Sunday, 31 December 2017

Top 10 Christmas cards of 2017

Hello everyone,

I'm back as promised with a look back at my favourite Christmas cards of 2017. I made more Christmas cards this year than ever before, thanks to doubling up each one I made, but I still had a shortfall in the end and had to buy some. I'm thinking that next year I'll make a few designs suitable for mass production and do a few piles to give me a good start. I also need to give some thought to postage costs and do some cards with a slimmer profile. How did yours work out? I hope you had enough for your needs and didn't have a last minute panic. The regular challenges really helped me and, although I won't be able to join in with the January ones because of my current home responsibilities, if all goes to plan, I'll be back again in February with Happy Little Stampers and ABC Christmas challenges.

This was the first Christmas card I made last year and it was my favourite. I love that silver burst in the background and the scarlet jewel card and ink really pops against the white.

You can find the original post here.

I really like the traditional look of this card. Red, green, cream, and gold coupled with that gorgeous sentiment from Clearly Besotted Most Wonderful stamp set made a pretty card. It still looked in need of something though, until I added the little gold dots that were waste from another die cut that I hadn't been able to throw away. 

You can find the original post here.

I tried a lot of masking techniques this year, and I enjoyed playing with this one. This is my favourite Christmas tree and was a freebie from Penny Black which came with a magazine. I added a lot of sparkle to the tree, which sadly doesn't show well in this picture

but you can see it a little better here:-

You can find the original post here.

The colours on this card make me happy and I love the mugs with the hearts and creamy swirls from My Favorite Things. The sprinkles are a perfect finishing touch and the stripey paper from Papertrey Ink is so cheery and festive.

You can find the original post here

I really like this clean design and I enjoy mixing my supplies on my cards. This one used Penny Black, Clearly Besotted, Papertrey Ink and Happy Little Stampers products and I love the way they come together.

You can find the original post here.

The My Favorite Things Merry Christmoose stamp set is really cute, and I loved creating a sitting room scene for him to sit and drink his hot chocolate next to the tree. I found some patterned paper in my stash that reminded me of some wallpaper we had years ago, and I hung a picture on the wall to show the sentiment.

You can find the original post here.

I always find white on white cards difficult, but the addition of the silver embossed sentiment and spots of red for the berries really lifted this design. The die cut flowers and leaves were made with Creative Expressions dies and I love how you can add texture with the embossed detail.

You can find the original post here.

For this card, I used the Papertrey Ink Scene it: Bethlehem die set. I love using kraft card and I was so pleased with how it took colour. I inked the buildings with distress ink and the palm trees with alcohol markers. Paper piecing the windows and doors is little fiddly but it really adds interest to the finished card.

You can find the original post here.

This card used a non-Christmas stamp in an attempt to stretch my supplies and was another of my masking experiments. I did a step by step photo tutorial on the blog if you'd like to see it.

You can find the original post here.

I loved blending the background of this card using distress inks. I used some Oxide inks alongside the original ones and they worked beautifully together. I don't have many silhouette stamps, but this one from Paper Smooches is gorgeous. I really like those stars from Clearly besotted too, but I'm looking for small Christmas star dies if you can point me in the direction of some.

You can find the original post here.

Well that rounds up my look back at 2017, and all that remains is for me to wish you a very happy, healthy and crafty New Year, and I hope 2018 brings all that you hope for. It's going to be a better one for me with my husband being able to get on with things again, my daughter buying her first house and most of all with the addition of this little darling to our family.

Thank you so much for visiting and leaving lots of encouragement throughout the year - it means such a lot.

Sending big hugs.

Carol xx

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Top 10 cards of 2017

Hello everyone,

I do hope you have all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it, or at the very least enjoyed some time off with friends and family over the holiday period. It has been pretty chaotic in our household with my husband having his second hip replacement just before Christmas. You may remember that he had one hip replaced in June and it did not go very smoothly. However, I'm pleased to report that this one went according to plan and we just have the normal slow recovery process to go through in January. The highlight of Christmas day was having our four-week-old Grandaughter, Alice and her parents join us for the day and as I looked around at my three gorgeous adult children, it took me right back to when they too were little babies. How time flies. Happy days!

The period after Christmas always sees me looking back at the year gone by, so I have been looking through the blog to pick my favourite makes of 2017. Here they are, in no particular order.

I have a good friend with a February birthday, and I bought this stamp from Papertrey Ink with her in mind. I really liked the vivid yellow and orange colours for brightening up dreary February days. I don't know about you, but I am not a big fan of February. I have trouble with January too but I think when we have got through it, we should be rewarded by being able to fast forward to spring. Of course, those of you in other areas of the world probably don't agree because it would speed you through your summer days.

You can find the original post on this card here.

My Favourite Things design some fabulous images and I just love these cute little Harvest Mice. I'm ashamed to say that I had these stamps in my stash for far too long before they saw ink, but I think they really suited this CAS design

You can find the original post here

This card used a large Creative Expressions stamp by John Lockwood called, appropriately 'Daisy Heart Stamp' I really enjoyed creating the little raised circles around the heart and adding the tiny little bow.

