Tuesday, 16 June 2015

It's Tag Time!

Hope everyone's well today crafty hugs winging their way around for those who need them!

It's new challenge time at Incy Wincy Designs and this week we're after your projects featuring tags as our title is "Tag ... You're It!". We're delighted to also be welcoming our former teamie Karen back to the team! And we also have a bonus Blog Hop for you! It's going to be a very busy week me thinks!

Our sponsor this week is our very own Nikki from Limited Runs Digital Stamps who is offering this week's lucky winner a prize package of 3 digital stamps. However, Nikki is going to increase that prize pack to 5 digital stamps IF you use Nikki's monthly freebie which this month is the super-cute Bird Brain

Onto the Bonus Blog Hop!!!

If you pop around and leave every DT member a little love on their Blog, there will be a winner pulled from each DT blog from all the comments left to win a digi of your choice. The more comments you leave, the better your odds are. You might score and win on more than one blog, so pop over and check out all the girls blogs and say "Hi!". A list of my Incy Wincy Teamies is in my left sidebar, but please note that Heather and Jenny are away from blogging at the mo an are therefore not participating in this blog hop.

Nikki has very kindly given every DT member their choice of image to use for this challenge, but I've decided to go with a freebie which Nikki had Limited Runs Digital Stamps in December 2013 and I've made a Gift Tag:

My Tag recipe is as follows:

  • Tag - is made from black card which I embossed using one of the nested tag shapes on the Ultimate Pro Embossing Board Springtime Sweets and Cupcake Treats before cutting the shape out and re-embossing to ensure a neat and "stand out" edge
  • Image - is by Nikki at Limited Runs Digital Stamps and I don't think this Santa actually has a name, and I can't find him in the store. However, there are a number of other Santas to choose from. I brought this Santa to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours before fussy cutting Santa out.
  • Sentiment - is from the Happy Holidays Vintage Stamp Collection, which was a magazine freebie. I've stamped this directly onto my tag in Versamark Ink, coated it with silver embossing powder and heated it.
  • Ribbon - is recycled from a previous Christmas gift ... I found this lurking at the bottom of my handbag and, if memory serves me right, it came from a work Secret Santa Gift Swap! It's threaded through a snowflake hole punch

Do come over to Incy Wincy Designs and start the blog hop by visiting all the other DT girls and don't forget to leave them all a comment on their tags and you could be a lucky winner! Then get crafting and show us your projects with Tags and you're in with a chance of winning our prize package and/or making our Top 3! This challenge finishes on Sunday 21st June.

I would like to enter this tag in the following challenges:
Hope you have a great rest of the day!

Hugs, Helen x

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Sheep Dreams!

Well, howdy folks ... hope you are well today!

It's been a rather busy week here at Casa Mia, and this will probably be my last post of the week, and apologies for this one being overdue too!

In my Monday post, I let you know about the new challenge at Incy Wincy Designs - well the challenge of Old MacDonald Had a Farm is still active, and I'm finally able to share my DT make with you. Just to recap, we're looking for your creations which feature animals and/or objects you would find on a farm!

We're being sponsored this week by the lovely Laurie from Doodle Pantry who is kindly offering this week's prize winner a great prize package. Laurie also kindly offered each member of the DT their choice of image to use for this challenge.

Regular readers will know that some of my creations come with a "back story" and this project is no exception. 14 years ago, we first started camping in southern Brittany with Bambino (now eldest Bambino!) and we used one of the companies who have a tent permanently pitched on a site so all you have to do is "move in". All went well with this holiday, the campsite was full of either very young families or grannies and grandpas, however persuading Bambino to sleep in the evenings when it was light and she could hear people moving around, eating outside etc. was proving slightly difficult. We had a cassette with us which we used to play in the car which was called (if memory serves me correctly) Lavender Lamb on Blossom Farm and there was a different song about each of the animals on the farm (I can only remember Dillon Donkey, but there were quite a few other animals too) as well as songs about the fun the animals had on the farm. Well we played this tape to death I think, because Bambino would only fall asleep with this tape playing in the background - thank goodness for auto-reverse tape players! Anyway, as soon as I saw this image I knew exactly what I was creating ... even though there are no babies in sight at Casa Mia!

