Monday, 15 December 2014

God Jul!

God Jul, indeed!

No... I'm not learning a new language! Haven't got time for that this year. Plus... I'm still learning English, not to mention being sooo behind on everything, it's scary! In fact, I just realised I haven't posted my Christmas Card Club project! Eeeek!

Enough idle chit chat, here's a card I made for the House of Cards blog hop. A couple of friends -Mynette and Monika - suggested I play along.... a couple of weeks ago. And with just a few hours before closing time I'm screeching in with my card. Here it is... a little late!

There's a mix of stamps on this card - the stag is from Chocolate Baroque's Snowy Scenes and the greeting is from Waltzing Mouse's Nutcracker Sweet.

For the background I did some embossing with LifeStyle's Whimsy folder and added a couple of silver eyelets. The greeting is stamped on a piece of vellum and to finish I tied a bow with some sheer iridescent ribbon.

I coloured the stag with Graph'It alcohol markers. I layered with blues and silver Spellbinder die cuts. There's some sparkly Stickles Stardust on the bell and several dots of Silver Liquid Pearls for a wintery feel. And it's done!

House of Cards: Photo Inspiration
Waltzing Mouse Fanatics #33: AG (last challenge... sad!)

Better get back to work... it's a busy Monday! Thanks for stopping by and I'll catch up with you later with my long overdue Christmas Card Club project! (Sorry, girls!)


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Chocolate Baroque: Gifts For Christmas

Good morning, everyone. We are now a fortnight away from Christmas. Ideally all your cards should be in the mail and it's time to look at finalising the gifts. I've got 3 projects to help you make those pressies extra special.

1. Gift Card Holder

Gift cards make perfect presents ... when you run out of ideas! It can be a special gift when housed in a beautiful box. And you can't beat the wow factor of heat embossing.

Red and Gold - always a striking combo. That magnificent tree is from the Turtle Doves A5 sheet, heat embossed in gold and matted on gold card stock. I also did some tone-on-tone stamping in the background with the little snowflake from the Snowy Scenes A5 sheet with Versamark. To help secure the box I used some gold ribbon, tied in a bow.

This is a top opening box, revealing a pocket for the gift card in a slide-up mechanism. The sentiment is from the Christmas Magic clear stamp set, heat embossed in gold. Here's a video tutorial  by Dawn of Dawn's Stampin Thought.
Inkspirational Challenges #71: Anything Goes With Gold
Sweet Stampin: Oh Christmas Tree
Winter Wonderland:Christmas Presents

2. Gift bag

If you're super organised and have all your gifts ready for giving, how about making gift bags to house them. The WRMK Gift Bag Punch Board, available from the Chocolate Baroque store, makes light work of it. Here's one I prepared earlier:
After the rich opulence of the first project, I like the light fresh look of this one. This medium bag came together quickly. I used Spellbinders Oval and Lacey Oval dies to make a handle and tied it with some sheer grey ribbon.

The main star is the jolly man from the Santa Baby A5 sheet. He is coloured with water-colour pencils, fussy cut and popped up with foam tape in front of heat embossed snowflakes from the Snowy Scenes A5 sheet.

Here's the behind of the box. I stamped the snowflakes all around using TH Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. 

Now, about water colouring. It definitely is my go to colouring medium when I'm in a hurry. Not only is it easy but is very forgiving. Trust me, it really is so simple. Just lay down the colour as shown below and, using a fine brush, let the water do all the work. No fancy blending or shading.

I used Caran d'Ache Supracolor Soft Aquarelle Pencils: Carmine (Santa's suit); Prussian Blue (Santa's belt); Salmon and Pink (face), Charcoal Grey and Burnt Umber (sack); Light Grey, Silver Grey and White (beard and trimming of suit); Black (boots); Grass Green, Ochre, Scarlet (drum, present, candy cane)

We Do Doobadoo #21: Festive Spirit
Addicted To Stamps #93: Snowflakes
Fussy & Fancy #129: Snowflakes & Ribbon

3. Gift Card and Treat Box

And when you want to spoil someone - go for the double whammy: Gift Card and a treat  - all in one box.
I decorated the top of the box with the wreath from Hearth and Home A4 sheet, coloured with alcohol markers. Keeping it simple with just some ribbon.

