Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Todays post is about a card I have made quite recently and comprises of handmade roses using dies. I'm currently having great fun making all sorts of paper flowers. Shabby chic paper roses are my favourite variety and since I have closed down my website that offered tutorials solely for all types of crafted flowers...and the recent tutorial for the Spellbinders Daisy on my SixInchSquareBlog - daisy tutorial has been very popular I have been thinking of resuming the tutorials on my keep an eye out...a tutorial for the roses will be posted up at some point.


This gently shabby chic card runs with a grey, black and lemon colour scheme. I have used a plain black heavy duty card stock for the base, matted and layered with  pale lemon paper that has been softly distressed and inked around the edges with Distress Inks 'Scattered Straw and Black Soot'. The main layer is a beautiful distressed floral and scroll patterned paper by Efco which again I inked the edges to tie all the piece together. This paper was actually the whole inspiration for the card with a design of roses leaves and scrolls that matched my paper roses and some dies very well. A circular piece of the paper was also cut out ( Spellbinders dies - 'Standard Circles' ) to add dimension and help break up the pattern and provide an offset 'frame' for the cluster of roses.

The roses were cut using a mix of Sizzix Bigz Die Tim Holtz 'Tattered Florals' , Spellbinders 'Carnation Creations' and Spellbinders Donna Salazar 'Rose Creations'. All cut from a plain pale lemon paper  which I then over stamped with distress texture patterned stamps (various makes) and scroll stamps using Scattered Straw and Pumice Distress Inks....and also inked the edges. Using ball end embossing tools I shaped the pieces to create curled and creased edges, then layered them together and glued to form the roses (tutorial to come soon on my other blog).

I made one large rose and two smaller to make a cluster of three....I like using odd numbers and flower sprays of three seem to always look neat and balanced on'll find this is quite a common thing done by designers. Leaves were cut from the same grey patterned Efco paper as the main layer using Spellbinders 'Foliage' dies.

In black plain cardstock, two small butterflies were, cut using Sizzix Thinlits 'Butterflies 8pk' along with a border strip from Spellbinders (sorry cannot remember die name...will update later), and a thin strip and bow of black satin a row of three tiny gems in the top right hand corner. All dimensional elements where adhered using Pinflair glue gel and the mats and smaller delicate elements using Anitas Tacky Glue.

Hope you like!


Friday, 20 March 2015


Today I'm sharing with you two cards.....similar...but oh so different too....a comparison of cards with a blast from the past and a newer version showing how much I've 'progressed' with my cardmaking. And, as an extra...I'm sharing with you my tutorial on how to make the yellow daisy (from the second card)'s new, just uploaded yesterday...just click on the link and it'll take you to my other blog.

THE OLD - 'Lilac and white flower' card

This is one of my VERY first cards that I ever made. Made it quite a few years ago. I had few crafting/cardmaking tools and skills back an artist I had numerous paints and pencils and made my own hand drawn or painted cards but cardmaking was only just taking off and there was little by way of tools, paper and embellishments available in the shops (oh how times have changed!) I had just bought a small Cuttlebug hand die cutting machine but again, despite thinking how amazing it was, there was only a few and very limiting set of dies available...and then I discovered the electronic Cricut Create...and thought my world of creativity was about to explode! I was amazed that with just two little cartridges I could programme in, sit back and watch it do all the work for me...multi cutting flower shapes in numerous sizes in minutes....and fonts!...I could cut out any word I wanted...and apertures!....I could cut out different shapes and to the size I wanted rather than buying shop premade ones!... with a few ideas in my head and one sheet of white paper...and another in lilac...I made this card.

Very simple card which I think sort of shows I had the basic ideas emerging and card making skills...but not the confidence to do anything too bold or elaborate. I kept it reasonably plain and basic because it was all about the flower embellishment.....oh boy was I pleased I could create such a dimensional piece!
Everything on this card has been produced using the Cricut Create...except for the rounded corners of the card base. I drew around a coin and cut that by hand...YES a coin!...I didn't even have a corner paper punch back then either!

