Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Now I'm feeling slightly less like the creature from the black lagoon and have stopped coughing long enough to colour inside the lines, I thought it was time I made a card again, so I made a couple of Happy New Year cards for my mum and auntie.  I used a Mo Manning image of a little child asleep on his dog and made my own sentiment.  It reminded me of when I was a child and used to fall asleep on the dogs in the pub when my parents took me to the parties on Christmas Day Night when the pub was shut.

This image fits with the theme over on Mo's Digital Challenge which is "Bless the Beasts and Children" so I am going to enter my card into the challenge.  The image is called "Buds" and comes in 4 versions - the one I used can be found here but search for buds if you want the girl or aa versions.

As there is a child in the card, it also fits the theme of "C" on the Anything Goes Challenge Blog, so I am playing along with that this week as well.

I printed the image onto glossy card stock and coloured with copics - I should have added some texture to the fur with pencils, but I was short on time as I need to deliver them today, but I think the copic shading gives a hint of fur.  I double mounted onto plain card stock, added ribbon and a couple of buttons, and mounted onto patterned paper from My Minds Eye - Laundry Line.

Hopefully we'll be able to keep our eyes open for long enough to see in the New Year tonight, but if past performances are anything to go by, we might be emulating the little boy and miss it all again!

Happy New Year everyone - and here's to a very crafty 2011!!!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Book Group Christmas Dinner 2010

I started this post much earlier in the month, but have been down for a couple of weeks with a chest infection (early unwanted christmas gift!)  It was our annual Christmas dinner for bookgroup in early December and all the ladies bought me this gorgeous Christmas table centre as a thank you for hosting book group and feeding them throughout the year.  Isn't it beautiful?  I just love the colour combination of the lime green orchids, the red roses and the gold leaves.  Thanks ladies :-)  (It even stayed fresh for Christmas day!)

I always make the ladies something crafty, either to put in a cracker or as a table decoration that they can take home with them.  This year I made paper ornaments using my delightful new stamps from Waltzing Mouse which fit perfectly in the traditional ornament nestability.  I love these vintage style ornament stamps and I stamped 5 to make each decoration into a sort of bag to hold some candy canes and the second hand-made gift of a badge. 

I saw this sentiment on something earlier in the year and thought it would make a great badge - appropriately worded for a group of busy readers....  I rolled out some sculpy, stamped the sentiment into using an Elzybels alphabet stamp.  I covered with glossy accents once baked and added christmas tinsel glitter to the edge.

Dinner itself is always the traditional turkey with all the trimmings, but one of our ladies turned veggie this year, so I had to come up with a vegetarian option for her and I have to say, I wanted to eat it myself so I thought I'd share it with you.

To begin with I peeled and cubed a small butternut squash and pan roasted the cubes along with diced onion, and diced courgette.  I added cumin and a little alfez lemon stir fry paste for warmth and flavour.  I dry roasted some cashew nuts and then blitzed half of them with half a pack of pistachios - I wanted to leave some for texture and crunch but wanted the ground up nuts to form a mortar to hold the dish together.  Finally I stirred through the remaining nuts, a pack of cubed feta, lemon zest and lots of fresh parsley. I would have added a few diced apricots ideally but my vegetarian friend doesn't like dried fruit.  The resulting mixture can be seen below.

I arranged 6 feuille de brique sheets so that they overlapped to form a rectangle, brushing each with butter to make them stick together.  If you can't find feuille de brique, filo would be a prefectly good substitute, but I would make sure I used more so that it was double thickness everywhere as the brique sheets are stronger and less likely to tear than filo.  I put the filling in the middle, rolled and put seam side down on a baking sheet.  I brushed the top again with butter and sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked in a hot oven for 15 minutes until warm throughout and crispy on the outside.  It went down a treat with the vegetarian guest and was also pretty decent cold for lunch the next day. 

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mo's Design Team

My all time favourite rubber/digital stamp designer is having a DT call.  I'm not sure my work is worthy, but it really would be a dream to join Mo's Dream Team.  If you haven't heard of Mo, then go along to her blog where you can see her new designs and buy them in digital download format.

For the DT call, the rules are simple - just choose you're favourite Mo image, make a card, and link it back to her site.  I say simple, but it wasn't easy - my first problem was choosing my favourite image - it took me 5 days to make a choice - they're all so darn good!  I narrowed it down to a handful - Diva, Young Love, My Friend, Bossy or Fairy Dee.  In the end, the cupcakes in the Fairy image won out (well cupcakes are becoming part of my identity...)  One of the things I love most about Mo's images are their humour, and I love that this little birthday fairy has pigged out on the cakes - so much so that she can't even finish the one she started - you can even see the little plum shaped belly she's developing that's full of delicious cake!

I also found this image a challenge to colour as I've only ever done caucasian faces before so figuring out the colouring took a few practices.  For anyone else in the same predicament, I ended up using the following copic colours:

E31, E11, E35, E57 and E50.  I substituted a stronger peach tone in R32 for the cheeks.

For the cupcake cases, I switched to pencils and used the following colours from Faber Castell:

9201-133 - Magenta
9201-125 - Middle Purple Pink
9201-151 - Medium Flesh.

For the cupcake top I used one of my new copic sketch pen in the really pale colour range - RV0000 and added some shading with another Faber Castell in 9201-189 - Cinnamon.  A bit of glitter for the hundreds and thousands finishes it off nicely.

I went for a green dress on Dee as I love pink and green as a colour combination.  So to make the image into a card I picked two pink papers - one pale with glitter from the DCVW Sweet Treats stack, and a simple darker pink polka dot beneath.  More cupcakes, with my favourite EK Success punch and some nontraditional "green" cherry's on top with some iron on clothes sequins simply stuck on with a little silicon.

You can check out all the entries here - there are a lot there already - I just hope Mo likes mine :-)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's Snowing!

Snow is definitely the theme for today, so I've decided to enter one of my favourite Mo winter images which is now also available in rubber from Stamping Bella into the weekly Bellarific Friday Challenge which is "snow" this week.

The door is coloured in pencils and blended with sansoder and blending stumps.  I used Linda's towel technique using lots of dots in various shades of green copic markers to colour the actual wreath.  Red stickles for berries, and white stickles for the all important snow finish the look, along with a little bow from my stash of ribbon.  The background papers are both from the DCWV Christmas Stack.

We've already got the worst snow Sheffield has seen in 30 years, and its still falling.  The cat has cabin fever and much more of this and we'll not be far behind her!  Keep warm everyone and get the soup on!
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