Sunday, 18 December 2016

Visible Image - Rock Out!

Hi and here's my last Sunday Share for 2016, and the last Visible Image Design Team Blog Post of the year! A genuine squeal of excitement from me when I saw the new and improved Rock Out set, with the extra guitar, the stars, the devil horn hands.... and an idea fell into place. 

Mr Bone Jangles' skull is such a cool size to start a design, the rest came easily. A background, from red, green and orange spritzed distress inks, called for the same colous of stamping for a bit of subtlety, and then a splash of brightness for contrast. 

The guitars were stamped in a skull and crossbones style with Versamark, and heat embossed with black powder direct to the cardstock. The skull I did onto painted card and cut out. 

A finishing touch was to stamp 'happy birthday' from the 'Go To Words' set round the edge of the card to tie everything together. Don't tell him but this will be one of the cards for my son's 17th Birthday on boxing Day! It sums him up in a nutshell!

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to Helen and Mark for taking the leap of faith with me when I turned up at Port Sunlight in May waving my Union Jack card at them! The rest, as they say, is history, but it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with them and the rest of the inspirational Design Team this year and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all! 

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog, where Helen and Mark showcase their talented Design Team and tempt you with special offers and gorgeous stamps!

Wishing you all, Visible Image customers, crafters and friends, a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2017

Nicky xx

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Win and Tonic December Challenge

Just wanted to share this not-so little card - it's an 8x8 inch one, so that I could use a lovely 'letters to Santa' backing paper that has tiny Christmas cards on it too. So cute! But the main feature is the gorgeous Snowy Postbox from Tonic Studios and also the very useful (and among my favourite layering sets) Art Nouveau set

The post box has been coloured in with alcohol pens and the snowy bits glittered. I was so thrilled to be able to add a tiny letter going into its mouth..just so Santa knows...!

And after I made this card, I learned of a special and brave little boy whose wish, this Christmas, is to receive as many cards as this is now winging it's way to him...

Traditional Christmas colours are my favourite, so I hope this works well as inspiration for December's Win and Tonic Challenge. Please head over and join in, post your makes, there is a huge list of possibble ways to make your project so everyone is very welcome to join in.

Thanks for looking, and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me. 

Crafty hugs
Nicky xx

Nuvo Aqua Flow pens - Tonic Studios

Today I'm sharing my makes from this week's double launch from Tonic Studios - amazing Nuvo Aqua Flow pens and Craft Perfect Foiled Card Blanks.

The pens have the capacity to change the way you look at stamping, but for this launch, I concentrated on colouring and painting with them, and I absolutely loved the effects you can get with even just the one pen. Here are some of my samples and a little explanation of how I put them together...

A simple colour wash of the Indigo Dawn, thinning out the ink as I went across. Splashes of water to lift some of the colour and purple splattering to add deep highlights. The dies are all Tonic Studios, I love my go-to Beautiful Blooms sets, this one is from Sunburst Gazania

One colour again -  Azure Blue, washed and lightened across the card. This time I picked out the detail in the mandala-style foiling with the pen and a waterbrush for lighter colours. The dragonfly is from the Mandala Moments set released in November.

Aqua Splash with evergreen Fern...a colour wash and then a blotted technique to build it all up. The ribbon has been coloured buy the pens!

A pink wash from the Red Apple pen, and then the colourof the flowers and the sentiment taken out with a waterbrush. I then used the fabulous Glitter Gloss pen to make the flowers shine. 

Spiced Ginger and Lemon Zest all over the card blank, then Obsidian Black for detail. This time I applied the Glitter Gloss pen to the black for a gorgeous sheen

Straight-forward colouring with four pastel shades, but in order to accommodate the topper I decided to cut an aperture through the front of the card. Waste not, want not - I quartered it to add detail inside the aperture when the card is open.

Red Apple and Spiced Ginger...and the orange came from mixing them together. The red behind the gold frame is simple achieved by colouring directly onto white diecut cardstock - no more hunting matching colours in the scraps box!

And favourite of all the cards I made for the samples...
Three colours of wash, Soft Rose, Aqua Splash and Azure Blue, and then splashes of Indigo Dawn. I also water painted out the colour from the flowers and repainted with light Indigo Dawn, to keep the intensity of the colour, and to match the Tonic Sent With Love topper that just finished the piece off. 

I genuinely love this set of pens, there are over 50 DT photos to inspire you on the Tonic Pinterest Page, definitely worth a look!! 

Enjoy your pens if you get them, I really do love them and they will feature in lots of my up-coming work, that's for sure, 
Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Monday, 5 December 2016

Mandala Moments - I love you!

