Tuesday 31 October 2023

Mooch under the Christmas Tree

Hi everyone, on Sunday I had a fabulous day out in Ruthin, visiting the Lavinia shop for their Hallaganza Open Day. I had a wonderful time watching tutorials, chatting to the Design Team, the staff and other crafters, and browsing in the magical shop. I was so tired when I got home I didn’t even unpack my haul straight away, but yesterday I couldn’t wait to get started with my Christmas stamps from the new release!!  

However, instead of diving straight in with a card made totally with new stamps, I decided to pair the stunning new large Christmas tree with Mooch the cat so that I could join in this month’s Christmas Kickstart Challenge, which is in memory of Janis Woodbright. Janis hosted the annual Cat Lovers’ Blog Hop for a number of years but passed away in January, so her friends have got together to do a huge challenge in her honour. I was mostly away from crafting and blogging from 2013-2021 so I didn’t know Janis and have never taken part in her annual blog hop, however I was really impressed and touched by the efforts made by her crafty friends to put this challenge together to express their love and support, not to mention the incredible generosity of sponsors who worked with Janis in the past. 

Here’s my Christmas themed cat card.

I cut a piece of white stamping card 6 3/4” x 4 3/4” and stamped the gorgeous new Lavinia “Wild Pine” in Shady Lane and Pinecone Versafine Clair, then stamped Mooch the cat in Nocturne. I coloured the tree by painting in flicking motions with watered down Elements ink, then coloured the baubles and dots with Posca Sparkle pens. I stamped a mini star on top of the tree, first in gold ink but that gave a somewhat fuzzy impression, so I overstamped in Versafine Clair which gave the wholly unintended but pleasing impression of an aura around the star, and I also applied some colour with my orange sparkle pen.  I applied a light wash of Elements ink to ground the scene, then stamped the new Lavinia “Peace” sentiment in Warm Breeze, surrounded by Uniko wording in Nocturne. I finished off with a couple of 2nd generation snowflakes (1 was to hide a smudge … ssshhhh!!) and dots of glue pen covered in my new Starbrights holographic glitter, before matting onto pearlescent blue card stock and a 7” x 5” card blank.

Here is an angled picture to show (not very successfully!) the shimmer and sparkle.

Stamps: Lavinia Wild Pine, Mooch, North Star Mini, Snowflakes, Seasonal Words; Uniko Festive Sentiments;
Media: Versafine Clair (Shady Lane, Pinecone, Nocturne, Warm Breeze, Summertime); Lavinia Elements ink (Olive, Blue Atoll); Posca Sparkle Pens (Light Blue, Orange, Pink); Lavinia Starbrights Holographic Glitter.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ABC ChristmasV is for Vertical
CAS on Friday #269  - Animal
Christmas Kickstart Challenge #79 - Cat Lovers’ Christmas Challenge (Remembering Janis Woolbright)
Crafty Catz #656Anything Goes with option Any Four Legged Critter
Creative Moments #251 - It’s Alive! (3rd entry)
Daring CardmakersA Bit of Bling  (2nd entry)
Double Trouble #151Anything Goes
Simon Says (Wednesday)Anything Goes (4th entry)
Use Your Stuff #496 - Anything Goes
Word Art Wednesday #619/620Anything Goes (4th entry)

That’s all from me for today, but I’ll be back soon with more Christmas makes with my new stash! Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Monday 30 October 2023

Hallowe'en Colours

Hi everyone, October’s Visible Image FB ATC swap was on the theme of Hallowe'en Colours, so as usual I made an ATC and matching card for my swap partner using only VI stamps, stencils and/or dies. As I’ve previously mentioned I don’t really do Hallowe'en so I just went with the colours orange, purple and black. This time my swap partner is in Australia so she hasn’t yet received these, but as it is the end of the Hallowe’en season she agreed I could publish them here as she won’t be looking at my blog.

First the card:

I cut a piece of white stamping card then stamped and heat embossed the dragonfly. I created the background by blending Distress Oxide inks working outwards from light to dark, then added some background 2nd generation stamping in purple plus additional spatters and the sentiments in black. I finished by adding some Spectrum Noir sparkle pen to the dragonfly wings, and matted onto a black border and my card blank.

Stamps: Visible Image Dragonfly Dreams, Where Flowers Bloom (background and sentiments), Christmas Robin (spatters);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Wilted Violet); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Monarch); clear embossing powder; Spectrum Noir sparkle pen (clear).

