Monday 25 January 2016

Oh My!

Hello my crafty friends ... hope this post finds you all well.

This is another "for me"  project. Regular readers may recall that last week I 'fessed up and said that I've started on the Skin class at Kit and Clowder. Well, I've also joined their Facebook group too, and this image is one that Linda (a member of the group) commissioned from the artist Yampuff (who also does some of the class images) and then posted up on the group pages as a challenge for anyone who wishes to take part. Well you know me .... I'm usually up for a challenge!

This image is of Alyce Keegan (the founder and lovely leader of Kit and Clowder) and her persian cat Lila Bear, and here's the card that I created with the image:

I've kept this card really clean and simple and my card recipe is as follows:
  • Card Base - is a piece of kraft cardstock which I have cut, scored and folded to make a 13.5 x 10.5cm card
  • Image - is called Alyce and Lila Bear and it's available from the Kit and Clowder Facebook Group (for a limited time) or from Yampuff's site here. I have brought Alyce and her grumpy looking cat to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours before tool distressing the edge of my white Neenah card:
    • Skin - FS2, FS4, FS9, FS3, TN4, FS8, CR6 
    • Hair - TN2, EB2, EB6
    • Eyes - TB1, TB3, TB9
    • Dress - CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4, BP2, BP4, BP7, GB8, GB11, GB10
    • Shoes - GB8, GB11, GB10
    • Lila Bear - EB1, EB2, Blender
    • Grounding - IG1, IG2, IG3
  • Sentiment - is a freebie which came with Crafter's Inspiration Magazine Issue 7 and I have stamped this directly onto the Neenah card using  black Memento Ink
If you'd like to play along with this challenge you'll have to be quick as it closes at 2359hrs EST tonight, Monday 25th January. Head over to the Kit and Clowder Facebook Group for the full details!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
That's it from me for this evening - I hear the washing up and lunch boxes a-calling! Whatever you're doing this evening, I hope you have fun! Take care!

Hugs, Helen

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Dance away the Blues!

Good afternoon everyone, and I hope you haven't fallen off your chairs with another blog post from me!

Youngest Bambino was out last Saturday, helping one of her friends celebrate her 14th birthday - shopping in town (not a hardship for my Miss Fashionista I can assure you!), then back to the friend's house to get ready for their evening meal at TGI Friday's. Although Bambino had been thinking about the present since before Christmas, why was it that she left thinking about the card until Friday evening? And by Saturday morning, nothing in my "made" box was, apparently, suitable - pffffff muttered I!

Her friend loves dancing, so picking an image to use was easy, however I was totally bereft of any inspiration, so I turned to blogger and found a couple of challenges which inspired me to create this card:

My card recipe is as follows:

  • Card base - is white cardstock, which I've cut, scored and folded to make a 12cm square card
  • Layer - is my darkest blue Core'dinations Cardstock, which unfortunately appears to have been discontinued :o(  I've cut the edge of this using a Die'sire Edgeables die called Lattice Flourish which was only available as a freebie with the Winter 2015 Crafter's Inspiration Magazine.
  • Image - is by Wendy at All Dressed Up and she is called Love to Dance (I've used her without the sentiment that also comes with the image). This gorgeous dancer is, quite unashamedly, my favourite ADU image as I have used her a number of times now :o). I have brought this ballerina to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours, before Die cutting her using a Sizzix Framelits Ovals die.
    • Skin - FS2, FS4, FS9, FS3, TN4, FS8, CR6 
    • Hair - TN2, EB2, EB6
    • Dress & Hairband - TB3, TB4, TB6, Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen
    • Leggings & Shadow - IG1, IG2, IG3, Blender Pen
  • Sentiment - is a downloadable freebie by my very generous blogging buddy Annette. I edged the border of the sentiment using my Spectrum Noir Pen in TB3 to tie it in with the image.

I'm not 100% happy with her skin on this image - for some reason it came out rather blotchy and the more I was trying to blend it out, the worse it became! Still, I have recently joined a couple of classes with Alyce over at Kit and Clowder and I can honestly say that some of my colouring is improving as I'm definitely thinking more about light and shade with my images.