I think this one might be my favourite from Tonic Studios' latest release - Using three different dies and stamps from the Mandala Moments collection to get the loveliest of sentiments - but stamping and embossing in white, and filling in with just a little bit of black.However there is one extra touch...Here is the card flat:

But here is the card upright:
You'll see I used the LOVE die on the 6 x 6 inch card base and took it out of the front by positioning it and rolling the whole of the card blank through the machine. It just added another dimension to some already amazing dies.

I stamped each of the three words onto separate red card, heat embossed and added black Nuvo Brush Script pen to them, they are so amazing for getting the fine detail into the smallest of places, but what's even more fun is that the white embossing acts both as a guide to stop your pen straying, and as a resist if you go over it. 

To position the LOVE I closed the card and laid the the diecut word through it. The 'I' and the 'YOU' are on 2mm sticky pads but I stuck the LOVE directly to the inside of the card for the tunnel effect that you get when the card is opened.

A simple wrapped ribbon and bow to finish off this contemporary design, nothing more needed, for as they say, it's all in the words...!

Nicky x

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Imperfection is Beauty - Visible Image

Hello and here's my Sunday share. The main stamps used are from Imperfection is Beauty and the background features two stamps from The Ripple Effect
How apt that this is the set that I chose to play with, I had previously made a set of backgrounds with Distress inks, spritzers and paints, and this was one of my least favourites, as I felt it was less than perfect, the ink hadn't spread evenly across the sheet, making a mottled effect botttom left. However....
when I stamped the two scripty flowers onto separate pieces of coloured card, and cut them out, it all seemed to work. And I thought that the effect actually seemed....right!
I used the bubble circle outlines and stamped and embossed with white, making it super easy to roughly fill them in with watercoloured distress ink. I used the same colour to stamp the other full circles, to tie them together, and stamped random patterns round the edge of my design to add interest and highlights.

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog, where Helen and Mark showcase their talented Design Team and tempt you with special offers and gorgeous stamps!

 Happy Crafting!
Nicky xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Mandala Moments - It's love....

What is love?

Love is...colouring and stamping my new Tonic Studios Mandala Moments stamps, using the 'LOVE' and the 'IS' stamps and die sets, AND...the ladybird!

The ladybird? Can't you see it? I used it as a background stamp on the base heart layer, which I watercolour washed with a little of the pale blue from the fabulous Nuvo Brush Script pens. 

The same pens that I watercolour washed the 'Love is...' and then went back and coloured in detail with the fine brush tip. You don't need to colour everything - only two pens were used with this card, but there is so much that you can do with these, toning and shading them. 

Catch Hels Sheridan demonstrating these fabulous pens and stamps on Create and Craft on Tuesday 29th November 

Mandala Moments - It's in the words

Saying it with words this week, Tonic Studios' latest launch is a set of mandala inspired words that make up special sentiments, plus three gorgeous stamps, the mandala flower, the ladybird and the dragonfly. Every stamp has an accompanying die, giving a professional finish to your design. I really liked that. As much as I LOVE cutting, you can just tell when a die has made all the difference. 

The first card I'm sharing has been coloured in, as also brand new out today are the Nuvo Brush Script pens. They have a really fine brush nib for detail but then a paint brush! They can be watered down to make gorgeous tones, just scribble onto a glass mat or acrylic block and add water, you can use it like paint

Using three colours, I filled in a stamped 'HUGS' making sure there was no white to be seen. This is where the fine-tipped pens come into their own. You can literally do a dot smaller than a pin-head. Start with the lightest colour, take your time, and enjoy's so relaxing! 

To mount this card, I diecut the HUGS and positioned it diagonally across a Tonic layered heart, in turn mounted onto an Amber Yellow Craft Perfect circle, onto black. The back card, Coral Pink, is slightly smaller than A6, and I stamped LOVE twice, with Archival Ink for a bold print.

Decorated with a flower and swirl from Beautiful Blooms, I coloured through the black outline to match the HUGS.

Contemporary and funky, I hope you enjoy Hels' shows with this fabulous new launch!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Marmalade's World - meet the characters

Here are all four characters from Tonic Studios' brand new product launch - Marmalade's World:


and Heffi

See the full product range here, on Tonic Studios' home page. Catch the shows on Create and Craft on 26th November to see fabulous ideas from the whole Design Team with these super cute stamps and dies, demonstrated by the incredibly talented Hels Sheridan.

Happy Crafting!
Nicky x

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Meet Minnie

Here's Minnie, from Tonic Studios' new release of stamps and accompanying dies, Marmalade's World. Paper pieced with Tonic's own patterned paper and coloured with Nuvo pens, the extra additions of the bag, the flowers and bow, coloured and die cut, make life very simple indeed. She's layered up onto a card base made from Venetian Lace on a 14.5cm square card blank.I've used Nuvo pens to colour her features, and the pretty bouquet, bow and bag too. The papers are all from Tonic's Midsummer Mornings premium paper pack. Details of the whole range of Marmalade's World can be found here!

