Wednesday 28 May 2014

Colour, colour and more colour!

Our last post for this month would have been from one of our Top 3 guests but sadly she had to decline due to previous commitments. So, I'm filling in today with this colourful card...


Don't you just love 8" x 8" cards? I do and today we have a decorative edged one displaying seed packets, foliage and flowers. Using dies, Dylusions, molds, paper clay and more, I had fun, fun, fun, putting this together. As usual, you will find a step x step over on my own blog.

There are two days to go everyone so please link your final entries in good time!

We'll see you in..... JUNE!

Chris and the team. xxx

Sunday 25 May 2014

Chris has birds on her box

It's my turn today with my second make for the month and this time I've chosen altered art and birds.... I lurrrrrve birds....


This little monochromatic box was transformed from bare, light wood to this with just a little Fresco paint, a stamp and some simple die cuts. It will be given to a friend next month as part of her birthday present - she is a huge bird / nature lover and it's somewhere to put her house keys as she is always mislaying them, lol!

I hope you like this quirky little box. You can find the what and the how on my own blog.

 You have less than a week to go folks to get your projects completed and entered but we STILL have another post for you.... in a few days.

Chris and the team. xxx

Thursday 22 May 2014

Astrid is playing with the classics today!

Welcome again Astrid! Today is Astrid's first solo appearance for us as our newest DTM and she has pulled out all the stops to create this stunning piece to share with us...


Nature is so full of colour and can fill us with awe and wonder! I decided to play with my favourite dragonfly stamp from the Stampers Anonymous Classics 1 set as I have always had a special love for dragon flies and ,wanted to try to capture some of it's fragile beauty and shimmering colours. For details of how I put this card together, please visit my blog.

This is stunning Astrid, on first look I thought it was a canvas - someone will be very lucky to receive this card! Thank you!

There's just over a week left folks so start finishing your projects (or start one quickly, lol). We still have more projects to show you so please don't think it's all over yet!

Very soon...

Chris and the team. xxx

Monday 19 May 2014

Anne is bursting with butterflies!

Our DTMSM (DT Members' Special Mention) badge is awarded every challenge to the entry we think has the most creative and original inspiration behind it. It might just be a blog badge but we hold it in high esteem! Our guest spotlight today is our DTMSM winner from March who has taken time out to share her latest passion with us...

I was so thrilled to be given a DTMSM Award for my storage box, it is a real honour to be sharing a project with you today!  I have been crafting most of my life in some form or other and since discovering stamping and die cutting about 7 years ago, I have never looked back. I am slightly addicted to the new Artist Trading Block (ATB) trend.

Once I was given the theme of 'Nature's Glories'  I just had to create something with the new large Eileen Hull ATB die that I purchased from Country View Crafts and also my Tim Holtz Butterfly Frenzy strip die.  Is there anything more glorious in nature than a butterfly?
The box was die cut, assembled and decorated with some beautiful Maja Design papers, Distress Inks and a few butterflies from the strip die were added.  There is a little surprise inside the box.

A kaleidoscope of butterflies burst out when the box is opened.  The butterflies are also from the strip die, they have each been edged with Broken China Distress ink and mounted onto some acetate to give them some movement. If you would like more details, you can find these over on my blog.

Wow, we love this explosion of butterflies Anne - amazing! Thank you!

Are you motivated? Are you inspired? Feeling creative? We hope so because we'd like to see more entries for our 'Nature's glories' challenge! There is still almost 2 weeks left so plenty of time for you to get crafty and enter a project.

Next up is a project from one of our DTMs..... just a few days.....

Chris and the team. xxx

Friday 16 May 2014

Mary Elizabeth is chasing winter away!

It's another big share from one our of March Top 3 winners today and it's GORGEOUS! A mixture of mixed media and altered art, this inspiring piece is a wonderful take on Donna's theme this month...

