Saturday 29 December 2012

A Few of My Favourite Things

Hello and with today’s card I am well and truly back in my comfort zone, dress stamp, lavender and cream tones, mulberry flowers and decorative hatpins – all my favourite things!

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Kanban
Colouring Mediums: Memento Ink Pads, Promarker Pens, Tattered Angels Glimmer Spritz
Paper & Card: Kanban Lavender Rose Collection, Conqueror Wove
Tools: Spellbinders, Grand Calibur, Couture Creations Embossing Folders, Blending Mat
Embellishments: Lace, hand-made beaded Hat Pins, crystals, mulberry gardernia flower

My main image is a Kanban Cavendish Ladies Stamp, coloured with Promarkers, with the edges distressed with my blending mat and the corners accented with 3mm rhinestone crystals. I mounted this onto a mat cut from Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles.

The background is Kanban Lavender Rose collection cardstock embossed with Couture Creations Hedged Maze and spritzed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist for a subtle shimmer. The tag is also cut from the Kanban Lavender Rose Collection. I also cut accent pieces from Sue Wilson’s lovely Vintage Lace Spellbinders dies. I added a mulberry gardenia flower, which I had lighly dabbed with an ink pad, rosebuds, rhinestone crystals and a lace trim. Finally I tucked in 2 hand-made decorative Hatpins, if you would like to see how to make hatpins I have two tutorials on Creating Hatpins and More Decorative Hatpins, do take a look!

Hope you like this; do leave a comment if this has pleased you. Pin It Now!

Monday 17 December 2012

Upscale your Christmas Crackers & add a bit of Luxury

Christmas Crackers Straight from the Box

Upscaled Luxury Christmas Crackers

This is a fun, Christmas project. If, like me, you want your Christmas Dinner Table to look opulently festive but don’t like the price the Luxury Christmas Crackers (which, after all, end up in the bin within hours of use), perhaps you’ll follow my project to Upscale your Christmas Crackers.

For this project you will need:
  • Inexpensive Christmas Crackers (mine cost £6.80 for a dozen)
  • Coordinating 25mm Double Satin Ribbon
  • Gold Mirri Card
  • Gold Pearlescent Paper
  • White Paper
  • Sheet of Double Sided Adhesive
  • Glitter
  • Rhinestones
  • Spellbinders Create-A-Flake Die Set (or similar)
  • Glue
Adhere one side of the double-sided adhesive sheet to the sheet of white paper, then cut and emboss a set of three Snowflakes (largest flake in gold mirri, medium flake in adhesive paper and smallest flake in gold pearlescent paper). Repeat sets for as many crackers as you have. 

Peel away the adhesive layer and cover the medium size flake in glitter. Layer up the three flakes, applying a small dot of wet glue between each layer.

Cut 2 x 65cm lengths of Double Satin Ribbon. Remove any existing ties from the crackers and then tie your own ribbon around the crackers and trim the ribbon ends.

Glue the snowflake topper to the centre of the cracker, top off with a rhinestone crystal and use more crystals to decorate each end of the cracker.

 If you really want to go uber-luxury, finish off the Snowflake topper with a Rhinestone Button (but as these button cost over £1 a piece, they push up the price per cracker quite a bit).

I hope you've enjoyed this fun festive Christmas, do let me know what you think and wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas.

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Saturday 8 December 2012

LOTV Dropping the Shopping & Spellbinders Christmas Tree

I’ve tried some new (to me) techniques in this card, including using glass micro beads and creating a snowflake wreath, but the one I like the most is an idea that I had for my Spellbinders Christmas tree die.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: LOTV Dropping the Shopping
Colouring Mediums: Memento London Fog Ink Pad, Promarker Pens
Paper & Card: Christine Adolph
Tools: Spellbinders, Grand Calibur
Embellishments: Maya Arts ribbon, rhinesrtones, sparkle button

To make the snowflake wreath, using my Grand Calibur, I cut lots of snowflakes using my spellbinder dies. For some of the snowflakes, I adhered double-sided adhesive sheets to the paper before running them through the die, then I embellished the snowflakes with a mixture of glass microbeads and glitter, and sparkly rhinestones.

For the Christmas tree, I die cut and embossed a cut-out on patterned paper using the Christmas Tree Die. Then I took an offcut of card and sandwiched this over the die followed by a piece of silver vellum. I then ran this through the Grand Calibur using the embossing plate and mat, so that the vellum was embossed but not cut by the Christmas tree die. I cut around the outer edge of the embossed image. I was then able to carefully lay the die-cut layer into the embossed layer. I decorated with sparkling rhinestones.