Here's closer look at the top of the box. I also added Liquid Pearls to the wreath, which I fussy cut and matted on pearlescent cream CS cut with Spellbinders Labels 4 die. I inked the edges with TH Vintage Photo.

The box opens revealing the gift card in a pop-up mechanism with room for a few golden nuggets! The idea is from Brenda Quintana and she has a fab video tutorial here.

CHNC #207: Urgently Needed Christmas Creation
Sugar Creek #101: Not a CARD
Avenue 613 #102: AG + Optional Gift Packaging

There you have it - three project ideas to help you with your festive preps: Elegant, Playful and Extravagant. There's something for everyone and I hope these projects inspire you to play with your Chocolate Baroque Christmas stamps.

Thanks for stopping by. I'm painfully behind on my commenting. So sorry for that - things have been crazy here. The plan is to pop in for a few visits today... wish me luck! Stay safe and warm, friends!


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday Throwdown #224: Family Christmas

Hello, friends. Well what d'you know! It's time for another Tuesday Throwdown. Christmas is just over a fortnight away and if you're looking for some last minute makes, you've come to the right place. The girls have some projects to inspire the hurried and harried amongst us.

And to help us with our goal, the fabulous folks at Stamping Boutique have generously provided the design team with a few gorgeous digis. I'm playing with this super cute Mail Girl.

The paper is from BoBunny and I heat embossed the greeting with
Stampendous Fine White EP. This is a super quick card - so
NO stitching ... and let me tell you that was NOT easy for me! LOL

Here's a close-up of the little Main Girl. I coloured her with
Graph'It markers and added little dots in Baby Blue Liquid Pearls
in the bg to add interest to the falling snow. Then I layered her

on SB die cut.

Told you it was a quick make - I made FOUR and even managed to ring
the changes in her outfit: green, pink, red and purple. 

A few challenges for this card:

Squigglefly #49: Emboss or Die Cut
Scrapbook Stamp Society #56: AG, Optional Christmas
Fitztown Challenge #56: Christmas
Eureka Stampede #118: Let It Snow
Digi Sketch: Waiting For Christmas / Sketch
Crafty Card Makers: Christmas

Now it's your turn to create a project based on this week's theme: "Family Christmas". For ideas and inspiration, take a peek at what the rest of the DT members have made. Remember to link up your project at the Tuesday Throwdown Challenge Blog by 3pm Pacific / 11pm UK Monday, December 15th. And the most important requirement: Have Fun! It's almost Christmas after all.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Good luck with all your festive preps. I'll leave you with a picture of the "partridge" in our "pear tree"!  :)

Richard Parker - pretending to be an ornament!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Polkadoodles #49: Secret Santa

Hello, Polka Doodlers! It's happy Friday again but this fortnight we're taking our challenges to the next level. Blame it on too much egg nog, mulled wine AND sangria because the DT on Polka Doodles Challenges have all gone bonkers and become "Secret Santa" to each other.

We each received a cryptic message from Santa and the Jolly Man wanted me to make a project for .... whoops, can't tell you but see if you can guess from these clues:

Clue #1: She lives across the pond and is into crafting, cooking and cats.

Clue #2: She trains her kitties to be therapy animals at catteries ... how cool is that?!

Clue #3: She's new to Poolkadoodles, so new that you'll only be seeing her PD projects next year.

If you think you know the identity of my "Secret Santa", leave her name in the comments section of my post. One lucky winner will receive a digi image over and above the normal challenge prize. A random DT blog will be chosen and a commentator from that blog will then be picked as the winner of a fab Polka Doodles digi image. 

