Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring into Stencils

Hello and welcome! I'm so pleased to have a special post today as I am the lucky Guest Designer over at the wonderful Frilly and Funkie challenge blog (on foot of my win for my creation here).

When I was invited to be Guest Designer I was delighted to learn that the theme to work to was 'Stencil Mania'. I find it difficult to make anything now without using stencils so this is right up my alley. Using several stencils I've made a card showing a little Springtime scene...

All the papers are by Maja Design. The window, window box and iron fence are all diecut using Sizzix / Tim Holtz dies. The diecut bird is from a Memory Box die. Foliage is done using Tim Holtz and Marianne dies.

There seems to be quite a blitz in blogland at the mo for DecoArt products so I'm joining in by painting the diecut chipboard window with DecoArt paint in 'Light Buttermilk'. Once dry, I applied DecoArt 'One Step Crackle' (best crackle medium there is imho) to the window and the window box. In no time at all the lovely crackles appeared and I then rubbed some distress inks into the cracks using a babywipe.

For the window 'pane' I applied texture paste through a Wendy Vecchi 'vintage quilt' stencil onto heat resistant acetate. Using the technique outlined by Tim Holtz in his March tag I magically turned the paste silver for a faux 'leaded window' effect. (The trick is to sprinkle embossing powder onto the texture paste before it dries. Then once the paste is fully dry heat it with your heat gun and the embossing powder will transform into your colour of choice). Simples! If you havn't heat embossed acetate before take care with static and handling. Use a narrow brush to disperse any stray flecks of embossing powder before you start to heat.

As further window decoration I made a faux window blind that I've stencilled with Tim Holt's 'gothic' stencil by just blending distress ink through the stencil.

On the background I've again applied texture paste through Tim's 'latticework' stencil and a Memory box 'tessatina' stencil to add extra interest. Lightly dabbed a variety of distress inks over the raised paste to add colour and then went and covered most of it up with window and fence diecuts!

The window box was also given some crackle treatment and attached using double layers of tape. I've placed some dried moss and little resin roses into the window box to make it pretty. Crackle medium was also coated onto both birds.

The iron fence was painted and then aged using 'Brushed Pewter' stain and lightly dabbed with silver gilding wax. I also painted some honeycomb chipboard shapes in a pink shade and placed in corners. These helped to further raise the fence in the bottom corners. Finally, I fussy cut florals and butterflies from Maja Design papers and dotted around the little scene.

Thank-you so much to all the talented ladies at Frilly & Funkie for allowing me feature today as Guest Designer. It’s always a privilege to be associated with their challenge and one of my very favourite design teams. To have a chance to be 'Guest Designer' or to win a generous voucher for Linda's beautifully stocked Funkie Junkie Boutique why don't you grab some stencils and enter your creation here!

Enjoy the rest of your week and thank-you so very much for your visit,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Through the Looking Glass
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Due Date (my Guest Design slot had due date 21.4.15)
Inspiration Journal - Everything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Die-ing for Spring
Crafts for Eternity - Spring
Stamps and Stencils - Anything Goes
Creative Moments - Anything Goes - twist of Spring
Simply Create Too - No digis or stamped images
Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge - Springtime Flowers

Monday, 6 April 2015

Blues in Bloom

Greetings to you and thank-you for visiting. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Dublin - hope it is lovely where you are too.

Some of you will have seen before my take on altering a Tim Holtz configuration box. To see my earlier boxes take a peek here and here for more details on how I altered and decorated each box.

First of all, here is a shot of the box lid from my latest alteration:

All papers used are by Maja Design. The paper on top outer lid was embossed with a flourish texture fade to match the flourish pattern on the 4 metal idea-ology corners. The chipboard (by Wycinanka), just like the corners, has been painted white, and also has some blue frantage added. I stamped and gold embossed the sentiment and tucked it around the gate. The little messenger bird has been diecut from chipboard using Sizzix 'caged bird' die - he looks much better set free! Added floral elements - some from stash and some diecut. The cream embellishments are by Prima and the gold ones are by Nunn Design. Edges are inked with distress inks.

