Saturday, 31 December 2016
Happy New Year! Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you will continue to join me here. All your comments are very much appreciated.
A very exciting development in the New Year is the arrival of Stampin' Up's new Watercolour pencils as a fabulous new colouring medium. At the moment there is a fairly limited palette of thirteen SU colours, but hopefully more will be introduced as time goes on. You can find them in the new Occasions catalogue which goes live on 4th January.
Having had a play with them over Christmas I am hooked! You can use them as colouring pencils or you can then create watercolour effects by going over your colouring with a Blender Pen or Aqua Painter. I tried with both, but my personal preference was the Aqua Painter. I initially worried that the Aqua Painter would be less controlled and envisaged too much water where I didn't want it, but it actually worked brilliantly.
I started off by colouring the gorgeous paper that is FREE during Saleabration with any order of £45. For the colourful version I used a mixture of Calypso Coral and Melon Mambo for the flowers (the pencils blend very easily) and Old Olive for the larger leaves. There is only one green available at the moment, so I first coloured the smaller leaves in Daffodil Delight and then went over them again with Bermuda Bay. I worked in small areas, colouring and then using the Aqua Painter. Of course the beauty of these new pencils is that you can add colour to your stamped images and I have a lot I want to try!
The second, more muted card uses the same paper but a more limited palette of just Early Expresso and Basic Grey. I also added some Wink of Stella to add a bit of glitter to the stamens.
You absolutely do not have to be some hot shot colourist to get amazing effects with these pencils. You can actually be very 'scribbly' and the Aqua Painter takes it all in its stride! I'm sure I'll be posting lots of coloured cards this year!
Finally here is a link to a great video from Shannon West where she shows you this great new product in action. These super pencils will be available from my website from the 4th January.
Happy colouring! April x
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Hello! Here is a Z-fold card that I have made using a lovely bundle that is on its way in the Spring catalogue. I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of hot air balloons. I certainly wouldn't travel in one! However, I do love these stamps and dies - particularly the rather cute clouds.
Card-making has sadly taken a back seat as I am still residing in the House of Lurgy, or specifically the House of Sinusitis. Small advances have been made though, including frenzied present wrapping today that has made a dent in things. My friend dropped by today to deliver presents. I do need to share the 3D tag that came with my present...
Isn't that fab? I think she would probably want me to point out that her young daughter wrote the tag! I am definitely keeping it!
Now we just need to get that Christmas tree up! Happy crafting, April x
Very festive best wishes to Di, Parsnip and all the Playground inmates at Pixie's Snippets Playground!
Thursday, 15 December 2016
Hello! We are still a house of illness at the moment, but I have managed to drag myself to the craft heap to make some tiny t-shirts. Something about those tiddly collars was quite cheering!
They are made from dsp snippets using the T-shirt Builder Framelits that are arriving in the SU Spring catalogue. There are also super co-ordinating stamps on their way, so you can design your own bespoke range of tops! Lots of fun to make and an antidote to Christmas cards.
Thank you lovely Di for choosing my reindeer as one of your weekly picks! If you are lacking any crafty inspiration, Pixie's Snippets Playground is the place to go! I am sending my t-shirts there, but I think they may be a bit girly for Parsnip...
Happy crafting! April x
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Hello! Unfortunately I am resembling Coughing Bob Fleming at the moment and am not up for much. I did feel inspired by the snippet-busting paper piecing video from Stampin' Up to make this reindeer card. Sticking strips of card down to make a background is about all I am able to manage at the moment between mammoth coughing fits! The reindeer were already hanging around from a previous project so they got stuck down too!
My reindeer are prancing off to see Di and Parsnip at Pixie's Snippets Playground as I know how much Parsnip enjoys a reindeer ride! They are also off to the Global Design Project colour challenge.
Happy crafting! April x
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Hello and welcome to the last challenge of the year at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. For our December challenge you can choose any of our previous challenges - sketch, colour, theme, technique or stash - from 2016. We have lots of exciting changes coming up at 52CCT! We will also be announcing the new members who are joining our DT team very soon.
