Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mid month Inspiration for TTC#6 - Oak Leaf

Hello everyone,
Back today to share the mid month inspiration for The Twisted Challenge Blog!
This month the theme is Color palette and use an element in multiples of 3

Here's my inspiration for you!
Inspired by the leaf in the image, I wanted a leaf image..but do we ever have what we suddenly want?
Nope! So I borrowed it from my friend and went to town with it!

  • First I heat embossed a few leaves on watercolor paper. The stamp is Oak Leaf from Neat and Tangled.
  • Then I found the relevant distress inks, namely, Mustard seed, shabby shutters, spiced marmalade, fired brick and smooshed the embossed images into the inks...sprayed generous amount of water to blend it together.
  • I am not a fan of the soft faded look of watercolors..blame it on my crazy friend who made me love all bright colors!
  • And so I took another heat embossed leaf on Neenah solar white paper, and colored with Copics, like a stained glass piece.
  • I took my panel, flicked some left over colors from the smooshing. Glued the watercolored leaves.
  • I propped up the copic colored leaf on top of the water colored leaves with foam tape.

To bring the colors together, I rummaged through the Craftreat Ombre Basics paper pack and pulled out the red, green, yellow and orange sheets and created a mat for my panel.

You can see the dimension of the copic colored leaf..and the crazy flicking of color!

I have linked the paper packs below..Also you can check out my Store front on Amazon! Yes! I have a page on Amazon that links to all my favorite products you can buy .. all from Amazon!
Disclaimer : The links used are affiliate links..I do get a small percentage if you buy from my link, but that does not affect your cost in any way!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Fall | Winter Coffee Lovers Blog Hop!

 Finally!! Posting just under the wire! With one hour to go before the  Fall |  Winter Coffee Lovers Blog Hop! closes! I have wanted to join this Blog hop for such a long time! This time, I was determined to join in!

 So before I cross over the wire, here is my card for the Blog Hop!Its a pretty  much straight forward card without any techniques!

I used my amazing Lawn Fawn, Thanks a latte stamp set and dies to stamp and die cut the image.
Embossing folder is from Stampers Anonymous, and the awesome ombre dotted paper is from Craftreat Ombre Basics pack!
Image colored with my copics!
 So that's it for now!

Will catch up soon!!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Faux Water Colored Sunflowers -TTC#6

Welcome back to my blog! Poor thing awakes when I have a new challenge post to make!
Diwali was a hectic affair and hence there was such a dearth of mojo post Diwali. If I had no Challenge card, I would probably not have crafted at all!

So lets get into the card!!
The theme this month at The Twisted Challenge Blog is Color palette and as a twist, you have to use an element/image in multiples of 3!

For this challenge, I have a Faux Water Color card!
My flowers are in groups of 3.. 
So what does a faux Water Color card mean? Read on below:

I took my favorite Sunflower stamp from Papertrey Ink, and dye inks. Even Distress inks would work amazing in this!

Take Watercolor paper..most important to use. 
I stamped the bigger sunflower with Altenew ink, Warm sunshine
took the smaller flower, and stamped over it with Ruby red ink.
The leaves were stamped with Forest Glades.
Once stamped, I sprayed the life out of that paper with water mister..
Let it dry.
I felt the leaves lost all the color, so I over stamped the leaves back with Forest glades, and didn't bother lining up. It gave a more dreamy look to the card!

The shape die cut is from Spellbinders and Grateful die cut and stamped sentiment are from MFT!

Do drop by our challenge blog and take part in it! We have a fun goody bag sponsored by Me and Saumya for our winner!

Monday, October 1, 2018

TTC#5 - Fairy tales with your twist!

Welcome to my favorite month of the year!! Why you ask? Well it's when the days gets shorter, mornings go colder and it beckons winter. And also because its my birthday montg! So you see, its a magical month for me.
Now, talking about magic brings me to this month's theme for The Twisted Challenges Blog. This month we are jumping into the realm of fairies, dragons, princes and princesses and of course magic!!

This month our theme is Fairytales + add your own twist.

Now you will ask me what is a twist? Twist can be anything. Change the ending of the fairytale, change the characters in the fairy-tale.. eg.. instead of 3 bears in Goldilocks, you could make them 3 pandas! Or you could change, that instead of a prince rescuing a princess, she comes on horseback to rescue him. Let your imagination go wild!!

Here's my inspiration, which may help to make it a bit more clear..

