Saturday, 30 August 2014

OH I DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE


Morning All and thanks for stopping by my blog today.
Still not 100% or jumping around but here in spirit with this week's

This week it's 'Lucky Dip' and the theme is 
'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside'

So without further ado here's what I've got


 I've used Promarkers to colour a digi-image from Pink Petticoat 
(Happy Camper) and loving the cute little caravan image  
I think the sentiment works a treat with this week's theme.
Also used Mama Elephant stitched cloud dies and 
Doodlebug sequins and pearls for added detail.

I'm going to enter this over at Simon Says Stamp where it's
'Anything Goes'

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog


Next up I've used this week's sketch from CAS(E) This Sketch and 
it's a very random collection of equipment from my stash 
to make this 'nautical/seaside' themed card


Materials / Tools Used:
 Dies: 
Paper Smooches - Anchor
 MFT Die-namics - Blueprints 15 & Sentiment Strips
Mama Elephant - Index Card
Embossing Folder:
 Cuttlebug - Retro Circles
 Wave stencil from Memory Box inked with Distress Inks in Salty Ocean
Sentiment from Uniko Studio - A Gift for you
 and to finish some Doodlebug sprinkles and bakers twine.




Last but not least I've another using a digi-stamp from Pink Petticoat;
this time the beach huts set. Again coloured with Promarkers.


The DP is from Echo Park and it's matted using dies from
Mama Elephant - Index Card
with a couple of gems from my stash and some glossy accents.


Ok it's over to you now and I must say you all did a fantastic job with
last week's sketch with some stunning creations.

Have a good weekend and see you soon.

                                                           Sarah


Sunday, 24 August 2014

MY CRAFT ROOM ...


Hello All.
Hope you are enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend and
fitting in lots of crafty time.

To be honest I'm still plagued with a constant headache and nausea 
at the moment so not really up for crafting so I decided to share something
different instead.

If you follow my blog regularly you'll know we have been doing alterations to the house
recently and as a result I gained my own craft room! YIPPEE! 
It's still a work in progress but here's a couple of photos to get you started...




I know we are all incredibly nosey and like to look around each other's craft spaces so 
if you'd like to see more detail and tips on how I store some of stash
then please check out 'My Craft Room' tab.


                                                            Sarah

Saturday, 23 August 2014

SKETCH TIME CELEBRATIONS


Morning All
Thanks for stopping by; it's that time again!
The Less is More Challenge

This week we've got a sketch for you but still
clean and simple please


Here's what I've come up with and I'm still on with the celebratory cards
for exam results. Just happens to be a busy year in our house with son and daughter
both getting results in the last 2 weeks and lots of friends to congratulate too.


This one is for my daughter's boyfriend. 
Looking at it closely it's perhaps more of a 'passing your driving test' one
but I wanted to experiment with a new set from Paper Smooches (Metropolis).

I've stamped various images onto midnight blue cardstock using Versamark ink
 then heat embossed with WOW sparkling silver EP.
The sentiment is from the same set with the panel die-cut using MFT Die-namics Blueprints 15.
To finish I've fussy-cut the little car for added dimension and some sparkly gems for that bit of 'dazzle'




Next up is for one of Faye's best friends. This time I've made a frame using
MFT Die-namics pierced rectangles with the panel mounted on 3d foam pads.
The stamps are all Uniko Studio from the August release; Flower Power 6 and 
Sweet Baby. A bit more fussy-cutting here (not really my thing) but for dimension it works.
To finish the flowers and leaves are drizzled with a Wink of Stella and pearls from my stash.

I've used the colour palate from this week's ColourQ challenge 
so I'm heading across there with this card too.


Ok over to you talented, crafty people; hope you will take part in the challenge and 
I'll be popping across to your blogs during the week to see what fabulous cards you post.


                                                             Sarah

Thursday, 21 August 2014

HAPPY DAYS

Hello Blog friends, once again I've been AWOL for a few days.
To be honest I've not been too well so feeling sorry for myself!
Got a permanent headache that just won't shift despite painkillers.
Even my beloved crafting has taken a back-seat! Grrr!