Don't forget to visit all the DT and see if you can guess who has made for whom to be in with a chance to win.  All the details you need are on the main Polka Doodles challenge blog. You have up to Thursday 18th December (midnight GMT) to enter and the winners will be announced on Friday 19th December (GMT).

Now let me show you what I made for my Secret Santa:

The background paper is from Angelberry Christmas, the cosy houses and trees are from A Home For Christmas and the greeting is from Festive Hollybobs. To accentuate the snow I used Texture Paste by Ranger and glitter. 

Here are a couple of close-ups.  For extra sparkle and shimmer I used Liquid Pearls, Stardust Stickles and Distress Glitter Clear Rock Candy.

Don't forget to leave a comment with the name of the DT member. A full list of all members can be found on the Polka Doodles Challenge blog. If in doubt.... GUESS and you risk winning an extra digi image. You have up to Thursday 18th December (midnight GMT) to enter and the winners will be announced on Friday 19th December (GMT).

Thank you for stopping by today. I'm sure you are looking forward to the weekend... so am I!


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Chocolate Baroque: Quick Christmas Cards

Good morning, crafty comrades! With the deadline to post Christmas cards fast approaching, I've got a few quick and easy festive cards to show you for those last minute makes. Join me as I flip through Chocolate Baroque's holiday archives and ink up stamps from Christmases past.


First up is this colourful number showcasing an intricate image from the Peace On Earth A5 sheet released in September 2011. After heat embossing it in black with Stampendous Detail Black EP, I blended Distress Inks in Chipped Sapphire, Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick, Evergreen Bough and Pine Needles for the background. To finish, I added Stickles for some starry sparkle and gold ribbon for a regal touch.. The greeting is from the Warm Christmas Greetings clear sheet, heat embossed in white. I rounded the bottom corners with WRMK's 1/2" Corner Chomper.

Crafting By Design: All Things Christmas
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Christmas
Word Art Wednesday #161: AG Uplifting


Next up is a super simple card, perfect for mass producing. This time I'm playing with the Pears and Baubles A4 sheet released in 2012.  The bauble is stamped in VersaFine Satin Red, fussy cut and adhered to the background which I dry embossed using the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. I dressed the bauble with Gold Liquid Pearls and Stardust Stickles. The greeting is from the same sheet, stamped with VersaFine Black Onyx and cut with Spellbinders Ribbon die. The red, cream and black colour combo is effortlessly dramatic.

Kylie Is Addicted To Stamps: Christmas
Delightful Sketches: Twinkle Twinkle
Addicted To Stamps #124: CAS


Our trip down memory lane ends with this enchanting A4 set called The Gift Of Christmas which was released in August 2012. It also happens to be my personal favourite and my very first set from Chocolate Baroque. The silhouette of the cat and dog looking up at the tree sums up Christmas at our home.

I've kept it simple by heat embossing the image in black, lightly inking the background with Antique Linen stamping the snowflakes from Holly Bells A5 sheet with Memento Desert Sand. For the tree I blended with Distress Inks in shades of green: Pine Needles, Peeled Paint and Bundles Sage. To finish I dressed, the tree with Red Liquid Pearls and Icicle Stickles, added a gold star and a red bow. The greeting from A Child Is Born A4 sheet is stamped with VersaFine Black Onyx.

I rounded corners with WRMK's 1/2" Corner Chomper and  I adhered the image using foam tape on to brown pearlescent cardstock.

CCEE Stampers 1449: Christmas Tic Tac Toe - Pine, Glitter, Animal
4 Crafty Chicks #223: Animals
Stamping Royalty #257: Favourite Stamp Set - The Gift Of Christmas by Chocolate Baroque


There you have it - 3 surprisingly quick cards made extra special with embossing, Distress Inks and a little sparkle ... couldn't be simpler! I hope you'll some useful ideas from these for your own Christmas projects.

