Saturday, 12 August 2017

You are tough - Visible Image

Here is my Saturday inspiration for Visible Image using the beautiful and striking Face It stamps and mask, and also, you will see I have used the quote from Life can be tough - but in a bit of a chopped up way. 

I like looking at text stamps and seeing what you can do with them - in this case I got my scissors out and physically cut them apart, so that they looked like this:
By doing this, I was able to create myself a whole new sentence, which you will see repeated throughout the piece of work:
Look carefully and you will also see that I have added a stamp from the Visometry set, and also the fabulous crackle from Create It too - just to add a little depth. Once I'd used my separated sentiment, I simply stuck it all back together again on my acetate backing, ready for being used in full on a future project. 

Take a look at your stamps and quotes, and see what else you can make up with them! 

And while you're thinking about it, you might want to take a look at the Visible Image Summer Sale!!! As if you need an excuse to buy more awesome stamps....

Be sure not to miss out on news and inspiration by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

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Happy crafting!


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Pretty Flamingos by Fuzzy Lemon

Inspiration today from my own trousers... I really should have taken a photo but I love my flamingo print pants and when I saw this amazing die by Fuzzy Lemon I knew I had to have it!
So here are a couple of cards made with the one die available from CraftStash.

On this card, the flamingos are die-cut in white card and I have simply turned one over and run it back through the machine between two sheets of paper. This flattens the die-cut edges and it no longer looks like the 'reverse' of the die-cut. I painted both flamingos with pink, red and black Nuvo Aqua Flow pens, applied with a waterbrush, and I simply blended the colours, slightly roughly, to get different shades of pink on my flamingo pair. 

The stamping has been done with a Nuvo clear mark pad and Glacier White embossing powder on black card, a simple heart cut out to mount the flamingos on. Pink and white sequins were a must to finish the card!
For this card I die-cut each flamingo's body twice, curling the wings for extra dimension. Everything was glittery, from the water to the grassy bits, very handy elements from a recent Die-Cutting Essentials set of dies, called Freshwater Friends. 
I stamped the greeting onto heat-resistant acetate and wrapped it round a bit of glittery card, the only way to get this kind of effect as it is impossible to emboss onto glitter. I liked this way, it's a bit different, so I must remember to do this again! 
To get your hands on this gorgeous die by Fuzzy Lemon, and many more like it, go to the Fuzzy Lemon section on the CraftStash website, it couldn't be easier! 

Happy Crafting!
Nicky xx

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Remembering Reykjavik - with Tonic Studios

I took a trip down memory lane when I received these amazing Tudor Town dies from Tonic Studios. As well as making Tudor houses, as they were intended, I saw something else too, I decided to recreate a scene from our fabulous holiday last year to Reykjavik and Iceland. 

We were struck by the beauty of the coloured houses, both in the city and in the surrounding villages, and they really encapsulated the scandi style. There was no limit with colour, so I got playing with my brightly coloured Craft Perfect card, the Toy Emporium die set, a lot of Christmas trees and a bit of white tissue paper...

All of the houses were created with the very same set of dies, I changed the shape of the windows by snipping the bay window frame and even put some skylights in too. The key to these houses was cutting all the features in white, and putting black card behind them. They were incredibly simple to make and each one is still a working box, with opening bottoms into which you might put a gift or a treat.
The first house had to be in Tonic Orange of course, but this photo shows the bay window, from which I cut all the other windows too - see the window on the side - it is the centre panel. The skylight is 2/3 of another panel, just snipped out and stuck onto black card too. 
On the yellow house I positioned the bay window on the end, and added extra windows to the side. The wooden beams are snipped from the end detail panel. It just takes a few seconds to look at the dies and see how you can snip them apart.
For the blue house I added a blue roof with white detail. The window on the side is two panels stuck together.
This house is particularly snowy! But it just shows that you don't need to use all of the dies to make a complete model. I just used the base roof panel in white to cover it. 
I made my Scandinavian church out of lemon card using the George and Dragon die. It is so far removed from the Tudor style, again just by cutting out all the detail in white. 

You'll see lots of Christmas trees, both around the village and on the mountains in the background. For the 3D trees I stuck three together after folding each in half lengthways. I was very lucky to find some modelling clay on top of the cupboard and rolled tiny balls of red clay to place into the base of a little pot, made out of a punched circle and a centimetre strip of red card, then I sliced down the 'pot' in three places and wedged a tree into each one.  I had just as much fun making my diarama with tissue paper and lots and lots of Christmas trees (the tree is part of the Toy Emporium set!) 
I just want to go back to Iceland now!!!