I have been inspired by and would like to enter the following challenges:
  • Challenge #156 at CAS Colours and Sketches - I've rotated and flipped your sketch, and see my die as being the two layers under the oval. The cut out part of the die is the darker border on your sketch, and the part between the punched holes is the white central portion of your sketch.

  • Colour Week #326 - White, Light Blue, Dark Blue at Just us Girls

  • Challenge 47 - Anything Goes and DT Call at All Dressed Up - I'm entering the DT call too with this card, so please wish me luck!

That's it from me for now - I've got a sheet full of images that I'm colouring in at the mo as I'm hoping to participate in a week long Birthday celebration at one of the challenge blogs I follow. Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of your day and stay warm and safe.

Hugs, Helen x

Monday 18 January 2016

In the garden

Hello all! Hope this post finds everyone well, and gentle hugs winging their way round for anyone who's in need. 

How did everyone fare with the weather over this weekend? We were on the very bottom edge of a forecast snow belt which was drifting through overnight on Saturday but, by the time we got up on Sunday it was a cold, miserable and grey day :o(

It's new challenge time at Incy Wincy Designs (don't forget we're now bringing you challenges on the first and third Mondays of each month) but before I get to our new challenge, we've got another new DT member to welcome. So, join in with a big hello to Catherine  .... (waves wildly!!!!!!). Our challenge this time is Tic Tac Toe (or Bingo).

I think our excellent team leader Chris has out-done herself this week with our sponsors ... we're bringing you not one, not two but three fabby companies, which means 3 chances to win!!!!!!!!!

Our first sponsor is Craft Classes Online  who are offering a prize of 1 Virtual Seat in a Class. 

Our second sponsor is Di from Di's Digis who is offering a $12 voucher to Di's DigiStamps. 

And our third sponsor is Jodie from Bugaboo Digi Stamps who is offering our lucky winner 7 free digis.

To read more about our wonderful sponsors, please head over to Incy Wincy Designs.

Now, here's your Tic Tac Toe board, and to play along you need to have any row, column or diagonal - don't forget to tell us in your post which line and 3 items you're claiming!

And here's my inspiration for you using an image from Bugaboo Digi Stamps. I'm claiming the diagonal line from the bottom left hand corner up to the top right hand corner of Flower, Red, Rhinestone:

My card recipe is as follows:
I hope you'll come over and play Tic Tac Toe with us at Incy Wincy Designs and whilst you're there please stop by to welcome our new teamies this year Greg and Catherine. Also, don't forget to check out the other fantastic creations by my teamies. We'll be back on Monday 1st February with our next challenge. 

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

That's it from me for the moment - take care everyone!

Hugs, Helen x

Saturday 16 January 2016

Howdy Partner!

Hello folks - hope you're all well today!

After a bit of a fly around blogland and facebook, I see that there's a bit of the white stuff around. Please send some down to us as the bambinos and I love it, though PapaMia isn't sooooo keen :o)

I'm sharing a non-DT card today. A good friend asked me if I could make her a cowboy themed card for her Dad's upcoming 70th birthday. Well, here's the result:

I am sooooo happy with this card and, more's to the point, so was my friend - hope her Dad likes it ;o)

