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Thursday 25 March 2010

Winners of Challenge 16 - A Feminine Celebration

Please scroll down for our latest challenge which closes on Sunday 4th April at 12pm GMT.

Drumrolls! As previously mentionned we've changed to a Top 5 and will be displaying your fabulous artwork right here but firstly onto the winner of the £10 The Stampman voucher! We had 136 storming entries and random.org has picked...

132 - Liz from Lace, Ribbons, Buttons & Bows

Well Done Liz, please email me to claim your prize!

And the winners of our new Top 5 displayed alphabetically are....






Well done ladies, please grab yourself the new green blinkie! Beautiful work x

Monday 22 March 2010

Challenge 17 - Spring into Spring!

Wow wow wow you all really excelled on the last challenge, so many pretty girls, many of which I haven't seen before, well done all! We'll be back with the winner of The Stampman voucher and our Top 5 later on. Thanks again to The Stampman for sponsoring us and to Cindy Royal for being our special guest designer and sharing her delightful creations.

You may notice a few changes afloat today. We redecorated, blame Judie for the green lol! Also when we started the challenge 6 months ago about half the blogs used the comments system so we did as we wanted you to learn how to do it as this blog is designed for newer cardmakers and bloggers however over 95% of other challenge blogs have now moved over to Mr Linky or a similar system so you don't really need to know that system anymore so we've installed a Mr Linky. You will need to know how to link to your actual card for all challenges instead of linking to your main blog so if you don't know how to do this there are instructions here

Also as our number of entries increases we've decided to go for a Top 5 as choosing 3 is so hard, not that 5 is any easier mind lol! Challenges will now close on the SUNDAY before the next days challenge to give us time to catch up and prepare the post.

Also we will be having a guest designer join us for each challenge. If you would like to join in the fun please put GDT after your name in Mr Linky and this will be drawn at random. It will be the next but one challenge so there's over 2 weeks to prepare. No previous experience necessary at all and newer cardmakers are strongly urged to apply, we don't bite, well Judie might nibble a bit :)



Our challenge is your interpretation of Spring be that flowers, bunnies, colours, chocolate, easter whatever spring evokes for you. Eeasy peesy!

Please link to your creation in Mr Linky by SUNDAY 4th APRIL 12pm GMT and type GDT after your name if you wish to play as a guest designer on challenge 19.

Our Sponsor for this challenge is the wonderful Joanna Sheen. We're also thrilled to have her join us as our special guest for this challenge so welcome on board Joanna!

New in stock this month are a beautiful range of decoupage cards and packs by the very talented Dutch Artist Staf Wesenbeek which can be seen here
There are also lots of new cosmic shimmers and Sir Tim products in stock. Pop over and have a browse, there are so many gorgeous products on offer!

Joanna is offering a £10 voucher for this challenge so good luck everybody!

Lets see what the design team have created for their springtime interpretations, thanks ladies!

I made a square card blank from white card and put a piece of paper from K&Co Daffodil Pad onto it. I added some silver Sakura pen to the butterflies and bees. Then I stuck a strip of Design Objectives Fancy Yellow Organza and Raffia ribbon diagonally across the card and on top of this placed my topper. The topper was made using Nestabilities Labels Ten (cut with my Cuttlebug). The image is from Penny Black's Critter Party, stamped in black StazOn and coloured with whispers and sakura pens.


I used a white card and then printed a blue flowery card front with a white oval centre - which I bought from CraftsUPrint, and then stuck it to the card using double sided tape.Using Silver Peel Offs I added a sheep with her lamb, some rabbits, a chick and some flowers, and finally I added a narrow border using Silver Glitter Glue, both the Peel Offs and the Glitter Glue I had in my stash ... I like using the Peel offs as they are easy to use and you can add colour if you want to.

This challenge we are to do a Spring time challenge, so i have taken a A4 sheet of card, layered it in orange and greens, die cut some branches and attached little gems, took 4 images of Penny Black Sheeps and Lambs and glittered them up. This is a first for me Decorating the inside of the card !!! What I hear you all say, yep, its def a first for me LOL I only have white flowers, which i always colour to the needs of that day, so i coloured some in orange and some green and attached some cute little silver butterflies that I have wanted to use for some time. I have popped some stickles on the petals to look like dew. This Challenge should lead us all into Spring. xx

I decided this week to do a large card and used a card slightly smaller than A4, I stamped Popcorn Bear Thanks a Bunch & coloured it with the good old favourites Promarkers. I then decided on the colours for matting and layering, use some ribbon and a message from a kit I have had for some time and finished the card off with the brads, flowers and gems. It is nice to make a card when it is for someone special, hope you enjoy this challenge.