Here's another, fuller shot of the box.

Next snap shows the box front. I've used idea-ology feet that are also painted white. I adhered lace around the top rim. Also, stencilled some texture paste right around the box using Crafty Individuals 'leafy border' stencil. Sprinkled on distress glitter in clear rock candy while texture paste was still wet to add a little sparkle. Ran a loopy grosgrain ribbon around it too - the tiers remind me of a wedding cake. Diecut the chipboard 'lock' from Sizzix 'hardware findings' and added key by Maja Design. Affixed a little bow for extra prettiness.

Here it is from a side angle:

Now, let's look inside to see the scene on the inner lid. There's a little diecut bird (Memory Box) with a painted watering can. Again some Wycinanka chipboard that I've painted white with a dusting of blue frantage on the blossom. Also added some 'florals' both diecut and from stash, and little metal embellishments.

Now a twirl to view the right side of 'garden'.

Finally, a view of entire inside. All the compartments are painted white on the outside with the insides then lined with a selection of beautiful Maja Design papers.

As always, your visit and any comments you may leave are hugely appreciated. Enjoy the remainder of your Easter weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - A is for 'Altered' configuration box
Frilly and Funkie - Put a Ribbon on it!
Stamps and Stencils - Anything Goes
Live and Love Crafts - Signs of Spring
Crafty Cardmakers and More - Wings
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - April
Really Reasonable Ribbon - Things With Wings
Mixed Media World - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sending Get Well Wishes

Hello and Welcome! It was great to see so many worldwide sharing our St. Patrick's Day yesterday - hope you enjoyed it.

Just a short post from me. I've made this card for a dear lady who is ill at the moment.

Papers by Maja Design. Both dies by Sizzix - 'Bird Scroll' and 'Scallop Lace Envelope'. (I also die cut the Bird and Scroll in chipboard to layer it up and make it sturdy). Punches by Martha Stewart and Woodware. Lots of Stampendous frantage. Stamped a sentiment, inked most edges with DIs, dabbed with Waco pearl pen and lace from stash. Added rose, bow and heart pin to complete.

Thank-you for your visit and for any comments you may leave - they are greatly appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Animals
Inspiration Journal - Spring Blooms
Craft For The Craic - Bingo - (Sentiment, More than 2 layers, Chipboard)
Allsorts - Flowers and Pearls
Crafty Creations - Chevrons or Stripes
Moving Along with the Times - Bingo - (Die, Flower(s), Lace)
The Ribbon Girl Challenge - Going Green

Thursday, 12 March 2015

For Mum

Good Morning and Welcome.

An unusually early post from me today. We celebrate Mother's Day in these parts this coming Sunday so my card today is for my Dearest Mum.

Papers are by Pion Design. Die cuts are made using Cheery Lynn circles and MFT Dienamics fishtails. Most edges are inked with DI 'Tattered Rose'. Included 2 doilys amongst the various layers. Lots of pink frantage speckled around for texture and glam, including on the resin angel's wings (angel by Prima). Dotted Stickles 'Mercury Glass' to Angel's eyes. Added a selection of roses that I've dabbed with Snow-tex. The printed sentiment came with a gift from a dear friend of mine so I'm now 'recycling' it. Decorated with wire with pearls thereon and added lots of little pearl dots using a Waco pearl pen. A chunk of pink Melissa Frances vintage glitter is on the spoon instead of sugar - to match the afternoon tea theme.

Wishing all the Mum's out there a very Happy Mother's Day.

I hope your day is kind to you and thanks so much for your visit. It's hugely appreciated!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Live & Love Crafts - Photo Inspiration
Frilly & Funkie - Bring on the Bling
Simon Says Stamp Monday - B is for (Butterflies and Baking)
Inspiration Journal - Spring Blooms / Use Flowers
Craft For The Craic - Bingo (Flowers, Sentiment, Image)
Crafty Cardmakers - For a Special Woman
In the Pink - For A Special Lady
Try It On Tuesday - Pearls for Girls

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Blending Tim and Anne!

Hello and welcome.