You can find the original post here.

You will have noticed that this one isn't a card, but it makes me happy and I wanted to include it here. Penny Black is so good at character dies and I really took to this FeLINE die with all the cats having their heads tilted at slightly different angles. I did a little snipping to remove the cats from their frame and watercoloured a background for them.

You can find the original post here.

I've added this card because it took me outside my comfort zone and is not my normal style. I used tone on tone black by clear embossing on the black card to add some shine and used a blue watercolour spray to make the background. The silhouette fairy is a Lavinia stamp and I added sparkle to her wings which is sadly difficult to see in the picture.

You can find the original post here.

Several members of our local book group are cat lovers so I made this card for one of them and it fitted the bill perfectly. The stamp is from Newton's Nook and I coloured the cat to match her own little kitty.

You can find the original post here.

This one has to be my favourite card of the year because I made it to celebrate the birth of my first Grandchild, Alice who was born at the end of November. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the stork and the film strip, and  I love the curved 'welcome' die cut from Paper Smooches. I cut Alice's name from an ancient alphabet die set from Sizzix called Mac'n'Cheese which has a whimsical feel to it that I really like.

You can find the original post here.

This card was made for a young friend who had just been told she was expecting a little boy. The rocket is from an old Papertrey Ink 'Out of this World' stamp set. I'm pleased to report that Sam arrived safely and is a delightfully cuddly baby boy.

You can find the original post here.

It was a big year for new babies and this one was made for another new arrival. I used a Crafter's Companion baby quilt embossing folder on patterned paper to make the background tag and then sanded it down to expose the white core of the paper. The sweet little eggs and nest are again from Papertrey Ink.

You can find the original post here.

Finally, I have included this one because I love the textured sponging technique I used through a masked off oval shape. The sentiment reminds me that this is the attitude I should have about every day in 2018 - even those that occur in February.

You can find the original post here.

Well, that is it for today but I'll be back in the next day or so with my Top 10 Christmas cards of the year. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Carol x

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Stampendous, PTI and Clearly Besotted doodle Christmas card

Hello and welcome to the last ABC Christmas Challenge of the year

Our themes for this time are 

Y for Yummi


Z for Zentangle

The challenge will run until 31st December and we have some great prizes for you from

Digistamp Boutique

Prize - £10.00 Voucher


Crafty Ribbons

Well, I decided to challenge myself this time. A Zentangler, I most definitely am not! However, I have been told how relaxing it is and we could all do with a bit of relaxing at this busy time of year, couldn't we? I didn't have time to copy and learn some of the superduper tangles you see in books, so I just went along the doodling route and had a play. Once I had silenced my inner critic, I really enjoyed it and came up with this card:-

1) Die cut a stitched rectangle from white card and stamp the large merry stamp from Stampendous Mega Merry stamp set in black ink.

2) Doodle away using a red 005 Micron pen.

3) Stamp the Christmas sentiment from Papertrey Ink Christmas Labels underneath and add a couple of snowflakes.

4) Die cut a red stitched rectangle and mat the white panel onto it, raising it with fun foam.

5) Stamp and die cut some holly sprigs from the Clearly Besotted Little Pudding stamp set, shape them a little and stick to the corners.

6) Finish off by sprinkling some glitter on the snowflakes and leaves, and add some NuvoDrops berries.

As always, you'll find plenty of inspiration for those last minute cards over on the ABC Christmas Challenge Blog and I hope you will find time to join us this time.

Thanks for stopping by

Carol x

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Paper Smooches and Silhouette Cameo new baby card

Hello everyone,

Well I have had the best Christmas present ever!!!! I'm delighted to tell you that my first Grandchild, Alice arrived safely last week and is, of course, just gorgeous. Mum and baby are doing well, and my son is like a dog with two tails. It's been wonderful to see my great big macho son being all tender, protective and mushy with his beautiful baby girl. Of course, I made a card for the occasion and it fits well into the Anything Goes challenge we are about to start over at Addicted to Stamps and More

I CASEd my own card here from 2015 but made it bigger and personalised it.

1) Cut a stork and baby bundle from images in the Silhouette Store using a Silhouette Cameo machine. I cut the stork body in aqua card, the baby bundle in pink, and the beak and legs in white card and coloured them with alcohol ink.

2) Use a white gel pen to add polka dots to the baby bundle and add a little green heart before assembling it and the stork onto a white square panel cut with a pierced square die.

3) Die cut the welcome word from Paper Smooches three times and stack them together

4) Cut a filmstrip on the Cameo and adhere it to the bottom of the panel. Stamp the word Baby from the Paper Smooches Welcome Wagon set just above the filmstrip, and stick the welcome die cut above it so it frames the word.

5) Mat the panel onto some aqua card and raise it onto an 8-inch white base card using fun foam.

6) Die cut the name using alphabet dies. I used an ancient Sizzix Mac'n'Cheese die set but you could also cut the name on the Cameo or use any other dies. Mount the letters onto snippets of card and cut them into little rectangles before arranging them on the filmstrip, raising them with foam tape.

