Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Happy Birthday Tonic!

Someone's having a birthday....

Hey folks! It is time for me to blog again - seems to be longer and longer in between each one and I always promised myself that I would never start  my posts with that particular apology!

All the feels for this brightness for Tonic's 2nd Birthday!

Time is fleeting (as I am sure you are aware) and I would love to spend more time on here. Something for the to do list I think.

Love the way these kits have a split personality sometimes...more on that later.

But I don't want to take too much away from Tonic because that is so not fair when someone has a birthday! Tonic is two years old and to celebrate, Craft Kit #24 is all about birthdays. In their usual clean and fresh style, they have come up with some fantabulous goodies for us - don't you just love when someone has a birthday but we get the pressies! This should become the new thing.

The clever folks over at Tonic make sure that everything goes together beautifully.

I have made a few cards and tags this time and had a great chance to play with some of the brightest colours. I won't do an unboxing because the best one by far can be found here and I do urge you to subscribe to this wonderful kit. You can do that here. I love the fact that you never know what you are going to get. It really helps creativity.

Tonic's birthday and we get the pressies - win!

So what have I made this month.....
My first card is a monochrome one using the wonderful ink and coordinating papers.

Sometimes limiting yourself to just one colour makes for more fun and creativity.
I absolutely adore the freshness of orange and when you put it with white, it just pops right off the card. This also gives you scope for men or women.

I would not be me if I did not stitch something!
The stamps in the kit are great for a random background and you get enough to choose from to make things interesting.

While I was thinking about orange, I decided to have a bit of a clash for the next one with a combo that is bright and fun and one which my nana would not have dreamed of.

This is glitter card stock and boy does it!

Red and orange together have such amazing energy! I went through my sewing stash to find some ribbon that Minnie Mouse would wear in a heartbeat to add to the brightness and fun.
There was plenty of orange card left over for some woven stripes which actually look quite sporty.

There are some really cute balloon shaker blisters in the kit this time and some really vibrant glitter (you get a couple of bottles from a selection so they will vary).
I fussy cut the balloon bunch out and punched some holes in the bottom for strings before putting them onto the card with a double layer of dimensional foam tape.

A Minnie Mouse bow if I ever saw one!
While I was in this primary mood, I made a tag. There is the best ever glitter pen in the kit this month and if just makes everything that you use it on bright and happy. I drew a simple vine with some leaves around the edge of the tag and then touched the glitter pen on the leaves. Vavoom! 

As you can see, the vines and leaves are very simple and easy to do. Start with a wavy line and then add little teardrop shaped leaves.

I die cut the words from glitter card scraps. There are some little star dies too and these give a bit of Hollywood to your tag too.

That glitter tho...
As I mentioned, there are two bottles of glitter in each box and they are a selection of a few possibilities so yours may differ from mine. There was a strong need for a shaker card with a larger aperture too to show that glitter off! I got to use those little vines and leaves again too with more glitter pen.
Next up I thought about inlaying the die cuts. You get a pad of double sided papers in the kit too and this made a perfect background....

Colour much!
It was a bit of a trial to get a pic of the inlaid bit because of the mirror card but bear with me....

I think that this one shows what is happening.
Inlaying like this is really easy to do. Simply lay the die that you are using half on and half off the card and cut them out. This creates a space to put the words (or whatever you are using) into. then cut out the words and slot them in.
Now I did mention that these kits often have a split personality. If you are not really a fan of bright, you can tone it right down with the other products as the next few cards show.

Muted and bright in the one box!

I have cheated a bit on this one and brought some kraft card (not in the kit) to marry with the pad paper and that awesome glitter pen.

The glitter pen works beautifully with the paper in the pad.

I actually traced around the balloon die with a fine black marker and then coloured with different patterns.

Jute twine and kraft card will mute any amount of brightness! The juxtaposition looks great together too.

And of course a birthday without presents is not going to work and it is easy to make a matching tag.

Again, simply trace around the die itself and then colour in!
I added Vintage Drop dots for dimension too.

It doesn't have to be complicated and no drawing skills are necessary.
While I was thinking in terms of more muted, I thought about cutting the balloons out individually and using pad paper, kraft card and some offcuts to cut mirror stars in green.

This is a great card to use the offcuts. Nothing goes to waste!
An absolute must-have in your stash is a fine black marker pen. I have used it to make outlines and borders and it stops the balloon cutouts from looking too flat.

Without the pen lines, these can look a bit flat for my taste.

And of course, there had to be a tag too!

Another great offcut make.
Finally, I wanted to make one more tag with a bit of bright and a bit of a muted vibe.

Ribbon from the sewing stash again.

For this one I took the star stamp and stamped a border in black ink just off the card at random. The glitter pen in the kit added a pop of colour. I left a bit of room under the stamped bit to add a name.

That orange ribbon is a real attention stealer!
Well that's it for this time around! These boxes are such fun and you get heaps of product. I could have kept making.
Have fun with your crafting and I will see you next time!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

A Triple Dose of Tonic!

