Boy’s puzzle present

This project has taken me all week but such a lot of fun!  The Male Room this week want something that little boys will like…  My boy isn’t little any more, but I have plenty of friends with small boys and I hope someone is going to love this!  It’s a card and “wrapping” for a present for any boy who loves spies and puzzles (and to be honest it would work for a girl too!).

I started with a blank box, the kind you can buy for a few pounds. My sister put the hasp on it so there was somewhere to put the wordlock padlock.

Then I varnished the box with tea dye varnish, trying to make it look a bit more like real wood! Then I added a Creative Expressions button to the hasp and triple embossed medallions (created with Autumn Leaves Talking in Circles: Boy stamps and gold and clear embossing powders) to the top.  I was going to add more, but it seemed enough at that point… The box could be the present, but it’s designed to hold the present. Here’s the final version:

I chose a five-letter boy’s name for the wordlock, and locked the box.

Then I created the card. It’s a red reveal puzzle. The five-letter code is hidden in the letters and words. I used several different types of pen and pencil. Start with an aqua pencil, and the rest is red and yellow pens to disguise it. I made the red specs from black card and acetate, coloured with red marker, to attach to it with some red and yellow embroidery thread.

Can you solve the puzzle? Look at the card through red film, red coloured acetate or anything else you have that’s red and translucent (I often use red plastic file folders).

I hope the puzzle is challenging but not too challenging for a small spy! Don’t look at the comments till you’ve solved the puzzle, then why not put in your answer?  Have fun!

No haiku for this one. I think I’ve been creative enough!

So this is for

The Male Room challenge #87: Little Boys


Simply Create Too’s Challenge #139, For a Male


Embossed medallions

Now here is a card I have completely failed to photograph correctly.  I wanted to create some boy-themed medallions for a couple of projects – this and the one in the next post.

I tried several types of paper, and  three different embossing powders.  The best fit was black card, stamped with Versamark and embossed in gold. Then I fussy cut the medallions and covered it completely in clear embossing poweder, and when that was dry, did it again.  The medallions have quite a nice sheen and some solidity to them.  The background card here looks blue, but it is actually a different black. The sentiment is Papermania.The stamps are Autumn Leaves Talking in Circles (boy) which is really a scrapbooking stamp that I’ve never really used.

I’m entering this one into:

CAS Mixup for June – layered embossing powders, stamping and (my choice) fussy cutting 🙂


It’s based on Narelle’s sketch at Freshly Made Sketches #341 this week

And Cards in Envy are looking for masculine cards: Let’s Hear it for the Boys.


A happy birthday
To a much loved boy
Please – never grow up!

Fathers’ Day Lighthouse

I don’t have a die cutter so I didn’t think I’d be able to submit anything for Muse this week, as Anita’s pretty card is mostly die cuts. But the colours are so pretty and made me think of waves and I’ve been planning a Fathers’ Day card with a nautical theme (Dad always gets a nautical theme).  And I had these laser die cuts left over from years ago, so cut them carefully apart and arranged them on a watercoloured background. A fussy cut and printed white “rock” and the colours and layout very much inspired by the Muse card, with the white on blue and a touch of yellow.

I think the apostrophe is in the wrong place on most stamps. It’s not just one father’s day: it’s a day for all fathers…

Entered in Muse #269


Cards4Guyz #196 Fathers’ Day

and two sea-themed challenges that came at the right time…

Addicted to CAS #137: Sea

CAS Watercolour Ocean theme for June



Sailor no longer
But sail away in your dreams
Remember the sea…

Birthday Mower

This one is for my other half’s birthday next week. It’s a little cheeky.  Here’s the card.

and inside it says:

Here’s what our buttercup-strewn lawn looked like when I started it:

Then after I’d done most of the card (which of course he doesn’t know about) he went out and mowed the grass, thus spoiling the joke!  (I got him to leave a patch of buttercups – I think they’re beautiful!)  But he’s getting the card anyway. We haven’t got a ride-on mower, or a lawn big enough to justify one, but it would make it more fun don’t you think?

No stamps or watercolours… This was paper pieced from scratch with inspiration from pictures of mowers on the internet, and finished by hand!

My starting point was inspired by and therefore entered into The Male Room’s current challenge #86 Gardening, and Uniko’s picture which looks just like our lawn, and from which I’ve taken the green (obviously) and yellow colours, so entered in Uniko’s Challenge #47 as well (though for once I’ve not used their stamps 🙂 ).


