Monday, 30 March 2009

I've been tagged!

Oooh lucky you, two posts in one day!

Just a quickie this time though. The amazingly creative Kate has tagged me and invited me to play along with a fun little game. You must go to the fourth folder or your photos, select the fourth photo and post!

Now you definitely know I've not cheated - I winced as I clicked away to find a picture of me! I promise you that there's not many pics of me, I prefer to be behind the camera! Of all the nice pics I have, why does this have to be the fourth one LOL! Oh well, this was taken at Niagara Falls on a nice sunny day - an amazing place and amazingly noisy too! I remember that across the road there was a huge Hershey's store which we took full advantage of - yum!
Now to tag four more people to play!


Easter on a budget!

Well what a lovely weekend I've had! The weather's been gorgeous so I've been out and about quite a bit, although I still managed to find a bit of time (in between cleaning and ironing!) to have fun in my crafty corner!
For once, I'm trying to be well organised! I'm off on holiday next Sunday for a week so I need to sort out some Easter treats for my nieces and nephews (I've six in total and one on the way soon!) As holidays are becoming ever more expensive for my ever expanding family I thought I'd try to make some treat holders and split a HUGE bag of Mini-Eggs (helping myself to a few along the way - yum!).

These are for the boys:
And these are for the girls:
I think they're kinda cute and they weren't too demanding to make. I made one box to begin with and then started a construction line for the others; I confess that after the 3rd box I began to wish I hadn't decided to add quite so much detail with a white gel pen but now I've finished them, I'm glad I did!

Here's a side view of each box. You can probably tell I decoupaged the image (a pea dressed as a rabbit!) to make him stand out a bit more. I hope you understand the sentiment - my bf was scratching his head for ages with this one LOL!

Box Recipe
Card: Doodlebug Bazzill (Various Colours!)
Stamps: Penny Black - Concentrics, Penny Black - Ha pea Easter
Ink: Memento - Tuxedo Black, Versamark
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Swiss Dots), Nestabilities (Scalloped Rectangle & Classic Oval), White Gel Pen, Promarkers, Crop-a-dile 2, Jumbo Eyelets, Ribbon (hoarded from various places LOL!), Cellobags

Now I need to make a birthday card for my Sis-in-law before I go on my travels - can I really be this organised?!? Knowing me I'll remember to do all of this then go and forget my passport LOL!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Grey eh?!

So I've been trying really hard to play along with some of the challenges on various forums to encourage myself to keep using up all my lovely crafting goodies instead of staring (and in some cases even stroking!!!) them! A high turnover of goodies is surely a good thing - it gives me reason to purchase more LOL!

I recently played along with the Inspirations and Themes Challenge set by Kate on the ILWS forum. Initially, I wasn't going to pick the yellow, grey and white colour combo but then I saw just how lovely it worked on Kate's card and I couldn't resist!
I used my brayer to create the main scene along with a sponge to create the distant mountains. I know I've cheated slightly by colouring the bird black but trust me, it looked pants in the same shade of grey and provided no focal point. (Before you ask, I only have one shade of grey ink so I couldn't do much else!)
As I own no grey card I inked up a cuttlebug embossing folder with my brayer (yup, another use for that tool!) and ran it through on white card. I'm kinda impressed with the result though was scared I'd stained my embossing folder, but fortunately it wiped off easy with a babywipe (phew!)
Here's a close-up of the main image - I added extra detail with my black pen and white gel pen:

Do you recognise the scalloped square from anywhere? It's the aperture I cut from my Papertrey card entry (see my previous post!). I'd put it to the side and as normal I'd said to myself "I'll DEFINITELY use that later." I'm impressed that I actually did this time!
Card Recipe
Stamps: Inkadinkado - Delicate Branches
Ink: Adirondack Dye Ink - Slate, Whispers Dye Ink - Sunshine
Card: Papertrey Ink - Lemon Tart, Plain White Card
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Square Nestabilities (Both scalloped and classic), CB Embossing Folder (Swiss Dots), White Gel Pen, Black Pen, Ribbon (hoarded from chocolates LOL!), Flat-backed Pearls, Brayer

Hmmmmm...I definitely think grey will have to creep into a few more of my projects! I originally thought of it as a dull colour but it does work as a fab contrast colour!

Right then, off to create more crafting mayhem!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Happy Mother's Day!


