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Monday 25 October 2010

Spotlight - Digital Plus

Wow seems you're liking your freebies!  There's still plenty of time to play in our Freebie challenge as its open for another week and our new spotlight will be a good one to combine it with!  Thank You also for your fantastic entries to our previous spotlight which was Fancy Folds, the winners will be announced next weekend on the catch up post.

Today we're looking at DIGITAL crafting and taking it a step further so its DIGITAL PLUS.  There are tons and tons of digi stamps, backgrounds and elements available and with a little bit of knowledge you can make them into so much more.  Try printing out your images onto patterned paper, cutting bits out and paper piecing, make your own unique backgrounds from your digi stamps, merge two or more, add text it really is limitless.

The challenge is to do something with a digital item(s) other than print and colour, be brave!

We have 2 fabulous sponsors for this challenge, first up is a familiar name - Stitchy Bear Stamps who must have the most massive choce of digi images under the same roof on the planet!

"Hi my name is Stitchy and I am Co-Owner of Stitchy Bear Stamps...we started this store April 1st, No Fooling haha..I live in upstate New York with my husband and two TEENAGE adults haha, I do say that loosely as they think they run the show here, NOT...
I started about 4 years ago making digital scraps and I knew there was much more out there, so a friend of mine introduced me to digital stamps...and the rest they say is history...I look forward to seeing all the beautiful creations come through...good luck everyone..stitchy xoxox"
Stitchy Bear stamps is offering the lucky winner a choice of any 5 of their digital stamps!  And what a choice there is!

Our 2nd sponsor is our very own Ei (Eiglas) who is also under the Stitchy Stamps umbrella!  She is offering 3 digi stamps from her range which you'll find HERE.

We're also joined by a Special Guest for this challenge Peri!  Lin has given her a grilling further down the page before Froggy link. 

I love this collection of fairies with a bit of added magic! (Take a closer look at their wings.) I put together a background in Photoshop Elements using the lasso tool, gradients, and the cookie-cutter tool, then added the fairies, including the one who's managed to persuade a passing bird to give her a lift! The result is printed on glossy photo paper, and the card was finished with some layers, some Krenik blending filament, some die cuts and sticky gems!  Images are Rainbow Magic by Stitchy Bear Stamps

For this challenge I really wanted to push myself a bit and I love merging digi images to make a whole new design so I chose a super fairy tree house by make it crafty and knew I wanted to make it fun and I was lucky enough to win some digis over at the One stitch at a time blog and chose Butterfly Love, Fae Away and Ice Princess as the main image.  I've flipped the butterfly loves and fae aways, resized, hidden them so your task is to find them all hehe!  I've coloured with promarkers and sakura stardust with white gel pen on the mushrooms, sentiment is from Stamping All Day

Do something different with your digi images - that was the challenge.  Well, after a morning discovering I can't merge digi images even though Vix's tutorial is excellent (turns out I haven't got Paint Shop Pro!)  I decided to do something different.  All my images on this card are digital (and all from the Graphics Fairy) and are printed onto glossy photographic paper.  I started with the fabulous picture of the Eiffel Tower and made it my background, adding stamped images.  Then I tied up the correspondence with ribbon and framed the young lady (I think she ran away to Paris to be with her lover!) giving her portrait height with foam dots.

Using the fabulous digi image 'Watching You', I flipped and resized her then printed her onto white vellum, printed her once again onto fantasy paper from My Craft Studio and attached the two together and added ribbons (which are white and not blue - must have been the light when the pic was taken) and pearls to her wings. Sentiment is computer generated using Scriptina font.

For our digi plus spotlight, I've taken one of my digis (my Haunted House) and one of HopeJacare's Doodles (her Tatty Cat) and merged them. Then I've coloured the image with my Copics and Tim Holtz re-inkers, then I've decoupaged the image about four times.  All the shading is Copics not lighting!

I decided to take three images by Mo's Digital pencil - I Love It, Pammy's Socking and Timmy's Stocking and merge them together using elements programme.  I have coloured them with copic's and derwent inktense pencil with some added glitz from spice glitter pens.  I added flowersoft to the stocking tops. 

