Saturday, 16 October 2021

Allsorts Challenge #646

Hi everyone,

It's Saturday so it's time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge. This week Brenda has chosen the theme and it is

Anything Autumn

This week we have 2 fantastic prizes for you:

Firstly a stamp from Lavinia Stamps


Tim Holtz On the Edge Pennants die

Here’s my card.

I struggled a bit with this theme as I don’t really own much in the way of dedicated “autumn” stash, so I had to get a bit creative. I decided to make a scene in autumn colours centred around the nearest thing I have to a bare branch tree stamp, and to make an autumnal sky by blending some of my new DO inks and using a mask and hone made stencils for the sun and hills. I then over stamped and embossed my tree, hedgerow flowers and butterflies, mounted the scene simply and added a generic sentiment that I thought suited the general atmosphere of the card.  

Stamps: tree - Penny Black “Fantasy” (3880K); hedgerow flowers and butterflies - “Meadow Flowers” free with Cardmaking magazine; sentiment - LotV “Everyday Grungy Messages”;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Distress Oxide Inks;
Paper and twine from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

We Love Chocolate Baroque (October) - Anything Autumn (2nd entry)
Country View Challenges (October) - Autumnal Colours or Hallowe’en  (2nd entry)
My Time To Craft #468 - Hallowe'en or Fall Colours
Pearly Sparkles #67 - Autumn and/or Hallowe’en
Creative Craft Cottage #145 - Autumn and/or Hallowe’en
Simon Says (Monday) - Autumn Mood Board
(I was inspired by colours orange and brown, and tree)
Creative Knockouts #423 - Embossing Delight (2nd entry)
Penny Black Saturday Challenge (October) - Anything Goes with optional colour inspiration 
(I have chosen yellow, orange and green)
Four Seasons Challenge (October) - Anything Goes Fall
(My Penny Black stamp is at wood-mounted and at least 13 years old, and my LotV sentiment probably 10 years old)

Hope you can join us this week, and I look forward to seeing your entries. Don't forget to visit the challenge blog to see more inspiration from the rest of the team. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Time to Celebrate

Hi everyone,

Today's card was inspired by feeling celebrational, for a few reasons. Firstly, I was inspired to make a CAS celebrational card for the fab 200th challenge at AAA CAS Challenges. Secondly, I was lucky enough to win a stamp set from  Uniko last week, and wanted to showcase the gorgeous sentiment set that I chose, which is perfect for this theme. Last but not least I took delivery a couple of days ago of a few new gorgeous Woodware stamps, so I wanted to have a play with them.

This is what I made.

The floral stamp is really big and I would have found it difficult to stamp in the past, but my Press to Impress made it much easier not only to stamp, but to position off the page and even mask and add some extra swirly leaves in one direction.  I also love these big sentiment words, which is something I have been looking for as I think they work really well stamped direct onto either CAS backgrounds or distressed panels. I heat embossed all my inking so I could paint the flowers.

This card was also an experiment in painting with my rediscovered Cosmic Shimmer and Luminarte iridescent watercolour paints ... the idea was to create a stylized shimmery look so there is no shading (also I'm no watercolourist!). The flowers and leaves are actually very shimmery ... I took a picture  in sunlight to show this a bit better.

The card was actually going to be a bit more CAS than it turned out .. I accidentally got a bit of a mark on the white space but that gorgeous dragonfly die cut hopefully hides a multitude of sins!

Stamps: Woodware "Petal Trio"; Uniko "Birthday Sentiments";
Media: Cosmic Shimmer and Luminarte iridescent watercolour paints;
Tools: Tattered Lace Cute Critters Dragonfly die.

Challenges I would like to enter:

AAA CAS Challenges #200 - Celebrate (2nd entry)

Sisterhood of Crafters - Happy Birthday
Creative Knockouts #423 - Embossing Delight
Dies R Us #179 - Anything Goes with a die brand sold by DRU
(I have used Tattered Lace dragonfly die)
Creative Moments #224 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Classic Design (October) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafts Galore Encore - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

That's all from me for today ... I'll be back tomorrow bright and early with a new Allsorts Challenge .

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Power Poppy Rose

Hi everyone,

Today I have something a bit different to share with you. A few months ago I joined the online community at Kit and Clowder as I wanted to refresh and upgrade my marker colouring skills so I could get back into crafting. I got a gift voucher from good friends for my birthday 😀 and purchased a class, but haven’t actually completed it yet as I keep getting sidetracked by the wealth of online resources and free classes available to members (and quite a few to non-members too). The teacher  - Alyce - is really good and so nice .. she offers 1-2-1 email feedback and is so supportive. There is also a very active K&C FB group which welcomes posts of all kinds .. not just the colouring taught in the classes. So overall I’m very impressed and would recommend anyone not familiar to have a look.