My fairy tale  is inspired a bit from Shrek and bit of Snow White. So here we have a dragon guarding the castle and a Prince ready to slay the dragon and rescue the princess! But where is the princess? That's where my twist comes, inside the card!!

Well, Princess Snow white wasn't waiting for the Prince to rescue her. She was done waiting around. So she took off to go shopping!!  And I love the quote I found on Pinterest, so apt.

So for the card, there isn't much technique to it as much, just die cutting and coloring with my copics.
The castle is a die from MFT( any surprise there?) Cut it from grey cardstock and stenciled the bricks with Hickory smoke Distress ink.
Used the cloud stencil to create a soft sky background with Tumbled glass distress ink.
Grass die again MFT.
The dragon and the knight are from MFT, Magical dragons stamp set.

Here is the Princess, colored in Snow White dress colors. She is Pure Innocence Birthday girl. 

Hope you enjoyed this card and the fun twist. 
Dont forget to check out other inspirations on the main Twisted challenges blog, as well as on Saumya and Neha's blog. 

This month we have a grab bag of fabulous gifts from Mudra. 

Till the next inspiration,
See ya soon! 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

TTC#4- Celebrations and monochrome

Wow, its September already! Pretty soon we will be saying Happy new year! Time really does fly! Well a new month means a new challenge at The Twisted Challenges.

So what twisted challenge do we have for you this month?
This month we are asking for projects with Celebrations (Birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, graduations etc.) as a theme BUT BUT BUT we want you to stick to a monochrome palette of colors. You can use neutrals but minimum use of it! Neutrals like white, black, kraft!! Howzzat!

So this month, I have 2 cards for you. I couldn't decide which to share so I am sharing both with you! Both use the same technique with minor differences.

In this gorgeous blue card, I have used distress oxide lifting technique to get the fabulous monochrome effect.
  • Started by embossing the Wplus9 stamp( finally something other than Mft😂), Kind soul on the Bielo cardstock (from The Craft Shop), with white embossing powder.
  • Then I added Salty ocean and Blueprint sketch oxides generously using blending tools.
  • Once the inks were dry I used water and paint brush to paint with water and dab it off with a tissue to lift off the oxide color. Jennifer Mcguire has a beautiful video on this, you can watch it here.
  • I repeated the process twice to remove more color as I wanted more contrast. Finally I cut the panel to size and glued it to a 5x7 card base from Letz craft.
  • The die cut sentiment is from Mft.

The second card is on the same technique.

  • I used Altenew Beautiful day stamp and heat embossed it in white.
  • Used Fired brick, Candied apple and abandoned coral distress oxides for blending.
  • I did the water lifting but didn't get the results I wanted. So I used Frost white ink from colorbox to paint the flowers. It added just a subtle touch to the card.
  • Added few enamel dots and mounted to card base from letz craft.
  • Die cut shape from spellbinders die, sentiment was stamped from Simon says stamp, Beautiful flowers!
  • And glued the die cut on the card panel with foam tape.

Hope you do check out The Twisted Challenges blog and join us this month! This month we have an exciting Gift from our Sponsor Itsy bitsy!
Do check out blogs of Saumya and Neha for more inspiration!
Till then!!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hugs across the miles

Hello everyone,
I am back with another inspiration for TTC3.
Still on the MFT kick! :D
I am trying to use all of my MFT stamps that I have been collecting ahem "buying"over the years! My obsession with them will never end.. So for today, I have another card for The Twisted Challenges #3 - Go Bold and Replace an Alphabet

My card is slightly smaller than 5x7. I used Smooth White cardstock from Letz Craft. I am addicted to the thick white cardstock they offer. Used a Simon Says stamp postcard edge die, to cut the blue mat.
On a white cardstock, I drew black border with copic marker (yes, that's a faux layer) .
Cut my sentiment 3 times from Blue cardstock, using MFT hugs die.
Stacked and colored them to give a ombre look. Added shimmer with Spectrum noir shimmer pens.
Stamped and colored my images on Xpress it cardstock, colored with copics and fussy cut it.

Hope you can see the shimmer here..

Also I couldn't stop at one inspiration, since I had a couple of images colored and cut, I decided to make a Tag.

White base again from Letz Craft, tag die from DCAM.
Used MFT sun-rays stencil for the sun, using squeezed lemonade DI.
MFT grass die, colored the green cardstock with dark green copic to give a little contrast on the layer at the back.
MFT you die, cut 3 times and stacked. Added shimmer
Image stamped and colored with copics.
I just added a black cardstock mat to match the black bold words.