I cut a large circle from mount board and layered paper cut using a circle cutter and nestabilities.   The paper that I have used are by Papermaina.  The leaves and some of the flowers are cut from matching paper.  The other flowers and the bows/ribbon were from a Christmas embellishment pack.  I added beads & pearls and some stickles to the design as well (though for some reason today, my stickles decided to come out in splodges.)

I have combined Stitchy's 'JOY' image with one of my own new Christmas images and used Promarkers to colour, I stamped the background to give the impression of wallpaper, then distressed the edges and spritzed the background with some gold pearl pigments. I also added some glossy accents to the Christmas lights and some glitter to Snowbaby's fur cuffs & hood.

I've used an image from Digistamp Boutique, coloured with promarkers, then added some shading using koh-i-noor pencils blended with sansador.  I made my own paper using another Digistamp Boutique digi multiple times, and then added some stars (just using the shapes function on Word).  The stars were filled in using Word, but colouring the 'cheers' images digitally was beyond me, so I printed my page onto linen card, and coloured them in with promarkers, adding some stickles for a bit of sparkle.  Added some raffia trim to finish.

I decided to make some shrink plastic jewellery for my digital plus spotlight but I had some real hassle with supplies and faulty machinery. I have to thank Crafty Computer Paper for coming to the rescue with the Inkjet shrink plastic.This is a gift for my great niece together with the card in the picture. If it could go wrong, it went wrong this week, but I got there in the end. Please see my blog for my tale of woe.

Over to our Special Guest - Peri Hill. 

"Hi, my name's Peri and I'm delighted to be your Guest Designer for this Spotlight challenge..  You could have knocked me down with a feather when Linda asked me - it's a huge honour to be invited.  I've been crafting for as long as I can remember - I come from a very arty crafty family!  I didn't become serious about it until about 2000, when I became ill and couldn't work. I taught myself to bind books and built up a small craft business, selling cards, handmade books and thermographic landscapes.  When I was ready to return to work, I was lucky enough to be employed as a binder with a local bindery, working alongside the owner to grow the business.  Unfortunately, book binding is a pretty strenuous job (lots of hammering and lifting heavy books!) and after two glorious years I had to give up the day job.  When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in December 2008, I took up my card making again, with a completely different style, and I started blogging timidly in September last year.  I love being part of a whole creative universe in Blogland.  I love working with digital images and I'm proud to be a member of Mo's Dream Team, Karen's Doodles DT and Just Inklinked DT.  I hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve come up with for my GDT spot this week. Happy crafting!"

This card was inspired by Mo’s Digital Pencil’s fabulous collection of Alice In Wonderland images – I could have gone on merging for hours!  The only reason I had to stop was that my printer can only handle A4 paper!

I use a free programme called ‘Paint.net’ to merge my digital images.  It’s simple to use but has most of the features of the more expensive software many people use.  I merged the four images, ‘Cheshire Cat’, ‘Mad Hatter’, ‘Alice (in pencil)’ and ‘Dormouse’ but wanted to have a table and ‘unbirthday cake’ too.  So I drew these in pen, scanned the drawing in and brought it into Paint.net to merge it with the scene.  The rest is just straightforward card making, using papers from the fabulous Graphic 45 ‘Halloween in Wonderland’ collection.  You can see more on my blog: http://periscardblog.blogspot.com/.

What's your favourite crafting technique?

I’m not a great technique user, it has to be said.  But you may have guessed that I love to colour.  I think one of the best colouring techniques is Prismacolors and gamsol (or low-odour white spirit in my case!) – it gives a lovely finish.

What are your top 3 crafting tips?

Mmmm, a difficult one – these will be very boring, I’m sure, as I’ve no wonderful wisdom to impart!

1.         Don’t throw anything away that has crafty potential! I even keep the insides of empty sticky tape rolls – you never know when things will come in handy.  A bit of imagination and some pretty paper can transform anything, at a fraction of the retail price you’d pay for blanks.

2.         Keep your blades sharp – there’s nothing worse than trying to cut with a blunt blade or pair of scissors.  Invest in a ‘snap blade’ knife so that you can refresh the blade regularly. 

