My lovely blogland friends

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Chocolate Baroque Colour Challenge

Good morning my lovelies, how's your week going? We're half way to the weekend  and its a long weekend off work to look forward to :-)  Its an exciting day today as its the start of our second challenge at Chocolate Baroque Challenge blog, do pop over to the challenge blog and check out the colour swatch for inspiration and also have a look at the fabulous projects from my lovely talented teamies. There's a fab prize for our lucky winner too so remember you've got to be in it to win it lol.

My camera has really changed the colours on this card, I've actually used Brushed Corduroy distress ink but it looks really bright green lol. Anyway I began by making a distress ink background using Stormy Sky, Brushed Corduory and a little Wild Honey distress ink. I stamped the flourish from Decadent Brocade  with versamark and embossed with distress EP, this is my absolute favourite flourish, its so pretty its a real shame to cover it up with anything.

I just love this butterfly, its from Patchwork Butterfly . I embossed with WOW black EP and coloured with Inktense pencils before cutting out and layering up with silicone glue.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Artistic Inspirations: anything goes/up up and away
Clear it out: anything goes
Sweet Stamps: Anything goes

I hope you're enjoying the new challenge as much as we are, its a fab excuse to have a play with some of the old favourite from your Chocolate Baroque collection (not that we need an excuse lol)
Thanks so much for visiting today, have a great day
Claire xx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Home for Christmas by Chocolate Baroque

Good morning, how are you getting on with those Christmas cards? This months new stamps from Chocolate Baroque are a real inspiration to get ahead and make a start on your Christmas cards. I've got a couple of samples to share today, the first features stamps from Snowy Scenes

I created the base layer by stamping the cottage and adding some colour with Derwent pencils. The top layer was stamped with the robin and the stag and again coloured with pencils. I used a spellbinders die to cut the aperture, carefully cutting round the images to slot the die behind them so they weren't die cut  - soooo fiddly but I love the effect.

 I used a zig glue pen around the edge of the aperture and on the cottage scene and sprinkled with glitter. I added one of my favourite Christmas sentiments and then mounted the top layer on 3d foam, adding a white bow to the top of the aperture.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Crafty Calendar: anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas: use your favourite things
(Chocolate Baroque stamps, colouring, spellbinders dies and glitter)
Completely Christmas: Anything goes
Winter Wonderland: anything goes for Christmas

Thanks so much for popping by today, hope to see you again soon
Claire xx

Monday, 18 August 2014

Daisy Daisy from Chocolate Baroque

Good morning folks, I think summer is over here and its so much colder and the wind has already started to blow the leaves off the trees. I'm still feeling summery in my craft room though as I've been using the lovely daisy stamp from Honeysuckle Butterfly, one of this month's new releases from Chocolate Baroque.

I began by creating a distress ink background and overstamped with the daisy in versamark and embossed with a white embossing powder. I stamped the focal image with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured with Graph'It markers. I die cut the image, layering it up over a scalloped oval die cut. I added a bow and a paper daisy and a die cut swirl.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Bearly Mine: anything goes
Cards Galore Encore: Anything goes
Left of Centre: inspired by a song (Daisy Daisy)
Open Minded: Last days of summer
Penny's Paper Crafty: anything goes

Well time for me to go to work, don't you just love Mondays?? 
thanks for popping by today
Claire xx

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Bold and Bright Inspiration at PanPastel UK

Good morning, its inspiration time at PanPastel UK as you've still got a week to enter our Bold and Bright challenge to be in with a chance of winning some lovely goodies from Premium Craft Brands My teamies have created some amazing projects so if you've got time pop over to the challenge blog to check them out.

I've altered an MDF heart, I began with a coat of Maimeri White Gesso and once that was dried I blended Hansa Yellow and Diarylide Yellow PanPastels with a Sofft Sponge applicator. I used a sanding block to create a distressed look here and there. Next I added texture with Maimeri Light Modelling Paste and a Chicken Wire stencil from Dutch Doobadoo. The flowers were die cut from card coloured with PanPastel and stamped with distress ink, I used stamps and dies from Heartfelt creations, I just love these flowers! I've layered them up over some Dutch Doobadoo softboard Honeycomb
The bee and text stamps are from Chocolate Baroque, I stamped the bees on tissue and acetate, adding colour to the tissue with PanPastel and applying to the heart with Maimeri Matte Gel Medium. I glittered the acetate wings and attached them with a little PVA glue. I stamped the sentiment, and an extra E on tissue with Black Archival ink and again applied them with Matte Gel medium.  To finish off I added some yellow gingham ribbon

