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Christmas Thank you cards

Normally I don’t get coughs and colds, but I was REALLY ill between Boxing Day and my first day back at work so I didn’t make any Thank you cards for my Christmas presents, but now I’m feeling better I have remedied the situation.

Pinterest is awash with rainbow cards at the moment – the perfect antedote to the winter blues! I wanted to recreate some of those beautiful cards for my thank you cards this year. I also love Paisley (as you can probably tell from previous posts) and have the Simon Says Stamp ‘Henna Patterns‘ and recently got the Stampin’UP! ‘Paisleys and Posies’ stamps with matching dies so I wanted to do a sort of compare and contrast between the sets.

I’ve had some holographic embossing powder since I was at Uni, but I don’t use it often, so I felt it deserved an outing. I applied my embossing buddy all over the card, then stamped the Simon Says Stamp ‘Henna Patterns’ stamps in VersaMark ink and heat embossed the holographic embossing powder every few stamps so I could see where I had stamped previously.

Once I was happy with the coverage of the white card with stamped images, I picked up my applicator sponges and Distress ink to create my rainbow. I used ‘Candied Apple’, ‘Squeezed Lemonade’, ‘Mermaid Lagoon’, ‘Blueprint Sketch’ and ‘Wilted Violet’. Unfortunately the glittery bits in the embossing powder that give it the lovely hollographic look really grabbed to the applicator sponges and I now have loads of glitter on my applicator sponges and on my ink pads and the surface of the card was a bit scuffed with all the glitter acting a bit like sand paper. (note to self – if I want to repeat this technique again with this particular embossing powder I should use stencil brushes rather than sponges!)

The sentiment is by Waltzingmouse stamps from the ‘Hello Happy Thanks’ set. I stamped it on Neenah cardstock in VersaFine ink and die cut the banner with a Creative Expressions die. To coordinate with the hollographic embossing powder I die cut the Memory Box ‘Brea Ornament’ die from some more card, covered it with Nuvo glue pen and sprinkled Nuvo pure sheen glitter in ‘Ice White’. It’s really sparkly!!

Then I used the Stampin’UP! ‘Paisleys and Posies’ stamps to do exactly the same, but this time I embossed with clear embossing powder so the glitter wouldn’t wreck my applicator sponges again!

I wanted to have the same effect of the Brea Ornament die on this card, so I used the coordinating dies to cut out three of the ‘leaf’ shapes, covered them in my Nuvo glue pen and sprinkled more nuvo glitter on them. I covered the glittered shapes with my non-stick mat and rubbed over the top with my bone folder to really push the glitter into the glue so they wouldn’t shed when they dry.

For the sentiment I stamped the sentiment that came with theĀ  Paisleys and Posies set on Neenah classic crest with VersaFine black ink and die cut a banner with the Sue Wilson Creative Expressions banner dies. I adhered everyting down to the card base with Hi-Tack glue.

Do you prefer the SSS card or the Stampin’UP! card?

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Happy New Year!!

I would like to say a cheery Happy 2017 to all of my blog readers and followers! Here’s hoping for lots of time for crafting and lots of exciting products to get our creative juices flowing!

Crafty hugs x x

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

Best friend’s birthday card

My best friend is having an afternoon tea for her birthday celebrations this year (so many friends are scattered about and some have small children so an afternoon thing means she can see as many friends as possible and they can all get wee people home in time for bed and no need for baby sitters), as she is having an afternoon tea party, I wanted to make her a tea themed card!

I bought the Sizzix ‘Tea Time‘ Bigz die and was going to use it for scrapbooking/art journalling, but it was so perfect for this project I just HAD to use it!! I was in need of a change from square and rectangular cards and wanted to create a rocker card for my base. I used the largest die from the Tonic studios ‘Celtic Dream‘ die set and cut some white Centura Pearl hint of silver card – because it is 300gsm it’s nice and sturdy to use as a base.

