The Fairy House

I’m having such fun with my Tim Holtz Stamping Platform by Tonic Studios, that I decided to make this quick little card to practise my stamping technique. I admit to falling out of love with stamping some time ago, but the platform has quite rekindled the flame and I am quickly building a little collection of clear acrylic dies.

Although with the stamping platform you can easily switch between mountable rubber stamps and acrylic stamps, I only have the latter so far. I do like that you can see through them and really visualise how your image is going to sit on your card.

This card was so easy to make. I rounded off the corners of a white card, and layered some printed cardstock on  top, rounding the corners to match.

I cut a circle of white textured card and anchored it on my stamping platform, then placed my stamp – Fairy House , by Woodware – onto the card and lowered the lid of the stamping platform to adhere it. It works perfectly every time!

I coloured the fairy house using soft artists pencils, my favourite colouring medium and used a selection of die cuts and stamped sentiments to complete my card.

I loved this cute owl, one of a Halloween Collection by Sizzix and thought he looked cute watching over the little house. He sits on a bough cut using the Bramble Heart Collection by Tonic Studios.

I made this card in just over an hour. I am not usually a speedy worker, and I am constantly amazed at how many cards other crafters can churn out in a day. I mostly take hours to make one card and I quite surprised myself with this one, although you can see I have gone outside the lines with my colouring pencils!

Despite that, I’m rather delighted with this new home card all dressed up in its autumnal colours. So I feel quite happy to post it on my favourite challenge board, Win & Tonic. Pop over and check it out! Great challenges and lovely prizes.

I think its a fun card, and so easy to make. What are you guys making using your Stamping Platforms?

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

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Robin Red Breast

Hope you like this cheeky robin red breast card. I made it for the Win & Tonic October Challenge, using the fantastic Tonic Studios Bramble Die Set, recently launched on Hochanda.

I had pre-ordered this die set from Craft Stash, so when it came I simply couldn’t wait to get started.

I cut the wreath using a piece of heavyweight green cardstock that I’ve had in my stash for ages. I thought it looked stunning just as it was, but I felt it might look even better with some of the woven branches picked out in a solid colour.

I had some Papermania textured card stock that I wanted to use, but I only had small pieces. So began a labour of love, taking tiny scraps of card and cutting individual pieces using the main die.

I think it might be easier to cut two wreaths out and use the ‘cut-outs’ to fill in the wreath outline, and it would certainly save time if you wanted to make two cards using contrasting colours.

I used a couple of glue pens to adhere the wreath, a Zig wide nib and a Stix2 rolling ball tip.

I picked out a few other details such as putting a tiny black eye on the robin using a dot cutout from the brambles, as well as raising the robin using 3D glue pads.

Just to finish off, I popped some green gems onto the extra branch as berries. The greeting inside is cut from Tonic Studios Christmas Wreath die set I bought last year.

I’m really pleased with the way this festive Yule card turned out – it made me feel quite Christmassy!

What do you think? Are the rest of you happy crafters getting into the festive swing yet?

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

Happy Thoughts

Its been a crazy few weeks.

First I decided to sort out our den a.k.a our garage a.k.a the room where we stuff everything we don’t know what to do with. It had become a hell hole and I could no longer bear to go in there, which was less than convenient because, you know, there was stuff down there. Useful stuff. I was sure it was there, only I couldn’t be sure because I couldn’t find it. You know how it goes.

Anyway. We cleared it out and by the time it was done, well, there was space for me to invade with my craft stuff, which meant more room for crafting in my den a.k.a one of our bedrooms.

Then there was a visit with the grandchildren and a worrying time with a young member of the extended family in hospital – fortunately now home again and recovering nicely.

When I got back there was the usual round of washing and ironing that you always end up with when you’ve been away.

Finally, I stopped moving – and it occurred to me that I hadn’t blogged for simply ages. So I thought I’d catch up by posting these happy journal cards I made while I was away. I actually made these as an entry to the Win & Tonic challenge for June.

I like making journal cards, they’re such a cute size to work with and when they are done you can use them in so many ways – in your planner, on scrapbook pages, as card toppers or pop them in the post as happy mail to a friend.

And I absolutely adore finding inspirational quotes. Happy quotes. Words that make you smile when you read them. The world is too sad. I like happy thoughts and when I find them, I want to share them.

Flowers

I made these three as a set, because the quotes seemed to work really well together and because I love sets of anything!

I cut a journal card and an ATC for each, then smudged the edges and layered them.

Butterflies

I die cut embellishments to complement the words.

I printed the text from my computer and smudged the edges of the cut pieces, sticking them with double sided tape and dimensional spacers to add depth.

Beauty of Dreams

I kept the colours fairly soft and kept the splashes of sizzling pink to a minimum. I really wanted a dreamy look to go with the words.

I loved the way these cards turned out. They make me happy every time I look at them. In fact, I love them so much that I think I shall make a wall decoration with them.

