Merry Christmas from Houlding Hands!

It has been a busy couple of months here at Houlding Hands, getting ready for Christmas, attending lots of craft fairs and making and posting out all of my lovely customers’ orders in time for a Merry Christmas.

There is still a few days left to place your orders before I close my Etsy shop for the Christmas break, but please check deadlines for any overseas orders.

Enjoy the festive season and I look forward to sharing lots of new designs with you in the New Year!

Creating all the colours of a cat’s coat

Posts have been a little sporadic from me recently and it is because I have been kept so busy by my Etsy store. If you have a moment, why not take a look and see if there are any gifts, cards or party decorations that catch your eye? Now, back to my latest post – hand shading a tortoiseshell cat’s coat.

Some of my favourite cards to make are those featuring cats with their own personal markings on their coats, which truly makes a personalised card! Today I am going to share how I create the tortoiseshell or calico cat colours on cat silhouettes.

Hand shaded tortoiseshell cat

As you can see from the above step-by-step guide, I start with the plain cat silhouette and a round shading tool. For this pattern I used a Tim Holtz Distress ink in Rusty Hinge for this first set of ginger patches and then added the brown using the colour: gathered twigs. As this was for a particular cat, I left the colours like this, but if I was recreating the colour of our own two tortie cats I would have added black as well.

I have also been doing quite a few tabby cats, so watch this space for lots of lovely stripes in my next post!

Finding inspiration while travelling

So whilst there may not have been many posts from me in the most recent weeks, I have certainly been finding inspiration while travelling! We took a trans-Atlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean and for a whole seven days this was largely the view!

Deck 5 on Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise

So, in the coming weeks, expect to see lots of nautical themed projects, and I even have some new coastal themed papers that I am looking forward to using. Plus, while I was in the US I bought the cutest flamingo die (from Spellbinders) , which I can’t wait to try out!

Plus, my Etsy shop is now out of Vacation mode, so you can order a personalised handmade card and see my newest designs.

Houlding Hands’ craft stall debut in Canterbury

I had such as amazing weekend in Canterbury, where I joined other crafters and lots of lovely shoppers for the Easter Craft Fair in St Peter’s Methodist Church, with our own craft stall.

Canterbury Easter Craft Fair Stall

I was able to showcase lots of cards from my new recycled Kraft card range and I received great feedback from everyone who stopped by. My Scrabble tile cards went down a storm and I have requests for further age cards to get working on! Roar-some dinosaur cards and spec-tacular birthday cards were also especially popular!

I am looking forward to our next fair, which is the Easter Event at the Thanet RSPCA branch on Good Friday in Birchington. We’ll be there from 11am-3pm and there is lots going on for all the family, including an Easter egg hunt and a teddy bears’ picnic. I hope to see you there!

RSPCA Easter Event 2017 poster

Custom stamped horse birthday card

It has been a while since I posted a custom order, as I have been busy making designs for my new Etsy store and for an upcoming craft fair in Canterbury. This horse birthday card was a real pleasure to make, as it was for someone with a real passion for their horse.

Horse birthday card

I started with an A6 white card and added a patterned brown card from a DCWV mat stack. Then using a stamp from Anita’s I used a Tsukineko Brilliance Dew Drop ink pad to stamp the horse onto white card which I mounted using double-sided tape.

Next I added satin ribbon in a lovely forest green and matching emerald gems in the top right corner of the card. Finally I added a hand-written message (Happy Birthday) using a metallic glitter ink pen. I hope the recipient likes it!

Fairytale Horse and Carriage Wedding Card

It has certainly been cold in Kent this last week, with snow, frost and now the fog has rolled in! This makes for perfect crafting weather, and I have been thinking ahead to all those lovely spring weddings on the horizon. As a former Disney bride (I married my Prince Charming in Walt Disney World in 2011) I had to use this beautiful cutting die for a wedding card fit for a fairy tale princess.