I'm entering this project in the following challenges:

Artistic Stampers: anything goes
Crafts 4 Eternity: something old (stamps)
Natalie and Amy's: die cuts and flowers
Our Creative Corner: summertime
Simply Create Too: Monochromatic Madness
Southern Girls: its all about texture
Thats Crafty: stamping ground
Tok  Bobok: mixed media

Thanks so much for visiting today, hope to see you again soon
Claire xx

Friday, 15 August 2014

Fur and feathers inspiration at Graph'It Colouring Challenge

Good morning my lovelies, another day off work for me so I'm one very happy bunny. Talking of happy bunnies, I'm rabbit sitting this week as my son and his girlfriend are sunning themselves in Egypt. Rolo has settled in a treat, he's sooooo friendly and sooooo cuddly I don't think I'm going to let him go home lol.
Anyway my card today is for our inspiration post at Graph'It Colour Challenge, you've still got a week to enter and our theme is 'Fur and Feathers'. As always there is fabby prize from our generous sponsor Your Creativity Store! You don't have to use Graph'It markers to enter but we love it when you do :-)

For my card I've used a bp from Lili of the Valley, the image is from Aurora Wings and its called 'Acorn Sprite riding on a squirrel', I just love this image! I've coloured it with my Graph'It markers - for a full list pop over to the Challenge blog. To create the fur effect I used lots of different colours and a flicking technique on the tail. Once I'd coloured the face I used Mix'It fluid on a piece of flannel and gently dabbed to create a furry effect.

I've added some raffia lace, lime green ribbon and lots of little flowers berries and an acorn cap. The sentiment is from Lili of the Valley, punched and layered over a spellbinders die cut, the little bark heart is from my stash.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Aud Sentiments: your favourite season 
(Autumn for me, love all the colours, fresh breezy walks with the dogs chasing leaves and the cosy dark evenings)
Aurora Wings: Sprite Delight
Crafty Little Fairies: cute and cuddly
Fairy Tale: ribbon/lace
Paper Shelter: punches and dies

If you've got a minute pop over and check out my teamies gorgeous projects. 
I'm away now to have a play in my craft room
Thanks so much for popping by,
Claire xx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Christmas Mannequin

Good morning folks, well I'm enjoying a few days off work and hoping to get ahead with my Christmas crafting. I do love making Christmas cards but I just fancied a play and wanted to make something a bit different so I've altered a paper mache mannequin and given her a bit of a frosty Christmas look for my entry for this month's challenge at the Indigo Blu Challenge which is Christmas in July.

I began by giving her a  coat of white gesso and then painted her with my new Indigo Blu acrylic paints using Grandma's Teacup for her dress and Pink Iced Gems above. I used the Baubles Flourish A6 stamp and Majestic Blue versafine stamped on tissue and applied to the Mannequin with Slap-it on medium to decorate her dress and the foot.  For a bit of texture I added some Maimeri Light modelling paste through a harlequin stencil and once it was dry applied some silver gilding wax.
 I added a glittery 'belt' by sprinkling glass glitter on some red line tape and added a snowflake charm on some silver twine around her neck. Her skirt is made from tulle that I cut to make a kind of fringe (doesn't show up too well on the photo I'm afraid. 

I used the gorgeous Indigo Blu A6 Big butterfly stamp to create her wings, this was a bit of an experiment but I'm really pleased with the result. I stamped the butterfly on white Clearly for Art film  using Flitter glu and gilded with Gin and Tonic gilding flakes. I then had a bit of a lighbulb moment as I couldn't be bothered to get my markers to colour the wings so decided to try and colour with versafine and discovered that if you add a wee bit of Easy Peasy Stamp cleaner you can get a watercolour effect with your inkpad! 

I attached the wings with some hot glue and then heated them with my heat gun to shape them.

I'm also entering this project in the following challenges:
All crafts: anything but  a card
Altered Eclectics: anything goes 
Amusing : Christmas
Crafters Cafe: anything but a card
Creatalicious: Monochromatic
Penny Black and more: anything goes
Rhedd's Creative Spirit: anything goes altered art

Well I'm going to make the most of my day off and the sunshine and take the dogs out for a walk now so have a good day and thanks for popping by today
Claire xx

Monday, 11 August 2014

A different kind of blog hop

Good morning folks and a big thank you for visiting today. This is a different kind of post as I was invited to take part in a blog hop with a difference by the lovely and very talented Gloria (pop over and check out her gorgeous artwork and find out a bit more abouther  here on her blog Purpleglo Creations) A big thank you Gloria for inviting me to take part !

