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Monday 31 January 2011


Wow you love your pencils don't you!!  I'm going to have to get me some more of them too!  We're blown away with the beautiful creations for the previous spotlight and I know a few of you welcomed the chance to go back to colouring mediums we previously used or try them for the first time. 
I've got a scrummy tin of Inktense pencils to give away and the winner will be announced on 15th Feb in our winners catch up. (I sooooo need some of these!)

We've also been discussing a few things as a team and from March we will be moving the Spotlight challenges to their very own blog.  This is to streamline and cause less confusion as we always have 2 challenges open.  It will still be the same, only the main challenge here followed by the spotlight the following monday over on the new blog and they'll both still run for 2 weeks each.  Spotlights are an indepth look at a style, technique or product so they can be a bit tricky but we do like to give you proper challenges here dont we :-)

Other news is that our Jenni has started her own challenge blog which opens on 4th Feb and will run fortnightly.  Go check her out here at Cardmadfairy's Digi Days Challenge, she has candy!

Our Spotlight today has been chosen by one of our newbies Donna and that is WATER.  To qualify you must use "Water or Something you add water to or water has been added" so for example spritzers, glimmer mists, H2o's, watercolours that kinda thing.  You can use any images or stamps etc you like but you ust use a water product or technique, if in doubt - shout!

We're very kindly sponsored by The Handy Hippo who are offering a £10 voucher for their online store!

Handy Hippo is a friendly online craft supplies shop with a great range of rubber stamps and other card making goodies. They specialise in card making, but also stock plenty of great quality supplies for scrapbooking, jewellery making and children's crafts. Their website has lots of information on crafting techniques, plus a great selection of free card project ideas to suit crafters of all abilities.

Thank You Handy Hippo!

Well we've all been messing about with water so here's our creations!

For the 'Use Water' challenge I decided to get out my very neglected Faber Castell water colour pencils and waterbrush. I used to colour with them a lot until I found Promarkers. I must use them more as I thoroughly enjoy colouring with them. I watercoloured the owl and his little house which are stamps from Dimension Fourth. I then made a shaped card with Go Kreate dies. Cut out some leaves and flowers from pattern papers and then used a LOTV sentiment to finish it off.

I have chosen to use bleach and water as my spotlight, not as easy as you would think, but several "tries" later, I got there.  I have added some backing of sticky ribbon on and some heart buttons.  The Sentiment is bleached as well.  I added some foil to her hair band and dress, to give it a bit of sparkle

I used water to spritz the white card to make the green background used a die cut as a stencil in the corner. then used water again with my new inktense pencils first time out of the box, so not that adventurous. sentiment embossed on bigshot swirl also die cut in chipboard made on BS too

I used a water spritz method to make the background. I started with Kalaidascope ink in blossom on a non-stick mat, then added a little glamour mist and spritzed with water. I stirred it a bit with the handle of a paintbrush, then smooshed on the card for the background. I repeated the process with a little less colour added to get a paler version which I then stamped on using Versacolor ink in toning shades. I finished the card with some gauzy fabric and a few lace flowers.

For my water project I have used Starburst Stains for the background which is all sparkly, stamped a hero arts stamp using acryllic paint in the corners and a circles and spots stamp across the centre.  Image is by Jasmine Becket-Griffith called Pink Lightning and she's coloured with promarkers and mostly pencils (as I'm still playing with them and thought I'd try a more edgy look!  I've added sakura stardust on the wings and dress for extra sparkle.

I chose water as my subject as well as part of the colouring method, I coloured the Hannah Lynn digi image with a mix of Promarkers, Sakura gel pens and Twinkling H2Os,  I used Pearl outliner for her pearl necklace to give it a bit of dimension and spritzed the whole finished image with a mix of water and Blonde Moments Pearl Pigments which adds a shimmer difficult to see properly in the photographed card. The lobsters on the left are from Stampin Up.

