Sunday, January 31, 2010

Free Digital Stamps All In One Place

Have you seen the new site giving you the low down on free digital stamps and where to find them?

Alison from Stretch & Bubbles is a digital designer herself. She's taken on the huge task of gathering free digi stamp sources and sharing them at her new blog Free Digital Stamps.

Why Do They Give Away Free Digi Stamps?
If you're just dipping your toe into the digital stamp world, a free stamp is a great place to start. Some digital stamp companies give away a freebie now and then, to help people get to know them and what they offer.

The Free Digital Stamps site is a great place to find out about the various digital stamp companies. These companies are rapidly growing in number as digi stamps take off.

A Caution About Copyright
Check the rights the company offers with both free and bought digital stamps. Rights may vary from one company to another, and even from free stamps to purchased stamps.

Karen's Doodles On Copyright
Karen from Karen's Doodles, a digital stamp company, has written an interesting post on the importance of copyright and digital stamps. It's worth reading and looks at not only the legal aspect, but also from the point of view of the artist making their livelihood.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sizzixx Blog Candy

This is an amazing prize... a Sizzix Big Shot.

Think of all the creative goodies you could make with this Big Shot. Head on over to the blog for all the details. It's a very generous giveaway.

Check it out at Kortoggodt.

Make Mothers Day Cards For Aussie Troops Overseas

Want To Make Cards For Aussie Troops Overseas?
I've been very impressed with the work of Operation Write Home for U.S. trooops serving overseas. As an Aussie, I've been wondering if there was something similar for Australian troops overseas.

A Meaningful Gesture
Whether you agree with the war or not, this seems like a great way to help fellow Australians... something small but meaningful. I can just imagine someone at home receiving one of these special hand made cards from their loved one overseas.

Who To Contact
Tracey Hanshaw, an Australian Stampin Up Demonstrator, has teamed up with Karen Cummings to co-ordinate things. Last year was a big success with cards reaching troops in Afghanistan, Somalia and Egypt, as well as the Navy.

Karen has received grateful letters from the troops who find it hard to access quality cards. They also appreciate the gesture. The call is out for anyone who wants to make Mother's Day cards or Christmas cards this year. Mother's Day cards need to be sent by April 1st.

For more information visit Tracey or Karen.

Miss Gracie's House Vintage Giveaway

I'm being distracted from my card making and paper crafts by discovering and exploring some wonderful sites.

I'm into Vintage and Shabby Chic at the moment, so was delighted to come across Miss Gracie's House. Rene has the most elegant things to share and now she has an Etsy shop too. Check it out at My Vintage Romance... gorgeous!

But to celebrate 300 posts, she's decided to have a giveaway. And what a giveaway it is... think style, class and the elegance of times past. There's even a vintage wooden box, plate and yes... chocs... what more could you want. This is something special.

Head on over to Miss Gracie's House for all the details. Closes February 1st.

Scrappin & Altered Art Giveaways

Monique has an interesting site at Artiste Nouveau. She is a Canadian mixed media artist.

She has blog candy. In fact, she has a choice of 2 different packages. Both are great.

One is a Scrapbooking/Cardmaking package (pictured above), with an assortment of paper cutters, stencils and punches. The second one is perfect for making collages or for altered art projects. I'm tempted by both, but especially like the Scrappers Package.

Take a look and see which one is your favourite. All the details are at the blog candy post at Artiste Nouveau. Two winners will be drawn on January 31st.

Have a peek around the site while you're there... lots of interesting things to explore... quite inspirational.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pay It Forward Crafting Style - What A Great Idea

A Fantastic Crafty Bloggy Idea
Pay It Forward Crafting Style - What a crazy, brilliant, wonderful idea!

Joanne from Crafting Joanne visited my blog and left a lovely comment on my Shabby Chic Silhouette Card. When I visited her blog, I found she also has a new PAY IT FORWARD CRAFTING STYLE blog. What a fantastically brilliant idea!

How Does Pay It Forward Work?
If you want to join in, and send a small crafting package or hand crafted item to someone, or want to know more, head on over to the Pay It Forward Crafting Style blog. The online craft community is such a lovely and generous one, that this is a great way to connect and share even further.

