Monday, 29 June 2009


At The Next Level this week, our Challenge is a really pretty Sketch, and it is amazing to see how each DT card has a completely different take on this and is really inspirational.

I decided to go 'old fashioned' and produced a really 'girly' card, which I have to admit are my favourites, with another one of my h'Anglar images, the cute little hooded girl sitting on a branch. The papers I used this week are predominantly from a digital kit called Summer Cottage Collection from Raspberry Road Designs. The really pretty flowers were from Joanna Sheen and I used a Fiskars punch to create the circle.
The image was layered up to create dimension and was coloured with Copic Markers.

The inside again used another image and featuring the papers from the kit. The rose spray stamps are from Magnolia

I made a thick box envelope to fit the height of the card and embellished this with a matching tag and string to follow through the garden theme.

Thanks for looking, Ann xxx

Monday, 22 June 2009


The Challenge this week on my magazine blog, The Next Level, is to create either a Stair Step Fold card or a Pop up Freestanding Card. I chose the Stair Step Fold card to showcase because I just so loved this new set of h'Anglar stamps, I thought this would be the perfect way to use them.

For details on the dimensions for the Stair Step Fold pop over to The Next Level tutorial section where I have put the basic information on how to create this shape and style of card. What I will do here on my own blog is just to add a little more 'meat on the bones' on the individual make up of this card.

First of all I started with a choice of just 2 papers that I wanted to use as my card base, two very simple digital checks, but with colouring that would follow through to the images to complete the overall look. I cut out the cardstock base and the top layer and then did a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to seal them both together (following the amazing Tutorial that True did in Issue 2 - which really helped me get my stitching right!!!). I then scored the card following the sizes on the tutorial and this made up my base.

I wanted to have my images all standing proud of the folds on the card, so at this stage I needed to make sure that the backs would look good. With Copic pens, which is what I used to colour the images, you usually get a bleed through to the back of the paper. I thought this would not look good when the card was flipped over, so I stamped the images on my check paper, scanned them and loaded them into my imaging programme, then flipped them horizontally. This meant I had a stamped reverse image that I could cut around and they would paste on the back of my coloured images and be a perfect fit. Now I know this sounds complicated, and a much simpler method is just to stamp your images on the back of your patterned paper, and when you cut round them you will have the same effect, but without the stamped finish, but the correct shape in your patterned paper to mask the rear. I did this method on a couple of the images and finished the rear effect off by adding some faux ink pen stitches. It does take a little time and effort to do this, but I am sure you will agree that when viewing the card from the rear if does give a much more finished effect. I also added a little cupcake to pretty the rear up a little.

To close the card fully so that it would fit nicely into the box envelope, I folded a ribbon right round the card and put two pins where the ribbon met, and stitched this on the sewing machine. I added a little bow to the front, and this now slides on and off completely.

I also made a box envelope that is three-quarters of an inch deep which takes the full thickness of the card with a little room and completes the gift card.

I hope you have enough detail here to help you make one of these cards if the fancy takes you. If you have the time and you stop by, please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Ann xxx

Monday, 15 June 2009


This week on The Next Level the Challenge is a Sketch with pretty curved detail which can either be cut away or matted and layered into the design. I decided to keep a solid front and chose as the basis of my design some really pretty paper from K & Co. called Chateau Florals. From this I chose a selection of other complimentary papers, all the rest being digital from my vastly growing stash. I have detailed on the Hints and Tips section of The Next Level how I select my papers for a design and this makes it very easy to pull a theme together.

The images I used are from the new collection from h'Anglar and feature a little boy and girl holding a pretty flower. I added some stitching to the front and chose to add just ribbon detail, the ribbon being from a past Raspberry Ribbons kit, and keep the rest of the card fairly embellishment free, as the papers themselves were quite busy.

On the reverse of the pull out tag is another image of the little boy holding the flower and inside the card I have matted and layered the papers and added more stitching.