My project this week is both about water and made with water.  The deep-sea background was made by inking up my worksheet with inks then spritzing it. I also spritzed my paper and 'schmoozed' it over the worksheet until all the ink was picked up. I then added different inks to suit and finished with mica powders, keeping the sheet damp all the time so the powders stuck well.
Once this sheet was dry, I then stamped it up with various 'weed' type stamps and Memento grey (for shadows) and black inkpads. I then added my decoupaged 'Mermaid Tilda' with a little silicon glue and then some decoupaged 'weeds' from the same set, only adhering the base so they would look 'free' and dimensional. The darker 'weed' is a Martha Stewart 'Branch' punch and then I added the finishing touches by popping on some dew-drops to look like bubbles and some suitably 'beach-y' beads!

 For my water challenge I opted for a water themed card, the image of which was stamped onto watercolour paper and coloured with Lyra Acquacolours. This is also the very first card I have made using my brand spanking new Craft Robo, which arrived the day Poppy did and it's been a nightmare trying to find some time to play on it. The template around the edge is cut with my Robo, and highlights added with silver sakura pen. Apologies for the poor quality of the pic, but it was dark when I took this.

Monday 24 January 2011

Challenge #38 Flubbers!

Good Afternoon!  Firstly thank you for your brilliant entried to our Red and Die Cut challenge sponsored by One Stop Card Crafts.  The winners wll be announced on the winners page on 15th Feb as they are now 4 weekly. 

A little bit of news - Our JUDIE the MAD LADY is baaaaaaack!  Welcome back hunny!

We're off on a new challenge chosen by Jack.  Up for grabs is a £10 voucher to spend in Joanna Sheen's online store which has something new every time you look!  You might recognise Joanna from her shows on Create and Craft and work in various cardmaking publications, her shop is a treasure trove so please do pop over!


Jack is easing you out of the shock of going back to work with a nice challenge on florals!  We want to see flowers (That shouldnt be too difficult!)  Lets see what we've come up with!  Don't forget our spotlight on Pencils challenge is still running alongside (post further down) so you could combine the two!

I have been a big fan of Joanne's blog Mainly Flowers for ages and she was totally the inspiration for my card this week. I even followed a couple of her tutorials for making the daisies and the large flower in the corner. The pink paper is just ordinary printer paper that I've painted with Starburst Stains in Magnolia Magenta Gold and sprayed with Gold Glimmer Mist on both side and my sentiment is from Paper Make Up Stamps.

I found this Hero Arts flower set and fell in love with this flower. I added a Basic Grey brad and used Basic Grey Jovial papers. The card base and ribbon is from Paper Trey Ink.


Hi ya Crafters, heres my return effort. For my floral card, I attached some ribbon along the front of my card, I used sticky fingers sprays to create some papers, then punched two different size flowers, added some metal flowers and some beads, then some brown gems around the outside. The tag is a mini one the sentiment is my own.

gill x

I stamped and embossed the daisy image (love this image) in brilliance ink used 8x8 card covered with patterened acetate embossed silver card with cuttlebug floral folder added tag with sentiment and more flowers to tie in
For my floral card I have used a digi stamp ( im sorry I really can't remember where it's from) coloured with ProMarkers and I have watercoloured over the top with a clear sparkle Sakura pen. The pink card is embossed with an embossing folder which came free with the latest Do Crafts magazine. My shimmer cardstock, papers,brads,button and flowers are all from Papermania.And lastly the sentiment is from Craftwork Cards.

I used one of the new fairy images from LOTV for my wee floral card. I coloured her with my promarkers and added glitter to her wings and the butterfly. The paper are Papermaina "Summer Bloom", just lush! I used my Spellbinder Nesties to layer the wee fairy up and made the wee "rolled" flowers from the scraps of paper left! The sentiment is from my stash.

For this week's floral theme, I used a selection of blooms from 'Wild Orchid Crafts' and papers from stash in moss greens and pinks.The punched edges and lacy border are all Martha Stewart and the distress inks both from Adirondak (Olive and Sepia). I coloured the organza ribbon, which had been cream, with the olive inkpad. The image, which is mounted on Bazzil, is my own digistamp, drawn from a photo of my husband and my granddaughter Ada.

For this floral challenge I have used a digital image from Imag-e-nation, decoupaged the main flower, coloured with Promarkers and added glitter and Glossy accents. Papers are MME and K & Co and the silk flower was a bargain spray from Poundland.