I cut the Tea Time from some patterened paper in my stash that had little coloured polka dots on it that made me think of Emma Bridgewater pottery, when I was working out the layout I wanted I realised that I would need two saucers, so I cut a second set of cups (I’m sure I’ll find another project to use them on!!) and used my bone folder to give the cups some gentle rounding and dimention. To add some extra shading to give even more feeling of dimention I added some shading with a Spectrum Noir pen where ther would be shadows. I decided to use the tags that had been cut out of the spotty paper and just use the reverse (unpatterned) side and inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and pierced a hole with my pokey tool to get some white string through the top.

To continue with the afternoon tea theme I thought about cake, but I don’t have a die that makes a cake the right proportions for the card, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to fussy cut something (I would spend FOREVER snipping and not being happy, then realising I’d ruined it and starting again and after about 5 trys get moody and not want to finish the card, so that was best avoided!!) so instead I decided on a doily. As luck would have it I fell in love with the Marianne Creatables ‘Doily Star‘cut out of vellum on a card I saw on Pinterest (which I now can’t find on my pin boards!! D’oh!) but I thought doilies are also synonymous with tea and cake, so I grabbed my doily star die and cut out some vellum to get a really dainty, different feel to the card base.

I originally wanted a little banner with ‘happy birthday’ stamped on it to be peeking out from behind one of the cups, but it drew too much emphasis to the cups and I wanted something to draw the eye from the doily towards the cups and saucers. I die cut my banner from cream card using the Sue Wilson Creative Expressions ‘Stitched flags‘ and stamped the sentiment from Lawn Fawn ‘Hats Off to You’ using Archival Ink in coffee.

As I was looking at what I had for the card so far it was all very monotone and pale and really needed a pop of colour, I thought about some flowers over the doily but as this is a rocker card I couldn’t put too much weight on that side or it wouldn’t stand correctly. I um’d and ah’d about what to do and eventually decided that as my Christmas dies were still out on my desk that I could just cut some holly leaves for a little colour, but not much weight.

I don’t know why, but after looking at the layout again I still wasn’t happy with it and still wanted to have something more. I was wandering about personalisation and remembered my Whimsy Stamps ‘Spell it Out’ stamps and matching die. I had seen some adhesive stickers that were wood effect Scrabble tiles and I wanted to create my own version of these, so I first stamped my woodgrain in Sahara Sand ink on cream card, then stamped the letters with coffee Archival Ink and used the matching die to cut them out.

I assembled my card using Hi-Tack glue and foam tape for the cups to maintain their dimention. It was only AFTER I had assembled the card that I thought ‘it would be really good if the cups and saucers were glossy…’ so I painstakingly added glossy accents to the cups and saucers when they were attached to the card base and left it to dry overnight.

The last thing left to do was to attach the tea tags to the cups, which was fiddly!

So… here is the finished card, which rocks very nicely, I’m quite proud of the engineering feat!!

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I hope you aren’t working over the festive period (or too ill) and are finding the time to get crafty! Let me know what projects you are working on!

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

I would like to wish all my readers and subscribers a Happy Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah, whatever you observe. I hope you are spending the day with friends and family and feel loved.

Wishing health, happiness and peace to all x x

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

Feliz Navidad

And as per usual I ran out of time to send out my cards, so I had planned to make a massive batch of these cards, stamped hundreds of images and coloured them in, but the die cutting and embossing were a bottleneck and I only managed to assemble 2 of these cards in the end! Oh well, at least I’ve made a headstart on cards for next year!!

I used the Lawn Fawn ‘Baa Humbug’ stamp and dies set to get these cute little knitting sheep. I coloured them with Spectrum Noir markers: BGR3, 4 and 5 for the sheep, BGR2 for the knitting needles, DR5 and 6 for the hats and knitting ad BGR1 for the shadows on the sheep’s fleece, knitting wool and the banner.

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The banner is from Lawn Fawn ‘Penelope’s blossoms’ and the sentiment and holly leaves and berries are again from ‘Baa Humbug’. I wanted to have a little snow bank that the sheep could be standing on, so it’s not just floating in midair, so i used the die from the Tattered Lace Scene Dies and stamped the ball of wool and little trail of wool directly onto the card.

