Tuesday 31 December 2013

December Challenge - Working With A Sketch

Wow - how on Earth did we get to December already!
What a busy year - but oh so much fun as well!
Before we get started on this months challenge I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of you.... thank you for stopping by our little space in the blog world, thank you for leaving lovely comments on our posts (we always appreciate you taking the time out to do that) and thank you for entering our challenge every month. You are all really talented and you all inspire us too. So thank you x
I also wanted to say a massive thank you to my design team, they are a very talented bunch. Over the year we have seen a few changes - and over the next month you will see the new dt members popping by with their inspirational projects, so do keep popping back as they introduce themselves. I know they are all very excited and really looking forward to working with the team.
I also wanted to say a massive thank you to all of our sponsors this year.... we have had wonderful images to work with and have enjoyed working with them all x

So for this months challenge our sponsor is ....... me!
I have designed a sketch or 4 for you to work with.... all you need to do is pick one of these sketches and use that as you template/guide to create your project.
Here are the sketches....

I have used sketch number 3 on my inspiration card...
You can twist the sketch around and add some extra bits too.....
Here is my card.....

The prize this month will be a goody bag of crafting goodies....
So, now over to you..... pick your sketch - have a look at the rules (check them out in the side bar) - create your project and then link it to your blog post here....
Remember to let us know what sketch you have used (you can do this by putting the sketch number with your name when you enter.

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create with the sketches.
Happy crafting
Nikki x

Monday 30 December 2013

Introducing Amy A.

Hi There!
I hope everyone has been enjoying their holiday and is looking forward to a fresh start in the new year!

My name is Amy and I am thrilled to be joining the talented Crafting Cafe Design Team
 and sharing my designs with you. I live in Massachusetts in the USA.  
I'm a wife, mother, full time educator and part time cake decorating instructor. 
With that said, I value my crafting time so any time I can step away from my craft table or
 kitchen counter and feel I've made a work of art I am happy.  
I am thrilled to be part of the Crafting Cafe Design Team and look forward to inspiring and challenging you.

This month we are working with sketches that Nikki has created, I chose to work with sketch 3.

Although Christmas has past I thought I would dive in and make one more Christmas card. 
(I'm getting a head start for next year. lol)
This is my card creation...

We would love to see all your creations with the sketches..... if you join in with the challenge make sure you leave your link in the challenge post so that we can pop on over and visit you.....

Please visit and check out my other crafty creations @ All Things Beautiful  
Now it's your turn to make something beautiful...
Amy A.

Saturday 28 December 2013

A Vase of Roses

'A Vase of Roses' by Neil Burley

I hope it's obvious that I've used Sketch No. 1 from this month's theme! I had recently come across this Cling Vase Bouquet stamp from Stampendous, and thought it would be perfect for ProMarkers. As it happens, I decided to use AquaMarkers first...

I printed the stamp on to good quality watercolour paper using Archival Jet Black ink before adding Sunburst Yellow, Marigold, Rose Blush and Gold Ochre to the petals, Fern Green and Viridian to the leaves, Periwinkle for the background and Granite for the shadow. Blend with a water brush. I've mounted onto Bazzill card stock, used Buttercup and Cantaloupe Liquid Pearls to embellish and mounted the lot onto an 8x8" card.

If anyone would like a step-by-step guide to colouring, let me know :)

Friday 27 December 2013

Introducing Angelie

Hi there,

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas break!

My name is Angelie and I’m thrilled to be joining the talented Crafting Cafe Design Team and sharing my designs with you.

I live in London and love papercraft, there is nothing better than taking a blank piece of paper and creating something beautiful. I’m a complete patterned paper hoarder [occasionally some of it even gets used :) ] and I adore my promakers.

This is my design (using sketch #4) and as I hardly ever make circle cards, this was nice change for me

There have been some lovely creations this month and we’d love to see your designs too if you haven’t joined the challenge yet. If you join, please make sure you leave a link to your blog in the challenge post so that we can pop on over and visit you!

My personal blog is here and I’d love to have you stop by when you have time.