I'm just about to pop off to visit my mum for Mother's Day but just thought I'd share one more card with you before I set off!

Fortunately I'm much more organised when it comes to making cards for other people, so here's a card a made last week for my boyfriend's mum. Unlike the card I made Yesterday for my own mum LOL!

The image a section from a larger image and is stamped onto Stampboard. I coloured it by using Sakura Stardust pens along with a waterbrush. I love to use my waterbrush with these pens, it gives a really subtle palette of colours to work with. It really sparkles IRL but I just couldn't get my camera to catch it LOL! I've also embossed the stampboard with clear UTEE to give my tile a glossy effect - again I'm not talented enough with my camera to capture this to show you!

Card Recipe
Stamp: Penny Black - Flying Stars
Card: Basic Grey Blush Collection
Accessories: Stampboard, Sakura Stardust Pens, Clear UTEE, Cuttlebug, Olivia Alphabet, Stickles (Crystal)

Hope all the mums out there had a lovely mothers day! If you're not a mum (like me!), then I hope you've had a lovely weekend - what fab weather we've had! I hope it lasts it while!

Catch ya later!




Saturday, 21 March 2009

Papertrey Challenge!


I've been sooooooo lucky this week! I was fortunate enough to receive a package from the Papertrey Ink Fairy Godmother (aka Steph!) Thank you so, so, so much! You're such a kind and generous crafter!

With the gorgeous samples of goodies I received I was so excited that I could now play along with the Papertrey Blog that Kate & Steph have been wonderful enough to create!

So there I was, all psyched up and ready for the challenge but I wasn't quite prepared at how challenging it would be. I mean to make a card with only ONE layer? Impossible! C'mon Kate, give a card-maker a break - a card without layers is like a cream cake without cream LOL!

As I needed to make a Mother's Day card (Yup, typical Aimes, leaving things until the last minute again!) I decided that I MUST conquer this challenge or risk no Mother's Day card. The consequences of which are unthinkable to say the least LOL!

Well after some serious thinking - and I mean serious (I was awake at night trying to work this baby out!) and some inspiration from some of Kate's creations I had a brainwave! I have no Papertrey Ink Stamps (yet......!) so my option was pretty limited to paper punches or die cut shapes along with ribbon as an embellishment.

Anyways after my sleepless night, I awoke this morning and got straight to work. This is what I made:

I'm kinda happy with it! This is what I pictured in my head so I can't complain really! I decided to think about taking a layer out to make an interesting focal point and replaced the aperture with acetate. Then taking inspiration from Kate's butterfly card (which is simply stunning!) I used my daisy paper punch to create the flowers. I added the doodles with my white gel pen - it dried a treat on the acetate!

I spent most of my time trying to tie the perfect bow. Fortunately Alex gave me some links to videos on You Tube which really helped, you can check them out here and here - thanks Alex! I'm still going to have to practise on my bow-tying technique but the main thing is to persist. I must have spent a good 10mins fiddling with this bow until I got it exactly how I liked it!

My verdict on the Papertrey goodies...they're AMAZING! It's fantastic quality, the card is so sturdy along with the designer paper and that ribbon is so easy to coax into a bow! I've already put my order in for a few papers, ribbons and a stamp set so hopefully I can play along with another challenge real soon!

Card Recipe
All Papertrey Ink
Paper/Card: Lemon Tart & Bitty Baby Blessings Collection
Accessories: Sweet Blush Grosgrain Ribbon, Nestabilities (Scalloped Square), Cuttlebug, White Gel Pen, Adhesieve Gems

Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sparkle Sparkle Sparkle!

This week is proving to be much calmer than last week! Therefore, I've managed to squeeze in just a wee bit of time for crafting.

