Craft Essentials – Cardstock

I have been thinking for a while about doing a Craft Essentials series of blog posts and then recently I have been receiving a lot of questions about Crafting essentials so I decided that now was the perfect time to do it. 
For the first part I thought I’d cover the thing I get asked about the most, card stock. 
Before I start what I want to say is a lot of this is down to personal preference, and also trial and error…trust me I have had some BAD card stock experiences. 
Card Bases
So you spend ages on creating an awesome card, you want that card to be able to be displayed and enjoyed, for that you need a good strong card base that will be able to stand and be displayed well. Don’t get what i mean, check out the image below.

Both are shop brought card bases, the one on left is very thin and flimsy and is struggling to stay up, and that is without anything added to it, the one on the right you can see is thicker card and standing up with no problems.
You have two main options when is comes to card bases- 
Pre made card bases: You can buy these in a huge range of sizes and colours and they often also come with envelopes. But still check if they are up to the job. I have purchased so many card bases (as shown above) over the years that had to go into the bin because they bent, or warped. 
I have linked below some of the better pre made card bases I have used. 
Make your own: This may sound scary but it is what I tend to do. I mainly make American A2 sized cards which i make from Neenah Cardstock which is white.
If I want to create a coloured card base I tend to use-
Simon Says Stamp, Papermania, Lawn Fawn, Crafter’s Companion Kraft Card & Matt Black……All of these are linked below.
My main advice if you are going to create your own card bases is too invest in a bone folder and score board to make the job easier, again I have linked below to what I use/have used.
 Also if you tend to make the same sized cards then make up batches of them so you always have them to hand.  

Card for Alcohol Markers
I get TONS of emails regarding this and my answer is always the same, Neenah Solar White. 
I have used ALOT of card stock for Markers over the years and in my personal opinion Neenah is the best for me. 
It is a good price and easy to buy here in the UK. 
One thing i get asked a lot to is “do I have to use a special card ?” The answer is YES. 
Due to the nature of Alcohol Markers a card stock that is not designed to be used with them won’t give you the best results. 
Water colour Card
I think water colour card is definitely a personal preference. 
The ones I use are listed below, but I highly encourage you to try some different brands if you are not getting the results you want from your card. 
Water colour card is also what I recommend for use with Pencils, 
You can use other card but water colour card tends to have “tooth”…which basically means texture, this texture allows for you to build up more layers of colour. 
I have also been asked about hot and cold press. 
To put it simply Cold press has texture and will suck up the water more quickly. 
Hot press is smooth and doesn’t tend to soak the water up as quickly….hot press due to its smooth surface is great for stamping. 
Coloured Card
Most of us crafter’s use coloured card and there is so much choice out there. My main advice with this is try and use one specifically made for crafters. 
I know it is easy to go for the really cheap stuff…who doesn’t want more money to spend on other craft items, but here is some of the things I have found when using cheap non craft card- 
  • Colour has run when glued
  • Not Acid and Lignin free…we want out projects to last for as long as possible, especially those with photos. Card that is not acid and lignin free will cause your projects to disintegrate alot quicker and in general just aren’t good for crafting projects. 
  •  Is only surface dyed….this means when you cut the card for your projects from the sides you will see the white core and it does not look good at all. 
  • In general doesn’t cut well. 
 Now I am not saying all cheap card will do the above, there is some good cheap card out there, but in my experience it is hard to find. 
Also think what you will be using the coloured card for. 
Core’dinations is a great card if you are going to be using embossing folders as it tends to have all sorts of different core finishes so you can sand back your distressing and do some fun techniques, but it does have a texture to it, so if you want to use it for matt and layering you might want a smooth card. 
I have listed below the brands  that I have used with success, but i do highly encourage you to shop around.
I know there is some brands out there which a lot of people highly praise…Papertrey Ink seems to be the main one a lot of people recommend, but I have yet to try it so cannot comment. Another one is Gina K . Here in the UK PapermillDirect is popular….now I have tried this and it is nice card, but for me their shipping costs are high (they now offer free shipping if you spend over £60), but it is one I would recommend for people to try if they don’t mind the shipping costs.  
I hope this has helped answer some of the questions. If you feel that I have missed anything, or if you have some brands you would recommend then please comment below. 
In the next Craft Essentials I will be covering Adhesives. 
Have a great day and happy crafting 

Happy Birthday to you !