Here is my take on the theme challenge back in April - Christmas Foliage. I created a wooden 'shelf' with SU's Hardwood stamp, then made a bunch of foliage using the fabulous Pretty Pines Thinlits.
We can't wait to see your Christmas creations!
Happy festive crafting! April x
Friday, 2 December 2016
Hello! Here's another Christmas card made with the lovely Santa's Sleigh bundle. I used copper foil for the sleigh which I love, combined with a snippet of Real Red. I like the little teddy poking up out of the presents. Looks like he could easily take the reins! A short blog post today as I am annoyingly full of a cold - one of those colds that quickly appears with no warning! Not great for card-making.
I'm sending the cousin of Parsnip off to Di at Pixie's Snippets Playground where they can get up to festive mischief!
Happy crafting! April x
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Time for a challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown where you bust that stash! Gill has chosen...
This was a great challenge for me because it made me dig out my (unopened) Heat and Stick Powder. I also found a great little pot of gorgeous turquoise glitter (also unopened!) I really can't capture the glorious glitteriness, but I had such a great time making this card!
The snowflake stamp is from SU's retired Snowflake Soiree and the sentiment was heat embossed using pewter embossing powder.
The DT love lots of Christmas sparkle, so I do hope you will join us for Gill's lovely, glittery challenge! April x
Thursday, 24 November 2016
Hello! As you probably already know if you read my blog, I make a Christmas card every week of the year as a proud member of the DT for 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Some are planned and carefully made, more are rushed panic-jobs at 4 o'clock on the Friday! Then I make more Christmas cards (if that makes any sense) just like all those normal card-makers! Here is one of those cards.
I was inspired by a lovely card my friend Fanny had made with a very similar background to this one. Her card had a beribboned sleigh, but I have just gone for one reindeer here instead. I made it with the wonderful Santa's Sleigh bundle which I love!
He is off to proudly show his smart ribbon collar to Di and Parsnip at Pixie's Snippets Playground! Hope you are feeling on the mend, Di!
Happy Christmas crafting! April x
Saturday, 19 November 2016
Hello! This week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown we have a theme challenge for you. Our hostess Gill has chosen...
So much scope with this lovely theme! I used my SU vintage postcard stamp to make the background. I then stencilled on it using a Tim Holtz stencil (the sentiment is TH too). The poinsettia die came with a magazine and is such a useful size.
We can't wait to see your old fashioned cards! I hope you will feel inspired by the rest of the DT's festive creations. Happy crafting! April x
Thursday, 17 November 2016
Hello! Here is another card featuring the Live Love Grow stamp set. I needed a flower pot for the succulents so I used a snippet of copper foil with the owl punch. I felt bad cutting off the owl's top and feet, but it did make a great planter, especially after a fiddly moment of wrapping it with linen thread.
As this card is intended for a man I chose a rather sombre colour scheme of Emerald Envy, Old Olive and Smoky Slate. The sentiment comes from Tin of Cards. I also blinged it up with a couple of sequins (can't help myself!)
The super sketch for this card came from the Global Design Project
The card was quite snippety so I'm passing the planter over to the capable paws of Parsnip (careful!) at Pixie's Snippets Playground. Thank you so much Di for choosing my Father Christmas earring set as one of your weekly picks. I hope a certain bear is bringing you lots of cups of tea!
Happy crafting! April x
Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Hello! I'd seen a few of these little guys around and fancied some for my ears too. These are the second attempt after a rather smudgy start. You do need to be patient with your colouring or you risk ending up with a Father Christmas who looks as though he has injured himself on a chimney...
I started off by stamping on the frosted side of a piece of frosted shrink plastic with black Stazon. If you stamp on the shiny side your stamp tends to slip (or it does if you are me!) Twenty attempts later I had a couple of efforts I was happy with. I used the punch from the Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle to cut the figures out, not forgetting to make a hole at the top for a jump ring with my Cropadile and then coloured them with Copics.
After attacking them with my heat gun and then leaving them to cool I attached them to a jump ring and fish hook earring findings. All ready for my ears at Christmas! The earring box and card were all made from snippets of Real Red cardstock and Candy Cane Lane designer series paper.
I am sending my little festive assortment off to Di and Parsnip at Pixie's Snippets Playground.
