Sunday, 23 November 2014

Gift Giving on a Budget

Get yourself a cuppa, this is a loooooong post with lots of images, but I've done something a little different today and wanted to do a bit of a tutorial on how I did it so step-by-step photography was required.

I'm always looking for thrifty ways of making homemade gifts, especially at Christmas when we're all on limited budgets, and for me "adding handmade value" to standard gifts, like bottles of wine, is always a winner.  So today I have both a simple tag to dress up a bottle for a last minute gift, and also a set of wine glass charms that you can tie on a bottle to make the gift a little more special.

For the quick and simple tag - you need the fabulous stamp and die set from Avery Elle called Cheers.   I simply die cut the bottle tag from kraft card and then added strips of washi tape from the Sleigh Bells Ring washi tape collection and die cut it again before stamping the very appropriate sentiment in the gap I left in the middle.  I finished with a wooden snowflake from Lawn Fawn.  This is such a quick and easy way to dress up your bottles and much cheaper than those boring old bottle bags!

Now for the slightly more complicated gift - a set of 6 wine glass charms on a nice big tag.  This is still an easy make but does take a little longer - you will need:

  • Shrink Plastic
  • A selection of large(ish) stamps - shrink plastic shrinks by 70%!
  • Stazon Ink
  • Copic or other markers
  • Matching dies or scissors for fussy cutting
  • A hole punch
  • A heat gun/oven
  • Wine Glass Charm blanks (as these could be hard to get hold of I have added them to our basic supplies section of the store)
  • Jump rings

I decided to go down the Lawn Fawn critters route for this set and selected 6 critters with a winter theme from Critters in the Arctic, Into the Woods and Critters in the Snow.

First you need to stamp your chosen critter using stazon ink onto the shiny side of your shrink plastic.

Turn it over and colour the back lightly with copics or other markers - you won't be able to do lots of blending and shading as the ink just sits on the surface, and bear in mind that when it shrinks the colours will intensify as well.

Use your matching dies or scissors to cut it out.  If you use a die - they will cut shrink plastic - you may need a couple of passes and/or a shim but they do cut the plastic surprisingly well.

You must remember to punch a hole in your critter before you shrink it - and again remember it needs to be large as it too will shrink with your critter and it needs to be big enough to get a jump ring through when shrunk.   I used the small size on my crop-a-dile.

Shrink your critter down with your heat gun or in the oven as per the manufacturers instructions.  I use my heat gun and put them one at a time into the lid of a cardboard box to stop them blowing all over the desk (holding them down with tools can cause them to shrink unevenly so free and easy is better for shrinking).  Turn them out and whilst still hot flatten them down with an acrylic block.   Here's the moose finished inside the die so you can see just how much he shrinks!

All that is left to do then is to pop a jump ring through the hole, close it and hang it off one of the wine glass charm blanks and they're ready to use at your Christmas party so everyone knows who's glass is who's.

To turn them from individual charms into a gift you ca give, I made a tag to hang them on.  I used the gorgeous large tag from Tags A Lot from Mama Elephant and die cut it from kraft again and decorate the bottom with more washi tape.  I stamped the large Cheers! from the cheers set from Avery Elle at the top and then to hang the tags I drew some light pencil lines at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points to get 3 columns, and then drew two horizontal lines at the height of the charms to get 2 rows.  You then need to make a hole on the horizontal lines a couple of mm's on either side of every vertical line.  Make sure all your charms are facing the same direction (ie with the eye on the same side) and then feed the hook through both holes securing into the eye so they hang on your tag.   Add some ribbon and tie around your bottle - et voila - a gift the recipients can keep using long after the contents of the bottle has been drunk....

Happy Shrinking!   See you next weekend.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Less Is More With Clear Embossing Powder

Some cards are so much fun to make and you’d have never guessed it before you started. This card is a shining (yes, pun intended) example of how you can use clear embossing powder, which is now also available at the Make The Day Special Stamp Store, to create stunning effects. I discovered this quite accidentally and I’m so happy I changed my original plan.

I sponged the background to create a wonderful cold winter night (using cold colors like dark blues and purple). Once I was done, I originally wanted to use golden Gilding Flakes on the stamped image, but after I lifted the stamp off and saw the effect I was already achieving with just the Versamark ink, I grabbed my clear embossing powder.

As you can see, the clear embossing powder changes the brightness of the underlying color a tiny bit and that’s all I needed. I wanted a very clean and simple card and I feel that’s exactly what I got with this technique. Also, very non-messy as long as you remember to heat set your background first and use an anti-static tool so the embossing powder won’t cling to it.

I intentionally made this huge snowy hill so it would take up most of the card. In total, including die cutting and getting out all the tools, this card took me about 20 minutes. Once you have everything out and ready, you could probably cut that in half, so this card would be perfect to mass produce. It’s the first time, really, I’m using Neat and Tangled products and I’m delighted.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Chistmas - Our Home To Yours


Hello and happy Friday, Lydia here with you today :)

My gosh can you believe that it will be the end of November next weekend? That means the tree will be coming out of the loft with the decorations, Christmas story books, Festive DVDS and our Elf, Elfie McJingles, will be making and appearance. Where oh where has this year gone?!?! It seems like the year has just started and will be soon coming to a close.... but before that happens we do have Christmas to look forward to and enjoy.

Today I'm sharing a Christmas card that uses non-holiday stamps and just by mixing in a die-cut Christmas sentiment with the original sentiment.


