Spectrum Noir – Darkly Beautiful

I am having a love affair with Spectrum Noir. It may not last, but for the moment my passion is quite intense.

It began with infatuation. At my local craft store I would gaze adoringly at the loveliness that is the Spectrum Noir Colorista range: alcohol markers and wax pencils specifically intended for the adult colouring market. I have flirted with this colouring craze, always putting it aside for other crafting opportunities. And so, I would leave the craft store with something else in my shopping bag, usually a die or two, or some new paper block.

On Saturday all that changed, when my husband treated me to the Spectrum Noir Metallic Pencils and a couple of the dark colouring pads that accompany them.

Spectrum Noir Tag
My first attempt with Spectrum Noir pencils on Colorista Dark Tag

Oh the joy of that first soft, stroke of lustrous loveliness. The depth of colour, subtle yet luminous. Like butterflies, those first strokes touched the page and my love was born.

Like I say, it may not last. I’m fickle with my crafting. Nonetheless I shall enjoy this affair, whatever it may be. And when all those deliciously dark pages are covered in shimmering colour, I shall layer them onto paper-crafting projects and enjoy the memory of them all over again.

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x


Take One Bargain Store Gift Bag …

… and some imagination, add a few crafty bits and you’ve got yourself a designer gift bag for next to nothing.

I bought this Kraft Bag to put some valentine’s gifts in, so I wanted it to look special.

In my stash I found a piece of card with tiny hearts on it, so I cut a piece to put on the front of the bag. Using the dies from the Tonic Design Collection, I cut some panels in red and layered them on top, then stuck the layers to the gift bag using Stix2 double sided tape.I cut a red heart using one of the hearts from Tonic’s Something Special die set, and cut a sentiment from the Design Collection Magazine to go on top.

Tonic Dies used to create Kraft gift tag

The gift tag with the bag was a bit naff, so I created a Kraft gift label to match the bag. The ‘A Gift’ sentiment was cut from Tonic’s Treasured Token envelope die. Its such a cute die set and creates an envelope to fit business card size. It comes with 8 dies, including the sentiments A Gift, For You and RSVP.

Finally, I replaced the ribbon handles with string, which I thought made the whole effect look a lot more polished.

What do you think?

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x

New Year’s Resolution: A Year’s Worth of Cards

In January I made a resolution that was to change the way I look at my craft stash! I don’t normally make resolutions, but this year I decided not to buy any greetings cards for a whole year, making them myself instead. I love card making and I have a HUGE stash. But, if I’m totally honest, sometimes I’m reluctant to cut into a fine block of paper, preferring instead to gaze at its pristine loveliness! Who else can relate to that?

Also, and here’s another little secret home truth, I am ever so slightly obsessed with buying paper! So it seemed like a good way to make me use some of that gorgeous stash (‘course, that makes way for more, doesn’t it? Win win!)

Since then I’ve been busy making cards for all manner of occasions so that if I need one in a hurry I’ll have lots to choose from. I’ve even made a couple of Yule cards all ready for Christmas 2017. Way to go me!


This card is one I made using a First Edition paper stack called Spring Feast, that I’ve had absolutely ages. I just love all its sparkly papers and I thought it would be nice to use for a flip flop greeting card, and as the February Challenge over at Win & Tonic is all about the bling, I’d thought I’d enter it as well.

The card shape is cut from the Sizzix Fancy Frame Flip Its die set. It makes a single flip flop card, but by sticking two together you get a really cute effect and twice the fun.

I cut the other shapes from my Tonic Garland Terrace die set and layered them up in various coordinating papers from Spring Feast. Hidden beneath the flip flops cut outs is a mini heart card, cut from Tonic’s Someone Special die set. I can either write a personal message in that or put a sentiment there.

There is sparkle all over this card, and who doesn’t like a bit of sparkle?

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x

Happy Birthday / Kraft Greeting Card

The February Challenge over at Win & Tonic is in full swing, so I chose to work with Colour: Kraft plus anything, Product: anything Tonic, and Theme: Happy Birthday.

Kraft Card, Win & Tonic Challenge

I love working with Kraft, so I cut a base card using my Tonic Harrop Layering Card Blanks die set. This set is really cute and you’ll get a lot more use from it than you might imagine. I folded an A4 Kraft sheet to make an A5 card, and chose the second to largest frame to cut it on the fold.

Then using the Delicate Drape Die Set, I cut out the centre panels. Don’t you love the turquoise colour scheme against the Kraft?

I cut the Happy Birthday sentiment from the Tonic Design Collection papers, and layered it up in the centre. Then I stamped ‘Sending you best wishes onto a banner and repeated the sentiment on the right edge, stamping directly onto the Kraft card.

I finished this card using a layered paper flower with a nice sparkly brad in the centre. So technically, I covered all the options of the February Challenge with my tiny little bit of bling! Yay, result!

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x

With Love / Win & Tonic February Challenge

Another one for the challenge over at Win & Tonic. This time I just went for Product: Tonic, and Technique: Bling.

With Love, Win & Tonic February Challenge

The paper I chose is from a block by Trimcraft called Noir Luxe, that I picked up from The Works (grab one if you can, it’s a beautiful block with loads of shimmer and sparkle and a steal at £5). I cut the ‘With Love’ from some gold foil card, using a Tonic Pop Up Sentiment.

Because the paper background is so very pretty, I kept the whole thing simple and just layered up some shapes at the top for decoration.

I think this type of card is really useful to have in your card box, because it can be used for many occasions, or none at all if you just want to send out a little love. And we all need that, right?

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x

Happy Birthday / Win & Tonic

I don’t usually go for much bling on my cards, but I thought I’d give it a try for the Win & Tonic February Challenge, so here is the result.

Happy Birthday, Win & Tonic

I started with a pink card. I love pink and black, so I cut out a shiny black layer using my Tonic Harrop Card Blank die set.

I cut out the sparkly card using the die from the Tonic Design Collection. It’s an interesting shape and I felt it looked nice on the black layer. I cut a Happy Birthday sentiment from silver foiled paper with a pink foil background. The embossed With Love is from the Delicate Drape die and embossing set.

I finished the card of with a layered paper flower and a sparkly brad centre.

Crafty Hugs – Sandie x

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