3.         Don’t be afraid to have a go – what’s the worst that can happen?  Experiment first with cheap or plain paper before committing yourself to using your expensive stash, but keep having a go.  The more we practice and push ourselves, the more we learn and it keeps the mojo alive!

Is there anyone out there in blogland who you really admire, or a particular crafter whose work inspires you?

I spend every lunch hour surfing my favourite blogs – it’s the only time I get.  There are so many wonderfully talented and creative people out there that I couldn’t possibly list all my favourites.  But I have to say that I always keep coming back to the two who first got me interested again – Paula Williamson (http://paulatracy66.typepad.com/paper_possibilities/) and Linda Heavens (http://heavenscreatedthis.blogspot.com/) – their colouring and layout skills are just phenomenal. 

What's the one crafting tool you could not be without?

My Copics, of course! (Oh, and my computer. And my Spellbinders Wizard.)

Thank You Peri! 

Okies over to you and your creations!

Monday 18 October 2010

Challenge 32 - Use a Freebie!

Its challenge time once again here at Crafty Cardmakers and wow thank you for your entries for the step away from the square challenge, you're such an imaginative lot!  We're still getting round entries, I know I want to look at them all so we'll be back with winners in our catch up post soon.  Our SPOTLIGHT ON FANCY FOLDS is still running for another week and you're welcome to combine with the new challenge too (dont forget to enter both linkies)



They do say the best things in life are free so our new challenge, which runs for the next 2 weeks, is to Use something you got free.  This isn't things that somebody gave you, its things you got free with a magazine or printed off online that kind of thing.  You only need to use one item that you got free or like Ei who used everything free but just let us know which bit was free (and even better if you can remember where from if its online!)

The winner for this challenge will receive 2 background paper books by Crafty Individuals which are background papers 1 & 2 with 2 being Christmas.  I have these and they are sooo yummy!

So lets see what the girls have come up with, and wow they've been inventive with their freebie things, thanks girls!


Ahhhh.....freebies are sure nice sometimes! I used a freebie I found at Some Odd Girl ( a while back) called "Tiny Tia". I knew I wanted to use this fun piece of 'cheetah' fabric ; with this image; on my card & thought yellow would suit it best, then it took a turn to browns & pinks.....& I kept the yellow! I think it works. I tucked some WOC flowers & a CTMH pin into the knot on the fabric sidebar. I also added some bling, a red heart doily & a sentiment I punched out with my SU butterfly punch! So refreshing!

This is a very simple card but I loved the free image I got from Archivers over 7 months ago. I used a 5 1/2 by 11 card scored at 3inch and 6 inches and made into a tri fold. I also added a mat for writing on in the card. The image is pop dotted and I added a Copic blender pen affect to the flower and some PTI ribbon.

I used a freebie stamp from Craft Stamper. I stamped it randomly on Kraft paper with Versamark and embossed with bright white embossing powder. I edged the Kraft paper with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. The blue DP is from Tim Holtz. I stamped again with Memento ink, coloured with Promarkers and cut out with a nestie. I added some blue organza ribbon across the middle and popped the image on top of it with sticky pads. The sentiment is from Craftwork Cards as is the card candy. I also added some jewels from Hobby House and finished off with some blue flowers from my stash. I also added some glitter with a Sakura clear glitter gel pen.

I wasn't looking forward to this one because most freebies I don't find to my taste but I had great fun making this card and everything is a freebie, from the packaging base cardstock, the freebie American Crafts backing paper from a magazine, the freebie scalloped handmade paper circle from a friend, the butterflies are from some cut-offs from my daughter's wallpaper, the message from a freebie sticker sheet and even the black ribbons were on my top I'm wearing until five minutes before I took the photo! The buttons are from my Mum's button-box. The only 'new' think I used was the Pinflair gel glue sticking everything together and even that was the dregs of the tube!