One of my work colleague's has recently moved house and so this was the perfect opportunity to make a house warming card. I decided to use really bright and bold (maybe even clashing?!) colours along with some super sparkles! I'm not usually one to make such 'loud' cards but I think it's really fun - I'm ready for Spring/Summer now LOL! That funky key is made from Tim Holtz Grungeboard -it's an amazing material! Kinda like chipboard but much more flexible. You can do pretty much anything to this stuff and it'll still survive! I decided to 'bling' it up a little with some SU! Heat & Stick embossing powder along with some bright pink glitter. After doing this I realised why I usually stick to using Stickles - I was covered in the stuff! I even think I ingested some through my cuppa LOL! Here's a close up of the bling. WARNING: you might need your shades!
Thanks again to the lovely Kate for letting me have the grungeboard sample! I've now invested in the alphabet set - yay!
Card Recipe
Card: Steffi Collection (Craftwork Cards), Doodlebug Bazzill
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Olivia Alphabet, White Gel Pen, Nestabilities, SU! Heat & Stick EP, Grungeboard, Brads
On a completely different note: I have a couple of pics to share from Comic Relief. What a crazy day! I somehow managed to avoid being in any of the pics (I dressed as a cowgirl for the day!) but hopefully you can tell what a fab day we had. We managed to raise a huge amount of money for charity! Now if that's not killing two birds with one stone, I don't know what is!

Thanks for stopping by!



Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Here's one I made earlier!

Just thought I'd share with you the card I made for my Brother's 40th birthday last week. As you know I find it tricky to make masculine cards, I always find an overwhelming urge to use flowers and add lots of sparkle!
At first I was stumped with a creative mind-block but fortunately Kate saved the day! This image she stamped for me is perfect for any blokey card! Lucky for me, the image actually does remind me of my brother (though I'd have to add a few wrinkles now - hee hee!)

Apologies for the random background of the card - I actually forgot to take a pic of this before I handed it over! I had to sneak a snap of it at his birthday celebrations so it was standing along with his other cards too. My brother thought I was a nutter, taking pictures of a card - I guess he just isn't on my creative wavelength LOL!

He liked the card, commenting that image definitely reminded him of when he was younger! He's starting to get very nostalgic now - Bless!

Card Recipe
Image: Stamping Bella - Beerafella
Card: Basic Grey - Blush Collection
Accessories: Promarkers, Ribbon (From the bargain bin at Hobbycrafts!), Cuttlebug, Olivia Alphabet, Nestabilities (Classic Circle - Large)

Thanks for stopping by!


Sorry Sorry Sorry!


As the title suggests, I'm sooooo sorry I've abandoned the blog for a while! Life has been pretty hectic this last week so I just couldn't find any time to post!

Our school had OFSTED in last week and it truly was the most scary time of my career so far! The amount of times I nearly had a heart attack thinking the inspector was going to pick on me, I'm lucky to be alive! I did have to be interviewed by them and as much as I wanted to play to my strengths, I didn't think my brayer technique would impress them too much LOL!

On top of this we had a crazy Comic Relief. I'm still tired but we raised a HUGE amount of money so it was worth every tiresome minute!

To add to this, I had my Brother's 40th to celebrate (Another dreaded masculine card I had to create, I'll post it later!) and finally I just HAD to take a trip to Birmingham NEC for the Hobbycrafts show with my Mum. My mum usually acts as my conscience when spending and is able to be incredibly rational but for some reason I think she got swept along in my excitement and I ended up spending quite a bit - Ooops! I haven't even had a chance to play with any of it yet!

Fortunately this week's forecast is for calm spells with a few showers of creativity so hopefully I'll make up for the neglect!

Just to encourage me to get busy, I received a gorgeous blog award from the ever-so-lovely Steph! Thank you Steph!
So I don't know many people to pass this onto yet, but in the future I hope to get to know a few more of you amazingly talented people! Is it sad that I can't pass this onto 10 people yet?!?!
Therefore I'm passing this blog award onto the following:
2.Kate (I know Steph has already nominated you, but I'll second it LOL!)
5. Steph (I know you've already got it but I love your blog sooooo much I just had to pass it back LOL!)
6.Kate & Steph (This is for your papertrey blog, I think it's fab!)
Catch ya later!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Back again!

As promised I'm back! (After managing to steal a min to go on the desktop PC to edit my pics!)

Yesterday I decided to play along with the Inspirations and Themes Challenge set by Kate on the ILWS forum. I needed to make a card for my mum to say thanks so this challenge fitted in well.

My mum has been a star recently, she lets my boyfriend and I use her address to get packages posted to as we only have a diddy little postbox for our apartment. I've been so good holding on the packages recently but my boyfriend isn't so good; he's manage to order huge items and somehow manages to justify his purchases by saying he "needs" it! *(I daren't argue with him because if he had ANY idea how much of a spendaholic I can be when it comes to crafting goodies I think I'd be forced to go to Craftaholics Anonymous!)* Anyway to make it worse, a huge parcel (I'm talking 8ft long huge LOL!) arrived at 7am, forcing my poor mum out of bed! Needless to say, we felt really guilty though fortunately my mum saw the amusing side of it.