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #752 - Embossing Heat or Dry
Crafty Gals’ Corner #248 - Hallowe’en Colours (2nd entry)
Get Creative #126Purple, Black, Green & Orange
Path of Positivity #116Anything Goes Positive - TOP PICK
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
We Love Stamping (October)Mood Board (3rd entry)
(I was inspired by the colour combo orange/purple/black)

Word Art Wednesday #619/620 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

… and here's the ATC.

This followed the same method as the card on a smaller scale!! It's actually very similar to one I made a while ago specifically for someone who wanted a dragonfly ATC from me, but on that occasion as it wasn't for an organised swap I didn't make a card to go with it.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafting From the Heart #7Anything Goes (No cards)
Crafts Galore Encore #116 - Anything Goes
Outlawz (October) Anything Goes in a Card Free Zone (2nd entry)
Sisterhood of Crafters - Get Inky - TOP 3
Sweet StampinHallowe’en Colours - TOP 3

Thanks very much for visiting today.
Take care,

Friday 27 October 2023

Merry & Bright

Hi everyone, today I would like to show you a small batch of Christmas cards I made based on a tutorial by the lovely Jo Rice. I had recently acquired the Lavinia “Mini Winter Berry” to jazz up stamped Christmas wreaths, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. 

I had to change a few things from the original card, as I don’t have an arch sticker stencil so based mine around a circle. Also I don’t have Zig pens so used different colouring media, and I wanted a more prominent statement sentiment so used some of my fab Uniko Christmas sentiments.

For each card I cut a piece of white stamping card, and used a circle mask to create a circle with blended Elements ink. I then stamped the pine ones and berries with Pinecone Versafine Clair, and the holly with Shady Lane (1st and 2nd generation). I coloured the berries with Sakura Stardust pen on card 1 but felt it could be more vibrant so I coloured them with a watercolour brush pen on cards 2 and 3 topped with Sakura Stardust for a little sparkle, and I coloured the pine cones with Distress watercolor pencils. I stamped the sentiment inside each circle, then added some white gel pen highlights and sparkle using either holographic glitter (card 1) or gold Stickles before matting onto a border and my card blank.

Stamps: Lavinia Mini Pine Cone, Mini Winter Berry, Mini Holly; Uniko Festive Sentiments, Christmas Wishes;
Media: Lavinia Elements ink (Sahara); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Shady Lane, Nocturne); Sakura Stardust pen (red); Watercolour brush pen from The Works; gel pen (white); Stickles (gold); holographic glitter.

Here’s a close up of each card.

Card 1

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #751 - Anything Goes / Autumn Colours (2nd entry)
Crafty Catz #656 - Anything Goes
The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #150 - Anything Christmas Goes (3rd entry) - TOP 5

Card 2

Challenges I would like to enter:

Happy Little Stampers: Christmas (October) - Anything Christmas Goes (2nd entry)
Krafty Chicks #687 - All Occasions - TOP 3
Peace On Earth #50 - Anything Christmas Goes (3rd entry) - WINNER
Word Art Wednesday #619/620 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Card 3

Challenges I would like to enter:

Daring Cardmakers - A Bit of Bling
Festive Friday - Christmas (2nd entry)
Pammie’s Inky Pinkies #2342 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Sparkles Christmas #153 - Christmas Flowers/Foliage (2nd entry)

At last I'm starting to get on a Christmas roll! Long may it continue! hope everyone will ahve a great weekend whatever you're doing - take care, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Vintage robin

Hi everyone, today I have the first card I made with this darling robin stamp, another of my most recent A&C sale purchases. I love robins and I already have a perfectly lovely robin stamp by Visible Image, but this vintage style image seemed particularly adorable for some reason so I just had to have it!

I stamped the robin and coloured with Distress watercolor pencils, then masked him and created the background with Distress inks smooshed and applied with acetate. I stamped the robin banner to “finish off” the branch so it wouldn’t be floating in mid air, then some script in the bottom corner and fern branches in 1st/2nd generation and various shades of green down the left side. I stamped the sentiment, then highlighted the robin and branches with white gel pen and applied some white Posca pen faux spatters. Finally I edged the panel with green ink then matted onto a dark green border and my card blank. I actually had a whoopsie on this card when edging with ink and got a smudge the right hand side - JUST managed to rescue it by trimming down by about half a centimetre, though my sentiment ended up rather near the edge of my inked panel! 

Stamps: AALL & Create #690 Robin & Nuthatch, #389 Pinecone (script); Lavinia Fern Branch; Visible Image Poinsettia Grunge (sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils (Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, Barn Door); Distress Inks (Tumbled Glass, Faded Jeans); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Pinecone, Tulip Red, Shady Lane, Rainforest, Medieval Blue); gel pen (white); Posca pen (white).