Anyway to brighten the mood my daughter got her GCSE results today and I'm so proud.
She doesn't want me to discuss it but she's done really well and I'm so happy for her.
She's certainly worked hard and deserves her fabulous A*s & A grades.

So I decided to make a card for a couple of challenges and although a congrats card
it's not the normal exam type I've been doing of late! In fact it's one for the box!


Materials Used:
Uniko Studio: Strike a Pose stamp set
Mama Elephant: Just Hatched sentiments
TAWS: Funny Faces stamps
Gems and die-cut pram from my stash.

Challenges:
Uniko Studio: Special Occasions
CAS on Sunday: Baby Card
Addicted to Stamps & More: Clean & Simple
Addicted to CAS: Geometric 
(might be pushing it with this one but hoping the circles count)


  

Thanks for stopping by my blog, much appreciated and I'll catch up with you all soon.

                                                             Sarah


Monday, 18 August 2014

WEDDING BELLS

Morning all and thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I've got a wedding card for you which is for a very special and talented crafter
and as this is a scheduled post I'm hoping further details of who this is for 
and how you can join in too will be on Beverley's blog very soon.


I've also used the photo inspiration from The Card Concept Challenge so 
I'll be heading over there too with my card.  I always find it quite difficult to put my cards in just one genre so I'd say this one is a mix of clean and simple and classy and elegant.


The 'fluted' stitched border die is from Mama Elephant and
I've used the new Flower Power 6 set from Uniko Studio with accents from 
Flower Power 5 and Background Builders Vines and a sentiment from Sweet Baby.
The other sentiment is from Clearly Besotted and to finish off
I've added some pearls from my stash.


                                                            Sarah


Sunday, 17 August 2014

ANIMAL MAD

Hello All
I'm dashing in with a very quick post having had another day of sorting, 
clearing, re-cycling, rubbish tipping and not a lot of crafting. 
Seems to be a never-ending cycle at the moment but it's a job
that's been neglected for too long.

So another card using the Paper Smooches Chubby Chums set, 
which was a birthday gift from my kids and I'm loving it. 
It's another celebratory card in readiness for later in the week. 
Going to be busy making more this week I think.


The back ground is stamped using some of the mini stamps from Paper Smooches Metropolis 
then die-cut using a pierced rectangle from MFT Die-namics. 
Not sure if you can see in the photo but I've glossy-accented the cat's eyes, 
stripes and the background circles.

I'm entering this in the Seize the Sketch (whoops ... just realised I've missed this one!) :-(
 and Make the Day Special Stamp Store colour challenges.

  

Thanks for stopping by and see you all soon.


                                                              Sarah


Saturday, 16 August 2014

ANIMAL CRAZY

Morning All
I'm so pleased you've stopped by today and I must apologise as my post on 
Monday indicated I was enjoying posting daily and I've had nothing since! 
Don't know where the time has gone but I've been doing lots of clearing and sorting.

Anyway to the job in hand ... it's Saturday morning, 8am which means another 
This week the focus is 'Animal' but CAS of course.

First up I've done my first Christmas 2014 card! Yippee!
I was 'forced' into getting 'in on the act' following all the wonderful Christmas
inspiration by the Limettes last week for the one layer - foliage challenge.


I've used the current sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch so I'll be heading over there shortly plus the theme
 at Addicted to Stamps is 'Holiday' so I'm using my favourite holiday-time of the year with this one.

The penguin and sentiment are Clearly Besotted and the snowflakes are Uniko Studio.
The stitched landscape die is from Mama Elephant and to finish a few silver pearls from my stash.

GRAB OUR BADGE!  

Next up my sisters best friend had her second baby this week so out came a little chick from the 
Mama Elephant - Just Hatched set; the sentiments and speech bubble are from this set too.
I've used an MFT stencil to make a 'sun rise' effect with distress inks and 
the grass standalone die is from Clearly Besotted.




I've perhaps gone a bit mad but I needed several cards this week where animals were 
an appropriate theme! This one is for our son who passed 3 A-Levels yesterday; 
he's a Wise Owl now him. 


