My inky travels along life's rocky road

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Dictionary Challenge - the final instalment

Having completed all 26 letters for the Craft Barn Dictionary Challenge it was time to bind my pages together into a book. Note to self : if you're planning to do this again make sure you punch the binding holes BEFORE sticking lumpy bits on! Of course it was the pesky dragonfly and the shells that caused the biggest problem LOL! They just wouldn't fit in my Bind-It-All, so with a sharp blade and a stout heart (forgive me I've been listening to Jane Austen over the holidays) I set to work. The next problem was that my 1" wires were just a tad too small. Luckily I had a strip of  1&1/4" but (insert suitable swear word here) I needed 14 loops and I only had 13!!!!!! Which is why you see the arrangement in the pic above (actually it worked out quite well).
I printed an index for the inside front:

Each page was mounted onto black card to tie it all together:

I've thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and am pleased to have completed it so thanks to everyone at the Craft Barn. I look forward to seeing what next year brings!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Dictionary Challenge - P

At long last we reach the final letter in our year-long challenge on the Craft Barn Blog and the letter is P. I decided to pick Peacock as I had an unused Cuttlebug die that I had bought a while ago. I wanted a paisley pattern in the background so clear embossed an old Funstamps paisley before applying shaded lilac, seedless preserves and dusty concord. I then used some tiny Studio G paisley stamps to fill in some gaps. The peacock was cut from watercolour paper, rubbed with Versamark ink and brushed with green and blue Perfect Pearls. A spritz of water set the powder and gave a mottled effect. the peacock was embellished with some gems and I added some coordinating washi tape.
Now all that remains is to bring my pages together and bind them into a book.
Edited to add: You can see the completed project here.

Alphabet ATCs - U for Urban

This is my final ATC for the year. I have been trying to use up some of my old patterned papers and decided to use this starry paper as a backdrop for a Clearly Besotted urban skyline die.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

My final Christmas card for this year is for my followers and all those who have left such kind comments on this blog. I wish you all a joyful time with your friends and families.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Cards Part 2

I bought a set of 2 reindeer dies by Joy Crafts earlier in the year and used the larger deer (with antlers) to make this card. It enabled me to use some very old patterned paper (probably the first set I ever bought) which was a bonus. The background is embossed with Cuttlebug's snow embossing folder and the text is by Clearly Besotted. I used a small hole punch to make a red nose which I brushed with Wink of Stella to give a subtle shine.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas Cards Part 1

As I tend to send a lot of Christmas cards to friends and family overseas this Crafty Individuals London skyline stamp is perfect. I stamped it on some patterned paper and heat embossed with WOW black sparkle embossing powder. I heat embossed the star on top of the tree in gold. The sentiment is part of a larger stamp that I masked off.
I made a variation of this card with a background of gelatos:

The sentiment is from a Paula Pascual set.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Alphabet ATCs - U for Underwear

My second ATC uses a very old corset stamp by Stampendous. I heat embossed it with WOW glitter embossing powder in magical mauve and then used Twinkling H2Os for the detail. The background is a scrap piece of card that I was trying some inks out on, by pure coincidence it picked up all the colours on the corset. I added some Glossy Accents for a little dimension.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Alphabet ATCs - U for Underwater

This month's letter for the ATC Swap is 'U' and  I chose the word Underwater. The tentacle stamp is by Katzelkraft and all the other stamps are from an old foam set by Kodomo.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Dictionary Challenge - M

We have reached the penultimate letter in our year-long challenge on the Craft Barn blog and the letter is M (no prizes for guessing what the next letter will be). I initially thought of Mannequin but then thought that Model would be a better word. I used a couple of Dina Wakley stamps from the essential silhouettes set, paper piecing the dress on one of them with patterned paper. I stencilled a catwalk for the posing models and used another stencil with acrylic paint for the background. A Katzelkraft text stamp was added and a small circle stamp filled in some gaps. Not long to go until we reach the final post!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Dictionary Challenge - Y

Only a few more letters remaining in the dictionary challenge on the Craft Barn blog and this fortnight's letter is Y. My brain came up with very little so I resorted to my dictionary which had a very meagre Y section 2 pages of which had been used up with my previous attempt (Y for Year).  Thankfully I found Yashmak which made it possible to use this striking photo image stamp that I have. I bought it in a mixed bag of stamps and have no idea who made it but I love it.
I first thought I would make the background very colourful but I decided that a monochromatic page would allow the beautiful details of the stamp to come through. I brushed Archival teal onto the background and then used it with a Personal Impressions Zendoodles stamp (not my best stamping I know). The rose border is a lovely Sizzix die I just bought from a sale at Countryview Crafts. It arrived today and I just had to try it out. Some gold sequins completed the page.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Luggage Tag