For this weeks floral challenge, I used a Joanna Sheen Favourite Flowers collection stamp. It is one of the Garden Flowers set and the image I've used from it, is a Hellebore ( It says it on the packaging otherwise I would not have had a clue what it was). I've kept the card simple, as I didn't want to detract away from the pretty image, which I've coloured with Promarkers. Just added a Martha Stewart punched border, some ribbon, pearls, a Craftwork Cards sentiment and a little Cosmic Shimmer, Aqua Twinkles in the flower centres.


I've made a simple little set of 5" square cards, with some new Dovecraft 'animal antics' papers, with flowers and gems from my stash.

Sarah W
It's not very often I get a whole new cd of crafty fings to play around with but I have used some of the content of the Polkadoodles Sugar Birdies CD to create this card.  I have used two of the printable backgrounds plus a bit of purple ribbon from my stash to create the background of the card, then coloured one of the digi stamps with promarkers and printed and coloured a few extra bits to make the image 3D.  Added a simple sentiment from the CD and I think she looks like she is waiting for spring!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Are you a winner?

Winners are posted in the tab at the top of the page, some prizes are unclaimed from previous challenges.  If they're not claimed by Saturday 22nd then they will be forfeit and redrawn.

The winners of the mega xmas challenge are now posted too, please make contact by the last day of the month.  Fingers crossed youre a winner!

Our current challenges that are still open to play in are...

Challenge 37 Use Red and a Die cut sponsored by One Stop Card Crafts with a £10 voucher to spend.  This closes on Monday 24th.

Spotlight Pencils - Sponsored by Derwent Pencils with a prize of a 12 pack of Inktense pencils (that the DT all want!) and closes on 31st January.

If you're really clever and colour your image in red pencils using a die cut you can enter both, dont forget to add your entry to both linkies! 

Monday 17 January 2011

Spotlight on Pencils!

Welcome back to our first Spotlight of the year!  In case you're new and wondering what Spotlights are all about then I shall recap :)  Spotlight challenges are more for fun, they're designed to look at different techniques, styles or products and various ways of using them.  Its a chance to just have a go, we have no Top 5 for these but we do sometimes have a candy prize.  All challenges run for 2 weeks so plenty of time to get your thinking cap on!  They run alternate weeks to challenges so there's always 2 to choose from here and yes you can combine and enter both!

For this one Jenni has chosen "Pencils"  Sorry but markers and all other colouring mediums are banned (yes I hyperventilated!)  We all have pencils of some sort be it watercolour ones, artist, charcoal or even raid your kids stash!  They give a different look and its nice to step out of the comfort zone as you never know you might just find your niche ;)

We are thrilled to be sponsored by Derwent Pencils who are offering the lucky winner a Tin of 12 INKTENSE pencils. 

Pen and ink offers strong, intense colour combined with a translucent effect. Now you can enjoy these distinctive qualities in an easy to use pencil. Inktense has a highly blendable texture and comes in a range of 71 jewel-like colours, plus a non-soluble outliner which allows you to draw outlines that are permanent, even when water is applied. Apply pure, vibrant dry colour then wash the pigment out completely to leave an ink-like effect. Once dry, the colour is permanent and can be worked over with other media. The possibilities are endless, the results stunning.
Inktense pencils can be used on fabric to create interesting silk paintings and unique quilting projects.

They do a huge range of pencils from watercolours through to metallics and coloursoft, something for everyone, do go check them out!  I'm waiting for some coloursoft which should arrive today yay!

Here's what the girls have been playing with, haven't they done well!

Here is my card using coloured pencils - the ones I used are my very much neglected (since starting with Promarkers) Prismacolour set and I have blended them with the Prismacolour blender. I could do with a bit more practice with the pencils and haven't yet tried using a mix of Promarkers and pencils but planning to try that soon! The image is LOTV, the backing paper Dovecraft and the flowers Petaloo.

I did it! I colored this whole image with Derwent Studio color pencils only. I used baby oil to blend the pencil. I am very happy with how it turned out. This flower was made by me using a cut file called hydrangea from Penny Duncan Creations.