Please check out the amazing samples made by the rest of the design team, they are stunning and imaginative - a Tudor street, tea rooms, country cottages, beach huts, sheds..... the only limit is your imagination!

Thanks for reading and
 Happy Crafting!
Nicky x

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Feeling romantic - Anniversary time!

I'm feeling the love today...
Sunday 30th July brings our 18 year wedding anniversary, and it reminded me of this dainty tealight holder I created with the recent Tonic Studios Cathedral Box die set. 

Unbelievably easy to create, all I had to do with this was snip away the top sections of the box with scissors, and die-cut the pattern through three of the four sides. I punched a hole in the top of each side and threaded ribbon through each.

The special touch is the gorgeous heart-shaped Tonic Studios die, Love Honour and Cherish, which I cut in gold and stuck onto white and trimmed round. 

Wouldn't they look stunning on tables at a wedding?! I know that if I was getting married, I'd certainly make these for my special day, not least because they are a quick and easy make and the effect as the light goes down is so pretty! But it's a stunner of a die, check out the Cathedral Box die photos on the Tonic Studios pinterest pages for further inspiration!

If I could, I'd do it all again tomorrow! 

Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Capture the Moment with Visible Image

My Saturday share for Visible Image is this card made with the awesome camera from the Capture the Moment stamp set, a beauty to stamp and build up the layers of the lens.

I used all the elements from the set, as you see, I love the huge 'smile' stamp and the text is just perfect. 

I stamped my image and heat embossed onto white card with black powder, then cut round it, repeatinf the lens area a couple of times. Then I used my silver Nuvo Embellishment Mousse and a sponge, and rubbed the colour all over the parts I wanted to look metallic, and wiped the embossed areas clean with a cloth. I loves the effect that this created- as realistic as a stamped camera can be!
The background was created with Distress Oxides, splashed with a little water, then a funky chicken wire stencil which I also applied blue Nuvo Embellishment mousse through, as this gave a slightly raised texture to the background. A smudge of silver across the wire gave the project a distressed look to finish. 

Be sure not to miss out on news and inspiration by liking and following their facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

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Happy crafting!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Summer Garden Sunshine-Creative Stamping 46

In a desperate attempt to bring some summertime back to this rainy day, I am sharing a few cards I was commissioned to make for Creative Stamping 46, which is a stunning magazine, with a gorgeous full A4 stamp plate featuring designs by Joanna Sheen.

My male themed cards featured the gnome... 
a lazy hammock stretched between trees...
and a fun barbecue complete with a selection of sausages...
among other designs which you'll see in the magazine!

All of the how-to's are in the magazine, which is on sale in all good supermarkets, craft shops and WHSmiths right now, and the projects from the rest of the team are amazing!
But the stamp plate itself is more than worth the money, for a summer and beyond of gorgeous stamps....

Happy Crafting!
Nicky x

Monday, 17 July 2017

Win and Tonic July Challenge

It's time for another challenge over at Win & Tonic. There's an easy theme this month - ANYTHING GOES!

So here's my Tonic inspiration, in the shape of a fun card that I made with the DL layering dies - not that you'd know that's what they are, but the delicate panel detail on the smallest strips caught my eye, so I set about positioning them in a criss-cross pattern, and this is the result:

You have until 14th August to submit your entries onto the Win and Tonic Blog. The only rule have to use something Tonic. The prize? The stunning new Cathedral Box Die,  so popular and there were some fantastic samples from the design team when they were launched early in July. 

Good luck and happy crafting!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Time waits... for Visible Image

I've been playing with the fantabulous Ahead of our time and Alphabetical stamps from Visible Image, making up my own quotes using the letters, and backgrounds too...can you see the tick tock? Look into the image! Having all these possibilities allows you to really get creative. No constraints, no restrictions...think of something to say and say it!!

