Wednesday 23 August 2023

Through the Trees

This month’s Lavinia Creative Challenge is “Through the Trees” … I love trees generally and my Lavinia tree stamps in particular, so I felt inspired to try another reflection on water scene using my gel press to create the “reflections”.

I cut a piece of white stamping card 6  5/8” x 4 5/8” and created the background by blending Distress Oxide inks. I then created my horizon, hills and sun by blending black DOX using hill and moon masks, with grey DOX for the reflections. I stamped each tree and its reflection using Versafine Clair Nocturne, stamping the reflection first using my gel press then matching up the non-reflected image. I must confess that for the smaller background trees on the left, I just stamped the “reflection” as the trees were fairly symmetrical and it was just too tricky to line up a partial stamp on the reflected hill!! I then stamped a grassy bank in the  foreground and my birds, then highlighted the scene with Sakura Stardust pens including drawing some “ripples” on the water. Finally I matted simply onto black linen card stock and a 7” x 5” card blank. 

Here’s an angled picture to show the sparkle.

For the Lavinia Challenge I didn’t add a sentiment though I do have one in mind (non-Lavinia) which I have placed on the card for the photo below … does it look better with or without? I can’t decide!! 

To be honest I’m not really happy with this card as I felt the reflections look a bit messy and too dark. I have concluded this is due to me using a brand new and very juicy VFC inkpad, so I will remember to use my older drier one on the gel press next time! 

Stamps: Lavinia Spring Trees, Skeleton Tree Scene, Tree Scene, Grass, Silhouette Foliage Set, Lavender, Birds; sentiment - AALL & Create #340 Paint Your Dreams;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); Sakura Stardust pens (yellow, clear);
Tools: Lavinia Hill masks; home made circle mask; gel press.

Challenges I would like to enter: 

Classic Design Challenge #8 2023 - Anything Goes (2nd entry) - DT FAVOURITE
DL.Art (August) - Anything Goes
Lavinia Creative Challenge (August) - Through the Trees (2nd entry)
Pammie’s Inky Pinkies #2333 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Paper Funday #56 - Anything Goes with option The Great Outdoors (2nd entry)
Sheepski #77 - Your Favourite Things (2nd entry) - TOP 3
(Trees, Distress Oxide inks)
Sisterhood of Crafters - Make a Scene - TOP SISTER
Try It on Tuesday - Let’s Go Outside (2nd entry) - TOP 5
We Love Stamping (August) - Masculine (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #609/610 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

That’s all from me for today. Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Keeping It Simple

Hi everyone, I'm feeling a bit summery again today due to the sunny weather so I felt like making a card in summery colours. I also wanted to play with my newish Elements inks, and to try them out more with my gel press. I only have the one gel press which is a 6" square and which tbh I have never really got on with very well - I bought this size with the idea that I could cut prints down to form different shapes and sizes, and I saw this done very effectively by Avril on a lovely card here, so I thought I would try a similar technique.

I brayered Mermaid Lagoon and  Sundance Elements inks onto my gel press, spattered with water, and took a print. I then die cut a stitched circle from the print, and layered onto a die cut stitched square. I stamped the Wild Summer Flowers in blue, Field Grass in green, and some birds flying away, then coloured the flower heads with blue Sakura Stardust pen. I stamped a sentiment in the corner and matted the finished piece onto royal blue card stock and a 6" square card blank.  Here's an angled picture to show the sparkly flower heads.

Stamps: Lavinia Wild Summer Flowers, Field Grass, Birds; Crafter's Companion Sentiment - Sharing Positivity;
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Mermaid Lagoon, Sundance); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Shady Lane); Versafine (Majestic Blue); Sakura Stardust pen (blue);
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone dies - Duo-Stitched Circles and Duo-Stitched Squares. 