My Door Hanger recipe is as follows:
  • Base Card - made from Centura Pearl in Snow White, which is made from one panel of A4 tri-fold. I found the centre of my panel, judged how high I wanted my door handle 'hole' to be and then used a die from the Die'sire Essentials Circles to make an opening
  • Papers - are from a kit by Janet Scott at Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking called Tiny, but Mighty Solid Papers. I have used the Dark Pink Fabric and Light Green Fabric Papers and digitally sized and layered these before adding the sentiment 
  • Image - is by Laurie at Doodle Pantry and is called Sheep Dreams. In this gorgeous set you get 2 versions of the lamb and also 3 different sentiments. I have brought my lamb to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the following colours before cutting it out:
    • Lamb - PP1, PP3, PP5, PP6
    • Grass - CG1, CG2, CG3
  • Sentiment - is computer generated using the word art facility in my word processing package and I digitally layered this over the papers before printing

Please come on over to Incy Wincy Designs and see the lovely farm creations made by talented team mates. Then come back and show us your creations which feature things you would find on Old MacDonald's Farm - this challenge ends on Sunday 13th June.

Hope you have a fab day!
Hugs, Helen x

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

From the Catwalk

Good morning friends ... hope you are all well this morning. I would like to welcome 2 new followers to my blog - Karen who is following via blogger, and Patti who is following via e-mail ... welcome to my little corner of blogland ladies, and I hope you enjoy the inspiration I share!

I'm going to be scheduling this post as I've got a Target Setting Review appointment at school with youngest bambino and her form tutor first thing, then it's off to the gym for a quick run on the "trotmill" (I'm doing a bit of Fartlek at the moment ... and no, I'm not swearing! It's where you run really fast for a short burst and then go more slowly, fast, slow and so on for around 20 minutes) before heading into my regular Yoga class.

I'm ever so excited to be bringing you the first New Release from Sophia's Sweet Scribbles and this release is going to get you all heading over to buy it, as we're bringing you The Fashion Collection.

These 6 different dresses will be totally perfect for all the ladies in your life, and I'm thrilled to be showcasing The Day Dress:

This card really has been so very simple to put together, just to demonstrate that with the right materials you can have a great card in next to no time!

My card recipe is as follows:
  • Card base - is pre-made in white card, around 14.7cm square
  • Papers - come from the May 2015 Club Inspire free download by Crafter's Companion. This collection is called Springtime Florals and I have used one of the Card Companions from the set.
  • Image - is by the very talented Larissa at Sophia's Sweet Scribbles and is called The Day Dress. To bring this dress to life, I paper pieced it using the same dotty paper from the Card Companion only I've reduced the scale to make the dots smaller and closer together. I've used my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours to bring the dress and dress form to life, before fussy cutting it out.
    • Dress - GT2, Blender Pen, Silver Gel Pen (to give a light lacy effect to the top portion of the bodice)
    • Dress Form - EB1, EB2, Blender Pen
    • Outline - GT1
  • Sentiment - is by Debbie at The Crafty Pad and comes from the Stitching Ticket Sentiments Set. I have put a slit in each end of the ticket so I could thread it onto an oddment of gold coloured satin ribbon I found in my stash (courtesy of a bargain £1 bag from Hobbycraft I think!) to make a ribbon slider

I hope you'll come over to the Sophia's Sweet Scribbles StoreSweet Scribblers! Facebook Fan Group and Sophia's Sweet Scribbles Official Website and see the other wonderful creations from my very talented teamies! Also, at the Official Website, Larissa is very kindly giving you a chance to own 2 digis from this fabulous collection.

And finally, we're having a DT call ... would you like to join us and create with these and other wonderful images? If so, head over to the Sweet Scribblers! Facebook Fan Group for all the details. We'd love for you to join us!

I would like to enter the following challenges:

Hope you have a great day!
Hugs, Helen x

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

I'm late for a very important date!

Well in fact I'm not late at all for this date ... I'm bang on time, but the title might give you a teeny clue as to the theme of today's project!

Morning all - hope no-one has fallen off their chair at yet another missive from me this week, but there is a very good reason for this, honest!

About 7 weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be selected as a Top Tipper at Top Tip Tuesday, and my prize was a GDT spot with the team - and today is that day! This morning's challenge is entitled Cut It Out! so I reckon everyone should be able to enter this challenge, as long as there's something on your project which you've cut out.

We're being sponsored this fortnight by Tammy at Shape EZ who is not only going to provide the lucky winner of this challenge with a prize package, but also kindly gave the DT and I our choices of template to use for this challenge.

Before I get to my card, the girls at Top Tip Tuesday asked me if I could come up with a Top Tip for you, so here goes:

If you're using shrink plastic, take the guess work out of sizing it to suit your project and make a "Magic Ruler".

This is simply a piece of "Shrinkles" plastic which I've marked from 0cm to around 12cm (and I've also used my hole making tool to make appropriately sized holes) before following the manufacturers instructions to shrink it in the oven.  So, here goes on how to use it:

Using the "Magic Ruler" measure the length and width of the part of your original design that you want to make in "Shrinkles" plastic - so here, I'm measuring the length of the teapot lid knob (3cm) and width (2cm) - these aren't the actual measurements, but the size that I need to increase the teapot lid knob to.