My coloured pencil card is coloured with Derwent's Inkense Watercolour pencils. The image is a digital download from Sugar Nellie called Joy Sitting, isn't she just adorable. If you pop on over to my blog I will give a breakdown of the colours used. Main BP is Prima Fairy Flora with a touch of K&Co Sparkly Sweet for the mat and outer BP. The flower is made up from my stash and the lush curly leaf thing is a brand new Marianne die called Forest Branch.


I've used stamp from Elzybells, coloured with koh-i-noor pencils blended with sansador.  The Kraft cardstock is Stampin' Up, red cardstock is from the Papermill.  Ribbon from  my stash.  Heart cut with the sizzix 'primitive heart' die and then embossed with the cuttlebug 'swiss dots' folder.

The stamp I have used is from Inca Stamps - The Fuschia Fairy.  I have a couple of their mounted stamps which I have acquired in various places and I really love them.  It's the first time I have used this one since I bought it a few months ago and really enjoyed using my pencils to colour it.  Made a nice change from promarkers.  Once I had coloured it, I touched it up with some water on a paintbrush to add definition and depth to the colours.  I then used my deckle edge ruler to define a rectangle around the image and then used two co-ordinating colours from the main image to sketch some alternating lines and then washed over them with the wet paintbrush to make the lines softer and blend them together to create a sketchy background which I again trimmed using the deckle ruler.  I used a trio of pink gemstones in two corners and my favourite architectural corner sizzix to accentuate the corners plus a couple of flowers from stock with more pink stones in the centres.  I then cut the card to size leaving the ba.ck slightly longer and embellished with some ribbons in pink and purple to co-ordinate with the image.

I'll just hide mine here, nothing to see here move along lol!  I did this image last week for the red and die cut challenge and if anything I wanted to challenge myself to see what I'm like without my beloved promarkers!  I've started using a handful of polychromos just to add depth to the promarkered images and just waiting for a tin of 36 Derwent coloursoft to give me more range.  I'm just practicing with blending and having a go but I think for me the combo of promarker & coloursoft will be more to my liking!  I will keep practicing though!


Here's my card for 'Pencils Only' Spot. I used 'Lyra Skin Tones' and 'Staedtler Noris Club' and 'Sansodor' with paper stubbies.
The flowers are Prima and pound shop and the image mount was hand-cut in 'Astrolux' in a peach/apricot shade and distressed and shaded with Tim Holtz inkpad 'Walnut Stain'.

The Spotlight Challenge is to use pencils so it gave me a good excuse to get out my Derwent Studio pencils and have a play. Don't be too impressed because what I actually did was lay a piece of parchment paper over the picture of a blue tit and then colour. I then turned the image over and did a bit of embossing to highlight the white parts. Easy when you know how, tee hee.

Monday 10 January 2011

Happy New Year & Welcome back!

Welcome back to Crafty Cardmakers and I hope you all had a lovely break over Christmas and have recovered after New Year!!  Did you all get new crafty goodies?  I got a promarker airbrush so have been having a little play here and there and a watch I can put beads on so I'm in my element finding sparkly beads and changing the colour of it (big kid alert!)

Before I get onto the challenge just a couple of things!  The winners are now on a new page up the top, you'll see a tab for winners and top 5, check there to see if you've won!  The winners from our xmas challenge will be posted there on Tuesday 18th Jan then every 4 weeks thereafter for any finished challenge.

We're waving adieu to teamies Corry, Kat and Toria so thank you girls and best of luck for your futures!  We also have 2 new starters - Donna and Gill so a warm welcome to them!



I've let the team loose on setting challenges now and Sarah is first up and has chosen for our new year challenge to use predominately red AND a die cut (Yes a red die cut counts!)  Nice and simples to blow away the cobwebs!
We are sponsored by One Stop Card Crafts who are offering the winner a £10 voucher to use in their online store! 