Happy new year in advance


Tuesday 24 December 2013

Introducing Sammy

Hi all,

First of all, a very merry Christmas/happy holidays/Hanukkah/whatever it is you do or don't celebrate! By the time this post reaches you, I am likely snowed in at my parent's in Aberdeenshire, waiting for the jolly fella to come claim the cookies and sherry we've left out for him. (and he'd better do so soon, or I'm claiming it. Just sayin'...)

My name is Sammy, and I'm super excited to be joining this team of super talented people!
I live in Leeds in the UK (only 5 miles from the LOTV shop! Lucky me! - Not so lucky for my bank balance, lol) with hubby and two kidlets (11 and 14). I've been card making a little over a year, and have been stamping since August, and it has pretty much taken over my life!

As you'll have noticed by now, this month we're working with sketches provided by the lovely Nikki, and I chose to go with sketch number 1. The theme is Merry and Bright.

As you can see, my living next door to the LOTV shop tends to dictate what appears on my card, in this case, it's the ever-adorable James the bear.
Both the base card and the red are foil embossed, the ribbon is sparkly, and James' hat and the ribbons on the packages are covered with Stickles...
I'm hoping that's enough magic dust to draw Santa to us this evening!
That's the bright part covered... The "merry" will be taken care of by helping Santa with his sherry ;-)

For more about me and my card, you can visit my blog here.

I'm looking forward to seeing your creations too!

Have an excellent day,


Sunday 22 December 2013

Working With A Sketch - Dawn

Good morning bloggers, we're nearly there!
Are you ready yet?
It's time for my DT Project for this month's challenge

Here's a little Christmas tag I made using Sketch No. 4
I was going to share some of the others I had made with you but 
the light is appalling & I need to get my wrapping up sorted so
I'm afraid must get on with it!
To read more about my tag, visit my blog here 
If you haven't entered the challenge yet & you're wrapping presents
 & making tags,why not try using the sketches for your inspiration,
take a little photo & link up to the challenge here!
The challenge is open until the 31st December.
Hope to see your entries soon!

Friday 20 December 2013

Introducing The Sparkly Fairy

Hi there and a Merry Christmas!,
 I am so pleased to be joining the Crafting Cafe Design Team.

My name is Emma  (aka The Sparkly Fairy) and I just love to craft...
I live on the South Coast of England, just a walk away from the sea.
My favourite thing to do in crafting is stamping, but will have a go at 
most crafts - although I've not been very successful with
 knitting and crochet!

I'm looking forward to working with all the design team and to sharing 
my creations with you all.

This month we are working with sketches that Nikki has created, 
I chose to work with this one.......

This is what I created with it......
a very simple card just in time for Christmas. I used two holly stamps 
to create the background and coloured them with Promarkers. 
I then used black as a matting layer to really make the design stand 
out. Lastly I added a greeting. 

We would love to see all your creations with the sketches..... 
if you join in with the challenge make sure you leave your link in the
 challenge post so that we can pop on over and visit you.....

Thursday 19 December 2013

December Challenge - Mags

Hi Folks
It's Mags here to share a little inspiration with you for our December 'use a sketch' challenge.  

My daughter asked me for a birthday card for one of her friends so I used sketch number 1 as the starting point for this creation.  The papers are from Papermania and the cupcake topper was hiding at the bottom of my stash box.  Has to be at least two years old.  I used some glitter card for sparkle and lots of pink.    

There are four fab sketches to choose from and the winner will receive some crafting goodies from our very own Nikki.  The challenge runs until the end of December so get those entries in for a chance to win.

Bye for now

Tuesday 17 December 2013

December Challenge & Introducing Samantha K

Hey everyone :) My name is Sam (AKA Samantha K in the blogging world!)
 and I'm soooo thrilled to have been picked to be part of the wonderful 
design team here at Crafting Cafe.

Today they have been crazy enough to let me loose on here so I'd love to 
quickly introduce myself and then show you my card for this months 
"Sketch Challenge".

'I am a happily married, mum to two gorgeous girls, one 18 years old 
and the other a 1 year old! I love animals, have quite a few pets 
and live in England, UK. :)
I love trying out new techniques and although still relatively new to 
the crafty world, I am loving every bit of it. 
My favourite thing at the moment is colouring! And I use Promarkers.
 If I can, I like to make everything I use on a creation from scratch. 
I love learning and find that I am learning every day from all you 
wonderful crafters out there :)' 

So onto this months challenge which was to use ONE of the four (yes four!) 
fabby sketches that our talented Nikki has created for us all. 
(You can find the sketches in the pinned post above) 
I choose to use sketch number 1.

