Tuesday 30 May 2017

Best Fishes...

I made a card using the Avery Elle "It Bites" recently and had some left over fish stamped and coloured floating around my craft table of doom, so decided to use them to make a few quick cards.
I applied distress oxide ink to an acrylic block, spritzed with water and squashed down on a 4x4 Ivory card blank. This gave different effects depending on how much ink and water was applied and whether I overstamped in a different colour. I glued the fish on and stamped some bubbles from the set with versafine black ink and also the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp's Keep Swimming set. Simples!

Sunday 28 May 2017

Remembering Manchester

Obviously, the events in Manchester have been on my mind all week, especially as I often used to get the bus into Manchester on a Saturday with my friends to look round the shops when I was a teenager. I was looking for another stamp in my stash, when I stumbled across this lady from Impression Obsession and she just spoke to me. The way she cradled her arms around the heart mirrored all the communities that had pulled together to support those affected in Manchester.
I forgot to take any photos of the start of the process, but I stamped her in black versafine ink on a 5x7 canvas board and then used faber-castell glass bead glitter gel through a Tim Holtz Wilfdlower stencil at her feet and a Tim Holtz Blossom stencil above her head and let it dry.
I then used my distress crayons (for the first time!) and scribbled then directly on the canvas and blended them with my finger. I wanted to get a dark background with nature being blurred into it. The glass bead glitter gel is quite abrasive to rub over and I had a sore finger by the end of the project!
I then started painting in the figure, using a mix of chalk and acrylic paints, depending on what I had available in the right colours. 
I wanted to add some more depth to the background and so used a stencil over the top of the distress crayons and used a barely wet baby wipe to lift off some of the colour. I got some on her face, but as I intended to make her skin a bit deeper this wasn't a problem. I also decided at this point that I needed some more foliage in front of her as there was a gap as the stencil overlapped at this point when I first applied the gel, so I added in an extra wildflower and left it to dry.
I added green distress crayon over the new wildflower, having dark base behind it rather than the white gives a slightly more vibrant colour to it. I felt the contrast in the background was too strong and so I knocked it back with more directly applied distress crayons and blended again with my finger. I continued to paint the figure until I was happy with her.
Almost finished, I painted the date on to the heart and added gold Buff It around the edge of the canvas to frame it. I still wasn't happy with her hair and so I grabbed my copics that were next to me and coloured over the top of the paint. Finished.
 The glass bead and glitter gel gives a subtle sparkle as well as texture,hopefully these photos will show it better.

Saturday 27 May 2017

Sweet Stampin' - Very Old Stash

Happy Saturday! It's a bank holiday weekend here in England, so I'm expecting the heatwave to vanish and to have golf ball sized hailstones by lunch!
Why not shelter inside and join us this week at Sweet Stampin'  as we want you to dig out some of your very old stash. We all fall prey to the lure of shiny new stash, but let's dig something neglected out from the back of the cupboard and show it some love.
I used a really old stamp set for my card this week, "Basil" from Happy Harvest by Trimcraft, copyright 2010 according to the packaging! I have to confess that I remember colouring up this particular image when I first got it, but it's been languishing in my box of bits until now, poor thing. I'd initally just trimmed down the image, rounded the corners and added some faux stitching (yep, still doing it 7 years later...). To revitalise it I trimmed it down using a spellbinders labels 8 die (that's been in my stash for a bit, they must be up to labels 178 by now) and then I added a frame using decorative labels 8. My paper is from an old Lili of the Valley pad, possibly One Birdie Lane, that I've had for years. I finished it off with a bit of crochet type lace that had been lurking in my stash for several years. Simples! I'm looking forward to seeing your creations, just remember to include some stamping to be in with a chance to be in our top three.

