My inky travels along life's rocky road

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S10 C1

I haven't had a chance to post the final week's recipes for the Katzelkraft Christmas Challenge. I have a few more to do to complete the challenge but I have until the 10th January so I think I should manage it.

        1 Use fabric
        2 Follow a given sketch
        3 Make a pull-out or waterfall card
        4 DT member Sandrine has made a card and we have to follow it using a book page, embossing and one main colour of ink with just a touch of another colour.

I started with the fabric card. I have no need for Christmas cards so the rest of my cards will be for other occasions. I used a scrap of fabric from an old hessian tote bag. The butterfly is by KTZ stamped with a Kaleidacolor ink pad. The splats are also by KTZ, stamped in Impress cherry pink.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Harmony

So here we are at the very last entry for the Craft Barn's Quotes & Lyrics Challenge which I have managed to finish and upload just before the deadline. The words were Faith and Harmony and I immediately knew which song lyric I wanted to do BUT it has taken me an age to get to my desk and put something onto paper. Of course I could give you a link for the New Seekers version of the song but anyone who has heard the song before will remember the ad for a certain soft drink from the 70's.
I have used a Sizzix Peace diecut as a stencil in the background with various other stamps and stencils. The singer is a Non Sequitur stamp coloured with coloursoft pencils and raised on foam pads for added dimension. The 'hands around the globe' image is computer generated. So that's that - a full year of challenges completed - now all that remains is to bind the pages together and visit all the other entries. Thanks for all your kind comments. We shall see what 2015 has in store for us.
Edited to add: Here's a round-up of all my entries:

Monday, 22 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S9 CK

This card required the use of techniques shown by Dominike in a step-by-step here. I used a KTZ stamp for the script background in Brilliance lightning black. The tulip paper is from a K&Co Amy Butler pad and I've embossed the tulip outlines with gold. The doily is a Papermania die and the flower pot and tulips are from a KTZ set. I painted the stamped tulips with Twinkling H2Os and added glossy accents to the flower heads. The sentiment is from a Paula Pascual set.
This is probably the last card I will make for the challenge before Christmas but I have until January to make the remaining 5 cards.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S9 C3

This is a gift card card ie a card designed to hold a gift card when you can't decide what to give someone for Christmas. There are lots of tutorials and templates on the 'net but I decided to follow this one for a double pocket holder. The first pocket is for a tag (pictured on the left) and the rear pocket has a Costa gift card poking out of it (actually it's a former Costa card that I now use for scraping texture paste over my stencils). All the papers used are from DCWV rose-tinted Christmas. I punched some small snowflakes and diecut a larger one from a Marianne die.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S9 C1

A CAS card using a button for week 9 of the KTZ Challenge. The pearl button was in a bag of assorted buttons I picked up at a show a couple of years ago.When I cut off the shank, the pearl part popped out so I decided to stamp it with Stazon azure before I stuck it back on. All the stamps are from a Paula Pascual set called Joyful Bubbles. I mounted the stamped piece onto a white card blank with foam pads and added a couple of photo corners.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S9 C2

This week is the penultimate week for the Katzelkraft challenge. The recipes are:

        1 Use a button.
        2 Make a Christmas card with no Santa , tree, red or green.
        3 Make a card that can hold a gift card.
        K Follow the step-by-step by Dominike  here.

I started with card 2. The main image is by Inkadinkadoo. I used the snow embossing folder on a piece of card, masked off the centre and then coloured the reverse with stormy sky and salty ocean DIs. I removed the mask and ran the card through the Cuttlebug under the embossing folder in order to flatten the embossing. I removed the mask and stamped the image in salty ocean DI. I added a pop of pink with a Sharpie and a Hero Arts sentiment.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S8 C2 revisited

I was not happy with my first attempt at the 2 colour card for the Katzelkraft Challenge so as this week's cards had not been posted I decided to have another go.
This time I decided to emboss in silver on a black background. Both stamps are by Katzelkraft.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S8 C3

For this card we had to have a window somewhere. In the past I've used a house die as I don't have a window die as such but this time I thought I would try and make a window with my framelit rounded tag die. I cut 2 tags together to give me the arched window and stuck on some thin strips for the pane. The outer waste was run through an embossing folder (stained glass). The main image is by KTZ stamped on an alcohol ink background (raspberry and citrus) and clear embossed.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S8 C2

This card had to use 2 colours. I found some gel crayons in Lidl - a pack of 12 for £2.49 and thought I'd try them out and see if they would be a suitable substitute for Gelatos. They seem to work well, maybe not quite as creamy as Gelatos but at a bargain price. I decided to try out the purple and light green. The snowman is a KTZ stamp.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S8 C1

A very quick and simple card which had to use a postage stamp. I made a vague tree shape with some old stamps (with a star for the top of the tree!). The embossing folder is a favourite of mine called Rellies Rave.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S8 K

The special K card this week is a gorgeous card by BĂ©atrice using one of her new Christmas images (see below). We have to take inspiration from it and create a card using a stamp with colouring in and a 3D element.