I inked up my backgrounds with distress oxides and splashed the card with water to get the bleached-out effect. I stamped my main feature with brown Nuvo Hybrid ink, I love this ink as you don't have to think about what pens to use with them -it's untouchable, there's no 'wrong' medium to use! Alcohol or water-based pens - they can't touch it!
I formed the words with the stamps. They look quite lively here, but once all the other elements are added they will become more of a background.
I DID use my Tim Holtz stamping platform for my stamped features. Just to guarantee clarity and a strong colour. Like I have said on a previous post, I have been stamping happily for years without one. and still would if I wasn't lucky enough to have one, but for guaranteed clear and professional results, I can't recommend one of these enough!
It also came in handy for the boxes from the Alphabetical set which I used to stamp the word 'MAN' into. As you and see, I stamped the central box first, masked it with some sticky paper and stamped either side. 
This masking resulted in a funky display of boxes into which I stamped my required lettering.
Adding extra stamps from the set, in dark colours, and shading from the outside in with distress inks, adds, I hope, to the depth of the image, or at least that's what I tried to create! I also masked over the whole of the 'MAN' boxes to bring the letters to the foreground.

Don't forget to enter the Visible Image 'Splash of Colour' challenge over on their faceboog group this month, to be in with a chance of winning an amazing coupon to spend in their shop. 
Here are all the links you need:
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Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Saturday, 8 July 2017

One bunny - three ways

Hello, I'd like to share today three cards that I made from the one bunny rabbit die which is by Fuzzy Lemon and is available from I chose to play with this one as it's a cute die, it cuts just an outline but to me it's a perfect starting point for creating a variety of cards. so...this is what I did...
Firstly I die-cut two on plain white card, and used distress inks to shade them. I lifted them slightly with an outline of thin black pen, and this worked well with the stamping I did behind, and round the circle, with freebies from  Papercraft Essentials 144 magazine. I love that you can take the tiniest stamp, like a carrot, for example, and turn it into a major feature of a card. With these two garden bunnies, it just seemed perfect!

With this card, I die-cut carefully, left of centre, into a piece of card slightly smaller than A6. Then I turned my card over and did the same again, to get a mirror image of the rabbit. Although the card does show, at the point of cutting, which way the die has gone through, all that is needed is to place the card between a couple of sheets of paper (no die in it) and run it through your die-cutting machine. This flattens any slight curving on both sides and makes it pretty much impossible to see which was the original cut and which was the reverse cut.A layer of acetate and 3D tape arounfdthe bunnies on the reverse, a handful of sequins, and a computer generated greeting, and this card was complete!

For this card, I dug out a selection of pretty papers and a couple of old embossing folders, and cut my bunny several times. Some on patterned, some plain, some embossed. What's cuter than one bunny? Lots of them! The edge of this square card has been die-cut with some lovely stitched border dies, a neat finish just to add an extra touch to your project. 
I guess you could say, when I finished these cards, I was one happy bunny!

Check out the latest releases from Fuzzy Lemon on CraftStash now, there are some seriously gorgeous dies on there!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Friday, 7 July 2017

Christmas is coming...

Christmas is the crafting world at least! 
Here are some cards I made for the Tonic Studios Christmas Buildables launch. Really good fun to make the characters and bring them to life on cards and home decor projects!

I'm going to share a little about each card I made along with a few hints and tips along the way...
Here's Father Christmas on a 7x5" card. My favourite bit of him is his beard and moustache; the dies have slits through them for embossing, and adding a dash of colour through to give a bit of definition.

Did you know his legs and arms are the same die? You don't even need to cut them, just funny little U-bends which make perfect sense when you are putting him together. My second favourite thing about him was using Craft Perfect glossy black card on his belt and shoes. Santa NEEDS shiny boots! The sentiment is from the Christmas banner set. I love it on its own, as much as with the banner, like in this next card...
Such a jolly snowman! 
Now, the coal eyes and buttons ARE provided as a die but if you trust your Crystal Drops, go for it! I used the large DL frame die for this card, and the Christmas Banner set too. Again, you can ink through the scarf sections for a bit of detail. I also lightly inked in blue round each snowball making up his body, to bring him to life!
As if we didn't know who this guy was?!
He's a super character, quite quick to make, and he just oozes Christmas charm. The three signs in the Festive Signpost set are pretty cool, I love the woodgrain effect you get by inking through the individual panels. So realistic!
Check out the snow!!!!! For this background I used Tonic Studios Beautiful Bokeh 8x8" stencil with white embossing paste. It's so simple and gives just the effect you need for a quick and easy background.
The shiny nose - a shading of white pen so that 'you can really see it glows'
Those antlers make magnificent mistletoe by the way! 
Here's a cute elf, in traditional colours. He's a cheeky character, and the die set comes with everything you need to make a female elf too. You'll spot one of the Tonic banner dies behind him. this one is a perfect fit for an A6 card and frames him beautifully, as do the layering ovals, Tonic of course!
I have a whole other blog post on this card, showing how to make a Z-fold card. Mrs Claus is a formidable character, she's the boss on this card!
Last but by no means least, this cute penguin. From the same die set as the snowman, you will see some similarities but he takes on a life of his own with his black capped head and wings, to say nothing of the cutest earmuffs and ice skates that also come with the set. 
What I would like to share is how easy it is to make a beautiful background out of three shades of Nuvo Mousse. They blended beautifully over an embossed A6 piece of card to make a pretty wintry background. Nuvo mousses will remain close at hand for future projects, of that I am sure!

