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.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Katzelkraft S7/C2

Week 7's recipes for the Katzelkraft challenge are:
1 Use some weaving.
2 A colour combination.
3 A sketch.
DT Make a notebook card in the style of DT member Dominike. 

I managed to complete the colour combination for week 7 because I knew as soon as I saw it which stamp I wanted to use. The nice thing about this challenge is you don't have to make the cards in order but as long as you have finished all of them by a certain date you are deemed to have completed the challenge.
This is the colour scheme:
The stamp is an old one from Non Sequitur that I haven't used in a while. I stamped it in Brilliance starlight black and clear embossed it. I then used milled lavender, tumbled glass and weathered wood DIs along with Impress cerulean blue and a watercolour brush to add some detail. I added some punched photocorners and snowflakes  and a strip of embossed paper.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Katzelkraft S6/DT

For this card we had to take inspiration from DT member Ana's work which you can see here. I like the way she uses sprays for her BGs and also her use of script word die cuts. I don't have any die cuts like that but I thought this Memory Box die gives an impression of a script font. The BG is a Shimmerz spray and a very old Sticky Fingers olive spray. The stamp is from Katzelkraft's nuits de Noel set coloured with coloursoft pencils with a little rock candy Stickles brushed onto the lamp. The sentiment is by Paula Pascual.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Katzelkraft S6/C1

Here is my pocket card. It is a very simple template that I found here. I've used various patterned paper scraps and the text is some washi tape I found in Paperchase. The sides are secured with DST.  I've made 2 tags to go in the pockets and have stamped them with a Katzelkraft flourish in Impress spring green. I punched a few stars and added those for extra interest. The reverse of the tags looks like this:
It's a quick and easy template with a lot of uses that's ideal for a gift card for a child.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge - S

I think I have overimbibed of the spirit bottle for this fortnight's Craft Barn Challenge the letter of which (no surprise) is S.
So many possible S words to choose from I have gone for Suitcase. I started with this Crafty Individuals stamp - see it's a seagull standing on a stack of suitcases (stamped in Archival sepia) and it's held in place with a shiny silver star brad. My background is salty ocean DI and Impress spring green and on the right hand page I've used a stencil with silver paint. Of course in my excitement I stencilled all over my definition as well (duh!) but you can just about see it on the right hand page with the suitcase sketched around it. My stencil BTW is the lid of a gel air freshener. The quotation is from the internet (dare I say matted with saffron coloured card?) and I've added a stack of sepia-toned suitcases - I could tell you they are Samsonites but that would be silly. Enough now I'm off to have a lie down in a darkened room. Normal services (oops) will be resumed shortly (double oops).

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Less Is More - 147

This week's challenge on the Less Is More site is to make a Christmas card with a bird. I send a lot of cards overseas at this time of year and the cost of postage has become so exorbitant that I have tried to make my cards lighter. I saw these 4"x4" scalloped cards at a show and thought they would be perfect card blanks for the overseas cards. The stamp is by Katzelkraft in archival sepia and I have coloured it with coloursoft pencils and Sansodor. A light sprinkling of Glamour Dust adds a bit of sparkle.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Katzelkraft 10 weeks Before Christmas - Week 6

Well we're past the halfway point with the Katzelkraft Christmas Challenge and so far I have managed to keep up. This week's recipes are:
1. A card with a pocket.
2. A 6 colour combo with heat embossing.
3. A winter card with a soft element (snow), a transparent element (frost) and a shiny element (ice).
DT.  Use DT member Ana's cards as inspiration.
My thinking cap is now on...

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge - Q

I've taken time out from the Katzelkraft Challenge to complete this fortnight's entry for the Craft Barn Dictionary Challenge. We're down to the last few letters now and Q is the letter that has been chosen. I went with question - a BG of tumbled glass and broken china DIs and some question marks stamped randomly in Versafine majestic blue (some questions come out of the blue). I diecut most of the question words from various alphas I have and stamped 1 of them. Finally I asked a question myself 'why is it that so many question words begin with a W?'.
I am sorry that I'm going to be very busy with work over the next few weeks and I may not be able to visit all your blogs. I will try and catch up towards the end of next month.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Katzelkraft S5/C2