I set the machine to cut a basic circle aperture in the front of the card then set about designing a flower that I could stick on the inside so that when the card was closed, the flower protruded out through the aperture. I had the machine cut out four different sizes of a basic daisy flower shape, and layered then all together....and to be a little different, instead of curling and shaping the flower up and out in more natural and usual way, I flipped it over so it curved downwards. A pile of foam pads underneath helps keep it's shape and keeps it raised up.
 I added a name and small matching flower to the front...and a Happy Birthday inside. I made this for a family member, who accepted it warmly and with great interest....she was delighted that I'd personalised it with her name too!
THE NEW - 'Yellow Daisy' Card
Oh have times have changed! Many years on and my collection of cartridges for my Create machine has grown and I have the additional add-on Gypsy gadget which extends the use of the machine and what it cuts even further....and my collection of dies for the manual machine has also extended...and what is now available is pretty amazing...all sorts of designs, elaborate, intricate and versatile. There are many different machines available, you can now cut up to A4 size too! My poor little Cuttlebug has worn itself out and I'm having to upgrade...but it's done well and been a good servant to me.
So, on to the card. I wanted to share this one with you because it shows how much my cardmaking has progressed and changed. Partly due to the huge range and variety of cardmaking things available...partly due to huge amount of inspiration out there via websites like Pinterest and Facebook, groups, craft shows and magazines. This card is an echo of the design of my card above...but obviously dealt with and embellished a lot more differently.
The basic card design is the same....a tall rectangle piece of cardstock (black of my staples in my stash nowadays) with a circle aperture cut into the front section. This was cut using a Spellbinder Nestabilities 'Standard Circles' die. The same die, plus one a little bigger was also used to cut a thin frame to go around the outer edge of the aperture. The card front was covered in a mat of patterned paper...again with the circle aperture cut out...and the remnant was reserved and used as a mat behind the flower embellishment on the inside of the card. A little bit of Distress Ink - Black Soot was applied around the edges of the card to soften and give a slightly more shabby chic look.

Two strips of Spellbinder border die from the 'Ironwork-accents' set were placed back to back and topped with a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon to make a band across the bottom of the card, two butterfly embellishments were cut from Sizzix Thinlit 'Butterflies 8pk' dies and some black stick on gems used for a bit of sparkle and 'non paper' interest.

The 'with Love' sentiment is a stamp from Clarity Stamps, inked using Distress Ink - Black Soot.

The Flower embellishments are again, created from dies cut on the manual die cutting machine.

The two smaller flowers were cut from lemon 'Efco' paper using Spellbinders 'Carnation-Creations' dies, inked up using Distress Inks - Scattered Straw and Black Soot, layered and toped with black gems.

The main larger daisy flower is from Spellbinders - 'Create a Daisy' Die Set, cut from lemon Efco paper and inked up as per the above. It was glued to the round mat on the inside of the card so that when the card is closed, the flower pops out through the aperture.


I recently purchased the Spellbinders Create A Daisy die kit and was a little dismayed to find such vague instructions on the packet as to how to construct the particular how to achieve the central floret piece. The die set is small and so is the packaging...which is not a bad thing regarding waste, except that this only allows limited sized photo instructions. This plus a strange lack of tutorials on the internet and a small glitch on the Spellbinders website (doesn't currently allow you to access their more detailed instructions) has prompted me to decide to post up my own step by step, comprehensive (I hope) written and photo tutorial.

This is the flower you should be able to create using the die set and by following my tutorial...which I have now uploaded to my other craft blog 'The Six Inch Square'.
Please click on this following link to take you direct to the tutorial page.
I hope you find this of interest and help to you.
xx Ange xx

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Today I'm sharing just one card with you....and it's one of my recent creations.



The paper used for this card is one I've had in my studio for some time. I only had one sheet and it's just so lovely with it's rich chocolate browns and gold foiling and the oh so cute cherub silhouette that's it's been hard to pluck up the courage to cut it up and it's sat there in my stash for some time waiting for a day when I could come up with a design that would do it justice. I have no idea who produced this paper, there are no manufacturing details on it and sadly the craft shop I purchased it from went out of business fairly I have put out a call to my other cardmaking and scrapbooking friends in the hope someone will recognise it as I'd dearly like some more. I fear it may be a retired/discontinued design but still it would be nice to know who made if you know, please leave a comment.

