Monday, 24 April 2017

It's in the (Delicate) Detail... Tonic Studios stamps

Hello and welcome to my blog post sharing the cards I made for the very recent Hochanda Launch of the Delicate Detail stamps. Consisting of four sets of three stamps, plus an extra set of four sentiments, this collection was very inspiring and lots of fun to get creative with. Here are some of the card samples I prepared for the show with a few details and handy hints for recreating them, if you would like to!

This first set of stamps, the Floral flourishes and tag, got me really excited as they were designed by the same artist who created the Craft Perfect gold and silver gilded cards that I loved, last year. My aim was to recreate the pattern by stamping and embossing in white, and using Nuvo Aqua Flow pens and a water brush to paint the colour onto the card. 

I used the tag stamp and the small flourish from the same set on this card, the colour was laid down using Nuvo Glitter markers ( I love them!) I applied them with a water brush too, to thin them out a little for a delicate sparkly effect.

One more play with the same stamps, again, water colouring with Nuvo Aqua Flows. I made a soft background of pale green first, and flicked paint over the background card for a little bit of interest. Once dried, i gave it a wipe with an anti-static bag and stamped the smaller flourish twice, enbossing in white. i stamed the large floutish onto separate card and then painted them all up, choosing Red Apple as my key colour. a little bit of stamping onto a tag, and a pretty twine bow, and this simple card was finished.

If you haven't yet got these gorgeous stamps, take a close look on the Tonic website, or look out for the usual online retailers who will be stocking them very soon! They are excellent value and really easy to use - I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with! 

Happy crafting!
Nicky x

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Strong words - but beautiful ones

My card share this week is a simple affair, as the words need little to distract from them. If you saw Visible Image's show on Create and Craft on Saturday 22nd April you will have seen an amazing array of quotes and inspirational words, and these are just some of those.

The background from this card is simple two colours of distress ink applied with a blending tool onto card. I liked the deliberate contrast of the colours, but I was very pleased with the depth achieved by keeping a bit of light space around the blue. 

For the background stamping I used the fascinating Visometry set, which I must say intrigues me, and I will use this again, I love it! 
I stamped my key text in brown for a change, just to soften the effect rather than using harsh black, for once, and I stamped various shapes from the Visometry set in blue and brown, to complement the background colours. 

There are so many inspirational, motivational and comforting quotes to play with over at Visible Image, click here to see the new range!

Don't miss out on all the beautiful creations and ideas, check out Visible Image's facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Win and Tonic April Challenge

Hello, and Happy Easter! Seeing as I'm posting this on the Easter weekend for the April Win and Tonic Challenge, it seemed only right that I should choose something appropriate, and here it is:
The sweet treat launch was a resounding success, I am loving seeing everyone's creations popping up all over social media this last two weeks - keep up the good work! 

This Easter treat box was simply constructed from the Tonic Studios Dimensions die set- Cake Slice Box, soon to be available with all Tonic retailers. 
Cut out simply in white, I wanted to keep the colour scheme simple and spring like - one of the themes of this month's Win and Tonic Challenge. I only cut detail into the sides and closing panel, leaving the top and bottom firm, and once I had stuck it together with strong DS tape, I also added a length of acetate up the insides of the box to strengthen it. 

You may have spotted the inspiration for my colours... I saw some foiled eggs in my supermarket and they inspired me, so I used my new Nuvo Glitter Markers, mixed them together and with a drop of water, and delicately coloured in some detail

What's this stamp? well - it's another Tonic Studios brand new collection, out this weekend, being shown on Hochanda by the very talented Paula Pascual. It's called Delicate Detail, this one is the Floral Tag stamp. When I was looking at it I realised that the tiny insert die from the Cake Slice Box would fit in the tag... so that's what I did!

I hope you are inspired to take the April Win and Tonic challenge. As usual there will be a lovely prize available from Tonic Studios themselves, all you have to do is share a brand new card or papercrafting project that we haven't seen before, and that fits at least one of these criteria:

Colour -   think Spring, so anything pastel, greens, whatever makes you think of this season
Technique - make an Easter Treat box or bag or gift
Product – any basic shape die 
Theme – open theme so any occasion

Hop on over to The Win and Tonic blog for full t's and c's and lots more DT inspiration!

and good luck to all those entering!

Happy Crafting

Saturday, 8 April 2017

One stamp - Three cards, Visible Image

It's all about the words this weekend - and how to frame them. 