Hiya ! I hope you are all well and had a lovely weekend ?  
Our weekend was great, lots of family time, and crafting.

The card I am sharing today is one that made for someone very special birthday.

I used my favorite layering stamp set from Hero Arts (full supplies list below along with links) and stamped up just one corned of the card as I want the main focus to be on the sentiment. 
This sentiment is brilliant….you know when you have a stamp set you want to keep all lovely and new, well this one from Mama Elephant is one of those sets for me, it is a sentiment set and i love the large scripty sentiments in it. 
The paper is from Lawn Fawn and is from the Perfectly Plaid 6×6 pad and i thought it matched the colours of the flowers, I wanted the paper to just be on the one side so the Wavy Scallope die from Simon Says Stamp seemed like the perfect die for that. 
I then finished the card off by adding some Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle to the flowers and some sequins to the card and it was done.  
Sister liked it so I am really happy about that. 
Thank you for stopping by today. 
I hope you have a great day, and happy crafting 
Supplies used: 

Festive Card Series

Hiya lovelies, I hope you are well. 
Thank you for all stopping by 🙂 
Today I am starting a new series both here on my blog and over on my YouTube channel
Once a month from now until the end of the year I will share a card for the festive season, this can be Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years etc.I know so many of you will be saying ALREADY ! but this year I want to be totally prepared and have lots of cards to send.

For this video/card I wanted to make a card that didn’t have lots of layers so it was easy to mail. 
There is a fab tutorial on the Spectrum Noir Blog which can be found here. It shows how to use a die to create a background with Distress Inks, I used that tutorial and gave it a slight Tracy twist. 
And for those who want to check out how i created the card then here is the video. 
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my Festive Series. 
Have a great day and happy crafting 
Supplies used 

Spectrum Noir May Challenge- Flowers

Hiya lovelies, I hope you have all been having a good week ? 
I haven’t done much crafting this week, but been doing lots of house stuff, which has been lovely. But i do have tons of crafty projects planned so i cannot wait to get back into my craft room today.
But before I do it is new challenge time over at Spectrum Noir, the theme this month is Flowers, perfect theme for this time of year. 
Here is my design team card for the challenge. 
I have used Stamps from Lawn Fawn (supplies are listed below) And coloured using my Spectrum Noir Markers & Sparkle Pens. 
For the background I used Wood grain stamp from Lawn Fawn and stamped it with Hero Arts Wet Cement Shadow Ink, it is quite a narrow stamp so using my Misti I lined it up and stamped it cross the card. 
The stamp set for the flowers is called Blissful Botanicals and has co-ordinating dies which once I coloured a selection of the flowers and leafs I die cut them all out and arranged them on the card, my original plan was to only have them in one corner, but the top corner look a bit bare so i added some there too. I used some foam tape to give them some dimension and added some clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle to some of the flowers. 
The pink paper is from My Minds eye and I looked and looked for the pad online but cannot find it so i am guessing it is no longer available. 
I tried a few different sentiments but decided a simple Happy Birthday one was best….especially as this was sent to my Great Aunt for her birthday…The happy die is from MFT and comes as a trio and is a really handy set to have. 
I then stamped the birthday using Versafine Onyx Black. 
And of course I had to add some sequins !! 
The card base was created using some Kraft card to match the Happy die. 
So there we have it, a nice flowery birthday card. 
To check out the rest of the design teams amazing cards and enter the challenge click on the banner below. You could win $30/£30 of Spectrum Noir goodies.
Thank you for stopping by and also a huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave comments and check my out my videos it really does make my day. 
Have a great day and happy crafting 
Supplies used

Lawn Fawn Happy Trails

Hiya lovelies, I hope you are all well ?
Sorry for not being around, both me and the hubster have had some sort of bug type thing and have been out of action, but hopefully on the mend now.
I wanted to say a huge thank you for all the positive feedback regarding my first video, it meant a lot that you guys liked it, don’t forget if there is anything you would like to see me do a video of then let me know.
And that brings me too my new video, I did a kind of colour along style video using the stamp set from Lawn Fawn called Happy Trails.
This is the completed card that i make on the video.
 And here is the video.
I hope you enjoyed the video. Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel for all the lastest uploads and info.
Have a great day and Happy Crafting
Supplies used