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…. 😉




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….


Googly eyes…

I’m not even sure if that’s how you spell ‘googly’, but I suppose the point of this post is that Googly eyes can make a simple card really fun and cute!

I used clearly besotted stamps, ‘an apple a day’ stamp set, then added some google eyes to make it fun. The oval is cute using Lil inker designs stitched ovals, which I like because it makes a stitched border on both sides of the cut out area.


A little watercolouring….

So, my Gansai Tambi watercolours finally arrived (the first order got lost in the black hole that is international mail), I have to say they were worth the wait…..

I love them!
I decided to white emboss the hummingbird stamp outline and then started to watercolour…

Once the bird was dry, I did a wash of pale blue in the background and then splattered on some of the colours I used for the bird to add some interest.

To finish I added a triple layered birthday die from Cottage Cutz and stamped the ‘happy’ from AmyR, then mounted on Simon says stamp Audrey Blue Card stock.
The bird is from Clarity Stamps and the white embossing powder is WOW superfine.

“To thine own shelf” be true ….

I’m a big fan of these build a scene type stamp sets….mainly because they are so much fun to use. This one is from Simon Says Stamp and is called “to thine own shelf”….

I’ve used the stamp set to create this simple one layer design, using memento luxe inks and a bit of glossy accents in places


I then used Razzleberry cardstock from Stampin Up for the base and one of the great sentiment in the stamp set to finish.

Also, I’m getting very excited now that my new Erin Condren planner is due to be despatched!! Can’t wait for it to arrive and get organised!

See you soon!

“You are the sweetest”

I have to say I’m ‘Clearly Besotted’ with this stamp set called ‘an apple a day’ (from Clearly Besotted – see what I did there? 😉)

Please do check them out at
Anyway, here is a card I have made using the stamp set:


I stamped the apple using Memento Luxe in Love Letter. I then added a little depth with a Spectrum Noir Coloured pencil and coated in glossy accents. I used wow embossing powder for the sentiment and some patterned paper from MME. Finally the ‘Thanks’ die is from Impression Obsession and the cardstock is Simon says Stamp ‘Fog’ (love this warm grey colour).

Happy Monday!

“Spreadin’ a little love”

I’ve decided to have a crafty makeover this year……so this is my new blog.

I feel like my card making style has changed so much since I started my last blog, which isn’t a bad thing, but I felt like I needed a spring clean and a fresh start!

So, this is a card I have made this weekend….supplies are listed below.



Newton’s Nook – Flirty Flamingos

Mama Elephant – Everyday Greeting

Copic Markers – RV000, RV10 and RV13

Cardstock – Simon Says Stamp Sea Glass and Fog, Neenah 80lb Solar White

Ink – Versafine Onyx Black and MFT Hybrid Black Liquorice