Did you see the movie "Pay It Forward"?
You do something for someone and they pay it forward and that person does something for someone else, paying it forward, and so on and so on and so on. Add in crafts and you have a whole lot of fun.

Want To Join In?
To help spread the word, you can grab the Pay It Forward web button, for your sidebar or to write a post.

Top idea, Joanne! Thanks for getting the ball rolling. Let's all spread the word.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blog Candy To Help With Better Photos - Wow! -

I love making cards, but I have to work on getting better photos.

Winnie's giving away a fantastic photo set up to help with all this - a light box, 2 lights and a small tripod. What a great giveaway.

I hadn't even thought about a light box, but this would be absolutely perfect. And of course, lights and a tripod - both things that would really help me get better photos. Mine always seem to be too dark.

Head on over to Winnie's Whims & My Crafts for all the low down on how to win these. It's drawn on January 18th.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shabby Chic Silhouette Card

I'm trying something different this time - probably old hat to you, but new to me.

I've never tried Shabby Chic or silhouettes before, so trying some new techniques to make it all work in together. I also wanted to try this type of ruffled paper flower.

The background is embossed (Divine Swirls Cuttlebug folder) onto blue card, then painted over with white acrylics. I wiped the excess away, plus a bit of distressing. I "aged" the white around the silhouette with a tea bag and added some of my mother's old lace. The pink highlights on the dresses is Twinkling H2O's. The bottom edge is also embossed, this time with the Script folder.

Digital Elements
I wanted to work with the digi silhouette. The ticket "stub" is from the wonderfully generous Miss Cutie Pie. I added a computer generated sentiment.

Paper Flower Know How
I love paper flowers and was even more keen after my first try at a 3D flower for the Black and
White challenge

The paper flower on this Silhouette Shabby Chic card above is a Vintage Ruffly Button Print Flower which was really simple, though I still need a bit of practice to perfect it. My know how guide was this great easy to follow video by Dawn McVey. Give it a try!

I used my 2 inch scallop punch. The top layer is Calligraphy script I found on the net (public domain). I'm learning calligraphy, so maybe this is a way I could recycle my practice sheets.

This card is for the following challenges -

Simon Says Challenge - Shabby Chic

Dare U 2 Digi Stamp - Buttons

Magical Crafts Challenge #6 - Vintage

ABC Challenge - L is for Layering (2nd card)

Corrosive Challenge #46 - Distressing

The Craft Garden - New (new techniques)

Crafty Angels Week 17 - Can You Feel It? (Textures) (2nd card)

Crafty Cardmakers #12 - What's New (new techniques)

Craft Creations #50 - Textures (2nd card)

Digital Tuesday - Embossing (2nd card)

Creative Card Crew Challenge - Distressing (2nd card)

Your Next Stamp #7 - Embossing (I do love embossing!)

Charisma Cardz #2 - Anything New (new digi images)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sweet Bunny Card

I had a lot of fun making this card.

This sweet little bunny is a digital stamp from Phindy's Place. Phindy does gorgeous work! The cute little cupcakes are also digis. They're from Nikki at Graphix and Designs. The Happy Birthday sentiment is also a digital element.

Twinkling H2O's
Most of the colouring is done with Twinkling H2O's. It doesn't really show up in the photo, but I find that Bronze Medallion Twinkling H2O is perfect for Teddy Bears and furry creatures, like this Bunny. Does anyone have any other Twinkling H2O recommendations. I love those little jars of paint!

I tried to give it a bit of depth and sparkle with layering, Glossy Accents, Kindy Glitz and Rhinestones. The embossed background is Cuttlebug Swiss Dots.