Stamps used:
Magnolia Spring rain and Spring Tilda

Ribbon used:
Spring is in the air by Dovercraft, Blue by Papermania

Copic's used
Skin - E000 Pale fruit Pink, E00 Skin White, E01 Pink Flamingo, R20
Blush, R29 Lipstick Red
Clothes - Y08 Acid Yellow, Y11 Pale Yellow, Y15 Cadmium yellow, B23
Phthalo Blue, B45 Smoky Blue, B93 Light Crockery Blue, YG00 Mimoas
Yellow, YG03 Yellow Green, YG06 Yellowish Green, V61 Pale Grape, V12
Pale Lilac, RV95 Baby Blossoms and E04 Lipstick Natural.

Using a lilac blue butterfly paper found on the internet, I cut a boot. I added blue to the inside of the boot. Also, I added a green top band and sole, which I then added green stickle to them. The flowers are created using a daisy punch. I layered up 7 punched flowers with a pearl in the centre. The leaves are also a punch. I stamped both the images in Memento Black Ink and coloured them in with copics. The boots are coloured in first with colour and then using the Colourless Blender, to create a spotty effect. I then glued, Spring Tilda onto the boot. I used a creamy yellow card to create a square. I added Ribbon to the bottom and the side. This I mounted on to a lilac/mauve card. I added a larger flower and also some leaves. For the inside I used the same paper as I used for the boot and then added Spring Rain Tilda to the inside.

For this challenge I've chosen Spring colours of greens and yellows. The image is Tilda with flowers in her hair which is an old favourite coloured with promarkers. I used various papers and the prima flowers in the left hand top corner are from the prima wildflowers pillar pack I bought from Joanna's and I have to say what a wonderful array you get, I was muchly impressed! I'm so rubbish at choosing nice flowers for embellishment so I bought a pack of these and they're amazing :)

My challenge card this week was a pretty hard one to start with...my mojo has not been playing the game for over a week but when Vix told us Joanna Sheen would be featured, my mind went into overload...Joanna has been in my crafting world since the day I started crafting almost four year's ago, ...back then blogging was not in my life and the only help I found was Create and Craft... Joanna was one of my main influences, I learned so many techniques watching her programmes. The card I made today was inspired by one of Joanna's CD's, I use this particular CD as a background for my images so often, it's the Pamela West CD, it's full of perfect images for any sort of card and a great back drop for any image...and if your at the NEC this week Joanna I will be making a bee line for you!!!

With an average of 3000 hits a DAY to her website, Joanna Sheen is certainly a leader in craft circles. She has won the Craft Hobby & Stitch Cardmaker of the Year award for the last 3 years along with Best Craft Website/Online Retailer for 2008 & 2009. She is also highly regarded as a Queen amongst us cardmakers and makes frequent appearances on Create and Craft TV. I shall hand you over to the lovely Joanna Sheen.

Ingredients for my card:
House-Mouse decoupage – the HappyHoppers set
Backing papers printed from my ATC CD
Stardream card
Foam tape and pinflair glue and d/s tape

This is a very straightforward simple card – the beauty comes from the House-Mouse artwork. Cut out the decoupage sheet and assemble using pinflair glue gel and leave to dry preferably overnight.
Fold an A3 piece of card in half – using a score-board gives a neater crease –
Cut an extra piece of card slightly smaller than the main blank and layer two colours of backing paper printed from a cd (these came from my ATC one) I use double sided tape as I prefer tape to wet glue.
Then using foam tape add the decoupage and the get well soon phrase

Questions we posed to Joanna

1. One thing I read about you was that you were thrown out of art class but luckily for us you pursued your dream and passion. Can you describe your journey to where you're at now?

I struggled so badly with still life charcoal sketching – I do wish they had done something with potato printing I managed that from an early age! Having dropped out of Law College (sorry lawyers but it was dead dull really) I trained with Constance Spry in London to become a professional florist but having a small baby really made that idea a bit difficult to follow through. Then I came up with the idea of working not with fresh flowers but dried and pressed and had twenty very happy years with a thriving business as a result.

I approached Ideal World about 7 or 8 years ago and they were so welcoming and within days of contacting them we had a show sorted out and despite my nerves – it all happened! Alan and Barry were presenters back then and I dressed up a bit like the Mother of the Bride in retrospect – far too formal – but with that first show under my belt – it was all go go go from there!

2. Who/What/Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from all four corners of the earth – thank goodness for the internet and the friends that I have made all over the world. They give me ideas and inspiration and often just a comment can make me go searching for more ideas and so things begin to build. Always the garden and the Devon countryside will add some inspiration if I get stuck as does my small spaniel who would jot down ideas for me if only he could write!

3. Julie would like to know how organised is your craft room and any tips for getting organised?

Oh Julie – I can see you have never been to my house – total chaos six days out of seven my craft room. I do try and tidy up once a week but within minutes we seem to be back at square one – just so many boxes and cupboards that I want easy access to all the time. My only tip is that life got easier for me when I had some kitchen units put into my craft room as that gave me a surface that I could stand at as well as some handy drawers and cupboards. I also rely very heavily on the “really useful” range of plastic boxes … brilliant things!