I used a Clarity stamp that I've had for a while. I stamped it 3 times so that I could cut the 3 sections out and raise them on foam pads. On reflection I suppose I should have done this in reverse so that the bottom section stood out higher than the rest. The background is ultramarine and emerald Brusho (the yellow you see is from the emerald). The text is by Paula Pascual. I mounted it all on a deep pearlescent blue card blank.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S7 C3

This is the front of my pop-up card - a KTZ flourish and a Tattered Lace die cut. I saw some amazing examples of pop-ups as I trawled the web looking for ideas but opted for a very simple design:

The central tree is a Marianne die cut embellished with Stickles and a star gem. It is supported by the background paper which has been cut into in 2 places and folded in the opposite direction like this:

I've never made one of these before and was surprised at how easy it was - it could be used for all sorts of images. The bunting is by Crafty Individuals.

Friday, 5 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S7 C1

This card had to use a vintage image. I found this image in a Crafty Individuals image book and liked the idea of the little girl and deer framed by the trees of my X Cut dies. The splatter effect behind the image is a KTZ stamp. The green paper of the top layer is very porous and no matter how many blobs of 'snow' I put on with my Uni Posca pen they get absorbed by the paper.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S7 C2

Week 7's challenges are:

        1 Use a vintage image.
        2 Make a collage card with at least 3 different elements.
        3 Make a pop-up card.

I started with the collage card:

I used a Balzer Bits stencil for the star and embossed it with clear embossing powder. The background is made of various torn papers from Papermania's contemporary Christmas and Tim Holtz's washer border die used as a stencil. The long strip is cut from a masterboard I made some time ago. I wasn't very happy with the colours so I covered the whole piece with gesso, stamped a KTZ script and stencilled some circles in Brilliance Victorian violet. I added a strip of the washboard die circles and some gems. The sentiment is from a Paula Pascual set and a twine bow finished off the card.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S6 C2

This card had to have a transparent element on it. I could have used acetate but I thought I would use some transparent shrink plastic for a change. I painted a night sky with a little ultramarine Brusho. It's amazing how highly pigmented this stuff is - you only need the tiniest amount and if you should happen to drop a few crystals anywhere, you'll know about it as soon as the area gets damp! While it was wet I sprinkled on some white Brusho but it didn't really give me the effect I wanted. When dry I used a silver Krylon pen to blow some splatters over the sky. I have one of those puffy attachments to create splatters but I find that blowing close to the nib produces better results for me (make sure you don't get too close or you will give your lips a makeover, been there, done that...). I added some Memory Box diecuts and cut some Cuttlebug stars with shrink plastic. After shrinking I stuck them into the sky but of course whatever adhesive I used (I used glue dots) was visible. I got around this by sticking some tiny punched stars over the offending blobs.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Heart

We are at the penultimate word for the Craft Barn's challenge and the words this fortnight are Heart and Risk. I knew immediately that I had to use this quote by Helen Keller which I have as a stamp by Inkylicious. This is a very well known quote but it resonates with me in particular because a framed copy of it hangs in a corridor of a school I try and visit whenever I am in India. You can read more about this school here.
The background is made up of Memory Box and Tim Holtz stencils with spiced marmalade, wild honey and scattered straw DIs. I embossed 2 strips with a Cuttlebug border folder and stamped the Inkylicious text and the Hampton Arts image in Archival grape. Please do click on the pic to view the undistorted image.

Monday, 1 December 2014


The last of Mary Anne's printables for 2014. She has new calendars for the coming year here.

Friday, 28 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S6 C1

For this card we had to use an image from a magazine. I found this cute dog in a newspaper supplement advertising a candle brand called Lilou et Loic. I cut him out and gave him a festive hat with a scrap of red card and a pompom. The card blank was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and the card was finished with a strip of washi tape.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S6 C3

Week 6 of the Katzelkraft Challenge was posted a few days late:

        1 Use a magazine image.
        2 Use clear elements on your card.
        3 Repeat stamp an image.
        K Be inspired by a step-by-step from DT member Coco.