Challenges I would like to enter: 

Farm Quest #38 - Feathers (2nd entry)
Festive Friday - Christmas (2nd entry)
The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #150 - Anything Christmas Goes (2nd entry)
Peace On Earth #50 - Anything Christmas Goes (2nd entry)
Rudolph Days (October) - Anything Christmas Goes
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes
Triple B (October) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms (3rd entry)
We Love Stamping (October) - Mood Board (2nd entry)

Word Art Wednesday #619/620 Anything Goes 

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Saturday 21 October 2023

Autumnal Delights

Hello everyone, today I would like to share the ATC’s I have made for the October swap over in the Tracy Evans AALL & Create group on FB, where the optional theme is Autumnal Delights.

I really like Tracy Evans’ stamps and have been building up a modest collection over the past few months, which has grown quite a bit this past week due to the amazing bargains in the A&C mega sale. I placed  an order just over 2 weeks ago and unfortunately things jwent a bit awry whereby I received someone else’s order by mistake and then only half of my own order … but eventually everything arrived safely and it was well worth the wait! 

One of the sets I have just received is “Pinecone” and I decided to use it to make 3 co-ordinating  but non-identical autumnal ATC’s for the swap - here they are.

I cut three pieces each 3.25” x 2.25” from a large snippet of cream multifarious card, and created the backgrounds by smooshing three colours of Elements inks. I stamped the main image onto each ATC using Pinecone Versafine Clair and heat embossed - 2 of the 3 ATC’s used sections of the largest stamp in the “Pinecone” set, and the other used the smaller pinecone stamp. I added some background stamping in sepia and green using parts of other stamps in the set, then coloured the pine cones using watered down Distress Ink, and the berries and foliage using Elements inks. I stamped the sentiments onto a couple of separate snippets of cream card, cut out and attached, then edged each ATC with brown VFC and matted onto standard ATC size pieces of brown cardstock cut from another snippet. To finish I highlighted the pine cones with white gel pen and applied Glossy Accents to the berries.

Stamps: AALL & Create #389 Pinecone, #896 Forget Me Not (sentiment);
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Sahara, Russet Orange, Paprika, Olive); Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Shady Lane); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); clear embossing powder; gel pen (white); Glossy Accents.

Here is a closeup of each ATC.


Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #751 - Autumn Colours
Aud Sentiments #306 - Ink Blending + Fall/Thanksgiving + a Sentiment (2nd entry)
Daisy Chain #79 - Autumn/Hallowe’en (3rd entry)
Four Seasons (October) - Anything Goes Fall  (3rd entry)
Simon Says (Monday) - Text It (3rd entry)
Snippets Playground #465 - Use Snippets
Word Art Wednesday #617/618 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)


Challenges I would like to enter:

613 Avenue Create (October) - Anything Goes with option Autumn Colours (2nd entry) - TOP ROCKER
ATC’s Around the World #106 - Autumn Time - TOP 3
Card Concept #200 - Autumn Chill  (2nd entry)
Craft Rocket #108 - Autumn/Hallowe’en (2nd entry)
Do-Al(l) Kreatives #82 - Leaves (3rd entry)
Dragonfly Dreams (October) - Autumn (3rd entry)
My Time To Craft #519 - Autumn Leaves
Unicorn Challenge #92 - Autumn/Hallowe’en (3rd entry)
(I was inspired by the top left picture silhouette and background colours)


Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafty Calendar (October) - Autumn Colours/Hallowe’en (3rd entry)
Creative Inspirations (October) - Autumn/Hallowe’en (2nd entry)
Make My Monday #211 - Autumn Colours (2nd entry) - SPECIAL MENTION
NBUS #55 - Use Your Never Before Used Schtuff
(Pinecone stamp set)
Outlawz (October) - Anything Goes in a Card Free Zone - TOP 3
Stamping Sensations (October) - Autumn Colours (3rd entry)
Use Your Stuff #495 - Autumn Mood Board

It has been a very worrying 24 hours for many people across the UK with the devastating effects of Storm Babet, and I have been heartbroken to see horrifying pictures and videos of catastrophic flooding in my hometown of Chesterfield including dozens of people having to be rescued from their homes in boats barely half a mile away from the home we have there. I have never really thought of our property as being at risk, but the flood map yesterday showed "possible flooding" within less than 100 yards of it, and as it is a bungalow there wouldn't be much we could do! As far as I know it's still ok, but still holding our breath until the stormy weather passes. I can honestly say that a video of firemen wading thigh deep in water on the main road near our house whilst steering a rescue dinghy is something I never thought I would see.