Using the gorgeous 'Penelope's Party Wagon' freebie from Mo Manning, I coloured her with Promarkers, matted and layered onto orange and purple card, then made up the fabulous sidestepper that Vix very kindly shared with us all. Papers were from Daisy & Dandelion's Pumpkin & Aubergine range. The frill along the bottom I made using tissue paper that was inside the packing of trainers - simply folded it into concertina! Sentiment and ribbon from stash.

I thought this was a great wee challenge, a great idea to dig out some my freebie papers that I got in my crafty mags! I wanted the papers to show through so kept the card simple with some matting and layering. I added a ribbon and brad that i got in a RAK, made a wee lollipop flower and added a sentiment to finish!


I made this one using a silver card onto which I added a piece of orange corrugated paper, and then used a freebie which I had downloaded for another Swap in CCM  I coloured it using watercolour pencils and fixed it to the card with a thick double sided tape and finally added a Best Wishes Silver peel-off.

This was a great chance to use some of my freebies that I never normally take the time to go through, I usually give them to my daughter to craft with lol. But a couple of weeks ago a book of free papers came with Crafts Beautiful magazine and these gorgeous papers were included :o) I have also used a free clear stamp that came with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine last christmas.

I used a free fairy stamp that was on a recent issue of Card Making and Papercraft, and coloured her in with Big N Juicy ink, having stamped her on centura pearl card. This gives her a shimmer. The papers were also free with CM&P but a different issue. The flowers were in my stash as was the ribbon. I tried to go completely freebie, but I lacked any nice flowers to finish it off and couldn't resist these.

For my card I have used a Freebie decoupage sheet that has come with Issue 60 of Papercraft Essentials. There is a great pack of 16 free sheets from Crafts U Print and they are printed on decent quality paper. For the base card I folded an A4 sheet of card and cut some glitter card for snow, adding snowflakes to the sky. I have added lots of glitter to the decoupage and googly eyes. The sentiment is a Dovecraft chipboard.

So over to you and don't forget the challenge is for something FREE not something that you've been given (Otherwise that would be EVERYTHING or at least our partners think so hehe!)

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Winners Catch up

Thank You for all your entries to the alcohol inks, around the world and oriental challenges, the winners are coming right up!


The winner for our alcohol inks and prize of a stamping book donated by Jack is...

12 - Ger! Well Done Ger, please email me with your details.


The random winner for this challenge sponsored by The Stampman and will receive a £10 voucher to spend in their shop is..  17 - Lynn.  Well Done Lynn, please email me with your details.

The Top 5 chosen by teamie Dee are..


The random winner of an oriental cardmaking kit donated by The Stampman with lots of things to play with is.... 3 - Pete  (oooh another gent, they seem to be popping up more lately!)
Well Done Pete, please email me wth your details and I'll pop your prize in the post.

Well Done everyone, fantastic designs!

We still have 2 challenges open, Step away from the square and Fancy Folds so hope you all come back to play again!

Monday 11 October 2010

Spotlight - Fancy Folds

Welcome back to another spotlight challenge here at Crafty Cardmakers and for the next 2 weeks we're going to be looking at "Fancy Folds"  The girls have done a fantastic job as always with a wide variety and there will be links to some tutorials under the posts.

I must admit fancy folds is just not my thing and as our Julie has the job of organising us all into whether we're playing the challenge or spotlight I gave a big gulp when I saw I'd got fancy folds but I had a go and really enjoyed doing something a bit different which wasn't actually that difficult either so before you all start launching into easel cards (which ARE fancy folds) then please do have a go at those side step cards you've been meaning to try or exploding boxes which also make great gifts.

Our current challenge is still running for another week which is step away from the square so maybe you could combine the two and make a shaped fancy fold, don't forget to add to both froggies if you do :)

Our little candy prize donated by Jack is a Dover CD and book.  I'll be doing a winners catch up post tomorrow so pop back for winners of previous challenges.

Onto our spotlight on FANCY FOLDS and here's the girls creations!

I decided to have fun with this challenge. I used a card technique that I have not used before - the Diaper Fold, which can be found at Diaper Fold Pouch. This technique is very simple to do and is very versatile.

