Sunday, 31 May 2015

Moroccan Squares - FMS 188

 I recently spotted a Tim Holtz stamp which says "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting new discoveries" and thought that just about sums up my craft cupboard! I'd been having a bit of a clear out and came across a couple of punches I've had for years which have a Moroccan design (I think they might be X-Cut) so thought I'd try using them for this week's Freshly Made Sketches Challenge No 188. 

Before rediscovering the punches I had been considering making a window card - I'd been playing with a couple of ideas for this but decided to try something a wee bit different instead.

I'm really not sure if it's allowed to change the style of card away from a standard single fold in the challenge but I wanted to experiment with an idea I had for an interlocking gate fold card.

Using a couple of Spellbinders Label 4 dies nested inside each other I created a central panel with a frame, cut from matt bronze metallic cardstock, which that also doubles up as a closure for the gate fold.

I've used a pearlised card as the background and embossed the side panels with a Couture Creations "Wild Holly" embossing folder. I punched out some of the Moroccan designs and cut them into shape using the small square dies from my new Spellbinders Sapphire. These were then mounted as diamond shapes onto pieces of the pearlised card which had been coloured with a Leaf Green Promarker to add a "pop" of colour. The central punched square was mounted with DS foam tape onto the green card which was also foam mounted to raise it above the outer two.

The design is finished off with an X-Cut Fleur-de-Lis die and pearls coloured with Promarkers.

The corners of the gatefold edges were rounded with a deco styled corner punch while the top and bottom of the back panel inside the card were trimmed with green strips to match the exterior colour.

To create the closure the right hand side of the frame is glued to the right hand flap of the gatefold whilst the left hand side of the centre panel is glued to the left hand flap.





PayPer Box - Matt Bronze, Pearlised White

Dies, Punches :
Spellbinders Labels 4, Sapphire Basic Set A Squares,
X-Cut Fleur-de-Lis,
Moroccan Punch,

Embossing Folder:
Couture Creations Wild Holly,

Letraset Promarkers - Leaf Green, Purple

The wooden box in the photos is one I picked up in Gibraltar many, many moons ago & I believe it shows some Moorish influence.


Monday, 25 May 2015

Hugs & Kisses - FMS 187

Last weekend I had been looking for a new corner rounder punch as mine had decided it didn't want to play any more. I found an X-Cut one online which did both converse and inverse versions so I decided to order it.  The new punch arrived the same day as the new Freshly Made Sketches Challenge was published so imagine my surprise to see that it featured inverse corners!

Instead of using the inverse corners on the embellishment I made them a feature on the base of the card design and some Spellbinders Labels 4 for the "Hugs and Kisses" topper.
After the problems I had earlier with the new Spellbinders Sapphire butterfly die I wasn't really in the mood to put a butterfly on my card! Instead I decided use the Crafter's Companion "Moonbeam Meadow" stamp of two cute wee mice kissing - aw!

I had some of the nice PayPer Box turquoise cardstock left so used that as a starting point for my colour scheme and used my trusty Promarkers to co-ordinate.

Image Supersmooth - White
PayPer Box - Turquoise
Card Candy - White (coloured with Cool Aqua Promarker)

Embossing Folder:
Darice Dots
Crafter's Companion Moonbeam Meadow
Sizzix - Small Hearts


Memento Brilliance Trio "Tiramisu" - Black
Letraset Promarkers - Various


Club Green - White with Silver


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Spellbinders Sapphire Update

After posting on Tuesday night about the new Spellbinders Sapphire I had put away all the bits and pieces and sorted through my existing dies to see which ones would also work with it. Once I had done that I got together some scraps of cardstock and decided to get making some die cuts with some of the new Sapphire dies. I put my hand into the packaging to lift a couple of them out when I felt a sharp pain in one of my fingers, when I took my hand out the packet I found the small butterfly die was stuck into my finger and had to be carefully removed - drawing blood in the process!

On closer inspection of the butterfly die I found more sharp points, two being extremely sharp. Thoughts of making cards soon disappeared and I took photographs of the die showing where the sharp points were and sent emails to both Create and Craft, where I bought it, and to Spellbinders who manufactured it.

So far I am unimpressed by the responses from both companies.  I posted a warning on the Facebook group I belong to and others have now said that they too had been hurt or cut whilst handling the butterfly die. Spellbinders have since admitted that there is a fault with the die template in it being too sharp but neither they or Create and Craft have issued a warning to customers. On their Facebook page C&C have ignored any posts mentioning the problems with the die while other posts praising the Sapphire have been replied to! It took C&C almost 5 days to even acknowledge my email and only then after I emailed a senior exec!