Over the past couple of days I completed a free rose colouring class which I really enjoyed, and decided to make the resulting image into a card for my husband to show how much I love him ❤️. I printed the class image bigger than what I would normally use on a card so I could colour it in more detail, but still just small enough to fit a 6” square card. This meant the focal image filled the card and didn’t really need any further embellishment .. I just used a little faux stitching to frame it and a couple of teeny gems to represent dewdrops.

For my first attempt I was really pleased with how this turned out. Alyce is a great teacher and explains a lot of detail about light source and use of texture. I haven't really got the texture right but alas that is easier to achieve with brush nib markers such as Copics ... I'm not sure whether I'll get there with bullet nib Promarkers but I'll keep trying!

And here is a view of the coloured image before I used it on the card ..

Stamps: Power Poppy Rose (digi); sentiment - Lavinia Stamps;
Media: Promarkers with white pencil highlights;
Gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

(I am celebrating my love for my lovely husband❤️)

The Flower Challenge #61 - Use a Shape (2nd entry)

Colour Crazy Challenge #40 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Cute Card Thursday #693 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
I ♥ Promarkers #445 - Anything Goes 
(option of embossing not taken up)
Crafts Galore Encore #92 - Anything Goes

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

All Good Things are Wild and Free

Hi everyone,

I had another inky playtime session to do a bit more experimenting with my new DO inks. My colour scheme this time  inspired by the current Less Is More challenge, and I wanted to try making a simple card involving inks blended in an irregular shape (in this case my Spellbinders peony die) overstamped with silhouette images.

Initially I tried doing a one layer card, and cut myself a DIY stencil using some acetate in my stash. This didn’t work out too well for 2 reasons … my card base wasn’t really the best for blending, plus when I activated the ink with water spritzing the card buckled! So … I then went with die cutting a shape using Neenah smooth cardstock and blending my inks onto that, so I could the affix to my card blank. I am still experimenting with colours and found my purple DO (Seedless Preserves) was not as deep a shade as I anticipated, but as luck would have it I do also have a few older original DI’s including Dusty Concord, so I smooshed some of that on top to add a bit more depth and interest. My new stamp positioner made it easy to stamp my focal image onto the inked panel and then remove it to stamp again directly onto the card blank so I got a crisper image where the 2 surfaces meet. .. I really am loving my Press to Impress 😀

Finally I did my first experiment with splattering paint onto the finished piece. I wanted gold spatters so experimented with making a little puddle of paint on acetate using my Perfect Pearls and a little water, which I then spattered onto my inky background and card blank with a small paintbrush. I’m not too displeased with how it looks, though I wonder if acrylic paint (which I don’t currently have) would be better .. any advice much appreciated!

Stamps: flowers - Unity Stamps “Insightful Meadows”; dragonfly and sentiment - Summer Meadow set free with craft magazine;
Media: Tim Holtz DO inks (Fossilized Amber, Shaded Lilac, Seedless Preserves), and Distress Ink (Dusty Concord); Perfect Pearls “Perfect Gold”;
Tools: Spellbinders Nestabilities “Peony” die.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Simon Says … - Happy World Card Making Day (4th entry)
Less Is More #453 - Purple and Yellow
The Flower Challenge #61 - Use A. Shape

DRU #178 - Anything Goes using a die brand sold by DRU
(I used Spellbinders)
Happy Little Stampers (Dies): October - Anything Goes with Dies
Creative Moments #224 - Anything Goes
C.R.A.F.T. #613 - Anything Goes

That’s me done for today. Thanks for visiting, and hope you have a good weekend whatever you’re doing

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Allsorts Challenge #645

Hi everyone,

It's Saturday so it's time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge.  Thanks to all the other members of the team for their kind welcome last week, and to other commenters both here and on FB for your kind words. 

This week Lolo has chosen the theme and it is

Embellish it

We have 2 great prizes on offer for you: firstly

Crafty Ribbons is offering a £10 gift voucher for their store (winner pays postage and packing)

And secondly we have a sizzix die for you

Tim Holtz On the Edge Butterflight

Back in the day when I was previously crafting regularly I was definitely into my embellies big time - I was something of a "fussy and fancy" girl and went by the motto "more is more"! Now however I try to keep my cards a bit flatter ... not least because the padded envelope size I used to use for my embellished cards is no longer readily available, and this week I needed to post a card I had made in the past laden with flowers and it was a bit of a nightmare!! Nonetheless I still love my ribbons, gems etc. I also felt the time has come when I need to start seriously cracking on with some Christmas cards, so here's what I did.