The 'Congrats' word and branch dies are from Clearly Besotted,
Owl and sentiment from Paper Smooches - Chubby Chums
and the background diagonals is a background stamp from MFT 

And from the same Paper Smooches set this card is 'finger-crossed' for next week
when our daughter and friends find out their GCSE results! Hedging my bets a little but
 I imagine I'll need a few celebratory cards for them.


I've used the current sketch from Freshly Made Sketches so I'm heading there now.


Hmmm, hope you've stayed with me as this seems a bit of a mammoth post.
Over to you ladies and gents - let's see what you make of this challenge.



                                                                 Sarah


Monday, 11 August 2014

UNIKO STUDIO: REVEAL, RELEASE & GIVEAWAY DAY!

Whoopie! Release Day is here at last.
Thanks for stopping by again. 

Today the August release is available to purchase here
and I've a few extra cards I made (below) using these terrific sets 


                   

                   


First up and I don't know if this isn't a bit OTT but I tried to use something
from each set on one card. Hmmm can you guess what comes from what set?
Plus there's a sneaky image from an earlier set of Uniko stamps!



I'm going to post this at the Simon Says Stamp challenge for this week
where the theme is 'Make it Sparkle'
As I've used some sparkling silver embossing powder and sparkly gems
from my stash I'm hoping it'll fit perfectly.

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog


Next up I needed another birthday card for a young boy so thought this was
the perfect excuse to ink up the Big and Bold Wish set again.

I've stamped the images onto vellum with Versamark Ink then heat embossed with silver.
The candles are coloured on the reverse with Promarkers
and to finish a couple of gems and Doodlebug sequins.




Last but not least I couldn't resist another Sweet Baby one.
My sister is having her second baby in December so I'm hanging onto this one for her.


This one was quite tricky but I'm thrilled with the result.
I've used stamps from both the Strike A Pose and Sweet Baby sets
to create my Duck's bath-time card!

It's a shaker card, which I don't make often (why don't the sequins sit where you 
want them to whilst photographing, no matter how much 'shaking' I did)
The frame is backed with glitter card and I've punched some little hearts to
add to the sequins. 

To finish a strip of DP from Echo Park, Doodlebug Sprinkles, hemp cord 
and 2 little mini tags with embossed sentiments from the set.



As usual there is a Design Team & Guest Designer Blog Hop so please make sure you 
dash along to all the DT & GDT members, in the order below, 
and make sure you leave a comment along the way
to be in with a chance of winning the entire release.


Ren-Yi (Summer Break)
Sandie
                Sarah (that's me)

Finally Beverley is offering free shipping on orders of £25 or more if ordered TODAY. 

Thanks for following me this week and I hope you are going to join in with 
the Blog Hop and perhaps be the lucky winner of this Release.

Good luck!

Have a great day and catch up with you all soon.


                                                            Sarah


SPARKLING BUTTERFLY


Morning and thank you for popping by, here's my first card for today.

I'm so happy it's the school holidays as it's meant I've had
more time to craft since my holiday, and I'm enjoying posting daily where possible.

Today there'll be three posts; I hope you enjoyed my 'Getting to Know Me' Blog Hop post
earlier and learned a little about where I get my inspiration and my crafty process.



Materials Used:
Clearly Besotted: Sentiment from Design A Tree set & Standalone Butterfly Die 
which has been die-cut onto shiny foiled card
Gems from my stash

Challenges I'd like to enter:

CASology: Stripe (hope my strip of gems will count)
CAS on Sunday: Butterfly
Simon Says Stamp: Make it Sparkle
Time Out: Celebrations with optional Butterflies


 Grab Our Badge! 
        Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog    For your blog



Ok that's all for now but please pop back later if you can 
for the Uniko Studio August Reveal & Release.


                                                               Sarah


'GETTING TO KNOW ME' - BLOG HOP


Hello blog friends, today I've got something a little different to share and you may want 
to make yourself a brew first before you sit back and read on.

Whilst on holiday recently I received a lovely email from Anita Bowden of Neet and Crafty
 'tagging' me to see if I'd like to take part in this 'Getting to Know Me' blog hop. 

Anita started blogging a few months prior to me, at the end of 2012, therefore we are both 
relatively new to it compared to many of you. I've only 'met' her in 'blog-land' and
she seems such a genuine, sweet and fun-loving girl so I was both touched and surprised 
by her invitation and the encouraging things she said about my cards that I simply couldn't refuse.