Mary Elizabeth
I am blessed to have grown up in a creative family.  They created with words, music, photography, wood-work, clothing, doll-making, plants & gardens, food, machinery, etc.  Our home was an amazing place.  Personally, I loved to draw and preserve memories.  I seriously considered going to art school, but I fell in love with teaching and now I teach mathematics at university.  Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it?  Anyway, I continued to play around with scrapbooking as the years went by; however, it’s only been in the last year that I seriously got back in touch with my creative roots.  I’ve never been so happy.  I am excited to have found and be inspired by this wonderfully talented online community.  Many thanks to everyone at Country View Challenges for being a part of that inspiration :)  — Mary Elizabeth

It is finally feeling like Spring in the mountains of North Carolina and I am celebrating the new “Natures Glories” challenge theme by creating my own lovely bouquet of  Daffodils.  At the time I began experimenting with my floral creations, we were still having snow and I was dreadfully tired of the cold.  I used Tim Holtz’s Composer Tissue Wrap to create the almost translucent petals.  I mixed some of Tim’s Distress Ink with Matte Multi Medium and painted that on the tissue wrap to give it a little more durability when I die cut the petals from Tim’s Tatter Flower Garland.  The daffodil centers are just a half circle that rolled up to form a cone with some small pearls on the inside.  I could not help myself, I grunged my flowers up a bit.  I made the stems out of plastic drinking straws that were covered with more tissue wrap and tissue tape.  

I wanted to display my flowers in a special vase, so I tried a Wendy Vecchi technique that I learned in Creative Chemistry 102.  I covered a plain glass vase and painted it with Matte Glue and Seal and Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  The faux cracked glass look turned out fabulous.  I then decided I wanted the glass to have a little color.  After trying several ways to color the glass and/or the crackled finish, I finally ended up lightly coloring the crackled finish with a Salty Ocean Distress Marker. 

This project kept me going on those snowy gray days.  I hope others will enjoy it as well.

Thank you Mary Elizabeth for this original and creative piece!

Wow! How diverse can we be? Lots and lots of lovely ptojects, all so very different and we love the fact that we can share so many genres with you!

We're now half way through the month and we hope you're cracking on with your projects and getting them ready to enter. Don't forget, there is a fab £20 shop voucher for our winner, chosen at random, so EVERY ENTRY HAS A CHANCE OF WINNING!

We'll have yet another fabulous guest highlight for you in a few days.

Chris and the team. xxx

Tuesday 13 May 2014

By the light of Doreen's moon...

It's a guest highlight today and Doreen was one of our Top 3 winners from March who has kindly shared her time and creativity to guest with us....

Hello…..I am Doreen a very enthusiastic crafter living in Sheffield, I am married to Tommy and have three grown up children and three grandchildren. I have always crafted in one way or another over the years but paper crafting has been my love for about 4 years now. I started making scrapbooks but cardmaking has now taken over I especially like stamping and getting my hands inky. I was really honoured to have been asked to be a guest designer.

I am so excited at being picked as one of the top three and being asked to produce a sample for the challenge blog.

For my card, I have first stamped the image and clear embossed using black Versafine ink, I then masked off the moon and using Mustard Seed, Salty Ocean and Black Soot distress inks sponged the background. This was then matted onto some white and green card after stamping on the birds. I stamped the sentiment onto a tag made from the same green card and then decorated with some Burlap ribbon.

A fabulous card Doreen and a great interpretation of our theme this month - thank you!

We're seeing some beautiful projects being entered already this month, thank you for joining in. Don't forget you can enter more than one should you choose to, but please follow our simple rules.

Another guest highlight in a few days.

Chris and the team. xxx

Saturday 10 May 2014

Tweet, birdie, tweet!

If you've not seen these gorgeous, gorgeous bird stamps from Ranger then you're in for a treat today with some stunning journal pages from our Gabrielle...

For my second project I wanted to challenge myself to not use flowers and those gorgeous Scribbly Birds (by the very lovely Dina Wakley) seemed to fit the bill! My children bought these for my Mother's Day present - how did they know?! The birds are perched on torn pieces of Terminology Tissue Wrap. I didn't want to cover up the background too much as I was really please with the vibrant colours - quite brave for me!

Beautiful pages Gabrielle, great choice - thank you!

We love bringing you variety here at Country View Challenges because we love all types of crafting and encourage everyone with something original they've made to join in and enter.