Peach Horse and Carriage Wedding Card

I started with a 7 x 5 inch peach card blank and used a metallic printed paper with flowers and chandeliers on and mounted this on cream card. You may notice that I deliberately turned the print on its side – this was so that the florals would be behind the sentiment at the top and the chandeliers act as a directional print for the carriage to follow.

Next I added a satin peach ribbon in a similar tone to act as a red carpet for the happy couple and their carriage to travel on. I cut the horse and carriage Sweet Dixie die using my Big Shot Plus and then added different shaped gems in the same colour as accents on the coach and a full bejeweled mane on the horse. This die really is so lovely and I didn’t have to run it through again to get the embossing detail.

When I bought the coach die I also bought the Happily Ever After Die (and another beautiful castle die too) which fit perfectly on this card. I used a slightly lighter ivory card for this sentiment and for the surname on the card too. I used the same cream card on the Mr & Mrs heart die (which is from an Xcut mini wedding set) and mounted this using 3D foam for some extra dimension.

Finally I die-cut an additional small heart to mount on the heart in the Happily Ever After sentiment in the darker cream to tie the colours together.

This card is already spoken for, but I have added this wedding card design to my newly opened Etsy store, if you would like to take a look: Houlding Hands on Etsy

I will be entering this into the anything goes challenges over at: Through the Craft Room Door. The anything that shines challenge (all those gems!) over at Crafting by Designs, as well as the ‘New beginnings’ challenge over at the Not Just Cards Challenge.



Santoro Gorjuss Decoupage Birthday Card

This card is a little different to my usual style, but as I received a Santoro Gorjuss decoupage set free with a order, I thought I would use it in this birthday card.

Santoro Gorjuss Decoupage Lilac Birthday Card

I started with the decoupage which was quite easy to pop out of the sheets and just needed a little snipping to tidy up the edges. I used large and small sized square foam pads, as there were some fiddly small sections that needed a tiny foam square on the layers (such as the collar on the dress).

Then I added two extra layers behind the decoupage using Xcut nesting oval and scalloped oval dies. I used papers that I received free with a retired Sweet Dixie die I bought from eBay, so this really was a great value card to make! I also received the matching buttons with my free decoupage set, which matched really well with this card.

Next I added a wide black grosgrain ribbon and added a teal satin ribbon on top to add a different texture, with a hand-tied lilac ribbon added on top. Finally, on top of this I added a peel-off sentiment on to purple card which I layered with the same teal paper I used to back the decoupage, and added this using more 3D foam.

I will be entering this into the anything goes challenges over at Inspiration Destination and Lemon Shortbread.

Snowflake Christmas Celebration Card

As Christmas day approaches, I have another last minute Christmas celebration card. I’m quite glad I needed a few extra cards, as I got to use a new snowflake Sweet Dixie die!

Snowflake Christmas Celebration Card

I used a sheet of printed paper that I received for free with a crafting magazine recently, which I backed with black card. I then die cut the large snowflake in red card, which I mounted and then added red and light blue gems as accents. Finally I stamped the sentiment on red card, mounted this using 3D foam and then added four teardrop red gems in the corner of the red card.

I will be entering this card into the anything goes challenges over at Through the Craft Room Door, the Lemon Shortbread Challenge. Plus, I am entering this into the pick a previous challenge over at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, where I have picked the sketch challenge from October.

Bringing joy with this Angel Christmas Card

As the festive period is well and truly under way, what better way to prepare than to continue making Christmas cards? This angel Christmas Card will be winging its way off to a colleague, who I hope will appreciate the modern twist of kraft and red, rather than red and gold.

Red and kraft angel Christmas card


I used a kraft card blank and added some great printed paper with Christmas sentiments included all over, and then topped with an angel die cut (using 3D foam), with a little gem peeping out from underneath. The sentiment is stamped in Tsukineko’s Brilliance ink pad in Rocket Red and I edged the card with ink before also adding this using 3D foam for extra dimension.

I will be entering this into the anything goes card challenge over at Lemon Shortbread.