This is the card I made for her:

The challenge for this card was to use circles. I wanted to try a different shaped card so the main image is actually only half stuck to the card base. I should have used a different colour background to photograph it so you could see what I mean (D'oh!)!

I normally shy away from yellow when picking colour schemes but I really like the contrast of it against the pink. It makes me want spring to come sooner, I've had enough of winter now LOL!

I also decorated inside the card using a different section from the same Little Claire Designs stamp along with a sentiment from a Stampendous clear set.

My mum smiled when we gave her the card though she still maintains that it's OK to be woken up at 7am and have to go downstairs in your dressing gown to receive a huge parcel! If it was me, I think I'd have to make the postman wait - unless he was delivering crafting goodies of course!

Catch ya later!


Card Recipe
Stamps: Little Claire Designs: Flower Friends, Penny Black: Concentrics, Stampendous Perfectly Clear:Garden Box Set
Ink: Versamark, Memento: Tuxedo Black
Card: Doodlebug Bazzill: Posie Pink & Buttercream
Accessories: Promarkers, Cuttlebug, Olivia Alphabet, Random Yellow Flower Brad (It was hiding in my brads container though I've no idea where it's from!), Yellow Gem, Sakura Clear Stardust Pen, White Gel Pen



So I turn on my laptop only to be completely amazed that I have received a Blog Award! Thank you Alex and Kate!!!!!

I'm so honoured!

I'm soooo tempted to blab on with an Oscar-style acceptance speech but I'll keep it brief LOL! I really am inspired by your creative creations and I'd just like to say thanks so much for all of your kind comments in return on my blog, it really does make me smile from ear to ear!

Now I have a slight issue about passing this award on....seeing as I'm new to the blogging world I don't know many people to pass this award to! I'd love to pass it back to both Alex and Kate for their truly encouraging comments - I know it's kinda cheating but I really would love you to receive the award again - you really are lovely gals!
So the people I'm passing this award onto are:

1. Alex
2. Kate
3. Monica
4. Sarah B
5. Steph

I'm planing to post again today but I need the desktop PC rather than my laptop to edit some pics and at the mo my boyfriend is hogging it with little sign of surrendering it...

Hopefully catch you sooner rather than later!


Monday, 2 March 2009

Another Brother, Another Birthday!


I thought I'd share a card with you today that I made for yet another brother (I have 3 in total!). He was 21 last year but liked the card so much he actually kept it (For my brother, this is impressive!).

I love the shape of this card! It wasn't too tricky to do once I'd blue tacked some playing cards together to use as a stencil to draw around. Just had to be careful to make sure the edge of my 10 of diamonds lined up with the crease of the card blank. I did have to hand draw the cards (hence the Ace at the front - much easier to draw than any other card!) it's typical that the best hand in poker has to contain the hardest cards to draw LOL!

The diamonds on each card are made with red foil on top of some diamonds cut from double sided sticky sheets so they shimmer much more than the pic suggests.

The base is covered in green fun flock to imitate a poker table, its very nice and velvety to touch! The letters were cut from sparkly black paper using the Olivia alphabet on my Cuttlebug along with a circle cut from my Nestabilities for the poker chip. I relied on my trusty white gel pen to draw on the poker chip and to outline the letters - they looked a little lost without an outline!
I rarely do shaped cards but this one was fun to make. I won't lie, it was time consuming but well worth the effort for a little brother's 21st birthday! His only criticism of the card was, "You used the wrong kinda poker, I play Texas Hold 'Em!" Brothers eh?

Catch you later!

Sunday, 1 March 2009



It's taken me a while but here is a tutorial on brayering; I was planning on doing this sooner but the batteries went in my camera and for once I didn't have any new ones! I hope it's OK, I'm not super at teaching via text and pics, I'm a kinesthetic learner myself!
First things first, I like to work on glossy card for brayering. I find it blends ink fantastically well and is quite forgiving on harsh brayer marks and my mistakes!
I like to stamp my main image first that will be at the forefront, colour it in and emboss with detail clear embossing powder. If you haven't got clear embossing powder don't panic, you could use a masking technique but I find that kinda fiddly and time consuming!

