I’ve started an Etsy store!

Announcements

Just to let everyone know, I’ve created an Etsy store where I’ll be selling some of my handmade cards!

You may have noticed I’ve been quiet on here recently, but I’m hoping to get back in the game soon. Christmas is coming and I’ve been crafting all over the place.

If you want to visit my Etsy shop, please go to:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/IncyWincyCards?ref=hdr_shop_menu

D is for … Distress

Alphabet Series, Birthday Cards

Like most crafters, Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks have been on my radar for donkey’s years. It’s only recently that I’ve actually started using them, though.

You’ve seen me blending these inks on my blog before (and have probably noticed that I still have very few colours!) so today I tried something different – the ‘squashing’ or ‘smooshing’ technique. (Technical terms are rife in cardmaking.)

D is for Distress

This is quite a technique-happy card for me! Bit of die-cutting, bit of embossing, and a bit of distressing. Nothing too difficult but then I’m not so good at the difficult stuff!

Anyway, the way to do the squashy technique is to grab some acetate and stamp your distress ink pad on to it, then spray with some water. Then you can press that inky acetate directly over your card and it will transfer in this splotchy way. You can either press the whole thing down or just dab so that only certain spots will transfer.

I did this first with Antique Linen and then once that had partly dried, I did the same again with Peacock Feathers. Then I die-cut a heart out of the distressed card and laid it on my blank card to mark the inside of the heart out, so I would know where to stamp my sentiment.

Then I adhered the distressed card with foam adhesive so it would stick up and the heart would frame the sentiment. I could have left it as it was, but I wanted to use my new embossing folder! So I embossed a piece of white card and cut out the oval.Then I stamped ‘happy birthday’ and heat-embossed in silver. Finally I added a few sequins.

You can do so much with Distress Inks – not only can you create amazing backgrounds, but they also work for colouring stamps in, as they can be used like paints. They are definitely worth collecting!

Products:

Tim Holtz Distress Inks in ‘Peacock Feathers’ and ‘Antique Linen’ – http://rangerink.com/?product=tim-holtz%C2%AE-distress-ink-pads

Birthday sentiments stamps – clearlybesottedstamps.com

Sequins and X Cut hearts dies – www.hobbycraft.co.uk

Fancy Flourish embossing folder – free gift from http://www.papercraftmagazines.com/ (Issue 135 of Simply Cards & Papercraft – still available to buy!)

New Product Alert! – Paper Smooches “Zoo Crew” Stamp Set

Birthday Cards, New Product

Every so often you find a stamp set that you just have to have. Payday was just too far away when I ordered this!

Paper Smooches hippo hooray

The main reason I liked this set so much was the ‘I look up to you’ sentiment, which I’m really excited about pairing with the giraffe and probably the hippo. It’ll be a great card for my best friend, since she’s so tall and I’m so incy.

You also get a hippo with the sentiment ‘hippo hooray’, an alligator who says ‘l8r’ and a zebra and camel. (The camel is my favourite.) Besides this, there are some jungle leaves for accents and the odd extra like this zebra-patterned heart.

To make the card, I die-cut some green polka-dot card with a grassy border die, and used a speech bubble die on the topmost piece so that I could stamp my greetings in the negative space.

The hippo goes brilliantly with this die, since her mouth is wide open. I also placed the zebra so it looked like the hippo was talking to someone, and the alligator is there just ‘cause.

I used foam adhesive on the bottom panel so that I could tuck the critters beneath the grass. I coloured them all in Spectrum Noir pens and paper-pieced the hippo’s tongue with more polka-dot paper (I also gave her red nail varnish for fun!). Then I covered them all in clear Wink of Stella and stuck them down.

Products

“Zoo Crew” stamps – http://www.papersmoochesstamps.com/Zoo_Crew_p/m1s-12-092.htm

Wink of Stella in ‘clear’ – http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/zig-wink-of-stella-brush-pen-glitter-clear/600234-1008

Let’s Polka paper & speech bubble die – http://www.lawnfawn.com/

“Happy Birthday” sentiment – http://www.clearlybesottedstamps.com/products/its-your-birthday

B is for… Big Shot

Alphabet Series

You might have been thinking about a die-cutting machine for a long time now. Or you might have only just heard of them. Either way, they’re very tempting. Who doesn’t hate trying to neatly cut out circles by hand? Who isn’t gobsmacked by the intricate designs available from the likes of Tattered Lace?

