Crafting with Jo....

... a little bit of life, a little bit of craft...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Chalk Dust...

What is it about chalk that makes me think of school?

I know that these days they have all the hi-tech stuff like whiteboards and such, but for me, school will always be about having things written on a proper blackboard with chalks of varying colours - and even having a blackboard rubber aimed at the head by a very grumpy Geography teacher!! If I'm honest, it was much better than being called an empty weetabix box... lol. Those were the days eh?!

Anyway.... onto today's post... and yes, you guessed it, I am going to share a couple of makes from the Chalkboard dies from Tonic.

I've decided to show you two ways to use the frames.

The first card that I want to show you is using the stamps and frames that come within the range. This one is called Special Occasion, and you will recieve the outside and inner designs, a lovely lattice insert and also the matching set of three stamps and the outside of the stamp which you can use to create a frame or just simply for placement of the stamps.

All of the stamps within the sets coordinate with each other and you can play to create multiples of different sentiments!

As you can see, I cut mine from black cardstock, then the inner section was stamp and heat embossed in white powder. I then took a white pencil and went around the outside of the wording to create a shadow... like the chalk had smudged ... and finished it off by colouring parts with coloured pencils.

Now... on the card below, I left it a bit more cute... and did what I love... came back to the stamping and used the dies as a frame to sit my Magnolia stamp in.

I chose Tonic paper and cardstock to layer and decorate, and the frame of the little Bumble was cut using the inner part of the die set.

I had to hold the die in place to draw around the edge where it met the feet, so that I could cut around them with a pair of scissors. This made them dangle on the outside of the frame so it looked like he was sat on it.

Little bumble (as I like to call this stamp) was coloured with the Tonic Nuvo pens, but I added a little bit of prisma pencil to the hair to give it a little extra oomph!

Glitter was sprinkled onto the wings to add a finishing bit of sparkle. And then I completed the card using a few dots of Card Candi from Craftwork cards on the corners.

Nice and simple... but this could easily have been a decoupage or other stamped image... the frames are so multifunctional and useful - and also very pretty!!

I will be back shortly to show you another couple of makes.... with a different frame set too!

Until next time. xxxx

A few days away...

Evening everyone...

Trying to find time to blog these days can be a little hard, but as I always promise to try my best something always comes up to stop me!

This past week saw me down in Exeter with the Tonic Workshop girls spending a fab time meeting lots of lovely crafters, then zooming up to Peterborough to do shows on the weekend for Create and Craft. Now, I've managed to catch up with myself so I'm quickly coming along to post a few pics of the workshops etc.

As you can see, the workshops were buzzing all the days that we were there... from first thing in the morning, right through to the end of the day. The Tonic Tangerines were given their paces good and proper and never disappointed... apart from the first day where we had problems cutting a die, only to realise that we had the spellbinders plates out and not the Tonic plates... so all was quickly sorted and normal business resumed. lol.

We had a selection of three cards from which the wonderful folks could take their pick, or mix and match to create something unique. These were displayed on an easel for the first time and I felt it worked really well actually... as people who were unsuccesful at getting a place could come along and take a photograph of the projects so they could recreate something at home with the dies.

All our workshop friends enjoyed their cards, even if they had never cut a die or made a card before... we set them off with their projects, showed them a few basics and off they went... and very successfully they made their cards. Some just cut, and cut and cut... and others made a card. But the ideas were in abundance, and not always as per the ideas on the Inspiration sheets.

Here was a lovely lady who joined our workshop and created her card using a different style. Beautiful it was too... Well done to all our ladies who came along... the feedback from the show was well recieved and I would like to thank you all for coming and making our time there perfect.

Here are two of the projects that were given as Inspiration...

The die collection that we used were the Tonic Studios Momento Frames. We finished the cards off with a few of the Tonic Nuvo drops in various colours.

I hope you will be able to join us at some point over the next few months at the shows to do a workshop. We will be at Glasgow SECC, Birmingham NEC and London Excel.

Until next time.... xxxx

Monday, 14 September 2015

Little and cute.... now what could it be??

I. Am. In. Love. 

Yep. It's official I'm afraid and I am certainly not ashamed to share.... !

A couple of weeks ago I was down at Sandown Racecourse doing Workshops with Tonic Studios and I had a little walk around before the show opened on the first day. I came across Gordon and Justin who own Once upon a Stamp, and the first thing I noticed on their stand was the new collection of Lawn Fawn stamps and dies. Have you seen them? 

Oh my.... they are the cutest ever! And anyone who has followed my blog for the last seven years or so, will know that I love any cute, adorable stamps.... and these are just that!

