Ten minute Autumn cards

I finally got around to making some cards with our latest Autumn stamps.  I need some birthday cards in the next month or two for men and of course Autumnal colours of green and brown fit the bill very well.

These are really simple, quick makes so for any beginners out there, I’m giving you the details, recipe style.  You actually get two cards for the price of one with this simple masking technique.

Leafy Green Birthday

autumn cards04



To make the card:

  1. Place the die cut onto the white card in the place where you want your sentiment to appear and hold it in place with a little masking tape folded over on the back.
  2. Starting with the lightest shade of green, stamp the little frond stamp from Autumn Poppy several times along the bottom of the card, varying the height.  Stamp right over the top of the die cut as well so you have some sticking up over the top.
  3. Take one of the leaf sprays and use your mid toned green inkpad to stamp leaves around the bottom, again stamp right over the die cut and vary the angle of your stamp each time.
  4. Choose another leaf stamp and repeat with the darkest green inkpad.
  5. With the die cut still in place, take the stencil brush and tap onto the lightest colour inkpad.  Starting on the die cut itself, gently swirl the brush all the way around the edge of the label shape.  This will help to define its outline once you remove it.  You can repeat this with your mid toned green if you want to make this a little stronger.
  6. Pick up the palest green again and swirl it gently around the edge of your card panel, but keep it subtle.
  7. Remove the die cut label and stamp your chosen sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set into the middle.  These clear sentiments make it easy to position the stamp in the right place.
  8. Use your mid toned green inkpad to stamp a few individual leaves in the top left and bottom right corners of your folded card.
  9. Stick your stamped panel onto the sage green panel and stick centrally onto your folded card.

In my composition, I placed the die cut in the lower right corner and balanced the overall design with less stamping (more white space) in the top left corner.  I also stamped more leaves on the base card in the lower right corner – if I stamped too many at the top, it would look ‘top heavy’.


Birthday Label

autumn cards01

This card almost needs no explanation as it is the ‘left over’ die cut from the card above, but if you wanted to make it from scratch, it’s a super quick card to make.



To make the card:

  1. Stamp a selection of leaves and fronds from the Autumn Poppy stamp set onto your die cut label shape, starting with the lightest shade of green and working towards the darkest.  Leave part of the label with less stamping so you have somewhere to stamp your sentiment later.
  2. Let the ink dry, then use a large stencil brush to pick up ink from the palest inkpad and swirl it gently over the label to add some background colour.  Repeat with the mid tone green if you wish.
  3. Stamp a sentiment in orange over the lightest part of your label.
  4. Cut a length of decorative ribbon slightly wider than your folded card and glue it to the strip of brown card the same width as your card front.  Stick the ends of the ribbon to the underside of your card strip then stick to your card front.  This is a neat way of adding ribbon without having unsightly ends showing inside when you open up the card.
  5. Apply double sided foam pads to your stamped label and stick over the ribbon strip as shown.

If you are new to stamping, or you think Chocolate Baroque stamps are only for experienced and advanced stampers, I hope these cards go some way to showing that they are versatile enough for any level of experience or ability.  From next month you will see our Design Team bringing you a few quick makes over on the Design Team blog as we all know there are times when you just need to make something in a hurry.

The other quick project I made this week was these pillow boxes and you can read about those on the Chocolate Baroque Shop News page.

pillow boxes

Have a great crafty weekend everyone, but before I go, I must just leave you with a picture of my latest desk accessory.  It’s not exactly helping my productivity though …

purdy basket


We interrupt these proceedings …

to bring you this:


This tiny scrap of 11 week old kitten is Purdy and she would like you all to know she is now in charge.

Her demands are simple and mainly consist of an incessant and never ending demand for attention and entertainment and so far she’s finding plenty to entertain her.  Hands and fingers are tasty toys, clothes are climbing frames, (zips, cords and toggles are an added chewable bonus), hair is for swinging on and one day she’s going to kill that other kitten she can see reflected in my glasses.

When her demands are not met, or she is shut into her room, she howls with the voice of a demented banshee and will probably result in us being subject to a noise abatement order sometime soon.


Conversely, when she deems that her slaves have performed their tasks adequately, she will turn that voice into a deep throated rumbling purr, climb up onto a shoulder and ramp up the charm factor with an overdose of tiny little head butts.

Purdy on my shoulder

We are completly enslaved, powerless to do anything but obey.  It won’t be long before she controls communications too – she uses needles to torture us.