If you haven't come across Anita's blog it's well worth a visit. 
Her style is definitely clean and simple, with a stunning delicacy and elegance to her creations
which is why I love her blog; of course. Anita uses some beautiful layouts and techniques, 
each one so different from the previous one but still maintaining that CAS look 
which over time I seem to have adopted too, although as my blog name suggests 
I'm never reluctant to add some 'bling'! 

Anita has earned recognition at loads of challenge sites for her unique creations and has
Guest Designed at various challenge blogs as well as Clearly Besotted Stamps, so jealous! :-)
Currently she is on the Design Team at Addicted to Stamps which I try to join when I can.

At the end of this post I have tagged two wonderful designers who I have followed for some time now. 
 I adore their creations so please pay them a visit when you have the time.

So, here goes with the questions and hopefully this will give you a little insight
 into how my creative process works...

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

A few months ago I was honoured and if I'm honest gob-smacked to be given the opportunity
to join the Design Team at Less is More. I'm sure you will all have heard of Less is More but if
not check it out here. It's hugely popular and one of the main reasons I started my blog was
to join the weekly challenge fun, where it's strictly CAS with a different theme each week.

So every week I have a few cards to prepare for the following weekend's challenge and 
to say 'I love it' would be an understatement; unfortunately I can't give you any sneaky peeks.
You know how it is!

As well as that I have some commission work for Golden Wedding cards and 70th birthdays;
If you missed yesterday's post here's a peek at my challenge entry to Addicted to CAS.


I also make decorated Keepsake Boxes, sometimes with 
coordinating cards like this one I've just completed 




Last week I was over the moon to be invited to join the GDT at 
Uniko Studio for their August release. So since my holiday
I've been busy creating with the new sets and if you've missed them
 please check out my posts from last week and I will be back later as the 
FULL REVEAL & RELEASE is today.

Like Anita I've been doing a lot sorting through my crafty stash recently following some
alterations to the house and 'YIPPEE' I've gained my own craft room!
It's a complete change of storage units (mainly recycled from other rooms)
so deciding where to put everything is a puzzle at the moment.

Here's a little peek of the view as you enter my little den



I will post more photos on my blog soon when hopefully 
I'll have a new unit from Ikea later this week so I can tidy up properly.


2. How and what inspires your designs?


I tend to get inspiration from the card challenge blogs out there. I love to work with a 
sketch or colour scheme as that gives me a good starting point to focus on 
particularly if, like Anita says, mojo is taking a break! 

Pinterest is a brilliant invention in my opinion so I follow lots of my favourite bloggers and 
it's so easy to add a pin to one of my own boards for easy reference later. 
In fact I could be addicted to pinterest as I need my daily fix!


On to my favourite bloggers and to be honest there's too many to mention here.
Like Anita I love the amazing Jennifer McGuire and always watch her tutorials; 
the only issue is I always want to buy the products she's using. 

Again like Anita I get lots of inspiration from Tracey McNeely of In My Creative Opinion 
as well as Ardyth Percy-Rob of MASKerade and Lisa of I'm in Haven.
These ladies make the most incredible Clean & Simple cards with loads of  bold and striking
colours whilst sharing ideas about using various products in a fun and easy way.

I couldn't move onto the next question without mentioning Beverley Brown of Uniko Studio
Michelle Short of The Card Grotto and Stephanie Wincott of Clearly Besotted.
These are some of the first blogs I started following; they are all enormously talented crafters;
creating clean, crisp, stylish and elegant cards; Beverley & Stephanie with lots of bold 
bursts of colour and Michelle with a more delicate and subtle look. 
If you haven't visited their blogs before you are seriously missing out.

Needless to say I'm smitten with Clearly Besotted and Uniko Studio products.
They offer superb quality and stunning designs; super efficient service; and being based here in 
the UK is a huge bonus when lots of the US products are quite difficult to access here.


3. What method / process do you apply to each of your creative projects, 
and how long does each project take to complete?


This is a difficult one as some cards are so quick and easy they just happen and can take as 
little as 20 minutes; other times I've an idea in my mind but it doesn't always transfer 
'on to paper' as I anticipated so these end up filed in the bin. 
Sometimes I can salvage them but it doesn't always work.

