Sunday, 31 May 2009

A circle sketch challenge in rainbow colours

Our challenge this week on Stamp With Us is a sketch one using this layout:
I decided to showcase a single stamp (apart from the sentiment) and repeat it in different colourways. The stamp is one of my all time favourites.

Stamp sets: Bloomin' with Beauty, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Whisper White, Kraft, Real Red, Only Orange, Yoyo Yellow, Green Galore, Ballet Blue, Lovely Lilac
Ink: Black Stazon, Stampin' Write Markers
Gingham Ribbon: Black
Punches: 1-3/8" circle, 1-1/4" circle

I stamped and coloured all the flowers first using the corresponding marker to match the cardstock in each case and then using a darker marker for shading. I was careful to punch the flowers in as close to the same place as I could. They don't quite fit within the smaller circle but if I'd used the larger one then the matting would have taken up to much of the space and unbalanced the feel of the card. All circles were raised on dimensionals over the top of the ribbon. I used Kraft and black gingham ribbon to provide a neutral background to showcase the colours.

A fun sketch that could be used with so many different stamps. I'll be keeping this one in my ideas folder.

Look forward to seeing your creations.

Sara xx

Friday, 29 May 2009

A thank you card in a range of pinks

OK, the last thank you card of the bunch (for a little while at least). I'll move onto a few other occasions for my cards next (hmm, think Father's Day may have to be one of them, lol).

For now though here are the details for this one:

Stamp Set: Soft Summer
Cardstock: Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Rose Red
Ink: Black Stazon, Regal Rose, Stampin' Write Markers
Gingham Ribbon: Light Pink
Striped Grosgrain Ribbon: Pretty in Pink
Punches: Scallop Edge, Corner Rounder
Other: Crafter's Toolkit, Dazzling Diamonds

The image was stamped, watercoloured with markers, cut out and raised on dimensionals. The top two mats were paper pierced using the Crafter's Toolkit. Just one edge of the base card was corner rounded to echo the rounded sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara zz

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Honest scrap award from two lovely ladies

I'd like to thank Alison for first nominating me for this award, followed shortly after by Teri.

According to Teri:

"This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver's opinion, brilliant."

So thank you ladies for your high opinions, I'm very grateful.

The conditions of the award are:

  • I must thank the person who gave me the award, list their blog and link to it (done)
  • I must list ten (10) honest things about myself (hmm, thinking ...)
  • I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog (done)
  • I must select at least seven (7) other worthy bloggers & list their links (oh so many to choose from)
  • I must notify the bloggers of the award (off to do now)

OK, so 10 honest things:

  1. That's an oldish photo on my profile. It was taken when I was quite a few pounds lighter *blushing*. I'll post a newer one just as soon as I lose some weight (haha).
  2. I'm a hoarder. Not just of craft materials (but those too) but especially magazines and books. I have so many piles of magazines spread about my craft room that I have to use the dining room for my crafting.
  3. I'm a dog person. I like cats and other animals (and truly cannot understand anyone who hurts or neglects them), but dogs own a special place in my heart. Our rescued mongrel, Ben, had to be put down a little over two years ago when he got a brain tumour and we are just now reaching the stage where we feel ready to get another dog. A friend of my brother is looking to rehome an American Bulldog and we are looking into whether we'll be a good fit for him. If for some reason it's a no, then we'll look at the rescue centres instead. I'm sure you'll see more about this from me soon.
  4. I'm a stash stroker. I love buying fancy embellishments but hate using them up.
  5. I'm just about to start a new day job ... as an Auditor. I know, I know - they're not welcome anywhere and I'll have no friends. Good job I have my crafting for that *smiles*.
  6. I spend a fortune on crafting (which is why I decided to become a demo so that I could get a great discount and hopefully make a little money towards feeding my habit), probably no surprise there.
  7. I'm a list maker. I have lists for everything; grocery shopping, craft wish list, where to go on holiday next, to do lists galore ... a list of lists, lol.
  8. I'm a gadget freak. I got my first PDA (personal digital assistant for the non-teccies) about 15 years ago and haven't been without one since. I have a Macbook, an ipod, and iphone, a solar charger for the iphone (think you get the drift).
  9. I love travelling. My favourite places visitied so far have been Peru and Hawaii (the latter was where we got married).
  10. I love reading. Mainly thrillers (we're off to the Harrogate Crime Festival again in July) but I also mix in the occasional sci-fi, romance or other. I usually have at least a paperback and an audiobook on the go. Audiobooks are great for controlling my temper when I get stuck in traffic jams (fairly frequently), who cares when you're in the middle of listening to a good book.