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I used my embossing folder to emboss the knitted pattern on to a Raspberry Ripple card panel, I really think it helps to tie in the knitting that the sheep is doing!!

To assemble the card I glued the embossed panel to a 5×7 card base, then adhered the snowbank to the embossed panel. The sheep and sentiment banner were raised up on foam tape for dimention.

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I’m going into London this evening to see a special screening of Home Alone to get into the Christmas spirit – what are you doing this evening to get into ‘holiday mode’?

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Christmas tags 2017

This is just a very quick post to share with you the AMAZING new dies I got from Leane Creatief ‘Holly Leaves Pine Branches‘ and ‘Pine cones 3D‘ that I’ve used to make my Christmas tags this year.

I die cut the smaller of the two pine cones from brown card and inked through the die using Gathered Twigs Distress ink. You can build up the layers and tweak out all the bits of the pine cones to make them really 3D, they look amazing!

I used my Waltzingmouse tags dies to cut out craft tags and stamped the ‘be merry’ from a Waltzingmouse stamps sentiment set using Archival Ink in coffee (as you can probably tell I didn’t stamp the sentiment on the bottom tag well so I tried to line it up again and failed – I really need a MISTI or something similar!!). Then I adhered the pine branches and pine cone with HI-Tack glue to make sure they didn’t fall off under the tree.

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Will you be working next week or do you have the week off? I will be in Shropshire to see my Granny.

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Niece’s 10th Birthday card

OMG!! I just can’t believe my middle niece is 10!!! Where does the time go???

I wanted to make a fairy/magical/mythical card for her (because she won’t believe in the magic for much longer… [cue ‘Age of Not Believing’ from Bedknobs and Broomsticks running through my head]) so I got out my Tonic Studios fairy collection. I’ll be damned if this was the first die set the TODO really struggled with, I just could not get the dies to cut properly, I won’t lie I was in dispair!! Then I thought ‘I’ll just try a metal shim’ and thank the Gods, it worked!!

I saw the Tonic Studios YouTube ‘How to make a z-fold pop-up card tutorial‘ video and I though ‘I’ve just got to try that!!!!’ So I bought an A3 piece of Centura Pearl white hint of silver card and cut it as instructed to assemble the card base.

I then had to think about how I wanted to decorate the card… I knew I wanted a bit of a woodland scene with fairies in it, but wasn’t sure what the whole thing would be ‘about’ then I saw an inspirational quote online that said ‘write your own story’ and I thought ‘write your own fairytale’ could be the overall theme of my card. I wanted a brown/green colour scheme for the card to give the idea of the fairies in the forest, so where possible that’s what I tried to stick to.

If the theme of the card is writing then I needed a script stamp for the background. I stamped the script stamp repeatedly on Centura Pearl cardstock with Archival Ink in Coffee. Then I cut some dark brown card to mat and layer the scrip stamped sections to layer on to the Z-fold.

I die cut the second largest Presscut ‘Smaller Book‘ die from green card for my book cover, then cut 3 of the third largest die from cream card for the pages of the book. I stamped the sentiment on one of the pages using coffee Archival Ink and the Waltzingmouse Victorial Alphabet stamps. Lovely old story books have gold gilding on the pages and I wanted to re-create this so I used my Cosmic Shimmer metallic gilding polish on the edges of the ‘pages’. I used my bone folder to get a natural bend in the pages, then adhered them together with HI-Tack glue at the ‘spine’ of the book and foam tape under the pages to maintain the curve of the pages.

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I’ve had the Tonic Studios ‘Fairy Door’ for AGES and not used it once, but now I wanted to use it for the big reveal. I die cut a full door and surround from green card, then I cut just the door from kraft woodgrain card (from Simon Says Stamp, but they only do the white one now) and stuck this over the top of the green card. I wanted to have the second half of my sentiment behind the door, but at the moment I only had the card base behind the door and I wanted it to be dark behind the door. I die cut the whole fairy door again from black card, stuck it behind the green die cut and used tape to hold all the little bits in the black cut-out. Because I was going to be sticking the door over the Z-fold I die cut a few more doors (just the top half) to build it up to the same height as the Z-fold so the door would be flush with the Z-fold and not bent by being stuck to multiple layers.

