Sunday, 23 April 2017

Flower of Scotland

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I've been busy in the garden re-felting the shed roof, sorting out the fencing and painting the wood and garden furniture, so no time for crafting! Still, when you live in the north of Scotland you take every spell of good weather to do those jobs outside. Now the forecast says it's promising to snow again this week, so I'm pleased that most of the maintenance jobs are done.

Here's my entry for this month's Claritystamp challenge. The theme is "all about the words", so I thought long and hard about how to do a background that wouldn't overwhelm the sentiment, and the idea of wallpaper came to mind.  I made my own custom inkpad using a piece of cut and dry foam and distress re-inkers, faintly stamping the Claritystamp thistle image onto the foam, then applying drops of two different green and purple inks to represent the leaves and flower head. I was aiming for a simple repeated design (like the idea of William Morris wallpaper), and the custom inkpad makes it easier to get more consistent colouration of the stamping.

When the background was dry, I added the wording "Flower of Scotland" using Versafine black ink, and a variety of letter stamps from the Claritystamp letterbox and word chain alphabet stamp sets. The card was trimmed to size, edged with a black sharpie pen, then mounted onto an 8x8 inch square white card and finished with a ribbon trim in a complimentary colour.

Hope you like the finished card, and any comments or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for visiting, Susan x

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spring is in the Air!

I've been busy up in my craft room trying to get ahead with my long list of cards needed for 2017, and as I was tidying up I found some bleeding colour tissue that I've had for ages but have never played with.

I didn't have my laptop at hand to re-watch the YouTube tutorial that the very talented Eileen Godwin had done on the technique (, so I relied on my memory instead! What I did recall was that she used dies to cut multiple shapes of the tissue, and reinforced that it was messy, that you should wear gloves and an apron, and dispose of the wet tissue carefully to avoid unwanted blotches of dye everywhere in your craft room.

First I cut various sizes of stars and circles in multiple layers of tissue, and put them into a container to keep them away from my water! Then I had a go at placing them onto pieces of watercolour card and spraying them, then removing them with tweezers after a few moments, but the result was a bit pale, watery and the shapes were quite indistinct. I finally decided to use a waterbrush to apply water directly to the shape before removing it, and that gave me a much brighter colour, with a definite shape.

Above are some of the scraps, some of which I've gone round with a black fineliner pen, and I'll use these for backgrounds for other projects. I really liked how some of the shapes had white areas in them, so I might try scrunching up some of the tissue shapes to see if I can enhance that effect in the future.

I used the main square piece of watercolour card for a background for my Clarity Stamp Challenge piece for the February 2017 theme, Flower Power. I thought the brightly coloured circles were reminiscent of the swinging 60s, and I used the Clarity Stamp alium flower stamps to enhance the circle theme, stamping using archival black ink, and stamping using versamark ink with white and coloured embossing for some variation of texture on the finished piece. Finally, I edged the square with a black sharpie pen, and matted onto yellow card for contrast. I added the Spring sentiment (one of the Clarity NDC club stamps) and coloured the lineart with some green pencils to finish the card, which will be sent for one of my upcoming spring birthdays.

Thanks for visiting, and if you'd like to leave me a comment that would be really appreciated!

Susan x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Crochet Blanket project

Just  short post to celebrate the completion of a long project, to make a kingsize blanket for our bed. I started it back in April last year, from a pattern in the "Crochet in no time" book by Melody Griffiths. The book promised the project could be completed in a day, and honestly, if you did a small blanket of the proportions in the original pattern, it probably would only take a day!

The project is comprised of large "granny squares, with quite a simple pattern (easy to remember after doing so many) which incorporates a bobble type stitch, and which starts with a circle of treble stitches around a magic ring.
The squares are joined together with a zig-zag crochet pattern, but I have modified the pattern slightly for the corner areas between the squares, and I also added a wide border around the finished blanket, finished with a picot edging.
Now I just need to decide what to do with the left-over yarn!

