels from brown card. This die works best if you use it with a crease pad rather than two cutting plates, to make good folds in the cut card.
"Kanban birds and Sizzix Accordion Flip"

Spellbinders decorative square dies are used to make the apertures in the patterned papers, which must be stuck into place before the card is assembled. The edges are inked with distress inks. The decorative swirls are diecut from double-sided patterned card.

"A Little Birdie Told Me"

The reverse of the card includes a sentiment in the middle panel.

"Happy Birthday"

A diecut sentiment is added to the front.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Kanban bird topper pop-out cards

A friend from Docrafts sent me some of these bird toppers from Kanban. They are just beautiful and deserved some special cards. The first two are pop-out cards, made by diecutting half a square into the front of a card blank.


I love to use birds on my cards, well any sort of nature really. Our swallows are back on the farm busy building nests and it's such fun to see them swooping and diving winding up our cat, but to see a wren is very special. Such tiny, shy birds, they only come out from their hedges when we are very quiet although occasionally I might catch sight of one from a window.

"Blue Tit"

Many years ago, my Nan had a garden full of wildlife. She always had a blue tit box set up on a fence near the kitchen window where she could see the birds popping in and out of the hole while she washed clothes (before the days of washing machines) and cooked meals. She would hang tiny bacon scraps in the trees and any spare bread would go out to the bird table or barious feeders that were hung about the place. So we too have always had a blue tit box. Actually, I think we have half a dozen or more now! And there are boxes for robins, etc. Even a bat box or two. There's always plenty of food for the birds when you keep free range hens, so a lot of our small birds resemble flying tennis balls they are so rotund! I hope you'll pop back tomorrow to see another bird card. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the cards flattened out to show the construction...



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Dinky One

... following on from yesterday's post I was left with a pile of diecut arches. I used them to make another, even smaller screen card.

"A Dinky Screen Card"

I diecut frames using a smaller arch and joined the panels together in the same way as for the previous cards.

The panels on one side are covered with images from a Crafty Individuals paper pad.

The other side has panels made from scraps of my marbled paper and stamped with images from my favourite Crafty Individuals stamps.

I thought I'd finish up today with a display of the three cards showing their relative sizes. You can see how each of the smaller ones is made from waste from the larger cards. Even the boxes are made from just two sheets of A4!

Entered for the following challenge:
Natalie and Amy's challenge: Rubber Stamping

Monday, 5 May 2014

The Middle One

When making yesterday's screen card, I was left with the mini cabinet diecuts from the frames, so I used them to make another, smaller screen card...

Actually, you need twelve of the mini cabinet diecuts (I had more left over from another card - I'm terrible for not throwing things away!). Diecut an arch from eight of them to make frames, and the four whole ones are used as bases to attach the patterned paper and frames. The apertures are fairly small on this size screen card, so it's great for using up scraps of precious patterned papers.

The gilded images are made using double-sided adhesive paper, the screens are joined together with jump rings, and beads and charms are attached for a finishing touch.

I love the way these screen cards fold like a real screen.

Here's the other side. I do like that cat diecut on the front cover. He looks just like our Lucky, on the prowl, looking for birds. Hope he doesn't find any :-)

So, after making this card, I'm left with a pile of diecut arches. Hmmmm...

Entered for the following challenge:
Bastel-traum - Summer
Country View Crafts - Natures Glories
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper - Anything Goes

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Anything Goes... a Screen Card

This month at Stamping Sensations, we are asking you to show us what you've got. Anything goes, and there is a fantastic prize on offer as always, this month we have a mystery box of fantastic crafting goodies! So what are you waiting for, oh, hang on, let me give you a bit of inspiration with my screen card...

"Front and box"

Here's a little tease, showing the front and the box, both of which are embossed before rubbing with Pinflair Buff-it. If you want to decorate your box like this, you need to do the embossing before sticking the box together, while it is still flat. Ask me how I know :-)


The frames are made in the same way, with embossing and gilding. The background for the screens is done using a marbling technique. The stamping uses some of my favourite Crafty Individuals stamps and the same distress ink colours as used for the background. Finally, the gilded images are diecut from double-sided adhesive paper and covered in gilding flakes.


This sentiment from Chocolate Baroque is a great fit with the Sizzix Cabinet die, and the birds are coloured with distress inks and a water brush for an ethereal look.


You can see my favourite Crafty Individuals stamp from CI-234 in this photo, around the outside of the sentiment. It's great to just ink up bits of the stamp and do random branches. Well that's it for today, if you're wondering what I did with the cutouts, please come back tomorrow and see :-)

Crafty Individuals rubber stamps CI-234, CI-209, CI-287
Chocolate Baroque rubber stamps Live Out Loud, Fly Away With Me
A4 Embossalicious Embossing Folder Tumbling Leaves
Sizzix M&S dies: Cabinet & Mini-Cabinet, hole punch 1/4"
Marianne dies: tree, bird and branch large, bird and branch small, birdhouse
Memory Box die: birdcage
Pinflair Buff-it, Gold, Blue
Ranger Tim Holtz distress inks and markers, various colours
Archival ink, coffee
IndigoBlu gilding flakes, Morris Dance
large jump rings, beads, charms
lock and key brads
cardstock: brown 300gsm+, white 160gsm

Entered for the following challenge:
Artistic Stamper - in the Garden

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Shabby Chic Wedding Card

Someone on Docrafts was asking about shabby chic wedding cards the other day and it reminded me that I still had this card to share with you.

"Wishing you a special happiness..."

That big brown lace is just perfect for a vintage shabby chic look. The diecuts and embossed panels are all distressed using Antique Linen and Walnut Stain distress inks, and some flowers added to the window box. If you know the bride's colour scheme, you can change the flower and lace colours to match.


I always like to make a matching box for these window box cards. For this box, I heat-embossed some stamps in gold. If you decorate a box like this, you need to do it before you assemble and glue the box together, and make sure you stamp the larger of the two box pieces (ask me how I know!).

Entered for the following challenge:
Stamplorations - Stamps and Flowers
Emerald Faeries - Flowers, Ribbon &/or Lace
A Little Bit Crafty - Flowers