Now for my nominees:

These are all blogs that I visit regularly and from which I take a great deal of inspiration. If they're not already on your list of favourites, then please go visit.

All for now.

Sara xx

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A ribbon weave centrepiece with a hidden message

The Stamp With Us challenge this week is a Recipe one. I could use 1 patterned paper, 1 flower, 2 ribbons and a button. I was so pleased when I read that it was 2 ribbons - I've been wanting to use some ribbon weaving in a card for a while. Here's my card and it has a little secret:

Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
DSP: Chocolate Chip Patterns
Taffeta Ribbon: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip
Button: Pretty in Pink
Other: Flower from Pretties Kit, Linen thread, Stampin' Pastels
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Punches: Scallop Edge

I matted and layered the card and DSP as shown in the photo. For the centrepiece I inked the linen thread with Chocolate Chip and tied it through the button. The flower from the Pretties Kit was coloured at the edges with Pretty in Pink and Chocolate Chip Pastels. When it came to weaving the square I actually got it wrong twice. I know, I know, how dense am I and yes it's that long since I last did any weaving, lol. Just so you don't have to make the same mistake(s), I can tell you that you need to line up one edge of the square with pink ribbon and another adjoining edge with chocolate ribbon. Then simply alternate which ribbon is on top. All ribbon ends were secured with sticky strip to keep in place. A mini card was cut from Pretty in Pink cardstock. The base was stuck to the main card front and the weaving was stuck to the top of the mini card, trapping a couple of ribbon tails to use to lift it open. The flower and button were stuck with glue dots. Here's how it opens to hold a hidden message:

To help balance the weight on the front of the card I added an insert:

Inside Recipe
Stamp Sets: Seeing Spots, Crazy for Cupcakes
Cardstock: Whisper White
DSP: Chocolate Chip Patterns
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Punches: Corner Rounder

Straightforward stamping, matting and punching on the insert but I used the stamp-a-ma-jig to place the sentiments where I wanted them.

Looking forward to seeing how you meet the challenge.

Sara xx

Friday, 22 May 2009

Yes another thank you card, this time in a bright and modern style

I made this card using a sketch challenge I liked over at ILWS and a colour challenge I wasn't so keen on, still at ILWS, but a different thread. In the end I really loved the colours (thanks Dawn for pushing me outside my comfort zone) and I like the modern feel to this card. It's another one on my list "to be repeated". Not such a quick card but I did the cutting out while watching TV, so not too bad all round either.

Here's the card in full:

Stamp set: Organic Grace (level 1 hostess set)
Cardstock: Basic Black, Basic Grey, Rose Red, Yoyo Yellow
Ink: Basic Black

I cut the squares with my Paper Cutter and stuck them with Tombow glue so that I could slide them a little to get them into the right place. The flowers were simply stamped, cut out and raised on dimensionals.

Why not take a look at my Stampers Club to see how you could get the Organic Grace set for free and have a go at this card yourself.

Thanks for looking. Hope you have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A flowery thank you card in amethyst and chocolate

Another thank you card today (you'll be fed up with thank you's by the end of the week, lol). 

For this one I used the sketch over at Sketch Saturday:

For the colour scheme I actually got my inspiration from a car dealership we drove past last week. It had promotional flags flying and I thought "ooh, Almost Amethyst and Chocolate Chip, that's a nice combination". Hmm, perhaps crafting has taken over my life, lol.

Stamp Sets: Bloomin' with Beauty, Circle of Friendship
Cardstock: Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
DSP: Tea Party
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Stampin' Write Markers
Narrow grosgrain ribbon: Chocolate Chip
Rhinestone Brads: Circle Ice
Punches: Scallop Edge, Scallop Circle, Boho Blossoms
Other: Nesties

The central image is "watercoloured" with Markers. All the punched flowers were snipped between petals and the petals were then shaped around a crafter's needle.

I'm sure this won't be the last time I use this colour combo.

Sara xx

Monday, 18 May 2009

A thank you card for friends at work

I need a few thank you cards this week. I'm in the process of moving jobs (for my day job that is, not my Stampin' Up! job) and various of my colleagues have bought me leaving gifts. They're such a great bunch, I'm glad I'm not moving far and can still keep in touch with them. It's a good excuse for making more cards anyway.