So for my little doll (yup, still lovin' that Hero Arts set LOL!), I stamped her using Memento Black ink. I coloured her in using Letraset Promarkers (Ivory, Pastel Pink & Blush for her skin, Berry Red & Cocoa for her top with Pastel Yellow and Gold for the bottom of her top).
I then coloured over the whole image with a VersaMark pen. When doing this it's best to colour over the light shades first, gradually getting darker. Don't freak out that you've wrecked your VersaMarker like I did the first time - you just need to scribble on scrap paper after to get rid of the colour the pen picks up! Next, add detail clear ep and heat.

Next I tore some scrap paper to create the landscape and placed it over the paper secured with masking tape (Keeping the other piece of torn scrap paper to do the sky later).
Now for some fun brayering to commence! I loaded my brayer with Whispers Ink Savoy Green (I'm desperately trying to use these inks up so I can invest in some new juicy pads!) and rolled away!

To add some more texture and detail I sponged SU! Old Olive ink on top, paying particular attention to the edges and the torn paper line. I don't use fancy sponges, just the kind I can do the washing up with (though obviously not the same sponge for ink and soap suds LOL!) After applying the ink I used a piece of kitchen towel to wipe the ink from the doll I embossed. I find I use more kitchen implements for craft time rather than time in the kitchen!

Using the other half of the scrap paper as a mask for the grass, I then brayered the sky. I didn't actually have a nice juicy blue ink to use so had to use the top half of a Marvy blending ink pad! This was kinda tricky - I must get my hands on a nice light blue - any recommendations?
(Apologies, I took this pic after brayering and moving the mask so I know that there's some grass showing in this pic but I swear that it was covered accurately whilst brayering - the pic is just for demonstration!)

To make the sea and horizon I just placed a straight piece of paper across my sky (keeping the grass mask on too!) and brayered the darker shades of my Marvy Blending Block, sponging Whisper Royal Blue ink towards the horizon line to add detail. As you can tell from the pic, my brayer has had its fair share of ink! Although it's stained this ink never transfers onto my work, I usually use baby wipes (Alcohol-free) to clean it after inking.

It was only at this point I realised my big mistake! I'd forgotten the sun, Oooops!!!! I'm ALWAYS doing stuff like this - I get so into brayering I forget what the end result was supposed to be LOL!
So with another piece of glossy card, I cut out a circle and inked it with Whispers Sunshine ink, sponging with Whispers Butterscotch ink along with SU! Ruby Red ink to give it some detail. (Normally I'd cut a circle out of a post-it note before brayering the sky to create a circle to colour.)

Before I stuck my sun on I decided that I wasn't happy with the sky. Being the perfectionist I am I had to do something about it otherwise it would nag me! I sponged Whispers Azure Seas around the edges of the sky (strange to be using a shade named about the sea for the sky but if it works, go with the flow!)

Finally, I stuck on the sun (along with cursing myself for forgetting about it!) and added detail with a white gel pen to the sea and doll herself. I also used a black pen to draw the birds; that sky was looking pretty empty without them! Then with my Letraset Promarkers I created the shadow under the doll (using shades Ice Grey 2 & Ice Grey 4). When applying the marker I usually dab the ink with kitchen towel to help blend it more. When making a shadow, just think where the light source is coming from and where the shadow would cast itself. I've been known to actually get a torch and an object to work this out when I know my brain isn't up to it!

Now for the hardest part (for me, that is!) getting it to look good on a card! I picked some K&Co paper from the Amy Butler Belle Mat Pad with colours that could be picked out of my scene. I would normally mat and layer the scene more but the size of card (DL size) wouldn't allow for layers this time. So to compensate I added both buttons AND ribbon although I'm not entirely happy with my ribbon. I so wish I could tie gorgeous bows but for me it's always safer to stick to simple knots! Anyways enough of my self-criticism: here's the final piece!


I hope you enjoyed reading my tutorial and may even be inspired to have a go at it yourself! Remember: if I can do it, nearly anyone can LOL! I'm also open to any comments, questions or even requests for future posts!

Thanks for stopping by!


I am on various design teams and receive free product to use and promote. I geniunely love the products of the companies and all opinons are honest and my own.

I'm flattered if I've inspired you and you want to CASE anything of mine, but please don't enter it for commercial publications or competitions.
Thank You!
All designs, text, and photographs on Crafting Confessions are ©2009-2016 to Amy Gray unless stated otherwise.