Happy crafting! April x
Saturday, 5 November 2016
Hello! Wishing you a happy Bonfire Night if you are in the UK. I always think that Christmas preparations can begin in earnest once we have finished setting off the fireworks! Our hostess Gill has a great sketch for you this week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown...
I have used SU's Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle combined with Layered Squares Framelits to make my festive card. I do hope that you will feel inspired by the DT's lovely cards and share your take on the sketch with us. Happy crafting, April x
Saturday, 29 October 2016
A very quick last gasp entry for Pixie's Snippets Playground, mainly to say a huge 'Get Well Soon'! to Di and a Happy Hallowe'en to a scary green bear! Thank you for choosing my bird card as one of your weekly picks. It made my day! :-)
These Framelits from SU are perfect snippet blasters. I borrowed them from Too Much Glue Sam and had a great time making various bunches of paper foliage!
Happy Hallowe'en Weekend! April x
Hello! Our challenge this week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is a Pick a Previous Sketch. I chose October 2015:
The penguin is a very cute little X-Cut die. I like that his silvery fish and a couple of sequins are taking the place of the sketch's holly embellishment!
I hope that you will enjoy exploring our sketch archive! We look forward to seeing your Christmas cards :-) April x
Monday, 24 October 2016
Hello! Ages ago I used to enjoy making ATCs, then I started to find it oddly a bit stressy - all the labelling 1/6, 2/6 etc. and sending them off! It came in a flash of inspiration today that I could just make one for fun and here he is, a kind of monster cat with a pumpkin on his head.
I got the free digi here and coloured him with Polychromos pencils. I used SU's Labeller Alphabet to make the sentiment and added some black Glimmer Paper stars.
I would like to enter Boo Cat in the Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge - Halloween Colours.
Happy Crafting! April x
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Hello! Our technique challenge over at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this week is all about embossing - either heat or dry embossing. I have done a bit of both!
The Christmas tree in a jar (from Jar of Cheer) has been heat-embossed with SU's Emerald Envy Glitter embossing powder which is super sparkly. I have also embossed a piece of copper foil with the Softly Falling embossing folder (it kind of reminds me of a fire place).
I have also been asking myself the question - is that a tiny Christmas tree or a huge jar? I asked my friend Clare the same question when she made a lovely card with a stegosaurus eating treats out of a jar. A tiny dinosaur the size of a jam jar would be very cute indeed!
Please have a look at the rest of the DT's embossed creations. We look forward to seeing your Christmas cards. Happy crafting! April x
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Hello! I do like Best Birds - such a cute stamp set. Hard to get a decent photo today because it has gone very dark and autumnal this afternoon. I have had to put the heating on and both cats have taken themselves off to bed! Here's a close-up of the birdie. The blossoms go with my nail wrap! :-)
He was sponged with Sahara Sand and Smoky Slate which seemed reasonable 'sparrowy' colours.
He is off to flutter through the gates at Pixie's Snippets Playground and say hello to Di and Parsnip (as well as a belated Happy Birthday to Len!)
Happy crafting, April x
Saturday, 15 October 2016
Hello! It's a theme challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this week and it's one of my all time favourites:
We seem to be galloping through October, so it's definitely time to start on your Christmas card stash! I do hope that you will join us.
My animals are from Avery Elle's More Stories. I used my SU Circle Card Framelit to make the folded card and the sentiment comes from Wondrous Wreath. The woodland paper is from DoCrafts, I think.
We can't wait to see your cute Christmas critters!
Happy Crafting, April x
Saturday, 8 October 2016
Hello! It's time for a colour challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Kaja has chosen this lovely combo:
You know those cards where you reject all the bits you've made, chop some bits up, return to the bits you rejected, shout at yourself? Yep, this was one of those cards!
Not much more to say about that, except that I'm sure your card will be much better! I do hope that you will join us and be inspired by the DT's card creations. Don't forget we also have a Design Team call at the moment. It's not too late to join in!
