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Cards, Christmas, Stamping, Watercolours

Quick Christmas card idea

I can hardly believe it’s getting close to the end of September already! In the past, I’ve tried to get a head start on making my Christmas cards much earlier in the year. But this year, the treadmill of life has been running away with me and I haven’t had chance to slow down and plan for the festive season ahead of time.

This week, I’ve been trying to get on the case with starting to make my Christmas cards so that by the time December is here, I’m much better prepared!

Here’s a good start to the festive greeting stash…

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, lawn fawn

It’s a nice and simple one to get the ball rolling, and the good thing is that it can be redesigned with different papers and different stamps to give a whole new look. I don’t usually mass-produce my cards, so ideas that are easy to ring the changes without completely reinventing the design are very welcome.

For this one, I stamped a whole load of trees from the Lawn Fawn ‘Critters in the Forest’ set onto watercolour paper. I watercolored them all, fairly loosely, and without much shading, then got to work fussy cutting them to use as toppers. I can have one per card, and they will be fab even if the papers I combine them with and overall layouts vary a bit πŸ˜‰
I love too, that this is a non-Christmassy stamp set that always comes in handy at this time of year, with this perfect pine tree.

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, lawn fawn

I took an aperture card from my stash of card blanks – I was given a bunch of these by a friend recently, who no longer makes cards. I layered up a piece of festive patterned paper into the aperture, and then knotted a matching ribbon around the front. I had this fancy double-colour satin ribbon that would be fab for the job… red on one side and pink on the other.
Then it was just a matter of fixing the topper onto the card front. I used sticky foam pads for dimension.

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, watercolour, lawn fawn

I decorated the tree with mini fuchsia pink gems, and added a stamped, watercoloured robin perched on top. Cute!

At least I’ve now made a start on this year’s Christmas cards… one down, only around another 80 to go, haha!
But with my stash of fussy cut trees, I’m ready for more quick cards. And I’m hoping to find time to do some more batch stamping like this, with other Christmas stamp sets in my stash.

What about you, are your Christmas makes underway yet?
Hope this one’s an inspiration for you anyway, Ruth x

closeup of birthday card idea, with decoupage layered topper and multi-step stamped flowers
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping

A sweet birthday card

Phew, life has been so busy, I really need to catch up on sharing some crafty projects with you πŸ˜‰
Let’s just get to it!! Here’s a pretty birthday make I created for my mum recently. She loves bunnies so that was really important for this card!

birthday card idea, with decoupage layered topper and multi-step stamped flowers

I had this Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit decoupage layering pack, and have been saving the bunny scene thinking it would be perfect for using as a card topper that she would love. I think it is from the story, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny πŸ˜‰
I love this sweet scene, with the bunnies layered up on foam pads for dimension.

closeup of birthday card idea, with decoupage layered topper and multi-step stamped flowers

The whole thing is super-cute as a focal point layered onto a pretty gingham patterned paper.

Then I did some multi-step floral stamping with my fave flower stamps – I used WPlus9 ‘Fresh Cut Florals’, ‘More Fresh Cuts’ and My Favorite Things ‘Fall Florals’. With the matching dies, it’s easy to create lots of beautiful blooms and I love to mix-and-match the colours then build up different floral arrangements. This exact technique is why I can’t resist having plenty of different colour ink pads in my collection!

closeup of birthday card idea, with decoupage layered topper and multi-step stamped flowers

I layered them in clusters around the sentiment diecut on my card.

Then the whole thing is finished off with some little pearl gems.
Here it is again.

birthday card idea, with decoupage layered topper and multi-step stamped flowers

I love how it came together.
Thanks for looking! See you again soon, Rx

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Interactive space-theme card!

I was super-inspired to make this card on an outer space theme… it was my elder nephew’s 6th birthday on Saturday, and this is the project I made for him. He is crazy about all things train-themed but I wasn’t too pleased with the first card I made (with a train vibe), so I scrapped that for recycling and went with this. I knew he was getting a space Lego set as one of his pressies so I figured it would go well πŸ˜‰

masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps

I was really inspired by the lovely Mona who shared a fun interactive idea on her Instagram feed, and I thought it would be great to make a card with the space rocket and astronaut moving in space!