It seems ages since I last played along with Kristina Werner's Colour Inspiration Challenge. We don't have baja/aqua over here but it looks to me like a shade in the Ski Slope papers, so I used that. Her colours this week are these:

and I combined them with the sketch challenge over at Splitcoaststampers (sorry it's a bit diddy):

Here's the card I made:

Stamp sets: Summer by the Sea, Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: So Saffron, More Mustard, Sahara Sand, Whisper White
DSP: Ski Slope
Ink: More Mustard
Other: Cuttlebug embossing folder

It's pretty straightforward - just stamping, embossing and matting.

While I'm on the subject of giving thanks, I'd also like to thank my friend Andrea for nominating me for an award. Andrea's over in Germany but you don't need to be able to understand German to appreciate her cards. She did a beautiful variation of the same colour challenge that I've used above. As I already have this award I'm not going to pass it on this time but many thanks Andrea.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A scrapbook page featuring the Designer Series Papers

This week's Stamp With Us challenge is a colour one using the photo below as inspiration.

I can hardly believe that I've been blogging for nearly 6 months now and haven't posted a scrapbook page yet. When I saw the image we were going to use, it brought this layout to mind. I opted not to have all the "towels" facing the same way because it unbalanced the page.

Cardstock: Old Olive, Bashful Blue, Ruby Red, Apricot Appeal, Certainly Celery
DSP: Haiku, Washington Apple, Holiday Treasures, Rainbow Sherbet, Certainly Celery Prints (retired)
Other: Printed Captions, Octagon Nestabilities

The photos are from our trip to Peru last year. The top one is the oasis we stopped at after flying over the Nazca lines (you can just see the huge sand dunes in the background). The bottom one is my hubby and his Dad at the same oasis. It was a fantastic trip and making this page brought a lot of it back to me - I really must do more scrapbooking.

Don't forget that the Designer Series Papers are on offer this month. Buy any three packs and get another one free. More details are here. Please email me at to place your order.

Sara xx

Saturday, 16 May 2009

A quick reminder of why it is worth becoming a demo during May

Just a quick reminder that my offer to give you an extra free stamp set (any value) when you join Stampin' Up! through me, expires at the end of this month.

In case you've missed it previously, here's why it pays to become a hobby (just for yourself and friends) or business (selling to others) demonstrator:
  • Huge discount on the customisable starter kit (£240 of tools and products for just £139. This month only, just £99 for the Scrapbooking Starter kit)
  • Significant discount on all Stampin' Up! products 
  • Sneak peeks of upcoming products and chance to pre-order
  • Free newsletter every month with tips and techniques
  • No need to hold a workshop or "sell" if you prefer to remain a "hobby demo"
  • Bonuses and incentives available to those who want follow the career plan
  • Access to on-line resources and business support
  • Ability to drop out at any time, no tie-ins (but you cannot then rejoin for set period)
  • Opportunity to attend field training events and annual convention (charges apply)
  • Ability to earn free stamp sets in your first 6 months
Additional benefits exclusive to joining through me:
  • Support and training in how to deliver a workshop (face to face if I can travel to you or telephone and on-line if outside travelling distance)
  • Ongoing support by phone and email
  • Product sample kits
  • Sample cards
  • Marketing ideas and tips to grow your business
  • Project worksheets to use at your workshops
  • Exclusive access to a blog just for my downline team
  • Sign up by the end of May 2009 and choose any stamp set* from the current catalogue or mini (any value)
Whether you're ready to sign up now or have more questions you'd like answered, then email me at

* Excludes hostess stamp sets

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A fantasy scene on a stair step card for a little boy

Ever since I made my first stair step card a few weeks or so ago, I've had in mind to create a little scene on one with the Forest Friends set. Originally I was going to make it in "true" colours and I'm sure that I will do, one day soon. I decided though that for my friend's little boy, who is 2 tomorrow, I'd do a fantasy colour version.

Stamp sets: Forest Friends, Oval All, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Lovely Lilac, Pixie Pink, Green Galore, Glorious Green, Stampin' Write Markers
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval

The stair step design is from over at Splitcoaststampers. Trees and bambi were layered flat to the base card, behind the "grass" to make them a little more secure. I snipped the grass for the middle and back layers but just matted the card on the front sentiment layer. The grass was just teased forward a bit by running my finger behind it and pulling forward gently. I used markers direct to stamp for the trees. The owl, bunny and sentiment were raised on dimensionals.

The side view shows the stair step design a little better.

I matted some Whisper White card onto the back for a message.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Another christmas card meets a couple of challenges

Last night I was on-line for the Stamp With Us chat again and Natalie set us a quick challenge. We had 45 minutes (probably less by the time I'd done chatting) to make and upload a Christmas card. 

To make life easier for myself I decided to use the sketch layout from this week's Mojo Monday challenge (one less design element to think about).