Friday 26 May 2017

Ice Cream

Phew! Is anyone else melting in the heat? Sooo glad I'm not at work at the moment, our uniforms aren't made for summer!
I decided to have a play with this very appropriate new stamp from Lili of the Valley, Alice Ice Cream. I stamped it in Versafine on watercolour card with my misti to get a good impression. I then coloured it in with zig clean colour pens and a waterbrush. I added some clouds with an Elizabeth Crafts stencil and sea breeze versamagic chalk ink using a mini blending tool. Another new purchase was the Hunkydory Framed With Love die set which they've released to tie in with their Little Books range, being the perfect size to co-ordinate with them. I die cut the frame out of purple card and in a moment of madness ( I blame the heat!) decided to inlay the frame rather than stick it on top of the image panel. I also inlaid the sentiment die from the same set. I used some old Lil of the Valley papers on my card base and used a sizzix interlocking ovals strip die in purple to balance out the card, along with a few pearls to finish.
Shh, don't tell anyone but I rescued the image panel with sentiment attached from my original attempt at this card. It wasn't pretty. Heck, it wasn't even attractive in a poor light! Fortunately, I'd added the image panel on foam tape so I managed to save it.
Hope you all enjoy the lovely weather, I'm doing my best to keep the bunnies cool with frozen water bottles and wet towels over their run. Hot weather's not fun if you're wearing a fur onesie, poor things!

Thursday 25 May 2017

InkBuds - Distress techniques

The second project we made at the InkBuds weekender was a tag book of different distress techniques taught by Hels Sheriden who is a qualified Ranger Educator. In order to prevent us getting brain fog from all the techniques, we added stamping to the tags before making them up into a book with mount board covers. I wasn't feeling brilliant and so I left early. Hels did offer to assemble my book for me, but I decided to bring it home unfinished instead. The photos show the front and back of the tags, we did the same techniques on both sides.
There was a mix of experience in the group and so we started off with the basics and progressed onwards, with lots of tips as we went. I won't go into details about all the techniques, but I will share the top tip of the day. Your most important distress ink is Antique Linen. If you're doing a blending technique, then put down a base coat of Antique Linen before you add your colours. It won't affect the colour of your inks significantly, but it will allow the inks to move more freely as they're sat on top of it and so you will get a smoother blend. If you're having trouble with a hard edge on a blend then if you go over the top of it with Antique Linen then it will smooth it out.
I had a play with some of the techniques a couple of days after the workshop and used the spare blank tags we'd been given to practice the techniques and to write down the steps on the back as a reference.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

A strange day...

I planned to post about the great weekend I had with the InkBuds; Hels Sheriden and Pauline Wheeler in Preston, but awoke to the terrible news of the terrorist attack in Manchester last night. Just unthinkable. I have to focus on the positives, how quickly the community pulled together to support those affected. My local supermarket had set up a table as you enter the store with a vase of lilies and a collection bucket for those killed or injured and it was filing up quickly. Of course my thoughts remain with those affected by this, but things must carry on to prove that terrorism will not win.
This is the altered sketch book that we made on Sunday, being black it's a swine to photograph. Hopefully the close ups show more of the detail. It's slightly larger than A4. Pauline gave us all our initials to add to the book, but also had lots of spare letters incase anyone wanted to make it for someone else, or add a word instead. We used treasure gold gilding wax to highlight the texture and embelishments. Although we had a sample to follow we could choose our own layout and embelishments. Pauline had a bag of wooden embelishments for us to rummage through (trust me to find a bunny in them!) and we also had lots of bits in our kit to play with - these are all the bits I had left over to play with later...
I'll be back tomorrow with the other project we made. Take care x

Saturday 20 May 2017


Happy Weekend! I've scheduled this post as I'm off crafting today and have another workshop tomorrow with the InkBuds; Hels Sheriden and Pauline Wheeler.
If you watched Dr Who a couple of weeks ago, you'll know exactly why I had to buy this Avery Elle stamp set "that bites"!
I stamped the fish on stamping card and coloured them in with my zigs, before fussy cutting them out. 
I used a piece of distress coredinations cardstock and embossed it with a Dutch doobadoo wavy stripes stencil and sanded it back slightly to highlight the dots. The sentiment is from a Clearly Besotted birthday set. After adding the fish to the card with foam tape I added glossy accents to their eyes and teeth. My perfectionist streak kicked in after I added glossy accents and distress vintage platinum glitter to the "light" on the escapee fish from Dr Who. It just didn't look right...
So, after it had dried I then added a bit of Limoncello Nuvo Jewel drops on top. Much happier with the result, more like a light source. Hope you all have a creative weekend x

Friday 19 May 2017

Any excuse...