They asked if I could help them out with a few samples for the stand, and I had to think about it for a nano second to say of course, so I spent that first evening with Sharon, in the hotel room, colouring, cutting and generally having a bit of stamping fun. Thoroughly enjoyed it and here are a couple of samples that were made up. 

I love these little Alpacas... they are so cute and not something I ever thought about using on Christmas cards at all! But just in case you are wondering - easy to stamp, colour and you get a coordinating die to cut around the shape. 

The papers are also from the Lawn Fawn collection and the stamps which had the sentiment 'Merry Christmas' too. The wording is a long fine stamp which is very easy to mould around a die cut shape as I have done.

The alpacas can be used in a few different ways and as you can see from the card below, depending on the colours that you use and the layout you choose to decide to make, you can create something completely different.

The wording on this card along the centre was a die which I cut straight along the centre. I also cut one from black and one from white and did a drop shadow technique to give it extra detail.

The snowflakes are also Lawn Fawn and come on a strip to cut out the various sizes and shapes out all in one go.

The thing I love about these stamps is that they require very little colouring, are very simple to use, as they have the outer edge die to cut them out. And they're cute. Cute cuts it for me every time.

I hope you like the projects today... I have a few more to show you over the next week or so, so please check back and there will be more to inspire you soon. xx

A well needed break....

Evening peoples....

I know it's been a little while since I've been here and posting a few posts for you, but I've had a bit of a busy time, and also a bit of a break, so time's sort of gone by kinda quickly.

We spent a few days away up in the Lake District in the last week or so, and I must say, it's been a well needed break. A bit of 'us' time with the hubby, with lots of walking, sunshine and wonderful fresh air!

We were up in Windermere but travelled around the area and managed to cram lots in over the few days we were there. Anyway, here are a few photos of our time away....

As you can see the weather managed to hold up very nicely whilst we were away, and only on the way home on Wednesday did it turn a little colder. It still didn't spoil the end of our holiday, as we took a slight diversion on the way home through the Yorkshire Dales.

What a wonderful time was had... and I am looking back to returning at some point very soon!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Something old... something new....

Evening you lovely bunch of crafters out there...

How are things with you? Things here have been lovely today - nice and relaxing, doing normal house things like cleaning, cooking, shopping. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As you know, we had a slightly different type of show on Create and Craft the other day, and here are the samples that I made for the show. As you can guess, the show was aimed around the Rococo christmas dies, see below, and also for the NEW papers, cardstock, and PENS!!

I had started writing this little post for you the other day, but was falling asleep so thought I would come back to it the night after... needless to say it's been a few days, so apologies for that! However, I'm here now, and let's get back to it.

Firstly the beautiful candle and poinsettia...

I love this design as a diecut, and even more so as a stamp. You may have seen me cut this from Funky Foam then stamp with it. It makes an awesome way to use your dies in a completely different way to be honest... and gives fantastic results each time. The best thing is you can use your pens to colour in your stamp, and then use that to stamp with! Perfect!!

Awwww my cute little gingerbread men. How sweet do these look? These were die cut, layered then coloured. I added some glitter to the 'iced' parts of the little fella's to give it some sparkle... I think they look sweet coloured in.

This next card is a small base card with the centre made from the smaller wreath die....

The berries were coloured in using the two lightest reds, then I added some glaze to the tops to give them some shine. Simple but quite stylish.

Now, this one below was a little different. I coloured in the snowflakes on the background papers to match in with the colours of the card - amazing what you can do when you have a pen to match eh?!

The papers and the sentiment are from the same pack, then the presents I cut from cardstock, coloured in and popped onto some cream Tonic cardstock and coloured it with a little grey to give some shadow.

The paper on the next one is also Tonic papers... they are so beautiful too - great designs for your cards and great colours across the two packs.

This little puddin' has to be my favourite... I loved colouring it. It came together so simply, and I just let the matting and layering do the job for me. A very easy card for anyone to try.

These last two were really all about the shading - shading from light to darks on the snowflake, and shading the same on the sleigh to enhance the pattern on the outside. I used browns, reds, the gold metallic and also the gold Nuvo Drops too.

I hope you liked the inspiration - sorry we rushed through the cards on the show and couldn't show them in great detail, but here they are to give you some ideas. If you use them for inspiration, don't forget to show me what you make. It'd be lovely to see it.

Until next time...
Happy Crafting!
Jo xxx

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ladies Day.....

Good evening everyone.... Phew, what a busy couple of weeks I've had!

I can finally catch my breath for a minute to share a quick blog post with you to show what I've been upto! Tonic have bought out some fantastic stamps and pens, and they are really something... they are perfect in every way - but I feel a need for a trillion other colours in the range!!! 