Happy Cards
Journal Cards

What do you guys think?

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

 

Gluten Free Waffles – At Last!

 

One of the treats that I really missed on my gluten free diet was Belgian waffles. We hunted high and low but they were sadly absent from the supermarket shelves. One year, on my birthday, my husband had ordered some from a well known GF supplier on line. But when we opened the box, to my great disappointment, the waffles were all broken and in crumbs. GF baked goods do break easily and I avoid having to buy goods on-line for this reason. We began a search for the perfect waffle maker.

One day, I was browsing in a local store when I came across a silicone mould for baking waffles. I can tell you I was oddly excited and immediately bought two. I thought this might be a good stop gap while looking for a waffle maker that fit my requirements ie. removable plates.

I couldn’t find a recipe, so I did what I normally do and hit Google! But to no avail – perhaps I am alone in my desire for the perfect GF waffle?

Waffle Mould
Silicone moulds are flexible so I always stand on a baking tray to use.

So I set about creating a recipe of my own. The first mix I made was a plain waffle mix, slightly sweet, which was surprisingly good, and I have used it so many times I have lost count!

It’s one of our favourite breakfast treats.  So here is my recipe for oven-baked waffles; the mix makes 6 waffles and freezes perfectly.

Low Fat Waffles

1 egg
125ml milk
20g rapeseed oil
70g Doves SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 – 2 tsp unrefined sugar (or honey, date syrup, maple syrup etc)

Beat eggs, milk and oil
Add flour, baking powder & sugar
Mix with whisk or fork until smooth
Pour into silicone moulds and bake approx 12 mins @ 210°C fan oven
Remove from oven
Turn onto a baking sheet and flip waffles from mould (it’s very hot so be careful! But they flip out really easily from the mould)
Your 6 waffles should be upside down on a baking tray now

Return to oven for 4 – 5 minutes to finish cooking
Remove from oven & place on cooling rack

Date & Walnut Waffles

Variations:

LoCol cheesy waffles:

Omit sugar
Add 40g grated cheese (I use low fat)
½ tsp ground mustard powder
½ tsp sesame seeds

Date & walnut waffles:

Add 40g chopped dates
Add 20g chopped walnuts

Chocolate waffles

Replace 28g of the SR flour with good quality cocoa.
Sprinkle top with sugar before baking.

These waffles are so delicious and if you like baking you should definitely try them. I make them in batches for the whole family and they just love them. The best thing is, nobody realises they are gluten free – they’re just regular delicious little treats! Serve hot from the oven or pop into the toaster to reheat.

My favourite treat is to serve cheesy waffles with smoked salmon – oh yum! But my husband likes to make a pudding of the date and walnut waffles, with some ice cream and chocolate sauce!

Enjoy your baking my friends

Floury hugs – Sandie xx

 

 

 

 

Sizzling Summer is finally here – if only I was on Tonic Island!

Yes, the sun is shining and the temperatures are soaring, and those of us still in Blighty are sizzling hot and wondering why the weather always leaves us unprepared, come rain, hail or heatwave!

If only I was on Tonic Island, sipping a cool cocktail and listening to the sound of the surf, instead of land locked here in the mid country, enjoying the dubious pleasures of our unpredictable and unreliable climate.

Tonic Island
A postcard from ‘Tonic Island’

But speaking of Tonic Island and all things related to my favourite purveyor of crafty treasures Tonic Studios , leads me on to … *drumroll* … I WON the Win & Tonic Challenge for May!  Cool, huh? Check out my fantastic prize here.

So right now, I want to send a huge thank you to the team who runs the fabulous Win & Tonic, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should head on over and maybe play along, its lots of fun to join in.

I love this month’s challenge, which is: Colour – hot colours, Technique –  anything goes, Product – any flower dies or punches, Theme – a card for a girlie or lady (my favourite cards to make!) 

So to get started, I took a basic yellow card, which I think looks pretty summery. The textured card stock I chose to cut my shapes from is shocking pink – and you can’t get much hotter than that!

I wanted to try one of my fabulous prize dies, so I chose Flora. I wanted to use all of the cut pieces, so I made a pocket using the lacy cut-out.

Just so you know, this die was a dream to use, and only required one pass through my Big Shot. There were four in the Essentials Collection that I won: Ada, Constance, Evelyn and Flora. They are all gorgeously lacy and ultra feminine and cut through card stock supremely well.

Next, I stuck the ‘negative’ cut of the die to the top part of my card. I wanted to use all of the pieces I had cut, and I had one little trim left. On my desk I found a small trim left from when I tried out Evelyn, and I’d cut it in sizzling orange cardstock – how ‘hot’ is shocking pink and vibrant orange? I stuck my trim down and placed the small pink trim over the top – voila!