These are my absolute favourites from this batch.

Finally I have been reunited with my beloved Tonic Craft kits - since leaving the UK and coming to live in Germany, the mail has been a bit haphazard and thankfully the lovely people who bought our house passed the mail on to me. Thank you guys!

Those papers have to be seen (and felt) to be believed!

This means of course that I got three craft kits at once and all of you will have already seen them because, in the real world, we are actually up to #22. So instead of an unboxing this time, which you have all seen before, 
I am going to do a sort of blender and show you how well the products combine and stretch to create even more than you have seen.

I love the way that although the craft kits are individually curated and themed, they still all fit together perfectly.

So, this time, the cards and other lovelies will all come from kits 19, 20 and 21. And enough time has passed since the kits came out so let's get on with it!

Inlaid dragonflies give great movement.

The first cab off the rank was a bit of everything - a trend set to continue. I wanted to get the feel of flying dragonflies so I die cut them from this gorgeous green card and then glued them back into the holes by their bodies only, leaving the wings free.
Naturally there was some stitching involved too and I really believe that this sets a card off nicely.

Those dragonflies! Cut from glitter card this time, they really stand out.
I really adore those dragonflies so they featured again and again. And the word dies from kit #19 are going to be a favourite that I bring out again and again.  They are just so intricate. You get some
Nuvo Stone Drops which is a new product and they make great dragonfly bodies.

I love to pair really refined with quite rustic and I was delighted to find a roll of jute twine in kit #20. It is amazing for wrapping and also for little bows as you see here. The twine is not really wrapped but glued on and then the bow is glued on the top. 

Bows and washi detail.

Another surprise was the addition of some really good quality washi tape in kit # 21. I used it to wrap around the edges of a card panel and also to make a bow. It is not the evil plastic kind of tape either. This one tears and distresses beautifully. I used the Expanding Mousse (Boatyard Blue), brush and stencil to add some texture to the background too. 

Dragonfly again!

I absolutely cannot get enough of these beautiful papers! honestly the curators at tonic are geniuses. This one has the most subtle embossing of leaves on it. It goes so well with the jute and some gems on the jute panel.

With such high quality product, you can make things simple and elegant.

And of course the words from kit #19 as promised have been featured a lot this time! They just work every time. I would actually take the time to cut some dragonflies from the card scraps as you use them and keep them in a little pot ready to use.

You can see the leaf imprint on the paper in this shot. Keep it simple is the key here.

The little gems are gorgeous and stick to the jute twine panel beautifully thanks to my favourite Nuvo Deluxe glue.

Hello indeed!

This wood grain paper. I don't know what to say (unusual for me!). It feels real and it looks real and it needs very little adding to it.
I paired it with a soft pink from Kit #19 and some satin pink card from the same kit for the word.

I cut the word this time from plain white card stock that had been decorated with Shimmer Powder.

Actually, let me draw your attention to the word for a kit #20, you get a new product called Shimmer Powder. Oh boy. Just oh boy! I am so looking forward to seeing more of this in every colour. This deserves its own spotlight.

To begin with, sprinkle it on a bit like salt onto a meal

Experiment and tap or shake the bottle to get the effect that you want.

Then spray it with water and watch the magic!

More please Tonic! There are so many colours there.

When it is dry, you can use it as a background or, as I have done, to die cut shapes from. It is THE most beautiful thing.

These little bows make a pretty detail to really round things off.

This card was finished with another faux jute wrap and a little bow glued on. I love the way that Nuvo Deluxe glue is so forgiving. It dries matte and clear so all of my clumsy mistakes just melt away.

Is anyone else seeing Art Deco peacock feathers?

I have used another piece of the Shimmer Powder decorated card stock (about 300 gsm) to make both the word and some little flowers on this one. I adore this gold Art Deco looking paper. It reminds me of peacock feathers.

The texture is astounding.
Although I sand or stitch most things when I am card making, it is not necessary with these beauties. I did adhere the main word with some foam tape to make it come forward a bit. And the word background is cut from gold glitter card stock which introduces texture but no new colours. Keeping it simple is the key here.

Kit #21 has a great die which would be fab on an envelope flap. But it also works beautifully as a cutout for a shaker card.
Finally, I had to make a shaker card when I saw the lovely bronze sequins from kit  #20! I cut the windows out twice, inverting the die and leaving room for one of those fab words in the middle.
I then stuck some bronze mirror card behind the word and made two separate little sections for the shaker bit so that the top window would see some action too.

Once again, textures are the key player here. You cannot quite see it in the photo unfortunately but behind the shaker windows is some bronze embossed paper. It means that there is so much more to the card than meets the eye.

Some more jute twine and little gems complete this picture. I used some acetate that I had already but you can use any packing material for this so take care to trim acetate boxes and keep them nice for future use.

I have a recipient in mind for this one!

Well then peeps, that's all for this time. Always look at your kits as a potential whole and you will get even more from them.


Thank you so much for stopping by
Love and hugs from Germany

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Adding a little metal - SSS Challenge

Time I  rejoined the crafting world I think!