The pretty stamped image is by LOTV, coloured with Promarkers and I added the tiny pom-poms to the ends of the scarf for a fun, festive touch.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Bunny Zoe's Challenge - Celebrate
Joanna Sheen Challenge - With Love at Christmas
Natalie & Amy - Winter Wishes
Pretty Little Ribbon Challenge - It's Christmas
Top Tip Tuesday - Anything Christmas
                                 (My Tip is how to inlay the die-cut tree into an embossed negative described in my post)

Hope you like this; do leave a comment if this has pleased you.

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Monday 26 November 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Mouse Cake in Pastel Colours

The festive season is almost upon us and if you are looking for ideas on how to decorate your Christmas Cake, then this ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Cake makes a fabulous centre piece to your Christmas table. I’ve chosen pastel sugarpaste colours to use on my Mice in Bed Christmas Cake, but you can follow the concept in any colour scheme.

Here are some hints and ideas on how I made this ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Cake:

To make the bed head board, I cut a thin cake board to size, and covered both sides in white sugarpaste. I used a ribbon cutter and an edge-crimper to emboss the panelling. I created the posts by covering plastic cake dowels in fondant.The mice in bed were modelled in flower paste coloured with Dark Brown food colouring paste and the detailing was picked out in ivory and black coloured flower paste.

The Christmas fruit cake was covered in marzipan and sugarpaste, then I made the pillows by making little “ravioli” shaped parcels on sugarpaste encased in a flower paster cover. Before drying out, I dented the pillows so that the mice head would be able to rest naturally in them. The blanket was made from loosely draped sugarpaste, which I coloured into a light mint green colour for a subtle pastel Christmas Cake.

To make the stockings, I rolled a long sausage of Christmas Red sugarpaste, which I cut into three pieces and shaped. I hollowed out the top of stockings so that I could tuck in a present once they had dried out. Before adding the white “fur” trim, I roughed up the surface of my white fondant with a bristle brush to create a textured finish.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there!

Hope that this has given you ideas for decorating your own Christmas Cake, do let me know what you think.

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Saturday 24 November 2012

If The Shoe Fits

Hello, I have been after this gorgeous shoe stamp set for a while but it kept on going out-of-stock before I could buy it. Finally, I managed to buy it and on receipt, I immediately thought it would look wonderful stamped and embossed in white. What do you think?

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Creative Impression
Colouring Mediums: White Embossing Powder, Memento Ink Pad
Paper & Card: Karen Neuburger, Pearlescent Card
Tools: Spellbinders, Silhouette Cameo, Grand Calibur, Martha Stewart Punch, Stamps Away Inky Mat
Embellishments: May Arts Crochet Lace, Organza Ribbon, , hand-made beaded Hat Pins, Zva pearl swirls, rhinestone crystals

To make this card, I first stamped and embossed the shoe image in white embossing powder onto light blue pearlescent cardstock. To achieve a clean image, I first dusted the card with corn flour (yes – that’s right, corn flour from the kitchen cupboard!) – it has great anti-static qualities and doesn’t leave a chalky finish in the way that talc is prone to.

I cut out the shoe image with spellbinders then created a faux nestie layer by tracing around the outside of the same die and cutting it out with scissors. The scallop edge was achieved with a Martha Stewart border punch which was then trimmed. I will post a tutorial on how to do this when I’ve got a mo! 

I dyed my May Arts cream lace with a Memento ink pad and my new Stamps Away Inky Mat to coordinate with the Karen Neuburger paper. My dress form was cut out using my Cameo Silhouette and then glittered.
And, of course, I had to make up a couple of little hat pins to zush thing up!

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Creative Card Crew - Anything Goes
Deep Ocean Crafts - Pastels
Divas By Design - Two Different Patterned Papers
Oldie but a Goodie - Anything But Christmas
Papertake Weekly - Ribbons & Pearls
Stampin' for the Weekend - Use some texture
Pretty Little Riboon - Die Cuts/Punches, Ribbon and Charms

Stamptacular Sunday - Recipe Challenge
The Stamp Man - Emboss It

Hope you like this; do leave a comment if this has pleased you. Pin It Now!

Saturday 10 November 2012

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I created these gorgeous Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes for my Dad for his 81st birthday lunch, as he loves coffee cake. There are a number of stages to making these cupcakes, so they are not a quick and easy make, but they are very much worth the effort for a special occasion!