Most importantly – you can’t have a fairytale or a fairy door without a fairy, so I die cut Fae Ella from both black card and Neenah Classic Crest card. I coloured her in using Spectrum Noir pens, then adhered the black die cut as a drop shadow.

I die cut several foliage and leaf dies from green card to adhere to the pop-up elements to give the feeling of the forest.

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Do you know anyone with a birthday around Christmas? What do you do to make their birthday cards extra special?

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

Nadolig Llawen

I have a lot of Welsh friends and wanted to make Christmas cards using the Welsh sentiment dies I have from Tattered Lace. Unfortunately (as per usual) this card was WAY more intensive to create that I had anticipated and I’ve only been able to create one as opposed to several…

I die cut the ‘Holly Leaves Pine Branches‘ dies by Leane Creatief from green card and the berries from red card (I think I ended up needing 7 of each size of the leaves/branches to make the full wreath, which properly broke the TODO in!). I used a circle die to line up all the die cuts in a circular shape (I wouldn’t get it right by eye and would end up with an oval!!) and adhered them on to a white card base with HI-Tack glue, only attaching the bases or spines so there was still lots of dimention and they all stuck up in a more organic way. I inked the edges of the mat with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

The sentiment was cut from red glitter card, which is just brilliant – it really sparkles, but with no mess!!

I adhered the mat to a kraft card base; bish, bash, bosh, done!

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Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

 

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Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

Autumnal Thank you card

Last month I had a long weekend in Devon with my Fairy Godparents, it was so nice to get away from my PhD deadlines for a few days! My parents looked after the kittens whilst I was away so they were at home, not in a cattery. I wanted to give my Godparents a thank you card for taking such good care of me, and I didn’t get much of a chance to make Autumnal projects because of my experimetnal schedule. I have the Crafter’s Inspiration Magazine #11 Autumn edition and it came with lots of exciting freebies, so I thought I would give them an outing for this card.

I used the leaf and sentiment from the clear stamp set that came with the magazine and tried to recreate one of the suggested projects in the magazine with copper embossing powder. I don’t have copper embossing powder, but I have LOADS of Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powders – the Autumn Lustre was the closest colour I had. I have recently purchased some Creative Expressions stitched banners that will complement my Spellbinders ‘Banners and Pennants’ dies, so I embossed the sentiment on this white stitched banner and attached it to the card base with foam squares for a little dimention.

I think I will have to put copper embossing powder on my Christmas list because this didn’t turn out quite as I was hoping – more orangy than copper… But at least I was able to find a card base that matched, and add some Hempatique twine that wasn’t too bad a match either.

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I hope this inspired you? What colours do you use for your Autumnal cards?

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

My Australian Cousin has dual citizenship and is living and working in the UK, but he does go home to see his family at Christmas. I wanted to make him a Christmas card with the Lawn Fawn ‘Critters Down Under’ stamps and matching die set.

Firstly I die cut the mountain range from the Tattered Lace ‘Scene Stepper Card’ set from platinum Centura Pearl card and I cut and folded some snow white hint of silver Centura Pearl for the card base.

For the sentiment I stamped the greeting and frame form Waltzingmouse ‘Say it With Style’ stamp set with black Archival Ink. I used the Lawn Fawn grass border to die cut some ‘snowy grass’ from some more white hint of silver card, and die cut the sentiment using Spellbinders Labels Four die and attached it to the card base with foam squares for some dimention.

Once I had my background sorted, I started on my critters. I used the ‘Critters Down Under’, ‘Hats off to you’ and the present from the ‘Year Five’ stamp set. I stamped all the images on Neenah Classic Crest card and coloured them in using my Spectrum Noir pens. Once all the images were coloured I cut them out with the co-ordinating dies. I kept moving them around until I was happy with the composition, then adhered them all in place with HI-Tack glue.

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I just love Lawn Fawn critters – they’re so cute! I hope you liked this card and it gave you some inspiration, come back soon to see what other Christmas cards I make.

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree