Do You Prefer Words?

Do You Prefer Words?
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You can also see me on Instagram (as @sdcrafter) where I often post my craft pictures

High Days & No Days

we'll be in a hut in a field
 - not this one

The Season & the Reason

Well, folks, it is time for the Davis household to have some Time Off. Regular readers will know this has been a long time coming. And it will be high days and no days because ill-health has caught up with me again.

I have no idea when I will return to regular cardmaking and writing online. Mainly, I may just please myself because that is how I feel right now.

But you won't escape my attention

if you fall into either or more of these categories:

- family member or fond friend - they know I know who they are

- one of my favourite papercraft designers or makers - you know exactly who you are

- one of my favourite authors or prospective authors - I've got you on my Kindle

- my favourite Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate for the Kingswood Constituency - one Jo McCarron - high there, Jo! - or a member of the local support team


- someone whose Tweets, Posts or Instagrams I love to read

Over & Out

As I created this list, I pictured quite a few lovely people. Thanks for being here. I'll be in touch.

(This looks like a Poor Me post - it isn't. I never like being offline for any amount of time without an explanation to those that really matter.)

Superman and the Lady

I hasten to add (to my title) that the Superman in question has nothing in common or inclination with the Lady. As you will see.

Superman (lookalike)

The man I made this card for is a comic hero fanatic. Which, now I come to think about it, sounds rather a worry. But I know him well. He is my son so he can't be anything to be concerned over. He just loves comics of the true form and he just happens to no longer be a lad.

A special edition of Making Cards Magazine came to my rescue. So, I suppose you could say, Superman himself in the form of this cut-out image, some striped paper, the Hero power splat and the sentiment, all collided onto my Promarkered card. And this year's birthday card was made.

The Lady (looks like she really is)

Avid readers of this blog will note other uses of this Kanban stamp (as seen here). This time out, I wanted to create elegance with the latter-day appeal of vintage. Without getting too distressed in the artistic sense of the word. The more original sense is currently true enough, thank you very much.

I stamped with some Creative Stamping Magazine stamps straight onto the card blank, rounded the corners, stamped the Lady onto cream card and Cuttlebugged her with a scalloped XCut die. A smaller diecut ensemble (posh now) made my sentiment. Some frippery embellishments and de-shanked vintage buttons completed my card for a very Special Friend.

I like making my own A5 card inserts. All I use is Microsoft Word (other desktop publishing packages are available). Look around for the right font to match your theme, era or desire. Add a suitable page border and all you will need to do is trim the A4 sheet a little and fold and glue and sit back to admire.

Note: my watermark was not on the original insert.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy...


The words for my title come from the song by Ella Fitzgerald. I toyed with using Up, Up and Away as this would aptly describe the stamps I used for this project.

On the other hand, this is about a recycled card. I mean that the card is made from pre-loved materials from my come-in-handy stash box.

I keep offcuts in more-or-less rainbow order. Paper and card in the first set of folders; metallic and mirri card in the rear folders.

I DO NOT keep scraps that would get lost in the folders. Life is too short. But I place these in the household recycling, so that's OK, isn't it?


1 x 8" square white card
Little Claire Hot Air Balloons clear acrylic stamps
Little Claire Freedom stamp set for the sentiments
suitable card and papers from my stash box including:
- 'sky' vellum
- green cardstock for the stamped 'fields and hills'
- vertical plants for borders (on the card) - from the Papermania Secret Garden range
- various fragments of clear, blue and patterned vellum


Memento ink from Tsukineko - I used Paris Dusk & Cottage Ivy
tiny brads for the centres of the flowers that I made using Little Claire Dinkies Flowerhead
Good quality yellow chalk
Powder Blue Promarker pen
and a ribbon from a box of chocolates, eaten long ago


My background was an inspired cheat. I do not own or have any experience of a brayer so I made sunrays directly onto the white card using the yellow chalk. This I covered with the sky vellum, only gluing the borders that I knew I was going to cover.

I stamped the hills with the Cottage Ivy Memento ink pad and adhered the border to the base of the card front. I trimmed the outer edges then added the seasonal border strip from the Secret Garden papers.

My side borders also came from the Secret Garden papers. I curved the edges of these borders to suggest movement.