First I used my MISTI stamping tool to stamp the space images from Altenew ‘Space Travel’. I used a piece of watercolour paper as I wanted to paint them in colour, and chose Versafine ‘Onyx Black’ ink as it is watercolour-friendly.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps and MISTI

I watercolored them all, picking up the pigment from my watercolour pencils. With small motifs like these, they don’t need too much shading.
Then I fussy cut all the pieces leaving just a tiny border around each one.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

I knew I had the perfect patterned paper in my stash from an older 6x6pad by Stampin’ Up called ‘Going Places’. I used a couple of sheets, sticking these onto black cardstock for extra weight, and began to plan out the layout for my card.

I arranged them with one full 6×6 sheet and then a narrower panel to go below, with Saturn on it πŸ˜‰

I cut out small apertures, using a craft knife, to create the moving mechanism for my rocket and spaceman. Each hole must be smaller than the size of the stamped piece, so that when the image ‘slides’, you avoid seeing the edges of the hole behind it.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

Then I snipped a scrap of the black cardstock as a backing piece for each of the rocket and the spaceman, larger than their apertures.
Now, use sticky foam pads to mount each one, with the foam pad ‘through’ the aperture and fixing onto the small black card piece below. And I just fixed the rest of my planets in place…

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

And both of the starry panels could be mounted to a large card blank, folded from navy card. I left a space between the pieces so there’d be room to add a greeting diecut. And I used foam pads throughout, so that the moving pieces wouldn’t be obstructed by the the layers being too snug.

Here’s the finished card again, all topped off with a few gold gems for an extra galactic feel…

masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps

Check out my social media for a quick video clip of the movement – which is hard to film BTW, when holding the camera and when holding the card in the other hand!! I ended up laying it down on my table and moving it with my finger πŸ˜‰

Here are a couple of closeups…

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring
step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

I’m happy to say that the birthday boy loved his card, too πŸ˜‰
Hope you enjoyed the inspiration!

Until next time, Ruth x

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Close up of die cut butterfly focal topper
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping

Gatefold card idea

So this blog post is one full of mixed feelings – I really love the card… you know those makes where you’re so pleased with it and you had so much fun making it that you don’t want to give it away. Even though you made it with someone and a particular occasion in mind?! Maybe I will have to make another one…
It’s a pretty and inspiring project that I made as a Design Team member for Angela Poole. And sadly, added to which, I’m mindful that my time on the DT is now coming to an end. What a fab year, playing with fab products, I’ve been very lucky and am so thankful to have had the opportunity.

So it is fitting that my last DT card to share with you is one I really loved making!
(Disclosure- I made this card using plenty of goodies which were gifted to me free, for my work as a Design Team member.)

beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card using stamps and dies by Angela Poole, Design Team

I used the Flutterings range of stamps and butterfly dies to make this striking gatefold design.
I began by making the butterfly topper, using the ‘Flutterings Die Set – Butterfly’But rather than creating my butterfly with the interactive pull-tab to flap its wings, I decided to show off how the dies can be used to make a gorgeous topper, which works without the tab.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Die cutting butterfly pieces

I cut the lacy butterfly pieces once from the soft pastel blue/green card in the ‘Tropical Mist A4 Gradients Card’ pack. (I love that this product is available as a digital download now, too, so you can print out even more of your fave shades!)

I snipped the wings apart, to separate away the tab which I knew I wouldn’t need.
Then I cut the wing backs and body back piece all from vellum.
It was easy to then stick the bits together, layering up my pretty butterfly topper!
I also cut a couple of extra butterflies as embellishments.

Now for the card blank… I use an A4 sheet of black card – also from the Tropical Mist Gradients pack, to fold an A5 gatefold card. I wanted to go for a bold background for my butterfly. I created a background pattern with heat embossing using the ‘Flutterings A5 Photopolymer Stamp Set‘.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Heat embossing white on black gatefold card blank

From the outset I was tempted by the artsy look of the flourishes, and also the fun ‘mixed media’ style of the circles and dots. The arty look without the mess haha πŸ˜‰

It inspired me to ignore my anti-static bag… I would usually reach for it, wiping the card surface carefully before stamping with my embossing ink, taking care to avoid stray specks of embossing powder. And I deliberately avoided my fine paintbrush that I usually have handy to flick away those rogue specks!
I kept all those little extras in as an artsy accent. Plus, I even added more random detail dots with my embossing ink pen.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Heat embossing white on black gatefold card blank