Our next post is a guest highlight in a few days time, we hope to see you there!

Chris and the team. xxx

Friday 9 May 2014

Our April winners

It’s that time again and I’m delighted to announce our winners for April's 'New beginnings' challenge We had a feast of entries to choose from and such a fabulous array of genres and styles - thank you all so much!

Without further ado, our outright winner of the Country View Crafts' £20 shop voucher is....

I was soooo pleased to see Doug a winner – whether we are 3 or 93 it’s great to see people craft, whatever it is they love to do!  Well done Doug, great to see you’re knitting at the grand age of 93 - a great job!

Next we have our Top 3 blog badge winners:


#45 iReneM of iRene’s Card Spot

#85 Julie of Juliz Design Post

 I chose Dagmar's card because birds in Spring chatter and call as they build their nests preparing for their new beginings, their eggs. This card is simple, elegant and shows that we can achieve fabulous things with just a few crafty items. Well done Dagmar!

iRene's card is a 'New home' card and we've all been in that situation of new home, new friends, new start. This card is celebrating a FIRST new home whih is even more special. iRene's choice of colours and her elegant composition leapt out at me - beautiful! Great work iRene!

Julie entered this stunning Gypsy caravan lovingly put together and decorated using dies of various kinds. Her new beginning was focused on a journey and I loved the thought that a gypsy might have a new beginning every time they travelled. Cleverly thought out and beautifully executed Julie, a great project!

And now to our DT Members’ Special Mention - April's blog badge goes to:

#60 Georgie C of Little Blue Craft Box

Tears came to my eyes when I saw this and read Georgie's post - what a fabulous and incredible new beginning this is.  Georgie's step x step as she tells her story of love and hope tugged at my heart strings - her story is as beautiful as her son and her scrapbook page. Thanks for sharing this with us Georgie and congratulations on the birth of your son!

There we have it folks, thanks again everone that entered and those that visited and commented too, we love learning what you're all up to! We hope you're busy entering this month's challenge and look forward to seeing you there.

Have a fabulous May and good luck!

Chris & the team xxx

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Jennie has a star!

Congratulations to Jennie for having her April tag pinned by Tim!

Today Jennie has another tag to share with us to add to our inspiration for you for this month...

I am having a lot of fun making these (rather large!) blowsy flowers!  This is another tag inspired by my desire for a garden full of white flowers and greenery and I really enjoyed using these new papers from Finnabair's Cold Country Collection - quite apt for a northern garden I thought!  There are more details and pictures on my blog as to how I made the flower.

A beautiful tag Jennie - thank you! You truly are our Queen of flowers!

We hope Jennie's make has helped your motivation to join in this month and don't forget, if you want to make flowers like hers, you can visit her blog to see all her fabulous flower tutorials!

More in a few days folks.

Chris and the team. xxx

Sunday 4 May 2014

Donna's feathered friend!

As it's Donna's choice of theme this month she has the honour of being first up for our individual projects. Here, with her feathered friend, she's sharing these fabulously vibrant journal pages...

I was having a bit of a sort out and came across this small moleskine sketchbook and decided to use it as a mini quote journal.  Love this funky bird stamp and thought it would be fun to use for this Nature's Glories theme so out came various paints, inks stamps and masks to create this fun spread.  Hope you like it, more details on my blog.
Donna xx

These are gorgeous Donna, thank you! 
I love this birdie Donna, does he/she have a name?!!!

Whether you're a card maker, love your tag art, an ATC swapper, a journaller or scrapbooker, a mixed media artist or into altered art, WE WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING! Lol! This is a fabulously broad theme for you to interpret so we're hoping to see lots of creative entries.

More in a few days!

Chris and the team. xxx

Thursday 1 May 2014

Challenge #15 AND a new DT Member!

Happy 1st of May everyone - it's time for our new challenge!

First of all we have to thank everyone who joined in last month's challenge - great entries - the winners will be announced soon.