Each balloon stamp was stamped once onto plain cardstock (all scraps), then again onto patterned Secret Garden papers. I used Memento Paris Dusk for this. I cut out the balloon section of the patterned stamping and adhered this to the plain balloon stamping. Now I had three balloons with white showing among their strings (or ropes?), so I lightly inked these spaces with the Powder Blue Promarker.

I also stamped the sentiments on white card and then cut around in the shape of clouds. I edged these with the Paris Dusk ink.

All the stamped items were adhered to the vellum sky with its underlying sunrays. I used shallow foam pads to give depth to the whole picture.

Then came the flowers...I stamped nine impressions on the pieces of vellum I had taken from my stash file. I then cut them out (carefully), shaped them with my rounded tool, pierced each one and layered them in threes before using small brads to secure each flower. These were adhered to my card with sticky dots.

Last of all, on went the ribbon with its jewelled tie, straight from the stash of ribbons-that-came-with-something-else (more often boxes of chocolates than not.)


Update: How lovely - I won the Challenge - see here

Little Claire Club Projects

Halfway Through My Year of Stamping

As part of my stamping journey, I joined the Little Claire Club in February. Each month, I receive a brand new release of stamps along with a prepared project with instructions for a further two. (Currently £9 per month).

Click on these photos to see the details

February: Fabulous Day stamp set

This tag was a simple design - the challenge was the colouring! I particularly wanted the watering can to look aged and somehow it worked!

For each of these projects, I've kept a record of the Promarkers I've used so I can recreate the look with relative ease.

March: Good Times stamp set 

I was really pleased when this set arrived because my journey with Little Claire Designs began when I won the Book Owl and Hot Air Balloon sets - see the story here.

This project involved a little paper pieced waistcoat, a technique I'll use again and again!

April: Recycle stamp set

This is a different slant on the gardening theme - what self-respecting Earth-lover doesn't take recycling seriously? We certainly do! 

The card-folds on this project were intriguing. The usage of recycled card was a clever touch. My colouring took very little time even though I lingered on the green bin, ensuring it wasn't a flat area of colour.

May: Freedom stamp set

Bird cages and butterflies epitomise the whimsical side of stamping and colouring. This pretty card is perfect for a girl, of course.

The fold at the front of the card ensures it will stand on the shelf. It is not a large card but it does have impact.

June: Changing Birdhouse stamp set

For this project, I followed specific paper-folding & masking guidelines that produced a 3-D card - or tag that slots into a base to make a card!

There are further sets of birdhouses for other occasions so I'll soon be collecting them!

Thank You to all at Little Claire Designs, especially the team that puts together the Club projects.

Update: Sadly, silly health has reduced my commitment to stamping so I have temporarily ceased my club subscription. I'm sure I will return once normal crafting service is resumed.

I Give You my Hearts

Don't hit me ...for the title and for being tardy with the next post that was meant to be oh-so-much sooner than this (as promised here). Life in all its glorious fullness intervened.

Card Number One...

an embossed heart was all I needed...
I wanted to make a simple but message-packed card for the wedding anniversary of close friends.

Out came my trusty (pink) Cuttlebug, a strip of apt background papers, some blingy mirri-card, an 8x8" card, a Martha Stewart Heart Border punch and here you have it.

Click the image for maximum impact, please.

Card Number Two...

Are you getting into the swing of my theme? Good - I've nearly finished.

a Lindsay Mason stamp is the basis for this one...
Remember, it is my Year of Stamping, and this one is a stampaholic's dream.I love Lindsay Mason's Urban Angel stamp series, especially this one.

The inclusion of Zendoodling, witty character and witty words give a lot in one A6 sheet. (I've added sentiments and a couple of other stamps from Get Stamping).

Red and white seemed to be the right tones to use for a teenager's card - the 16-year old daughter of the anniversay couple above, actually.
the inside of the card used various items

And now I'll leave you to ponder the final image - what does it mean to you?

a combination of Lindsay Mason and Get Stamping heart stamps

Here Come the Buses

Like those proverbial buses, I'm playing catch-up again - so many photos to share, so little time given to the task lately. I apologise. So, without further ado, let's go to the piccies.

Happy Wedding, or is it your Anniversary?

A Diamond Wedding Anniversary
I think I've mentioned previously that I now subscribe to the Little Claire Stamping Club. For £9, on a monthly basis, I receive the new edition of stamps plus the components and instructions for one project using the stamp(s). Also included on the instruction sheet are a couple of further projects.

