28 Jan 2017

Less is More # 313 - Recipe - Balloons

Hi Limettes! It's recipe week this week over at Less is More and we'd love to see all your creations featuring

Our December winner joins us as our guest designer this week. She has such a wonderful artistic style and I'm sure you will be wowed by her gorgeous card this week. Please pop over to give the super talented Birgit some love.

I have 3 cards to share today so let's crack on!

1) Blended Balloons

First up is a card where I've used the good old blending and blotting technique on the balloons. I popped these balloons onto a black mat to make them really 'pop' (Ha, Ha! Excuse the pun!)

The balloon stamp is from the Unico birthday bash set.  It was inked up with distress inks and stamped several times for each colour making sure that I blotted really well on each stamping for where I wanted the light to shine. Colours used were wilted violet, cracked pistachio and picked raspberry.  I created 2 pieces of card blended in the same inks, one to create the mat and a small one to create the sentiment. I used my ScanNcut but any die would achieve the same effect when the sentiment is cut out.  A piece of plain black card was lightly embossed just inside the edges. The balloon strings were made freehand using an Inkssentials opaque white pen.

I'd like to enter that into:
The Crazy Challenge #240 - Black is Back
Sieze the birthday challenge - dashing and / or or doodling (I doodled the balloon strings)

2. Die Cut Balloons

I always think there is something so elegant about white and cream together so to ensure I didn't overdo it, I stuck to only die cuts on this card.  A really fast card to make.

Die cut the Die-D-Lites Fun on a string die in a combination of cream linen card and a shiny patterned cream card and stick the swirly parts to the solid parts alternating the card on each piece.  Cut the bow from the same set in the shiny patterned cream card. Add them to two mats cut with a stitched die (Yay! thank goodness for my ScanNcut! I've been so jealous of everyone with stitched dies and now I can make my own stitched shapes). Die cut the Whimsy stamps Birthday Sentimentables sentiment die in the patterned shiny card too.

I'd like to pop this one in at:
Moving along with the times challenge #37- swirls and / or curls
The Crafty Addicts Challenge #32 - Anything Goes / Monochromatic
Crafty Sentiments - Use Dies

3) Hot Air Balloon

I had a little piece of card left over from doing the bokeh technique last week so it really would have been naughty to waste it.  I also thought it would be fun to use a hot air balloon image as a change to party balloons.

The bokeh panel was made using the solid stamps from Happy Little Stampers Mix Mash set, randomly stamped in shaded lilac, tumbled glass and broken chine, and then a final random stamping with white VersaColor ultimate pigment ink.  The dry embossed panel beneath that uses a Craft Concepts budding vine embossing folder.  The hot air balloon is from the Clarity Stamps (the largest one they do). It was heat embossed onto vellum using royal crush WOW! embossing glitter, and that was then stuck onto lilac card that I had shaded with colouring pencils. Why the vellum? I had been too heavy handed with my colouring so it was a bit too dark for the card. The vellum toned it down. The sentiment is also from Happy Little Stampers Mix Mash set, stamped in violet VersaColor.

I'd like to enter this into:
Addicted to stamps and more! #226 - Anything goes
Crafty Girls Creations #32 - Anything goes


I hope you have popped over to the challenge blog to see the super cards made by the rest of the design team, and don't forget that they sometimes have extra inspiration on their blogs too.
Have a wonderful week
Sharon xx

21 Jan 2017

Less Is More #312 - New Beginnings

Hi there,
That's another week gone in a flash!
And here we are at the next Less is More challenge.
Today is:
Theme Week
New Beginnings
I loved this theme as it gave me the chance to get ahead on a couple of cards for later this year. I already know of 4 people having babies in June/July so hopefully a couple of my cards today will be used then. 
As some of you know I've been really busy recently, and my cards have been a bit 'average' due to lack of time. So this week I made time to have a good old play. I picked a new technique for me (bokeh) and used it in two cards. Yes, I know, the bokeh technique had been around for aaaaaaaaaaaages but I have personally never tried it before. It is so easy I would urge you all to have a go.  There are lots of tutorials on YouTube - just type in "distress ink bokeh background" and that'll get you started.

1) Blue Baby Bokeh

As I enjoyed playing along with some sketches last week, I thought I would play along with a sketch or two again today.  This is a lush layout! Thanks to the ladies at PaperCraft Crew Challenge for it.