Presented by the very talented Hels Sheridan, the shows are on Create and Craft today (Saturday) at 1pm and 5pm. Catch them - or catch up! 

Marmalade's World - Tonic Studios new release!

So here we go with my first 'official' work for Tonic Studios, and my cards' debut today, preparing for the release of a cute and gorgeous set of stamps and dies, and introducing some lovely little characters. first of all - meet Marmalade!
A beautiful little bear with a host of stories to tell, he could be used on baby cards as well as occasions for whenever a hug is needed.
This card was assembled using Tonic Layered Ovals and the brand new 1348e Marmalade stamp, onto kraft card. Couloured with distress ink and a bit of simple decoupage on his feet to lift him off the page, and make the card balance too!

  Saturday,on Create and Craft, the shows are on at 1pm and 5pm, presented by the amazing and talented Hels Sheridan! 

For more information and to see the full product range available, go to the Tonic Studios home page!

Happy Crafting! Enjoy the shows,
Nicky x

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Just Hit Play - Visible Image

Taking a trip down memory lane - one of my all-time favourite Visible Image stamps - Just Hit Play, which features not one but TWO incredibly detailed cassette tapes - anyone older than 30 will probaly still have boxes full, just like me, stashed away - I can never part with mine, even though, sniff, I can't play them! But check out the tiny cassette that comes with the set!
I've used it several times, just stamped in Wild Honey and Wilted Violet, on a background of yellow and purple Brusho paints, shaken and spritzed. And the tangled tape! Genuine excitement at Mark Alexander's unique ability to create art out of the strangest of objects. 
The cassette - stamped and heat embossed black powder on white card BUT then do the same again onto heat resistant acetate and you get your clear middle - it makes all the difference and an authentic little trip down memory lane. 

But as usual it's Helen's words that just get me - Don't look back - there's no time - hit the Play button and enjoy life and all the creativity that's around us!

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog, where Helen and Mark showcase their talented Design Team and tempt you with special offers and gorgeous stamps!

 Happy Crafting!
Nicky xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Stamp Its! Distress Its! Reveal Its!

It's been a fantastic week with Craftwork cards' new release of Stamp It II collection, two stunning sets of pre-coloured distressed matts, and a fascinating and innovative product called Reveal Its. For any stamper or ink lover, who enjoys the freedom and creativity that this type of crafting can bring, these kits are a must! 

It was easy to prepare lots of sample cards for the launch, here are a few that I thoroughly enjoyed creating:
Straight from the die-cut flower papers - I just popped out and arranged what I wanted. I used a stamp or two to decorate the oval, and a white pen to finish

On this one I cut out the heart shape from the matt (and used it on another card). I stamped in black onto pre-cut flowers and leaves and made a background with a black swirl and leaf. Easy peasy!

Two stamps and a sentiment. I made flower heads by stamping and then masking the leaf die, and then I drew stems on the kraft card. Quick additions of a few different leaves and this card was as good as done. Sometimes simple is beautiful. So hard for me to stop, but I'm so glad I did!

White stamping and embossing, and a gentle rub of ink to make the flowers, on a clean and simple gatefold card. I love the colour inside the card.

Pinks to finish - on a pre-coloured matt which already had the lovely scalloped circle shape, I die-cut a circle and filled it in with some acetate that I'd stamped and heat embossed with a delicate pink powder. I also stamped the white leaves onto heat resistant acetate, so that when cut out, they would 'float'. White embossing on colour is just one of the most pleasant experiences a crafter could have - I'd recommend it to EVERYBODY!

Hope you're inspired and keep checking back for more ideas and inspiration from me,on the Craftwork Cards Blog, and on the Pinterest page. Visit their online shop for more products from this incredibly cool range!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Feeling Christmassy with Visible Image

Are you in the mood for Christmas cards yet? 
Two cards to share today, playing with stamps and words from Visible Image.
For the two cards I used the following stamp sets:

 My background for the white trees card was achieved through blending and spritzing distress inks on a glass mat and then placing white card over it. Simple ripping and tearing achieved the subtle depth of the landscape.
My white sparkly trees were all stamped and embossed onto heat-resistant acetate, which I then loosely cut out - therefore I could have a play with my landscape and perspective. 

I was desperate to play with the words as soon as I got them, I have a life-long fascination with fonts and this script deserves to be more than just a sentiment, so I incorporated it into the design of the card, top and bottom. Just the one snowflake on this card, however....
...I put quite a few on this one! A mixture of the gorgeous script and the awesome snowflakes, one of which I used my pretty glitter purple embossing powder on, as a highlight. I think the message is clear, would you agree?!

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog, where Helen and Mark showcase their talented Design Team and tempt you with special offers and gorgeous stamps!