So here is screen print from my word processing programme, and I've imported the tea pot lid at actual size. The red box measures 3cm x 2cm which is the size the knob needs to be, so I need to increase the size of the lid until the knob fills the red square.

The knob is now the right size, in "Shrinkles World"! Print this out onto a regular piece of printer paper.

Overlay the printer paper with the "Shrinkles" plastic and trace the outline of your design using an alcohol marker pen (I'm using a Spectrum Noir Pen in True Black). Allow to dry.

Turn the "Shrinkles" plastic over, and colour your design using your chosen alcohol marker pens - I've used Spectrum Noir Pens in shades LV1, LV2, LV3. Allow to dry.

Cut around your element carefully leaving a small border around the edge of your design and then heat it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once cooled it should look like the piece on the right side of the picture below:

It's now ready to be afixed to your project and if you check out the photos below, you'll see my the coloured knob on the teapot lid!

Here's my card, featuring one of Tammy's templates and showing the teapot lid, complete with  "Shrinkles" plastic knob:

My card recipe is as follows:

  • Card base - Shape EZ Tea Pot Template printed onto regular lightweight light cardstock and hand cut. I distressed all the edges with Craf-T Chalk in Turquoise and stuck the "crystal" shrinkles knob onto the top of the lid
  • Papers - are MM024 from a retired set called Mixed Media by Donna at, sadly now closed, Bearly Mine Designs. I printed these directly onto the paper templates from the Tea Pot Set ... very easy as they're sized to match perfectly!
  • Image - is one I was lucky enough to win a couple of months ago and she is called Lucy Loo
    "Mad Hatter" by Unky at The East Wind. How much sass-itude has this girl got? I brought Lucy Loo to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the following colours before fussy cutting her out:
    • Skin - FS2, FS3, FS6, LV1, LV2
    • Hair - IG1, IG2, IG4
    • Hat - BT4, BT5, BT6, LV1, LV2
    • Shirt & Cravat - IG1, IG2
    • Jacket - DG5, DG6, DG7, TN8, Silver Gel Pen
    • Cup - TN2, DR11, Gold Gel Pen
    • Outline - BT1
  • Sentiment - is by Paulette at Create with TLC and once I had cut this out, I distressed the edges with Craf-T Chalk in Turquoise. 

I hope I've inspired you to have a go and Cut It Out! but why not head over to the Top Tip Tuesday Blog and check out all the fabby creations from the DT girls and pop over to the Shape EZ store and see what other great templates Tammy has that you could use? Then come back and show us your cut out projects! This challenge ends at 4pm BST on Monday 22nd June 2015.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenge:

Hope you have a good day, and if you use my tutorial please let me know - I'd love to come over and see what you make!

Hugs, Helen

Monday, 8 June 2015

Down on the Farm!

Hi folks,

Just a quick post from me and no project as yet, as time has escaped me!

Just want to let you know about the new challenge at Incy Wincy Designs which is "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"! Yup, we want to see your projects featuring animals you would see down on the farm. We're being sponsored by Doodle Pantry for this challenge who will give our lucky winner a prize pack!

I'll be back tomorrow with my project (need some tea right now!) but in the meantime, why don't you hop over to Incy Wincy Designs and get inspired by the fabulous makes from my teamies?

Hugs, Helen x

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Always carry a Unicorn!

Good morning fellow crafters - hope you are well this morning and are having a nice weekend.

I'm scheduling this post as right now I am leading my Church's Sunday School group, so I'm hoping Mr Blogger behaves!

I'm super excited this morning as 2 weeks ago, I was chosen by the lovely Audrey to be the Guest Designer for the new challenge at Lacy Sunshine Challenge Blog!!!!

This week's challenge is "Wild about You" and we would like to see your creations featuring either animals or animal prints ... or you could go the whole hog (ooops, sorry for the pun!) and include both on your project. If your image doesn't include an animal, then you must use papers or embellishments which have an animal print on them please.

Heather has given me free run in her store to choose an image to showcase for this challenge, so here is my inspiration for you featuring one of Heather's oh-so-sweet images:

As soon as I saw this image, I knew that I had to use it as youngest Bambino is absolutely MAD about unicorns. Luckily one of her favourite clothes stores is featuring unicorns this season, so she's a very happy person. I'll be putting this card away safely for her Birthday in October and hoping that a) I remember where that safe place is and b) that she doesn't stumble across either this post or the card in the meantime!

Anyway, my card recipe is as follows:

  • Card base - is Centura Pearl in Ivory which is cut, scored and folded to make a 15cm square card
  • Papers - come from a set called Garden Party by Janet Scott at Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking. I've used the Yellow Butterflies and Solid Orange papers, and then added the green lace border from the same set. I've digitally put these papers together, including cropping the orange paper with a diagonal and tilting the lacy border.
  • Image - of course comes from the pen of Heather Valentin at Lacy Sunshine Stamps and is called Rory's Magical Ride. I die cut Rory and her Unicorn using my largest Sizzix Framelits Fancy Label Die before bringing them both to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours:
    • Rory  
      • Skin - FS2, FS3, CR4
      • Hair - OR1, OR2, OR3
      • Dress & Hair Bow - CG1, CG2, CG3
      • Shoes - OR1, OR2, OR3
    • Unicorn
      • Mane & Tail - GT1, GT2, GT3, PL2, PL3, Bling, White Glitter
      • Body - PL1, PL2, PL3, Blender
      • Hooves - PL1, PL2, White Glitter 
  • Flowers - were made using the Purple Solid paper from the Garden Party set, and I then die cut 2 different sizes of flowers using my Die'sire Essentials Flowers for All Occasions set. I bent the petals slightly before adding some bling (from my stash) to the centre of each flower
  • Sentiments - are both by Paulette at Create with TLC and have both been cut using one of my Die'sire Essentials Just the Ticket dies. The Happy Birthday sentiment is a past freebie from Paulette's blog, and the Unicorn sentiment is part of the Life is Short set. I've cut off part of the sentiment as I just wanted the bit that said "believe in unicorns" - hope you don't mind Paulette?
  • Bling and Glitter - from my stash

I just want to say "Thank You!" to the Lacy Sunshine Girls for having me as your GDT this time, and don't forget to come over to the blog to see their wonderful makes and then show us your creations which are "Wild about You"!

I have been inspired by and would like to enter the following challenges:
Cosmic Colours Challenge #14
I would also like enter the following challenges:
Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Hugs, Helen x

Monday, 1 June 2015

It's a Cat's Life!

Evening all! Hope this post finds you well and if not, gently hugs are winging their way to you.

Today see's the start of a new challenge at Incy Wincy Designs and we've got a fabby sketch challenge for you. Here's the sketch we'd like you to follow, but of course you can rotate it or flip it if you wish!

As usual, we've got a lovely sponsor lined up for you, and this week it's Sal from SLS Lines who is offering our lucky prize winner 3 digital images from her store. And here's a little bit about Sal:

I work as a freelance illustrator and creative designer and am the Art Director of ArtTrader Magazine. I love creating comic style art and working in mixed media. I love my wacom pen and tablet! 

And here is my card (I've tried to go for a vintage/cottage-y feel. What do you think?) featuring one of Sal's cute images:

My card recipe is as follows:
  • Card Base - pre-made card in white approx 14.7 cm square
  • Papers - are from a set called Spread Your Wings by Sharon-Dewi Stolp at Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking. I have used Polka Dots Paper, and digitally layered Foliage Paper and then Stripes Paper onto this. I put a brown border round these papers as a faux mat. The top layer of paper is called Damask Large Paper and also has a brown faux mat.
  • Image - is by Sal at SLS Lines and is called Lazy House Cat - click on the link to get your own copy! I brought this feline friend and his comfy cushions to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours, before fussy cutting him out and fixing him to my card.
    • Cat - EB1, EB2, EB3, TN2 (not sure I've got the fur texture quite right ... hmmmm!)
    • Cushions - JG1, JG2, JG3, PP4, PP5, PP6, EB1, EB2, Gold Gel Pen
  • Sentiment - is computer generated in my word processing programme which I layered over a ticket from the retired Tags Labels set which I got from the (sadly now closed) Digi Doodle Shop
  • Embellishments - the pale pink organdie ribbon and Pearls are from my stash

Now you've seen my card, please head over to Incy Wincy Designs and check out the inspiration from my fabby team mates - how can the same sketch make such different cards! Don't forget to then get creating and come back to play along with us this week - this challenge finishes on Sunday 7th June!

I would like to enter the following challenges:

  • Challenge 5 - Always Anything Goes at Simply Papercraft Challenges
  • Challenge #264 - Always Anything Goes at Craft Your Passion Challenges
  • Photo Inspiration and End of Term Blog Hop at House of Cards - I've been inspired by the pink and green colours and the cushions, though it might take me a couple of weeks to hop through you all and link my card up! ;o)

Hugs,  Helen x