For the pouch, I used black card and also created a matching tiny card to go inside the pouch. I used paper from Magnolia to cover both the back of the pouch and the tiny card. I added a pumpkin charm and a bow to the tiny card. I also add some of the same matching ribbon to the front of the pouch. The ribbon is by papermaina. I added the boo text using a white pen, to the pouch as well as the tiny card.

I created a black bag using a template. I added the same ribbon and pumpkin charms as well the Boo text. The little boy is a cutting file from MyScrapchick and I cut it using my Craft Robo. I added some orange tissue paper, which matches the ribbon. I have placed the card inside the bag, which waiting from some pumpkin treats, that are yet to be brought!


Ok, the folds aren't super fancy but it's very elegant and not your normal card folded in half. This is a 4 1/2 by 11 card scored down the center and scored on the front panel in half and folded. Then you add your image panel matted on card stock. My image is from CopicmarkerScrapbooking.com the Oz digtal stamp set.

Oh what fun I've had with my card this week. So much so I am going to put a Tutorial on my blog so eveyone can make one. It's based on a Concertina card and is so easy. The Star is decorated with my own paper made using Azure Sea Aster Starburst Stains and clingfilm then stamped with little snowflakes and the front has a cute Penny Black Hedgehog.

This card is what I think is called a K card is simply 2 A4s folded differently (one in half and the other in 4), and using my Ultimate Pro I cut out the shape for the plaque at the front, added 2 different Kate Knight A Hint of Pink Papers from Dovecraft, and gold mirri board. I made the flower at the bottom right using the darker paper and I quite like the feathery look of the finished flower. The butterfly was made using a Sissix die and cutting a brown and a gold one bending the wings to make him look more realistic. Quite a fiddly card to make but now that I have achieved this one, I assume it will be easier next time.

For my Fancy fold card I made a birthday card for our friend Scott. A friends HUSBAND showed me how to do it as it has been demo'd on Create & Craft. You use a square of good quality paper so that it creates a kind of origami frame. You slip a piece of cardstock into it to stabilise it and then you can link them together with a card 'hinge' to make a trifold card. I experimented to make a larger version to fit the recipients name and make it a concertina type card. I also made a gift box for it as it makes the card about 5cm thick.

It's a great way to use up lots of matching papers from complimentary paper pads and really creates a card with the wow factor. I've tried to find a video on Youtube with instructions but cannot find one so I have more images on my blog of this card and will have a go at doing some step by step instructions.

I've made a zig-zag shaped card, by sticking two 5" square cards together (so the middle section has a double layer). The image is from Di's Digi Downloads, coloured with promarkers, with some added shading using koh-i-noor pencils blended with sansador. Added lots of sparkle with glamour dust, and used glossy accents on the tree baubles to make them shine. Image cut out with nestie circles and blossom dies. Papers are Dovecraft with Bazzill cardstock, ribbon from stash, snowflakes cut with a cuttlebug die and then coated with glamour dust and added card candy centres.

I'd started seeing these centre step easels around blogger but for the life of me couldn't find one when I needed to look at one so after much searching and a little help from a friend I found one on Sandy's blog, seems she had the same trouble finding one too so made her own!  Its really really easy to follow and so quick to make, Sandy's made a template you can print out or in my case I just followed the instructions which were so easy. I've used a new image by Hannah Lynn called Kathleen coloured with promarkers and sakura stardust pens.  Papers I just picked up at a show on saturday and was itching to use them, they're by Crafty Individuals.  I've used a couple of 1" square stampboard coloured with starburst stains and I've stamped a swirl from a paper artsy stamp plate.  The little pearls are hot fix and are a mother of pearl colour.

I've made this origami box as a tutorial on my blog. All the directions are there along with photos
It's made from one piece of A4 patterned card. No glue or scissors required and it can be made square too!

Hope you have as much fun with this challenge as we did!

Monday 4 October 2010

Challenge 31 - Step away from the square

Good Afternoon and welcome to another challenge at Crafty Cardmakers!  Fankoo fankoo for your awesome "Around the World entries" the winner and Top 5 will be announced in our catch up post next week so do check back! 
As always our spotlight challenge is stll running for another week which is Oriental so if you fancy playing that one you'll find it here.


