My inky travels along life's rocky road

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New Dies!

Over the Christmas period I added to my collection of dies and now that things are a little calmer I wanted to try out an idea I saw Paula Pascual show on the Sizzix blog a while ago. She used some intricate dies from a Sizzix envelope set to cut into card blanks. I used a die from Tim Holtz's mixed media set to cut the  distressed diamond shapes and then backed them with some patterned paper. I cut the main word from a Simon Says Stamp die using the same paper and added the stamped sentiment with weathered wood DI. It's a great way to make a very quick card.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - K for Kiss

My final word in this month's ATC swap is Kiss. I found this sweet Crafty Individuals image and decided to use it as a starting point for my ATC. I recently acquired Tim Holtz's mixed media die set (thank you Countryview Crafts for twisting my arm by putting it on offer in your advent sale). I've been wanting it ever since it came out and the offer was too tempting to pass up. I used one of the dies (they cut beautifully) for the background and a small scrap of green printed vellum as well. I die cut the image with an oval nestie and punched the text out of a set of wedding stickers. The flowers were rolled some time ago from scraps and have been on my desk waiting to be used, I added a pearl gem to each centre and some punched leaves.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

I've been away and haven't taken part in the Craft Barn weekly challenge for a few weeks. When I saw that the final theme for this year was trees I had to take part. This is a very quick and easy Christmas card made with one of the fab Crafty Individuals' Alice Palace stamps. I stamped it in archival sepia and coloured in parts with coloursoft pencils and a gold pen.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - K for Kimono

My second ATC for the Alpha ATC swap is K for Kimono. I have some old sheets of embossed oriental images and this kimono is on a sheet of vellum. I coloured the image from behind with coloursoft pencils and mounted it on some scrap card. the background is from the same pack of images but was on a white card base which I coloured with Victorian velvet and dusty concord DIs. I used a punch for the gold photo corners and made some indentations with an embossing tool. The kimono was mounted with 3D foam pads and an eyelet was added to each corner (I'm on a mission to use my neglected stuff!).

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Memory Box Challenge - December

The Memory Box Challenge this month is Season's Greetings. I only have 1 MB Christmas die which I used in an earlier challenge so I thought I would make a quick and simple card using the MB looped border die. I love both the negative and positive parts of this die (I've used the positive for this card). All the patterned paper is from Cosmo Cricket's Mitten Weather and the stamps used are from Paula Pascual's large Christmas and joyful bubbles sets.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Calendar Challenge - December

We have reached the end of the Craft Barn calendar challenge and I look forward to using my calendar from next month. I stick each month up on the wall by my work desk so I will not bind the calendar until I have finished using it. The final recipe is gold and trees. I heat embossed an old winter trees stamp and added some highlights with glamour dust. I lightly shaded some punched snowmen with weathered wood DI and added them to the scene. This was mounted onto some gold card (which looks quite green in this pic). I added some punched holly leaves.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - K for Keys

This month's letter for the UK Stampers Alphabet ATC swap is K. Not a very easy letter to find suitable words for especially as I am trying to use 3 different words each month. I started with Key as I had a perfectly sized set of stamps by Crafty Secrets. I started with an alcohol inked background ( I have no idea what the colours were because I revived an old felt pad which had some inks on with some blending solution. The main image was stamped and clear embossed and then I added the small words and the title (I know it should say keys) one at a time, embossing as I went along. To finish I added a gold border with a Krylon pen and a spritz of homemade gold shimmer spray.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Memory Box Challenge - November

I was thrilled to have my card for last month's Memory Box Challenge featured on their blog. You can see the card and details of this month's challenge here.
I had an idea which I've been meaning to try out ever since I saw the theme for this month's challenge but it's taken a while for me to get to spend some quality time at my desk this month. I wanted to give my prim poppies die (the first Memory Box die I ever bought) the glitter treatment and then add some other MB dies into the mix. I cut all the dies out of white card and painted with Twinkling H2Os. The poppy heads (and everything else in the vicinity!) were covered in hot lava ultrafine glitter. When dry I arranged them and added a few stems of woodland branch. Sticking all this down was a challenge to say the least but eventually I got them how I wanted them with some PVA and Zig glue. A big bow hid all the messiness and gathered the stems together. I added some fancy blossom diecuts to the stems and gave them black centres with Ranger enamel accents. Not all the Christmas cards I make at this time of year are christmassy but I thought that the glitter and the colours made this sufficiently festive enough to put a small seasonal greeting on. I edged the card with Brilliance cosmic copper and mounted it all on a white textured tall card blank.