Well, I hope you do join in our challenge this month, there is big prize of 1000Rs. voucher from LETZ CRAFT!
Last day is 31st Aug, not too far away!

Till the next challenge,

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Donut you know..

Its the 1st of August and time for another Twisted Challenge on our TTC blog! Well today I have my favorite Donuts on card for you!

This month we are going Bold on the sentiments and replacing an alphabet with an image!

I am still hungover on my MFT stamps..they are my one true love! So I decided to combine the MFT sketch challenge #395 and TTC3# into one card. 

I started by creating a soft background by repeatedly stamping the sentiment. I used Memento angel pink ink  to stamp the background on my white card stock. ( This is the smooth white cardstock from Letzcraft and I tell you it is divinely smooth! and amazing thickness!)

To create the donuts, I cut 2 same circles from Lil inker Double stitched dies, one in pink and one in brown. I freehand cut the pink circle to resemble frosting. Stamped sprinkles on it in brown ink. 

 Glued the Donut on the stamped background and mounted that on my 5x7 precut cardbase from Letzcraft.
I wanted some contrast between the stamped background and card base, so I ran a copic marker around the stamped background and created a faux mat.

I first stamped the mini donut and fussy cut it out. Then I stamped the Bold Sentiment on a strip of white cardstock and glued the mini donut on the letter O.
The 2nd part of the sentiment was stamped on a thin banner and glued below the bold sentiment.

If you have any questions, do leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Thank you for dropping by my blog and hope you also join us in the TTC challenge this month!

Linking to the MFT Sketch Challenge #395

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Coffee and Rains!

I am back today to share a card made using my favorite theme at The Twisted Challenges,
Tea/Coffee with Rains.
I am a  true blood Pluviophile (someone who loves rains and finds peace of mind and joy during rains) and whenever it rains, I love cuddling up with a book and a hot cup of coffee! I wanted to create the same scene on my card and here's what my finished card looks like!

I have the little girl from MFT stamps (Our Story Stamp) reading a book and sitting with a hot cup of coffee. Images are stamped on Neenah solar white 80lbs and colored with Copics.

To create the window, I used a memory box die, and die cut from both the base and the top panel at the same time. I then sandwiched a transparency between the base and the top panel. Before adhering the window die cut, I use the MFT Brick stencil, and Fired brick ink to create a brick background. Then I added the window die cut on top of the transparency.

Creating the raindrops was the most fun part of this card. I added glossy accents on the transparency, and let them dry overnight.

Look at the beautiful faux raindrops on the window.. I simply love how it came about. I avoided adding a sentiment, because, sometimes I feel a card doesn't need one!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge : To use a die and /or Punch.

MFT Sketch Challenge #394

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Twisted Challenge #2 - Tea/Coffee and Rains!

Hello everyone and welcome to The Twisted Challenge for the month of July! Everyone is posting about rains on every social media platform and  here in my city, we are still waiting for a decent rainfall! So I decided to make some rain to satisfy my soul!

Our Challenge this month is to make a COFFEE/TEA theme card Plus Rain!
I literally took the red mug and ran with it. I loved the contrast of the dark background and the pop of red mug!

I had been wanting to recreate the rain drops and I had seen a couple of videos and this one seemed so easy! So I tried it..

  • The background was made by smooshing Black Soot distress oxide on my craft mat, spraying it with water and then lifting the ink on watercolor paper. 
  • And created raindrops using the tutorial linked above..used my Zig black and white gel pen to get the effect.
  • Once dried, I flicked drops of water and dried in between layers.
  • Stamped the coffee cup from Stampers Anonymous Freshly Brewed stamp set on Neenah Solar White 80# . Colored with copics and fussy cut it. This is my new favorite fussy cutting scissor..
  • The window panel is the MFT cover up Gift Box Die.
  • Stamped my sentiment from Lil Inkers Coffee stamp on a 4.25x6 card base.
  • Stuck my watercolor panel behind the window die cut.
  • Propped the window and coffee mug on foam tape. 
  • Added glossy accents on the rain drops. (In hind sight, I would not have done it. The glossy accents mixed with the zig ink and kind of smudged it.) 
So there you have it, my inspiration for this month's challenge. We would love for you to join in...
We have a prize for our Top Pick this month from THE CRAFT SHOP!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Welcome to The Twisted Challenges..A new beginning

Well hello everyone..