For the Cupcakes:
225g Plain Flour
225g Homemade Vanilla Sugar
1 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Large Free Range Eggs
1 plump Vanilla pod
125ml Sunflower Oil
125ml Milk
4 Tbsps Instant Coffee

For the Soaking Syrup
5 Tbsp water
75g natural caster sugar
2 Tbsp instant coffee
1/4 Tsp vanilla bean paste

For the Caramel Sauce
250ml double cream
125ml water
200g natural caster sugar
15ml light corn syrup or glucose

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees in fan oven).
Spray silicone molds with cake release.
In a large mixing bowl sift together all the dry ingredients.
In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla pod seeds, then pour onto dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 mins.
Lightly beat in the coffee granules until they are almost fully dissolved. Your batter should be a light brown colour with specks of coffee, (if this is not to your taste, then warm the milk for 1 min in microwave and dissolve coffee in this, cool completely, then whisk in eggs, oil and vanilla as above).
Fill your silicone molds to approximately 2/3 full, (I used these sweet little teacup silicone cases, which are readily available to buy).
Place cupcakes in your preheated oven and bake for c15 minutes. The cakes are cooked when lightly golden in colour and an inserted toothpick comes out.

To make the soaking syrup, put the sugar and water into a pan. Do not stir!
Cook on a medium heat, swirling occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved. Do not stir!
Bring up to a brisk boil and simmer for 1 min. Allow to cool slightly then stir in vanilla bean paste and instant coffee.
Whilst the cupcakes are still warm, pierce with a skewer then drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of syrup on each cake.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

To make the caramel sauce
Warm the cream in a saucepan or microwave to scalding, and then keep warm whilst making caramel.
Put the water, sugar and corn syrup (or glucose) in a pan over a gentle heat. Swirl occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved but Do Not Stir!
When the sugar has melted and all the granules have dissolved, turn the heat up to high so that the liquid begins to bubble and darken. Simmer until the mixture becomes the colour of dark honey and thickens. This will probably take 5-8 minutes but watch it carefully as it only takes a few seconds to change from caramel to burnt sugar, gently swirling the pan only if necessary (to ensure it melt and cooks evenly) until it turns a nice golden brown.
Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the hot cream in a slow, steady stream. Be very careful as this will make it bubble and splutter but it will die down.
Leave to cool. Reserve 1/2 to fill and then drizzle over cakes

To make the caramel buttercream
Cream the butter and icing sugar together for at least 4- 5 minutes, then beat in the half the cooled caramel. The addition of the caramel makes a slacker buttercream, so you may need to put it into the fridge for 20mins to firm up before piping.

To Assemble the Cupcakes
After the syrup-soaked cupcakes have cooled completely, slice off the tops and make a small hole in the centre of your cupcake (I use an apple corer). Fill the hole with half of the reserved cooled caramel sauce, and replace the top of the cupcake.

Fill an icing bag fitted with a wide star piping tip with the caramel buttercream and ice the cakes. Drizzle cakes with remaining caramel. Serve and enjoy! Pin It Now!

Thursday 1 November 2012

I Scream For Ice-Cream!

Can you believe it is now November? I just don’t know where this year has gone! Well, if it is November, then it’s time for Dad’s Birthday Card. I got the idea for this Dad Birthday Card as my Dad’s very partial to pudding, especially Ice-Cream, so the House Mouse Ice-Cream stamp seemed very appropriate.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Ice-Cream House Mouse from Joanna Sheen
Colouring Mediums: Memento Ink, Promarker Pens
Paper & Card: DCWV, Conqueror, card from stash
Tools: Spellbinders, Silhouette Cameo, BigShot, Martha Stewart Punch, Tim Holtz Ruler, Martha Stewart Score Board
Embellishments: Baker’s Twine, Buttons, Rhinestones

Apart from the button, rhinestones and twine, I made all the embellishments on this card using my Cameo, spellbinders dies, Martha Stewart punches and scoreboard. I hope you like all the layers and points of interest.

The mice, which have been stamped twice and decoupaged, have been coloured in with Promarkers, including the gorgeous Grey Squirrel in the 2012 Autumn Limited Edition set.  I've loved the wonderful colours in this series of pens, absolutely fabulous.

The DCWV papers I used were perfect for the project, and I've had this particular stack for about 5 years before using it!