Here's the sketch:
Here's my card:

Stamp sets: Scandinavian Season
Cardstock: Old Olive, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip
DSP: Ski Slope
Ink: Versamark
Other: Gold EP
Punches: Scallop Edge

Well, that's another Christmas card done. Two down, ? still to make.

Sara xx

Monday, 11 May 2009

A tree in pink and why not?

Here's the recipe for today's card:

Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Rose Red
DSP: Tea and Crumpets
Ink: Regal Rose, Versamark
Ribbon: Regal Rose wide grosgrain, Pink gingham
Punches: Scallop Edge, Large Oval, Scallop Oval
Other: Heat & Stick powder, Dazzling Diamonds, Halfback pearl from the Pretties Kit
Non-SU: Nesties

Fairly straightforward to reproduce with all the ingredients but if you have a question then please include it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Stamp With Us Thank you card using True Friend stamp set

As a new member of the Stamp With Us Design Team, today's card is to meet the theme challenge of Thanks. As a personal challenge I also set myself the task of sticking with a single stamp set to create it.

Stamp Set: True Friend stamp
Cardstock: Pale Plum, Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Paper: Vellum
Ink: Perfect Plum, Garden Green, Versamark, Markers
Ribbon: Elegant Eggplant narrow grosgrain
Other: Clear embossing powder
Punches: Corner Rounder

The Certainly Celery background is stamped with Versamark for a watermark effect. The flowers were inked with Versamark first and then with Perfect Plum before stamping onto Pale Plum card. Clear embossing powder applied over the top of these layers and heated, gave a glossy effect that you can't really see from the photos. I used the stamp-a-ma-jig to place the stems and the leaves where I needed them and so that they weren't overlapping too much. Colouring the markers directly onto the stamp, in Certainly Celery and Garden Green, gave a variegated effect to the leaves.

When she's been able to get a word in edgeways between the chatter of the SWU on-line class chat, Monica's been advising us of ways to use the SU vellum card. Well I don't have any vellum card at the moment (on my order list for next time now) but I used vellum paper to create an envelope for the Thank You mini notelet to sit it. I wrapped the vellum around the note to get the size and shaped the closure using the corner rounder punch (best to do this before sticking the envelope together as I figured out doing it the wrong way). You can write a message inside the card and perhaps add a little, more personal message inside the notelet.

Looking forward to seeing your versions of the challenge posted over at Stamp With Us. Hope you get chance to play along this week.

Sara xx

Friday, 8 May 2009

Birthday card and mini cupcake box for my SIL - Happy Birthday Zoe

Today's my sister-in-law's birthday and I made this little card and gift set for her. The card is CASEd from the lovely Monica. The box is from the Stamp With Us on-line class. Apologies - I forgot to photograph the card separately before sealing it in the envelope but I think you can still see it fairly clearly in the photo above.

Stamp set: Crazy for Cupcakes, Circle of Friendship, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip
DSP: Sweet Always
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Rose Red, Stampin' Write Markers
Ribbon: Rose Red double-stitched grosgrain
Punches: 1" circle, 1-1/4" circle, 1-3/8" circle

The top thread of the ribbon was pulled to create the canopy.

Here's the inside of the card:

The balloon was paper pieced.

And now the box:

Stamp set: Crazy for Cupcakes, Oval All
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
DSP: Sweet Always
Ink: Rose Red, Stampin' Write Markers
Ribbon: Regal Rose wide grosgrain
Punches: Scallop square, 1" circle, Scallop oval
Other: Waxed paper, label, mini muffins

The box was made following the Stamp With Us instructions and then decorated.

Here's what's inside:

Shop bought mini muffins/cupcakes I'm afraid. Bit too busy crafting to be baking as well. I lined the inside of the box using waxed paper and put my own hand-made seal over it. I stamped the sentiment from Oval All onto a printer label and punched it out. It's difficult to peel the label from the backing so I scored the backing lightly with a craft knife to get the backing off.


Have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Birthday cupcake card for a male relative

I made this card for my Mum to send to my cousin for his birthday and chose the colours to meet a colour combination challenge over at In Love With Stamping. Not a colour combo I would have gone for but the Pumpkin Pie livens it up in just the right way.