This card is an entry into the following challenges -

Alphabet Challenge - K is for Kids (A kids birthday card) -

Crafty Angels - Can you feel it? Textures -
(embossing, ribbon, layering, rhinestones, glossy accents, Kindy Glitz)

Crafty Creations Challenge #50 - Textures (at least 3)
(embossing, ribbon, layering, rhinestones, glossy accents, Kindy Glitz)

Crazy 4 Challenges - Birthday

Cupcake Challenge #73 - Going Girly

Cute Card Thursday Challenge #94 - New
(New ribbon, new digi stamp, new life with the eggs and chicks, new year for a birthday)

Your Next Stamp - Embossing

Digital Tuesday Challenge #41 - Embossing

Incy Wincy Challenge #25 - Sweet Treats
(Yummy cupcakes, candy eggs in basket)

The Pink Elephant Challenge #49 - Birthday

Clearly Delightful - Bunny Rabbits

There She Goes Challenge - At least 3 Embellishments

(Ribbon, rhinestone, Glossy Accents, Kindy Glitz)

Phindy's Place Challenge - Try something new
-(January 25th)
(Trying new techniques)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Going Green - Recycling Cards

Christmas cards in January! Am I late or early?

Bah Humbug is the latest Chrismas card challenge blog. The idea is not to wait till the last minute with cards, but to make them through the year. Sounds like a good idea.

This ribbon was my mother's. Every Christmas it was reused and recycled with family gifts, then saved again for the next year. Now that she is no longer with us, it seemed time to pass it on in a more permanent form.

So this card is for another family member as a tip of the hat to my mother, who also loved penguins. The penguin is a digital stamp from Shirley's 2 Girls coloured with markers with a bit of KindyGlitz for sparkle.

The background is an old page from my watercolour scratch pad which had random paint on it. The Jingle Bells music has been "aged" with a tea bag.

It's a simple card, but I think to lift it, if I did it again, I would also emboss the background. Embossing comes up really well on watercolour paper.

This card is my entry into the following challenges -

Bah Humbug - Recycle

Rainbow Lady's Challenge - Recycle (2nd card for this challenge)

Also, check out my first card (Black & White with 3D Flower) for this recycling challenge. Lots of recycling happening at the moment!

Glue Scissors Paper - Going Green (Recycling) -

Taylord Concepts Blogoversary Candy -

Papercraft bloggers seem to have a lot to celebrate lately. And Erika at Taylord Concepts is no exception.

She is celebrating her 1st Blogoversary. This pic is just one of 3 on her site, showing all the amazing candy on offer. Lots of it!!!

The candy closes on January 31st. Hop on over there to find out all the low down on how you can win these yummy goodies.

Take a while to look around the Taylord Concepts site while you're there too, it's quite inspirational. Erika is a talented designer, and has lots to share.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Craft Barn - New Blog & Blog Candy

The Craft Barn is a U.K. based craft store.

It was nominated for Best Independent store for the South of England in the 2009 Craft Awards. And now they have a brand new blog.

To celebrate, they're offering 3, yes that's 3, £10 vouchers for participants to win. The candy is up for grabs until January 13th. More details at the blog candy post.

There are some beautiful cards to see there, showcasing some of their products. Very nice!

Vintage Ruffly Print Button Flowers - Video

I had such fun doing the 3D flower on my black and white cuttlebug card. So I was delighted to come across this video from Dawn McVey at Raspberrry Suite.

Use 5 or 6 layers of vintage print keeping the last layer relatively flat - at least flatter than the rest which should all be scrunched up. There's a button on top of all the layers. Check out the video and Dawn's blog for more pics and all the details.

I'm going to give these a try. How about you?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Black & White Card With 3D Flower

Black and white is a stunning combination.

I've never done a sketch challenge before, so this card is my first adventure playing with the big kids!

I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially using the textures to add interest to a limited colour pallette. It was also a good reminder to play a bit more with black and white in the future.

All the patterns and the flower are digital elements from the wonderfullly talented Jak Heath at Crafter's Kitchen.

Cuttlebug Crazy
I printed these and cuttlebugged everything, except for the ribbon. Not sure if you can even cuttlebug ribbon? Even the flower petals are cuttlebugged with the Swiss Dots folder. The damask background is cuttlebugged with the Ornamental Iron folder.

As it was all bits and pieces, it was a good opportunity to use my scraps and the backs of other projects, so a bit of recycling in action here.

Each layer of flower petals is layered with 3D mounting tape, including the centre. The idea was to lift it off the card a bit. I figured giving it a dimensional effect would help it stand out, and not get "camouflauged" and lost in with all the other black and white. The flower petals were curled to enhance the 3D look.