And this is my take on it :)
 (For more piccys and to find out how I put this card 
together please hop over to my blog)

We would love for you to share your creations using any of the
 four sketches. If you are joining in the challenge,
 please remember to leave your link in the challenge post 
so we can pop by to visit you :)

Samantha K

Monday 16 December 2013

December Sketch Challenge by Claire

Hello Everyone

Thanks for stopping by today.  Claire here to share a little mid-month inspiration for our current December sketch challenge:

I chose to use sketch #1 for my card.  I started by taking a piece of cream linen cardstock and using a very large background stamp by Papermania - I used Distress Inks in Antique Linen, Tea Dye and Vintage Photo on the background stamp.  I used the holly bough stamp also from Papermania over the background for additional interest.  I cut a rectangle of the same card and stamped the sentiment with Vintage Photo, I added a couple of different snowflake stamps - some were first generation Tea Dye and a few were second generation stamping.  Next I pierced all around the edge of the background piece and added faux stitching with a gold pen.  I distressed the edges of both elements using the edge of a pair of scissors then used Vintage Photo to frame.  I took a large paintbrush and very gently dusted Treasure Gold gilding wax all over both pieces of cards - this gives the card  lovely golden shimmer (which was really difficult to catch in the photos!)
I mounted my two panels onto a piece of dark brown linen cardstock, then added this to a cream 7x7 card blank.  Finally I added three golden pearly gems as a finishing touch.

There is still plenty of time to join in the challenge - it's open until the 31st December and you can chose to work with any of the four sketches below:
To play along with the challenge click *HERE* to link up your project - you could win a lovely goody bag of crafting goodies courtesy of the lovely Nikki!

Thanks for stopping by today,
Claire x


Saturday 14 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to our December sketch challenge!  I love working with sketches, as it cuts out one big area of procrastination from my crafting :-)  Our lovely Nikki has created 4 great sketches for us to work with this month, and I couldn't resist the triangular one.

I've used it to make a snowy Christmas mountain decorated with 3 happy snowmen.  I hope you like it!  For a bit more information about my project, please see my blog here


Wishing you a very crafty Christmas and 2014

Amanda x

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Introducing Janet

Hi, I'm Janet and I'm really pleased to be joining the Crafting Cafe Design Team.
I've been card making for quite a few years now and I just love to share my ideas with other people. I live in the West Midlands and work part time in a GP Surgery. My favourite things in crafting are stamping and colouring, and anything that involves getting inky and messy. I really look forward to working with my fellow DT members and sharing my ideas with you all.

This month we are working with the sketches that the talented Nikki has drawn for us, I have chosen to work with sketch 3....

And this is what I created with it......

You can come and see more detail of the card on my own blog here 

We would love to see all the lovely creations the sketch inspires you to make, so when you join in with the challenge please leave your link in the challenge post so that we can pop over and visit you....

Janet x x

Monday 9 December 2013

Introducing Erin

Hi everyone,  Erin here.
I am so excited to be here I can't tell you, so, here's a little bit about me...
I'm Erin, I am engaged to Mike.We live in Portsmouth
with our two cats Jasper and Bailey. 
I love Paper Crafting and where possible I like to craft everyday if I can.  
 I also love anything Fantasy and this often comes out in my work.
 I have recently found Zentangle very therapeutic. 
My crafting has helped me a lot through bouts of ill health and having to give up work last year. 
 I have also gained so much inspiration from some wonderful talented 
people through blogging and taking part in challenges. 
I'm so happy to be part of this wonderful Design Team. 
I'm also really looking forward to sharing my work with you.

This month Nikki did some fabulous sketches for us to choose from,
I chose sketch #2 to work with.