I needed to make a 25th birthday card so reckoned I should join in with the 'Special Numbers' challenge at 'A Vintage Journey'. I've only entered the Tim Holtz tag challenge once before so I'm way overdue to try that again too. I've ended up with the following card that fits both challenges. It's also a salute to the terrfic inspiration obtained during every visit to the lovely Anne's blog. She consistently delivers beautiful creations with clean lines and i.m.o. the very best use of the colour black in blogland.

My card is a take on Tim's March tag here. I don't have any distress paints in bright colours so my background is done with distress inks instead. I used Tim's 'Bird Branch' stamp and his 'Clockwork' stencil. I hadn't used the embossing powder on texture paste technique before and really love the results so will definitely do again. (That's Ranger's 'Queen's Gold' popping up there).

I wasn't sure how to adapt Tim's tag design into a card but having recently admired Anne's clever card here I decided to copy her technique so as to place a second bird on the branch (slightly floating alongside the one in the circle). Anne kindly sent me a link to a video showing how to do extended die cuts. It looks easy in the video but my M.E. brain really struggled to actually get the cut right - having several times amputated the bird the wrong way! I've watercoloured the 'extended' bird using my TH waterbrush and D.I.s so that it might appear to be the same lesser spotted species as the one in circle.

One of my other blog pals recently used jigsaw pieces but can't recall who - please shout out if reading! (or 'Reach Out' in parlance du jour!). (Edited to add, it was the fabulous Lisa from You made me Ink). I painted the jigsaw pieces with Adirondack 'Snow Cap' and then with crackle paint in 'Picket Fence'. I tried edging each piece with black ink but it made the card look too busy so abandoned idea and made them pristine again. The digits 2 and 5 are rather handily on the TH 'Christmas' stencil so stencilled same onto pieces to left side, again coating the texture paste with gold powder and heating once dry.

The glossy black 2 and 5 to right of circle are die cut using Sizzix 'Mini Reindeer 25' movers and shakers. Inked them with Ranger black archival and coated liberally with glossy accents. I further decorated card with various idea-ology elements that I black embossed. To complete, I arranged black string to right side around an Idea-ology hitch fastener to mirror the wraparound that Tim often does with his fabulous tags.

Very many thanks for your visit - it's a pleasure to see you stop by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Tim Holtz - 12 tags of 2015 - March
A Vintage Journey - Special Numbers

As there is a smidgeon of green ink within the circle I hope it's not too much a stretch for me to also enter:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Just a hint of clover

Also delighted to join in at the 2nd birthday celebrations at:
Country View Crafts challenge - theme is Anything Goes

Monday, 23 February 2015

For New Grandparents

Hello again. I hope this day finds you well. I've made another baby boy card, this time for a dear couple who have just become new Grandparents.

I had been browsing Pinterest for a few minutes hours the night before I made this and saw a wonderful Christmas card by Ana Z. I then made this card with Ana's card very much in my mind's eye - thank-you in advance Ana.

The lovely vintage papers are by Pion Design. I used Anna Griffin stamps for the silver embossed pram and text. The metal elements are by Nunn Design and Making Memories. The lower sheet has been embossed with hearts using a Cheery Lynn plate. For the borders I used a Martha Stewart punch and edge dies by Magnolia and Cheery Lynn. The fishtail flags are cut with MFT Dienamics dies and the circles with Spellbinder dies. Sprinkled around lots of blue frantage. Then completed with oodles of silver and white pearls (Waco pens) and a blue satin bow.

As always, huge thanks for stopping by.
Warmest wishes,
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Anything Goes
Inspiration Journal - Love is in the Air
City Crafter - Love Metal
Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes
Crafting for all Seasons - Dies and/or Punches
Fussy & Fancy Friday - Tic, Tac, Toe (Charm, Dry Emboss, Sentiment)
Cheery Lynn Designs - Anything Goes

Monday, 16 February 2015

Welcome Beautiful Baby Boy

Hello and thanks so much for visiting. My card today is for a precious baby boy who arrived recently - he is an absolute darling and has everyone besotted.