The Senior Exec has said he is away until Tuesday but will contact me on his return.

See also:

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

It's Here!!!

My Birthday isn't for another week yet but hubby's pressie arrived today & I've been allowed to open it!
I've just unpacked it and taken a few photos to show how dinky it is in comparison to the Grand Calibur: 

 The Sapphire has two little drop down doors that act as platforms for the plates. From this view I think it looks as though it has a face that's crying out to be personalised. I wonder where I put that pack of googly eyes!
It's a pity that Spellbinders decided to change the colour of the plates for the sapphire.  

Whilst I get the reason for changing the colour of the embossing plate from pink to sapphire blue why on earth did they feel the need to change the Base & Cutting plate colours to the reverse of those of the GC - some folks (me) might get confused going from one to the other.
If you have a big enough handbag (it fits in my Kipling Defea very easily and with plenty room to spare) you could easily take this on the bus, train or plane and do some crafting on the move. It certainly would be handy to take on holiday in case of rainy days.

Handle has a "Sapphire" set into it!
I am now going to go and play with that "might come in handy" box of scrappy bits & bobs that that I have and and get to turning them into some die cuts with the set of appropriately sized dies that came with it. I have some small Lawn Fawn dies that will be just the right size for this and I shall sort through what dies I have and work out what will fit and mark them accordingly for future use.  I'm also going to try putting my Darice border embossing folders through it - I think I have a couple of small Sizzix ones as well that may also fit. Hopefully I shall have a card or two made using this ready to photograph soon!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Scrap Paper Makes

Like most crafters I seem to have amassed loads of bits and bobs including rather a lot assorted scrap pieces of paper that have ended up in my "might come in handy at some point" box. Last night I was going through the box to see what was there as winging it's way to me in the next few days is one of the new Spellbinder Sapphire Die Cut & Embossing machines. These machines are teeny tiny and to me seem an ideal way of turning the scraps into small die cuts.  In the meantime, I decided to turn some of the larger pieces into something useful and came up with these covers for sticky note pads (generic Post-It notes).

These covers are easy to make and are a great way to turn something boring into something pretty. 

If you are looking to entertain the kids on a rainy afternoon these sticky note pads can be picked up in various "Pound" stores (I've found packs of 3 or 4 for £1). They could be made as gifts or perhaps for fundraising at school or group. You can keep them simple, personalise them or really jazz them up with lots of bling!  I made some of these at Christmas time and teamed them up with matching calendars using calendar tabs to give as "mindings".


Paper from Trimcraft Spring in Bloom 6x6" Pad,

Flower Trimcraft Santoro Mirabelle Paper Blossoms

Bling coloured with Promarkers


Paper from Trimcraft Kiss and Tell 6x6" Pad,
Flowers - Trimcraft Santoro Mirabelle Paper Blossoms,
Patterned Craft Tape - Papermania Capsule Collection Spots and Stripes Jewels
Bling coloured with Promarkers
For the men - something a bit more macho:

Cardstock White Pearlescent & Matt Copper Metallic from PayPer Box. The Copper cardstock were trimmed pieces left over from embossing with Darice folders Steam Punk Gears & Diamond Plate Pattern
White "Card Candy" pieces were coloured with Memento Brilliance Tiramisu Ink Pad and made to resemble screws by denting them with end of a nail file!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Little Bird Told Me

It's Sunday, the sun is shining (in between the showers) and our garden is starting to bloom! I've had my fingers crossed since January after I took loppers to my dwarf James Grieve apple tree for the first time since I got it as a Birthday present around12 years ago. I'm pleased to say that it is now covered in gorgeous pink blossom so it's looking good for a nice crop this year! 
I picked up a "Quick Cards" magazine earlier in the week, I don't often buy magazines but it had a rather nice "Moonbeam Meadow" Stamp Set by Crafter's Companion as a "free gift".  The new set of Promarker Pens I bought as an almost, not quite, nearly, early, Birthday present to myself arrived yesterday so it was practice time!
Last night I stamped out some of the "Moonbeam Meadow" designs and set about colouring them, when I was finished I played about with some ideas to use for the  Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #186 
As this challenge is based on a sketch  containing a diagonal I was drawn to the design of on a sheet from one of my Trimcraft 6x6 paper pads, Spring in Bloom, which has the main pattern concentrated into the right hand corner. The paper was put into the trimmer at cut on the diagonal and then separated to elongate it to fit a rectangular card shape and to create an inner strip for embellishment.