This card is my entry into the following challenges -

Tuesday Taggers - Black & White

Think Ink Tuesday Challenge #11 - Monochromatic Card

Rainbow Lady's Challenge #85 - Recycle

Rosie Dee's InStyle Stamps Sketch Challenge

2 Red Bananas - Banana Split Challenge - Think Round

(Polka Dots, Swiss Dots Embossing & Curved Petals)

Cute Daisy May - Flower & Ribbon

Our Creative Corner - 3D (Flower)

Black & White and a Splash Of Colour For Valentines Day

Black and white is such an elegant combination.

Add a touch of colour, and it gives it a new dimension. A liberal splash of colour and it looks different again. I'm fascinated by the different effects different shades and different colours give, so this was an interesting challenge.

Both digital images are from Lily Boos Boutique. It's quite a plain, simple card with a lot of white, so it needed a bit of a lift. I edged the pink at the top with a Fiskars Threading Water Punch.

I used the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder and a pink flower rhinestone to add some texture in the absence of a lot of colour. I've also added Swiss Dots to the Love sentiment since this photo, which I think adds to it.

There is also just the tiniest hint of Kindy Glitz for sparkle on the flower centres. The Love sentiment is raised with mounting tape.

This card is my entry in the following challenges -

Crafty Creations - Black & white with a splash of colour

Spoonful of Sugar - Hearts

Digital Tuesday - Valentine

Cute Daisy May - Love

No Time To Stamp - Love Is In The Air

Lily Boo Too - Valentine

Belli Challenge #82 - Glitter or Rhinestones

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Magnolia Valentine Blog Candy -

This latest collection of Magnolia stamps are super cute. And they could be yours if you want to play.

Head over to Inked Inspirations, to find out more. You need to become a follower, advertise the giveaway on your blog and add a comment on the blog candy post... easy peasy!

The candy is up for grabs till January 25th. Good luck!

Happy Birthday Card Challenge

The bright pink background on this Happy Birthday card is embossed with the Cuttlebug Spots and Dots folder.

The yummy image is from Mo's Digital Pencil and is mounted with 3D tape. The Happy Birthday sentiment is also a digital image. It's from Wendy Made and is layered with punched scalloped circles. And for a bit of sparkle, there's Kindy Glitz on the outside of the scallops.

The images were coloured using watercolours and Twinkling H2O's. The whipped cream was done with Glossy Accents to give a raised effect.

This card is my entry into the following card challenges -

Mo's Digital Pencil Challenge 13 - Happy Birthday

Crazy For Challenges - Happy Birthday

Quixotic Challenges - Hot Chocolate

Simon Says Stamp - Hot Chocolate

Your Next Stamp - Embossing

AiFactory - Embossing

Rosie Dee's Challenge #60 - Free Choice

Crafty Calendar Challenge - Keeping Warm **

Crafty Catz Weekly - Bright & Sparkly

One Stop Craft Challenge #62 - Breakfast At Tiffany's

Charisma Cards - Pink, Brown, Cream and Toffee

Charisma Cards Challenge - A Question From A Beginner
As a beginner to colour combo challenges, I'm not sure if you can ONLY use the colours stated, or whether the idea is to include those colours, so not sure if this one qualifies. I've added blue as well as these colours.

Maybe someone can give me the heads up on this... Thanks! Apologies if I've taken the wrong approach!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Soul Of The Rose Card

As a beginner, it hasn't taken me long to see that it's not just about making cards - but about learning some photography tips as well, so apologies in advance. I'll try natural light next time! Lots to learn...

This image is Soul of The Rose. It's an image in the public domain which I downloaded for another art project I never finished. I've recycled it to use the image here.

I used Twinkling H2O highlights, to add a bit of colour and glimmer. I do love my Twinkling H2O's! I still wanted to keep the old fashioned black and white photo effect, so didn't colour all of the image.

I've layered the image onto card and distressed the edges. Gold mirror card has been layered onto a purple background embossed with the Cuttlebug. Gold cord on ribbon is a favourite embellishment of mine as it seems to "lift" a card. It seems to add that extra touch. For a bit of extra bling, I've added 3 purple rhinestones too.