Here's what I did.
I have created this project by doing the following, I printed the sketch first and made a template.  I cut around the template onto the card.  I have added some flowers from my stash and also some white cotton.  The image is Holly Fairy from Delicious Doodles and coloured with Pro Markers.  I added a die cut butterfly and added a flower to the centre  with some white cotton, lastly I added a computer generated Magical and a black flourish die cut.
We would love to see all your creations using Nikki's sketches for this challenge, don't forget to leave your link to your post so we can pop by and leave a comment for you..
Hugs Erin x

Friday 6 December 2013

December Challenge

Hi there, My name is Louise and I'm so excited to have been picked to join the design team here at the Crafting Cafe.

I live in the West Midlands with my hubby and 3 sons and I think I have been crafting for ever! My favourite things at the moment are my stamps and inks and I love altering things. Most weekends you will find me working as a demonstrator, sharing my passion for all things papercraft.

The December challenge is to create a project using the sketches that our lovely Nikki has created. For a change, I chose to work with sketch 4. This is what I created.

I used the new Carnival stamps and dies sets from Docrafts for the letters (these come in numbers too). I made the snowflakes using a combination of dies and punches. I cut the frame using my circle cutter and added some acetate behind to give the card some stability.

I do hope you like my take on Nikki's sketch and look forward to seeing what you come up with. Don't forget to leave your link on the challenge post so we can take a look.

Louise x

I do hope

Winter Blues Challenge - Winner & Top 3

Good Morning All,
It's Dawn here with our Winner & Top 3 for the
Winter Blues Challenge
 I have to say we were thrilled with the number of entries this time.
Thanks to you all for joining us & I hope you can play again this month!
The DT have been having oodles fun visiting your blogs & have been
scratching their heads over who to choose as their Top 3 this month!
You're such a very talented lot!

This time, the DT chose our winner too & that was

#47 Delphine

Such a sweet little card!

Congratulations Delphine!
Can you email us at craftingcafe@hotmail.co.uk to claim your prize.
Don't forget to collect your winners badge & wear it on your blog!

Winner's badge

Now, after much deliberation, we finally agreed on our Top 3! 
Here they are in numerical order!

Well done everyone, give yourselves a big pat on the back
& collect your Top 3 badge below!

Top 3 Badge

Thanks again to all who played along in November!
We all hope you can play along again this month in our
Working With A Sketch Challenge

xX Nikki & The Crafting Cafe Team Xx

Thursday 5 December 2013

December Challenge


I thought I would keep to the Christmas Theme,
I have used a House Mouse Stamp called Trim the Tree
and I have used the 1st Sketch

Monday 2 December 2013

December Challenge - Dawn

Hi all,
I hope you get the time to play in our sketch challenge,
Nikki has done a great job drawing not just 1 but 4 sketches for us all to play with!
I was so excited, I just couldn't wait for my turn!
 So I nipped in to a vacant slot!
Here's what I made!

I used sketch No. 3 as the basis for the layout of an engagement card!

The card is decorated on the inside too!
My card was also made for the Just Inklined Blog Hop
Read more about my card & the hop on my blog here

Saturday 30 November 2013

November Challenge Winter Blues

Wow!!!! All the DT have been amazed at the wonderful projects 
 you have all created for us over the last month. 
You are totally amazing!

Don't forget to check back on the 6th November for our 
Winner & Top 3 Post.

Now on to this months challenge.
Our theme this time is "Winter Blues"
You can interpret that any way you like, the choice is yours!
We are lucky to be sponsored by the lovely Lindsay at

The prize is 4 images of the winners choice.
Please remember to check out the rules for the challenge before you enter.

So here are a couple of cards that I made to get the inspiration going - I loved working with Lindsay's wonderful images! I challenged myself to only use blue.... These are the cards I wanted to share with you...

We would love to see what you create!
Remember to come back throughout the month to see what the Design Team have been creating.

Happy crafting

xXxNikki & The Crafting Cafe TeamxXx

Thursday 28 November 2013

Winter Snow Blues

'Winter Snow Blues' by Neil Burley

I chose 'Snowflake 1' from our lovely sponsor LEJ Designs for the centrepiece of my 'Winter Blues' card this month. I converted the artwork to a cut file for my new Silhouette Cameo electronic cutter and cut various sizes of the snowflake from my favourite card for ProMarkers (Ryman's bright white coated card 200gsm). Tips for conversion and cutting are below.