My parent's neighbour very kindly did our wedding photos for us and we've never quite got round to finding the right thank you gift for her ( no rush, we'll only have been married 5 years in October!). Anyway, she loves pigs and so when I saw MFT's Hog Heaven stamp set, it was only right that I bought it and made her a set of cards with it!
I totally channelled Lynne in NI 's fab chalked clouds and doodled borders for these cards. I took some 6x6 card blanks and added clouds with versamagic chalk in and grass with memento ink using the Elizabeth Crafts sky and grass stencil.
I stamped lots of the stamps from the set in memento ink on super smooth card and coloured them in with my beloved copics, before fussy cutting them out.
I then played about with the elements to get a rough composition on the card which allowed me to work out where to stamp the sentiments. I used my misti and Versafine ink to stamp them in place. I then glued the elements down and added foam tape behind some of them. I drew in the borders next and then added stickles to finish.
I may have got carried away with the shower of cupcakes, but having cut them all out, I was determined to use them!

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Oooh sparkly!

Not perfect (don't look at the beak), but this was my first attempt playing with the glitzcraft frosting paste and stencils that I bought at Happy Stampers. Don't know how well it shows up but I used two shades of blue for the kingfisher and two shades of green on the leaves. This was my first attempt at using multiple colours. The sparkle doesn't really show up, so hopefully this slightly out of focus shot will show it more.
Once dry I added in some clouds using an Elizabeth Craft stencil and versamagic chalk ink with a small blending tool. I trimmed it down to 5x5 and added green and dark blue mats before mounting it on a 6x6 card blank. Simples!

Monday 15 May 2017

Under the weather....

I do wish the weather would decide what it's doing! After a day of glorious sunshine we're back to cool rain again her in the northwest. Hopefully you're having better weather.
I was playing (spritzing and smooshing) with my distress oxides (cracked pistachio and broken china) and the way they ran on the texture of the Tim Holtz cardstock reminded me of rain and so this card was born. Whilst the panel was still wet I spritzed some pewter Pssst! Sheer Shimmer Spritz from a great height over it so I got a very fine misting.
Using a scrap of copic card I stamped the bunny from Stamping Bella in memento black ink and they coloured him in with my copics and fussy cut him out. When my background panel was dry I stamped the Inkylicious raindrops in memento London Fog as I didn't want a harsh outline. When dry I added glossy accents to the raindrops and the top of the umbrella and some "puddles" to the background. I sprinkled a tiny bit of glamour dust from a height over the glossy accents whilst wet, so that a tiny bit was caught in it, hopefully the next photo captures some of this along with some of the shine from the pewter.
I trimmed the panel to fit on a 5x7 (I hope you were sitting down when you realised it wasn't a 6x6 card!) card and mat and layered it up with green and yellow card, before adding the bunny on foam tape. At this point I coloured in the handle of the umbrella with a uniball silver sparkle pen (so that I wouldn't be tempted to test it was dry with my finger and smudge it). I stamped the sentiment from the Clearly Besotted Under the Weather set, and mat and layered it to match and added it to the card with some foam tape.
Just so you know it's not only me who's mad in this household, this was what I found when I got up yesterday...

Sunday 14 May 2017

The Flower Challenge - Halfway Reminder

We're halfway through our current challenge at The Flower Challenge and this month we want you to CASE one of the design teams creations.
I've CASE'd my original challenge card for this post.
I created my flowers and leaves from some paper that had been coloured by spritzing with water and then adding Cosmic Shimmer pixie powders. I die cut the 3 middle flowers from Heartfelt Creations Tattered Blossoms and the leaves using Sue Wilson's Faux Quilled Leaves. I embossed my 6x6 card with an Embossalicious Chevron embossing folder and added the Lawn Fawn hugs sentiment from greenly/turquoise card to tie in with the leaves. Finally I added some pearly embellishments from my stash to finish. As usual, the shimmer from the pixie powders doesn't show up, so hopefully this pic shows some of the lovely effect you get.
My teamies have come up with some amazing cards for you to CASE so please check them out. Just remember that we need florals to be the focus of your card and if you can manage to add our banner to your post please do - we're all happy to help you do this if you're not sure how. 