4. What do you like most about crafting and the craft community?

I love the feedback you get when you give cards – I like pleasing my friends and family and it’s great when a card is precious. The craft community is pretty special too, crafters on the whole seem so much kinder than the average person and the people I have met and regularly chat to are just the best people you could hope to share your life with.

5. Your top 3 tips

a) Buy good quality basics and don’t go for too many bulky cheap special offers – you may be sorry later

b) Be patient and be prepared to waste some of a new product while you learn to use it – don’t give up just because it didn’t work the first time

c) Keep an eye on youtube.com and the TV and the forums – you never stop learning and the best crafters are always open to new techniques

Thank You Joanna

Monday 8 March 2010

Challenge 16 - A Feminine Celebration

Thank You all for your fab entries to our last challenge which was a real tough one hehe! We do like to get the grey cells working harder from time to time otherwise it wouldnt be a 'challenge' so well done to all those who took part and had a go at it!
There seemed to be a lot of confusion around this one and it appears some people were using a 7 colour wheel which is why we said its important to look at the tutorial which uses 12. The reason we use this is its an artists colour wheel and is frequently printed in cardmaking and scrapbook magazines so sorry for any confusion but please do take a look, There is a fantastic colour wheel at the bottom showing so many tints and tones which I have printed and hung above my desk for quick reference :)

Anyways moving on lol! We had 28 entries and random.org says the winner of tha Joanna Sheen voucher is......NUMBER 20 making it CARO

Well Done Caro, please email me your details to pass onto Joanna x

Our Top 3 in alphabetical order are...

Happy Days

Well Done ladies for your beautiful creations, please grab a blinkie from the side bar!

Some great news too! Lisa, our last special guest Tracy and our first special guest Sheila have all got on the Karen's Doodles UK design team, well done all!


Our challenge is A Feminine Celebration so please include a female of any form somewhere on your project. This can include female animals and critters or girls like Anyas, Tilda or perhaps something more arty like flapper girls, a wide choice for you!

Our sponsor for thie challenge is The Stampman who are offering a £10 gift voucher for their store. They have a myriad of wonderful products in their shop including an offer on all 12 of the new Tim Holtz distress inks (Which they are also offering as blog candy on their blog)
There are beautiful Hero Arts items including flowers and the new Clings and they also have the newest cuttlebug folders including the gorgeous Jules Jewels.
Pop over and have a peek as they have such a huge range of products for all tastes!

The Stampman have some new releases imminent and are giving sneak peeks on their blog. I've seen them in their entirity and ooooooooh what a treat!

Our DT have come up with some wonderfully varied creations for you for this challenge, thank you ladies!


I used a cream A5 card blank to start with. Then I cut the edges of a piece of Laura Ashley paper (Traditional) with my Martha Steward Deep Edge Punch (Garden Trellis) and mounted it onto the card. I stamped one of the ladies from the Delartful Leo's Plate in Ultramarine StazOn and cut it out with my oval Nestabilities (using my Cuttlebug), then matted it onto another Nestie oval in dark blue. The flowers are paper and are from my stash, as are the flower shaped brads. The ribbon is from some I got ages ago from good old Woolworths.

This challenge is for a Female Card, so as Mothers day is at the end of the Week, I have choosen Mothers day. I really went to town on this one, I wanted to do something special for my mummy. I have created a book card with the letters of Mummy on each page. I have used scrummy papers and lots of Sir Tims distress inks on this, building up each page in colour and shimmer. I used mica powders mixed with inkabilities and sprayed and sprayed, so the colours ran and mixed together. I have included a photo of each of her children on the back of one of the pages. Shes always moaning we are never together, so now she has one photo page of us all. I punched out the flowers from the papers i used. I did faux stitching on all the pages in a white gel pen, just to sort of bring it together.



The challenge this week is to use in image of a lady on your card. I knew immediately I wanted to use the smashing papers by Debbi Moore that came with Issue 13 of Creative Cardmaking magazine.

The Art Deco ladies are so very elegant and in particular I wanted to use the purple one in honour of Purple Day which is the 26th March. This is a day to help bring awareness to Epilepsy and all you have to do is wear the colour purple. My beloved husband has suffered with Epilepsy all his life and there is a lot of stigma attached to it due to ignorance of the condition.

All the papers and elements are from the paper pack. I have added the patterned ribbon strips to a rich purple ribbon and created a layered flower using Primas, a bead cap and glittered brad. I have created depth with 3D foam pads and added lots of bling to the frame and floral accents in the main picture.