Check out the other DT blogs and Tonic Studios facebook and pinterest pages for more festive inspiration

Happy Crafting! 

Nicky x

Saturday, 1 July 2017

A splash of colour with Visible Image

Inspiration today for the Visible Image 'Splash of Colour' challenge which starts on 1st July and runs on their facebook group for the whole month. All you have to do is make a card or project using Visible Image products adding your interpretation of 'A splash of colour' and upload it into their dedicated album. I for one can't wait to see what that looks like, once everyone gets creating! It's going to be glorious!

For this card I used two set of stamps, Ahead of our Time, and Alphabetical, which are available to buy on the Visible Image website.

I also used 5 colours of Tim Holtz Distress Oxides and a Versafine Onyx Black ink pad.

First I 'splashed' my colour by laying a square of ink from a pad onto my glass mat and spritzing with a little water. I then used an old small poly bag to pick up the ink and apply it randomly around my cardstock. drying in between colours.
Once I was happy with my end result I stopped dabbing. 
I udes my Tim Holtz stamping platform to get a really good print from my bowler-hatted man. I did him three times to be sure but two would have been enough, as you can see, careful re-inking gets an incredibly black result!
I never had a stamping platform until recently. I was a happy stamper before, I guess you could say I'm even happier now! It's a great safety net, perfect for positioning your stamps and for getting the depth of colour you might not achieve on one inking, plus it is so much cleaner (or should I say I am so much cleaner) when I use it! 

All that remained was to use the letters and characters from the Alphabetical set to complete my project. I also stamped the two past and future images from Ahead of our Time onto spare card and stuck them down with 3D foam.

I look forward to seeing all the contributions to the 'Splash of Colour' Challenge - don't forget there is a prize draw at the end of it all too!

Make sure you check out:

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Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Friday, 30 June 2017

Behind every good man...and he IS a good man! a very good woman!

And in this case, we're talking MRS CLAUS. And on this card, she's taking centre stage!

Christmas is coming early with Tonic Studios' launch of the eagerly anticipated Christmas Buildables, and I'm sharing one of my samples showing what you can do with them. Here are Mr and Mrs Claus on one of my all-time favourite shapes - a Z-fold card.

Although the characters come with all of the component dies each to make a full body, plus extra cute accessories, I decided to focus on the detail on the faces for these two instantly recognisable special people. I cut, embossed, and assembled Father Christmas' head - 

and Mrs Christmas' head and upper body, but as you will see with the picture below, I cut out, with scissors, the bottom of the heart shape that I had placed her on.:
In doing so, I made myself two matching toppers for the front and inside of my Z-fold card, and I just added the die-cut sentiment, some snowflakes, and some Craft Perfect coloured card to make them stand out.
If you want to know how to make a Z-fold card, its SO simple: - 

1. Take a standard square card (this one is 14.8cm square, but you can use any size) and score vertically exactly half way down the front of it. Then trim off a section to make the Z panel, on this card I trimmed so that my base was now 10.5cm high, ie an A6 card with a side fold. (so roughly 4-5cm but it's not an exact science!) 
2. Then fold the front back on both sections and flatten the crease with a bone folder or scoring tool.
3. Finally invert the small panel - flip it over and position the short flap against the back of the card with the long flap going across the folded back section
Can you see how it's going to come together?
There are no rules as to how high you position your little Z panel, it will fit perfectly across, just remember to only glue half way across the long one.

 It is easier to decorate everything before sticking the Z panel down, and then as you can see, the final touch was adding this festive couple for a truly special Christmas card.

Check out all the Tonic facebook, Pinterest, Instagram pages, the other Tonic DT blogs (they have prepared some incredible samples for the shows, as usual!) and of course Hochanda this weekend, beginning with the launch today, (Friday) 

Christmas in June? We're crafters, that's how we roll!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x