I’ve been card-making since my GCSEs, but it was only last year I (or rather, my bank balance) took the plunge and bought a die-cutting machine. I’m definitely not an expert, but for those of you wondering if it’s worth investing, I want to tell you about my experiences with Sizzix’s Big Shot.

First Impressions

It took a few practices before I felt comfortable using my fancy new toy. I opted for the Big Shot Starter Kit because it comes with a collection of dies so you can start playing straight away. I don’t use many of these dies anymore, but they still come in handy now and then.

It’s a scary moment when you hear the plates crackling and you convince yourself you’ve broken it already, but don’t panic, you hear these noises from time to time. Also, don’t expect the plates to stay lovely and smoothly like those on telly (ruining the illusion – they use new ones every time!), They have to be replaced quite regularly as the indentations from dies can end up marking your projects over time.

The Big Shot comes with a multi-purpose platform that even now I still get mixed up with. I can never remember which level to use embossing folders with. But you’ll learn with practice, just keep giving it a go.

Worth It?

The Big Shot actually isn’t badly priced compared to a lot of other machines on the market. The starter kit is around £80.00, but you can get it cheaper if you shop around on sites like Amazon. I thought this was a good price to pay when I knew I was getting patterned papers, an embossing folder and some dies to go with my machine.

As I’ve already mentioned, the ease of cutting out circles alone is enough to make this machine worth the money. But you’ll find you can do a lot more once you have one – for example, shaker cards are much, much easier with a die-cutting machine to help you. A lot of people also love coordinating dies, though I’m happy to fussy-cut most of the time. However, if you have arthritis, tendonitis or any similar problems, you might find these dies to be a blessing.

I’m a big fan of polaroid cards too, and this would be much harder to achieve without a die-cutting machine. It also does more than just cut out – you can get dies with stitched and pierced effects too, so don’t assume your machine is a one-trick pony.

Although I wouldn’t say the Big Shot has paid for itself, since I don’t sell my cards, I do think it was worth investing in. I do, however, sometimes feel that I never stop paying for it – there is always a new die or embossing folder I want, and I really resent paying for new plates ever couple of months, even if they’re not that expensive.

Weigh up the pros and cons and see what you think. You can ask for a demonstration in craft shops, too, so you can see for yourself how easy it is!

Manly Card Monday #7

Manly Card Monday, Masculine Cards

I like the almost sporty look this card has without actually being about sports! I think the banner and stripes give a celebratory effect.

First I die-cut 2 circles, one in white and one larger one in patterned paper. Then I took the same patterned paper and die-cut ‘BEST’ using alphabet dies.

Best wishes1

I trimmed off the top of the larger circle and put the two circles together so the white one stands higher. Before adhering, I stamped ‘wishes’ under ‘BEST’, and ‘birthday boy’ at the bottom, as well as sticking a strip of ribbon across the larger circle and creating fake stitched lines with white gel pen.

Lastly, I trimmed down some black paper so that it made a strip down the middle of my blank card, and cut it into a banner. Then I drew some more stitch lines and stuck everything down.

Products Used:

Cole’s Alphabet dies & Let’s Polka paper – lawnfawn.com

X Cut circle dies – https://www.theglitterpot.co.uk/products/X_Cut_Nesting_Dies_Circle/24630/1395

Paula Pascal double sayings stamps – http://www.natalieandamy.co.uk/ourshop/prod_2320038-Clear-Stamps-Paula-Pascual-Double-Sayings-Personal-Impressions.html

“A Little Note of Thanks” distress ink card

Thank You Cards

Some partial die-cutting for you today, to which I have already admitted my lack of expertise! It took a few goes but I like the finished product.

First I blended Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers over white card, leaving a lighter space where I  planned to stamp my sentiment.

A little note of thanks

Once my background was ready, I trimmed the sides of the card down so that it would be slightly less than my blank. Then, I drew a straight line across the top in pencil, and stuck my ‘thanks’ die down with post-it tape, keeping the bottom edge just below my pencilled line.