I've scarcely made any Christmas cards for about 5 years now other than a couple for close family, so I was casting around in my stash for inspiration and found a couple of LotV rubber stamps I had bought 3 or 4 years ago with good intentions of doing some Christmas makes but never used .. how shocking is that? I always loved James the Bear, so I thought it was about time this stamp got inky. I coloured him with my Promarkers and added some glamour dust to his hat; and my embellishments consist chiefly of a triple loop bow (I couldn't remember how to do these so had to make a few attempts with my Bow-Easy!), and a couple of jingle bells! 

Stamps: Lot\V "James Christmas Tree" and "Grungy Christmas Sentiments";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Papers: LotV Nitwits Collection - "Festive Trimmings";
Tools: Spellbinders Nestabilities "labels one" dies;
Jute and gingham ribbons, pearls and bells from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Stamping Sensations (October) - Animals, Birds and Bugs
Christmas Crafts All Year Round (October) - Something that Starts with S or T
(T is for tree)
MAWTT #135 - Bingo Board (2nd entry)
(ribbon, wording, gems)
Get Creative #106 - Anything Goes with optional twist of Holidays
Crafty Animals #55 - Anything Goes including an animal
Critter Crazy Challenges #55 - Anything Goes with a featured critter
Krafty Chicks #580 - Anything Goes with a stamped image
The Holly and Ivy #102 - Anything Christmas Goes
Crafty Creations #426 - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday #693 - Anything Goes
Crafter's Castle #46 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says ... - Happy World Card Making Day (3rd entry)

Hope you can join us this week, and I look forward to seeing your entries. Don't forget to visit the challenge blog to see more inspiration from the rest of the team. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, 4 October 2021

One stamp, two ways

Hi everyone,

On Saturday I shared my first DT card for Allsorts Challenge which used the gorgeous Woodware Stamp "Bold  Blooms - Erica".  Today I would like to show you the same stamp but with a totally different "look": I have now received my new stencils, so I have made my first attempt at a card using both a full-on distress oxide background, masking and stencilling - woo hoo! Having just cottoned on to DO's, stencils and masking after my time away from crafting I am full of ideas and this stamp is pretty much ideal to use with a lot of them!

I stamped my image and coloured it using Promarkers, then masked the image so I could create my background by blending DO's with a mini blending tool, followed by a bit of spritzing and heat setting. I then stencilled using Versamark and brushed with Perfect Pearls .. I absolutely love the effect of this! It being a miserable autumn day it wasn't easy to capture the sheen, so I took a pic in electric light. The stencilling is actually very twinkly!

After setting the Perfect Pearls with more water spritzing, I added some shadow stamping to the corners using a crackle stamp and normal distress ink, and created 1 or 2 random rings by dabbing a pen top into my distress ink pad and then using it to stamp! 

Simple mounting on metallic card, sentiment, twine and a couple of teeny gems and I was done. Once again though this took a long time as I am still in experimental mode. I am absolutely thrilled with this new crafting direction though and can't wait to continue.

Stamps: Main image and sentiment - Woodware "Bold Blooms - Erica"; crackle shadow stamp - Butterfly Kisses clear set;
Media: Image - Promarkers; backgroundTH Distress Oxide inks - Spiced Marmalade, Cracked Pistachio, Twisted Citron; TH Distress ink - Tea Dye;  stencilling - Perfect Pearls - Copper;
Paper: LotV;
Tools: Darkroom Door small stencil - Honeycomb; Dragon Crafts masking sheets;
Twine, button and gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

(I have gone for autumn colours)
Sparkles #144 - Autumn Colours
Country View Challenges (October) - Autumn and /or Hallowe’en
As you Like It - Favourite Autumn or Winter and Why
(My favourite is autumn as I love autumn colours and hate winter cold!)
Crafty Catz #566 - Anything Goes with option Autumn Shades
MAWTT #135 - Bingo Board
(wording, patterned paper, buttons)
Addicted to Stamps and More #415 - Die Cuts and Stencils
(I have used my first ever stencil)
Colour Crazy Challenge #39 - Anything Goes with Colouring (2nd entry)
Crafter's Castle #46 - Anything Goes
Crafts Galore Encore #92 - Anything Goes
Creative Moments #223 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Simon Says … - Happy World Cardmaking Day

So that's me done for today ... I had hoped to make two cards but somehow time ran away with me. Thanks very much for visiting and take care.