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

Cards For Men: Sketch
Crafts & Me Challenge: Bling It Up
Die Cuttin Divas: Anything Goes
Here Comes The Boys: Die Cuts & Punches
I Love Promarkers: Cute
LEJ Designs: Anything Goes
Love to Create: Lots of Layers
Oldie But A Goodie: Spots & Stripes (5 year old DCWV papers!)
Paper Crafting Journey: Ribbon or Twine
Pile it On: For the Birthday Boy
Stampin' for the Weekend: Anything Goes
Tuesday Morning Sketches: No 170

Reading comments from fellow crafters is such a pleasure, so I do appreciate it if you can take the time to leave a comment. Thank you!
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Wednesday 17 October 2012

Halloween Scary House Mouse

Today’s card demonstrates how you can adapt your existing stamps to use for one-off events, without needing to invest in specialist stamps that will only get occasional use.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Joanna Sheen House Mouse Ice Cream Stamp set
Colouring Mediums: Memento London Fog, Promarker Pens
Paper & Card: Best Creations, plain from stash
Tools: Silhouette Cameo, Big Shot Pro, Spellbinders Grand
Embellishments: Felt Spider Web Coaster, hand-made Pearl & Crystal Hat Pins, owl charm, Banner cut from Cameo, organza ribbon

With a little imagination, you can easily adapt your stamps. From Joanna Sheen’s Ice Cream stamp set, I took the little party house mouse (pictured right) and “halloweened” him by adding a witch’s hat cut out on my Silhouette Cameo to hide his party hat. Ta Da (picture left) I’m really pleased with the effect, I think he's really bewitching - both cute and scary!

Whilst I am talking about adapting things, the spider’s web is from a set of felt spiders web coasters that I bought very inexpensively from Asda’s. My top tip is to buy up these sorts of embellishments when they are marked down after the event, for use the following year! That’s what I did with the gorgeous Best Creations cardstock, although I then had to wait almost a full year to use them (patience not being my strong point)!

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Cards For Men - Orange & Black


I love to read your comments, so if you have enjoyed looking at this card (or even if you haven’t), do leave a comment, I do appreciate it! Pin It Now!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Inkadinkado Morphic Birds

Hello and today’s card features a number of different techniques, so can you spot all the techniques? Look for:

Stamping onto Acetate ● Gilding Flakes on Acetate ● Paper Punching ● Flower Sculpting ● Digital Die Cutting ● Manual Die Cutting ● Accenting

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Inkadinkado morphic birds
Colouring Mediums: Stazon Black Inkpad
Paper & Card: DCWV Far East Stack, Stardream Metallic Cappuccino, Conqueror Iridescent Morphing Mauve
Tools: Spellbinder Die, Silhouette Cameo, BigShot, Martha Stewart Punch Around The Page, cake decorating
Embellishments: Gilding Flakes

To make the focal point for this card, I first stamped the gorgeous Morphing Birds stamp by Inkadinkado onto clear acetate using Stazon ink. I then carefully painted gilding size glue onto the reverse and set aside to dry (15-30mins). Next came fun with gilding flakes, which I applied over the size and then buffed gently to achieve the burnished finish. Finally, I trimmed the image, leaving a small border of clear acetate.

I’ve had this DCWV Far East cardstock pack for ages, and I just used 1 sheet featuring the dragon and birdcage images to make both mats and then used the offcuts to die cut the flowers and the bird cage. To make the latter, I used my Silhouette Cameo. For the flowers, I cut multiple flowers using Spellbinders Rose Creations, then shaped the petals using my PME cake decorating tool to make them “cup”.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
The Stamp Man - Butterflies, Birds and Bees
Please do let me know what you think, I love to read your comments.

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Friday 7 September 2012

Hydrangeas, Lace & Pearls

Hello and as we enjoy the late summer sunshine, I was inspired by the last of my lovely hydrangeas to create this card.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: PSX Botanical Hydrangea
Colouring Mediums: Memento, Promarker Pens
Paper & Card: K&Company Life’s Journey, QVC
Tools: Spellbinders, BigShot Pro
Embellishments: Seam Binding, Lace, handmade pearl hatpins, mulberry gardenia, cherry blossoms and tea roses, Anna Griffin sticker

To make this card, I cut a piece of A4 shimmer card (from QVC) to 15cm wide and sored and folded it in half. Then, using my Big Shot Pro, I cut the card base using my Spellbinders Grand Labels 1 but under-lapping the scored and folded edge to create a card base rather than two mats. I then scored the top of the card in two to create an easel card.

I stamped my PSX Botanical Hydrangea stamp with Memento Cocoa ink directly onto K & Company Life’s Journey papers. The image is coloured in with Budding Rose and Fresh Meadow from Promarkers Spring Limited Edition colours – they are so gorgeous, I am going to need to get another set to put away.