Send germolene…


Slowing down in Ireland


Well I had an amazing week in Ireland – it was quite a journey in both the physical and metaphorical sense.  Such a beautiful country, such warm people, so many seductive Irish voices I could listen to for the rest of my days …

The traveling was a bit grim and I arrived in a state of pain severe enough for a doctor to come to the hotel, administer a shot and give me sleeping pills.  Two days later I started my period a week early – ’nuff said.  That idea I talked about recently of getting out on the road to do workshops … well let’s just say I’m not sure how viable that is this side of menopause.  Tempting though it is to bypass my remaining few years of troublesome menstruation via drugs or surgery, I really don’t want to go down that road if I can avoid it.  I think I just need to give my body a chance to get over the months of long distance house hunting and the move itself, so I’ll just hibernate here in our little corner of Scotland for the rest of this year and put my energy into some online projects I’m cooking up.

The painting and journaling classes I took in Bantry were both incredible experiences in their own unique ways.  Orly Avineri‘s journaling class was a guided journey into an unknown world, beautifully prepared and thought out in great detail.  Her teaching is poetic and soulful and intensely personal.  I had to put aside impatience and resistance and learn to quieten down, really listen and be completely present in the moment.  To say much more could spoil it for anyone taking a similar class with Orly in the future and I want to respect the private space she created for us.  If you do ever get a chance to do a class with her, open your heart and embrace it with complete trust.


Flora Bowley‘s class was also transformational in a different way.  I got as much from Flora’s mental preparation for painting as I did from her intuitive approach to working with layers of colour and mark making.  As a child of the seventies, I grew up with some hang-ups about anything too “New Age” or “spiritual”, but Flora’s morning group sessions helped me to open up and embrace the wisdom of starting any kind of creative endeavour with a personal ritual, whether that is quiet introspection, setting an intention, writing an affirmation or letting go of something holding you back.



Right at the start, Flora encouraged us to let go of something and I chose to let go of living in the future (always planning) and commit to being present – something I identified as an issue for me in my journal recently.  None of my paintings are finished yet, but one of the other students got some photos of me on the last day with a couple of my works in progress (thanks Janet!).


This one began life as someone else’s painting – we all handed in one of our paintings on the second day and Flora re-distributed them around us all as a lesson in not being precious about the early stages of getting down layers.  As I worked on it and looked at my sketches that I had drawn walking around the gardens, I realised I was seeing circles everywhere – drawing the gravel on the path, the cobblestone drainage channels in the garden, the dotty foliage of the lacecap hydrangeas – my sketchbook was full of circles.  So I painted circles and the moon like face emerged almost by herself.



This one is definitely inspired by the hydrangea petals around Bantry House gardens and I now have a clearer vision of where I’d like to go with this one.  It could take a while to get there without destroying the parts that I love, but that’s the challenge of painting.

And that leads me neatly into the gap quotation by Ira Glass (an American author and radio presenter) which some of us discussed in the bar one evening.  If you haven’t come across this quote before, it may just help you to persevere, whatever creative path you’re on.  (Click the image to enlarge.)


I have more to share from this very special trip and more photos once my camera and computer have had a bit of marriage guidance therapy and are talking to each other again, so stay tuned for part two!


A Space for Dreaming

I know I’ve gone a bit quiet on the blogging front, but Adrian and I have turned our house over to friends eager to house sit for us in pretty Portpatrick while we have a couple of weeks away in equally pretty Bantry Bay in Ireland.

It’s a very special trip for me – I’m actually here on an art retreat called ‘A Space for Dreaming’ organised by artist Pauline Agnew.  I am doing three days journaling with Orly Avinieri and three days painting with Flora Bowley. I planned this trip months ago, before we moved house, knowing that it would be the perfect antidote to the stresses of househunting, moving and settling in to a new area.

The journey was not a fun experience (I got ill), but I’m sorted now, feeling much better and enjoying the company of  45 other creative women for six whole days!  I am being stretched, I am slightly outside my comfort zone which is as it should be on a retreat – I’m here to grow and learn, not re-hash what I already know.  I am being slowed down, made to focus and engage at a slower pace than I would normally.  I am collaborating with others and building the foundations of new friendships.

Internet is very tricky in the hotel – it can’t cope with the volume of people trying to use it and of course I’m now outside the UK so I can’t use the phone to connect as easily.  So I may be quiet on the blog and Facebook a little longer, but I did manage to get the Monday Mojo emails prepared before I left, so you will still get those if you are on the list (the sign up box is here on the right).

I’ll be back with photos at some point!


Copyright 2008-2014 Glenda Waterworth. All rights reserved.