For the bokeh oval, I used the filled in circles from Happy Little Stampers Mix Mash set, stamping them in Distress inks of tumbled glass, shaded lilac & broken china and then used a VersaColor ultimate pigment ink pad in white.
The new baby sentiment is a tattered lace die - cut 3 times and stacked together.
The cute hippo is from Happy Little Stampers Birthday Friends Set; it was stamped onto watercolour paper but I decided not to watercolour it in the end and just used plain old colouring pencils.
The foiled acetate comes from Hunkydory.
The card is finished with tiny square brads from my stash.

I'd like to enter that card into:
Craftaholics R Us #19 - New Beginnings Guys Cards
Cute Card Thursday #461 - Cool Colours/Tones
Paper Craft Crew Challenge #227 - Sketch

2) Pink Baby Bokeh

So after a blue bokeh I decided to do a pink bokeh panel. This is a pretty vibrant one because I forgot to blot the picked raspberry before stamping it on one of the circles . So I ended up making more darker pink circles and, to be honest, I actually like the effect.  This one uses another super sketch from the ladies at Freshly Made Sketches.

Again the filled in circles from Happy Little Stampers Mix Mash set were stamped in Distress inks of spun sugar, tattered rose, picked raspberry and VersaColor ultimate pigment ink pad in white.
The little Nellie Elephant is from Happy Little Stampers Birthday Friends Set, again stamped on watercolour paper but coloured with ordinary coloured pencils.
The sentiment bubble was created on my brand new, oh-so-shiny, love-it-to-bits ScanNcut - yes, I was a very good girl last year so Santa was extra nice to me. (just need to find time to have a really good play with it!)

I'd like to enter this in at:
Deep Ocean Challenge #146 - Anything New
Try It On Tuesdays - Anything But Square
Freshly Made Sketches #271 - Sketch

3) Retirement.

And here is my "thinking outside the box" card. It really is a new beginning when people retire but that isn't something that we would naturally think of when confronted with the new beginnings theme.

A ClarityStamps sunburst stencil was inked with dried marigold distress ink onto the card blank. The sentiment was created on my new ScanNcut and using the drawing function it was drawn onto the card blank. The image is called Jack and Ginger from Mo Manning and it was coloured with distress markers before matting onto some blue card.

I'd like to enter this one into:
Crafty Cardmakers #180 - New Beginnings
Dream Valley Challenges #147 - Something New

Well, that's about it from me.  Don't forget to hop over to the challenge blog to see the beautiful creations my fellow design teamies have made.
I should have a calmer week coming up this week, so at last I will be able to keep on top of all my commenting. Thank goodness!
See you again next week
Sharon xx

14 Jan 2017

Less is More # 311 - OLC - Favourite Drink

Hi there LIMettes,
Are you ready for another Clean and Simple challenge at Less is More?  I do hope so.
It's week 2 of the month so we are on the good old ONE LAYER week.
The theme we've chosen is
Favourite Drink
Now, that can be alcoholic or not!
So, once again I realised that I have a lack of stamps and images for this challenge but I did manage to track down a couple. 
I was a little strapped for time this week too (more about that later) so my cards are incredibly simple and easy to make.

1) A good old cuppa!

Being British this really is one of my absolute favourite drinks! I love all kinds of tea.... black, herbal, green, good old Yorkshire or English Breakfast....you can't go wrong with one of those! Not sure what I will use this card for though. Hmmmm, maybe I should introduce one of my Portuguese friends to the delights of afternoon tea complete with crustless sandwiches, scones and tiny cream cakes? My mouth is watering at the thought.

This is a set of digi images that I got years ago from Tiffany Doodles (not sure if they are still trading).  I don't normally use digis but I had fun with this one. The images were coloured in with distress markers and finished with glossy accents.
I'd like to pop that one in at:
Crafting by Designs - Inspired by a movie - doesn't that image look like Mrs Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast? 
Digi Chooseday Craft Challenge - Anything goes (using a digi image)

2) Lovely bubbly

And for the alcoholic side, I've gone for some lovely bubbly champagne.