Welcome to my first card post of 2018..This year has been a challenging one so far for me..but every challenge I face is making me stronger.. this week marks 3 months post my spine surgery. Its a long story of how and why but suffice to say I am doing really well.

My return to crafting is going to be very slow but that didn't stop me, Saumya or Neha from planning. We were all stuck in a rut and we wanted to snap ourselves out of it..thus the idea for a challenge popped in and then we decided to blog it, so now we have The Twisted Challenges open to all..something that will make you think and challenge you along the way.

Theme this month is "Checkered Florals" i.e. flowers but with a checkered pattern in it..

I chose to go with paper piecing as it was the simplest I could attempt. 

  • I started with picking some checks,plaids,squares etc pattern papers from my stash.
  • Then, I took the outline flower from Altenew's Beautiful flower stamp set and stamped on my checkered paper and fussy cut it.
  • Took the leaves and stamped two layers with Memento black and Catherine pooler grass skirt ink. Fussy cut the leaves.
  • I die cut the scalloped border from white Card stock  using MFT dies as well as the
  •  word HUGS. It is also from MFT stamps..

  • On a note card base measuring 4.5×5.5, I glued the scalloped edge and blue pattern paper on it.
  • Glued the flower leaves and a sweet sentiment from Mft stamps.
  •  Finished off with some black enamel dots.

Hope you will love the inspiration my other teamies have for you and do join us every month in this crazy and Twisted Challenges.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

All you need to know to buy the Perfect Paper Trimmer!

ETA: This was my editorial article which was published in Our Idea Book Issue 3, which came out in November. If you haven't got the Issue 3 or any previous ones as yet, please do grab a copy, there is lots more amazing articles in the book .Buy here .

       Of the many tools in a paper crafters kitty, one of the most important is a paper trimmer. Without it, your papers are wonky, the matting is never straight, and as such you waste paper trying to get it perfect square or rectangle.

And always I have found questions, which one do I buy? How do I select from the many many trimmers, the perfect one.

First let me tell you about the types of trimmers that are available and then I shall tell you how to choose one based on your needs. 

1.       Simple Blade Trimmers:

Image from Google Image Search

    These are the most widely available trimmers. They are the most economical when it comes to price and are definitely most portable. They are made usually of lightweight plastic. These are recommended mostly when you are traveling for crafting retreats.
The blade is situated in a track or grove on the trimmer which you just have to slide up and down to cut the paper.
These are useful for light weight papers and cardstock.
The only downside is the constant replacement of blades. As soon as the blade starts getting dull, the cuts will start feathering. 
Recommended brands ( I personally do not like any of the blade trimmers) : Fiskars SureCut

2.        Guillotine Trimmer:

Image from Google Image Search

These trimmers have two long steel blades which act like scissors. One blade is fixed on the trimmer, while the other is fixed to a handle which moves up and down. In a scissor both arms move, here only one arm moves.
These are heavier and sturdier to use. It gives a cleaner cut and the blades usually are self-sharpening. With every paper cut, when they slide against each other, they self-sharpen.
These are good for any cardstock, multiple sheets of printed papers, Glittery paper, foam, light weight chipboard (Max1- 2mm thick)etc.
Cutting heavy chipboard will usually displace the pivot of the cutting arm and your cuts will go wonky or be off by a millimeter or more.
These need to be handled safely in case kids are around, due to the cutting action.
Some trimmers do have a handle lock, but not all. 
Recommended brands :Tonic (Most recommended) Swingline, Xcut, Dahle, 
(I will not recommend the cheap China made ones since there is no guarantee to the straightness of its scale..The arm may cut well, but if the scale is wonky, you papers will be too)

3.       Rotary Trimmers:

Image from Google Image Search

Image from Google Image Search

These trimmers have a rotary(round) blade which slides up and down a rail at the edge of the trimmer. The blades are housed in plastic carrier so it is impossible to hurt yourself while cutting papers.
These are most sturdy form of paper trimmers as well being able to cut multiple sheets of paper at a time, including heavy chipboard.
Blades do not need to be replaced as often as in Simple trimmers. Some are self-sharpening when the blades are at the edge of trimmers, eg :  Cutterpillar, Rotatrim.
These are sturdier than all other trimmers. The blades that come housed on two rails are the highest quality in Rotary trimmers as the blades have more stability while cutting. 
Recommended brands: Fiskars Procision, Cutterpillar, Dahle, Rotatrim, Carl, Fiskars Surecut rotary trimmer.