It was while I was playing around with some other card designs and the Marianne Design Creatables 'Anja' frame die that I suddenly thought it would work well for this brown paper. Discarding the inner fretwork die and holding the frame over one of the gold foiled images, I was very pleased to see how nicely it fitted. I cut the frame from plain black cardstock and used the inner part of the die as a template to draw around and then cut out one of the cherub images. This I inlaid into the frame and the whole piece was attached to the main printed paper mat with foam pads to raise it up. The printed paper was matted onto gold board, then plain black card stock. The card was originally fully rectangular with sharp right angled corners but looked a little to severe so I rounded off the corners of the printed paper and gold mat and placed Poppystamps 'Katie Corner' die cuts behind, snipping off the larger outer loops and placed so that just the central 5 loops are visible.

The black peony flowers were made using Sizzix Bigz Die Tim Holts 'Tattered Florals' and were shaped with ball end embossing tools. The fronds are Dee's Distinctively 'Large Green Leaf' die.

I initially placed long black goose biot feathers behind the flowers, but they were a bit too overpowering so removed and used two black card Spellbinders Shapeabilities 'Floral Flourishes' and two 'ringlets' - these are made by simply cutting a long thin strip of card, tapered to one end, then coiled around a thin artists paint brush handle. Two tiny little gems add a touch of sparkle to the frame and a thick strip of satin ribbon, placed horizontally across, but slightly lower than centre finished off the card.

I'm very pleased with how this card came out. I like how the oval shape of the gold foiled image is echoed in the corner loops and fronds of the leaves...and the fancy edging of the frame ties in with the flourishes and ringlets. A lot of people do not like using brown and black together...but I think if the right shades are chosen and paired with gold, it can provide a bold dramatic and luxurious effect.

 xxx Ange xxx

Monday, 16 March 2015


Today I'm sharing another two cards with you.

'GIRL' Birthday Card

This is a very simple and quick to make card, concentrating on using just one main stamp image and 2 colour scheme with texture provided by rough torn edging.

The main card stock is actually clear acetate...something I use a lot in my adds interest and is a bit different from the norm. I took an A4 sheet of acetate, cut to size required and folded neatly using a score board and bone folder to make sure I achieved a sharp and straight crease. Acetate bruises easily and goes white where it is creased or bent....using a board and bone folder minimises this but if you are still not liking that whiteness, a wrap of ribbon or threads around the card spine will help disguise it.

Four layers of card and paper were used, white lightly textured artists cartridge paper which had a frame embossed and then the edges torn...and a contrasting layer of pink handmade tissue paper, again with edges ripped. The top 'mat' is stamped with 'Sheer' a Jill Penney & Daniel Torrente image by Stampotique, in black ink, the dress coloured in with a Promarker alcohol ink pen to match the tissue paper layer, and some tiny sparkles added to the hair with a glitter glue pen.. I freehand drew the frame surrounding the image and the Happy Birthday sentiment. This top mat was slightly raised by using foam glue pads. In order to provide an area inside in which to write a greeting, I applied a white piece of card direct to the back of the front section...this also hides and glue/tape showing through the clear acetate where the front pieces of card were adhered.


This was one of my first attempts at making my own paper flowers and distress crackle effects using a product that was just new on the scene - Tim Holtz crackle paint 'Clear Rock Candy'

The main frame was a square piece of artists mount frame with a central aperture cut out using the classic Spellbinders Nestabilities dies 'Labels One'. The die is not deep enough to cut right through the mount board, so I ran it through my die cutting machine to part cut through the top layers then finished off cutting out with a scalpel blade, by hand. The frame was then painted with a cream acrylic paint and once dried, treated with the crackle paint. A small piece of mount board was also cut out using a smaller Labels One die and paint treated the same way. Once the crackle effect was achieved and totally dry, I rubbed over the pieces using 'Walnut Stain' Distress ink then quickly buffed off the excess using a soft cloth, to highlight the cracks and edges. Once dry and set I lightly buffed over the whole area again with a tiny bit of clear wax polish to add a subtle sheen.