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

Friday 20 October 2023

Inked Holly

Hi everyone, as I mentioned on here recently, I am as always very behind with my Christmas cards, so I am now trying to get a wriggle on with them. To that end I bought a couple of new Christmas stamps to see if they would inspire me, including a lovely Visible Image grungy holly stamp which I thought would be perfect for some simple batch makes. I had a little play and made three very similar cards … I wasn’t completely happy with the first one so I made two more where I experimented with the matting and layering. This one was my favourite of the 3.

I stamped and heat embossed the holly on a square of stamping card, and coloured it by painting with watered down Elements inks and highlighted it with white gel pen. I then masked the holly and created a soft background by blending Tumbled Glass Distress Oxide ink. I die cut the coloured panel using a stitched square die, then matted onto a larger stitched square die cut from red linen card stock and my card blank. I also bought the VI Poinsetta Grunge stamp set, not least for the gorgeous grungy font Christmas sentiment which I stamped with Versamark onto a separate piece of black card and heat embossed in white. I finished with some white Posca spatters and Glossy Accents on the holly berries to add texture and dimension. 

Here’s an angled picture to show the Glossy Accents.

Stamps: Visible Image Inked Holly, Poinsettia Grunge (sentiment); 
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Olive, Paprika); Tim Holtz Distress Oxide ink (Tumbled Glass); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); embossing powder (clear and detail white); gel pen (white); Posca pen (white);
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone Duo-Stitched Squares dies.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #750 - Add Some Texture
Festive Friday - Christmas
Peace On Earth #50 - Anything Christmas Goes
Simon Says (Monday) - Text It (2nd entry)
Sparkles Christmas Challenge #153 - Christmas Flowers/Foliage - TOP 3

I’m hoping I’ll get on a roll now .. not before time! Hope everyone is staying safe in the awful storms currently battering the UK … I would say it’s a day to stay indoors crafting, but right now it is too dark here to even see what you’re doing! Take care, and thanks very much for visiting today.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

I Spy With My Little Eye #8

Hi everyone, it's the third Wednesday in the month which means it's time for a new I Spy With My Little Eye... challenge over at Ellibelle's Corner.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined in last time … please do check over on Ellie’s blog to see if you are one of our top picks. 

I have chosen the challenge theme this month, and it is

I Spy With My Little Eye 

Shades of Autumn

So we would love to see either autumnal scenes, or beautiful warm autumnal colours. Please do pop over to Ellie's blog to see her fab creation and link up your entries here

We also have another  guest designer this month, so please feel free to visit  Maxine's blog to see her beautiful interpretation of this theme. 

Here's my card for the challenge.

II thought I would have a play with a couple of new-to-me shades of Elements inks plus the gorgeous pheasant stamp which had been on my wish list for a while.

I cut a square of white stamping card and created an inked circle using a large circle mask along with a much smaller circle mask for the sun, and Elements inks. I then used my Lavinia hill masks and Distress Ink to create some hills. I cut a paper circle mask so I could stamp to the edge of it, then stamped my focal point pheasant in Pinecone Versafine Clair. I stamped Field Grass in various autumnal colours in 1st and 2nd generation then stamped a couple of trees in the background and some wild meadow flowers and mushrooms in the foreground. I stamped the birds flying across the sun, framed the top of the circle with some dangling creepers, then coloured my flower heads with white gel pen and highlighted the pheasant and gate, and highlighted the sun with orange Sakura Stardust pen. I added some fallen leaves in various shades of Elements and Distress ink, then stamped the "Hello" sentiment and coloured with Elements ink and the "Autumn" word onto separate card onto which I had already blended some ink. I cut out and added my sentiment then finished by matting the square onto dark brown cardstock and a 6" square card blank.

Stamps: Lavinia Pheasant, Small Trees, Field Grass, Wild Summer Flower, Flower Collection, Leaf Creeper, Slender Mushrooms Mini, Maple Leaf Mini, Birds; sentiments - AALL & Create #389 Pinecone, Woodware FRS811 Made For You;  
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Sahara, Russet Orange, Olive; Tim Holtz Distress ink (Tea Dye); versafine Clair (Pinecone, Summertime, Golden Meadow, Shady Lane); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Sakura Stardust pen (orange); gel pen (white);
Tools: Press To Impress large circle mask; Lavinia hill masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