I added some ProMarker colour to start off my blues, using Powder Blue, and layering it several times along edges. For some of the flakes, I misted with Cosmic Shimmer Pearl Mist, another I used Rock Candy Distress Glitter (on spray glue) and another I used Ranger Antique Frosted Crystal embossing powder. All of them had a similar sparkly finish, so it's personal preference at the end of the day!

For the background I used a square of watercolour paper and then added Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink using a blending tool, grading it to a corner. I dried it and then added another layer to deepen the shadows in the bottom right before finally adding a small amount of Dusty Concord Distress Ink at the corner to darken it further. I dried it off again and then spritzed with Cosmic Shimmer French Navy Mist to add a bit of bling.

After matting it all together, I added some self-adhesive clear crystals and coloured them in with French Navy and Azure ProMarkers. Peel-off markers will work just as well.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Winter Blues - Dawn

Hi, Dawn here with my DT inspiration card for our Winter Blues Challenge
The image I have used  is Unhappy Angel, just
one of the fab images from Lindsay our lovely sponsor
Don't forget to play along if you haven't already!
More about my card here

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Winter Blues by Mags

Hi Folks

Mags here to share a little inspiration for our current challenge which is - Winter Blues.
Our sponsor this month is LEJ Designs and the winner will receive 4 free digi images.

Here is my inspiration project using a great image from our sponsor.

The image was coloured with promarkers and matted onto blue cardstock.  I added some liquid pearls around the image to add some interest.  The blue background paper was in my stash and I added an embossed panel using my snowflakes embossing folder.  The snowflake is a spellbinders die and I glittered it up for added sparkle.  A couple of little trees and some ribbon finished the card.

You have until the end of the month to link up your entries and look out for more inspiration from the design team throughout the rest of the month.  Follow the link here to enter the challenge.

Bye for now

Saturday 16 November 2013

Winter Blues - by Claire

Hi Everyone

It's my turn , Claire, to share a project today for the current challenge - Winter Blues!

This month we are sponsored by LEJ Designs who are offering 4 digis to the winner!

So here is my project created with an image from our sponsor:

I created my card by starting with the background using stamps by Lindsay Mason stamped in cocoa memento ink and coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils and watercoloured.  The sentiment was also stamped in cocoa memento and is from Paperartsy.  Next I printed the snowman out twice, I coloured him using the Inktense pencils also and watercoloured him.  Then I cut one image out whole and the second image I cut out only his hat and scarf and layered them up using foam pads.  I tore a piece of white card to create a hill for him to stand on and inked along it's edge with tumbled glass distress ink for definition.  I also added the fence posts and squirrel to this torn card from the same Lindsay Mason set.  I added silver glamour dust to just about everything that snow might land on using a quickie glue pen.  Then I inked around the edges of the card using the tumbled glass distress again.  To finish I mounted my piece onto navy cardstock before adding to a 6x6 scalloped card blank.

Do pop back throughout the month to see what my teamies have created for the Winter Blues theme!

To link up your own Winter Blues project please click *HERE*

Thanks for stopping by today, feel free to visit my personal blog *HERE* if you fancy a nosey!

Claire x

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Winter Blues by Amanda

Hi everyone, Amanda here with my inspiration card for this month's "Winter Blues" challenge.  Our November sponsor is the lovely Lindsay at LEJ Designs, and I chose her pretty Snowy Haven image for my project.

I've gone for a night-time scene and, although it turns out I'm not Thomas Kinkade after all, I think it's quite a cosy looking cottage.  I hope you like it!  For more info about my card, please visit my blog here.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

October Challenge Winner, Top 3 & New DT Members

Hi di hi all!
Firstly I have to say we were astounded by the number of entries in our 
October - Anything Goes challenge
Thanks so much for joining us & I hope you can play again this month!
The DT have been visiting your blogs & scratching their heads over who to 
choose as their Top 3 this time! You're such a talented lot!
Mr Random.org had the honour of choosing our winner & he chose

#17 Lozzy who made this little unusual card!

Great work Lozzy,
can you email us at craftingcafe@gmail.com to claim your prize.
Don't forget to collect your winners badge & wear it on your blog!