Enjoy your Advent experience, friends, as you prepare for the big day. The days are passing so quickly and it'll be Christmas before you know it. Thank you for making time to drop in today. I'm a little behind on my visiting ... it's been a hectic couple of week. But I'll be stopping by soon, promise! Stay warm and happy!


Monday, 1 December 2014

Eclectic Ellapu December: Vintage Christmas

Well hello, December! And that means there's new challenge starting over at  Eclectic Ellapu. We've got more talented ladies in the group now and MORE crafty inspiration for you.

Let's get down to business. As always the 2 teams - Pinks and Purples - are playing together, but they have own themes. The Pinkies are feeling nostalgic with "A Vintage Christmas" and the Purplies would like you to make a project that is "Christmas But Not A Card".

Here's my vintage creation... I think it's vintage ... I hope it is.

The background paper is from Dovecraft's Back To Basics Christmas Vintage Collection. The images are by Chocolate Baroque. The mantle piece is from Santa Baby.  The bookshelf and greeting are from The Gift of Christmas. Incidentally, you'll find that bookshelf on my very first DT make for Eclectic Ellapu way back in Oct 2012. I've taken something old and paired it with a new stamp that was released this year. Talk about timeless versatility ... and value for money to boot!

I used Distress Inks in Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo and Antique Linen to age the cardstock.

Here's close-up of the image. I used Graph'It markers to colour and to finish some Glossy Accents on the baubles, Stickles for sparkle and Liquid Pearls for subtle dimension.

The sentiment inside is from Chocolate Baroque's Warm Christmas Greetings, stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa.

Here are the stamp sets used and you can get them over at the Christmas section of Chocolate Baroque's online store.

Challenges for this oldie:

Now it's your turn to create and link up your labour of love over at the Eclectic Ellapu Challenge Blog. Remember, we have 2 concurrent challenges: "Vintage Christmas" for the Pink Team and "Anything But A Card" for the Purple Team. You can enter one or both challenges as many times as you wish, but make sure you link up your projects by 11:59pm GMT on 31 Januray 2015.

That's right. You have 2 whole months to play. This will be our last challenge for the year. We're taking a break in January and will be back a brand new challenge on 1 February 2015.

Have a beautiful day, friends. Enjoy the run-up to Christmas.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas Card Club #25: Silver Bells / All I Want For Christmas

Woohoo! The countdown to Christmas has begun. I can't believe the big day is so close. Today is a special day for a couple of reasons:

1. Advent Sunday - I'm a sucker for traditions, celebrations and feast days

2. André (our oldest furbaby) is 14 years old today. He was named after the saint of the day - Santandre (St Andrew). A special shout out to my friends in Scotland.

I also received some special candy from a very special person.... more on that later.

So, we're putting up the tree after Mass today, but first we will have a special lunch for André. Peanut and Richard Parker will take the tree down... we'll put it back up ... and so on until Jan 6th. It's another time-honoured Martins tradition!

But first let me show you a card I made for the Christmas Card Club. It's my turn to choose a theme and, in keeping with my personal tradition, I managed to confuse and confound everyone with not one but two themes. So sorry ladies!

And so, I hang my head in shame and introduce my card for these themes: "Silver Bells" and / or "All I Want For Christmas". I couldn't make my mind up about anything with this card... so I mixed up my stamps and came up with this.

The background CS is a very pale silvery grey. For the little falling hearts
I used a Fiskers punch and silver mirri. The corner die is by WIld Rose
Studio with lashings of Stardust Stickles. The greeting is from Seasons Of Love by 

Waltzing Mouse Stamps, stamped with Versacolor Silver.

The bells are from Chocolate Baroque's A Child I Born, stamped with VersaColor Silver
and heat embossed with Stampendous Stardust Transparent. I coloured the
leaves with green Caran d'Ache pencils. And in keeping with the theme(s)
I tied 3 silver bells with some silver thread.

On the inside I stamped a greeting from Clearly Besotted's Most Wonderful
 and added a little silver heart.