Another inspiring and fun quote from Visible Image, it pretty much speaks for itself! But here are three different ways I've set them out. 
1. Distress inks and stencils

I have mixed purples and blues in different ways, smooshed them around with water,left them to dry and then added stencils to create a bit of interest, Once completely dry ( use a heat gun to be sure!) I rubbed an anti-static bag over the area then stamped with Versamark, and applied white embossing powder and melted it with a heat gun. The stars come from the very popular Born to Perform set.

2. Distress crayons
I slightly dampened my base card before applying distress crayon and rubbing with my finger. A bit of text, heat embossed with black powder, and a few flowers from the Create It!set, not forgetting a couple of sequins to finish!

3. Aqua Flow markers
I totally love these pens. They are the Tonic Studios Nuvo brand, and here I have laid down thick swathes of colour, allowed to dry and stamped the text over it. Again, heat embossing in white makes the words really stand out!
A simple border round the edge with a fine-liner pen makes for a funky finish

There are so many inspirational, motivational and comforting quotes to play with over at Visible Image, click here to see the new range!

Don't miss out on all the beautiful creations and ideas, check out Visible Image's facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Monday, 3 April 2017

Belle Boutique - Tres belle!!!

Gorgeous new stamps, inks and Glitter Markers from Tonic Studios this week - what a launch it has been, joining Hochanda and getting all this loveliness out there in the space of a couple of days!

Today's share is a trio of the cards I've designed with all of these features, the main one being the beautiful Belle Boutique stamps, three gorgeous characters and a charming couple, these stamps are large and can be central features on any card. With the Tim Holtz stamping platform now available to guarantee perfect inkings every time, and a depth of colour you can only get with the accuracy of a system like this, it has been easy to make these samples!

This first card, I used the Metro Grey Nuvo Hybrid Ink, thinking it might soften the lines on the dress, over harsh black. I found some pewter grey cardstock to make my accent colour for the card base frame and the sentiment, and it brings, I hope, a modern touch to a traditional image. 
Of course I had a fairytale princess in mind, from a certain film that's just come out at the cinema, and I used the Glitter Marker (Golden Ochre) and a waterbrush to define the contours of her dress. I loved scribbling onto my glass mat and then picking up the glitter colour for my stamped image, I did this on all of my cards for this launch.

These colours are amazing - they cover every possibility!

Hard to decide which colour I liked the best, possibly this Imperial Blue?

It complements the Craft Perfect Imperial Blue High Gloss Card perfectly - of course it would! It's Tonic!

I also used Acorn Brown Nuvo ink to stamp my lady first, and stamped again on white cardstock in Empire Blue, to get more colour into the dress. Again, Tonic nail the colour co-ordination! 

Perhaps my favourite colour, by a whisker, is this one though:
Against Craft Perfect Rose Platinum High Gloss card, and stamped again in brown, the Crushed Papaya colour in her dress (and also water brushed onto the background) is just so different.

To achieve a bit of a pinky tone on her skin where needed, I just used a Soft Rose Aqua Flow pen very lightly. 

Pretty princesses and luscious ladies, I'll save a couple of cards for tomorrow, unless you've seen them on Hochanda already? 

Thanks for reading, and I hope, if you get these stamps or indeed any of the amazing products that have been launched this weekend, that you have as much fun playing with them as I did! Check out all the new releases over on Tonic Studios website and don't forget to see Hochanda for all the show times too!

Happy Crafting and Stamping!
Nicky x

Sunday, 2 April 2017

This is not a cake box...!

But it uses all the a card of course!

I decided to make a stepper card using the rectangular and triangular panels from the Cake Slice Box Die Set, and this is how I did it.

To make the stepper I trimmed down a piece of A4 white card to 25x15.5cm. 
Then I did some scoring and cutting. This was the template I made...
The blue lines are score lines, the red lines are cut lines. I used a Hougie board and craft knife and glass mat for those parts.

  • The side score lines are 4.5cm long at each side. It might help to draw a faint pencil line at 4.5cm from each edge to see where to score up to. Then score at 2.5cm, 5cm, and 15cm from the edge.
  • Score a separate line at 12.5cm but only across the middle of the card, this is your tent fold at the top of the card. 
  • Use a craft knife to cut from the top score to the bottom score at each side.
Then gently fold into place like the picture above: The side panels are mountain - valley - mountain. 