So to begin here is a little bit about me. I live in the UK and have spent most of my life in the same small town. I was a nurse for a long time but then in a moment of madness decided to change my career and now I manage a mental health charity.My days at work are full of challenges trying to make sure we have enough funding to pay the bills and keep providing support to people with mental health problems. We have a lot of fun along the way and I get to meet some very brave and inspirational people When I'm not at work you can find me out walking my two lovely dogs or in my craft room getting inky and messy. I've dabbled in lots of different crafts over the years but I started stamping about 8 years ago and I've never looked back as there are so many different styles and techniques its impossible to get bored

I started my blog in December 2009, we had a really bad winter and I was stuck in the house so I decided to start blogging. Lots of my friends already had blogs and I had no idea what a lovely world I was entering. I love blogland and I've 'met' so many wonderful people over the last few years as well as learning so much and getting constant inspiration from all the lovely friendly stampers out there.

What am I working on right now?
I'm lucky enough to design for some amazing companies so at the minute I'm busy with lots of Christmas samples using some fabby new stamps which you'll be drooling over before very long. I'm totally addicted to crafting and usually grab an hour in my craft room before work. After work and walking the dogs I usually relax and do some colouring . My job is really stressful so crafting is a real escape for me. I have the box room as a little craft room and its crammed to the rafters with all my stash lol. Here are some sneaky peaks of some of my current projects


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't think it does is the simple answer to that one lol.  I don't think I have a particular style as I love everything from create shabby/vintage projects, mixed media and altered art to colouring cute characters. I'd love to be one of those crafters who have a really defined style but i'm far too fickle lol. I love to try different techniques and experiment with different products. I do love to start with a blank canvas or a plain white piece of card and create my project from scratch, I particularly love scenic stamping and in the past I used to do a lot of brayer work. Since I discovered PanPastels a couple of years ago my brayer has been gathering dust as its so easy to make scenic cards with Pans. Here are a few of my favourite cards


Why do I create what I do?

A lot of my projects are inspired by the products I use, as I'm a very lucky crafter and design for some wonderful companies I regularly get happy mail which is an inspiration in itself. I usually start thinking about the stamps or images and begin to scribble down some ideas for projects.
I'm often inspired by colour, particularly colours in nature and often get inspiration when I'm out with my dogs or even on the way to work. Here's a card that was inspired by the view down the alley at the side of our office - not that it looks anything like this but it sparked the idea (my head is a very strange place to be at times lol)

How does my creative process work?
Well I have to confess I'm not a great planner, I tend to jot down a few ideas go up to my craft room and just go for it. My projects are a bit of an adventure and I usually don't have a clear idea of how they will turn out. I love to make my own backgrounds which is a good job as I have a terrible habit of colouring images and then finding I don't have any papers to match lol. I would share some pics of my craft space but i'm such a mucky pup I wouldn't dare haha!

How do I stay focussed/motivated?
Spending time creating is part of my daily routine and although I'm not a planner when it comes to making my projects I treat my DT work seriously as I don't want to let my teamies and the generous companies I design for down. I usually work at least 2-3 weeks ahead on my design team projects so that if I have a crisis at work or lose my crafty mojo I'm not in a panic. If I lose my focus I just mess around with paint or ink and create some backgrounds. Usually experimenting with colours will tempt my missing mojo home and before I know it I'm full of ideas for my next project.

I'm tagging a lovely and very talented lady Rachel, pop over to Rachel's blog 'Fisher's cards and crafts' here and check out her gorgeous artwork. Rachel's projects are really varied and she's always an inspiration so don't miss her post on 18th to find out more about her and her art!
Thanks for popping by
Claire xx

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bold and Bright at PanPastel UK

Good morning folks, and a big warm welcome to my new follows! Its challenge time at PanPastel UK and for the next two weeks our theme is 'Bold and Bright'. There's some gorgeous stash from our sponsor Premium Craft Brands up for grabs for our lucky winner and my teamies have created some stunning projects to inspire you too.
For my project I've had a play using my PanPastels with water

I wet some watercolour paper and then used a palette knife to scrape some PanPastel on to the wet paper (I used Magenta, Turquoise and Ultramarine Blue). I gave it good spritz with water and left it to dry.