Well my goodness it has been a while! As promised, we did move and we moved to Germany. I would like to say that the trip went smoothly but that would be the worst of lies and to be honest, the challenges are ongoing and with no real end in sight - the result of moving anywhere with a very old person I am afraid. However, I cannot praise my new countrymen enough. They are helpful and good natured and really go out of their way to make things better if they can.

A view from our house through the village.

However, I am still pleased that we made the decision and that Germany was the winner. It really is the most beautiful country in my eyes.

The sunsets from our bedroom are something worth seeing!

We have bought a beautiful 119 year old farmhouse in the German countryside and we have bags of room so I can feel myself spreading out.

Springtime and our house in the background.

I am waiting for the day that the challenges ease up a bit so that we can enjoy this beautiful part of the world.
Of course a certain little someone is enjoying it all immensely...

Naturally nose in the air (default position) and sunning herself on the terrace!

Cannot beat breakfast on the terrace.

Our garden is really taking off and I am loving the discovery of all the hidden plants emerging.

It is all just a bit much to take in! But as you can see, it is a bit nice here.

I love piling on the details.

But enough about that for the time being. I thought that it was high time that I joined in with another Simon Says Stamp Challenge. I love them and I have missed taking part. This week is all about adding something metallic - as a die hard metal fan, I could not pass that one up! So my lovelies, here it is......

So many people are doing lovely things for us at the moment, I needed more thank you cards!

I wanted to make something with a summery feel this time. My natural inclination is to Halloween and Christmas and to be honest, I really struggle with Spring and Summer themes.
Because of the theme of this week's challenge and because of the beautiful new(ish) rose gold and copper kraft core from Tim Holtz, I decided to start there and create an 3D embossed panel...

The trend right now is to leave the threads loose and tangled.

A frame came next and the centre was cut out with the largest of the Deckle dies from Sizzix.
Naturally I sanded it all (you know me) and then I stitched it with black thread.

Love that antique distressed look.

I splattered it with dark brown acrylic paint too and allowed it to dry. 
always, but always have a spare bit of card handy to mop up the excess. This can be put aside for another project - like money in the bank!

The next step was to create a background. This is a big card (A5) and the lovely Tim Holtz papers do not quite span the card. Oxides to the rescue! I started with old paper and antique linen, went on to shabby shutters and then finished with stormy sky.

Coming together now!

I stitched the front panels onto the background and trimmed it to fit the card. 

NOTHING finishes a card for me like stitching.

I adore this film strip too so some of that went next. I cut a scrap of lace from the background offcut too using the lovely new Sizzix 'Crochet' die from Tim Holtz. It adds texture and because it is the same as the background, it pulls it all together.

Adding another colour in at this point may have been too much.
Time to build the floral bit. I cut a frame from rose gold metallic card stock and glued it to a piece of grey board. This is one of the new seasons dies from Sizzix too. It is a steel rule Bigz die so it cuts through the thicker stuff effortlessly.

Lay some leaves onto the panel before you put the frame on to add depth.

I went to my stash of greenery for the leaves and used a mixture of everything. I have a tute for these leaves here. It is actually an Autumn leaf one but the technique is exactly the same for green leaves. Have a play. Get your favourite greens going. 

I used a dimensional foam to give the daisies some lift - and never glue down the whole flower! Just the centres will do and it makes the project look a lot better. Not so flat.

All that was left for this bit was to choose some flowers. I love these daisies from the Wildflower Stems #1 set (Sizzix). I used only the heads and coloured the centres with Distress ink in mustard seed and wild honey. I came back in with some Distress markers and added some dots around the base of the centres for more depth. Let me know if you would like a tute to show you how to do this.

Of course no self respecting bouquet is complete without filler flowers so I used some of those from my stash box.

When you get a moment, make some little blooms and blossoms from your paper offcuts and put them in a handy box. You will be pleased that you did!

This little guy was goíng to be an insect - a bee or similar but it just didn't look right so I thought about a little fairy child instead. Acetate wings from Ideology and a paper doll and Wham!- success! I used dimensional foam to put him on too.

You NEED a packet of these fairy wings!
I love the way that the paper dolls have different poses. You can usually find the perfect one.

Don't worry if some of the label is hidden - you really want those layers happening so tuck things in behind other things and watch the magic happen.

One of the last things to do was to make a label to say thank you - Sizzix Alphanumeric label is the die that you are looking for. And I have gone over to using double sided adhesive sheet to make the letters. SO much easier than messing around with glue! An A4 sheet lasts for ages and I use my Sizzix Side Kick because it is also less fiddly.

The daisies needed some work!

I really wasn't happy with the flatness of the daisies so I went back in with a water brush and some weathered wood Distress Ink and shaded the petals. All of a sudden the card popped!

And that's it guys! I do hope that you like it. It felt funny to be crafting again after so many months without my things while we were moving.

There will be more fairies in the future!
Its all about the texture and the layers.
See you next time!
Love and hugs