Before you tighten the scored lines with a bone folder, use the rectangular lacy panel to cut into the two side panels:
You will see they are a snug fit, this is why I measured the card to be this shape. Then sharpen your folds with a bone folder.
  • I stuck a red piece of card 12x15cm onto the back inside the card, to best show off the lacy pattern, and a 2cm strip of red across the front to match. 
  • I then cut two triangles in white and black card, and die-cut the detail into the black card. 
  • I also put some small pieces of red through the die-cutting machine and used the flower cuts to paper-piece back into the triangular panels.
  • A simple matching sentiment covered the joins in the triangles
  • Black Nuvo drops were just right to put centres into the flowers and add a bit of detail to the bottom of the step. 
Thanks for dropping by to read this, it's much appreciated!
Happy Crafting!
Nicky x

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Cupcake card - Tonic Studios Dimensions Launch

Hello and here is a card I made with the adorable little die that comes as part of the new Tonic Studios Cupcake and Treat box Dimensions set. On its own it is divine,making a perfect little topper for a card, and also a funky stencil background, as I have done here.

What I used:
  • Cupcake die
  • White card
  • Pink and turquoise card for matting and layering
  • Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean Distress Inks
  • Blending eggs
  • Birthday Wishes sentiment
  • Ribbon and large gems
How I did it:
I cut three white cupcake outlines, one for each colour, and positioned one randomly on the white cardstock. I then inked through it with the blending egg and Picked Raspberry distress ink, then moved it and did the same again. As well as stencilling through, you also get a nice pink die-cut

I repeated these steps with the blue and green, trying not to cross the colours too much but it doesn't matter if you do, you still end up with a pretty background and three brightly coloured cupcake outlines.

Then I cleaned my hands and cut three cupcake solid shapes, and glued the coloured outlines over them. A quick arrangement, a trio of glittery jewels and a ribbon and bow, and I matted and layered the square panel onto the 15x15cm card base.

If you loved the show on Hochanda keep your eyes open for more inspiration over the next few days - there will be lots! 

Happy crafting

Nicky x

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Tonic Studios new launch AND a new home!

Here come the cake boxes!!!!!
Check out the launch times for the brand new Tonic shows on Hochanda, starting from Thursday 30th March at 8pm.

Here's one I made from Craft Perfect Ivory White and Raspberry Pink, using all of the little dies in the Cupcake Box collection. Those cakes are good enough to eat, and I'll share more projects over the next few days, with these AND the other two Dimensions in this range. 

Good luck Tonic Studios in your new home! 

Check in for latest updates on their facebook page

Enjoy the shows, but most of all, enjoy the new products!

Nicky x

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Outside the Lines - Visible Image

Creative people colour outside the I took that literally, for my sentiment for this card.

I repeat stamped the flower from the Create It stamp set onto a piece of card slightly smaller than A5, just in black archival ink. Then I thought about different ways to colour each line of flowers, starting with ink blending (I used distress inks) from the bottom of the image, to messy over the edge watercolouring, to just a touch of colour from the centre of the top flowers.

A few inky splats and a bit more flower stamping - it can only be Picked Raspberry! - to fill in some of the white spaces, and I attached the sentiment to my text.

Simple mounted onto a top folding white card, this is a fun card any crafter would appreciate

Another beautiful stamp set that can be bought by clicking here

Don't miss out on all the beautiful creations and ideas, check out Visible Image's facebook pages, accessible via the following links:

And don't forget to add the following to your apps!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Dot and Drop - Baby Blue

These dot and drops are such fun to play with. Here I made a card blank using one of the larger Tonic Studios Art Nuvo Oval dies, then I used the Twisting Arch drop and Dot die twice, to make a nice curve. I used Salty Ocean distress ink to colour the areas of my base card which were going to show through the die cut, then I also diecut the New Baby and stamped my bear - from the Marmalade's World stamp and die set, and added colour from the same distress ink pad. 

I found a beautifully matching Nuvo Glitter drops from my stash and finished off the card by following the pinprick sized dots to decorate. 

Check out the inspiration from all the Tonic Studios Design Team, and don't forget to watch the shows on Create and Craft this week!

Happy Crafting
Nicky x

Tonic Rococo City Scene - Hello London!

My share today is from the launch of Tonic Rococo City Scene and travel dies, and is pretty distinguishable, I'd say!. On the DL card I have used the cityscape and put it through my Tangerine twice, to get the width of the card, then added a few rather well known London landmarks! 