Stamp set: Crazy for Cupcakes, Circle of Friendship
Cardstock: Brocade Blue, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Ink: Black stazon, Chocolate Chip, Stampin' Write Markers
Punches: 1" circle, 1-1/4" circle, 1-5/8" circle
Other: Crafters toolkit

I stamped the image in Black stazon so that the image wouldn't bleed as I coloured and shaded it with the markers. The dinky cupcake on top of the birthday message is the top one from the stack in the image, stamped again, coloured and cut out individually. The Pumpkin Pie mat was paper pierced.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Blog Candy from my friend and team mate

My friend and Stamp With Us team mate Kate over at Yours Truly is offering blog candy to celebrate 10,000 hits. The candy is truly scrumptious and Kate's designs are completely gorgeous - two very good reasons to head on over there. You have until 11.59pm on Friday 8 May to enter.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Boy on a beach birthday card

You'll notice that I've been tinkering with my blog content and design recently. It looked as though most of my readers were more experienced crafters and so I've stopped giving really detailed instructions and opted to give recipes and a few notes on technique instead. I'd love to know whether you're happy with this format so please drop me a comment. And whether you're a newbie or an experienced crafter, you can always ask questions via comments too.

I've also added some tabs across the top to help you get to offers etc. quickly and easily. This has been a real challenge for me this weekend but I think it's working now.

And on to the crafting - today's card is for the Stamp With Us challenge set yesterday which is a sketch challenge along to this design:

And here's my card based on the sketch:

Stamp set: Summer by the Sea, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: More Mustard, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
DSP: So Saffron
Ink: Not Quite Navy, Stazon Black
Watercolour Crayons: Soft Subtles
Other: Aquapainter
Non-SU: Nestabilities for circles

Today's card is pretty straightforward to follow from the recipe but just drop me a comment if you do have a question.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Cards that I made for a timed SWU challenge

Happy holidays everyone. Hope you're enjoying the long bank holiday weekend as much as I am.

Many thanks for all your messages of congratulations on making the Stamp With Us Design Team. I now need to start making my samples ready for the challenges.

Been a busy weekend so far. Yesterday I spent the morning with my downline Jan at her first Open House. The ladies who came along (we didn't get any gents, still waiting for the first to turn up) made a couple of great make and take cards and we demonstrated a variety of techniques. It was lovely to hear how the catalogue items "came alive" for the ladies. There were quite a few eureka type moments along the lines of "oh so that's how you use that" and "ooh that looks so much nicer in real life". Great fun and perhaps time  arranged another one as my last one was back in December.

DH and I then went over to visit my Mum and Dad and then onto the piccies to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Got to admit that I was a bit disappointed. Not in Hugh Jackman, who looked very fit (in all ways), but it seemed more of a boy's flick than the others had been.

Anyway, back to the crafting. Friday night was launch night of the Stamp With Us on-line class and we had chat (fast and furious with about 40 people typing messages at once) and timed challenges. If you'd still like to join up then the only thing you'll have missed out on is the chat from Friday night, you'll still be able to access all the tutorials and the next chat session is scheduled for Tuesday. Details are on the Stamp With Us site.

These are the cards I made on the night (I've rephotographed them in daylight):

Stamp Sets: Soft Summer, Oval All
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, Certainly Celery, Old Olive
Ink: Markers, Versamark
Ribbon: Bashful Blue taffeta, Certainly Celery narrow grosgrain
Other: Dazzling Diamonds, White embossing powder
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Scallop Edge

I paper pierced the Ruby Red mat and raised it on dimensionals. The centres of the flowers were sprinkled with dazzling diamonds into wet Tombow glue (doesn't show so well in the photos but looks good IRL). The two different ribbons were tied together and wrapped around). The sentiment was stamped once onto Old Olive and again onto Certainly Celery with Versamark. Then white embossing powder added to each and heated with the heat tool and finally punched and assembled.

Stamp Sets: Bloomin' with Beauty, Seasonal Wishes, Yummy
Cardstock: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Markers
Ribbon: Real Red narrow grosgrain
Other: Hodgepodge

The red ribbon was tied onto the hodgepodge and wrapped around the single piece of Basic Black card to divide the image and the sentiment. The dinky heart on the sentiment is from the Yummy set (a discontinued Sale-a-bration set).

Hope to get on with a scrapbooked page or two soon to show you the DSPs that are currently on offer, so I hope you'll stop back soon.

Sara xx

Friday, 1 May 2009

Yippee!! I made the Stamp With Us Design Team

Yeeees - it's official. I'm now a very proud member of the Stamp With Us Design Team.

I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who left comments on my entries over the past few weeks. I do read every comment and have enjoyed taking a look at your entries and visiting your blogs in return.

Congratulations to all the other Design Team members - I'm in some awesome company.

Away now to celebrate and then down to some serious crafting at the Stamp With Us online class Launch Party this evening.

Sara xx