If I'm using lots of stamps on a card I would stamp it out first on some scrap paper to get 
the layout and colours I'm happy with. I also use a Stamp-a-majig which not only helps in
lining up the images but allows you to visualise the end result through the clear plastic sheet.

When making commission cards these can take a lot longer depending on the brief.
Often I need to research a particular theme for images which is time-consuming.
It's worth it though when you see the pleasure on the recipient's face.


4. If you had to describe your signature style, what would it be?


Since I started crafting almost 12 years ago my style has changed quite a lot and
to be honest if I look back at some of my earliest creations I'm horrified.
These days I love Clean and Simple; it doesn't necessarily mean they are quicker 
to make but I feel that the expanse of 'white space' does allow more focus 
to the design, layout and particularly the fabulous products used. 
I do admire crafters who can mix and match different design papers 
with layering and lots of embellishments but these days it's not my style.


5. What 3 crafting tools/products could you not live without?


Ok we are down to the last question and I hope you've managed to stay with me.
I'm so grateful if you have.

So this is another tricky one and I'm going to ignore the products as I simply can't list all my 
'must haves'and I've mentioned some of them above along with my Stamp-a-Majig so here goes

1. Tonic Paper Trimmer / Guillotine
(I have two of these; the smaller one I use constantly so that's a must)

2. EK Success Tweezers
(These are a recent purchase having previously used cheap 'angled' tweezers;
these are the business! They even grip so if you are tying a ribbon they hold it still)

3. Heat Gun
When I started crafting I did lots of embossing but the trends change regularly and
I got bored of the look until recently when it's become very popular again.
This tool is also great when I've used water-colours; I'm impatient and won't wait for it 
to dry naturally so a quick blast with the Heat Gun and we are back to it!

OK! Drum-roll please ...
as I would now like to introduce two wonderful designers with immense talent.
Having recently joined the Less is More design team I couldn't resist inviting 
two of them to join the blog hop. If you don't follow them already please take a look
at their blogs ... you won't be disappointed.




Chrissie of Simply One of a Kind
Chrissie was one of the founder members of Less is More and she is a Queen of CAS
Her designs are always crisp, clean and sophisticated. She seems to have a huge stash
of stamps, stencils and dies and uses them in a unique and striking way.
Sometimes her cards have a comical feel with a fun-loving image and usually a 
unique sentiment which she has created herself. 
I came across her blog through the Less is More challenge blog and to begin with I thought she was 
quite scary :-) having slipped up on the 'white space' to begin with she certainly 'put me straight'
Since then I've followed her blog for CAS inspiration; her classy creations simply jump off the screen.

In fact, she's a very kind, sweet and generous lady who dedicates so much time and energy
to the Less is More blog; posting the weekly challenges, commenting on everyone's entries,
deciding on the weekly winners and alongside Jen thinking up the amazing themes.
If you haven't already done so please take a look at her blog - it's well worth it.


Jen of The Tiny Blue Butterfly
Jen, also a long-standing designer on the Less is More blog, is another Queen of CAS.
I came across her blog well before I started my blog; probably from a challenge site I was keen to join.
Her cards stood out immediately with fun images, striking colours and AMAZING layouts.

She has been on the DT & GDT of many challenge and product related blogs including 
Clearly Besotted and Lili of the Valley. Her style is exquisite, sometimes fun and quirky, 
other times more traditional; but always with that adorable 'white space' and attention to detail.
Her DT work at Sketch Saturday including creating hundreds of sketches;
each one so unique; I honestly don't know how she thinks them up.
When I see 'The Tiny Blue Butterfly' in my Blogger read list I can't wait to open the post
to see what treat is in store and what inspiration I might gain too.
Again if you haven't found Jen in Blogland please check out her blog.


Wow! If you are still with me having read this post you certainly deserve a BIG treat.
I hope you've enjoyed 'Getting to Know Me' and please get in touch if you've any questions.

I'm now going to sit back and look forward to Chrissie and Jen's post next week 
as they join the Blog Hop too.

Thanks as always for stopping by today.



  Sarah