Thanks for visiting, Susan x

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Animal Kingdom - Clarity Challenge January 2017

Hello and Happy New Year! It seems like ages since I've had time to blog, but we've had a busy time during the festive period and then it was my birthday, so the diet's gone out of the window and my hobbies have been on the back burner. Time for a change, methinks!

I've been taking advantage of the January sales however, so there's some new storage in the craftroom, already filled and labelled, and also a few new crafting goodies of course! And now I've just completed my card to enter the January Claritystamp challenge.

This month's theme is The Animal Kingdom, so my entry uses quite a few of my favourite Clarity Stamps to create a valentine's day card for my lovely partner.

Items Used
New Designs Club Issue 105 - Elephants Stamp
Letterbox Alphabet Stamp Set
Wordchain Alphabet Stamp Set
Fiskars chain edging punch
Complimentary background papers
Scrap of velvet rickrack ribbon
Black archival ink
Turquoise pencil

Firstly, I stamped the elephants repeatedly onto a piece of background paper using black ink, coloured the lineart with a pencil in a complimentary colour, then cut out three of the elephants to use on my card. I've a few spare images to use on another card, as this stamp makes a great background for an anniversary card too. I love the way their trunks are knotted together into a heart shape.

Next, I took a complimentary piece of background paper, and punched the knotted design along one edge. I trimmed it to fit my card blank, then I used letters from my letterbox alphabet set, and mixed them with the wordchain alphabet set to spell out the message "I'm knots about you". I had a practice on a scrap piece of paper, and eventually decided just to stamp the message along the paper above the punched border using the scrap to help me space the lettering.
I decided to punch the knot design on both edges of the background paper, then I mounted it onto the base card, and added the three elephant stamps above the wording. Then I added some velvet ribbon in a teal colour to the top of the card. I thought it would be finished then, but I decided to add the word "Valentine" into the white area between the background paper and the ribbon, again using my letterbox and wordchain alphabets. I think this gives the card better balance.

I'm really pleased with the result - the photos don't do it justice, as the papers are a beautiful mix of turquoise and teal colours. I think it's a much more masculine valentine's card than you can buy in the shops, even if it has got some velvet on it!

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Crafting, Susan x

Monday, 21 November 2016

Blast from the Past

Hello again

Today's blog offering is a New Home card for my niece who has just moved into her first flat, and it was a bit of welcome relief from my Christmas card making. I thought it fitted the blast from the past theme of this month's Claritystamp Challenge, as it uses some stamps I've had for a long time and never used, and also one of my favourite stencils; the brick wall seemed so appropriate for a new home card.
Now, Katie is a very girly girl, and has loved pink and sparkles from a very young age, so I knew the card had to have shades of pink and purple and a feminine touch.

 I started by making a print of some lace (repurposed from an old top that I no longer wear) using current adirondack ink and a gel press plate, then I placed the Clarity brickwork stencil over the print, and using the same colour ink and a Clarity stencil brush, I applied the ink gradually building up the colour, working in a circular motion so that the colour was deeper towards the edges and more faded in the centre of the piece. Using a smoothie, I then blended some of the adirondack ink around the edges for more contrast.

Using the same colour ink I stamped one of the Clarity quirky cottages on the right hand side of the card, and under that I stamped the word NEW from the "Time for something new" NDC club stamp, masking off the unwanted parts of the text. Then I added Katie's name at a right angle to the house using the Alphabet Word Chain set. I wasn't originally sure that I needed this alphabet set, as I already had the letterbox kit but now I just can't put down!!! Finally, I coloured the cottage and the open areas on the word using promarkers in complimentary colours.

I cut some swirls from a piece of glittery card, and adhered them to the left side of the card, then added a small punched bird and a mat of the same card to finish the project.

I'll get this in the post tomorrow, and would love to hear your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog, Susan x