Friday, 13 November 2015

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - November

This is the final postcard swap for 2015 on the UK Stampers forum as December is such a busy month for everyone. Jilly, our hostess has chosen Christmas as the theme.
I made a background by smooshing cranberry and meadow Adirondack inks onto a craft sheet, spritzing with water and picking up the ink on a piece of card. I did each colour separately and waited for it to dry in between to avoid the colours turning to brown. Then I dry brushed gold metallic mixative around the edges and a little in the middle. The stamp is by Katzelkraft and has been stamped in black and heat embossed with holographic powder. I added the holly stamp in the corners, the gold paint resists the ink and gives a faded effect. I doodled a rough frame around the card and added Glossy Accemts on the holly berries to finish.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Calendar Challenge - November

This month's recipe for the calendar challenge on the Craft Barn blog is Grey and Owls. I used a Sizzix die & stamp set called Autumn Owls for my 2 owls and a Memory Box die for the branch. They were all mounted onto some cloud patterned paper from My Mind's Eye. I used a different patterned paper to edge the top and bottom and used 2 scraps to hold the calendar in place to look like washi tape. I coloured in the beaks to give a pop of colour and added glossy accents to the eyes of the smaller owl and googly eyes to the larger one.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap S for Sew

My last ATC for this month is 'Sew'. I glued an old pattern onto card as a background and added a dress form, embossed with a button folder. I made a thread reel out of card and added some ribbon onto it. I used various stamps from a CaroLines stamp set and stitched on a coordinating button (about the extent of my sewing abilities).

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap S for Sing

This is a Christmas stamp set that I've had for years and use every now and then. I decided to use the word 'sing' for this ATC and these carol singers seemed appropriate. It is embossed, then coloured with embossing pens and embossed again. The fur trim on their hats is embossed with a puffy glitter powder. I added some tartan patterned paper as a frame and a punched musical note.

Monday, 2 November 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap S for Sky/Skyscraper/Star

This month's letter for the alphabet swap on the UK Stampers forum is 'S'. I chose skyscraper/stars/sky. A Clearly Besotted city skyline die on a pearlescent dark blue background with punched stars and some white marker dots. The stars were covered with a Wink of Stella pen to give a slight sheen.

Friday, 23 October 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap V for Voyage

For my final ATC in the UK Stampers swap for this month I chose the word 'Voyage'. I have used stamps and papers from Papermania's All Aboard collection.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap V for Vase

V is for Vase is my second ATC on the UK Stampers forum. I used an old Hero Arts stamp and coloured with Twinkling H2Os, acrylic paints and DIs.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap V for Vixen

V is the letter for October's ATCs on the UK Stampers forum. For my first ATC I chose 'vixen' as my word. I used 2 X Cut build a scene dies to make the tree background and cut the fox. I did consider how to make the fox a vixen but all I could think of was a diamond collar or a bow in her hair so decided against it! She is coloured with Twinkling H2Os and the background is coloured with coloursoft pencils.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

New Stamps!

I visited the Craft Barn last weekend for the last time and picked up this gorgeous collage stamp by Penny Black (well it's got poppies on it so it was a no brainer). It comes with 4 different messages to stamp onto the banner but unfortunately thank you was not one of them. Happily an old Hero Arts sentiment fitted perfectly with the help of my stamp positioner. I coloured with coloursoft pencils and Sansodor solvent and added black enamel accents onto the stamens. The butterfly part was stamped again, coloured, cut out and the body was glued down leaving the wings free. I added Wink of Stella to the edges of the petals and the butterfly wings.

Colouring is so relaxing that I'm not surprised it has become popular as therapy for adults. I don't know that I have the patience for those intricate colouring books that seem to be everywhere at the moment but a small piece like this is perfect for me.

