Monday, 28 September 2015

Card Concept Challenge #40

This week's challenge over at the Card Concept is entitled 'Forest Friends'.  I am really loving these challenges and especially like having a specific theme to work with.   I find I can easily get stuck in a creative rut and having a theme or color palette to work with really helps and makes me step outside of that comfort zone!

I thought I would try a different style this time and went with  'Freestyle Collage' to make a cute forest scene.  All images were cut from the Cricut Camping Critters cartridge and I particularly loved the bear and the deer hiding behind the trees so started with those.  I thought they looked like they were playing Hide & Seek and so when I then saw the fox and the owl with binoculars and a spy glass, I knew I had to have those too! I did struggle a bit with the sentiment, but then remembered I had this one from a Stampin' Up stamp set, which I thought continued the 'friends' theme rather well ... phew!

Supplies used:
Cricut Camping Critters cartridge
Bazzil Cardstock (for the characters and trees)
Patterned papers are both from the We R Memory Keepers 'Jet Set' paper pad
Sentiment from 'Sheltering Tree' stamp set by Stampin'  Up
Gems & velvet ribbon both from my stash

Thanks for taking the time to drop by and hope to see you again!

Bev x

Be Thankful!

A quick card today created using the turkey and sentiment from the Cricut Create a Critter cartridge.  

I made a standard A6 size card base (by cutting a piece of A4 in half and then folding down the middle) using plain kraft card and then created a double mat using chocolate brown card and a patterned paper from a 6" x 6"Basic Grey Paper Pad called Life of the Party.  I created a second double mat approx 4.5" x 2", using the same chocolate brown card and another paper from the same Basic Grey stack.  This one has a lovely wood grain effect which I thought was just right for this Autumnal card.  Finally, the turkey was cut at 3.5" and added along with the sentiment using some foam tape to create a little dimension.

I am entering this card into this week's Cardz TV Challenge #3 - Fall Icons.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Bev x

Monday, 21 September 2015

Color Therapy ... !

Hands up those who loved 'colouring in' as a child?  Thought so ... me too!  I remember that sense of utter joy when I received a brand new set of felt tips, all juicy and rich, or some new coloring pencils ...  I can still recall the year I received a big tin of Caran d'Ache pencils in my Christmas stocking (well, actually it was a pillow case).  I can see them now,  all lined up in rainbow formation with pristine points, just begging for a colouring book (which Santa had also thoughtfully included!).

I haven't changed much and to this day am still a sucker for any kind of beautiful stationery ... from colorful pens - markers, watercolors, chalk or even sparkly glitter ones - to pretty notebooks and journals.   The other day I came across an article on the therapeutic qualities of coloring and how it is increasing in popularity amongst adults as a form of relaxation and stress relief, improving motor skills and increasing creativity (see link Health benefits of Coloring In).

I have never really stopped 'coloring in' and often use a hand colored image as the main focal point of a card or scrapbook page or sometimes just like to color for the sheer pleasure of it!  I have noticed that there are many Adult colouring books appearing in shops and online just lately (if you go to Amazon and search for  'adult coloring books', you will find pages of them!).  However, you can also find hundreds of free ones available for you to download and print off yourself, if you search for 'free adult coloring pages' via Google or on Pinterest.  As the football season is upon us once again, and Sunday night football monopolizes the TV, last night I decided to do just that and found this lovely owl.

I downloaded it and printed it off on some smooth white card and then colored it in with my Promarker alcohol ink pens - these are quite expensive (a present from Santa a couple of years ago!) but beautiful to color with and don't leave any 'coloring lines' like traditional markers.  They also have a fine tip at one end and a chisel tip at the other which makes coloring large areas much quicker.

I often get stuck choosing color schemes for my colored images, and so tend to use sites like Design Seeds for inspiration (they are also great for deciding on decorating color schemes!).  I loved the colors used in this one from (which I found on trusty Pinterest) so selected the closest colours from the pens I had, in this case Forest Green, Leaf Green, Pastel Beige, and three pens from the Cool Grey set - 3, 4 & 5.

When I had finished coloring my ow1, I cut her out, matted her onto some plain green card, gave her some googly eyes and a sparkly silver bow and turned her into an easel card using a large white circular card blank I had in my stash.  I used my Cricut explore to print the sentiment and then cut the  label which I mounted on foam tape to act as the 'stopper'.

Why not have a go yourself and rekindle that love of coloring!  Just find yourself a free image,  grab yourself a set of pens/pencils/chalks/pastels ... whatever you like ... and get coloring!

(While you are at it,  type Zentangle into your search engine and have a look at those too ... you will be amazed at how much fun you can have with a piece of paper and a black pen ... plus you can color them in afterwards!  It's addictive!).

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Hubble Bubble Toil & Trouble ...

I've been busy making more Halloween cards this weekend (because I send Halloween cards all the time ... LOL!) so thought I would share this one with you.

Inside of the card

I can't claim any credit for the design of this one I'm afraid, as once again the inspiration came from someone else via Pinterest (don't you just LOVE Pinterest?!).

The card is 5" square and made from plain black cardstock and all the decorative papers used are from the Spooky Delight card stack from DCWV - I got mine from Jo-ann's.  The frame, witches hat and spiders are all cut from the Cricut Happy Hauntings cartridge using my Explore (still completely in love with this machine!).

The frame was cut at 4", witches hat at 1.75", the large spider at 1" and the small spiders at 0.5".  The sentiment and the papers used inside were also taken from the Spooky Delight card stack.

Thanks for dropping by!
Bev x

Friday, 4 September 2015

Happy Haunting .... !

As some of you will no doubt be aware,  I have always loved my Cricut (an electronic die-cutting machine, for those not already familiar), and used it frequently to make cards, titles and embellishments for my scrapbooking, and unusual gift boxes and even 3D decorations!

A year or so ago, Cricut brought out a shiny new version, called the Explore, which I had been coveting from the first time I clapped eyes on it.  It had a lot of new cool features including the ability to finally import SVG files at last, and bluetooth capability along with an iPad app so I could design on the go!  It was on my list for Santa last Christmas, but as our move to Arizona had already been confirmed by then, Mr Crafty Cow quite rightly pointed out that it would be much more sensible to wait until after we had moved and buy the US version.  Sigh ...

Well, I am pleased to say that a couple of weeks ago I finally took delivery of my new Explore and I have to say I love it even more than my old one! ... **squeaks with excitement!!**  As this also very nicely co-incided with Junior CC going back to school (funny that), I have been as happy as a pig in sh .... er ... mud ... locked away in my craft room putting it through it's paces and creating all kinds of projects. Bliss!

As you will probably know, Halloween is a HUGE deal over here and all manner of spooky paraphernalia - decorations, costumes and even complete sets of china! - started appearing in the shops early in August, so I figured that I would start with a few spooky projects of my own.

I saw a really cool hanging decoration on Pinterest from Mandie's Scrappin', which was made from some of those chipboard letters that you can buy at the craft store and then decorated with pretty papers etc., however, as I had my brand new shiny die-cutting machine sitting proudly next to me on the desk, I decided that this would be as good a test as any.

I cut the large letters from one of the free alphabets in the Design Space app in a heavy weight card, then just the same again in some decorative halloween papers which I stuck to the front of the card.  All the decorations were made using the Cricut Happy Hauntings cartridge, stuck to the letters and then the final step was simply to join all the letters together with some ribbon (stuck to the back of the card).  I was surprised at how quickly this came together and how straightforward it actually was!

I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Now all I have to do is wait until Halloween to put it up!

Thanks for stopping by!  See you next time for another spooky project!

Bev x