My card recipe is as follows:
  • Card base - is pre-made in white cardstock and is about 14.8cm square 
  • Papers - are from a now retired kit by Summer at Summertime Designs called Freedom Ain't Free. My base paper layer is called Blue Plaid and the vertical panel is Stars and Stitches. A bit of trawling around t'internet shows that Summer has actually taken down her blog and freebies ... so I can't point you in the right direction for them :o(
  • Image - is called Adorable Cowgirl by Veronica and Pedro at The Paper Shelter. I was lucky enough last year to win a gift certificate to their store as part of a challenge win, and this was one of the images I chose. As usual with The Paper Shelter images, this cutie comes both coloured and outlined together with a background paper and (for those who really need a great card in a hurry) a composition which is the image already mounted on the paper for "Print and Go"! I've used the outline image on this card, and brought this girl to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours before cutting her out using my second largest Sizzix Framelits Ovals die:
    • Skin - FS2, FS4, FS9, FS3, TN4, FS8, CR6
    • Eyes - DG1, DG2, DG4
    • Hair - TN2, EB2, EB6
    • Dress & Band on Hat - TB3, TB6, TB8
    • Hat & Belt - EB1, WB2, EB3, EB5
    • Hair Band, Neck Tie & Waistcoat - DR1, DR3, DR6
  • Sentiment - is by Debbie at The Crafty Pad and comes from her Happy Birthday Sentiments set. Now I must confess that I've tweaked the sentiment just a bit as I separated the word "Dad" so I could lower it in the circular frame, and then added the "70th" using the word art function in my word processing package as this was the sentiment that had been requested. I hope Debbie doesn't mind me doing this ..... !
  • Twine - is from my stash, and I've continued the cowboy theme by tying the twine into a Half Hitch, which is the knot a cowboy might use to tie up his horse!
  • Distress Ink - in Faded Jeans (OK, so I'm still continuing on the cowboy theme!) was used to distress the edges of both paper layers (I wanted to add definition without bulk as this card is being posted) and also the edges of the image and sentiment.

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

I hope you have a great weekend and stay safe in the cold weather!

Hugs, Helen x

Friday 15 January 2016

Waiting for the Storm to pass ....

Good morning my crafty friends - hope this post finds you well. I've got two new followers to welcome today on our madcap crafty journey round my craft room - welcome to Jackie and also to Aussie Annie! Hope you ladies enjoy the fun!!!!!! :o)

Can you believe that we're nearly half-way through January already! How are you doing with any New Year's Resolutions that you made? I find it really tricky to keep them, so normally don't bother (tee hee!) however, I have got a few crafty goals tucked up my sleeve for this year: to use more of my stash before getting new things and to improve my colouring skills. There I've said them out loud haven't I? Oh well, that means I've got to stick to them haven't I :o)

It being the 15th of the month, means it's new challenge time over at Feeling Sketchy and, as usual, Michelle has come up with a wonderful sketch which is perfect for those of us who like CAS cards, but can be heavily embellished if you like more decorated layouts.

We've got a fab sponsor lined up again this time, but it's a bittersweet moment ... we're being sponsored by Deedee of Deedee's Digis, but sadly Deedee closed her online store at the end of 2015. However, she is honouring her sponsorship and she has given us 2 image, paper and sentiment sets for our lucky winner, Bugs & Blooms and Rainy Day - a quick preview of these is below.

So here's the sketch for you ...

... and here's my card for you using the Rainy Day set by Deedee at Deedee's Digis:

This card is quite appropriate for those in the UK who have been suffering with floods (including the village where my late grandmother lived); the rain has eased for now, and colder but brighter weather is on it's way.

My card recipe is as follows:
  • Card base - is a pre-made A6 card base in white.
  • Papers - are both from the Rainy Day set. The base layer is called "Dots" and I've used "Clouds" for the sentiment banner.
  • Images - all come from the Rainy Day set. I've used 2 of the Coloured Rain Cloud and superimposed one on top of the other, and then I've also used Duck in Boots in the purple and green colourway. I digitally created this picture in my word processing package and then cut round them by hand, leaving parts of the clouds, umbrella and puddle out of the frame, before mounting it onto the paper.
  • Sentiment - is one of 5 which come with the set. I have digitally layered this onto the "Clouds" paper, and then hand cut this into a fishtail banner which I've mounted onto my card. Using a craft knife, I hand cut round the lower portion of the duck's puddle so the sentiment banner runs underneath it.

I hope I've inspired you to come over to Feeling Sketchy and play along with our new sketch - as usual, you can twist or flip our sketch but we still need to be able to see that it's our sketch you're following! If you need any further inspiration, check out the other fabby creations by my wonderful teamies and then don't forget to come back and show us your creations! This challenge will end on 31st January 2016.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenge:
  • Week 180 - Cue word "Open" at CASology - I've drawn inspiration from the open umbrella!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Hugs, Helen x

Monday 11 January 2016

They're Engaged!