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Hello! It's amazing to think that October is already upon us! We have a sketch challenge over at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, but also a DT call which is very exciting. Here is Kaja's sketch:
You don't need to include a snowflake, but I hope I have made a nod to the sketch by echoing the points of the snowflake in my reindeer antlers, ears and candy canes! :-) Then I wondered if it looked like a skull and crossbones?! Anyway I do love this super cute little guy who is made using the fabulous SU Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle. He was coloured with Copics and although it doesn't show up, he does have a glittery red nose!
I do hope you will feel inspired by the DT's cards to have a go at our challenge! Happy crafting, April x
Saturday, 17 September 2016
Hello! For this week's challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, Fabiola has chosen the very cute theme of -
My little trio of snow folk greeting their bunny friend is a lovely From the Heart digi called Bundled Up. I've coloured them with Copics and added a die-cut sentiment and a border of washi tape. I also brushed on some Cosmic Shimmer to create some snow!
Looking forward to seeing your snow people! Have a great weekend, April x
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Hello! I was inspired to make this gift box and matching card for the challenge over at Cupcake Inspirations. Here is their theme for the week:
The box holds a couple of tea lights and I got the tutorial for it here. My version is made from Rose Red cardstock and Sweet Sugarplum dsp. The black bow was made using the Bow Builder punch with Colour Me Irresistible speciality dsp (currently available on the Clearance Rack!) I made it with a snippet left over from making a Halloween box. The sentiment comes from Jar of Love.
The matching 3 x 3 card features a very cute couple of ladybirds from the hostess stamp set, Love You Lots. I coloured them with Rose Red ink using a blender pen.
I was delighted that my pleated card was one of the picks over at Pixie's Snippets Playground. Thank you Di (and Parsnip)! My box and card are a veritable hotbed of snippets so I am sending them through the gates! April x
Saturday, 10 September 2016
Hello! We have a colour theme this week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Fabiola has chosen:
Such a striking combo! I started off using the inlaid die technique to slot an oval into an embossed background (SU's Softly Falling) Then I cut the bell from Dazzling Diamond glimmer paper with a XCut mini die called Filigree Bell. The tiny (and very cute) bow is a Waffleflower die.
Please visit us at 52CCT and be inspired by the creations of the DT! April x
Thursday, 8 September 2016
Hello! A little while back a lovely card featuring this super fold was entered in the weekly challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown where I am a DT member. I really loved it and fancied having a go myself. The blog post where I found a link to the original tutorial can be found here.
I like this technique because after one minor blip (where I cut the wrong bit off) it was quite straightforward! I also like how it showcases both sides of your dsp and you can change the look very easily. It doesn't take a huge amount of patterned paper - just 10 x 5 inches, so great for snippet-zapping!
I'm sending my Christmas card off to Di and Parsnip at Pixie's Snippets Playground with a huge thank you for the gorgeous embossing folder (and stunning card) that I was lucky enough to win.
I would also like to enter Weekly Christmas Card Challenges as I have a (tiny) amount of music on my card!
Have a great week! April x
Saturday, 3 September 2016
Hello! It's the start of a new month so we have a sketch challenge for you at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Our lovely hostess Fabiola has chosen this great design:
A very simple card from me using up some snippets of last year's Christmas dsp. I've added a few enamel dots and embossed the background too. I hope you will pay us all a visit. We look forward to seeing your interpretations of Fabiola's sketch! April x
Saturday, 27 August 2016
Hello! We have a technique challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this week. Our hostess Kaja would like you to have a go at watercolouring.
I made my rather splodgy card a while back at a demo team meeting. I think the colours are a combo of Blackberry Bliss and Tempting Turquoise, but the lovely die-cut is definitely from SU's retired Sleigh Ride Edgelits. I do hope that you will join us with your wonderful watercolour creations! April x
Friday, 26 August 2016
Hello! I wasn't planning on making a card today, but felt inspired by the colour combo at Cupcake Inspirations (the cupcakes are quite inspiring too!)
So, I coloured this very cute pony with my Polychromos pencils! She is a digi from 2 Cute Ink and I like how she is looking down at the ladybird (a tiny touch of red!)
My pony is also trotting off to visit Di and Parsnip at Pixie's Snippets Playground as the dotty paper is a snippet forcibly dragged from Snippet Mountain today!
Happy Bank Holiday weekend! April x