Wednesday 30 January 2013

Venetian Masks and blending

This week we are sponsoring the Trimcraft Challenge blog  and the theme is "Make or Use a Mask".

So of course I had to use the beautiful Crimson Cloud Venetian Mask stamp set

I decided to make a set of cards which could be used as a gift for a non-card maker.

To start, I took an A6 folded white card blank. I placed the largest Spellbinders Reverse Wonky Rectangles die over  the card blank and drew around it, making sure the lip of the die overlapped the fold in the card. I then cut it out to create my shaped card blank.

I then used the die to cut out the shaped panel.

Using the Venetian Mask, I randomly stamped the panel with Versamark and then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

For the first card, I took the Broken China Distress Ink and blended it over my panel, creating a resist effect with the embossed masks.
Once I had finished blending, I buffed the card with a paper towel to remove any ink left on the embossed images.

I stamped out the sentiment and die cut it using the second smallest die from the Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles set

and blending on the ink before removing the sentiment from the die.

Using some vintage ribbon and some pearls, I mounted my sentiment onto the panel and adhered to the card blank.

To complete the set I repeated the stamping and blending stages using the Mustard Seed
and Victorian Velvet distress inks

Mel xx

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Tuesday 29 January 2013

Snowdrops, Sunshine and Songs to Sing...

Now that the snow has finally gone (at least here in Brighton) and snowdrops are peeping up in the flowerbed, thoughts turn to spring and Easter.

Inspired by the peeping snowdrops, I made this card -

I wanted a to make quite a subtle card, with gentle colours. I used a A6 card blank in pale blue and rounded the bottom corners with a corner punch.

I stamped the image, using the Crimson Cloud Snowdrop Egg stamp set

in Versamark to give a tone on tone effect.

To bring out the snowdrops on the egg, I coloured them with a white pen - which gives the card an overall Wedgewood look with the white on blue.

Using a pokey tool, I poked holes around the edges of the card and then hand stitched with white thread.

I took the sentiment from the Snowdrops and Sentiments stamps set which is set out as a three lined verse. 

As the stamps are acrylic, I cut the verse up and laid it out on my acrylic block in two lines. This does not do the stamp any harm at all and you can easily re-line it up in its original postion.

Once I had stamped it out in blue, I cut it out in a banner shape.

Taking some pale blue seam binding from my stash, I folded it into two loops and attached to my card with Redline tape. I then attached the sentiment overlapping the seam binding.

The final touch was a pale blue pearl.

Happy Spring!
Mel xxxx

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Tuesday 22 January 2013

Aliens, showers and tortoises - Crafty Tales from the Wilderness

One of the first ‘real’ safaris I ever went on when I arrived in South Africa was to the Zebra National Park in the Great Karoo.

After many, many hours driving - far more than anticipated or even more than you could dream of driving in one day, we arrived at our destination and camp site. 

It was 4.30pm and 40 degrees Celsius and we now have to erect our own tent and prepare for the night ahead.  It was one of those moments when you wonder when a level of adventure became a measure of insanity? 

It is February and the hottest month of the year, but we finish the ‘erection’ and I collapse into a camping chair in the shade, totally mentally and physically exhausted.  Only to be told that it will be dark in an hour and if I want to shower and as the electricity is not too reliable, I should go right now.  Hey! "I am an intrepid traveler" I tell myself and off I go with towel over my shoulder and wash bag in hand. 

Relieved to be in the shade of the shower block and alone, I start to clean my teeth looking around as you do when in strange places and when nobody else is around to talk to. 

I spot above me the largest ‘alien’ species of bug you can imagine. To give you some idea, if you have ever ordered Langoustine in a restaurant? Now imagine it crawling over your head, brown, scaly and about 4” long, very creepy. Then imagine showering whilst keeping one eye on your new shower sharer.

On my return from the shower block it was dusk and I was very glad to settle down to a nice G&T around the newly fired up braii (South African barbecue). Husband Marcus was having a man moment poking the coals and enjoying his G&T and a few laughs about the day's traveling experience. It is now dark and when you have experienced dark in the bush you know what "dark as night" really means. 