Saturday 13 May 2017

Sweet Stampin' - Shabby Chic

Wow, Saturday already and time for a new challenge over at Sweet Stampin' and this week we want to see your "Shabby Chic" creations.
I started off with a 6x6 card ( I know, who'd have thought it!) and trimmed some golden brown card slightly smaller to make my base mat. I scraped round the edges of the paper with my scissors to distress them. 
I chose this patterened paper from an old Lili of the Valley pad as I thought it had a vintage feel and distressed it in the same way and added to the card. I stamped the Lili of the Valley distressed sentiment in Delicata Golden Glitz ink on a square piece of card. In reality it has a lovely shimmer, hopefully the second pic will show some of that. I then distressed the edges and added it to the card at an angle.
I die cut Sue Wilson's Vinery die out of the golden brown card and snipped them into pieces to tuck them behind some paper flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts. I added a few brown/gold gems and of course a little faux stitching to finish.
I'm looking forward to seeing your wonderful creations, just remember that you need to include some stamping on your project. 

Friday 12 May 2017

Mojo mIssing. Reward offered.

Why is it that when you have lots of crafting to do, your brain says, "Nope, not doing that..."?
In the absence of any recent crafting I thought I'd show you the other project I made at the last Inkbuds weekender. Apologies for the rubbish photos. 
This was the project that Hels Sheriden taught and she entitled it "A waxy basket case". We made our own flowers and dipped them in melt pots of beeswax and also painted melted beeswax on the basket, hopefully you can see the texture this gives.

Tuesday 9 May 2017


Over at Naughty or Nice, they want us to share a smile, so hopefully this card will raise one! I had to have a play with this new stamp, PapertArtsy JOFY mini 53, that I purchased at Happy Stampers.
I stamped her in versafine and coloured her in with my zig clean colours, before cutting her out and adding glossy accents to her eyes.
I also decided to have a first play with my distress oxides, broken china and wilted violet. I pressed them down on my glass mat ( I hadn't realised that they were creamy like a pigment ink), spritzed them with water and then smooshed on a piece of Tim Holtz watercolour card (as that was the first card to hand!). I dried the card with my heat tool and then shook some droplets of water on, left it a few seconds and dried it with my heat tool again. I repeated the process a couple of times until I was happy with the result. Love how it dries with a chalky type finish.
I stamped a sentiment from Whipper Snapper on a piece of white card as I felt the black text would be lost in the inky background. I cut it out at a "jaunty" angle and drew a border round it. I chose the sentiment as the background made me think of a child being left alone in a room with art supplies and drawing and painting in the wallpaper and creating a colourful mess! 
As I'd cut the sentiment at an angle, I trimmed down the panel with a pair of scissors to echo the unevenness and stuck it at an angle on a 5x7 card ( I know, not square! Although, I had to trim down an 8x8 card to make it). I glued the sentiment onto the card and then added the girl with foam tape. I then drew the borders with a fineliner pen to finish. 
I think I ought to give this card to my Hubby the next time he looks at my growing mound of craft supplies!

Sunday 7 May 2017


Happy Sunday! After a very grey and chilly day yesterday, today we have glorious sunshine here in the northwest. Sadly my neck and shoulders are very sore after my trip out yesterday, so I can't go out and enjoy it as much as I'd like.
When I returned home yesterday a new set of dies that I'd purchased from one of the Chinese sellers on eBay for a huge £2.96 was waiting on my doormat. Immediately I knew what to make with one of my new purchases, a piece of ninja film strip with the ninja jumping out of it.
I die cut the film strip out of a scrap of black card, and then cut it again out of a scrap of white card so I could slot the centre of the frames back in. I put a stripe of spectrum noir sparkle pen across the top of each piece and used a wet paint brush to blend it out. I stamped a sentiment from the ninja set on one of them once dry. I then glued it all onto a 6x6 card base.
I stamped in versafine 2 of the same ninjas from the set and one of one of the others, and coloured their faces, hands and sashes with zig clean colour pens. I then cut them out using the matching dies. My ninjas were a bit too big for the frames and so I snipped them down to fit, before gluing them on. The full ninja I added with foam tape to emphasise him jumping out.
I stamped some of the tiny throwing star thingys using my finger tip as the stamp block in the corners and coloured them in with a spectrum noir sparkle pen. Finally, I added a doodled border to finish.
I've added the second pic in the hope that it picks up some of the sparkle, but also to show you the other dies that were included in the film strip set. Very impressed with them and they only took about 2 weeks to arrive. As I used bits of white and black card from the bit box, I'm taking this card over to the Snippets Playground where hopefully Parsnip's figured out how to set up the hammocks!