For this card everything was stamped in clear versamark and Stampendous Detail Gold embossing powder.  Stamps used: Nellie Snellon Clear Stamp Christmas Time #CT007, Happy Little Stampers Bold Birthday Sentiments. The gold line was created by masking the card and swiping with versamark before heat embossing.
I'd like to enter that one in at:
Crafting from the heart - Anything goes
Incywincy designs - Celebrate (a second entry from me)
Do take a look at the fabulous designs my LIM team mates have come up with this week by clicking HERE.
Well, I must be off; things to do! These are not really new year's resolutions; they are just descisions that I've made.
  • Firstly, I've decided that I really must get better at keeping on top of cleaning the house this year, so as I have two and a half months before people descend on us again for St Patrick's day, I am determined to get myself into some regular cleaning routines. That actually means cleaning, decluttering and organising everything as well as making routines to keep on top of it all.  So far, I have a daily routine that is starting to come together and already I am beginning to feel as though I have a teeny bit more 'me' time in the day. Bonus!
  • Secondly, I MUST lose some weight. I lost over 8kg last year with the goal of not being too large at my daughters wedding...but I have put it all back on in the last 6 months of the year. Secretly I think it is down to letting my hubby do a fair bit of cooking and he does love his bread, butter, cream, oil....you get the picture? So I have menus and meals to prep to keep me on track.
  • Then, I want to get all the birthday cards made and organised for the whole year to save all the last minute panicking I had last year.  I need to post them a week in advance to be sure they get to the person in time so it was a mad dash when I realised birthdays were exactly a week away last year.
  • Finally, I am squeezing in some technical stuff behind the scenes.
Well, early retirement sure is busy!
Have I taken on too much?
Probably in the short term, but I'm focussed on all the benefits I should reap later in the year.

Sharon xx

7 Jan 2017

Less is More #310 - Ombre

Well, here we are at the first Less is More challenge of January 2017 so as it is the first week of the month we are on our colour challenge and we've chosen ombré colours.
Definition of ombré : having colors or tones that shade into each other, in which the color is graduated from light to dark

Our sponsor for January is

.... and Kylie is also guest designing for us this week. You can see her gorgeous card HERE. Please stop by her blog and leave her some lovely comments.
I am almost back to normal now after the festivities, so I actually have 3 cards for you today.

1) Neutral Ombré

I wanted to follow some sketches for a change this week, so to keep this particular card looking as CAS as possible:
  • I stuck to a very limited colour palette,
  • reduced the number of layers by using a black pen to create the illusion of a layer, and
  • only raised one element up on 3d foam pads.
The ombré panel was created using iced spruce, hickory smoke and black soot distress inks.
A black promarker was used around the edges to create that illusion of another layer.
Here is a photo of it partway done.
The sentiment is from WOW! Just Saying Stampset 41 and it is heat embossed in silver.
The leaves are from the Unico set Nature's Treasures II, again heat embossed in silver and fussy cut.

I'd like to pop this one in at
City Crafter #343 - Hello
The Crafty Addicts Challenge #32 - Anything goes/Monochromatic



2) Birthday Roses Ombré

For this one I chose a sketch with limited elements to help keep that fab CAS look
This took a little longer to create than the first one.

A piece of card was inked in squeezed lemonade, scattered straw, mustard seed and fossilized amber to create the ombré look. It was then cut into two sections. A Dreamweaver metal stencil #LR3002 was drawn around and coloured in with a sharpie pen on the larger section.

On the smaller section a Papertrey Ink sentiment was stamped in Versafine onyx black. Both pieces of the ombré card were swiped with clear versamark ink and heat embossed in clear embossing powder to give a wonderfully glossy finish. The smaller strip was adhered directly onto the panel and the roses strip was popped up on 3d foam.
I'd like to enter this one in at
 Freshly Made Sketches - Sketch #269

 3) Multicolour Ombré

This last card is here to inspire you with multicolour ombré.
This is a one layer card.

Mask your card blank to show a central rectangle. Blend distress inks into the opening to create the ombré effect - inks used were mustard seed, wild honey, spiced marmalade, ripe persimmon, candied apple, fired brick and aged mahogany.
Dry the panel with a heat gun before moving on.
Heat emboss the IndigoBlu Vintage Flourish with clear versamark and pirate gold embossing powder.
Do the same with the Waltzing Mouse Say it Loud sentiment.
The gold outline border was hand drawn with a brand new Signo Nobel gel pen.

I'd like to enter this one in at
 Craft Rocket Challenges #30 - Something New (the new gold pen)
Crafty Creations #332 - Anything goes
Ike's World Challenge - Anything goes with a twist - Old / New (old stamps & new pen)

There you have it!
Can't wait to see what you all come up with for the ombré challenge. Please take some time to look at the wonderful cards the rest of the design team have made for inspiration by clicking HERE.
Sharon xx