 The edges of the diagonal were decorated with promarker coloured strips cut using the dot/dash edge die from Spellbinders Borderabilities "A2 Bracket Borders One" set with matching DS satin ribbon (photo shows it darker). The central strip was coloured with Promarker to match one of the pink colours on the background paper. The little flowers and pearls were also colour matched to those on the background paper. The circles  used for the Little Bird topper came from my "might come in handy at some point" box and are the inners left over from cutting out some Joy Craft Floral and Celtic Circles!

Image - Super Smooth White
Trimcraft - Spring in Bloom
PayPer Box - Gold Pearlised
Spellbinders - Borderabilities A2 Bracket Borders One
Joy Craft - Circle

Crafter's Companion - Moonbeam Meadow

Versacolour - Sepia
Letraset Promarkers - Crimson, Dusky Rose, Rose Pink, Pastel Blue, Blue Pearl, Leaf Green, Grass 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Love Holds The Key - FMS 185

It's an overcast day today with rain looking imminent but I managed to get the photographs of my card taken while the sun decided to peep out for a wee while.
Once I saw this week's Freshly Made Sketches challenge sketch I decided to have a rake through my dies to look for some inspiration.

With some of my newer die purchases I'd made samples to be kept together with them in their packaging so I could see what the actual die cut looked like. Whilst going through my box I came across the Spellbinders "Heart Locket" die. The sample I'd cut out was in matt silver metallic cardstock so thought that could be a starting point and with the latest addition to my collection being a Fawn Lawn "Scripty Love" die I decided to try them together. When I was playing about with them I picked up the love die  to change it's position and  as I lifted it up I found that it had the key hooked over the "e". I had a wee laugh to myself when I realised that love really did hold the key!


a little clearer in close up . . .

Image -  Supersmooth White
PayPer Box - Matt Silver & Red Metallic
Black Cat - Black
Embossing Folder
Spellbinders' M-Bossabilities - Hearts 5 x 7"
Spellbinders - Labels 4
Spellbinders - Heart Locket
Cheery Lynn  Designs - Pierced Banners



Friday, 8 May 2015

Good Luck!

The exam season has started here in Scotland and tomorrow my teenage son sits the first of his Nationals (they replaced Standard Grades/O Grades last year). 

Whilst he doesn't really need  any luck as he's been doing lots of studying I thought I would make him a Good Luck card.

He's really into Manga and Anime art work so when I saw that Lawn Fawn's Good Luck Charm set had the Maneki Neko (Chinese Good Luck Cat/Japanese Beckoning Cat) I decided to get it. On doing some research I found that green is used with the Maneki Neko to denote education and studies so decided to use that colour as a starting point and, eventually, came up with this:

I used some gold pearlised cardstock as card blank then added a light green card from a Trimcraft Serenity 6x6 pad to make the card front. I used more of the gold pearlised (coloured with ProMarkers) to mat and layer in order to create embellishments with the Lawn Fawn stamps/dies. A Creative Concepts Script embossing folder was used to create a panel for one of the layers.

Friday, 1 May 2015

You're Special - FMS Challenge 184

It's been quite grey here over the last few days but in between the rain, and occasional sleet, the sun has been shining so I thought I would go for some nice sunshine-y colours.

As soon as I saw this Freshly Made Sketches Challenge I knew what I would like to do. Originally it was to be a large tag with three largish flowers but once I got into playing around with that idea the more it morphed into this finished card.

I used the Couture Creations Exotic folder and teamed it up with a Sizzix foliage stamp & die as I thought they had a similar look about them.  The blooms are also from a Sizzix Framelits die and stamp set. As with FMS 183 I've used a Promarker to colour and to co-ordinate the cardstock and ribbons.

My son has decided that it's just right for his Aunty Anne's Birthday this weekend! 

Image Supersmooth 300gsm

Dies:Tags from Sizzix Framelits Gift Card Holder
Foliage from  Sizzix Framelits "For The Record"
Flowers  from  Sizzix Framelits "Dragonflies"
Embossing Folder:
Couture Creations Exotic
Foliage from  Sizzix Framelits "For The Record"
Flowers  from  Sizzix Framelits "Dragonflies"

You're Special from Sizzix Framelits Labels Fancy#2 

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Pads