613 Avenue Create (October) - Anything Goes with option Autumn Colours - TOP ROCKER
Alphabet Challenge - N is for Nature (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Card Concept #200 - Autumn Chill
(I was inspired by the leaves, orange and gold colours and general autumn theme)

Creatalicious #268 - Anything Goes with option Autumn Colours (2nd entry)
Crafty Calendar (October) - Autumn Colours/Hallowe’en (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Creative Moments #251 - It’s Alive! (2nd entry)
Daisy Chain #79 - Autumn/Hallowe’en (2nd entry)
Do-Al(l) Kreative #82 Leaves (2nd entry)
Dragonfly Dreams (October) - Autumn (2nd entry)
FarmQuest Challenge #38 - Feathers - TOP 3
Four Seasons (October) - Anything Goes Fall (2nd entry)
Make My Monday #211 - Autumn Colours
Sheepski #79 - Autumn Colours (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Stamping Sensations (October) - Autumn Colours (2nd entry)
Triple B (October) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms (2nd entry)
Unicorn Challenge #92 - Autumn/Hallowe’en (2nd entry) 
Word Art Wednesday #617/618 - Anything Goes (2nd entry) 

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 November 12th, and the next challenge will begin on Wednesday November 15th. 

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Try It on Tuesday GDT - Hallowe’en

Hi everyone, I was really thrilled to be asked to be a Guest Designer for this fortnight’s Try It On Tuesday Challenge as it is one of my favourites which I enter as often as I can.

The theme for this challenge is perfectly in keeping with the time of year, and is 


So we would love to see your scary projects or those that are too cute to spook!

Here is my GDT card.

I have to confess this was a bit of a challenge for me as I don’t send Hallowe’en cards so I have only very limited supplies .. I already had Willow the Witch and the gorgeous castle, but I also persuaded myself to invest in some flying bats and I managed to get the dragon stamp from a craft de-stash site!

I blended Elements inks over a square of stamping card using an acetate moon mask, then used my hill masks and more Elements to create the landscape. I stamped the moon directly over the circle I had masked using 2nd generation VFC in Morning Mist, then stamped the fairy castle, Willow, bats and ground foliage in Nocturne. I stamped trees either side in Twilight to give a bit of depth, then coloured the castle windows using yellow and orange Sakura Stardust pens. I highlighted various items with white gel pen and smudged white pastel pencil, then did a lot of further highlighting to represent the reflection of the moon with my clear Sakura Stardust pen … the card is actually VERY sparkly, much more so than shows up on camera. I used the tiniest circles on my White Orbs stencil to create the bubbles rising from the cauldron using orange and purple Stardust pens, interspersed with white pastel pencil “steam” and white gel pen dots. Finally I added some sparkly orange fire coming from the dragon’s mouth, and edged the panel with blended Graphite Elements ink before matting onto black card stock and a 7” square card blank.

Here’s an angled picture to show the sparkle.

Stamps: Lavinia Willow the Witch, Far World Castle, Mideela (small), Moon, Bats, Forest Scene, Tree Branch, Slender Mushrooms Mini,  Flower Collection;
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Graphite, Violet Chalk, Dark Denim); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Twilight, Morning Mist); Sakura Stardust pens (orange, yellow, clear); gel pen (white); pastel pencil (white);
Tools: Lavinia circle and hill acetate masks, White Orbs stencil.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Art Impressions #362 - Give Us a Fright
Craft Rocket #108 - Autumn/Hallowe’en
Crafty Calendar (October) - Autumn Colours/Hallowe’en
Crafty Gals Corner #248 - Hallowe’en Colours - TOP 3
Creatalicious #269 - Anything Goes with option Hallowe’en - TOP 3
Creative Inspirations (October) - Autumn/Hallowe’en
Daisy Chain #79 - Autumn/Hallowe’en
Dream Factory #121 - The Fantastic World of Oz - WINNER
(keyword - witches)
The Fairy and the Unicorn #10 - Anything Goes Fantasy
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #176 - 31 Days of Hallowe’en
Papercraft Challenges #99 - Happy Hallowe’en - TOP 3
Sheepski #79 - Autumn or Hallowe’en Colours
Shopping Our Stash #507 - Franken-card (Hallowe’en)
Two Old Bats Hallowe'en Challenge (October) - Anything Goes Hallowe'en with optional Moodboard

Unicorn Challenge #92 - Autumn/Hallowe’en

I hope you can join in with the challenge - please do head over to the Try It On Tuesday Challenge blog to see the fab inspiration from the rest of the Design Team and to link up your entry. Thanks again to Avril for inviting me to be GDT for this challenge.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.