I have used the cute little houses and elements from Paper Smooches 'Bitty Bungalows' to create a little street scene and then coloured with Copics.  I do like using non-holiday sets for Christmas cards as this means that I can stretch my crafty purchase and make cards throughout the year using the same set.

To change this up into a Christmas card all I have done is stamped the non-Christmas sentiment just without the first word and then added the 'Christmas' and 'Cheer' die cuts from Paper Smooches 'Christmas Words' .

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hugs Lydia x

Bitty Bungalows  Christmas Words

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Throwback Thursday

Wow,what a cold misty morning-it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Yippeeee! 
Today's card is made using the versitle CAS-ual Fridays Round tag die and Mama Elephant's Alpine Carolers.
Very simple and self explanatory card-again,you can churn a few of these out very easily :-)

I cut the tag from glitter card and mounted it over plain white. The caroller is Copic coloured and brushed with A Wink of Stella (but very hard to pick up with my camera!)

I love this stamp set so much! Hurry-there aren't many left ;-)

See you next week!
Lou x



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Winter wonderland

I have a long post for you today to show you just some of what you can do with the new Winnie and Walter stamps that are in store.

Many of you will have seen Dawn from Wplus9 and her fabulous watercolour techniques, well i have used Winnie and Walters new winter woodland set with that technique.
This was surprisingly easy and quick to do was my first try so there's is still room for improvement but definitely if you haven't tried it yet give it a go.

Using the same new set i have given the deer a funky rather than traditional look.
I coloured the stamp with distress markers and lightly spritzed with water before stamping. 
Once dry i covered it with glossy accents.
I kept the main panel very simple but added more colour to my card base with distress inks.

For this card i have used the new stampets line and this set is called the gift. 
It doesn't have to be for Christmas but as its not far away now i just had to :)
 I stamped the images and coloured with copics. 
I have used one of my own die cuts and layered it up i adhered it over the pets and stamped the images again and coloured where it went over. 
You could also die cut the panel and layer the die cuts underneath to save extra colouring.
The sentiments are from the big the bold merry.

And back to the deer ..can you tell i like him? :)
I put some distress inks onto a craft sheet and spritzed with water and the put the stamp onto it and stamped of on to water colour card.
Once dry i heat embossed it with glitter twice.
Honestly if you could see the sparkle in real life so much better than the photo.
I kept the card really clean and simple and just added some sequins.

Click the images to go to the products.

Winter WoodlandThe Big, the Bold and MerryStampets:  The Gift

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Dreams!


Hi! How are you all today?
Continuing with the Christmas theme- I thought I'd dig out a few sets that haven't see too much ink of late. I absolutely LOVE the deer in this set.. 

Creating this card was fun. I wanted a one-layer card (ok..minus the bakers twine!) and wanted a background using Distress inks. I reckoned the quickest way was by using an ancient Embossing Ink pen that I scribbled all over my coloured (Copic & Promarker) image. Sprinkle over the embossing powder and then heat to set.

 I wanted to have the reindeer flying in front of the moon, so made a simple circle mask.
 I added lots of different coloured ink, added some mini stars & the twine for the reins
I used this set 'Critters Ever After' for the sentiment

So there it is.. a fun card you could send to a child.. so many of them are dreaming about what their presents might be and there are certainly more than a few adults with a few dreams of their own! Mine involve peace, quiet, a good book and a cup of tea!!

See you next week!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas for the Younger Generation!!

Hi there :0)

I have two, fun Christmas cards today for the youngsters.... actually, the first would be great for anyone that's a Twitter addict fan .....

The Lawn Fawn set called #Awesome is just that!! ..... this little twitter app icon has been made by clear embossing the bird from the set onto white card and then covering with a mask so blue ink could be sponged around him. Then you can use the die from the matching set to cut the rounded square shape around him.

Finish off by adding a generous coat of Glossy Accents and top it off with the santa hat from Lawn Fawns Hats off to You. Of course the sentiment from Winter Sparrows is what sparked this idea and paired up with a hashtag is the perfect greeting :0)

(unfortunately #Awesome and Winter Sparrows are currently out of stock, Lawn Fawn re-stocks will be arriving next month)

My next card uses the fireplace from Lawn Fawns Cosy Christmas but by chopping it down in size I've turned it into a Chimney!!

Oh dear!! poor Santa has been eating too many Mince pies as always and got stuck... he obviously isn't impressed either ;0)
His boots are from a Paper Smooches set called Green Thumb... I had to have a go at reverse stamping to get a left and a right boot!! The little glimpse of red trouser is the trim from the Santa Hat (used in the card above) and the snow topping for the chimney is made using the snow bank in Lawn Fawns Winter in the Park. With some careful selective inking you can extend it to any length :0)

The sentiment from Paper Smooches Slang Gang seemed very appropriate... looking at it now it looks pretty much like a snow globe which wasn't my intention but another option for an interactive card!!!
The circle is cut using Lil Inkers Stich mat circles... each of the SEVEN dies cuts the stitching marks into the positive and negative of the circle die cut.... now thats value for money ;)

#Awesome   Winter Sparrows  Slang Gang   Hats Off To You
Cozy Christmas  Winter In The Park  Green ThumbStitched Mats:  Circles

I've used the Paper Smooches Green Thumb stamp set for my Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge card this week to make a welcome card with a gardening theme!! It's Anything Goes this week and we'd love to see you play along too can find the linky tool here

Jenny x