Archive for the ‘cards’ Category

A while ago I designed some penguin  digital stamps for the Christmas issue of PaperCraft Inspirations, and the mag is published soon. Jenny, the editor, chose five of my designs and I said I’d make the other four available on my blog, so here they are!  Just click on the file names, and save them, then you can print them out and have fun with them!

penguin009        penguin001

2penguins   snowballpeng

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There's something about penguins......

What a great weekend we just had. The weather was still doing it’s record-breaking late summer thing, absolutely glorious, and we went up to Chingford to visit Jon. The North Circular wasn’t all that brilliant, lots of roadworks and an accident,  but once we got there, the campsite was good, mellow in the evening sun, and after an hour with a drink and the papers, we met up with Jon for a meal in his local Italian, which is excellent.

On Sunday we all went to Colchester Zoo, a bit by accident as  we couldn’t find anywhere to park the car in Chelmsford so we just kept driving towards Colchester ! We  all really enjoyed the zoo. It seems very well planned, and the animals have more space than we expected. They were mostly lolling around in the heat, and the penguins looked quite dozy, really cute. We were very envious of them and lots of the others for the water they had! I just love penguins, and I took loads of photos to work from, as I often use penguins on my cards.

In fact, some of the Christmas cards I was working on while we were in Wales  were penguin cards, and I’d meant to put one up on here before. I’d drawn a few Christmassy penguins, and created a digital stamp of these two playing with a huge snowball. I printed it on card  and cut them out, putting them on a background of a dark blue paper that has the look of a  swirly, snowy sky, that I found in my stash. The little trees are actually punched shapes, the punch, from Craftime,  is called Fern, but it makes lovely little fir trees.

I raised a few of them up on slivers of foam pad for a slightly 3D effect with the trees at the front, but they tend to wobble about as it’s such s tiny bit of foam, so I wouldn’t recommend it! With their hats I used a glue pen and glitter to give them some sparkle then stuck on a few tiny gems.

I had lots of fun drawing the penguins. If anyone would like to use them here is the file.


On our way home on Monday we stopped off at Kew Gardens for a few hours. That was fantastic. the weather couldn’t have been better and, although we only managed to walk round a third or so of the gardens it was fabulous. We came back with several plants in mind for our garden, and lots of inspiration, and also thoroughly relaxed. We particularly enjoyed walking along this lovely walkway, just  the sort of thing we  want to do for our pergola once the patio is dug out, and we spotted a rose with masses of little red hips on that seemed to be climbing very vigorously across the beams, so we noted the name – hope we can find it!

Altogether a really good weekend and it felt like we’d had a much longer break than we had. It’s always great to spend time with Jon but this one was especially good.

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I’ve been experimenting with creating digital stamps from my drawings, and this is one of my first efforts. The bride and groom, and the rose used for the background, are my drawings, used in the same way as rubber stamps by printing them on to white card and colouring them with coloured pencils. This is a fairly simple card to show off the bride and groom, I cut them out and raised them up on foam pads then matted them on several colours before raising the mat on foam pads over a background created with lots of the rose motifs put together in Photoshop then printed out.

I’m going to put in two links that should enable anyone who wants to to download the digital stamps for themselves – fingers crossed, I’m not too hot on the technology so hope it works!



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Silver celebrations

My brother and his wife have been married twenty-five years this week, so have been celebrating their Silver Wedding. An occassion for cards and cake, of course! This is the card I made for them, inspired by some cute birds I have made before  using a leaf shaped paper punch. These are much bigger, based on a circle with a smaller circle  drawn in it, touching one edge.  The smaller circle gives the top line of the bird, with a little curve back up to the bigger circle making the tail, and a beak added.  I thought a couple of punched hearts made very appropriate wings. 

As well as the card I made them a special anniversary cake. I’d always wanted to try out those fabulous photos you can get printed onto icing to put straight on to a cake – available from www.icingpictures.co.uk  – so this was the perfect opportunity. We had a job to find a photo of their wedding – since we moved house  the photo albums are all over the place and that particular one must still be in a box somewhere. But in the end we found one lovely photo in our son’s album of pix he’d taken with his own camera,  I sent a scanned version off and just a few days later a sheet of 12 small circular pictures arrived.  I used one on a rich fruit cake, marzipanned and covered in ready-to-roll icing. I usually decorate this sort of cake with flowers and frills, but felt like doing something differnt, and as Alan is a musician , andIi wanted the photo to stand out well, anyway, I just piped pale blue music notes around the greeting and down the sides. It was fun. The photo was very easy to place on the cake. on damp icing so that they combine. It looked really effective. I used up the other 11 photos on some cupcakes, intended for anyone who didn’t like fruit cake, but I think we all had both in the end! They had a fairly low key celebration in Cornwall, where they’ve just bought a caravan, and we ende up having tea and cake on the beach at Widemouth Bay, in glorious sunshine, then back to the van for Pimms and a buffet in the evening.  A lovely, and memorable, day.

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handbag crazy

My neice is a great one for handbags, so I thought this beautiful patterned paper would make a super handbag for her birthday card, especially as there was another lovely backing paper in the same set to complement it .   I couldn’t resist  adding some adhesive gems on the flowers for a bit of glitz, and I gave the handbag a backing of purple card that gave a slight border to make the handbag stand out. I should have done that with the flap too, but I’d already stuck it down. I don’t think it looks too bad though.

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I love working with patterned papers, and thought this super floral paper was great for a teapot. My original idea was just to have a teapot pouring flowers, but the teapot looked so great I went on to do the cup and saucer as well, which changed the whole card  The flowers had to be tiny but luckily I found some tiny Doodlebug paper flowers in a pot on my desk, and they did the trick. There was a lovely matching paper in the set that  had spots and tiny flowers on, and I used that for the background, and for the tiny punched hearts. All the papers are edged with ink to emphasise the shapes. I wanted the teapot and the cup to stand out, but I need to send this card through the post so instead of foam pads  I used a couple of layers of card on the backs of the shapes to lift them up.

This was a very self-indulgent card, using papers patterns and shapes that I love, and I hope my sister-in-law will like it too when she receives it on her birthday.

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 Inspired by the giant teacups full of plants at Kingston Lacey I made this card for my daughter-in-law’s birthday. I wanted to get the slightly surreal effect of paintings where the angles are all wrong and everything is  very flat. It didn’t quite work out like that but it’s a bit of fun. I was going to use bright colours then I found this old set of papers in pretty pastels that gave a rather gentle, soft effect. I had to edge the papers with ink to firm up the edges because of the soft colours, and I found it was easiest to us a brush pen to edge the flowers as the ink pads were too clumsy, but it was quite a quick and easy card to do and I might do it again using different papers, as it would be suitable for so many occassions.

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Had a great time  today playing with one of the rubber stamps donated to Articulate for members to use. I wanted to produce a few things to inspire people to have a go when we get the stamps out at a meeting. It was great to delve into my stash and find things I haven’t used for ages and forgot I had – have to use really up to date stuff doing projects for the magazine of course so lots of stuff gets put away and forgotten . I can’t bear to throw things away so this was a great use for some of the older stuff and made me glad I’d kept it.

It’s interesting to see just how different one stamp can be, used in different ways ,  with different colours and textures. I love stamping on patterned paper and was pleased with the subtlety of the shimmering pearlescent powder on the  peachy pink paper for the tall card.

It’s quite hard to believe this is the same stamp, the black and the strong colours  make it look so graphic. I coloured the gaps using gel pens and the effect is a litttle bit like stained glass.

I think  the shimmery pale butterfly is my favourite though!

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