As you will see from the samples below (not brilliant photos I'm afraid, as they were taken at night hence the flash!) they blend wonderfully within the other colour sets in the range.... let me talk you around them. 

This is the first stamp in the Ladies Day set. There are two in the Ladies Day, two in the Elegance and three in the Accesories. 

The card above I started off with the browns for the skin tones, and the greys for the hair. I did try to keep saying yesterday - always start with the hair and skin - if you do, the dress will always look right, and if you make a mistake, you haven't wasted so much time.

I then moved onto the dress, where I used the three shades of yellow, and mixed it with one of the oranges and one of the reds. You can see they work beautifully together. I also chose my papers before I decided on the colours for the layers, decorations or indeed my colouring. It makes life easier!

Now the card below is the second stamp in the Ladies Day collection.

Isn't the movement on this stamp just wonderful. Fantastic artistic illustration work on all the stamps within the range, hand drawn by our illustrator Lucy, who works down at the Office. What a little gem she is...

I must admit, this is my favourite set.. I know I shouldn't have favourites. So. The papers came first, as usual, then the skin tones and hair coloured first before choosing the colours for the dress.

For the skin, I chose the fair skin tones, but added some darker shading with the lightest brown, 461, to the outer edges, then blended it all together. The hair was the three shades of brown, with a little dark grey, 491, for shadows.

I chose to stamp the image again onto some patterned paper to match the background, then fussy cut around the edges to paper piece on the image. I still added some shading around the dress with the medium and dark greys, 487 and 489.

The last card was finished off with some Nuvo drops too, and you can see they blend perfectly with the colours of the pens and also my cardstock.

Well, that's it for tonight I'm afraid... I hope to be back sometime the next couple of days or so to show you a little more inspiration.

Until then, Happy Crafting all. xxx

Friday, 31 July 2015

Let's Celebrate....

Morning all.... I was about to say Good evening then, but realised I'm later than usual trying to post my project for today. The silly laptop decided it was going to be silly and not come onto my internet for some strange reason - Gremlins in the cables I guess! But here I am at last. 

How are you all anyways? 

Things over the last few days here have been nice and relaxing - a little bit of housework, a bit of hairdressing (doing the daughters hair! Some things you never forget as you get older!) and getting back to having chance to do a nice meal with lovely puds too! Lemon Meringue must be my favourite this week. Very tasty it was too!!!

I've also spent a little bit of time working with some nice Nuvo bits and bobs... more on that on a later post! So, all in all, I feel very relaxed and chilled. It's quite a nice feeling me thinks. 

Onto the project ... and today, I thought I would share a little mini wine box and a matching card that I made for the Pick of the Day shows this week. 

The mini wine box was made using the same dies as the usual standard sizes, but I only cut two sets to create a square, rather than three sets for the larger bottles. 

Once you have cut your base layers for the box, stick them together as usual, and place to one side to dry for a few minutes. Take your bottle (chocolates, smelly candles, socks) or whatever you want to put in there, and measure the height.

My bottle of wine was 12cm tall to the base of the neck area, so I placed the glued section onto my guillotine and measured 14cm on the main body of the box and trimmed any excess from across the centre. Rejoin with red super sticky tape, or a glue gun for extra strength.

Now, because your bottle has a join in the centre, you will need to create a smaller wrap to go around the outside, or simpy use ribbon and lace, which is what I opted to do. I then cut the lacy panels to fit on the outside, measuring, trimming and sticking together just like before.

The little flower on the front edge is a Craftwork Cards topper that I cut and layered after I had coloured it in. I added a sparkler to the centre of the flower to give it a little bling.

Here's the matching card -

Again, I started off by colouring the Craftwork card topper to match in with the flower on the box, then mounted it up onto the lime and orange - same colourway to match again.

The sentiment I decided to curve around the outside of the topper once it was in place, so I cut the Let's Celebrate from the Wine Bottle Wraps set of dies, once from lime green and once from orange then paper pieced them onto white cardstock. This was then all cut out, stuck together and attached to the card at the ends, giving it a slight curve as you go along.

Now... the beautiful topper....

Isn't it just beautiful? I love the quirkiness of these little flowers, and they were singing out for vibrant colours. Now, you can colour these in whatever colours you want, because all you get in the pack is a black and white outline. Good eh?

I added some orange Nuvo drops and a little irridescent glitter to the top to make a centre to the flower.

You can see how this card looks from above. Something a little bit different, but I think I quite like it.

I hope you do too.

Until next time,
Love Jo xx
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