I used a ‘tinsel’ effect embossing powder which is white with little silver sparkles in it – you can see them in the tub of powder… it’s a shame they don’t show better in my photos πŸ™

Now just time to assemble my card – I stuck the topper to the left front of the gatefold only, taking care to leave the edge of the wing flying free, and the whole of the right side lies over the card opening.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Close up of die cut butterfly focal topper

I went to town with some silver droplet gems, to sparkle-up my butterfly and couldn’t resist them on the bodies of the mini butterflies too.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Close up of die cut butterfly embellishments

Finally, to give the whole card a professional finishing touch, I cut a white paper panel for the inside, so I can write my message inside. I rounded the corners with a punch, and stamped a greeting as well as a bonus butterfly – by using two ink colours, these coordinate beautifully with my overall design.

step-by-step tutorial beautiful butterfly card, gatefold card. Close up of inner panel of card blank, with stamped accent

I love how the whole thing turned out – a good way to end my DT placement πŸ˜‰
Hope it’s inspired you today!
Thanks for stopping by, Ruth x

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping, Watercolours

Birthday card for the stash!

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately, with not much time for crafting πŸ™ But I found this birthday card in my photos that I’ve not shared with you, so it’s a good time to enjoy the inspiration!

birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

I had a strip of textured card left over from another project so folded it to make a top-fold, narrow card blank. At the time, I had my sewing machine out so when that’s the case, it’s always a good opportunity to do a quick bit of sewing-on-paper.

I can’t keep my machine out all the time – there’s just not enough space around here – so it gets unpacked and packed away again every time. So when it does come out to play, I make sure to make the most of it, and do a bit of extra here and there… sewing some wiggly texture borders and attaching papers and other bits! This one is a good example as I found a bit of fun pom-pom trim that had been waiting for the perfect project. Finally it got sewn into place on this card!

Then I found a bit of spotty paper – it’s hard to see but the dusky pink circles have a faint blue outline that’s the perfect match for the card blank. It was meant to be!!

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

Then with the pom-pom ‘blobs’ and spotty paper, I went for another layer of mini polka dots to bring the theme together. I diecut the pennant shape, using the Simon Says Stamp ‘Bundle of Stitched Shapes’ die set.

The whole thing is fab to show off a simple stamped flower. It is in the set by Stampin’Up called ‘Remarkable You’. (Sadly, now a discontinued one as I can’t see it on their site.)
I stamped it on watercolour paper and painted in soft colours… pastel pink to match the patterned paper.

It’s fussy-cut and tied with a snippet of pink-and-white baker’s twine, then raised up on the card front with sticky foam pads.

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

A few pastel gems in pink and pale green, plus a simple greeting sticker, finish it all off.

It thought it’d make a handy card to have in my stash of birthday makes, and will be suitable for any age.
I’m hoping to find some creative time again soon… we have been having a new kitchen fitted so the house is a bit all over the place lately, and I can’t reach my crafty stash shelves for boxes! I hope it won’t be for much longer, anyway.

Hope you get to enjoy some crafty time this weekend, or sometime soon πŸ˜‰
Ruth x

closeup of clean and simple card idea, for congratulations
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping

A quick congrats card

With lots of graduations and summer weddings, amongst other happy occasions happening at this time of year, I found this week that I’d run out of congratulations cards to send… It’s one of those card themes that I try to have ready-made, so that I can quickly send good wishes off in the post when needed, but with lots of busy life things going on right now, well… I had to rustle this one up at short notice!

clean and simple card idea, for congratulations

Luckily, I had the flower motif ready-stamped from when I did a bit of ‘spare-time stamping’. It’s so handy when you have a little extra crafting time without a particular project in mind, to stamp a few images to have on hand for an emergency like this!

I’d used the ‘Fall Florals’ stamp set and die by My Favorite Things… these kind of multi-step layering stamps are my fave, I think for quick inking and building up colourful blooms and bouquets! (Though I can’t see this set on their site right now, I wonder if it is discontinued…)

closeup of clean and simple card idea, for congratulations

I picked out a few pieces of textured card and simple patterned papers from my off-cuts stash that would work to make a simple collage on my card front. A torn edge adds some interesting texture, too.
Then the flower is just layered up with sticky foam pads.