The image is from Digital pencil too and is called Kesha. I coloured her using Copic markers and chalks. The copics used are:Skin - R32, R20 and E04Hair - Y15, Y17, E21, E35, and E37 Dress and Ribbons - R20, R32, E04, BG10, BG23 and BG34
I added some punched flowers to the basket and her ribbon in her hair.Then added flowersoft to the basket as well as some falling out of her hand to the ground.
I embossed a piece of parchment paper using a cuttlebug embossing folderand then coloured it in with chalks. The pattern papers are from MyMind's Eye - Pretty Please Spring Papers that came free in a magazine.I used Nestability dies to cut the circles. The ribbon is white ribbon that I coloured using R20 and BG34 copic markers. I added gems to the scalloped circle. Then I mounted it on to a card blank I created using scalloped cutter on my guillotine.

For this week's challenge I had a request from my Mom's friend to make a Birthday card to a 80 year old Sister, so as it's a faminine theme I thought it would fit the challenge perfect. As you can imagine this called for a different style....one I am not used to but I am pretty impressed with the outcome.I think it's on the lines of " Shabby Chic" and you can find all the detail's for this card in my blog post, with some step by step idea's.

The image I've used for this challenge is by Sweet Pea called The serene night. I wanted to keep the colours very soft for a very feminine feel so I changed my usual skin colour choice slightly to keep it soft. Its coloured with promarkers and I coloured the ribbon and leaves to match. I made the bead charm and it has flower shaped beads and cats eyes with a butterfly charm.

Our special guest is Cindy Royal who makes the most delightful cards and keepsakes. Cindy is extremely talented and designs for Karen's Doodles, Digital Delights and Delightful Sketches and has been a guest designer for a number of blogs. Cindy uses a wide range of products, techniques and styles on her blog which is packed with inspiration. She also decorates the insides beautifully!

Over to you Cindy!


1. How did you get into cardmaking and how did you get to where you are now?
I haven't been making cards all that long. Actually, it's two years this month. I'm not sure what got me started. I've always loved to create and craft and I was just cruising the internet and kept seeing lovely cards using rubber stamps and Sizzix cuts and knew I could have fun doing this. Of course my cards from 2 years ago, consisting of a layer or two of paper and mediocre pencil coloring, are a lot different from my cards of today with multiple layers of cardstock on the front and both inside surfaces, stitching, colored with Copics, cricut cut embellishments, etc. My initial interest in it has snowballed into an obsession!

2. Who's work inspires you and where else do you find inspiration?
Oh, everyone's work inspires me. I have hundreds of blogs subscribed to in my Google Reader and I spend a lot of time every day scrolling through it, oohing and ahhing over the creations I see. Even if I'm not overly fond of the total creation or the image, many times the colors or a particular embellishment or technique will shout out to me. They are all great, from the most simple to the most complex; great because they are hand made by someone who loves the hobby as much as I do. Blogs, forums, and galleries are just full of eye candy and inspiration!

3. What are the last 3 items you bought and what did you like about them? I treated myself to a few more Copics! They are just awesome for coloring with shading and the more I use them, the more comfortable and confident I become with them. No one should be afraid to use them or think they aren't good enough. I also love that I can color embellishments with them to match my image colors.

Digital Images! Definitely hooked on them! My life is such that I'm really busy with work and family, so my creative time sometimes falls short. I love having a handful of digital images all printed in the sizes I want and ready to go, so when time allows, I can grab them and my Copics and get a little coloring time in. No muss, no fuss.... I'm pretty messy with ink pads and embossing powder!

A Cricut Cartridge! I love adding paper cuts from my Cricut to my cards. It's just a nice final touch that often brings everything together on the card or adds a little fun to it.

4. Describe your workspace!

My work space is scattered across a couple of rooms! and a total disaster! I use one main craft table for cutting and assembling and no matter how hard I try, it is always a complex, jumbled mess of paper scraps, tools, embellishments, adhesives, etc. I can clean it up and start out with a good couple of square feet of clear space and by the time I'm a few minutes into creating, there's not even the space of a postage stamp left clear!

5. Your top 3 tips
My tips aren't technique or tool related, but more on the line of your mindset.

1. Don't be afraid to try something new just because you think you aren't good enough. Go for it. Even if it doesn't come out the way you wanted or expect; chances are it will be even better, just different.

2. Go easy on yourself. I'm guilty of being overly critical of my own work, sometimes really not liking the outcome, when it's a perfectly fine card, loved by others. We are our own worst critics. Lighten up. The paper crafting police will not come to get you.

3. Don't like where your project is heading? Set is aside for a while, even days, and go back to it with a fresh look. Many of my cards are colored, cut and laid out for days. I will go back and just glance at it now and then, rearranging or just reconsidering what's been done, before I settle on the final creation, often quite pleased with what I ended up doing.

Thank you very much Cindy!