I started with 3 which is to stamp an image several times. I used a KTZ leaf sprig with Versafine spanish moss. I stamped the first and second generation image each time to give a variation in colour and formed a background. I cut one of Tim Holtz's styled labels, edged it with spanish moss and mounted it on foam pads. The circle stamp is from a Paula Pascual set stamped in Versafine habanero and the tree is an old stamp coloured with marker pens.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S5 C1

Not too sure about this one - isn't it strange how sometimes the simplest challenges can prove to be the most difficult? This card had to have some lace on it - not a big ask I know but for some reason I agonised over it for ages and I'm not entirely happy with the end result. I did toy with the idea of using a lace die to cut some paper lace but I didn't think that would be in the spirit of the challenge and it wasn't as if I didn't have any lace. Having ironed out my crumpled strip of lace, I fiddled about with it endlessly but came up with nothing. Then I decided to have a sort out of my desk which is a TOTAL mess at the moment. This card is mostly made up of bits that I found while tidying up (not that it looks any tidier as I type this). The card blank was a failed Brusho play. The green bracket shaped die cut was leftover from this project. I think the red die cut and strip of card were waste from this card last year ( I am blushing with shame now). The Crafty Individuals angel image is from a free selection in a now defunct stamping magazine. The mesh stamp is a KTZ image stamped in Impress emerald and the sentiment is from a Paula Pascual set. The chevrons are from a MME paper pad. That's it really - I'm surprised I've managed to keep up to date so far with the challenge this year - I'm expecting a few googlies to be thrown in as we draw closer to Christmas so watch this space...

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Journey

Here we are at number 23 of the Craft Barn's quotes & lyrics challenge. The words to choose from were journey and friendship and the choice was made easy for me when I remembered I had a Sizzix die of the word journey. I decided to do a song but it was surprisingly hard to find a suitable song I did think of 'Sentimental Journey' but couldn't figure out a way to put it onto paper. I finally found a C&W song by Jake Owen called 'Journey of your life'  about a grandfather's advice to his grandson. It has the line:

                      'You need an angel flying by your side on the journey of your life'

I started by stamping the ISC face in Archival sepia and masking it. Then I lightly applied some weathered wood and broken china DIs with a brayer. When dry I used a Memory Box alpha stencil over the page in Adirondack mushroom (the letters of the story). Then the following stamps:

        Christine Adolph flower cube in Adirondack terracotta (nature)
        Banana Frog heart in Barn Door DI (love)
        Banana Frog star in Adirondack butterscotch (fame)
        Katzelkraft splats in Archival grape (mistakes)
        Katzelkraft music in Adirondack lake mist (music)

The black lines were applied with a credit card and black acrylic paint (keeping to the straight and narrow) and some white acrylic splodged dots (I mess up sometimes).
While all this was drying I stamped moon girl by Stampotique and embossed her in white. Her wings were given some shimmer with Wink of Stella and raised with foam pads.

'Journey' was cut with my Sizzix die and stuck onto some paper from MME's Cut & Paste Charm range which picked up the colours in my background. The remaining text was printed off the computer and I sketched around lines. I removed the mask from my central image and coloured her in with watercolour and coloursoft pencils.

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S5 C3

This card had to use a false watercolour technique. There wasn't a specific technique mentioned so I decided to use 2 different techniques. I thought I'd have a break from Christmas cards and decided to use this KTZ stamp from the physalis set. I used 3 Whispers pens to colour in the flowers and stem, spritzed it with water and stamped it on cardstock. The matting is with Spellbinders labels 4 dies. The background uses watercolour paper. I smeared wild honey, spiced marmalade and peeled paint DIs on a plastic sheet , spritzed it with water and gold shimmer spray and picked up the ink with the watercolour paper. The 'crackle effect' is actually a tree stamp from the KTZ winter sheet (if you look in the bottom left hand corner you can see one of the thicker branches).

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S5 K

This week's Special K is a tag with a great step-by-step by DT member Sandrine. You can see it here. We had to lift the tag, keeping true to the layout and follow several other constraints such as a background with ink and a stamp, a stamped and cut-out image, a doily, something circular etc etc. I think I've managed to get them all in!
The base paper is from Papermania's (very old) contemporary Christmas set. I used a small flourish from a KTZ set (physalis) and Brilliance starlite black around the edge. The doily is a Marianne die stamped with my favourite KTZ background text stamp and the inner buckle is a Memory Box die. The holly leaves are an old foam stamp that was free in a magazine with candi dots for the berries. I stamped the sentiment in red pepper Adirondack and threaded it through the buckle. I used some Wink of Stella on the berries, leaves and background snowflakes for a little shimmer.