Monday, 5 October 2015

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - October

I am organising the postcard swap on UK Stampers this month and had the fun task of setting a theme again.
Readers of my blog will know that I am not a big fan of Halloween so I tend to endure the endless pumpkin and ghost themed offerings in the shops with gritted teeth and heave a sigh of relief on the 1st of November. However I don't want to ruin anyone else's chance to use that Halloween stamp that has been waiting all year for its moment of glory so this month's theme is... PURPLE & ORANGE.
I had absolutely no intention of doing anything Halloween inspired when I started making this postcard - I was thinking more of some flowers using the colour theme BUT then I bought this cat die by Cottage Cutz at a show. After I had tested it out and decided to back his malevolent looking eyes with a scrap of green card he just begged to be put onto the postcard.
I smooshed ripe persimmon and dusty concord DIs onto a craft sheet with a spritz of water and rubbed the card in it to make my background (the moon and roof were masked off first). I edged the card with some walnut stain DI and Adirondack black for added drama.
The roof was coloured with barn door DI and the tiles were drawn on. I realised I had no stamping on the card so I added CI birds. I put together the phrase 'The Witching Hour' with a Just Rite Curlz font alpha set and added a few punched stars.
If you are interested in joining in this fun swap check out the details here. It's a real treat to receive some nice art through the post every month.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Memory Box Challenge - October

This month's challenge on the Memory Box blog is black & white. I used one of my most used dies, Chloe stem and embellished it with clear gems and a bow made of black and white ribbon. The background stamp is by Kaiserkraft and the sentiment is by Paula Pascual.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Calendar Challenge - October

A quick entry for this month's challenge on the Craft Barn blog. The theme is orange and pumpkins (or fruit) and as I only have one stamp with pumpkins on there was no big decision to be made. The stamp is by Heartfelt Creations and I used sepia archival ink and coloursoft pencils. I used an ink duster and brushed corduroy DI to give a soft finish to the background.
I was very sad to receive news today that the Craft Barn bricks and mortar shop will close later this month and move to online sales only. I have often feasted my eyes (and lightened my wallet) at this and the former Lingfield store. I shall miss it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - L for Leaf

My final ATC for this month's swap on the UK Stampers forum is inspired by the present season. I stamped some leaves and text from a Simple Expressions set. A few punched leaves completed the ATC.

Monday, 28 September 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - L for Lantern

My second ATC for the UK Stampers swap is L for lantern. I've had this Hero Arts oriental lantern stamp for some time and it was the perfect opportunity to give it an airing. I double embossed the lantern and cut it out. It was hung from a branch made with a birch die. I added the text with an alphabet stencil.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Softly Falling Snow

No this is not wishful thinking. I am quite happy with the weather at the moment although there is a distinct autumnal nip in the air when the sun goes down. This card is for 2 challenges:

Less Is More - something shiny
Craft Barn weekly challenge - snow/snowflakes

I embossed the snow folder on a small square of scrap card and rounded 2 corners. I added a silver Marianne snowflake diecut. The text and the stamped panel were raised on foam pads.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

UK Stampers ATC Swap - L for Lazy

On the UK Stampers forum we are starting an alphabet themed ATC swap this month. The letters will be chosen at random and this month we start with 'L'.
My first ATC is L for lazy. I made a background using some Color Box inks and a couple of stencils. The main image is by Tatty Button which I coloured with coloursoft pencils. The text is by Paper Artsy.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Paper Artsy Challenge - Pigment Inks

I have been using Brushos for a while now and love the wonderful backgrounds they make with a few grains of powder and some spritzes of water.
I stamped the flowers from Hot Picks HP1006 and masked them and a section at the bottom of the card. I sprinkled lime green and rose red Brushos and watched the colours separate. When dry I stamped the flourish from the same set. The blank bottom half was stencilled with DIs. I added a vase on which I painted a pattern with emerald and yellow Brusho mixed with water.
For this project I was inspired by Kay Carley's article here on the Paper Artsy blog and I am entering this into the Paper Artsy challenge.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Crafty Individuals Challenge - September

The theme for the Crafty Individuals challenge this month is 'Anything Goes'. I decided to use a new set of stamps CI-283 that I have wanted for a while. I stamped it on patterned paper and added some other papers that happened to be on my desk from other projects (if I leave it there long enough it does get used eventually). The flourish is a Marianne die and the tiny heart is a brad. It was all mounted onto a cream hammered card blank.