I fixed my plates so that it wouldn’t cut the whole thing, and (after a few goes!) I cut the remaining parts with a craft knife so the word sticks up from the edge of the card.

I stuck the swirly borders on the card to get a faux-embossed effect. Then I stuck the ‘thanks’ card down with foam tape.

The borders were in my scrap pile from when I die-cut a load of them a while ago, and I used removable adhesive to stick them. If I were doing this card again, I would die-cut from scratch and used adhesive backing paper for a smoother finish.

Products Used:

Scripty Thanks die & “A little note of thanks” sentiment – http://www.lawnfawn.com

Swirly dies – http://www.craftsuperstore.co.uk/Papercrafting/Die_Cutting_and_Embossing/Xcut_Dies/Xcut-XCU503188.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_campaign=Xcut+Large+Dies+(7pcs)+-+Floral+Flourishes&gclid=CjwKEAjw25SoBRCMn7Gc97Knj0ISJAC7vaMrGqbDNcZf-hcR0I5X3ZwxTT9mw6-2VkPjX1VcnsP_FxoCcDLw_wcB

Distress ink – http://www.crafterscompanion.co.uk/search/tim-holtz#c328

Manly Card Monday #6

Masculine Cards

Credit where credit’s due – I was inspired by this post from The Lovely Pear: http://thelovelypear.com/2015/03/04/bee-happy/

All this doodling made for a lovely trip down memory lane – I’d forgotten all the stuff I used to draw at school. The only thing I doodle now is boxes (which have made an appearance here), but as I kept going I suddenly remembered that I used to do a lot of cross-hatching and just general scribbles and wavy lines in the margins of my exercise books. I also used to draw fire a lot! I had completely forgotten that.

Manly Card Mon 6

I decided I wanted this to look like something a kid would doodle at school. I vaguely remember doodling guitars and I quite like how my (admittedly rubbish) guitar is a focal point of the design without it looking like a hobby card.

(You’ll notice the image just under the ‘R’, as well. 😉 I drew a bird to make it child-friendly, but the shape of the body is a nod to probably the most-doodled image in teenage-boy history!)

Once I had filled the page (daunting at first but so much fun by the end of it) I peeled off my masking tape, a feeling akin to peeling off your nail varnish – so satisfying! The background reminded me of comics, and I felt this bright red went well with that. I die-cut the letters and stuck down with double-sided clear squares.

I don’t have any teenage boys to give this to, but it might work well for some of the superhero-loving men in my life. I’m so glad I threw off my restraints and doodled!

Products Used:

The 5 Evils of Crafting

Uncategorized

A bit of a different post today – I’ve decided to list the things that really frustrate me about card-making!

I’ve left out things like not having a lot of space and the clear-up afterwards as they’re kind of obvious. Let me know if you can think of any crafting evils that wind YOU up!

1. Replacing die-cutting plates

Die-cutting machines are a great investment but the plates can be such a pain. After a while they will get all scratched up and start marking your projects, so you have to spend around £10 every few months replacing them. OK, it’s not that expensive, but it’s a tenner you could spend on something fun.

2. Darn you, acetate!

Shaker cards are insanely fun, but in making them we must overcome a necessary evil: acetate. Lord knows how people manage to make entire cards purely out of acetate. No matter how careful I am, I always get a bit of glue on it that ruins the whole look. Or if it isn’t glue, it’s smudges that appear from nowhere and won’t clean off. Or dust sticks to it. GRR.

3. You always forget something

When card-making, I try to arrange everything around me so that I don’t have to get up again until I’ve finished. But this never works because there is always one thing I forgot and I have to get up again. Then I realise I need that fun new stamp as well…

4. Enormous wooden stamps

This can be a problem with large clear stamps too, but since you can’t see through wooden stamps, bigger images can be a nightmare. I have a stamp in my collection that, no matter how careful I am, the middle part never stamps properly. I have to either resort to a ‘meant-to-do-that’ distressed look or stamp a ridiculous amount of times before I get the image how I want it.

5. Lastly…

My cards never look as good as everyone else’s!!!