4.       Trim and Score Board
Image from Google Image Search
 These are the new types of trimmers, which have a scoring board built into the trimmer thus eliminating the need for an additional scoring tool. However, most of them are the simple blade type trimmers and thus need a blade replacement every 3-4 months depending on usage.
These are advised only for travelling or for crops. Not recommended for regular usage.

How to choose the right paper trimmer SIZE
1.    Size of material to be cut
·         Are you a paper crafter, a scrapbook maker, a mixed media artist, a quiller?
Do you need to cut 6x6, 12x12 sheets or bigger than that?
·         If you make only cards and cut smaller than A4 size papers, a smaller trimmer would work fine. Generally smaller trimmers are 8.5 x 5 inches
·         If you have to cut 12x12 sheets for scrapbooks, quilling strips, looking at a 12x12 trimmer or a trimmer which has a foldable arm would be good option for you.
·         If you use papers bigger than 12x12, you need to get trimmers which are bigger in length. Trimmers go upto 15 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches and more. The width of these long trimmers may stay about 12 inches. These are usually commercial paper trimmers, used in offices or Book binding stores for cutting bulk papers quickly.

2.       Look at the space you have
           Sometimes spaces are a big constraint. 12x12 trimmers take a large footprint in your room.
If space is an issue, you can go for foldable trimmers or smaller trimmers which have extendable arms.
Foldable trimmers are full 12x12 and fold up in half from the 6 inch mark.
The extendable ones are about 12x 6 and have extendable arms upto 12 inches.

How to choose the type of Trimmer – Blade, Guillotine or Rotary.

1.       Look at the material you wish to cut
·         If you are going to cut only cardstock paper, patterned paper or quilling strips, a simple blade type cutter should work for you.
·         If you have to cut heavier cardstock, glitter papers or mulberry papers or thin chipboard about 1-2mm, you will need a guillotine cutter.
·         If you have to cut more sheets of cardstock, heavier chipboard upto 4mm..prefer a Rotary trimmer. They cut chipboard the best. 

2.       Frequency of cutting
It also will depend how much cutting you do. Are you a crafter who does crafting for bulk order or a hobby crafter who needs it few times a week?
·         If you do bulk, you can definitely invest in the heavier and higher priced rotary trimmer variants as they have sturdier blade and last long.
·         For a hobby crafter, the mid-range trimmers will work well, especially Guillotine style trimmers.

 3.       Budget
I have put budget as the last thing to look for, because when you need quality tool and something that is long lasting, don’t look at the budget. Get something that is sturdy and long lasting and it will pay for it itself in the long run.
Economical trimmers end up costing you much more than they are actually worth. Either you need to keep replacing blades or the grove wears off and then you end up spending more on replacement parts ultimately costing you much more than what you paid for it.
Major differences between Blade, Guillotine and Rotary Trimmer

Blade Trimmer

Type of blade
Thin V shaped blade in a plastic holder
Long blade along the cutting arm
Round blade in plastic casing
Life of blade
3-6 months
Lifelong (Self sharpening)
Lifelong (self-sharpening)
Frayed edges
Yes, when blade starts getting blunt
Cutting into middle of paper
Materials it can cut
Plain paper, patterned paper, cardstock.
Plain paper, patterned paper, cardstock, heavy cardstock, glitter paper, foam, handmade paper, thin chipboard (1-2mm)
All of the guillotine Plus heavy chipboard 2-4mm
Weight of the trimmer
Lightweight, portable
Heavy, needs dedicated space in the room.
Brands available
Fiskars, Martha Stewart, We are Memory Keepers, Cricut, American Crafts etc.
Tonic Studios, Fiskars, Martha Stewart, Swingline, Dahle, Deli (made in China) etc
Cutterpillar, Fiskars, Dahle, Rotatrim, Carl, X-acto, Wescott etc.

To sum up:
  • Any serious crafter needs at least 3 trimmers in their arsenal. 
  • A sturdy rotary/guillotine, a portable trimmer for crops/traveling and one mini guillotine trimmer for cards or small papers.
  • Regular care and making sure that you don’t forcibly cut more papers or thicker cardstock on your particular trimmer will extend its life immeasurably. If used well, your Guillotine and Rotary trimmers can last you for over 10 years without any replacements. 
I do hope this post has helped you narrow your choices and pick a good trimmer. 

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