Monday, 17 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S5 C2

We are at the half-way point of the 10 weeks before Christmas challenge on the Katzelkraft forum. For week 5 we have to:
1 Use lace on a card.
2 Make a square card.
3 Use the false watercolour technique.
K Use the step-by-step from DT member Sandrine to make a tag.

I started with card 2. This specified that not only was a square card base required but all the embellishments had to be square as well. I remembered a card sketch from the KTZ challenge in 2011 which you can see here and decided it would work well for this challenge. The papers are from Dovecraft's Christmas Blues set. I cut and inked the squares with evergreen bough DI. The central image was not quite a square so I mounted it on co-ordinating paper from the same set. The squares in the corners are brads that I added a punched snowflake to. The tree and snowflakes were given a brush of Wink of Stella for a little sparkle.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S4 K

This card had to be all white, using 2 embossing powders, a cut out stamp and 3D elements. Hmm! After a great deal of thought I decided to use white and holographic EPs with the paisley background from the KTZ contes et merveilles plate. I embossed it in white and cut it out. The sentiment is from a KTZ Christmas plate, embossed with holographic EP, and mounted on foam pads. The corners are a Cuttlebug square die cut in half and embellished with pearls.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Katzelkraft Monthly Challenge - November

It's cold and wet here and I find myself reaching for warmer colours. This month's Katzelkraft monthly challenge on the DT blog is Gesso. Whilst we can use stamps made by other companies for forum challenges, the monthly DT Challenge has to use only Katzelkraft stamps. I decided to use one of my first KTZ stamp sets - contes et merveilles. It has various elements on it that can be used together or singly (I've used 2 stamps here). Although it may not appear so from this card, this set is great for men's cards and I tend to reach for it when I am at a loss for ideas. I stamped the paisley background, embossed with white EP and then coloured with picked raspberry, ripe persimmon and squeezed lemonade. A quick rub with a clean cloth revealed the lovely paisley pattern again. I used a yellow card blank and a tiled chevron stencil with gesso to make the background. While it was drying I stamped the main image in archival sepia and cut it out. This was mounted with foam pads and I sprinkled a little glamour dust on her headdress. To finish I added some flowers and diecut leaves.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Katzelkraft Tag Challenge 3

This month's tag challenge on the Katzelkraft forum asks us to be inspired by 2 tags made by Stamping Matilda. I'm a regular reader of her blog so I had to have a go.
I mixed some blue and green Brusho with water and smeared it over the tag. It's amazing how highly pigmented this powder is - just a few crystals is enough. When dry, I used an old plastic card to spread gesso and then evergreen bough DI over the whole tag. The main image is by Penny Black. I used spanish moss versafine on the leaves and some whispers pens over the blossom. The sentiment and the small flowers are from a Paula Pascual set. The distressed lines in the corners are a KTZ stamp. I used seam binding through the tag hole and a small flower-shaped mother of pearl button attached with carpet thread.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Regular readers of my blog will know that I have recently discovered the joy of working with Brusho. Some of my favourite European bloggers are currently talking about a powder called Bistre. I don't know if Bistre and Brusho are the same product but they seem to give very similar effects.
The lady behind Katzelkraft stamps has some wonderful samples of cards made with Bistre on her blog here. She has also done a great video here. It's in French but it's great to see the powders in action and to view the amazing results. Have a look at the older posts as well to see some stunning creations.

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S4 C3

I embossed a Cornish Heritage Farm stamp with clear powder and then covered the card with evergreen bough, picked raspberry and ripe persimmon DIs. The embossed areas resisted the inks. The central image is a KTZ stamp embossed with silver EP. I covered the middle with a printable from Mary Anne's blog (you can find it here) and added some Cuttlebug corner diecuts.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Moon

The 22nd Quotes and Lyrics Challenge from The Craft Barn gives us 2 words Moon and Sensation to choose from. Following my pattern this should be a quote week for me but as I have said before I am trying to use any stamps I own that use the given words. This week I happened to have a stamp I got in a grab bag with the song title 'Fly Me To the Moon' so I went with that.
I stamped and masked the image. The background was painted with blue ice Twinkling H2O and when dry I used silver grey Ferro paste through a Memory Box star stencil. I painted the girl's clothes with some more H2Os. The pic below shows the shimmer and sparkle of the page:

Edited to add: A Wall of Fame winner.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S4 C2

This is pretty self-explanatory - a clean and simple card using a KTZ stamp embossed in silver and a sentiment from a Paula Pascual set. The card blank is a metallic graphite colour.

Monday, 10 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S4 C1

This week's challenges are:

1 Use some pages from a book.
2 A CAS card.
3 Use the resist technique.
K Make a white card with 2 embossing powders and some 3D stamped images.