Also entered into Watercooler Wednesday’s Anything Goes Challenge #172

Don’t let me disturb
Buttercup contemplation
With mundane requests!

Challenge honours

Having spent much of the past two weeks in and out of hospital with a family member needing medical care, I was enormously cheered up to be picked out in various challenges recently.

Agapanthus Drops


Weekly winner at CAS Colours and Sketches Colour Challenge #272  announced 25  May 2018 and Top 3 at Crafty Gals Corner #165 Add a Flower announced 23 May 2018

My 70th birthday card for a friend was Joint challenge winner at


Seize the Birthday “It’s Just a Number” announced 24 May 2018

and Happy Birthday Cat (which was a real challenge for me to make!)

was  and

Muse Challenge #366 announced 22 May 2018, CAS on Friday #132 Cute announced 18 May 2018.

Thank you to everyone who picked my cards. It’s such an encouragement!

When I’m feeling down
My phone chirps to bring good news
of cardmaking joy!

Seventy eclipses

A friend is 70. Can’t believe it really. Such a nice guy! So this is his card.

I saw the challenge at Just Add Ink and wondered what on earth Eclipse Stamping is. It seems to be this – where there’s a word or number cut out of the background and barely visible.  I don’t have a die cutter so that makes it difficult. This number was fussy cut. I used my Misti to make two identical panels so I could make more of a mess cutting it out…

You can barely see the top of the 7 in the photo – is that a success or not?

The stamps are Papermania vintage in Distress Oxides Wild Honey, Wilted Violet and Faded Jeans.

So entered in Just Add Ink’s Eclipse challenge #409


and Seize the Birthday’s “Just a Number” topping option. (Second entry)


I wish you happy:
A birthday, however big
Is just a number

Car for courage

This is an encouragement card for a chap who got bad news recently. We’re all ready to do whatever it takes to support him.

This is hand-drawn – well, bits are traced and scaled up and details added from a number of images of Volkswagen cars. Computer printed sentiment and watercolouring with my watercolour paints (really liking yellow at the moment!).

This one is entered into The Male Room’s challenge #85 Cars

and Watercooler Wednesday’s WWC170 – Penny’s Masculine “Anything Goes” Challenge

Whatever you need,
We can do – what are friends for?
Yes, we’ve got your back

Vintage masculine

This card is for my Uncle, who’s in his 80s, so a vintage masculine theme sprang to mind. I glanced at the current colour challenges, dismissed them, and then went back to Fab Friday’s Grey, Turquoise (Bermuda Bay) and Lemon Lime Twist colours.  I used my nearest colours as I don’t have the originals.

Mermaid Lagoon and Hickory Smoke Distress inks and Colorbox Lime, including on the background of the sentiment strip. I used dark turquoise backing card. Uniko and L’Aquarelle for the sentiment, masculine vintage stamps from Sheena Douglass, Docrafts and Heidi Swapp.

This is entered into Fab Friday’s Challenge 136

Also Cards in Envy’s Birthday theme challenge (this one is definitely going in an envelope!)


Wishing you joyful
Twilight years of family
and sweet memories.

Hawking and Zendoodle

Another quote that I liked from the late Professor Stephen Hawking. I thought this would make a good masculine card for a colleague.

Sheena Douglass Geared Up stamps, Mermaid Lagoon Distress ink and I can’t remember what the purple is (call it my age!) –  and some lovely iridescent bling.

The card is based on the sketch from CASE This Sketch but is too late to enter in the challenge 🙁  I had a migraine yesterday and wasn’t able to upload in time.

This next one was one I thought of as soon as I saw the Just Us Girls #438 challenge inspiration picture

Here’s the photo: I used the arrangement of the black and white squares, the green background and the red pop of floral colour.  This is all zendoodled in black with red watercolour pen.


Square eyes they once said
When you watched too much telly
What shape iPhone eyes?

Birthday time

I have been looking at these elements for a week without coming up with a card until I reviewed Jaydee’s sketch at the Paper Players PP390 and it came together.

Snippets of card, a motif from an Artsy Collage book, sentiments by S C Design and stamps by Heidi Swapp. Colorbox creamy brown chalk ink and Brilliance gold. Memento black for the sentiment. Times like this I really wish I had a die cutter  – a gold die cut would have really finished it off…

Here’s the sketch


Also entering this one into Less is More’s challenge 369 Bring Something Back – as I’ve delved into ancient stash and brought back Patterned Paper and a cut-out Collage motif!


Time to think about
The years rolling by so fast
Need to catch my breath

Previous Older Entries