Saturday, 2 October 2021

Exciting news - new DT member for Allsorts Challenge #644

Good morning everyone - I have some really exciting news which I have been bursting to share, and today's the day! I have been asked by the lovely Brenda to join the Design Team for the Allsorts Challenge - woo hoo!!  Having just got back into cardmaking over the summer I am absolutely thrilled to have this new focus to keep me motivated to carry on crafting and try new techniaues, and I'm excited to be working with and getting to know the other talented ladies on the DT.

Allsorts is one of my favourite challenges and is clearly doing something right as it continues to thrive after over 12 years of weekly challenges ... it provides fab inspiration and also offers fantastic prizes from a variety of crafty providers! Sadly the one down side of being on the DT is that I won't be able to enter in hope of winning them any more! ☺️

Anyhoo to business ... Lynn has chosen this week's theme for Week #644 and it is

I love ....

.. so this could be anything you love - eg. favourite stamp, colour, style of crafting .. the choice is endless😀

This week we are offering 2 prizes:

 Helping Hands Craft is kindly offering a £15 store voucher 

Also we are offering a Tim Holtz on The Edge Pennant die

Obviously the main thing I'm loving right now is getting involved in the Allsorts DT, so it seemed only right that for my first DT card I should use a stamp that I won in the recent "Challenge for Kath" that Allsorts held in memory of their dear fellow DT member who recently passed away - and I really do love this stamp! I also love flowers, and the colour combo of pink and green so that ticks a few boxes!

I coloured my stamp with Promarkers and Flexmarkers using a "dotty" technique that was inspired by an image I found on Pinterest (see below) whilst googling to find the exact name of this stamp. The image is from the gallery of Julia Watts Crafts blog for a Hochanda Woodware stamps show broadcast in June 2017.  I just love this colouring technique and will surely use it again in future with bold floral stamps.

As the stamp and DP are so bold I kept the layout of my card simple, and just did a bit of freehand faux stitching with my piercing tool, ruler and fine liner.

Stamps: Image - Woodware Bold Blooms - Erica; Sentiment - Penny Black "Flourish Birthday" (4071F);
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Paper and gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

NBUS #31 - Use Never Before Used Schtuff
(mine is the flower stamp)
Simon Says … - Happy World Cardmaking Day
Creatalicious #220 - Anything Goes with the option of Favourite Colour Combo 
(mine is pink & green)
I ♥ Promarkers #444 - Anything Goes with option Make it Square
Colour Crazy Challenge #39 - Anything Goes with Colouring
Creations in Pink #37 - Anything Goes in Mainly Pink
Penny’s Challenge #506 - Anything Goes with Paper
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
A Gem of a Challenge #20 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Moments #223 -Anything Goes
Crafter’s Cafe #275 - Anything Goes

Hope you can join us for this week's Allsorts challenge and look forward to seeing your entries. Don't forget to visit the challenge blog to see more inspiration from the rest of the team.

Have a good weekend, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021


I'm feeling really excited right now, as having got back into crafting over the summer I have now decided to get some new playthings to take my crafting in new directions, and have ordered some TH Distress Oxide inks, stencils and masking sheets.  My first order of distress oxides arrived yesterday,  so I just had to have a play with them!  

I have been watching numerous online tutorials recently about blending techniques etc. including one on Craft World which involved layering stamped distressed card on top of a non-coloured image as per the following photograph.

 that is what broadly inspired today's card. 

This was a really simple card - I stamped my main image directly onto my base card, then cut a panel of smooth Neenah cardstock which I distressed with my 3 inks and splattered with water to get some resist effect. I then stamped my image again onto the distressed panel, and sliced it to create the effect where the image beneath can be seen peeking through.  Finished off with a few scattered gems and a simple sentiment - voila! 

I have to say at first sight I am really blown away by distress oxides and will definitely be using them a lot more in future ... I can see why they have taken the craft world by storm over the past 3-4 years when I was pretty much out of the crafting loop.

My main image is an old Penny Black wood-mounted stamp; but I also used my brand new stamp positioning tool to place my sentiment directly onto the base card. On Monday I took delivery of a Press To Impress tool  and it's absolutely fab - don't know how i managed without it! In fact I'm now wondering about converting my old woodblock stamps to unmounted for future use!

Stamps: Penny Black "Fanfare" (3946K); sentiment - unknown;
Media: TH Distress Oxide inks - Picked Raspberry, Kitsch Flamingo, Salvaged Patina;
Gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Time Out #197 - Inspiration Quote

(I have been inspired by the ideas of flowers and friends)

Creatalicious #219 - Anything Goes with option of Friends
NBUS #30 - Use Never Before Used Schtuff (2nd entry) 
(mine is my Distress Oxide inks and stamp positioning tool)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes
Penny Black Saturday Challenge (September) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafter's Castle #45 - Anything Goes
A Gem of a Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday #692 - Anything Goes

That's all for today, but I will be back soon with more inky experiments. My question for the rest of this afternoon is ... should I play some more with my distress oxides or tackle my large basket of ironing??  Hmmm ....