This is my entry into the following card challenges -

Corrosive Challenge Blog - 2 Favourite Embellishments -

Incy Wincy Designs Challenge #24 - Bling It Up

Crafty Angels - Recycle -

Creative Card Crew Challenge #42 - Distressing -

Fab 'n Funky Challenges - Anything for any Occasion

My Grafico - Out With The Old - In With The New

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Flutterby Little Butterfly - Card Challenges

This card has such a lovely sentiment from Maya Angelou.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

It's perfect for new life and new beginings, as well as thinking about the passage of time and change. To me, the theme of the card and the pink, white and black color combo, also has a sense of freshness, growth and renewal.

At the beginning of a new year, traditionally a "fresh start", this card is a reminder to me to "not to sweat the small stuff" and enjoy the moment more. My goal this year is to have more fun... more fun time with the family, and more fun time for me... and yes, that includes lots of cardmaking!

I've cuttlebugged my little heart out, and used my new Paisley Cuttlebug Folder as well as one of my favourites - Divine Swirls. There is also quite a lot of layering, including the butterfly's wings, which were then painted with Twinkling H2O's.

This butterfly card is my entry for the following card challenges -

ABC Challenge - L is for Layering -

Flutterby Wednesday - New

Little Paper Shop - Let's have a bright challenge - bright pink, black & white

Sophisticat Challenge #16 - Fancy borders

Gingersnap Creations Challenge #37 - Time -

Whimsical Wednesday - Make Up Inspiration -

Cute Card Thursday - New -

Papertake Weekly - New Beginnings -

Three Clovers Design - New Years Resolutions -

Everybody Art Challenge #72 - Favorite Color Combo

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stamp Kissing Videos

This is a great video on Stamp Kissing from Tresa Black, the Stamp Goddess. I learned all sorts of new ways to use this technique.

Basically, you stamp up a solid or silhouette stamp, and then stamp the actual stamp with an inked patterned stamp. That's just a starting point. There are lots of other ways and variations on those to use stamp kissing in your card making.

Great effects! I'm going to have to get me some silhouette stamps and try these out.

Do you have cards with stamp kissing? Feel free to leave me a link in the comments, and I'll hop over to your blog to visit and check them out.

For more inspiration from Tresa, visit her at Fabulously Artsy. Thanks Tresa. I love this technique and can't wait to play.

And another one from Skipping Stone Design. They have a great range of funky, sassy stamps.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quixotic Paperie Giveaway & A Favourite Card -

Have you seen the Quixotic Paperie Blog Happy New Year Candy Giveaway? They're offering a Mystery Pack of goodies worth approx £40.

My Personal Favourite 2009 Card
They've also asked each of us to show our favourite of all the cards we made in 2009. I haven't posted it before, but looking back over 2009, below is my own personal favourite.

I was very happy with how it turned out. It's elegant, while still being quite understated. I like the combination of the soft pink edges with the black and white.

I also like the personal touch of including someone's initial as a monogram. I made these as sets of notecards. Now, I just have to get to and study those tutorials to make a gift card holder to make them extra special.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Like A Kid In A Candy Shop - Blog Candy -

Jude at Crafts International is having a birthday on January 6th. What better excuse for a party and you're all invited. Join in the fun and be in with a chance to win all that birthday blog candy.

Check out what's up for grabs. I'm like a kid in a candy store, just looking at it. There's everything from flowers, embellishments and ribbons to a heat gun and stamps and more. And it could be yours!

For all the low down on how to win and more details about what's on offer, visit Jude's. Hurry on over as it closes January 6th.

Thank You Card For All Of You - In Lemon & Lime

With Paper Flourish being just a brand new blog, I've been thrilled to have you all visit and comment. It's also been fun to explore all your blogs and be inspired... such talent and innovative ideas!

This card is my Thank You to all of you in blog land who love paper crafts, cards and ink and who have given me such a warm welcome and continue to inspire me. The digi image is from the wonderfully talented Chris at The Sketching Stamper.

I double layered some of the flowers, the heart and the vase. Flowers and gold highlights on the vase are coloured with Twinkling H2O's. The flower centres are gold Kindyglitz and the edged borders are done with the Fiskars threading water punch.