Challenges I would like to enter:

Beautiful Blossoms #8 - Anything Floral Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Knockouts #501 - Anything Goes
Krafty Chicks #677 - CAS - TOP PICK
Path of Positivity #114 - Anything Goes Positive (2nd entry) - TOP PICK and DT DELIGHT
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Clean and Simple
Simply Clean and Simple (August) - Anything CAS Goes with option Outdoors
Stamping Sensations (August) - Summer Mood Board (2nd entry)
(summery yellow and blue colours, blue flowers)
Try It On Tuesday - Let's Go Outside
Word Art Wednesday #609/610 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

I've had a new craft storage tower delivered today, as I have decided I need to get a grip of my crafty stash which is currently spread around the house and to try to consolidate all frequently used items into the corner of the dining room near to the table where I craft. There's going to be some fun sorting through my stash - I might even discover some items I had forgotten I'd got!!

Until next time - take care, and thanks for visiting.

Sunday 20 August 2023

Sunshiny Day!

This month’s ATC swap theme over in the Visible Image FB group is “Summer Vibes”. The only really suitable VI stamp I have for this is the sunflower which I also used on last month’s swap, but hey … I did my best to make it look a bit different! As always I made a matching ATC and card, using only Visible Image stamps, stencils and/or dies.

Here's a closeup of the ATC.

I cut a piece of white stamping card 3.25” x 2.25”  and dragged it through some bright blue, green and yellow Elements inks which I had squished onto my craft mat and spritzed with water … I am really loving the vibrantly coloured backgrounds you can create with Elements. I stamped the sunflower onto a separate piece of card, coloured it with watered down Elements inks then fussy cut it out. I added some bright blue background script stamping to the panel then attached the sunflower and cut off the excess. I matted onto a standard ATC size piece of bright blue pearlescent card stock then added some random background white stencilling, and the sentiment which I had heat embossed in white onto black card stock. Finally I added white Posca pen dots to the sunflower centre and Glossy Accents.

Stamps: Visible Image Sunflower Grunge, Sketched Tulips (script);
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Blue Lagoon, Lime Punch, Sundance, Russet Orange, Bermuda; Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Paradise); Brilliance pearlescent ink (Moonlight White); Versamark; detail white embossing powder; Posca pen (white); Glossy Accents;
Tools: Visible Image stencil - Halftone.

Challenges I would like to enter (ATC):

Classic Design Challenge #8 - Anything Goes  - DT FAVOURITE
Crafting From the Heart #4 - Anything Goes (no cards) (3rd entry)
Creative Fingers #260 - Anything Goes
Double D - Sunflowers
Four Seasons (August) - Anything Goes Summer - TOP 3
Inkspirational #296 - Iridescent/clear
Paper a la Mode (August) - Seriously Art Inspired (no cards) (3rd entry)
(Van Gogh - Sunflowers)
Triple B (August) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms with optional Mood Board (3rd entry)
Try It On Tuesday - Sing a Song - TOP 5
(I Can See Clearly Now… (Sunshiny Day))
We Love 2 Create #7 - Anything Goes

Here is the co-ordinating card. This followed the same methodology as the ATC, just on a bigger scale!!

… and an angled pic of the card to show the Glossy Accents.

Challenges I would like to enter (card):

Beautiful Blossoms #8 - Anything Floral Goes with optional Mood Board
Cards 4 Galz #205 - A Summer Day
Crafter’s Cafe #300 - Colours of the Garden - TOP 3
Crafty Addicts #4 - Anything Goes
Creative Crafters #67 - Anything Goes
My Time to Craft #514 - Stencilling (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Monday) - Your Favourite Technique (3rd entry)
(Smooshing and watercolouring)
Stamping Sensations (August) - Summer Mood Board - TOP 3
Time Out #245 - Colourful
Word Art Wednesday #609/610 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

On this bright and colourful note, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. I’ll be sitting down shortly to watch the Lionesses in action in the World Cup final … hope they roar!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday 16 August 2023

I Spy With My Little Eye #6

Hi everyone, today is the 3rd Wednesday of the month so it's time once more for a new I Spy With My Little Eye... challenge over at Ellibelle's Corner.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined in with our two month long challenge for June and July - we are now back to our normal monthly timetable following the summer holiday period, so without further ado, this month’s theme is

I Spy With My Little Eye 

Something for Boys or Men

We hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing your makes.

