My inky travels along life's rocky road

Saturday, 14 April 2018

New Stuff / Old Stuff

I've had my eye on this Tim Holtz Paper-cut Bird die since it first came out. I finally succumbed and I'm so glad I did! The detail is amazing and it cuts beautifully. I didn't think it needed anything more than a colourful background to show off the detail. I was playing with some Distress Oxides (7 and counting!) and added some spritzes of gold shimmer spray and water, drying in between the 2. The bright green card blank is part of a set I've had for a long time. The pink and green pearls were from an old magazine kit. The text is from a set of Say It stamps by Inkylicious that I bought at Ally Pally last weekend.

Friday, 13 April 2018

A Notepad (or two)

Continuing with pimping up my office, I had a couple of sample swatches for curtains that were too pretty to throw out. I eventually went for venetian blinds as curtains would have not suited my purpose but I decided to incorporate one of the swatches by making a small holder for tiny Post-it notes. These are 2" x 11/2" and the fabric sample was the perfect size. There are several demos on You Tube but basically I cut some stiff card (the back of a notepad) to the exact size twice and then a strip 2" by the depth of a full pad of notes (@ 1/2"). I glued these down onto the fabric with the thin piece between the other two making sure that I left a gap of about 1/4" either side of the thin piece. Having folded the excess in and stuck it down I concealed all the ends with a contrasting piece of card to fit. While the glue was still wet I creased either side of the thin piece to make the spine. After that it was simply a matter of attaching the Post-it note pad to the bottom with a thin strip of DST.
Having made that I wanted an open pad for larger notes. I covered a piece of scrap mountboard with some very old K&Co Brenda Walton paper and added the sticky letters (they were pink but I coloured over them with marker pens). I customised the bulldog clip with a scrap of matching paper and then decided to do the same to the pen which stands very neatly in the hole of the clip. I am loving making little things for my desk and using up bits and pieces too!
Edited to add: I made a couple of other mini holders with some more roller blind and curtain swatches.


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Coaster

Continuing with my attempts to settle into my new room I decided I needed a pretty coaster for my desk. I had an old freebie cardboard coaster tucked away that was one of those things that get sent by charities and decided this would be a suitable base. I used my Distress Oxides - I only had 4 at the time - wilted violet, twisted citron, spiced marmalade and broken china. Thanks to a trip to Ally Pally on Sunday I now have 3 more  ;) . I used a blending tool to rub some of each colour onto a scrap of green marbled paper and then spritzed with water . When dry I used one of my Stamps by Me sets with my Stamp Buddy, Stazon black and picked raspberry DI. Having chosen the part I wanted on the coaster I cut it out and rounded the corners.

I'm waiting for some matt spray varnish to arrive to seal the surface before I stick a piece of spongy carpet underlay underneath and use it on my desk with my beverage of choice.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Some Sad News

I discovered yesterday that Sandy and Ian of the Craft Barn have decided to retire and are closing  the online store they have been running since the bricks and mortar store closed. Whilst I am happy for them I am very sad about the loss of another craft store especially one whose blog I had followed right from the start. I think I have taken part in and completed all their year-long challenges except last year's  and loved the annual craft fests known as the Extravaganzas. I will miss them.
Having said that, Sandy has announced that there is a lot of stock waiting for new homes so it would be worth visiting the online store to see what's available. As the weeks go by the discounts will get bigger but the stock is going fast.
You can find the clearance page here.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018


I am back and hopefully able to resume blogging. I have missed taking part in challenges and swaps. My room is still not completely set up the way I want it but I'm getting there. Packing and unpacking all my crafting supplies has unearthed many long-forgotten items which I am determined to use - I have enough card blanks and aperture cards in various sizes and colours to keep me going for a lifetime. If you see any cards with coloured bases (which you will in the coming months) you will know that I am still on my mission to use rather than store them.
I have been trying to use old stamped images that I've found, random backgrounds and of course pre-folded card blanks. I even found a German 3D decoupage magazine from 2010 which I have started to cut and use.
The house refurbishment process which has taken so long was not something we planned to do but having had to do it after the water damage in October 2016 has been a big life lesson for me and not just for craft supplies. I've realised how little you do in fact need and the rest is just want. I also realised that I own so many beautiful things that I was saving for a 'special' day but I never knew when that day was going to come. I am making a big effort to use and enjoy all those things whether it's a beautiful piece of paper, an item of clothing or a gorgeous carved box - my new mantra is 'If not now, when?'
I have been having problems with my computer which decided to have a hissy fit at being moved around during the refurb. and then refused to talk to the printer but I think we are all on speaking terms again.
My son complained that my pile of cards was too girly and he needed some cards that were not exactly macho but a little less flowery.

This card uses a midnight blue square blank (only another 24 to use!) The squares have been cut with a new (cough, cough I haven't been a total saint) perforated square die set from The Works. The patterned paper is from an ancient pad of oriental patterns and the sentiment is from a Stampin' Up set that I received when I went on a workshop.
Sorry for the wordy post but it's  been too long and I've missed blogging. I will be more succinct next time.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Still here (just about)...

It's been a long time since I last posted on here. All my craft things have been packed away for some time now while my room is being redecorated but things have been delayed and it will be a few more weeks before I'm able to move back in and unpack. I didn't leave anything out because I never thought it would take so long but last week I went to a craft show and realised how much I am missing my stamps and ink.
Whilst at the show I saw a new (to me) range of stamps by a UK company called Stamps by Me. I believe they sell their stamps on one of the craft channels but as I don't watch these channels I hadn't seen these stamps before. If you like flower stamps and especially a sketchy, watercolour effect you will love these stamps. I managed to liberate a few supplies when I got home and made this quick card.

Sorry the light is really bad here and my scanner has been switched off but it gives you an idea of the set which is a 2 step layering one. The only inks I could access were my old Adirondacks so this has been stamped in pitch black and cranberry. The stamps are photopolymer but I couldn't find my acrylic blocks so I inked and stamped them without a block (I found my Cuttlebug plate but it is so scratched and warped that the stamp wouldn't stick on it!) I finished it with a simple sentiment that was a magazine freebie.
I'm itching to get some better inks out to try these stamps with but sadly I'm going to have to wait for a while.

Friday, 15 December 2017

It's Been A While...

I've been away for a few weeksand on my return have had many other things to do so crafting has taken a back seat. I made this last month before I went away but didn't have a chance to blog it. A discussion we had had on one of the forums I frequent was about how to use up those patterned papers you get in a set that you dislike and can't find a use for. Someone suggested making envelopes and if the pattern is truly hideous to use the pattern on the inside as a lining with a plain white envelope on the outside (of course this only works with single-sided ugly papers). Another thing to try is to cut the sheet up into smaller pieces - somehow the patterns don't look so bad in smaller bits. An extension of this is to use the paper to cut letters or other die cut shapes. The paper I have used is a very unappealing brown with a thin white floral pattern. I didn't die cut the letters but used an alphabet stamp in a chunky font which is very easy to cut out. I teamed it with a leftover scrap of striped paper, some punched foliage and petals and a Stamping Bella stamp which I coloured in with alcohol markers.
It's very satisfying using papers that you never thought you would touch. Why not give it a go?
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