Background paper from Pion Design and balloons and all other papers by Maja Design. Balloons are cut with Sizzix Triplits Balloons die. The sentiment banner is cut with MFT Dienamics stax pierced fishtails. Ran Krylon 18ct gold leafing pen around all the edges. Added texture too with blue frantage and texture paste through a TH lattice stencil. Silk ribbon by May Arts and yarn from my Mum's sewing box. Sentiment stamped and embossed using an Anna Griffin stamp. Charms from stash.

Warmest wishes to you all for a lovely week ahead.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - A Piece of Paradise (Holding this little one sure is a piece of paradise)
Inspiration Journal - Love is in the air
Allsorts - Any occasion other than Birthday
Card & Scrap - Anything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Birthday or Anniversary
Live and Love Crafts - Hearts
Art With Heart - Projects to Love
Fab n Funky Challenges - Charm Us

Monday, 9 February 2015

Coming Up Roses

Hello and welcome! It's been a while since I'ved posted - I hope to dip in and out a little more often. Thank-you to the lovely people who have signed up recently to follow despite my absence.

It looks rather grey outside (in Dublin anyway) - I hope the Springlike hues in my card will warm everyone's day.

I've used papers by Maja Design that I tore and layered. Flowers are from my stash. Surrounding dots were done using Waco pearl pen.

Thank-you for stopping by - I hope to catch up with visits in coming days.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Card & Scrap - Use Flowers
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Red & Pink (I'm much more of a pink gal)
We Love Vintage - Use a theme from collage - I'm using Flowers
Craft For The Craic - Birthdays or Anniversary (Card was given for a birthday)
Moving Along with the Times - Pastels

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas to You


Main image by Inkido. All other papers by Maja Design. Dies by MFT and Sizzix (thank-you to the lovely Anne for kindly sending me lots of those new snowflakes. I had no trouble blinging them up!). Music stamps from Katzelkraft. Distress ink - 'chipped sapphire'. Glitter in 'clear rock candy' and Melissa Frances 'aged silver'. Lots of Frantage in 'shabby blue'. Silver gilding paste turned the brass music note silver. Dotted with Waco pearl pens in White and Silver. Lace from stash.

This is my last card post for 2014. Thank-you all for your visits, comments, friendship and encouragement over the past year - I wouldn't be in blogland without all your kind wishes and inspiration. May you and yours have a very happy and peaceful Christmas and all that you wish for in 2015.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Inspiration Journal - Sing, Sing It Loud
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas card (Vintage)
Country View Crafts - Nostalgic Christmas

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Christmas View

Warmest greetings from Dublin. Just sharing my penultimate card for this year...

'Window' die, 'on the edge snow flurry' die and 'mini holly' die all by Tim Holtz / Sizzix. Focal image by Pion Design. All other papers by Maja Design. Stencilled little snowflakes by Memory Box. Sentiment Stamp by Cat's Life Press. Edges inked with DI 'Weathered Wood'. Plenty of my fave TH 'clear rock candy' glitter applied. Tinsel twine by TH Idea-ology. Bells, 'foliage' etc from stash.

Last card tomorrow... Hope everyone is winding down now so as to recharge for the main event!

As always, huge thanks for visiting.

Nicola x

A special shout-out to all the design team members who are continuing to 'work' today. I wish to enter card to the following challenges:

A Vintage Journey - Let's Celebrate - I've used lots of TH products
Sparkles Forum - It's a blue blue Christmas
Simon Wednesday Challenge - Winter Inspiration
Inspiration Emporium - Sing, Sing It Loud - (Sound of bells on card)
We Love Vintage - Bingo (Pearls/Blue/Knot - Parels, Blauw, Knopen)
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas card (Vintage)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Peace in Snowland


Popping by again to show another from my Christmas cards. I've gone for a pristine, snowy look:

I finally managed to get decorations up today. Better late than never!

Thank-you for stopping by during this busy time.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Try It on Tuesday - Winter Whites
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Winter Inspiration

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry & Bright

Good Evening and Welcome. Another quick Christmas card post from me.

Sometimes when I'm working against the clock to make a card I find it very handy to follow a 'sketch challenge' - this one is at Cards n Scrapz here.