A Wedding Day
As a member, I receive a 10% discount when ordering Little Claire products. Recently, I bought the Changing Tree set. The wedding stamps are part of the set and you can buy other sets.

I'm hooked on Little Claire stamps! As you can see with these cards.

A Trio of Happy Birthdays

Well, I hope they were! These cards were made with various components from various sources - I'll try my best to point out which from where.

Floral Card for the Floral Queen
One of the craft magazines, a good while ago, carried a free gift of a Hot Off the Press cardmaking kit. This was an 8"x8" pad of papers with a few pages of diecut flowers from the Home Grown collection.

I am not skilled at taking flat paper and making 3D flowers but I did my best.

This card went to Emma Williams at the beginning of June. If you don't know her work, pop over to That's Life because Emma is the Queen of Paper Flowers! You are in for a treat - but don't go yet! Read on please.

A long time ago, I saw a similar version of this design (above) and I've lost the source. I adapted the idea in my own Word template that I've used several times now for uniquely personalised cards.

The small decoupaged embellishments on Freya's card are digi images from Scrappin Doodles and the beer glasses on Cian's card are from DigiStamp Boutique. The photos of the birthday twins are copies of originals supplied by the client.

I have more card images in my 'most recent' folder but that's enough for one day. I'll be back soon - and I mean it this time!

For All for the Girls - with Flowers On

Oh yes, you've guessed right - here comes one of my 'catching up' posts in which I present, for your delight & delectation (as in the Good Old Days), my latest makes for the women I know.

Saying 'Happy Birthday' with Flowers

 These two cards make use of the 'Country Diary' stamps and papers that were included with a recent issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine (April issue).

The large stamp is extremely useful as a background, made with the resist technique (results, left and next section below).

For the second birthday card, I simply used one of the papers and some stash items. Always good to find that perfect little addition for a card, isn't it?

Saying 'Get Well Soon' with Flowers

Clicking on these cards will give a larger view of the resist technique results.

I stamped and embossed with the large 'Country Diary' stamp (see details above) and then wiped across the image with Tim Holtz Distress ink pads - Dried Marigold.

The sentiment stamp is from an Anna Griffin set.

The sentiment stamps in the 'Country Diary' set are Dearest Friend and With Love, which I found useful inside the cards.

More Soon

I'll be back on screen soon with yet more makes for the Misses and Missus I know.

There's always a friend or family member with some kind of celebration or commiseration going on.

Any excuse ...

... to make a card!

Grandson, Guitar Hero

One of my husband's grandsons is a budding musician with growing guitar skills. He wants a career in music and is working hard to build his repertoire. For his 16th birthday,

I made this card

I used a collection of stash items (mainly magazine and downloaded papers), a strip of black ribbon, onto which I stuck the letters for "Grandson". The figure 16 is easily made using word processing software - choose a font that looks good in outline format.

There is a theme going on with the cards for this particular grandson -

Here's last year's card

Play it again Ben!

One Stamped Card; Eight Magazines Only

I Got Stamping

The good news is it got me stamping, which I really wanted to concentrate upon this year; the bad news is the 8th edition was the final one!

I am writing about Get Stamping, a craft magazine from Practical Publishing International. It was Kim Dellow, one of the magazine's expert contributors, who first alerted me to this new issue in March 2013. So, just over a year onwards, and we've seen the last issue. 

This must be an economic decision for the magazine was a stylish and informative production, particularly for the beginner stamper.

Oh well, I have 8 sets of stamps, (as well as many more from other sources, of course) and lots of projects. I am continuing to learn the art of stamping from Kim's blog, as well as many others. I suspect I'll always be a novice but I am enjoying my cardmaking much more now.

Issue 7 included this gorgeous oriental flower and greeting. Kim's feature looked at ways to use the stamps for blue & white 'willow designs'.

One of my friends loves the cream, red & black combination that I used for her birthday card. I used Kim's techniques for a simple card that says more than first meets the eye - 'I've made this for you because I know you'll like the design and colours'.

Thanks Kim!

I often make my own printed inserts, using word processing and various image sources. The photograph on the right was taken at an oblique angle - believe me, I did print the insert straight!