I find colour schemes really hard to work with. What I usually do is look at the colour combination and write down the inks I have that are closest in colour. This colour combo was really hard to match - I tried my inks, I tried my coloursoft pencils (I have all 72 of them) and I tried a pack of Japanese rice paper that has a great selection of hues and tones. The colour scheme is below and in addition the card had to have some embossing:

Numbering the colours from the top I thought 2 looked like Brilliance pearlescent jade and 5 Brilliance pearlescent beige. I found Japanese papers for 3 & 4 but 1 had me stumped. I finally found the closest colour I had was the reverse of some black magic colour core card. I cut small banners and embossed the card base with an Embossalicious lattice folder.
  1. Reverse of black magic colour core card stamped with a KTZ border stamp in Brilliance jade.
  2. Reverse of black magic colour core card embossed with swiss dots folder.
  3. Japanese paper stuck on card and embossed with CB star border folder.
  4. Japanese paper stuck on card and embossed with candy cane folder.
  5. Ivory card stamped with KTZ border stamp.
The sentiment is by Hero Arts stamped with Brilliance jade.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Katzelkraft S5/C1

Here is my triptych card for week 5. I used the Katzelkraft paisley dome BG stamped with Versafine crimson red as the base for the 3 parts. Parts 1 and 3 have a Katzelkraft bauble and bell stamp which I coloured with embossing pens and embossed. My gold EP is getting old now and is not giving as good a finish as I would like. The holly berries are candi dots, some of which I punched out to give the smaller berries. The central sentiment is a very old PSX stamp. I used pieces of white card for the hinges and covered the back with red handmade paper cutting it to leave a border around the whole card.
Here's a pic of the card as it's meant to be seen:

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Katzelkraft S5/DT

This week's DT card is to use the technique shown by Gaëlle in this card:
I put torn eclipse tape over the card, stamped some Non Sequitur snowflakes randomly and clear embossed them. Then I used tumbled glass and broken china DIs over the front of the card (the foam pad had a touch of green, perhaps crushed olive? on it). Removing the eclipse tape left the white lines you can see on the BG. I added a few scraps of patterned paper from Dovecraft Christmas Blues pack and a bit of card lying on my desk from the previous cards. The tree is a silver brad and I silver embossed a tiny sentiment onto a scrap of card. It's a nice technique that I shall use again.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Katzelkraft S5/C3

We had to use the quotation and/or the layout of the following poster as inspiration for this card.

I decided to use an old Non Sequitur stamp I haven't used in a while. The quotation is by Sadako Sasaki. If you do not know her story please click on the link which will take you to her Wikipedia page. I was lucky enough to visit Hiroshima and her memorial many years ago and her story has stayed with me.
I made a BG on coated card by dripping cloudy blue and stonewashed alcohol inks and blowing through a straw. I then added a tiny spritz of some blue shimmer spray. The bird is from a Crafty Individuals set. I also used the same inks on a felt pad to make another card:
I am also entering my first card into Craft Stamper's Take It Make It Challenge 5

Katzelkraft 10 weeks before Christmas - Week 5

This is the halfway mark for the challenge and so far I've managed to keep up to date but I can see problems ahead especially in the first 2 cards this week.

1. A triptych card.
2. A card using embossing and a tricky colour combination.
3. A quote and layout inspiration poster.
DT A card based on a card by DT member Gaëlle.
Wait until you see the colour combination...

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Katzelkraft S4/C3

This card is very loosely based on the poster below. I used similar colours and incorporated some numbers. The embossed sentiment is from Papermania and the numbers and small shapes have been cut from the Olivia alphabet die set and various punches.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Katzelkraft S4/DT

The DT challenge for week 4 is inspired by DT member Gwen Scrap's recent card on the Katzelkraft blog.

We had to heat emboss with a mask, heat emboss with a stamp in another colour, put some splatters and use some decorative tape on the card.
The card above is my third attempt and I'm not entirely happy with it but in a weekly challenge of this type you can't spend ages on 1 card - you just have to move on or you get behind. My main problem was embossing through a mask - I couldn't get my ink to stay wet long enough so finally I went for a partial distressed  embossed look (that's my story & I'm sticking to it!) The snowman is a punched shape embossed with holographic powder (the stamp is by Paper Artsy). The splatters are barn door and mowed lawn DIs brayered over the card. The mask is coloured with Adirondack pigment ink in watermelon and embossed with clear powder. The decorative tape was stamped in black and clear embossed.
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