(The more eagle eyed may figure that the vertical side panels aren't in keeping with the design but I hope it's ok as it is one sheet of paper with a dappled brown pattern above cream).

Papers are by Inkido. I've machine stitched most edges. The central deer image was a free image online that I printed onto Lesley Riley's Transfer Artist Paper and then ironed onto some muslin. Stenciled some snowflakes via a Memory Box 'tiny snowflakes' stencil as well as adhering some punched paper ones too. Dotted around a few little 'pearls' using a Waco pearl pen. The sentiment has been diecut using the new Sizzix 'Holiday Words' thinlits. These dies are a little fiddly - best results achieved by cutting chosen paper backed with thick cardstock. Decorated with 'foliage' arrangements and knotted a bow through some dangling jingle bells. Dabbed with a little Snow-Tex and affixed some gems and pearls to complete.

Have all cards in the post now - hope you do too! Thanks so much for your visit.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Cards n Scrapz - December Sketch challenge
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas card (Vintage)
Country View Crafts - Nostalgic Christmas
Simon Monday Challenge - Anything Goes
It's All About the Vintage and Beauty - Knot
Live & Love Crafts - With Love
Inspiration Emporium - Sing, Sing It Loud (Sound of bells on card)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Lighting the Tree

Hello. I know we all are busy right now so will keep post short. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to visit.

In card above I've used Pion Design papers from 'Days of Winter' and 'Flower Frames' collections. The dies are by Joy Crafts (Noor Design), Sizzix and Spellbinders. Frantage and bling added too. I gilded some paper edges with Krylon gold leafing pen.

I had intended to have lots of Christmas cards made this year but plans didn't work out! Only a small number of cards have been made and I'll show some over the next few days.

Thanks so much again for stopping by.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
Vintage Utfordring - Christmas Card (Vintage)
We Love Vintage - Bingo - Pearls/Border/Pink (Parels, Kant, Roze)
Country View Crafts - Nostalgic Christmas
Simon Monday Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft for the Craic - Favourite Christmas Colours
Live and Love Crafts - With Love
Winter Wonderland Challenge - Fussy and Fancy
Deep Ocean Challenge - Christmas is All Around
In The Pink - Christmas (In Pink)
Noor Design (Joy Crafts) No 1 Challenge - Merry Christmas

A Vintage Journey Christmas Giveaway

A Vintage Journey, one of my very favourite blogs, is hosting a super generous Christmas give-away. All you have to do is click here where you will find details of the blogs of the lovely Design Team ladies. Give each a visit and leave them a comment. Then link up as per the instructions and mention in your blog about the giveaway. All the details are here.

If there are more than 30 linkups then there will be a second delicious giveaway. Further, if there are more than 50 linkups then there will be yet a third fabby prize.

So go get those linkups flowing!!! Their blogs are a treat to visit.

Nicola x

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Mailing to Santa

Hello and welcome.

Sorry to have been quiet recently in 'blogland' but lots occupying me in the real world at the moment. Hope to catch up soon. Just a quick post showing another Christmas ornament that I've made:

I've used MFT Postage Stamp Stax dies to cut layers of cotton batting (with some wadding in between layers). Layers are then hand stitched with embroidery thread. Santa is stamped on muslin using Archival ink and Tim Holtz 'Mini Holidays 5' stamp set. Snowflakes also stamped on muslin are from Artistic Outpost 'Snowy Woods' set. You can't see from photo but my favourite Clear Rock Candy glitter has been liberally applied to fabrics. Hand stitched on metal charms, affixed ribbon and pom pom trim and completed by adorning with Swarovski crystals and pearls.

Now I must post this off to Santa ...

Thanks so much for your visit, each and every one is much appreciated.
Nicola x

I wish to enter ornament to the following challenges
Simon Says Stamp - Ornaments
Inspiration Journal - Happy Holidays
A Vintage Journey - All Sewn Up
Stamping Sensations - Simply Christmas
Winter Wonderland - Christmas Decorations
The Artistic Stamper - Christmas is coming