We still have a DT call out but if you're interested please hurry as the closing date is tomorrow, May 2nd. We have a new member to our team joining us today, I'm so pleased to introduce Astrid (of Astrid's Artistic Efforts) whom many of you will know already as she is a stalwart in our crafting community. You can read more of Astrid's interests on our DT page


Now to our May challenge... This month our theme has been chosen by Donna and it is:

'Nature's glories'

Please make sure you follow the rules (they're very simple) to be in with a chance of the main prize of a £20 shop voucher from our host, COUNTRY VIEW CRAFTS. The winner is chosen at random ( and we also award 'Top 3' and Special mention blog badges to those we think have shown the most creativity and originality in interpreting our theme.

As usual, our DTMs have created some fabulous projects to get you thinking and they are headed by stunning projects from our two, wonderful, March (Blogaversary) winners...

Susan Janicula of

I was surprised to have been selected as one of the winners of Blogaversary challenge, and it is a great honor for me to be asked if I want to be a guest designer.

I live in Copenhagen, Denmark with my husband and I have for many years made creative things. My main interest is scrapping, being on my blog and to follow what is happening of new initiatives within scrapping. Most I like vintage and steampunk and there must also be room for humor and bright colors in what I do.
I've always admired the boxes/drawers with collected things from nature at Natural History Museums, and I've made a mini drawer with a bit of Mother Nature. I've used the container from Tim Holtz's Matchbox die to build up the drawer.

Sue O'Connell of
I have been card making and scrapbooking professionally for 14 years but it all started when I swapped Geography GCSE for Art at school and fell in love with the subject.  I make bespoke scrap canvas, scrapbooks and cards, and love to demonstrate products for companies and teach workshops on crafting all over the North West and cannot think of a nicer way to spend my spare time. My philosophy is ‘There’s no such word as can’t’ and I love altering stuff I find on car boot sales, in charity shops and making anything out of nothing.

I am honoured to be asked to partake in this month’s challenge at Country View Crafts as a guest. I am with some very talented people.  I haven't constructed a canvas in a while and so I started off with a 20cm x 20cm deep canvas I purchased from a car boot sale for £1.

I have used cosmic shimmer mists, distress ink, old books, WOW clear embossing powder, watercolour paints, chipboard letters, Promarker pens.  The stamp sets I used are Stampers Anonymous- 'Classic Favourites 5'  Heartfelt Creations- 'Melodious Songbird' and 'Easter Lilies' and PaperArtsy- 'Jofy 09'  Some of them you can purchase from the Country View Crafts Shop.

Get the full instructions from my blog. Have fun crafting, Sue

I had a gelli print laying around that I had made using some die cut leaves as stencils and thought it was perfect as a base for this card to which I couldn't resist the temptation of adding a big floppy 'tattered floral' flower to.  More details on my blog.

When I think of nature I think flowers and these fabulous Lin Brown designed flowers (for PaperArtsy) seem to fit the bill perfectly! The pages of my large journal were painted with PaperArtsy paints and the spots are Grunge Paste through a stencil. The bottles (again, PaperArtsy!) were stamped on packaging from some of Tim's new dies!

How can you not love a challenge entitled Nature's Glories!  I recently gave in and bought the final Distress Inks I didn't have which included Mowed Lawn and I love the way it mixes so well with Vintage Photo.  If I could I would have a garden full of white flowers and greenery, so this wish inspired this tag.

First of all, I am super excited to be part of this wonderful team, and look forward to seeing all your wonderful creations for this month's challenge.

When I think of nature, the seasons often spring to mind. Each season has its own wonderful array of gifts to bring. I created a 4 panel accordion flip card, each depicting different elements of nature through the year. For details please visit my blog.

This time of year is so special, the residual brown hues of winter being left behind by the vibrant new growth of spring and summer. Not to be outdone are the birds who, when you can't see them, you can hear. I had to add a bee to my tag as we seem to have an abundance of early honey seekers again this year! Inks, dies, stamps and Tim's Idea-ology all came together for this celebration. How and what can be found on my blog.

Now it's over to YOU! We hope these projects have added some inspiration to our theme and we look forward to seeing what you create. GOOD LUCK!

Chris and the team xxx