I then used seam binding (The Pretty Little Ribbon Shop), lace and beautiful mulberry flowers (Wild Orchid Crafts) to embellish, and if you like my handmade hatpins, don’t forget to take a look at my creating hatpins tutorial.


This card made the Top Three in the Pretty Little Ribbon Challenge Lace & Pearls

Hope you like this; do leave a comment if this has pleased you.

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Friday 31 August 2012

Filigree Masquerade Mask

Oh, I'm attending a Masquerade Ball in a few weeks, so I thought I'd make a Mask to go with my lovely red long dress! I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in the Silhouette Cameo design store, so I thought I’d share with you how I made the mask using a simple shape and my Cameo design software.

First of all though, the Mask Recipe:
Paper & Card: Stardream Black, Red Pearlescent
Tools: Silhouette Cameo, Xyron Creative Station
Embellishments: Double satin ribbon 10mm, hand-made beaded Hat Pins, crystals, glitter, marabou feathers, dowel

I cut the three layers of the Mask using the Silhouette Cameo (more detailed instructions in my Filigree Masquerade Mask Tutorial), two layers in Stardream Onyx from Joanna Sheen and one layer from Red Pearlescent.  I put the top layer of the mask through my Xyron to add an even layer of adhesive and covered it in Art Institute black glitter. I layered this directly onto the middle mask and embellished with rhinestone crystals. I also added the feathers and hatpin to the back to this layer.

Before attaching these middle layer to the bottom layer of the mask, I shaped both with my bone folder, then used Pinflair glue gel to add dimension. I covered a length of 9mm dowel with black and red ribbon before glueing to the mask.

Please do let me know what you think of this project by leaving a comment and don't forget to visit my Filigree Masquerade Mask Tutorial.
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Silhouette Cameo Filigree Masquerade Mask Tutorial

So to make this mask, these are the steps that I followed on my Silhouette Cameo. I selected a simple mask shape. To make the layers, you need to use the offset tool, but you need to use offset and inset to make the layers work properly.

Step 1.

Ungroup the mask shape. Select both of the “eyes” and use the offset tool at a margin of 0.25mm. Then select the outer mask shape and use the inset tool at a margin of 0.25mm to create the mask shape. You then have two perfectly matched mask layers. Group togethr the three elements each mask layer and separate into 2 individual masks. Repeat this step on your newly created middle layer mask, but using a 0.5mm margin to create the smallest top layer. Again, group into 2 masks and separate.

You now should be left with 3 mask layers:

Step 2.

To add the filigree detail to the top layer, choose a shape from your library that includes filigree detail. I choose Beautiful Butterfly from my library. Ungroup this shape and then move away the outline image. This leaves you with a variety of filigree shapes to play with. I then copied a number of these elements and repositioned them onto one half of the mask, using tools such as flipping, resizing or rotating as appropriate. Complete one half of the mask and the centre section.

You should now have a mask the looks like the first image right. Select all the filigree elements on the left of your mask together and group. Then create a mirror image and place it on the right side of the mask. You’ll now have a perfectly symmetrical image and a completed filigree layer.

Ta Da - The completed Mask Layer

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Monochrome Magic

Hello. For this card, I wanted to try out a monochrome look as it is a new home card for a very modernistic couple. I have to admit, though, it’s not a style I’ll be rushing back to, whilst it is striking, it’s just not embellished enough for fussy me!!!

Card Recipe:

Stamp: Kanban
Colouring Mediums: Stazon Black
Paper & Card: Conqueror, Stardream Opal
Tools: Spellbinders, BigShot Pro, The Crafter’s Workshop Mask
Embellishments: Ribbon, crystals, glossy accents

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Friday 17 August 2012

Teenage Dreams

A bit of a change for me as no stamping and colouring involved! This morning, my Mother rung and asked for a card for a young lady neighbour who’s turning thirteen this weekend. Fortunately, I had the most perfect Hunkydory card kit for the occasion.

Card Recipe:

Paper & Card: HunkyDory, Stardream
Tools: Spellbinders, BigShot, Quickutz

Embellishments: Hand-made beaded Hat Pins, crystals, mulberry gardenia & cherry blossoms, butterfly charm

However, I couldn’t stop myself from a bit of titivation! I used Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Accents to cut the corners and border. With the border, before removing it from the die after cutting, I pierced holes along the edge, and I’m very pleased with the effect it has created. I love the butterfly charm (an Ebay buy), which comes with spaces to add the crystals so that you can coordinate the colours to suit your project.

I think this is perfect for a new teenager – I hope you agree!

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