Here's my card for the challenge - my first playtime with Gorgeous Gus, who I bought when I visited the Lavinia Shop on their Open Day on 9th July. I haven’t inked him up until now as I have felt a bit nervous about how best to colour him, but I have seen so many lovely creations with him and his sibling owls on various Lavinia FB groups that I thought now was the time. I'm sure this card was inspired by a Jo Rice tutorial, but sorry to say I can't find it to link..

I cut a piece of stamping card 14cm x 19.5cm as Gus is really BIG and requires a C5 card to showcase him to full effect. I placed Gus and the vine branch for him to sit on (another new stamp from the latest release) using the acetate images, then stamped Gus, masked him then stamped the vine branch in brown. I then masked the branch so I could stamp a few more offshoots. With the owl mask still in place I blended Della Blue and Dark Denim Elements inks onto the background, using a circle mask for the moon, then used my reverse circle mask to blend some Stormy Sky Distress Oxide on the inner edge of the moon to add some depth. I added the background text in grey,  removed my masks then coloured Gus and the branch with watercolour pencils, and added black fineliner to the eyes to make them more black, and white gel pen highlights. I then added further branches in the top corner, another owl in flight in the background, a little birdie on the branch which I highlighted with white pastel pencil, and a little foliage in the corners. I matted the finished piece onto pearlescent blue card stock and a C5 card blank, then finished off by adding Posca pen stars, and glossy accents to Gus’s eyes which really made them shine 😀. I didn’t add a sentiment as I thought it would detract from my picture - I will add a greeting on the inside! 

Here is an angled picture to show Gus’s lovely shiny eyes 😀

I think I need to practise colouring Gus a lot more using both different colours and potentially different colouring media, but I'm actually very pleased with how this one turned out. I really love the adorable way Gus looks at you when you are playing with him - very cute and so relaxing!

Stamps: Lavinia Gus, Vine Branch, Brodwin and Maylin, Wise Owl, Flower Collection, Bird Collection; 
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Della Blue, Dark Denim); Tim Holtz Distress Oxide ink (Stormy Sky); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Pinecone, Morning Mist); watercolour pencils; Sakura Stardust pen (clear); gel pen (white); pastel pencil (white); Posca pen (white).
Tools: Lavinia acetate circle masks.

Challenges I would like to enter. 

Allsorts #741/742 - All Creatures Great and Small
Crafty Animals #75 - Include an Animal - WINNER
Daisy Chain #77 - Boys/Men
Paper Funday #56 - Anything Goes with option The Great Outdoors
Sheepski #77 - Your Favourite Things
(Owls, Elements inks, moon)
Simon Says (Monday) - Use Your Favourite Technique (2nd entry)
(I love making blended inky backgrounds and using masks for eg. the moon)
Triple B (August) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms
We Love Stamping (August) - Masculine - TOP 5

The I Spy challenge will end on the Sunday before the next challenge starts at 23:39 US Central Time - so this time that is  Sunday September 13th - Next month we will have a little surprise in store for you … and instead of the challenge starting on the 3 rd Wednesday of the month, it will be starting next time on the 3rd Monday of the month - Monday September 18th

Please do pop over to Ellie's blog to see her fab creation and link up your entries here.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Monday 14 August 2023

Grown With Love

Hi everyone, today's make is a set of 3 ATC's I made whilst playing with my new AALL & Create stamps. I love making ATC's but haven't been very active recently, and I thought the scale of these particular stamps would be just right for such a small area.