I made a Box envelope to fit the card, making it slightly thicker this time to take the height of the ribbon comfortably.

The images were coloured with Copics and the colours used were :
Clothes : G000, G00, V91, V95, W1, E31, E43
Skin : E000, E00, E11, E50, R20
Flower : G21, G63, V91, V95
Hair : E55, E57

I hope you have time to leave a comment if you pass by.

Thanks Ann xx

Monday, 8 June 2009


After another busy week over at The Next Level, I finally managed to grab a few moments over the weekend to put together my Design Team card. The Challenge for this week is to encase your image with the really pretty Ribbon Border, originally designed by Claire Brennan, and the tutorial for this can be found in this week's issue.

I decided to use a stamp set by Hampton Art, Clear Expressions range, designed by Diana Kovacs, Interactive Corset ATC. The set has several different basque's, tiny buttons, lace etc - and is a really pretty. I embossed the image with black shimmer, and layered the basque up with a split front, and added tiny hooks for authenticity.

The paper again are my usual mixture of digital, but the floral border one is from Lola's Boudoir range from Pink Petticoat. The really pretty flowers on the front of the card and the tiny roses are both from Joanna Sheen. Inside the card I added another basque embossed image from the set. The images were coloured with Copic markers.

I made a box envelope to take the height of the card with the various embellishments and added another little basque detail on this in addition to the matching ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and if you have the time please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Thank you xxx

Monday, 1 June 2009


Well what a manic week it has been getting ready for the big Lauch of The Next Level, I just about managed to get a card in!!!!!!!!! Dawn and I had no choice this week as the Design Team do not join us until next week - so after a break of nearly 2weeks I put my creativity hat on again.

The theme for Challenge 1 was an Aperture card coupled with a hand made Lollipop Flower - both of these were going to be a challenge for me as I had never done either before - but wow did I just so love those flowers - there really will be no stopping me now. There is a Video to support the making of the flower on The Next Level and I also made a photo tutorial on there to support anyone who wanted to print something off to follow as you made your flower.

I decided to make a little set, consisting of a card, a box envelope and a little soap gift package. The card image uses the absolutely fantastic Front and Back Annie rubber stamp from Art Impressions - I just adore this stamp. I first saw it on Bev's blog - All the Things I love - and I was in love. This stamp and others from the collection are available from SirStampalot. Like everything else, I had to make it difficult though. I decided to cut a hole through 6 layers of cardstock (3 on the front and 3 on the inside left cover) which all had to match up so that she could be peering through an imaginary window from the outside in. Took me ages, but got there in the end - I hope you think the effort was worth it. I formed the shape in my Craft Robo software and then just printed out the different colouring cardstock and then shaped it all to size. She does look so cute though when you see her peering from the outside in when you open the card!

I also layered her little pinny to give it some extra dimension. On the inside right I created a dreamy garden scene, so that when she was peering through the arch from the front there was a sky in the background. This however made it difficult for anywhere to write on the inside of the card without spoiling the design, so I added an oval frame tied on with pretty bows on the rear of the card for this purpose. I also made the box envelope to go with the card again using a Lollipop flower for decoration - I told you these would keep popping up everywhere!!

Many of papers I have used are from The Digichic Boutique and this pack was called The Twist Collection. One or two extra touches were freebie downloads from Summer Driggs blog - full details on The Next Level. I am often asked where I get my digital papers from, it is so difficult for me to answer this question, because some I buy as digital packs, and I download lots of freebie packs. When I come to make up a theme or design I pick and choose from everything I have, and then colour it digitally to make my paper pack up, so it really does make it difficult for me to tell people to go to a specific download.

The little soap gift package finished off the set - and guess what - yes you are right, another Lollipop flower appeared on there!!! - they are just growing everywhere!!

If you have the time when you stop by please leave your thoughts - I do so love to hear what you think.

Thank you xxx