Treat boxes

I’ve been dying to use the Lawn Fawn Scalloped Treat box die since I received it…so I made a little trio of them when I went to visit my Sister and her two boys recently.

The first one is cut using Black Cardstock and then splattered with opaque white copic paint to create stars. I’ve then added some cloud dies from Lawn Fawn also and the Spider-Man image is from The Greeting Farm Little Heroes stamp set, coloured using Copic Markers and then I added some black spider lines to make him officially Spider-Man!

My Princess box is Sky coloured cardstock which I stamped very pale clouds on using pigment ink in white (hard to see in the photo but effective in real life)! I created some hills and then the trees are from MFT Trees in the Forest die set, I used distress inks to colour these. The beautiful Cinderella is from Clearly Besotted Once Upon a Time stamp set and copic coloured.

My final design was the exact same background as the previous box, except this time using a stamp from Clearly besotted’s Best Friends stamp set.

This one was filled with baby socks (for a 4 week old!) and the other two with sweets…just in case you were wondering ūüėČ



Ahoy Matey

ahoy1As soon as I saw this stamp set from Neat and Tangled (“Yo Ho Ho”), I had to have it! The little Pirate and the sentiment are from the set and I coloured him using Copic Markers (E13, E11, E00/B95, B97, B99/R59, R29, R35/C9, C7, C5, C1), then cut him out.

The crab is from Paper Smooches “Summer lovin'” and I chopped his original eyes off (he didn’t mind, I promise!) to replace them with those fun googly eyes.

I created a background with distress ink behind MFT’s Peek a boo window Die-namic and some border clouds from Lawn Fawn. Finally, my background paper is from Authentique.

Love, Nina xx


Challenge time!

UntitledToday I’m playing along in this months Seven Hills Craft Challenge. You can choose any line in the following table (so Vertical, Diagonal, Horizontal) for inspiration. I have highlighted the line I chose: Animals, Big Words and Die Cutting.

You can find out more information about the challenge at:

So, on to my card! 3

Animals: I used one of the Hippos from Clearly Besotted “Trouble in a Tutu” Stamp set and coloured using Copic Markers. I cut the image out by hand as I didn’t want the white border that the matching die set would give the image.

Die-Cutting: I used MFT Rectangle Peek-a-Boo Window die to create the stitched Window, which I then raised on foam backing to give it some dimension. I blended the background behind the window with Distress Inks and die cut Lawn Fawn Cloud Border dies to add some interest, without hiding too much of the ink blending.


Large Words: I used Hero Arts “Birthday Wishes” stamp set and stamped the sentiment in Versafine Black ink, finished with a touch of Sakura Clear Star Gel pen to add some sparkle.

Finally, I added a few die cut hearts and glossy accents.

1Love, Nina xx





Another little Knight!

I have a confession: I can’t get enough of these little images from MFT Magical Dragons stamp set. I don’t have a lot of use personally¬†for cards declaring my undying love (My Husband and I are more of the “So we’re not doing Valentine’s Day again this year, right?” category of couples), but I don’t let this stop my inner Princess dreaming of Happily Ever After. I think I actually overcome the unromantic reality of everyday life by creating this kind of thing, hence the influx of Fairy tales and Knight themed cards¬†around this time of year.1

So, on to todays card! My images are coloured using Copic Markers¬†(E00, E11, E13/C0, C1, C3 and C5/R05, R08 and R56/Y11 and Y38) and my sentiment is from another MFT stamp set, “Knight in Shining Armor”. I added a few little hearts and some Glossy Accents as finishing touches.

I created the background using the Distress inks pictured and masking a circle to create a mystical sun/moon. The landscape die is from W Plus 9 and cut using the same watercolour card as the main background and coloured by blending the Distress Inks on the right.

Love, Nina xx3


I’ve been playing a lot with my distress inks lately (you will notice this theme emerging!) to create blended backgrounds. It’s a technique I never really mastered until I realised the more ink you put on the blending tool, the easier the blending actually is. Who knew, huh?

So as I have a few coloured stamped images all coloured and ready to go, following my colouring frenzy last weekend, I’ve been making some simple cards with them and I LOVE the result. Today’s colour combo is as follows:

Fossilised Amber, Mermaid Lagoon and Blueprint Sketch blended on watercolour card. The background is a mama elephant die set “All Prettied Up”, which adds a bit of interest to an otherwise very simple background.