This is also my entry for some great card challenges -

Colour Create - Lemon & Lime
I even managed to include the optional flowers they asked for.

Bee Crafty Challenge #21 - Thank You using a digi image

C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #31 - Thank You

Magical Crafts Challenge #5 - Thank You

Pile It On Challenge #29 - Anything Digital -

Celebrations and A Blog Hop - Let's Party

This little teddy bear is still in the party mood after Christmas and is off to a birthday party.

We've just had Christmas but New Year and new beginnings are also cause for celebration. I have much to look forward to and celebrate this year.... some big and some small and maybe even an excuse for a party or two.

Charisma Cardz are also celebrating. They're having a big first birthday bash with a fantastic blog hop and lots of candy. It was my first blog hop looking for secret words and it was lots of fun.

Each design team member also has blog candy. Take a look at the yummy blog candy on Sally's blog.

What Do You Think? Any Tips Appreciated
My tripod broke as I was taking the photo, so the photo is a bit wonky and a bit dark. What's the best way you find to take consistent photos for your blog, or do you prefer to scan? Any tips would be most welcome.

I played around with my Spots and Dots cuttlebug folder to do partial embossing.... just for borders. And of course, the teddy got a splish and a splosh with my beloved Twinkling H2O's.

This card is my entry for

Charisma Cardz Celebrations Challenge

Simon Says Stamp - Party Challenge

One Stop Craft Challenge - Something starting with a "B"

(B for bear and B for birthday)

Creative Card Crew Challenge #41 - Anything Goes

Stamptacular Sunday Challenge #40 - Party

Cupcake Craft Challenge #71 - A Time For Celebration

Three Clovers Challenge #45 - Celebration

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Beginnings Card Challenge

New Beginnings... new growth... what a great outlook for a new year... For me, it's lots of new beginnings... the wonder of new grandchildren, new adventures and imagining what's in store for all of us. Just Imagine...

I made this card for myself, as a type of time capsule for a new year, and to remind myself about the wonder of new moments, new beginnings, new years and new lives.

Just Imagine..
Albert Enstein had a saying I love...

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Imagine all the wonders of 2010 and all the joy of new beginnings.

I went wild with my brand new Copic blending pen, and found it works on watercolour pencils as well as Copic Markers. It's also great for taking out a bit of colour, which is very handy for fixing mistakes.

The background is my favourite Twinkling H2O colour - Solid Gold. The photo doesn't really show all the lovely gold twinkly background. Mo's digital stamp is perfect for this theme.

This is my card for the New Beginnings card challenges at -

Mo's Digital Pencil Challenge #4

Stampin' For The Weekend

Scrappy Hours

Daring Cardmakers

Paper Play Challenges

The Craft Garden

Fussy & Fancy Challenge

Rainbow Lady's Challenge #84

Stamp Something Challenge

Saturday Challenge #64 - New Beginnings

Crafty Ann's Challenge #5 - New Year, New Inspiration

By The Cute & Girly - New -

No Time To Stamp Challenge #120 - New Things

and also...

My Time To Craft Challenge #72- Anything Goes

Alphabet Challenge - J for Jewels

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Release Asian Cuttlebug Folders

Have you heard the new batch of Cuttlebug embossing folders being released at CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) will have an oriental theme?


I love oriental cards, so these Asian cuttlebug folders are definitely on my list. Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

I have a birthday coming up... time to start dropping hints.

I was thrilled to see that 4 of the folders are the you beaut larger 5 x 7 size, so they cover the whole card front. 4 of the folders are at the traditional A2 size. The designs are elegant, and many could do double duty for other cards, not just oriental ones.

Take a sneak peek and let me know what you think. I can see quite a few oriental cards in my near future. How about you? Can't wait to get my hands on these Asian cuttlebug folders.

Here's the full list of 8 folders

  • 5x7 Emboss, Plum Blossoms
  • 5x7 Emboss, Oriental Weave
  • 5x7 Emboss, Kimiko
  • 5x7 Emboss, Bamboo
  • A2 Emboss, Japanese Scales
  • A2 Emboss, Mandarin Screen
  • A2 Emboss, Koi
  • A2 Emboss, Lanterns