A couple of drinks later and whilst Marcus was still cooking I noticed he seemed to be having a bit of a jig at the same time. As his ‘dancing’ became more and more obvious and he hadn't had that much to drink,  I asked what on earth he was doing. He finally confessed that the relatives of the ‘shower alien’ where crawling out of the trees and towards the light of the barbecue. He didn't want to tell me and so was trying to quietly kick them away.  My instinctive reaction was to leap up into my chair and remain sitting cross legged in the chair for the remainder of the evening.

In the morning I awoke to meet a giant tortoise outside of our tent that apparently loved cucumber and had a tug of war with me to finish the whole thing before I could take it away. Nature is amazing especially when you meet with it on its own territory.

Linda xxx

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Sunday 20 January 2013

Newest Spellbinder range from CHA.....

is now available to pre-order from Crimson Cloud -

These will be available for dispatch from 11th March.
xxx Pin It Now!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Birds and Hearts......


I made this Valentine's card using the new to Crimson Cloud Sizzix Cards Phrases Set No. 2.  We have recently added Sizzix as a new range as we just love the quality of their dies and embossing folders and they have some fabulous designs. So watch this space for more of the Sizzix range!

I love these card phrases sets as I find that die cut words are so versatile as you can cut them out of so many colours, patterns and textures. They come as a set of three dies.

This card was super simple to make. Once I had die cut the birds and words, I cut out the hearts several times to use as a banner and as wings for the two birds.

On a white card panel, I laid out my die cuts until I was happy with the positioning. Once I knew where the birds were going, I drew a line in grey pen to hang my heart pendants from and glued them all into place with the words.

I attached a strip of grey patterned paper which I punched with the Martha Stewart embossed scallop punch.
As it says on the tin, this punches a scalloped border as well as embossing it which gives extra dimension to your project.

Once I had threaded some coordinating grey ribbon through the holes in the punched strip, I mounted my topper to a red card base, and decorated my bow with a spare die cut heart.

So nice and quick and bright!

Mel xx

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Sunday 13 January 2013

You make my heart sing....

This month we are sponsoring the Penny Black and More challenge blog -

The theme is Love is in the Air. Here is my entry -

I really wanted to use the Creative Expressions "Birds" stamp set and it fitted perfectly with the theme.

To start I created my card base. I took some grey card stock - 6 inches wide x 10 inches long.
I scored it a 2.5 inch increments to create a concertina fold.

The front panel was stamped with the corner flourish from the Birds set.

I then took an A4 sheet of black card, scored it in half and then trimmed it to 5 inches wide. I rounded the corners with a corner punch.

I stamped the bird, branch and cage onto some grey cardstock and lined the image up with the oval of the new Bradshaw embossing folder from Couture Creations -

Once embossed, I mounted into the front of the black card.

I used some Vintage Pink ribbon to tie and bow around the topper.

I attached the front of the topper to the front of the concertina-folded grey card, and attached the back of it to the back of the concertina fold. This now gives a strong stable base which can be folded flat to fit into an envelope.

I stamped my sentiment and trimmed it to a banner shape to tuck behind the bow.

All that remained was to decorate with some punched hearts, a punched button and some glitter.

Mel xxx

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Tuesday 8 January 2013

New Sizzix Range - now in stock at Crimson Cloud

We now stock the new Sizzix range of dies and embossing folders - find them under the Die Cutting and Embossing section.

New products include -

I hope you enjoy the new range!
Mel x Pin It Now!

Thursday 3 January 2013

Happy New Year and Thank You Cards

Happy New Year everyone - I hope you are fully recovered from the festivities.

Its now the time of year when we send out the most Thank You cards - to say thanks for all the lovely gifts we received over Christmas. And I have a confession to make - I hate batch-making cards. With my short attention span I cannot cope with making the same card over and over.

So this year Martha Stewart came to the rescue!

With this Martha Stewart Peg Stamp Starter kit, you can make an endless variety of cards, each one different but themed - so boredom averted!!!

The kit contains a sheet of clear stamps including grass, flowers, pots, branches, birds and butterflies. Along with the stamps, you get four ink pads and even an acrylic block - so it is a perfect kit for a beginner or to give as a gift.

Here are a few I made up and I still have lots more ideas buzzing around my head

Here they are close up -

I hope you have fun with this set.
Mel xxx Pin It Now!