New Buy Alert! – X Cut Balloons Dies

Uncategorized

Although I’ve been making birthday cards for years, I recently realised I don’t have any of the staple balloon dies or stamps that make it so much easier to put together a last-minute birthday card. To remedy this as soon as possible, I ordered these X Cut balloons dies and have been itching to use them.


product

The set comes with 6 different balloons plus strings and  bows. The amount of dies you get for your money is brilliant, but I found there’s really no way to avoid unwanted imprints while using these. The shine marks are attached, so you get an unsightly line from the shine to the outside of the balloon.

I made several cards using the dies and decided to share these ones.

Red & Gold Birthday Balloons

mini birthday card

I cut 3 balloons out of red card and 2 out of gold “happy birthday” patterned paper from my leftovers stash. I stuck some Elizabeth Craft sticky paper on the back of some gold paper and die-cut the strings out, so when I peeled the Elizabeth Craft paper off I was able to adhere it directly on to my card base, trimming off the excess.

Alternating red and gold, I laid down the balloons on top of the strings. As it was a white background, I was able to leave most of the shine marks as they were, but on the two top balloons I had to stick some white card behind them as I didn’t want the other balloons to show through.

Finally I stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ in red ink in the top corner.

Balloons in the Sky Card

birthday card standing birthday card

I blended Distress Ink quite messily over my card, using masking tape to ensure I had a clean edge once I was finished. I was quite rough with this – the only thing I kept in mind was to  keep one space of the card light for sentiment-stamping.

I die-cut 3 strings out of black paper and chose my balloons. I went for the small balloon as I wanted the effect of it being further away. While I was choosing patterned paper, I came across this starry paper from a Tiny Tatty Teddies paper pack and thought it would be perfect for party balloons.

I stuck white card behind all of the shine marks to stop the blue background showing through. When I was adhering everything I tried to add to the effect of the higher balloons being further away, so I stuck the top balloon down with double-sided tape, used one layer of foam adhesive for the middle balloon and 2 layers for the one at the bottom. Finally I stamped my sentiment in black ink.

Products Used

X Cut large dies – balloons – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Docrafts-10-Piece-Balloons-Carbonised-Steel/dp/B00NEXMTQ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1424557733&sr=8-2&keywords=xcut+dies+balloons

Elizabeth Craft Designs adhesive paper – http://www.ecraftdesigns.com/collections/double-sided-adhesive/products/elizabeths-transparent-double-sided-tape-sheet-8-5-x-11-5-pack

Tiny Tatty Teddies paper pack – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/191493408928?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=108&chn=ps&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0-L&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=108&ff19=0

Manly Card Monday #3 – Footballs

Uncategorized

I NEVER read newspapers – so I was very naive when I set about making this card. I figured I could cut out a big square of text and it would look great! It never occurred to me how many pictures there are.

I took the scissors to the Sports section first. Maybe most people just use any old story, but I was quite careful about what I cut out. I snipped away at “Dear Deirdre” for humorous cards and have stowed away some articles about Ofsted and Brooklyn Beckham being “too cool for school” for school-themed cards.

I cut some card a bit smaller than my blank, and began gluing the pieces down.

DSCF5100

Taking some textured blue card that I thought went well with the almost rustic look, I heat embossed this sentiment in bright white and adhered, wrapping some twine around to keep the edges looking cleaner.

Lastly, I stamped the football 5 times and die-cut with a circle die that fits nicely around it. You could play around with the placement but I like them overlapping like this.

Sorry for the length of time between posts this week – I was burnt out but am excited about some new products so will be back with those soon.

Products Used:

Football clear stamp –
http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/hobbycraft-mini-clear-stamp-football/562552-1038

Textured blue paper –https://www.theglitterpot.co.uk/products/Me_To_You_Tiny_Tatty_Teddy_Boy_6_x_6_Paper_Pack/46485/2490

Wow embossing powder –
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/131414612398?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=108&chn=ps&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0-L&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=108&ff19=0

Watermark Versamark ink –http://www.craftydevilspapercraft.co.uk/versamark-pad.ir?cName=stamping-ink-pads-and-pens-versamark

Brown twine –
http://www.lawnfawn.com/collections/lawn-trimmings/products/retro-triple-pack-cord