The embossed detail on the Rococo dies is fabulous, it really brings them out!. 
For more inspiration check out the blogs of the Tonic Studios Design Team and catch the shows this week on Create and Craft!

Happy crafting!
Nicky x

Monday, 20 March 2017

Dot and Drop - Tonic Studios new launch

My first card made with Tonic Essentials Drop and Dot dies, this card features two of the dies on a simple marbled background made with  a Nuvo Aqua Flow pen in Aqua Splash (my favourite colour) and a piece of acetate to smoosh it around. 

You'll recognise the Tonic Essentials layered heart die, and the sentiment, also Tonic. The detail on the heart is using Delicate Swirl, and across the bottom of this A6 card I have used Diamond Column. The dot and drop dies leave tiny pinpricks in your cardstock for you to make an even pattern with your Nuvo drops, which adds a unique and delicate feature to any card. 

Check out the Tonic Studios design team for more inspiration with these dies, and of course Create and Craft from Monday 20th March.

Happy Crafting!


Tonic Rococo dies - New York City Scene

I'm sharing the first of my cards made for the launch of Tonic Rococo city scene and landmark dies - and this is my take on the New York collection. A colourful creation using my favourite pens, Nuvo Aqua Flows.

Firstly I splatted a postcard size piece of white card with the pens (messy fun!) then I set that to one side and made a background panel the same size, using several of the colours and blending them together on watercolour card.

Rather than cutting out the cityscape die and sticking it on, I placed it over my splatted card and die-cut it, then trimmed the bottom of my card, and stuck the top and bottom splatted pieces OVER the rainbow coloured card. You might see this better in this close-up below
This also shows the detail in the dies, which are super cool. I applied the same Aqua Flow technique to small bits of card, allowed them to dry, and then die-cut and embossed them. 

The whole front was mounted onto gorgeous Cobalt Velour satin effect Craft Perfect card, then onto my card blank.

I hope you enjoy the shows and all the inspiration from the amazing Tonic Studios design team!
Happy crafting!
Nicky x

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Craftwork Cards Deco Ladies 2 - Double the fun!

Stamping fun from me this week!

I had the pleasure of demonstrating the brand new Deco Ladies Stamp Set 2 for Craftwork Cards at Harrogate last weekend, and they proved to be a real hit with the crafty visitors to our stand. I thought I’d do an in-depth blog post to show how you can get the best out of these stamps, as there are some fabulous features in the set that you just HAVE to play with!
These stamps match beautifully with the first deco lady set from a few weeks ago but on this sheet you get TWO gorgeous ladies to embellish.
The first thing I did was to stamp each one onto white stamping card, and quickly colour her skin and hair; I used Nuvo Aqua Flow pens and a waterbrush, but any flesh tone pen will do. However…if you look at this next photo, you will see that I then paper pieced each one’s dress, that is to say, I stamped again onto patterned paper, in this case from the beautiful Decadence paper pad, cut out JUST the dress, and stuck it onto my pre-stamped lady. I then cut each one out leaving a border of 1-2mm. This allows you to match your lady with the elements from the collection.
I used two square toppers from this kit too, one of which I sliced in half and fanned out behind the other, in true Art Deco style!

You can take your paper piecing a step further by stamping and heat embossing with gold. This looked particularly effective on pale background papers, and it adds a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the lady.
You might even see my secret cut in this very close-up picture – through the gold necklace and down the neckline! But using gold means that you can give her gold gloves too – she’s certainly stylish!

You might also have noticed a few decorative features…that curtain/ fringe adorning the top of the card was such a fun discovery. I used it a few times. Just in black, but then the obligatory Stickles glitter to make it pop.

The little peacock feather too, was an exciting litle stamp. I had a play and as well as using it as an embellishment, I made myself some backgrounds with it, just by stamping in black and adding a touch of blue and brown…

This is a little side panel from the shaped stepper cards, but with the big feather toppers from the Decadence kit, and a lady painted in aqua, the result was completely different from the reds and pinks you would expect from the Decadence kit-

Again, I made a feature out of the fringe, which I stamped onto the bottom panel at random heights, then dropped a few Liquid Pearls onto, for bling!

I have to say that I was easily able to use EVERY element from this stamp set somewhere on my cards at the weekend. If you have Craftwork Cards stamps, look closely at them and all their tiny features, there is always something you can do with each and every one, be it the musical notes, deco flowers, and quirky corners…
You can find these gorgeous ladies by clicking the link to Craftwork Cards here.

Happy Crafting!