A smattering of sequins fixed with Glossy Accents, and to match the gold sticker sentiment, finish the whole thing off.

closeup of clean and simple card idea, for congratulations

Phew, I made it to the postbox in time, too! Just a simple little note to send some friends cheer on their good news πŸ˜‰

Hope you find time for getting creative this week! Ruth x

close up of pretty shaped card using Perfect Peonies stamp set by Angela Poole
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping

Try a shaped card

Here’s some new card inspiration for you! I made this one after doing something similar for a Christmas card last year, or maybe even the year before. I knew it would be a fab one to recreate here.
[Ad, gifted – As part of my Design Team work, I used some products for this project from Angela Poole, which were supplied to me for free.]

I think it’s a really pretty card design that would be great to showcase the Buds to Blooms ‘Perfect Peonies’ stamp set…

Pretty shaped card using Perfect Peonies stamp set by Angela Poole

I began by stamping the multi-layered peony – it’s made up of 4 photopolymer stamps. First, for the detail outline, I used a soft grey ink to get a more delicate finish than black. Then I used two shades of pink for the petals’ layers, and finally picked out the stamens at the centre of the flower in yellow.

Here you can see the stamps separate in the stamp set – there are two different sizes of the peony, and I went for the larger one to make this card.

Angela Poole Designs photopolymer stamp set 'Perfect Peonies'

Here you can see a close up of the lovely detail in the flower…

close up of pretty shaped card using Perfect Peonies stamp set by Angela Poole

It’s popped up the foam pads on the card front to get dimension in the petals.

I made the card front by die cutting a scalloped oval from pink card to match the peony. The die set is ‘Framelits – Ovals’ by Stampin’ Up (now sadly, retired). And the scalloped oval is the largest in the set. I love that Stampin’ Up also made a piercing template set: ‘Occasions Paper Piercing Set’, one of which goes with this oval. So I added a pierced detail to the scallop edge using my pokey tool.
The rest of the nesting dies are plain ovals so I cut the white card layer and a patterned paper piece. The soft sage green patterned paper is printed from the Angela Poole ‘Buds to Blooms’ DVD-ROM.

I diecut a second scalloped circle to create the back for the card. I scored a line at the top of it close to the edge to make a hinge, and stuck the two pieces together at this point. It’s a clever way to create a shaped card!

Then just a matching sentiment – it’s also printed as one of the toppers from the same DVD-ROM, and diecut into a circle shape. A good flourish bow, tied in white seam binding, adds an elegant look. The whole design is finished with some gem embellishments, including one on the peony to look like a dewdrop πŸ˜‰

close up of pretty shaped card using Perfect Peonies stamp set by Angela Poole

Hope you liked this card – this one’s a super summery look but, as I mentioned, the basic design idea can be used for different occasions!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon, Ruth x

closeup of scrapbook page, pretty layout idea with multiple photos
Die cutting, Scrapbooking, Stamping

Holiday memories

We’re just back from a gorgeous week away – hence the blog’s been a little quiet! – but I’m sharing a scrapbook page today that I made before I went away. It’s fab inspiration for holiday memories, on those days when you take lots of pics. Holiday days out or any kind of day trip, in fact πŸ˜‰
It features lots of photos that I took one day on our holiday last year, in Pembrokeshire, south Wales…

scrapbook page, pretty layout idea with multiple photos

I took so many photos that day – it would have been hard to take a bad photo, I think, these gardens at Aberglasney were so glorious! – and I have already made a couple of other pages about the day.

This one has several pics of different sizes. I decided to ‘nestle’ them together in a kind of block arrangement. There are a couple of 4x3in, one trimmed to around 3x3in, and a couple of 2x2in.

With the fantastic floral theme, I couldn’t miss the chance to use one of my fave paper collections from last year – the Cocoa Vanilla Studio ‘More Than Words’ range. I couldn’t resist this one, I bought up lots of it from Ella Bonella. For my page, I chose a beautiful dainty, springy background and a watercolour-style wash paper layered onto that.

closeup of scrapbook page, pretty layout idea with multiple photos

I used pastel turquoise ink and pink to stamp a couple of doily motifs (Waltzing Mouse Stamps ‘Dainty Doilies 2’, now out-of-business πŸ™ ) and diecut them with Spellbinders scallop circles. A couple of little floral stamped images from here and there in my stash too… I thought they’d be cute layered up in the mix.