'Til next time - thanks for visiting.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Rudolph the red nosed dragon

Hi everyone,

Today I’d like to show you my first Christmas card using a cute Lee Holland Art dragon image … this one was a freebie for newsletter subscribers 😀

For some reason nothing seemed to go right in my crafting session yesterday, and I coloured various images and then threw them away !! Most particularly I tried to colour “Dragon building a snowman” which was my original image choice to go with these papers, but I couldn’t seem to make the snow dragon look right at all so I think I will need to think some more about how best to shade him! Also I seemed to suffer a lot today with bleeding of my markers in the detailed areas … I recently bought new Neenah card stock which I thought was what I had before, but with this it is definitely more difficult to control colour bleeding.

Eventually I decided to go forward with this image even though my colouring isn’t the best … I just needed to move on!

I am still working with just my mini craft tote at the moment, so the coloured image was made into a pretty simple card. Normal service will be resumed at the weekend so I should once again have access to all my stash 😀

Stamps:  Lee Holland - Dragon with sleigh (digi); sentiment - LotV “Christmas Grungy Messages”;
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Papers: LotV “Frozen Snowflakes”;
Tools: Martha Stewart snowflake punch.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ABC Christmas Challenge  -T is for Two (2 DP’s)
NBUS #30 - use Never Before Used Schtuff
(mine is my main digi image)
Happy Little Stampers (Christmas) : September - Anything Christmas Goes with option of non-traditional
The Holly and Ivy #101 - Anything Christmas Goes
I ❤️ Promarkers #444 - Anything Goes with option of make it square
Crafty Creations #425 - Anything Goes
Crafts Galore Encore #91 - Anything Goes
A Perfect Time to Craft (September) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Colour Crazy Challenge #37 - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday #692 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

That’s all for today .. take care and back soon. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Love dragons

Not long ago I won a gift voucher for Lee Holland Art, and since then I have developed a bit of an obsession for his cute dragon images. I now own several including the adorable "Love Dragons" which I got specifically to be able to make my husband's wedding anniversary card. Today is our anniversary, so here is the card I have given him with love 💕💕

I have also just completed a class in colouring this type of dragon image at Kit & Clowder - it was my first full class and was absolutely fab!! My main reason for completing that class first (as I do have a few others in my inbox!) is so that I could make this card as good as it could be.

I thought that this image would definitely hit the spot this year as it is a bit different from the usual cute teddies, bunnies, hedgehogs etc. ... I really am hooked!

I really did take a long time colouring this image, and did my best to incorporate various techniques I had learned in my class such as drawing dragon scales and giving them some dimension, iridescent shading (on the tummies and horns), and a resist  mottled effect on the sky. 

Outside of that I kept the card fairly simple as I don't think men generally like too much fuss, though the card is quite large (8" square) and very sparkly with sparkly base paper, glitter card and metallic woven ribbon.

I certainly need to practice these techniques more, but it is very satisfying learning something new and then trying to apply it to a real life project.

Stamps: Lee Holland "Love Dragons" (digi); Woodware anniversary sentiment; Me to You husband sentiment;
Media: Promarkers:
Tools: Marianne Creatables heart dies; Provo Craft "Hippie Chick" alphabet and heart lettering dies;
Papers, ribbon and gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Stamping Sensations (September) - Stamp of the Moment
Allsorts #641 - A Challenge for Kath : favourite stamps with option of paper piecing
( 2nd entry - this time I  have chosen favourite stamps option)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Sparkle and Shine (2nd entry)
Cutie Pie #163 - 10th Birthday Challenge - Cute Celebrations
Passion for Markers #609 - Something beginning with B (blue, bow)
As You Like It - Round Corners or straight edges and why
This is an 8" square card which is my favourite for special cards as it gives so much space to showcase an image and embellishments.
We Love Chocolate Baroque (September) - Anything Goes with option of Celebrations (2nd entry)
Crafty Calendar (September) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Challenges #105 - Anything Goes (no twist)
Creative Moments #222 - Anything Goes
 Cute Card Thursday #692 - Anything Goes

Hope the weather will be ok today so we can celebrate together ... still not going out to restaurants etc. due to Covid, but we will hopefully have a lovely meal together later 

Thanks for visiting.