I cut a piece of stamping card and created a smooshed background by dragging the card through some blue and violet Elements inks that I had dabbed on my craft mat and spritzed with water. When dry I cut it into 3 pieces each 3.25" x 2.25", stamped the focal flowers in dark blue ink, and added some background circles and numbers. I added some stencilling with Tim Holtz Dot Fade stencil and Brilliance Moonlight White pearlescent ink, then highlighted the flowers with white gel pen and silver heart gems. I stamped a sentiment in purple onto separate card, cut out, edged in dark blue and attached, then matted the finished panels onto indigo linen card stock, each piece 3.52 x 2.5". 

Here is a closeup of each ATC.


Stamps: AALL & Create #987 Periwinkle (ATC 1), #985 Flower Smudge (ATC 2), #986 The Good (ATC 3 flower and sentiment on all); #531 Textured Florals;
Media: Lavinia Elements Inks (Della Blue, Violet Chalk); Versafine Clair (Medieval Blue, Monarch); Brilliance pearlescent ink (Moonlight White); gel pen (white);
Tools: Tim Holtz Dot Fade stencil;
Other: silver heart gems form my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafting From the Heart #4 - Anything Goes (no cards) (2nd entry)
Crafting Happiness #145 - Anything Goes
Dream Valley #299 - Add Gems and/or Pearls
My Time To Craft # 514 - Stencilling - TOP 3
Paper a la Mode (August) - Anything Goes with option Seriously Art Inspired (no cards) (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Monday) - Use your Favourite technique
(All the "S's" - silhouette stamping, smooshing and stencilling)
Time Out #244 - Monochromatic  (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #607/608 - Anything Goes (5th entry)

I would also like to share a photo of an idyllic English country scene which I took on a visit to Clumber Park near Worksop yesterday. I had never been there before, but myself, Graham and 2 friends had a lovely day out there. It was just so picturesque with a stunning lake and incredible displays of flowers and fruit in the walled gardens. I don’t think I have ever seen so many swans together … at one point I could count 28 floating on the lake! 

Thanks very much for visiting my blog today. Until next time, take care.

Saturday 12 August 2023

Flower Smudge - Take 2!

Hi everyone, today I would like to share another birthday card made with AALL & Create “Flower Smudge”, the stamp set I was having trouble with earlier in the week. Following those problems I posted a question on Tracy Evans‘ A&C FB page, and was quite shocked and overwhelmed when the lovely Tracy made a little video of tips for stamping with her large silhouette stamps … especially for me!! 🥰 Most of the things she said I do already but there were definitely a couple of tips that I hadn’t thought of, so a couple of things for me to try. 

That being the case, while I was waiting for my nice new juicy black Versafine Clair ink pad to arrive, I thought I’d have another go, this time using Sepia coloured ink. I chose cream coloured card to do ordinate and started out thinking I would make a vintage tones card .. but I then got sidetracked down other avenues - here’s the result.

I stamped two of the Flower Smudge stamps in sepia onto cream card and coloured the flowers with yellow and fuchsia pink Inktense pencils. I cut a third panel and stamped with the leaf part of the wellies stamp from The Great Outdoors set, then stamped a sentiment in fuchsia pink (I don’t actually have any specific birthday sentiments by A&C so I used the closest I could).
. I also stamped a bit of background stamping and random pink words onto the other 2 panels. I then edged each panel with blended Distress Oxide, and matted onto a die cut triptych card.

Stamps: AALL & Create #985 Flower Smudge, #370 The Great Outdoors, #531 Textured Florals #533 Bring On the Sentiments;
Media:  Versafine (Vintage Sepia);  Versafine Clair (Charming Pink); Inktense Pencils; Tim Holtz Distress Oxide ink (Vintage Photo);
Tools: Studio Light Essentials Triptych die set.

Challenges I would like to enter: 

Ally’s Angels #73 - Anything Goes
Aud Sentiments #304 - Not a Rectangle
Creatalicious #264 - Anything Goes with option Different Card Fold Technique
Double D - Anything Goes
Happy Little Stampers: Dies (August) - Anything Goes with Dies
Love to Craft #75 - Anything Goes (4th entry)
Simon Says (Monday) - Happy Birthday (3rd entry)
Triple B (August) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms
Word Art Wednesday #607/608 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

I definitely got on better stamping the large silhouette stamps with a juicier ink pad though it’s still not easy … my new black VFC has now arrived so my next step will be to try again stamping in black on top of an inked background … watch this space!!