I then used Copic Opaque white to create stars in  a night sky and added my little image and sentiment from Clearly Besotted “It’s good to be bad” stamp set.

I think this would be a perfect “I’m sorry” card (should you ever feel the need to apologise, that is ;-))……..

Love, Nina xx

Being Good is Overrated.

I’m not entirely sure if this is true (I could elaborate, but let’s not go down that road ;-)), but Clearly Besotted’s “it’s good to be bad” stamp set certainly inspired my planner layout for this week.

Black is a hard colour to achieve but when I saw these little cuties, the only option was to grab those C-7, C-5 and C-3 Copic markers and just go for it!

Cinderella and Red R-H are from a similar Clearly Besotted set called “Once Upon A Time” (Love, love, love!!!). The quote is from Lil’ Inker designs and google informs me that Mindy Kaling is an actress from the Tv series, ‘The Mindy Project’….

A little about my planner:

My planner is a personal size as I tend to not need too much space for my organisational ‘stuff’. I just like a few weekly reminders of things I can’t forget and a few things I ought to do, but I like to use the rest of the space to create a mood for the week and something to look back on and think ‘Oh, I need to get those stamps out again’. (Little tip: I colour two of each image and then save them for quick card emergencies!)

It’s basically just a space for me to create things that I don’t have to give away (an unfortunate hazard of being a card maker), so think handmade dividers and wish lists of things to buy and you get the idea….more to come on this soon!

Love, Nina xx

White Unicorns and Rainbows….

Today I felt like making a¬†Unicorn card. As you do. There are so many great Unicorn stamp sets out there at the moment (Don’t tell Mr A, but I own most of them..), but I¬†decided to go¬†with my favourite image, which is from the Greeting Farm ‘Magical Day’ stamp set.

I took my inspiration from this months Seven Hills Crafts colour challenge….which was to pick one of the following colour schemes. I chose the shades of grey and yellow¬† as a personal challenge for myself (it looked the hardest to me!).

feb17You can find more details on the SHC challenge blog here:


So, on to my card!


At the moment I am loving colouring with coloured pencils on Kraft. These were Spectrum Noir Pencils and I wanted a¬†white unicorn, but with some heavy shading to bring in the greys. I find I don’t need to use blending solution if I lay down a lot of colour, which you do on this¬†colour card stock anyway.

I did some masking to create the background clouds and then added the stars, bird and ‘Cutie Mark’ with a die cut red heart.

My sentiment is from the new Stamping Bella Unicorn Sentiments set.




I did add some Sparkle with a Wink of Stella (it is hard for the camera to pick up – sorry!) and some glossy accents to the hearts and stars to finish.


Love, Nina xxx



My little Knight

I am, of course, staggeringly biased, but I think my little boy is totally gorgeous… when planning a card for his Auntie Kate, the natural choice was this adorable little knight image from MFT ‘Magical Dragons’ set (I love him!!)…


I created the background using a Hexagon die from MFT to make a mask, then blended distress inks with a few water droplets added for texture at the end. I coloured the Knight using Copic Markers (listed below) then fussy cut him out and adhered flat to my card.

The Speech Bubble die is from Lil Inker Designs and the sentiment (How cute??!) is also from MFT Magical Dragons. Now, I have to admit, I was going for the minimalist look and I stared for ages wondering whether to leave the card at this stage…but those who have tried this minimal design know that it is incredibly hard to walk away and in this instance I felt like it needed something else. So I created the personalization using Concord and 9th’s ‘Perfectly Penned’ Stamp set and added a few little red hearts and some glossy accents to finish.

Distress Inks: Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade

Copics: C7, C5, C1, Colourless blender. R08, R05 and R59. E13, E11 and E00

Finally, here is a quick peak of my inspiration and my own little Knight…. ūüėČ




Pinterest Link

So, it’s been a long time since I have posted (Babies tend to have this effect on personal time!) but that’s not to say that I’ve not been creating…..though admittedly it is normally late at night when I find a quiet moment and at the sacrifice of much needed sleep! What can I say, the¬†temptation of all those stamps and pens just sitting there¬†is too strong!

All my creations are on my Pinterest Board, ‘Cards Created by Nina Astley’….please feel free to have¬† browse and I will promise faithfully to start updating here again regularly….