For the first card I decided to follow an online tutorial on the Domesticali blog and make an origami wreath. It's fiddly but quite effective. I used a lattice embossing folder for the background and a ready printed sentiment.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

UK Stampers ATC Swap - November

This month's ATC swap on the UK Stampers forum has a theme of 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas'. I decided to present a trio of cheery snowmen. I used the background I had made for yesterday's post and added my snowmen, some text and a few punched snowflakes. The middle ATC has a shrink plastic snowflake holding the text banner in place.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - November

For this month's postcard swap on UK Stampers, Sam has asked us to make something festive. I used a large sheet of white card and stamped and clear embossed various snowflakes from Paula Pascual's large Christmas set. Then I applied tumbled glass, broken china & salty ocean DIs across the whole sheet. I'm trying to save some time and decided to use this as a background for my postcard and my ATCs for this month. The papers are all from DCWV rose-tinted Christmas pad. The banner and text are from a Papermania set. I added some punched snowflakes which I covered with Wink of Stella and highlighted some parts of the trees to give a slight shimmer.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S3 C3

This card uses a fun technique that has been named flat embossing. You emboss a piece of card, make a mask of your main image (mine is a KTZ stamp) and place it on your embossed card. Use an ink pad direct to paper to highlight the embossed patterns and then remove the mask. Run the card through your embossing machine again but this time place the card under the folder so it flattens the embossing out. Stamp your main image in the blank space left by the mask.
I added some more ink (tumbled glass DI) to the edges and mounted it onto a blue card blank.

Monday, 3 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S3 C2

A quick card with some direct to paper stamping (I love this KTZ stamp) in Brilliance starlite black and some 3D elements. I re-stamped the hat and scarf, coloured them with gelatos and mounted them with foam pads. The central word Noel has glossy accents over it.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S3 C1

This card had to use at least 5 scraps of printed paper. We had the same recipe last year and I had made this card so I decided to do something different. The papers were cut with a Sizzix framelits die. I inked the edges and used frosted lace Stickles. The sentiment is by Paula Pascual and I raised that hexagon with foam pads for added interest.
While I was at it I made another card using the same paper set (Dovecraft Winter Blues):

I keep meaning to buy a new set of Christmas papers but I have so many old sets that I feel I need to use up first. They come out every year and the stack doesn't seem to diminish. I'm not really into making festive minibooks or anything that would use a larger amount in one go so I'm just going to have to make an effort to use my patterned paper whenever I can.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

LIM 196/KTZ S3 K

This week on the Less Is More blog the challenge is to make a Christmas card with non-traditional colours. I covered a piece of card with peacock feathers, picked raspberry and ripe persimmon DIs and then stamped and embossed a KTZ stamp. I cut out 3 of the 4 tiles  and triple embossed them with UTEE. The tiles were mounted onto an orange card blank which I embossed with the snow folder and highlighted with a white Uni Posca pen.
I am also using this card as my special K entry for this week's Katzelkraft Christmas Challenge which requires us to revisit a technique we haven't used in a while.


Another month from Mary Anne's printables. If you head over to her blog she has new printables for next year and some lovely seasonal items as well.

Week 3's Katzelkraft recipes are:
1 Use at least 5 scraps of printed paper.
2 Stamp directly onto a card base and use some 3D elements.
3 Use a technique called flat embossing which you can see here (instructions in English as well).
K Make a card using a technique or medium you haven't used in a while.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S2 K

The special K card this week requires us to draw inspiration from a step-by-step by DT member Christelle. You can see the details here.
I made a card instead of gift tags using the bunting shape cut with a Sizzix die. The central image is a KTZ stamp mounted with foam pads onto some watercolour paper coloured with barn door & mowed lawn DIs. I used some leftover scraps of this to cut some flowers.
That's week 2 finished - only 8 more to go...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S2 C1

Sorry it's difficult to get a decent pic with all the metallic elements on this card. This is a 10cm/4" scalloped card blank. I layered sticky backed metallic foil onto some card and used a Cuttlebug cut and emboss set for the dove and leaf. The circle was cut from some purple embossing foil with a framelits die and embossed around the edge with an embossing wheel. The leaf was coloured with pesto alcohol ink. I used a KTZ leaf stamp across the 4 corners with Versafine Spanish moss.

Monday, 27 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S2 C3

This card had to use heat embossing. I used a KTZ bauble & bell stamp and heat embossed it. Then I used my embossing pens to colour in various parts and clear embossed them. The background rectangle was cut with a nestie and stamped with my favourite KTZ background text stamp. The sentiment was stamped with Adirondack red pepper and clear heat embossed.

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