Here's a list of the über-talented ladies from the Christmas Card Club who, despite my best efforts to thwart their well laid plans, have managed to create spectacular works of art. Swing by their blog and you'll see what I mean!

Karen P ... Maureen ... Margaret ... Carol ... Lizzie ... Hazel ... Karen B ... Sue P ... Sylvie ...
Sue J ... Zoë ... Christine ... Mary ... Lorraine ... Rita ... Rachel ... Valery ... GranMargaret ... Kate
And now for the special news I mentioned earlier. Check this out:

A very special lady (with a true heart of gold!) sent me this blog candy! I am so honoured to have found her in  blogland and to be following her delightful and wholesome crafty creations. She also has a very special name so close to my heart since ... forever. She is Snoopy of Snoopy's Homemade Fun.

That box she sent has the prettiest flowers, ribbons, stamp pads and a bunch of Copic markers!!! If that weren't enough.... she also sent a 12" cutting mat!

I am grateful beyond words... so much so, I'm still lovingly caressing and admiring the contents. Haven't used them yet... but I will. I just need a few more days basking in their glory!

THANK YOU, Snoopy. Unbeknownst to you, a life long wish has come true. When I was a child I wanted Snoopy to send me one of those letters he used to type on hid kennel. Almost 50 years later... I finally got that letter (and soooo much more) from "Snoopy". You see, along with the stuff are a couple of handwritten notes to treasure! Wishes do come true, folks. It's just a question of time... and faith! :)

Have a blessed Advent Sunday, friends. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

I'll leave you with the original version of "Silver Bells" sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the movie "The Lemon Drop Kid". There are so many beautiful versions but there's something endearing about Bob Hope's rendition.

Beijinhos & abraços!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Chocolate Baroque Colour Challenge #5

Good morning, friends! How are we this cold and frosty morning? Can't think of better weather to stay home and indulge in a little therapeutic crafting.

A new Chocolate Baroque Colour Challenge has started and we're on week #2 of this monthly meet-up. If you haven't played yet, now's the time to do so. The colours are super gorgeous and will work for any occasion. You can use any medium to create your projects: paints, inks, pencils, pens, stains, etc., as long as you keep to the colours from the colour swatch.

You don't have to use Chocolate Baroque stamps to play along but if you do you will be entered into a random draw to win £15 to spend on Chocolate Baroque stamps. All participants will have a chance to be on the Design Team's Top Three list and proudly display winner's badge on their blog.

I made a general card, perfect for a friend who needs a hug and a reminder that she is not alone.

I stamped this gorgeous image from Chocolate Baroque's Briar Rose sheet with Versafine Black Onyx onto a piece of watercolour paper. Then I used Caran d'Ache Suprasoft pencils and a fine tip Koi Water Brush. I also did a water wash for the background with Windsor and Newton Cobalt Turquoise Light.

To finish, I added some Liquid Pearl drops in on the in Petal Pink on the flowers and a couple of deep turquoise sequins in the middle of the flowers. Finally, a few little White Opal drops in the background.

On the inside, I stamped a sentiment from the Words of Comfort sheet with VersaFine Smokey Grey.

Here are the stamp sheets I used for this project. You can get them over at Chocolate Baroque's online store.

The challenge will close at 12.00 p.m. (UK) on Tuesday 16th December 2014, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 25th December 2014. What a lovely Christmas gift that would be! I hope you'll play along and run the risk of winning £15 to spend on Chocolate Baroque stamps. Are you game?

Speaking of game, I'm taking this card to the following challenges:

Party Time Tuesday #191: AG
Wonderful Wednesday: AG
Word Art Wednesday #160: AG Inspirational
Inspiration Destination #9: AG
Through The Purple Haze #69: AG
Avenue 613 Create #99: AG

Thank you so much for stopping by. Looking forward to seeing your projects over at the challenge blog. Have a wonderful Wednesday, chums!


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