June Entry 2A

I really wanted to cut a flower out, so using some thinner card stock I cut 6 layers of flower shapes in two sizes. I punched a hole in the middle of each and smudged the edges using a red ink pad. Then I spritzed them with water and scrunched them up! Oh, how satisfying that was!

When my petals were dry, I joined them together with a red brad and placed them slightly off the corner of the card. Almost done, but not quite.

June Entry 2B

I cut a journal card from hot pink and yellow and layered on a sentiment from the latest Tonic Design Collection. I cut a tag using the free die and stuck it to the journal card. Using the free embossing folder I made a Happy Birthday panel and popped it onto the back of my journal tag.

Now I’m done! Best of all, I have a bright glamorous friend who will love to receive my sizzling hot summer birthday card!

What do you think guys?

Big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

 

 

Flipbooks and snail mail – what’s that all about?

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So I got interested in snail mail. I know. It’s been around forever, but then there was email and then there was Skype. There was messaging and of course, What’sApp. Yada yada. So I forgot how to write. Shameful, isn’t it?

Then one day, I happened across Puddleside Musings – have you visited yet? Oh, you really should, its a lovely website filled with all manner of crafty loveliness. And Emma at Puddleside Musings LOVES snail mail. She was writing about flip books and they were just divine little books that you make from cards and envelopes and other stuff and you fill them with goodies. I just couldn’t resist.

Emma has this whole snail mail thing going on with penpals, who swap flip books and pocket books, all stuffed nicely with journal cards and washi tape and other good things.

I’m not sure I can ever really go back to Snail Mail, now that I’ve walked on the dark side. But the great news is, flipbooks are fun to make and just as lovely to give, so making them is a win win. Writing letters is optional. 😉

Flipbooks, also known as pocket books are little books full of pockets just waiting to be filled with crafty gorgeousness, or photos, or anything that can conceivably be stuffed into small pockets and put in the post.

You can watch Emma’s video here, it really inspired me to try making my own first flip book. She makes them appear to be quite easy to make and they really are. I’ve made several now and I am quite hooked!

Here are some photos of one I made for my lovely sister. We are such great friends and she’s been a fan of snailmail forever, with little treats turning up in the mail for me at unexpected times, so it was nice to return the treat with a flipbook full of tags and other crafty loveliness. I also thought it would be a nice project for the Win & Tonic Monthly Challenge, so I used a palette of neutrals all the way through the book – I love how it turned out!

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Flipbooks are often made by creating pocket pages from envelopes, I used cards and envelopes but I wanted more pockets, so I made small envelopes to use on the other pages.

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I also used shapes that I cut from dies and simply turned them into pockets by sealing down on three sides.

I filled my pockets with tags, journal cards and die cut shapes that I thought my sis would like. Then I added some washi tape samplers and a card of ribbons.

I popped a handwritten note into the first pocket inside and tied the whole book up with a pretty ribbon. Then I popped the little package into the mail and waited for the reaction! I have to report that my sister was delighted and will be able to use all the little goodies on her own projects.

Now, who shall I make one for next? 😉

Till next time – big crafty hugs – Sandie xx

 

 

 

Pretty Little Treat Boxes

Blue Box
Box: Ultimate Pro; Die Cut: Tonic Studios

I love a pretty gift box, don’t you?  So much fun. My two examples here are easy peasy, one is super fast and the other takes a little more effort but the effect is stunning.

The challenge over at Win & Tonic this month calls for an Easter Treat Box. Well, Easter is over but there are plenty of excuses reasons to make a cute box, and with spring teasing us with blossom and sunshine amidst sharp winds and cold frosts, why not break out those spring colours and make pretty treats for our nearest and dearest, even if we can’t put away our winter warmers just yet.

So first up, I made a really quick little box using my Crafters Companion Top Score multiboard. This cute little gizmo boasts that I could make a box in minutes and indeed I did. Dead easy to make – just scoring and folding – and my little box would hold some little chocs very prettily.

I decorated my box with a beautiful shape that I cut using my Tonic Studio Treasured Token mini envelop die set. The shape was exactly the right size, and I backed it with sparkly pink card to make the design pop out.

Green Box April
Treat box with cutouts, using Tonic Studios crystal carousel die set

Next I opened up my Crystal Lantern die by Tonic Studios and made a six sided box. I cut out the sides using two of many optional cut out dies accompanying the main die. I finished it with a layered flower on the top and a double tag that I cut in matching spring colours. The card stock I used was Spring Fest by First Edition. The colours are gorgeous.

You could use this box for all sorts of little treats and they look so pretty on a table for special occasion treats. I made some at Christmas for table presents after dinner.

Little gift boxes are just so much fun, to make and to give, because who wouldn’t appreciate a small gift popped inside a pretty box that has obviously been made with love? There are loads of dies out there for making pretty boxes, but the simple ones made with a few folds are just as effective.

Hope you all have some fun making pretty little treats.

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