Hi all,

Whilst visiting my M-i-L over last weekend, she announced that one of Papa Mia's cousins (who happened to be one of my bridesmaids all those moons ago!) had got engaged to her boyfriend on New Year's Eve ... funnily enough Papa Mia and I got engaged on a New Year's Eve too!!!!!!! :o)

I couldn't let the moment pass without making the happy couple a card, so here it is:

My card recipe is as follows:

  • Base Card - is some white cardstock which I've cut, scored and folded to make a A6 card
  • Image - is by Wendy at All Dressed Up and is called Over The Moon. This image was a freebie from Issue 139 of Simply Card Making and Papercraft Magazine. I think it's probably supposed to be for a wedding card, but I love the sentiment on it as we're delighted for Papa Mia's cousin and her fiancĂ©. I've brought the happy couple to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed shades before die cutting it using my largest Die'sire Essentials Squares die (with a bit of Out of the Box technique for the moon!):
    • Skin - FS2, FS3, FS4, FS8, FS9, TN4
    • Hair - TN2, EB2, EB6
    • Dress, Veil & Lady's Shoes - PP3, PP4, CR6, DR6
    • Tails & Man's Shoes - IG4, IG6, IG7, IG10
    • Top Hat, Bow Tie & Waistcoat - IG4, IG6, IG7, PP3, PP4, CR6
    • Buttonhole & Flowers - DR6, DG3
    • Shadow on the Moon - IG1, IG2, IG3
  • Paper - is by Marisa Lerin at Pixel Scrapper Digital Scrapbooking and is called Polka Dots 21 Paper from one of her Vietnam Papers kits. I've just used a small portion of the paper to follow the current Sketch Design at Freshly Made Sketches
  • Sentiment - came from Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine as a freebie. I stamped this directly onto my card base using the second lightest shade in my Papermania Hot Pink ink pack.

I've been inspired by and would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Hope you have a great week!

Hugs, Helen x

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Blog Follower Information

Good evening my crafty friends.

Since the beginning of the year, I've seen a few posts around blogland where bloggers have noticed a drop in their follower numbers. I know we all like to see a large number of followers when we log onto our Blogger Dashboard so it's annoying when these numbers fall, especially if you've built up your followers over a number of years. Then I saw a post earlier this week on my friend Dawn's blog, which explains the situation perfectly! I'll hand over to her (via the gift of copy and paste!):

Hi everyone, have you noticed a drop in your blog followers? 
Or are you missing posts on blogs you followed?
I have & I was visiting my friend Linda's blog, when I came across a post with 
the following information, which I wanted to share with you!
This explains a lot!

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs. 

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other Open Id providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer


This change was due to take effect on Jan 11, but as I mentioned, I've already noticed 
a drop in follower numbers, as have some of my other blogging friends 
 I apologise if this causes any inconvenience & I hope that you can create a Google account, which will allow you to continue following my blog and others, who use Blogger.  

If you do create a Google account, you will have to "Follow" blogs again, as those who didn't
 have an account will be permanently removed from our lists.  However, if you choose not
 to open a Google account, you can still follow blogs using other means such as Bloglovin', Networked Blogs, by email etc but you'll have to check each blog individually
to see what options are available to you!

Now although I haven't yet noticed a drop in my followers, I would hate to lose any of you ... especially as I'm planning a little something to celebrate my fifth Blogaversary in June!!!!!! So if you want to continue following my blog and currently don't have a Google Account Profile then you might want to consider having one. Alternatively, you can follow me by e-mail - there's a sign up box on my left hand side bar.

Thank you to each and every one of you who follow my crafty ramblings and comment on my creations, either regularly or on a sporadic basis - I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

Have a super evening!

Hugs, Helen x

Monday 4 January 2016

Wishing on a Star!

Good morning crafty friends and welcome to Monday ... it's back to normal at Casa Mia as the Christmas holidays are over and it's back to school! Still, I have enjoyed having the last fortnight off but I'm ready to back, I think!

It being Monday, it's new challenge time at Incy Wincy Designs. We're changing our challenges a bit this year and we'll be bringing you challenges on the first and third Monday of each month, which gives you plenty of time to get you entries in! Chris has woven some magic with our sponsors which means that most of our challenges will have two sponsors, which means 2 lucky winners will be picked by Mr. Random!!!!! We've also got some changes on the DT. We're very sadly saying Au revoir to our lovely teamie Jenny, who is stepping down for the time being; but we're saying Bonjour to our new teamie Greg who is joining the madcap world here at Incy Wincy!!!!!! I think that covers our changes, so let's get on with this week's challenge which is White, with a splash of Colour.

 We've got 2 fabulous sponsors lined up for this challenge:

A Day For Daisies who are offering a $12 Gift Certificate to the store


That Craft Place Ltd. who are offering 3 digital images

I've chosen to use one of the images by Lisa at That Craft Place Ltd., and here is my card:

My card recipe is as follows:
  • Base card - is white cardstock cut to A5 size and folded in half
  • Embossing - is done on Snow White Silver Centura Pearl Card using my Embossalicious Petite Dot embossing folder (can't find this for sale any longer unfortunately :o( )
  • Image - is called Maggie by Lisa at That Craft Place Ltd., and I have brought Maggie to life using my Spectrum Noir Pens in the listed colours, before die cutting her using my largest Die'sire Essentials Rectangles die and adding some sparkle with my Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen.
    • Skin - FS2, FS3
    • Hair - GB4, GB7, GB9, GB10
    • Clothes, Ribbons, Wand & Stars - GT1, GT2, GT3
  • Ribbon - is white organdie ribbon from my stash

I'm leaving this cutie sentiment and further embellishment free as I can't decide whether she'll be a Birthday or a Christmas card!

I hope you'll come over to Incy Wincy Designs and check out the other lovely creations which are White, with a splash of colour. Then make sure you come back and share your projects with us! Don't forget that we'll be back with our new challenge on Monday 18th January 2016.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

In the meantime, have a great week!

Hugs, Helen

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy New Year!!!!!

Hello friends and Happy New Year to you and yours!!!! I hope you had a nice Christmas holiday (if you celebrate) ... we had a lovely time here at Casa Mia, although youngest Bambino and I picked up stinking colds and we're still coughing and spluttering :o)

It being the first of the month, it's time for a new challenge at Feeling Sketchy. As usual we've got a fab sponsor lined up for you, and this fortnight it's the lovely Jodie from Bugaboo Stamps who is offering our lucky winner a prize package.

Here's the sketch we'd like you to follow drawn by Michelle; as usual you can flip it, rotate it, substitute the shapes ... just make sure we know it's our sketch you're following!

And here's my take on it using a Bugaboo digi:

My card recipe for this project is as follows:
  • Card base - is a premade 5 inch square card blank in cream
  • Image - is Flower Doodles 1 by Jodie at Bugaboo Stamps. To keep my card really simple, I've printed the image onto plain cream cardstock and not coloured it at all.
  • Frame - is made from plain black cardstock. I cut the top of the frame using my Die'sire Edgeables Die Lattice Flourish, which is only available as a freebie with the Winter 2015 issue of Crafter's Inspiration magazine.
  • Sentiment - is another magazine freebie, this time from the January 2016 edition of Cardmaking and Papercraft. I used a lovely shade of orange Core'dinations Cardstock with the "Thank You" die which really makes this pop out from the card!
  • Butterfly - is a die from the Die'sire Essentials Beautiful Butterflies set (unfortunately, this appears to be no longer listed for sale :o( ) which again I've die cut from the orange Core'dinations Cardstock.

I hope I've inspired you to come over and play along with this challenge. If you're in need of further inspiration, please head over to Feeling Sketchy and check out the gorgeous makes by my incredibly talented teamies! We'll be back with our next challenge on 15th January 2016.

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

Have a lovely weekend!
Hugs, Helen x