Winner's badge

Now, after much deliberation, we decided to let Mr Random.org choose
 the Top 3 too! It was just way too difficult for us to decide!
So here they are!

# 29 Shell Klieber with her fab frame

# 79 Jennifer Scull with her super little pocket card

#188 Sarah with her sweet CAS card

Well done everyone, give yourselves a big pat on the back
& collect your Top 3 badge below!

Top 3 Badge

Now on to our new DT Members. Thank you to all who applied,
we would have loved to offer everyone a place but sadly we just can't!
Check below to see who we have chosen to join our team this time.

Beverley Cole
Louise Moore
Cheryl Sawyer
Erin Bently
Emma (The Sparkly Fairy)
Amy A
Hath Thi
Samantha K

Congratulations to you all!
Check your in-boxes ladies, you should already have a message from
Nikki, our lovely boss lady! If it's not there check your spam folder
& if it's not there, send us an email to
to let us know if you'd still like to join us!

Thanks again to all who played along in October &
I hope you can play again this month in our
Winter Blues Challenge

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Winter Blues

Hi Marlene here,
This month at The Crafting Cafe we were lucky enough to have digi stamps from LEJ Designs.
I chose this sweet digi called Reindeer Baby, I coloured it with my Promarkers and Flexmarkers.
then I mounted it onto Co-ordinations Blue card. The papers are from LOTV, I added two Pine Trees, which I used a Marianne Die, then finished it off with LIquid Pearls and ribbon.

Thursday 31 October 2013

Anything Goes + A DT Call

Today sees the 1st of October and a brand new challenge from us.
Thank you to everyone who joined in with our challenge last month.
 It was amazing to see what you all created.
Lots and lots of wonderful altered art going on!
Thanks to those of you who expressed an interest in
 joining our Design Team too!
Our DT call is still live and will run until the 31st October.
We are a very friendly team who get to create with 
digis and themes every month. 
The term would be for 6 months initially and you are asked to create
 at least one project a month. Sound like fun?
All you need to do to be considered for the team is to create a project 
based on the theme for this month and then blog about it..... 
When you link your project up to the challenge,
simply add DT after your name to let us know you are interested.
If you don't want to join the DT, that's fine.... just link up as normal. 
We will still be popping by to leave some crafty love....
So the theme for you all this month is ........

'Anything Goes' 

So over to you, we want to see whatever you want to show us! 
Check out the rules in the side bar! 
Remember, no back linking and only one entry please 
(any second entries won't be counted towards the prize).

This month, we are being sponsored by the fabulous
 As you can see, one lucky winner this month gets 
a £5 voucher to spend in their shop.

Here is the project that I created using one of their digis...
I decided that this month I would make a door sign for my son's room.

 I love anything to do with cute dragons so this digi was just perfect for me!
We would love to see what you create and it would be lovely
 to have some more of  you talented people on our design team!
 Remember, when you link up to the challenge....
just add DT after your name.
Pop back soon to see the brilliant things that the design team have been 
getting up to help inspire you!
Happy Crafting

xx Nikki & The Crafting Cafe Team xx

Monday 28 October 2013

Driving Dragon?!

'Driving Dragon' by Neil Burley

It's still 'anything goes' month here at the Crafting Cafe sponsored by the fabulous Stamping Dragon Designs - I've chosen the Rupert's Car digistamp for my card.

Since my ProMarkers are currently on loan to my young tutee, I've used my Fashion Design set of Tria Markers to colour in the digistamp. This has the benefit of a preselected palette of colours that work well together. I've added extra colour-on-colour to add the tartan stripes to the hat and the shading. I felt Rupert really needed scarf and goggles, but only the scarf made it :)

For the background I cut out a 4x4" square city map from an old road atlas, coated it twice with Picket Fence Distress Stain to lighten it before adding distress inks in red and brown round the edge - I can't tell you what colours exactly as they are what was left on the applicator foams from previous projects! The sentiment is from Tim Holtz/Stamper's Anonymous Simple Sayings set, stamped in Versacolor Burgundy. Everything is mounted on distressed Foundations Card - Milk from Creative Expressions.

This is such a versatile image - I look forward to finding more uses for it in the future :)