Until then, take care and thanks for visiting. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Thursday 10 August 2023


Hi everyone, here I am again with another make inspired by Simon Says (Monday)'s current 13th birthday challenge - another birthday card where I have chosen once again to play with another of my new A&C stamps... I'm on a bit of a roll with these at the moment!

This was a pretty simple card, though I did have 2 or 3 attempts at the background before I was happy!! I cut a square of stamping card and dragged three colours of Distress oxide over the centre of the card and spritzed with water. I stamped various A&C silhouette stamps including my new periwinkle and my recent Heart Grunge set which I hadn't actually inked until now; then stamped a co-ordinating grungy birthday sentiment by Visible Image. I simply matted the finished panel onto black and pink card stock and my card blank, and finished with some white Posca spatters and gel pen highlights on the flowers..

Stamps: AALL & Create #987 Periwinkle, #453 Heart Grunge; Visible Image Birthday Wishes (sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Picked Raspberry, Kitsch Flamingo, Spiced Marmalade); Versafine (black); Posca pen (white); gel pen (white).

Challenges I would like to enter:

AAA Birthday #52 - Anything Birthday Goes (2nd entry)
Beautiful Blossoms #7 - Anything Floral Goes (6th entry)
Classic Design Challenge #8 2023 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafty Calendar (August) - Anything Goes  (2nd entry)
Creative Fingers #259 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Love to Craft #75 - Anything Goes - TOP PICK
Pammie’s Inky Pinkies #2331Anything Goes - HONOURABLE MENTION
Simon Says (Monday) - Happy Birthday (2nd entry) - DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
Word Art Wednesday #607/608 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Dream In Colour

Hi everyone, this month's ATC swap over on FB UK Stampers' Forum is on the theme of "Silhouettes". I haven't joined in for a while but I love my silhouette stamping so decided to give it a go. The swap requires 3 ATC's but I got so into this project that I ended up making 6, giving me 3 extra ones to trade separately.

I cut six pieces of hot pressed watercolour card each 3.25" x 2.25", and on each one I create a rainbow coloured dribbling wash effect by colouring puddles of each colour with a watercolour brush pen, then dragging out the colour with a wet paintbrush. This was a bit of an experiment as I bought a small pack of cheap watercolour brush pens to see if I liked the general idea, as a precursor to a more considered purchase of better quality ones ... and I do like them!!  I  stamped my focal flowers, beetles, hearts and background text in black Versafine Clair, then stamped my sentiment onto black card with Versamark and heat embossed with white powder, cut out and attached. I edged each piece with black marker pen and attached to black linen cardstock cut to standard ATC 3.5" x 2.5".

Here is a close up of each of the 2 designs.

Stamps: Woodware Mini Floral Silhouettes, Additions (background text), Blooming (hearts); AALL & Create Paint Your Dreams (sentiment);
Media: Watercolour brush pens from The Works; Versafine Clair (Nocturne); Versamark; white embossing powder.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #739/740 - Anything But Square (2nd entry)
As You Like It - Favourite Florals or Gingham (and why) (2nd entry)
(I love both, but I never tire of floral images and the many different ways you can use them)
Beautiful Blossoms #7 - Anything Floral Goes (5th entry)
Colourful Options (August) - Yellow/Green or Rainbow Inspired
Crafting From the Heart #4 - Anything Goes (no cards)
Crafty Calendar (August) - Anything Goes
Paper A La Mode (August) - Seriously Art Inspired
Path of Positivity #114 Anything Goes Positive
Word Art Wednesday #607/608 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Rainbow themed posts always make me feel cheerful - hope they make you feel cheerful too! Until next time - take care, and thanks for visiting.