Thursday 25 April 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

Hi everyone,
I am so excited to bring you this card I started last night.  Waltzing Mouse hosted a Flower Show last Thursday and along with it a competition to CASE one of the designer's projects.  I didn't think I would be able to make anything as we are expecting visitors and not only do I have to get the whole house ship shape, but they're staying in my craft room so it really needed an overhaul - it was what you might call a bit of a mess !!!
Anyway I got my dates wrong and they're not arriving until tomorrow so I thought I'd give it a go - after all how often do you get the opportunity to copy such incredible talent, plus there is a chance to win 5 stamp sets of your choice.  I would have liked to CASE all of them but this one from Anne-Elise was definitely my favourite.  I have always admired her cards but she really outdid herself with this one.

I think it's one of the most exquisite card I have ever seen and there was this little voice saying "You could never make something like that" but fortunately I didn't listen and went ahead anyway.

As you can see I didn't change much apart from the colour (why mess with perfection) and anything I did change was really only from necessity (and lack of talent), but I'm really pleased with the result.  I feel like I've just had a few rounds in the kitchen with a master chef and been told some of their secret michelin star winning secrets, which is of course true except it's card making not cooking.  It was brilliant watching it take shape as I was creating all the layers - working out which spellbinders dies to use, the colours and the materials, and of course the stamping process which, as always with Waltzing Mouse stamps was sheer joy.  I never cease to be amazed by how fantastic these stamps are in real life. 
As you can see I opted for the Cabin Plaid background rather than the gingham, stamping with Versacolour's Smoke Blue and embossed with clear powder.  I have had this blue vellum in my stash for years now waiting just for the right moment, and I stamped the large flower and two of the smaller elements from Folk Art Medallions and embossed with Stampendous white embossing powder.  I used a Resplendent rectangle and a Persian Accent as layers and the little flourish from Parisian Accents for the background foliage.  I had to make do with the ribbon in my stash and I tried to stay true to Anne-Elise's layers but had no baker's twine and used some green crafting floss instead.  I'm not happy with how the gems photographed - in real life they're softer and a good match for the green foliage.  I guess they were happy to be basking in the glorious late evening spring sunshine.  BTW if you look closely at the background, you'll see my flowering plum tree which is absolutely bursting with blossoms now - no doubt spurred on by the card I made last week ;o)

Thank you Anne-Elise for sharing your wonderful talent, and Claire for not only designing the most fantastic stamp sets on the planet but for giving us this opportunity to create and learn from some of the masters of the business.  The Flower Show Competition is open until the 30th so why not waltz on over there and be in with a chance for some great prizes.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Bravo Blooms

I couldn't let another month go by without joining in the WMS Blog Party - the theme this month is Spring Flowers.
We have a lovely flowering plum tree outside our kitchen door.  At this time of the year it's usually bursting with blossoms but like the rest of us, it too is feeling the effects of a very long and very cold winter.  Having said that though there have been promising signs this last week with the appearance of little buds and the sunshine today saw a few buds open so couldn't resist a Bravo tree card !!!
I used the twiggy branch and three different sized blossoms from the WMS Asian Gardens set to create this Penny Spinner card.  The sentiment and frame were from the WMS Fancy Phrases set.
I cut the butterflies using the Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers Mini Butterlies.  For the spinning butterfly I overstamped the pink vellum with the background stamp from WMS Asian Gardens in purple and layered it on a purple butterfly joining them only along the body line to give the impression of fluttering.  The butterfly track was created with 2 Spellbinders circles (3 half sizes apart in size).  To add some depth I fussy cut a few flowers and sprinkled them over the page (being careful not to go too close to the track).  I had a little lattice (cut with the Memory Box Tessatina Border) left over from a previous project and I cut it down to fit the top right corner and give the second butterfly somewhere to rest his wings.  To create a little bling I added little crystals to the bodies of both butterflies.
Fingers crossed our tree will look like this soon.

Monday 8 April 2013

A Study in Scarlet

I made this card for my eldest son Gavin who turned 20 yesterday.
He wants to be an actor.  This has been a dream of his for some years now (unlike the brief World Cup summer of 2006 during which he wanted to be a footballer).  He is fortunate enough to have the brains to succeed at anything he wants and the looks as well (though as his mum I could be somewhat biased).  I only wish he had chosen a profession which didn't appear to rely so heavily on chance.
Anyway as befits this talented son of mine, this card is full of imagery. The Play Poster image (a reference to his choice of career) is from StempelWinkel, as is the background Music score (a reference to his musical ability). The background Script stamp is from Crafty Individuals (he loves to write poetry and short stories). The bird and branch were cut with the Bird Branch die by Tim Holtz (budding performer - aargh now I'm getting corny).  The Hand and Admit One images are from Tim Holtz Steampunk CS107. The little crown was cut with a Movers and Shapers die also from Tim Holtz.  The filmstrip is a very old Sizzix decorative strip which I distressed.  The little words "dream", "DISCOVER" and "Delight" were cut from a Crafty Individuals sentiment block.
If you look really closely you will see a Harlequin pattern in the background.  This was stamped very subtly with the WMS Heirloom Patterns set using Antique Linen distress ink.
As he prepares for his final school exams in a few short weeks time it is a time for reflection - not just for him but for me too.  Where have those 20 years gone. I am reminded of the song Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof partiularly this line

I don't remember growing older when did they

Wednesday 3 April 2013

A Green Tea Party

I fell in love with this Tea Tree stamp from Crafty Individuals but for some reason it's been sitting in my box for ages waiting to be inked up.  I thought a birthday card for my tea loving best friend Maggie would be a good time to finally put it to use.
I was lucky enough to find a piece of glossy card I had inked up earlier with green and gold alcohol inks - perfect for an Irish lass, and I found this green tartan in a Papermania Capsule Collection 8x8 paper pack.
Combined with a greeting from the new WMS Folk Art Label 25 set, a flower and leaves from the WMS Folk Art Medallion set, and a Tessatina Border cut from a piece of the same card stock used for the Tea Tree panel, this card came together fairly quickly.
I felt the font on this greeting was crying out for some little gems, and I added some larger ones to the border.
I love working with green at this time of year - it reminds me of spring, which I am hoping is not too far off now.