For the main floral embellishment I selected some MemoryStor scrapbooking paper (Costco) which had a nice distressed pattern in burgundy and blues on one side and plain burgundy on the reverse. I first cut out some mats in co-ordinating colours for the back of the frame aperture, then some leaf shapes which were creased and shaped to create depth...and set about making the flowers.

I created the flowers using a wet paper technique. Here is my tutorial from my SixInchSquare Blog

Back then I free hand drew and cut out the flowers using templates but now I have a good collection of dies that I use...much quicker and easier to do. I made three flowers and adhered them into the aperture along with the leaf shapes, attached some brass brads and short piece of chain to the additional mountboard piece and glued this to one side. The ribbon embellishment is ivory coloured Seam Binding ribbon from a local haberdashery store which I inked up with some co-ordinating Distress Ink pads (heat set with a heat gun), knotted up into a scruffy bow and adhered under the flowers. To tie the whole piece together and highlight the metal fittings, I lightly smeared the edges of the frame, flower petals and leaves with 'Rub n Buff' 'Autumn Gold'....and although not shown in the above photo, a small sentiment was attached to the small mountboard piece.

Looking back at this now, I think I'd add little something to the outer edges of the seems a little plain to me now...maybe a little more distressing ink or even another layer of frame.


Saturday, 14 March 2015


It's been a chaotic and frustrating last couple of years in StudioForty...there's been a bit of tweaking to the layout of my studio and then when all was ready for me to move back in and start work again, we got a huge wasp nest problem so I had to up sticks and move out while it was all sorted.

It's all clear now, well...for now I say tentatively as there are no assurances wasps will not return this year! We live in an area that these pests seem to like and many houses around here have suffered nests on an off for years. Anyway I've learnt more than enough about wasps than I really wanted, yes they are fascinating...but NOT when they are in my studio....and I'm not going to bore you all with the details (if you follow me on facebook you will know what it was all about and had to put up with my regular rants of anger at being ousted from my workplace by these darned insects)...

Anyways, I'm slowly starting to get back into making jewellery and artwork but for now those designs are staying firmly underwraps and I'll not be blogging about them until they are ready for sale... pass some time I thought I'd share some of my handcrafted cards I've made...recent ones and from past forays into this lovely little hobby. They are not for sale, I don't take commissions for cards anymore, but thought it nice to show you and give a few details on what I used, how I made them. I won't be posting  any tutorials by me...but will add links to other sites if I think they'll be useful for you.

Hope you enjoy and find todays card share interesting...and hope you stick around... there's more to come!

'MOM' Birthday Card

This is a simple card created using two cutting manual die cutting machine, and by electronic cutting machine. The paper used is by MemoryStor - a lovely set of heavy weight double sided 12x12 papers purchased from Costco. Being strong enough to fold and stand alone, I used the main pattern as the base card stock and created a wrap of plain co-ordinating yellow. It is edged both front and back with Spellbinders 'Fleur de lis Accents' and finished with black velvet ribbon. The flower embellishment with black scrolls are again, Spellbinders dies - Shapebilities 'Carnation Creations' and 'Floral Flourishes'  as is the main central piece - Labels Ten. The word 'mom' was cut using my Cricut electronic machine. Some little gems and a gem set brad in the centre of the flower are the final additions. I have some more photos of the back and close up soon as I find the files, I'll add them here.
This card is from a few years back when I first started making cards. Sadly can't remember whose paper I used, but it is a plain black card stock, matted and layered with silver card and then coloured piece which I inked, distressed and over stamped with various stamps from my collection. The main central piece is embossed silver craft metal, using Ten Second Studio embossing plates, wrapped over a square of mount board, formed into a frame and inset with an image from Crafty Individuals image sheets (no longer available). It was rubbed over with black acrylic paints to give a patina effect which enhances the embossed areas.