My inky travels along life's rocky road

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - failures and successes

Just a small end of year review of crafty events on my blog. I am pleased to have completed the Craft Barn dictionary challenge and will complete the Katzelkraft challenge as soon as I get my head around making a waterfall card. Challenges that have fallen by the wayside include the Tim Holtz tags which I just couldn't summon up the enthusiasm for half-way through the year. Much as I love my distress and alcohol inks, the subsequent stains, paints, markers and glitters were just way too much for me. Less Is More is another challenge that I would like to take part in more often than I did in 2013. I do feel that while they used to be quite strict about telling people when their cards were not CAS enough they have relaxed their rules and accepted cards that I don't feel are clean and simple under the guidelines they have given. However that is not why I haven't taken part, the cards whether CAS or not are always beautiful, I just haven't had the time.
Thanks to everyone who asked about my dog Cassie. She seems almost back to her normal noisy self, she just needs to get back into her routine.
I leave you all with a simple but bright card looking forward to a happy and healthy 2014.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge - the Final Two

The remaining 2 letters for the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge are X and I. I am just scraping in before the deadline as we have had quite a hectic holiday season. The first letter is X and I only had half a page of definitions. I looked at the usual X options such as x-ray and xylophone and x-ray would have been appropriate at the moment as my dog has been unwell and has spent a couple of days at the vets. We have seen a few of her x-rays but TBH her intestines are not something I want to inflict on all of you. I did toy with xenophobia but it's not a word I could depict very well through the medium of rubber. Finally I opted for xerophyte - a plant that is adapted for growth under extremely dry conditions. Amongst the cacti and yuccas I spotted a Californian Poppy also known as eschscholzia californica,  the seeds of which can lie dormant for a long time but with a little rain they will spring to life, germinate, flower and set seed in a matter of weeks (who knew?). With the help of my Memory Box poppy die I cut several poppies and coloured them with my coloursoft pencils. I did debate going over 2 pages onto the Y's but I thought I'd leave this as the only single page entry as that's all there was.

Next comes I with many more options. I have had this Artemio London stamp set for a while and have used it quite a lot. I wanted to use it somewhere in my dictionary but thought about it after doing C for Christmas early on in the year. I had no L for London definition so couldn't use it. However it occurred to me that all these images of London (my home town) are iconic - you don't have to be a Londoner or even British to recognise them. The text is cut with Sizzix petite petals strip die which I just bought in the Craft Barn sale (I brayered red & blue inks over some card and outlined the letters for more definition). BTW this stamp set is also in the sale (in store) and I like the fact that the union flag is in 2 parts so you can do the red and blue bits separately.
So that's it... I've really enjoyed this challenge I only have to decorate the outside now and I will post that later. Thanks to Isabelle and everyone at the Craft Barn for coming up with this. I'm looking forward to a new challenge next year. Thank you also to everyone who has followed and commented on all the dictionary posts - we have become quite a community.
Have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Katzelkraft S10 C1

Although the base card for this looks rather grey in the pic it is actually white IRL. This is my penultimate card for the Katzelkraft challenge this year - a card with 3D elements. The stamp is by Katzelkraft and I have raised various parts with foam pads and mounted the whole piece on foam pads as well.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Katzelkraft S9/DT

This card was chosen by forum moderator Christou. She asked for a wish list of items to appear on her card (she's a very demanding lady LOL!). Her list comprised:

3 stamps
The stamps are by Paula Pascual, Sam Poole, Hampton Arts and Katzelkraft. I think with a bit more time I might have made a better job of incorporating all the different elements.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Katzelkraft S10/C2

This card had to be collage style with Santa somewhere on it. I've used a brick stencil, an old Santa stamp, a KTZ stamp and some decorative tape. The text is from a Papermania set.
Merry Christmas to everyone.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Katzelkraft S7/DT

The challenge was to make a mini-book. I decided to make a small journal to jot down trips we make next year. The covers are cut from waste cardboard from the back of a notepad covered with a piece of embossed wallpaper. The label is cut from Crate Paper's pink plum set and the text is cut with my new TH stencil die.

Each of the pages has been stamped with a Katzelkraft ruled lines stamp and the month from a Studio G set. The inside front cover uses 2  Katzelkraft stamps.

The inside back cover also uses 2 Katzelkraft stamps, the capital cities one being one of my new acquisitions. I punched holes through the centre of all the layers and tied with a length of sari ribbon which made a quick and easy binding for the book.
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and an enjoyable time over the next few days. Don't work too hard to make everything perfect - in my experience it's the years that fell short of perfect that everyone looks back on and remembers fondly. Just think that the disasters of this year will be the funny stories for years to come. Have a great time whoever you are and whatever you believe in.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Katzelkraft S10/C3

We had to make a card drawing inspiration from the pic below:

I decided to go with the neutral colour scheme and the tree. The stamped tree is by Katzelkraft and the birds are from a Crafty Individuals set. I sponged through a punched circle with Brilliance pearlescent beige. The sentiment is from a CeeD's set.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Katzelkraft S9/C2

This is the card I have made following the sketch below. I've used scraps of paper from the Crate Paper pink plum collection and 2 Katzelkraft stamps - the flower and the splats. The circles are made with the cap of an alcohol ink bottle and Impress peony purple.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Katzelkraft S9/C1