Once my background was dry I stamped the hydrangea and buttefly (from Stampendous) with black archival ink and added some more colour with PanPastels and added some definition with inktense pencils.  I used a biro to blow a mist of white from the butterfly using a white Graph'It Shake pen. I added some sparkle with a little glamour dust on the butterfly and lime green stickles on the flower.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Crafts 4 Eternity: anything goes
Crafty Boots: flowers
Shopping our Stash: splish splash
Stamp and Create: anything goes
That's Crafty: stamping ground

thanks for visiting today, hope to see you again soon
Claire xx

Make us laugh at Fashionable Stamping challenges

Hi there, we've got a fab new challenge starting at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and this time around our theme is 'Make us laugh'

I've altered a little paper mache heart using Maimeri Gesso and Acrylic paints adding some texture with an Indigo Blu Stencil and Maimeri light Modelling Paste. The stamps are from Indigo Blu,stamped on tissue and applied with Matte Medium. I've added some softboard cogs painted with silver acrylic paint and added a computer generated sentiment.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Allsorts: all sentimental
Hambo Hoedown: humorous
Rhedd's Creative Spirit: Anything goes altered art
Treasured Times: anything goes

Thanks for popping by, if you've got a minute pop over and have a giggle at my teamies gorgeous projects
Claire xx

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Fun in the sun at Polkadoodles

Hello again, oh dear blogger gremlins again! Its a bit late but better late than never, here is my DT project for our Fun in the Sun challenge at Polkadoodles, there's a fab prize for our lucky winner and loads of inspiration from my teamies so pop over and find out all the details. Our Nikky has been a very busy bee and lots of our favourite Polkadoodles characters are now available as digistamps and also clear stamps too so its a fab time to check out the Polkadoodles shop (they're a fab price too!)

Today's card was a very quick one, Nikky's cds are crammed with lovely papers and digis but Nikky also adds lots of gorgeous toppers and design sheets - perfect for a quick card. I've used the Cherry Blossom lane cd to make this rocker card.

I cut a circle from kraft card and topped it with one of the bps from the cd. The card topper is also from the cd, I really love these adorable bunnies! I've decoupaged the image and matted it on kraft card and added a sentiment and a couple of little bird embellishments (all from the cd)

To finish off I've added a little bow topped with a button and some twine.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
2 Cute ink: animals
Crafty Cardmakers: fancy folds
Crafty Sentiments: add a sentiment
My time to craft: Use kraft
Ribbon Girl: anything but a square

thanks so much for visiting,
Claire xx

Shabby Chic at We do Doobadoo

Good morning folks, its challenge time at We Do Doobadoo and this time our theme is 'Shabby Chic', there are some lovely Dutch Doobadoo goodies up for grabs for our lucky winner so hop over to the challenge blog and find out all the details.

I've used one of the fab Dutch Doobadoo Shape Art templates to create the panels on my card, distressing them with a craft knife and doing a bit of paper piercing around the edges. The paper are all from the beautiful Rose Budd collection from Polkadoodles and the postcard, sentiment and butterfly are both stamps from Premium Craft Brands.

I've added some Dutch Doobadoo laser art buttons, butterflies and some softboard honeycomb. embossed the butterflies and buttons but left the honeycomb as it is. I also used some paper flowers, pearls and twine from my stash to finish off.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Bearly Mine: anything goes
Crafters Cafe: lots of layers
Crafting by Design: Vintage/shabby
Papertake Weekly: anything goes
Penny's Paper Crafty: anything goes

Well the sun is shining so I'm going to take the dogs for a walk and make the most of the weather as bad weather is on the way. Hope you're enjoying some sunshine too
have a good day and thanks for popping by
Claire xx

Friday, 8 August 2014

Thistle Butterfly from Chocolate Baroque

Good morning folks. I really enjoyed making this card and had a lot of fun trying different techniques using Thistle Butterfly and Honeysuckle Butterfly from Chocolate Barqoue (there's a fabby sale on at the minute too with lots of bargains so pop over and have a look)

I wanted to create a watercolour effect so I decided to stamp the image with distress markers, I wasn't sure how this would work as its a very detailed image and also a big stamp so I got to work with my markers, gave it a spritz of water and stamped on to watercolour card. It was one of those crafting moments where you hold your breath but I was really pleased with the result. I used a waterbrush to shade the images here and there and then inked around the edges with distress ink. I  the stamped the small foliage stamp from Thistle Butterfly around the edges and layered the image on kraft card.