I made sure to use lots of bits of the ephemera pack and accent stickers from the same CVS ‘More Than Words’ collection, as well. My foam pads were great to help get dimension in the layers.

closeup of scrapbook page, pretty layout idea with multiple photos

I’d made sure to leave a big area for journaling as I had lots of say about the day – it was really helpful to plan out what I wanted to say first, on scrap paper, so I knew it would all fit in properly! Then I used some ancient alphabet stickers in sparkly red, by Making Memories to build my title.

Plenty of dinky puffy stickers and faceted gems finish it all off. And I used a mini wooden peg to clip the map of the gardens that I’d saved, onto the back of the layout. I love attaching tickets and maps from days out like this <3

closeup of scrapbook page, pretty layout idea with multiple photos

Hope you liked seeing my page today. Here’s to lots more gorgeous sunny, flower-filled days like that one!
Happy crafty times, Ruth x

close up of card idea to send 'just because', for any occasion. card using simple stamping and heat embossing
Cards, Stamping

Sending a card ‘just because’

Hello crafty friends!
I’m sharing an idea today for a card that I made recently for a pen pal – it’s always super-nice to send a handmade message, and I have a few friends both here and overseas that I try and write to as often as I can.

card idea to send 'just because', for any occasion. card using simple stamping and heat embossing

I started off with some stamping and heat embossing, using white embossing powder by WOW! on pale green card. I used a gingham background stamp from a clear stamp set – I love the small scale of the pattern. Sadly the manufacturer is no longer in business… Waltzing Mouse Stamps. (If you’re looking for something similar, I found these by Lawn Fawn or one by Hello Bluebird.)

I then fussy cut out some ‘puffy’ cloud-like shapes to layer up and build the crown of my tree. I stamped a small part of a woodgrain background pattern, using my ‘Woodgrain Background’ stamp by Hero Arts, and snipped a piece to create the trunk of the tree. I glued down a little brown-and-white baker’s twine either side of the trunk piece, and layered up my tree crown shapes.

close up of card idea to send 'just because', for any occasion. card using simple stamping and heat embossing

I embellished my tree motif by using Glossy Accents to stick down a few mini buttons – these are so cute and I thought they’d look like sweet apples πŸ˜‰

The whole tree is layered up on white card. The clean look just needed finishing with a simple stamped greeting. I went for another one from my Waltzing Mouse Stamps collection. The stamp set is called ‘Say it Loud’ and is a builder sentiments set, which allows you to mix and match different parts of phrases in the small sans serif typeface and the larger script typeface. Clever!

close up of card idea to send 'just because', for any occasion. card using simple stamping and heat embossing

The separate stamps were easy to position with the help of my MISTI πŸ™‚

The panel is layered on patterned paper, I chose an geometric lines design echoing the gingham – and rounded the corners of both. Then its layered on kraft card before being mounted on a green card blank.

That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by, as always.
See you next time, Ruth x

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Another flower card idea!

I can’t help myself… I can’t resist making flower cards when I need something bright and breezy, something cheery πŸ˜‰
Here’s a new flower idea that I hope you’ll find an inspiration!

flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

It came about as I was tidying up my stash after a good day out at our monthly scrapbooking crop day – I found the pretty stripy and floral patterned papers lying together and really thought they would make a good card. The creative urge tends to strike surprisingly often when I’m supposed to be tidying up!! I’m sure it’s not just me that happens to πŸ™‚

Well, a little bit of layering onto a scalloped card blank… and then a quick bit of stamping using this flower design by Sweet ‘n Sassy stamps and this card came together very quickly. I stamped the lily from a set, called Flower Blocks 1. It’s a clear set with four ‘block style’ florals, but I think it’s discontinued now. (Luckily you can get them individually still as digital stamps. Find the lily downloadable digi here.)

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

I used watercolour paper and coloured it, with a loose watercolour wash not worrying too much if the colours were bleeding and flowing. I like the artsy look here.
Then it’s trimmed and raised up on the card front on foam pads.

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

The whole thing is finished off with a sticker sentiment from my Tim Holtz ‘tiny words’ pack, which is ideal for sending encouraging, supportive wishes, and a scattering of gems, firmly fixed with Glossy Accents.

I think I know the perfect reason (and person!) to send this card. Hope it might inspire you to create something cheery. Go ahead and see what papers you might have left over from another project, that’ll work well together!
Ruth x