Time for the Girls

Way Past Time...

I've lacked time, attention and focus of late - real life has usurped my virtual duties. Tut tut, but it happens to us all. Even with a smartphone, there's only so much updating and writing that can be done while enjoying the company of visitors. 

Card for a Little Girl

A client wanted a card for her one-year old granddaughter and this was the result of my designing. 

I used readymade items from my stash. apart from the figure one. Look closely, and you will see the Papermania outline stamp was filled in with various embellishment "sparkly stones and pearls". Pretty, don't you think?

I also suspended a single stamped and coloured candle on an acetate strip. By achieving visual movement on the card, I aimed to give the baby girl plenty to see without handling her card that, I am sure, will be a keepsake in the family.

Card for an Older Girl

This time another client wanted a card for her seventy-year old mother. The brief was "pretty and floral". I knew I had the right thing on Jak Heath's compilation CDrom. 

Her Flippin' Men & Women Series combines gentle humour with tasteful design that is a little bit different. 

Not stamping, I know, (Getting Stamping) and I will increasingly offer coloured-by-me images as my repertoire grows. Slowly, it is doing so which is a neat bridge to...

Stamp the Lady

 For this set of cards, I used the iconic Kanban stamp of a stylish lady (sadly, no longer available unless you are lucky enough to find one in stock somewhere). Note: Kanban now trade as Aspire Crafts.

I stamped the image in Memento Ink Rich Cocoa, onto cream cardstock. The matting and embellishments were kept deliberately simple - I wanted the lady to take centre stage. As indeed she does, very well...

Boys Will Be Boys, Even Grown Men

There is nothing many men would rather do than play with balls - footballs, cricket balls, snooker, billiards, golf, ping-pong - need I go on? And before the more feminist crafters hold their sticky hands in the air, yes, I know women play ball sports too but the cards I am featuring today were made for men.

It Was Only A Suggestion ...

"When you get older ... you might need to ... SWAP BALLS" 
(sentiments created on my PC)

Obvious, isn't it?

This card was given to a man who loves playing football.

The card was accompanied by a bag of gifts that included a bright, shiny cricket ball.

This Paper Nations decoupage sheet from my trusty stash fitted my brief - when I run out of them, I'll be stumped.
(My link takes you to FoilPlay where I bought my sheets).

More Balls

I am not tiring of my theme as players do not tire of their game. Golf first, then the father of all sports (in our house), football, both fitted the clients' needs so I used some toppers and a kit card I had filed under 'Sport'.

But I need to say this: I am falling in love with stamping and will be happiest when I can make a majority of inky cards!

Birthday Cards for Grandsons

At last, more cards to show you. Well. technically that is incorrect - there is a backlog of cards on my PC but the creator has not written about them for ages. Slapped hands.

Two Boys - 2 Grandsons

My husband has five grandsons (greedy) and three of them have birthdays in consecutive months. Busy Grandma Shirl props up the proud Grandad each year. It is getting harder to find new themes so I've returned to 'old' ones this year - a new take on them makes for variety.

The March Birthday

By stamping 'robot' words onto a kraft card and then decoupaging the robot, I produced a masculine card with added fun value.

I used a wooden-backed stamp, long ago hidden away in the darkest corner of my stash. It has breathed life into this card as the recipient loves robots.

Robot stamp from Papermania (no longer available)
Robot/cosmic words by  Paula of Pollycraft digital stamps, stamped with Versafine ink in Majestic Blue.
Various papers and embellishments from my general supplies.
Note: I am not sure that Paula (above) is currently trading.

I also like to make my own inserts and this one came out rather well (I think...) Look further down the page for the little verse - I used a digital font.

The April Birthday

Three of husband's grandsons play ice hockey (the eldest has played roller hockey for Great Britain). So this sport is a familiar theme and I make no apologies for using it for the youngest lad in that family.

The decoupaged topper and hockey word are printouts from , placed at an angle on an easel card.

I stamped the figure 8 using a Papermania clear stamp, onto acetate and filled the outline with Craftwork Cards Card Candi.

So, until May I've completed the grandson challenge for 2014! So far, so good.

I'll soon be back with more cards from the bulging file (does a hard drive get bulges, I wonder). Birthdays, (male & female) Mothering Sunday, more cards for children - they're all in there fighting for their turn to shine on this blog.