It's my niece's birthday shortly so I decided to use the challenge recipe to make a pull card for her. I've never made one of these before and used the instructions from here . The instructions are in French with pics but there are other tutorials and videos available online. I used some gemstone cardstock and papers from Crate Papers pink plum set. The butterfly is a Sizzix/Hero arts stamp and die cut twice for added dimension. When the ribbon at the top is pulled the centre panel folds up like this:

I hope she likes it.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Katzelkraft Week 10 - the final week

For the last week of this year's challenge the recipes are:

1 A card with 3D elements.
2 A collage with Santa.
3 An inspiration pic.
DT A lift of a tag by DT member Dominike.

All being well I should be able to complete the challenge before the deadline of early January. I'm just a bit stuck on some of the more complicated cards but this has definitely dragged me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to make different types of cards that I would not have contemplated making otherwise.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Katzelkraft S6/C3

This is a colour combination that required heat embossing as well. I've been struggling with the colours but finally came up with this to complete week 6 of the challenge. This is the colour scheme:

I can never leave new rubber uninked for long and this Katzelkraft stamp is one I have coveted for a while. I stamped it with Versafine onyx black and clear embossed it. I used a marker pen for colour 5 on the outer circle and sponged Brilliance pearlescent beige inside the circle (3). The background is Memento London fog (2), Adirondack butterscotch (4) and Distress barn door (6). I added some more grey ink around the edges and some white dots with a pen.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Katzelkraft S9/C3

The recipes for week 9 of the Katzelkraft Challenge are:
1 Make a pull card.
2 A sketch.
3 A CAS card.
DT A wish list from challenge organiser Christou.
It's been a busy couple of weeks for me - not Christmas related but other stuff and I am falling behind on my challenges. I did manage to make a CAS card with a new Katzelkraft stamp that I have been coveting for a while. The stamp is embossed with holographic powder but unfortunately the scan does not show the many colours that appear when the card catches the light. Looking at it on the screen I think it needs a coloured star on top. So I will get that done soon.
Edited to add:I think it looks better with a bit of red.
I've finally managed to get a close-up of the shine on the card:

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Katzelkraft S8/C2

For this card we had to use the colour scheme below with a touch of gold. The stamp is by Katzelkraft stamped with Brilliance starlite black with a strip of patterned paper. The gold is a Katzelkraft flourish stamped with Versamark and brushed with gold Perfect Pearls.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Katzelkraft S8/C3

This card is an exact copy of the sketch below:

The stamped and embossed images are from a Katzelkraft stamp that has 4 squares. I used some soft pastels and set them with hairspray. The sentiment is a very old foam stamp.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Katzelkraft S8/DT

Week 8 already and only 2 weeks to go until the end of this challenge (and Christmas as well of course!). This week's recipes are:
1 A waterfall card
2 A colour combo with a touch of gold
3 A sketch
DT A card inspired by the owner of Katzelkraft Béatrice better known as La Dame Katzele.
I'm starting with the DT card because it was the first idea I had.

Many years ago I attended my first Craft Barn Extravaganza and saw several demos by Béatrice. I was taken by a BG technique on a card she had displayed and she very kindly showed me how she had made it. She signed the back and gave me the sample. It has been pinned on the board near my desk ever since. This is the card:

Of course that Katzelkraft stamp was one of the first (of many) I bought. I have written on the back that Cranberry & Pesto Adirondack inks were used with gold metallic mixative. I used Cranberry and Meadow (I don't have Pesto), my metallic mixative has gone mouldy and I'm waiting for a replacement from Ranger so I used gold acrylic paint. Some parts of the stamp have been highlighted with a white pen and I added some punched snowflakes.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Katzelkraft S7/C1

For this card we had to incorporate some weaving. I cut some strips from scraps that were lying on my desk, wove them together and used a Marianne die to cut out this bauble shape. The black embossed card was a reject from another card I had tried to make but it seemed to work as a BG to the bright bauble. I added an organza bow and a strip of washi tape. Not too sure about this one but I am very short of time at the moment.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Katzelkraft S7/C3

This card follows the sketch below. I've kept the card true to the original sketch. I used a scrap of paper from  Dovecraft's traditional Christmas pack. I bought this several years ago and drag it out every year because it just never seems to end! I might just treat myself to a new set of Christmas papers next year because I think you all must be as sick of seeing them as I am. I added a strip of scalloped card from a Tim Holtz die and then used some scraps of card, Katzelkraft stamps and DIs for the banners. The sentiment is from Hero Arts and some punched stars completed the card.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Katzelkraft S6/C3

Happy 1st of December and now we're into the Christmas home straight. Back to week 6 of the Katzelkraft Challenge and the request was for a winter card with a soft element (to represent snow), a clear element (frost)and a shiny element (ice). I had used a stamp from the Non Sequitur winter plate in my previous post and had it out on my desk so I decided to use another stamp from the same plate. It's an old set I have used a lot in the past but has been somewhat neglected recently. I stamped the image on black card with Brilliance platinum planet, it has a lovely pearlised sheen that shows up beautifully on black. My transparent element is a piece of plastic packaging which I embossed with the CB snow folder. Attaching this was a problem so I used some spare ribbon from a chocolate box as my soft element to conceal the glossy accents I used to stick the plastic down. The sentiment is a small unmounted stamp that may be from Rubbadubadoo. I stuck it over the top of the plastic and used more glossy accents underneath to secure the plastic.

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