7) Finish off by scattering die cut stars and hearts around the card using the same coloured card.

I know this is a very busy time of year, but I hope you will take a little time for yourself and pop over to the ATSM blog to see the fabulous inspiration from the DT, and join in with us this time.

My husband goes into hospital for his second hip replacement operation next week so I may not be around as much for a few weeks.

I'd like to play along with

2 Crafty Critter Crazies #9 - anything goes with a critter

Animal Friends Challenge #57 - anything goes

Crafty Friends Challenge #72 - babies and children

Cute Card Thursday #506 - things with wings

Thanks for stopping by

Carol aka Grandma!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Crafter's Companion Cute Christmas and Happy Little Stampers Christmas owl card

Hello everyone and welcome to the final Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge of the year. If you have joined us throughout the year, you will have a goodly stash of cards ready to send out but if you are like me, you will always need some last minute additions, and I hope our challenge will give you some inspiration. You can of course enter any kind of Christmas card, but if you like to play with out optional twist - we are going with 'stencil' this time

Our winner for this challenge will receive a $20 coupon to spend at the shop! Check out all the details HERE

I came up with this card


1) Take a square of blue card  and stamp and emboss the sentiment from Happy Little Stampers Mixed Christmas Sentiments using white embossing powder.

2) Place the Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow stencil over the card and stencil over with white ink.

3) Die cut the Crafter's Companion Winter Owls from the Cute Christmas range using white card, then colour with alcohol pens. If you have time, you could paper piece the die cut, but it is much quicker to colour it.

4) Mat up the layers and add to a white base card, then raise the branch onto the card with thin strips of foam tape.

5) Finish off by going over the hats, branch and garland with a glue pen and sprinkling with glitter.

As always, there is lots of inspiration over on the Happy Little Stampers Blog, and don't forget that you could win the prize this time!

I'd like to go and play at

2 Crafty Critter Crazies challenge #9 - anything goes

Scrap N' Challenge November - couples

A Gem of a Challenge #208 - animals in the snow

Cute Card Thursday #506 - Things with Wings

Moving along with the times #59 - Christmas animals

Thanks for stopping by.

Carol x

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Personal Impressions and Happy Little Stampers Christmas candle card

Hello there and welcome to the last Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge of 2017. Wow did 2017 go fast! 

Our optional fun twist this time is Christmas, so we all get another chance to add to the Christmas card pile. Not only that -

Our winner for this challenge will receive a $20 coupon to spend at the shop! Check out all the details HERE.

I came up with this traditional festive card 

1) Stamp the candle image from the Personal Impressions Robin and Candles stamp set onto watercolour paper with black ink,

2) Colour the image with Zig Clean Colour Real Brush watercolours in shades of red, green, and yellow.

3) Paint around the image with pale blue watercolour and let everything dry.

4)Stamp the sentiment from Happy Little Stampers Mixed Christmas Sentiments in PTI scarlet jewel ink, above the image.

5) Add some glue pen to the candle drips and sprinkle with some glitter.

6) Die cut a frame from scarlet jewel card using one of the Sue Wilson Classic Adorned Square Noble dies, and use it to frame the image.

7) Layer everything onto the square base card and add a little bow in the top right corner.

You'll find lots of inspiration over on the HLS blog, and I hope you will join in with us this time. Remember the twist is optional and you can enter any watercolour project you choose.

I'd like to play at

Christmas at Sweet Stampin' - anything goes

Fab'n'Funky #373 - Christmas

The Merry Christmas Challenge #45 - anything goes

Make my Monday Challenge #60 - Happy Christmas

Thanks for stopping by.

Carol x

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Clearly Besotted Ornamental Style Christmas card

Hello again,

I'm back to share the new challenge over at Addicted to Stamps and More where we have the CAS Challenge for you.

and if you are new to CAS cards

I recently attended a fabulous Happy Little Stampers Retreat led by our lovely challenge owner Kylie and I spent some of the time catching up with Christmas cards. I never manage to take everything I need to a retreat so CAS cards are a good bet because you need less stuff. Here is one of the cards I made.

1) Die cut a postage edge rectangle ( I used a Sizzix one from the Butterfly Cards set which was a lovely gift from Kylie at the previous retreat).

2) Stamp the ornaments from Clearly Besotted Ornamental Style in Versamark ink and emboss with Wow Mint Macaroon embossing powder. 

3) Stamp the bows from the same set using Aqua Mist ink. As the string was too short to reach the edge of the card on the first bow, I turned the stamp around and stamped again, just using the string.

4) Use a glue pen in the centre of the ornaments and add some fine clear glitter. You can see the shine from the embossing and glitter better in this photo

5) Stamp the sentiment from Papertrey Ink, then raise the panel on the base card with foam tape.

6) Finally, add some red gems to finish it off.

You will find lots of inspiration on the ATSM blog, and if like me, you are on the final push to get your Christmas cards finished, I'd love you to join in with us this time.

I'd like to play along with 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends who will be celebrating this week.

Thanks for stopping by

Carol x 


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