I made a distress ink background and overstamped with the larger foliage stamp from Honeysuckle Butterfly. The butterflies are also from the same stamp set, I stamped them on kraft card and embossed with clear embossing powder before adding some colour with distress markers. This is the first time I've tried the emboss resist technique on kraft card but I really like it.

I've added some burlap,, ribbon from my stash and a little wooden button to finish off.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Allsorts: favourite things
(lots of my favourite things on this card, Chocolate Baroque stamps, kraft, seambinding ribbon)
A Gem of a Challenge: embossing
Charisma Cardz: buttons and bows
Crafting by Design: vintage/shabby
Fantasy Stampers: buttons and bows
Inkspirational: Markers or pencils
Papertake Weekly: anything goes

Thanks for popping by today, hope to see you again soon
Claire xx

Monday, 4 August 2014

Summer Days at Vintage Stamping Challenges

Good morning my lovelies, can you believe its August already? I must be getting old as this year is going by so quickly! Its time for our new challenge at Vintage Stamping Challenges and this month our theme is 'Summer Days', you don't have to create a vintage project - just follow the theme and make sure that stamping is the focus of your project and you'll be in with a chance of winning a fabby $20 voucher for Flonzcraft! 

I've made an easel card for my DT offering, using one of the lovely Gibson Girl stamps from Flonzcraft. I made my base card from kraft card and stamped the lady on a smaller square of kraft, adding a background of sea and sky using PanPastels, (you can find a tutorial for quick and easy clouds using PanPastels here). This time I added some extra white to the clouds and the waves with a white Graph'It Shake pen (I just scribbled the pen on my craft sheet and applied it with my finger, I'm such a scruff lol)

I coloured the image with pencils and added some stamps cut from a Graphic 45 paper, some twine and a little brass charm


The base of the easel card has been decorated with more Graphic 45 papers and embellies and some more twine. I've distressed all the edges with a craft knife and some walnut stain distress ink and layered everything up withh 3d foam pads.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Crafty Hazelnuts Patterned paper: anything goes with patterned paper
A Creative Romance: fun in the sun
Eclectic Ellapu: seaside/nautical
Fairytale: sun/beach/sea
Scribbles Design: sea, sand and surf
Sugar Creek Hollow: summer sunshine

Monday morning means back to work for me so I'd better get my skates on. Have a great day and thanks for popping by
Claire xx

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Include a 4 legged animal at Craft a Scene

Hi there, we've got a brand new challenge starting at Craft A Scene and this month our theme is to Include a Four Legged Animal, my teamies have created some stunning projects to inspire you so if you've got time pop over to the challenge blog and have a look. I don't use a lot of animal stamps on my cards so I had to have a good rummage in my stash and managed to find these cows and horse from StampScapes.

The background was made using a stencil from That Special Touch and distress inks in shades of blue and green. I added some definition with coloured pencils and then stamped in the animals. I used water to create the clouds and remove the green ink from the cow - a green and brown cow looks a bit weird lol. Finally I added a sentiment from Chocolate Baroque

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Allsorts: Favourite things
 (my favourite thing is to create a scene using stamps)
Fab'n'Funky: anything goes
Inkspirational: use markers or pencils
Penny's Paper Crafty: anything goes
Sister Act: anything goes

Thanks so much for visiting today, hope you're going to join our new challenge
Claire xx

Summer fun Inspiration at PanPastel UK

Good morning folks, well yesterdays rain has gone and we've got lovely blue sky and sunshine so its perfect weather for some fun in the sun lol. You've still got a week to enter our Summer Fun challenge at PanPastel UK and if you pop over to the challenge blog, there is loads of inspiration from the DT and the winners announcement from our last challenge too! As always there is a fab prize from our generous sponsor Your Creativity Store too

My card was a very quick one this week, I inked up  the lovely Blackbird mask with versamark ink and embossed it through my Grand Calibur before adding colour with my PanPastels. I used Lavinia stamps and memento inks around the edges and added some glitter to the fairies wings. I don't think my little birdy knows what to make of those fairies playing lol.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Cards Galore Encore: anything goes
Lavinia Stamps: add glitter

Thanks for popping by today, 
Claire xx