Monday, 14 September 2015

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - September

I am hosting this month's postcard swap on the UK Stampers forum. As it's September I decided on the theme of 'School Days'. My first idea was to make a postcard using the chalkboard technique but I was not happy with the end result which you can see here:

So Plan B was to use part of a Graphic 45 Alphabet Soup sheet. I inked the edges of the card with tea dye and walnut stain DI. The main image was coloured with coloursoft pencils, the alphabet frame was on the reverse. The text was cut from a Sizzix Hunky Dory die. I added some ink blots with 2 Katzelkraft stamps and archival grape. The pen by Clearly Impressed was stamped and heat embossed. As the postcard will go through the post naked (without an envelope) embellishments have to be designed to withstand the rigours of the mail system.
If you would like to take part in this swap then just follow the link above. For the cost of a stamp you could be receiving some happy mail too!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

Stencils or masks are the theme for this week's challenge on the Craft Barn blog. I decided to use this heron stencil I bought a couple of weeks ago with some chalks that I haven't used in ages. I mounted it very simply onto a kraft blank.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Calendar Challenge - September

We're on month 9 of the Craft Barn calendar challenge and this time the prompts are brown and leaves. I wanted the page to reflect the golden tones of Autumn rather than just the brown so I pulled out all my yellow/orange/brown DIs and got dabbing with some cut n  dry foam. I used brushed corduroy to edge the card with a bit of walnut stain. I then used a Dylusions stencil with peeled paint and gathered twigs along 2 sides of the card. The falling leaves were made from brown parcel paper scrunched up, inked with various DIs and spritzed with a gold shimmer spray. Whilst still wet, I smoothed it out and when dry I used a CB fall leaves die to cut some oak leaves.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

This week's challenge on the Craft Barn blog is to make a project with some stamping. Last week I was at a craft show and picked up a stamp and matching die set by a company called 'Dare 2B Artzy'. This seemed the perfect opportunity to use one of the stamps. I coloured the butterfly with coloursoft pencils and Sansodor. I found some coordinating patterned papers and cut them with a Tim Holtz alterations die. I have left the card without a sentiment for the moment.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Memory Box Monthly Challenge - September

This month's challenge on the Memory Box blog is 'terrific trees'. I have several Memory Box dies but the only tree die is this one. It seemed like a good time to make a start on Christmas cards for the year so here is the first. I embossed the pearlescent card blank with a snow folder and highlighted the snow with a white pen. I punched a small star and added some seasonal text.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

I am trying to get organised for the months ahead and was just finishing off this ATC for the UK Stampers October Alphabet swap  (V for Vixen) when I read that this week's challenge on the Craft Barn blog had the theme of Animals. Unusually for me, this has no stamping on it at all just diecutting and colouring. I have used 2 different X Cut Build a Scene sets and coloured with Coloursoft pencils. The vixen is painted with Twinkling H2Os.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A new ATC Swap

I thought I'd give everyone a heads up about a new ATC swap that is starting on UK Stampers. We have had a monthly swap hosted by Vonny for some time but from September we are starting an alphabet swap. Over the next 26 months (!!!) we will cover the whole alphabet in random order. Vonny has let us know the letters for the first 3 months so that we can work around any holidays etc in advance. The general ATC swap rules are here and the specific info for the Alpha swap is here. We are a friendly bunch of crafters and would be delighted if anyone else wanted to join in. The first set of swaps will not take place until the end of September so there is loads of time to take part. There is no long term commitment involved - you take part as and when you can. I hope you give it a try.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

LIM 237 - Another Wedding Card

An early entry from me this week as I just happened to be putting the finishing touches to this wedding card when I saw that this week's theme on the Less Is More blog is 'Congratulations'.
I cut a 12cm square card from white Bazzill cardstock and added an 11cm mat which I embossed with a lattice folder. the Hobbycraft sentiment was stamped, gold heat embossed and die cut with a nestie labels die which I embossed with a rubber mat. The flower is a Marianne die with pearls added. Quick and simple but I like the elegance of gold and white for a wedding.

A Wedding Card

I saw a tutorial for a tri-fold card and thought it would be perfect for a wedding card I had to make. Unfortunately I cannot remember whose blog the instructions came from but as soon as I find out I will give the proper attribution.
Edited to add: the instructions are on MiniOwners fab blog here.

I wanted the card to be predominantly white with a touch of gold and lots of texture . I used 2 classic Cuttlebug embossing folders d'vine swirls and swiss dots and a nestie heart die which I embossed with a rubber mat.