OK yes you read that right - NO SQUARE CARDS!!  Breathe!  Go on you can do it, you might surprise yourself!  You can create anything you like so long as it's not square :)

We are sponsored by the delightful Joanna Sheen who is offering a £10 voucher for her fabulous online shop.  New CDs she has are Thomas Kinkade wowwwwww!  I LOVE TK!  I have a TK canvas print in my lounge, may not be the real thing but still cost quite a bit but its stunning as are all his beautiful images, you can see them here!
Onto our challenge and yes no squares!  The girls have done an awesome job so please do have a crack at this :)  Challenge closes at 9am Monday 18th October.

Out of my comfort zone once again! Shaped cards are usually avoided like the plague - I love other people's but usually always plump for square for my own cards. I decided to use my latest digi stamp for this week's challenge and printed it out onto card, cut it out, coloured it with distress inks and Twinkling H2Os and added some ultra fine glitter. I then stuck it onto a piece of folded blue cardstock and cut round the butterfly shape again.

I adore doing squares cards and was really stumped as what to do at first! But after buying the fab cupcake stamps I knew only a cupcake would do! I made a basic easel but drew out a cupcake shape instead, added some Dovecraft papers, inked the edges! Added lots of glitter and gloss to the images and the card and finished with ribbon from my stash! My Gran loved it ....... both of having a thing for cupcakes hee!

This simple DL folded back on the front is my 'Step Away from the Square card' - using the beautiful 'Inspire' image from my DT buddy Jenni (Card Mad Fairy Images) I matted and layered her on burgundy, mirri and coral card then altered the colour of her in My Craft Studio to match my very plain coral coloured paper which I have embossed using my Ultimate Pro. I rubbed on the embossing to take away the surface (sure there must be a tech name for that), inked the edges in black, added a ribbon, sentiment and charm from my stash then added some gems for a wee bit of sparkle.

I like squares! So avoiding them was hard. Reluctantly, I put away my trimmer and brought out my Wizard instead, and while it was there, I decided to do a 'Wizarded' card. I cut the card itself using the largest of the Nestibilities Scallopped Octagons. I edged it with Distress Ink in Worn Lipstick, applied with a shaving brush! The green layer was coloured in the same way, but this time, while still in the die, with Shabby Shutters and Pine Needles. The Rose is another Spellbinders die, again coloured in the die, as was the tag. The sentiment is hand-written, and then all I added was a bit of ribbon.

I am also a big fan of square cards so this was hard for me, I tried all my nestabilities but none were big enough so in the end i made a hexagon shape on Microsoft Word and made a basic template out of it lol It seemed to do the trick.I have used my baby Magnolia stamp coloured with Promarkers,some lace and white glitter line peel offs.A tiny bit of stickles on Tilda's wings and some tiny little heart peel offs.

I am another huge fan of all things square, including my taste in music. This idea just popped into my head though. It involves the Nesties Labels 10 set. I have to say I would have trimmed the bottom flat before I started decorating if I had had the brains I was born with, and then I wouldn't have to lean it up against something! But it's three nestie die cuts covered front and back with K&Co Sparkly Sweet paper and decorated with various bits from my stash and two Kanban stamps from the recent TSV on QVC.

Like most people I almost always make square cards but I have made little round cards using nesties before so I chose to do that here. Handy for a little card if you have teenagers you need to give cards. They're not really quick cards as they're quite fiddly! I used Basic Grey DP, Craftwork Cards sentiment, Stickles and ribbon. The cute little Penny Black image is coloured with Promarkers and Glamour Dust is added to the "snow."

Moving away from Square is sometimes scary for me....but when I realized I had a whole whack of die cuts from Sassy Susie's Die Cut Dreams Store. , I realized I would have no problem at all. I made a birthday card along the lines of 'The Little Mermaid' book. Do u get that feel? Images are from Some Odd Girl & all the stuff on the inside of the 'book' are stamped with CTMH & SU stamp sets. I sponged, I colored with markers & watercolor pencils, I glittered, I charmed things up & added my never-ending stash o' bling!!!