Saturday 6 May 2017

Happy Stampers

Today, I ventured out to Port Sunlight for my first Happy Stampers show. A great show with lots of smaller companies. I met Shaz of https://silverwolfcards-shaz.blogspot.co.uk fame and her lovely other half. I spotted Shaz by her stunning hair, totally jealous. It was fantastic to see her looking so well and I still have everything crossed for her scan results. I also bumped into one of the ladies I know from the InkBuds weekends (next one is on 20/21st May, yay!). Beautiful venue for the show, really well organised and a free cloakroom to dump my coat in - sadly the morphine sweats hit me whilst I was there so apologies if you were stood next to me whilst I was radiating more heat than a gas fire!
Hubby stupidly allowed me to go unaccompanied and so the crafting budget was um, expanded slightly, hence I need two pictures to show you my haul of goodies.
The bottom picture shows the stencils from glitzcraft and the small tubs with the white lids contain their glitter frosting pastes. There are also jars of starlights metallic paints and three tubs of rusty patina in cream, duck egg and um rust! I also picked up two packs of distress crayons and a couple of distress oxide inks.
My first pic shows all the stamps I bought and I also got the die sets for the ninjas and the stacked stamp. Now to hide half of it before hubby gets home!

Thursday 4 May 2017

The Flower Challenge

Our new challenge starts today at The Flower Challenge and this month we want you to CASE one of the design teams creations.
I created my flowers from some paper that had been coloured by spritzing water and then adding pixie powders. I die cut the 3 smallest flowers, the stamen and leaf from Heartfelt Creations Delicate Asters set and then placed them face down on the corresponding stamps that I had inked up with versafine black ink. I then layered up the sizes to make the flowers.
I embossed the front of a 6x6 card blank with the A4 Craftwell Checkered Argyle embossing folder and simply arranged the flowers and leaves in the corner. Using some turquoise card to pick up the colour in the leaves, I die cut the Warm Thoughts sentiment from Elizabeth Crafts and glued it in place.
To finish I added some little pearly embellishments from my local craft shop to the centre of the flowers and added 3 to the card. Simples! 
My teamies have come up with some amazing cards for you to CASE so please check them out. Just remember that we need florals to be the focus of your card and if you can manage to add our banner to your post please do - we're all happy to help you do this if you're not sure how. 

Monday 1 May 2017

With Love

Well, this certainly isn't CAS. Whilst rummaging through my die box the other day, I came across this leafy corner frame that I bought for about £3 on eBay and decided it would work perfectly with the Hunkydory Monkey stamp set.
I stamped out some monkeys on white card and coloured them in with my zig clean colour pens before fussy cutting them out. I used the frame die to roughly mark out its position on a 6x6 card blank (yep, still working through that bulk buy!). I then used my new Elizabeth Craft Cloud and Grass stencil to add some clouds within the frame with a blue chalk ink pad and a mini blending tool. I die cut the frame out of light green card and added it to the card. I then glued the monkeys on the card, but not the one hanging off the sentiment. 
I had a gap in the middle of the card for a sentiment and rather than stamp one from the set decided a die cut would be easier. I found this wiggly line sentiment (another eBay purchase) and die cut it out of bright green card. I snipped the die cut slightly to fit and realised that I could snip it to make it look like the monkeys were holding it. I had one monkey left over on my table and so decided to hang him from the sentiment. I wanted to make the sentiment look like it was a vine and so die cut some more leaf dies from eBay out of the bright green card and snipped them to add to the sentiment, including one leaf for the dot on the i.
At this point I decided that the cloud in the bottom right corner was a little pale and so went back in with the stencil and chalk ink. Typically, I got ink outside of the frame and so die cut some more leaf dies in light green card to hide it. I added in more leaves to the frame to tie it all in and some bright green to tie in the sentiment. This left me with a few dodgy looking joins and so I stamped some bananas from the monkey stamp set, coloured and fussy cut them and then scattered them about the frame. I know bananas don't grow like this, but obviously the monkeys had picked some and left the lying about as snacks! To finish I added some glossy accents to their noses.
Looking at the pic I can see a stray hair or somethings by the l of love, so I've dusted that off now..