Crack on with those Christmas cards!

Nicky x

Friday, 4 November 2016

Let's call this one a Criss-Cross card!

Hello crafters, today I'd like to share a card I made for my niece, inspired by the very popular envelope style of card making, with the diagonal criss-cross feature making them stand out as just that little bit different. There are many variations of this style of card, this is one I've come up with where the criss-cross is stuck down, therefore creating a pocket for a tag and message ( I love tags at the moment!) and a special extra something .

The tag in the front has room for a little extra in the pocket...


You can read step-by-step instructions on how I made this card, click on the Craftwork Cards Blog where I shared a full tutorial!  

Oh and this card, here - I used the spare diagonal cuts to make a 'Nicky quickie' 6x6 card ready to go!


Thanks for stopping by!
Nicky xx

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Over to my Dark Side, with Visible Image

I see beauty in everything, I see pretties, I see the positive side of life...but sometimes I open a doorway to the dark side, to the things that I fear...and I decided, at this seasonal time, to show my fears. 

I created a spider web using the flower stem from IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY 
I practised on plain paper first, as to build up the web you have to only partially ink the stamp to get the right distances 
This was my prep work to see how I might create a web.
Then I made my coloured background, in fact I made six: 
While playing with my stamping plate and my colours and stencils, it made sense to try a few ideas and different textures.
Once dry, I selected my background sheet and began work on my spider web with the stamp and Archival black ink .
I then began to make my features, my skull-headed moth...
and my three skulls...
I used the Edgy Splat from MUSIC ON WORLD OFF to define the moth a little, and also all over the edge frame. 

To finish the frame I edged all the way round it with the Flower Inkognito Stem again, to draw the eye into the picture. 

VISIBLE IMAGE Stamps used in this project 
Mr Bone Jangles
Imperfection is Beauty
Music on World Off
Glimmer of Light

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog 

Don't have nightmares!
Nicky x

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Stamp It - Craftwork Cards. Leave(s) the trees to me!

Sorry for the appalling puns but brace yourselves for more! I couldn't resist. A few weeks ago I was part of the Design Team that worked with some fabulous new Craftwork Cards stamps, backing papers and kraft card leaf die-cuts, and in this blog post, which I also put on the Craftwork Cards Blog last week, is my turn at sharing a few techniques and ideas I had while working with the leaves and the Mulberry Tree stamp kit, both of which are still available on the Craftwork Cards website      

So easy to colour with distress inks and a blending tool or sponge, I used four different Tim Holtz Distress inks on these leaves, then rubbed my finger in some gold gilding wax and gently rubbed around the edge of each leaf. Oh my goodness! Everybody has to do this at least once in their life - the result is amazing!
I used the same 4 colours to background stamp the tiny collection of oak leaves ( I think that's what they are?) onto a small square of white and then simply layered up using another product, the amazing coloured background matts, to complete the card.

You might notice a gold layer behind the white topper.....TOP TIP! Gilding wax round the very edge of another piece of white. 14407638_10153953567353100_2117572541_n

Don't forget to decorate your envelope too!

Talking of backgrounds, I made a whole background panel for just the one kraft card leaf, out of leaf from the Mulberry stamps set. I took two shades of yellow distress ink, and stamped a row of the darkest colour, then a row of the same colour but blotted once onto copier paper, so it was a paler imprint. Then colour two, two rows in the same way. There isn't any ink on the Kraft card leaf, just gold gilding wax again, because I love it!

Now for the trees - I LOVED the bare tree in the Mulberry Tree kit, and last week in her Stamp It! Blog Post, Julie Hickey  showed four fabulous seasonal variations. I saw something a little different, and I made the leaves into...well...the tree!

The black tree was stamped with Archival ink, the white was with Versamark, white embossing powder and then set with a heat gun.
I first stamped onto the two leaves, picking the best angle to showcase the branches.
Next I positioned them onto the coloured background matts and figured out, to within a mm or two, where to stamp the full tree onto the card. Then I simply attached the leaves with sticky pads and matted and layered the backgrounds. Really simple!
And finally...
Despite the abundance of beautiful autumn colours around us, Winter is fast approaching, so I got my whites and silver inks out. Icicle Stickles around the edges of the leaves makes me want to reach for my scarf and gloves in anticipation of those frosty mornings ahead! I can't wait!
I hope you have enjoyed my little blog post today, don't forget to leaf through the many designs on Pinterest - look at the Stamp It! page AND the Mulberry Tree page for inspiration!
And we'll be thrilled if you leaf a little comment on this post if you have found it helpful. I hope to have kept it all very straightforward today so nobody gets blown away by it being difficult. It's not - have fun!!!

I'll leaf you now, Trees puns just keep getting worse!

Nicky xx