At One Stop Card Crafts we have a big range of ever changing discount making and card making craft supplies.
We are always adding to our range of craft supplies which are ideal for making handmade greeting cards, do-it-yourself invitations scrapbook pages, altered items and much more.
Our card making craft supplies include free UK postage, our popular discount scheme and quick service means our customers keep coming back for more.
Our prices are very competitive and this & makes us an ideal place to buy your card making supplies online. Some of our new products include Petaloo flower layers, Ranger Glitter Glue and Martha Stewart Punches.http://onestopcraftchallenge.blogspot.com/

Onto what the girls have created to inspire you!

The stamp I chose for this card is by Inca Stamps and is called Cat Blocks. I have had it sitting around for a while and not used it before and my friend Peter's card seemed as good an excuse as any.  It's always hard to do a card for a man, so I was grateful of the challenge rules for this one.  I coloured the stamp with promarkers and then cut it out with my scalloped square nestie and cut a bigger square out of red paper.  I haven't made an easel card for a while so stuck to a simple fold and a centred image for this one.  The backing paper is a small piece of red and black almost marbley effect paper which I have had lying around for a while and matched the colour scheme perfectly.  I cut and stamped a couple more diecuts and edged with red promarker then stuck onto a torn-edged piece to create the stop.  I also tore some more strips of red paper and embellished with some black and red Happy Birthday sticker strips.


I've used a few die-cuts for this card, these are, Nellie S border, Spellbinders Labels 17 & various Sissix buttons. The gorgeous image is Kraftin Kimmie, Charlotte. I've coloured her with Promarkers, pencils & Sansador for blending. The paper is My Mind's Eye Bohemia and I've also used ribbon from stash, parcel string  & a Craftwork Cards sentiment.

I've gone back to my earliest love when it comes to cardmaking (unless you count stitching). I've used my new Spellbinders Lotus pendant die and layered various bits on mirri-board. I love the clean lines, and the way you see layers through others.


Black base-card, Tim Holtz 'Baroque' and 'Fanciful Flight' dies in black. Backing paper is K&Co from the Mega pad. Butterfly paper is Brenda Pinnock and the motto is from K&Co Mega pad.

Mine is late, sorry, been waiting for permission from Mrs. Douglass to post. BPs are from Basic Grey's Curio pad, and the black frame is the 'diecut' element using a nestie. The image, is from the new stamp range from Sheena Douglass. I am thrilled to be the first one of her team to blog one of her new range. It's called Time Flies. Coloured with Lyra Aquacolours onto watercolour card.

For my card I have used a Magnolia stamp, coloured with ProMarkers. I have die cut the ovals with a Spellbinder die and I have also used one of my Sizzix dies to die cut the little hearts. The DP is a printable paper from Pink Petticoat. I have also used my Cuttlebug swiss dots folder to emboss the little hearts and then added stickles to the little dots. The charm and ribbon are from Ebay i think lol

For my wee card I used my new Spellbinder Circles with decorative edge and my Butterfly die! I kept my card simple with a little matting and layering with some added ribbon, buttons and gems! The papers are Forever Friends "All Loved up" papers, inked on the edges with red and white then added wee bit glitter to the butterfly to finish.

Colour red + die cuts = Valentines card to me. I have made a card Julie Hickey stylee with 9 blocks of paper and embellishments on top. papers are HOTP, vellum, handmade glittered and card scraps. I have added velvet ribbon and a sentiment from a magazine freebie. Die cuts are Sizzlits and a large heart cut with a Fiskars template.

For this challenge I've used a new stamp by Hannah Lynn called Heart on her sleeve coloured with promarkers.  We've had some DT discussion recently about using prismas/polychromo pencils with promarkers so there was only one way to find out!  Not too sure yet though I've bought more colours since, I only used black on this one.  Die cut is the swirl in the background by Tim Holtz.  Ribbon I recetly bought and DP's are Brenda Pinnock and Bearly Mine

My card is made on 8x8 black card covered with black rose embossed paper no particular make just from a qvc kit the mat  paper is k and co, mckenna and charlotte which are quite old papers but love them. the sentiment is a dawn bibby set the cat die cut is one i bought from ebay they were home made ones not made by sizzix etc but just loved the cats and have used them such a lot for all different types of cards. The corner swirls are sizzix dies

Over to you!  Challenge runs for 2 weeks as always and we'll be back next Monday with a spotlight challenge