The text is a Hobbycraft stamp which I heat embossed in gold.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

This weeks challenge on the Craft Barn blog is to use pens. I used my Clearly Besotted poppy stamps with my Whispers pens to give a faux watercolour effect. The sentiment is from the same set. The frame is from an old set of foam mounted stamps that I bought on holiday in Florida when I first started stamping. It had been pushed to the back of one of my stamp drawers and when I found it the rubber had perished and was starting to crack. I stamped it one last time before it crumbled and had to be thrown away. I liked the imperfect print and added some bright colours to highlight the swirls.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

UK Stampers Postcard swap - August

Sometimes you are presented with a great theme and just can't seem to do it justice. That's how I feel about this month's postcard for the swap on UK Stampers. The theme chosen by Jill is a great one  - put a frame on your postcard but I just couldn't think of anything original to do. In the end I opted for this very old stamp from Stampington called 'pressed profile'. I'm making an effort to revisit the lovely stamps in my collection and it's been a while since I used this one. I recently acquired a couple of Color Box petal point ink pads in Mosaic and Enchantment. The background used various colours from both sets, some DIs, a stencil and a crackle stamp. The image itself was coloured with Twinkling H2Os. The word 'flower' is from a Paper Artsy set.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Calendar Challenge - August

This month's recipe for the Craft Barn calendar challenge is pink and butterflies. I used a large butterfly background stamp by a company called Gourmet Rubber Stamps and stamped it in Brilliance starlite black (this is my go to ink pad when I want a soft grey). As the stamp was not large enough to cover the whole of my calendar page I placed it centrally and covered the unstamped areas with pink paint. I then used a Fiskars border punch top and bottom (the blue areas you see are actually holes) and added some tiny punched butterflies. The pink butterflies were stamped and cut from patterned paper and card and highlights added with a Wink of Stella pen.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Katzelkraft Monthly Challenge - August

I finally had a chance to get to my desk and have a little crafting time. This month on the KTZ blog, the challenge is 'anything but a card'. I managed to cut some of my lavender this year and it is drying in the sun at the moment so, as my machine was out, I thought I would make a couple of bags to put the dried lavender in. This is a project that is recycling various items - the bags are made from an old school shirt and the ribbon was cut off from an item of clothing. I had the perfect stamps for this in KTZ 51 and used Stazon ink. As my lavender is still drying I've just filled the bags with something else for the moment to give you an idea of what they will look like.
Here's a closer pic of the back:

and the front:

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

LIM 234

It's a busy week here but I needed a thank you card for a friend who made us the scrummiest chocolate and raspberry birthday cake imaginable. I used an oval nestie as a stencil with tumbled glass DI and then added the Cuttlebug diecuts which used tiny scraps of paper from my scrap bags. An old Hero Arts sentiment finished off the card.
A very Happy Birthday to Chrissie of Less Is More who is celebrating a significant birthday this week!
I am entering this into the following challenges:
Less Is More - Snippets
Craft Barn - Clean & Simple

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

Circles and flowers are the themes of this week's challenge on the Craft Barn blog. I don't have a lot of crafting time this week but when I saw the challenge I knew straight away which stamp to use. I stamped and embossed the Hero Arts image in Versafine Spanish moss. The flowers and leaves were painted with Twinkling H2Os and I added black enamel accents to the flower centres. Three of the flowers have been raised on foam pads for extra dimension. I punched the corners with my old southwestern punch and matted it onto some black card and then an orange card blank. I've left the card without a sentiment for now.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

This week's challenge on the Craft Barn blog is to use words in the background. I dug out a very old Stampington stamp called dark dandelion which has a script background, stamped and heat embossed it over some glossy card coloured with alcohol inks. This was matted onto some black card and then put onto a square kraft blank which had been embossed with a script embossing folder. The kraft is not quite so green-looking IRL.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Katzelkraft Monthly Challenge - July

Flowers is the theme for this month's challenge on the Katzelkraft blog. As I have used flowers in some of the other recent KTZ challenges I had to find something different. The main image is from KTZ51_02 stamped on a scrap of patterned paper. I coloured it with coloursoft pencils and Sansodor. The trailing flowers are from KTZ132. The sentiment and die are from Clearly Besotted. It was all mounted on a pink card blank leaving a slight border on 2 sides.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

LIM 232

This week's challenge on the Less Is More blog is to make a masculine one layer card. I went for this horse head stamp from Katzelkraft's contes et merveilles set. I often use it for male cards and it always stamps beautifully to show the intricate detail. After stamping it with Archival sepia, I masked it and brushed a stripe of peacock feathers DI across the card. A sentiment by Winnie & Walter finished the card. I would have liked to have added a few sequins or gems but as it's a one layer week I decided to leave it at that.

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