Sometimes it's nice to make something just for the heck of it rather than for a particular swap or challenge which is why this luggage tag was created. An overzealous security guard had stamped the  identification tag on my carry-on rucksack and I wanted to make a new one. I used papers from MME's Adventure and Papermania's All Aboard with a scribbly bird stamp by Dina Wakley and Tim Holtz's text dies. The gold rectangle is my address label.
Here's the other side:
I'm going to cover it with sticky plastic to protect it from the rigours of overhead lockers and thoughtless security guards.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Alphabet ATCs - M for Motif

I bought this pretty motif stamp and die from Clearly Besotted shortly before they shut up shop until the new year and it seemed appropriate to use as a repeat pattern for this ATC.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Memory Box Challenge - November

A quick entry for this month's challenge on the Memory Box blog the theme of which is giving thanks. Flowers are a good way of saying thanks so I created a vase from 2 cross stitched frame border dies and added my poppy and woodland branch spray of flowers (all dies by Memory Box of course). I added a small banner sentiment by Clearly Besotted and some gold sequins (I'm definitely having a sequin moment right now).

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Alphabet ATCs - M for Metal

No prizes for guessing what the word for my second ATC for the Alphabet swap is this month. I dug out my metal embossing tools and had a play. The background is actually the stencil I used in the previous ATC - M for Mummy. I ran it through the Cuttlebug with an embossing mat and then highlighted the indentations with the tools. Some metal nailheads completed the ATC.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Dictionary Challenge - I

Just a few more letters remaining in the Craft Barn dictionary challenge and this fortnight's letter is I. There was a lot of choice (you could say an incredible amount) and I was very indecisive but I finally opted for 'Instructions'. I recently read some quotations from an American poet called Mary Oliver and they struck a chord with me. I decided to use an excerpt from one of her poems called 'Sometimes'. I tried to create a page in the style of those inspirational quote posters you see on Pinterest.
First I printed off the quote. Then I dabbed twisted citron, wild honey and festive berries DIs onto an acrylic block, spritzed with water and gold shimmer spray and smooshed it onto the page. I reapplied the colours frequently making sure to clean the block each time so I didn't end up with a brown mess. The leaf sprig stamp by Open Studio (a prize from a Memory Box challenge) was double clear embossed with Stazon stone grey and embossing pens. I went over the writing with a Pigma micron pen (08) and added some Tim Holtz wildflower and Spellbinders corner diecuts.
That's all folks!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Alphabet ATCs - M for Mummy

When the UK Stampers forum shut down last month with no prior notice I was worried that the Alphabet ATC swap that I have been taking part in for over a year would end as well. Thankfully we have found a new (temporary) home and I am grateful to the Rebel Stampers Forum for making us welcome.
This month's letter is M and my first ATC is Mummy. Nothing too taxing just an image mounted on a stencilled background.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Craft Barn Weekly Challenge - Poppies

This week's theme for the Craft Barn blog challenge is Poppies with the added criteria that it should be monochromatic with a splash of red. I took monochromatic to mean black & white and used only 2 colours - hickory smoke DI and Impress poppy red. This CAS card uses a Creative Expressions stamp and a Winnie & Walter sentiment. I stamped the panel, edged it with DI and mounted it on foam. Ignore the pink around the border, that's just a sheet I used to help outline the card for the scanner.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Dictionary Challenge - U

This is a very hard page to take a decent pic of due to all the metal foil I have used. This fortnight's letter for the Craft Barn challenge is U and I have chosen UFO as my word. I did consider underwater but at the moment that's a bit too close to home!
Whilst sorting through some stuff to be sent away for storage I found a foiling set. I remember we had taken an exchange student to Harrods many years ago and had seen this being demo'd in the toy department. It consists of sticky foam sheets with different images and you peel away sections and apply the foil. My husband bought me a set and although I had used a few bits most of it was untouched. Now there is nothing remotely arty about this page but I had great fun making it and at this time I am in need of a little fun. The background was made by brushing layers of Stazon midnight blue and then flicking watery white acrylic paint all over. I then stuck on some suitably foiled planets and the UFO complete with green alien. The spaceship is covered with 2 different holographic effect foils. I added some sequins and a few punched stars.

Thank you to everyone who posted kind comments on my current situation. Things are drying nicely (but still noisily) and we are making progress.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Dictionary Challenge - V

Before I show you my dictionary challenge page for this fortnight I have to tell you that I was supposed to be away for a few weeks and knew that I wouldn't be able to complete this challenge on time. I was away in India but a few days into my visit DS1 rang to say he had found a leak in the water tank in our loft. It seemed manageable at first but it soon became obvious that it had done more damage than initially thought and so we changed our flights and came home.
The water has travelled down 2 floors into our kitchen via a bedroom, the bathrooms and the staircase. Since our return we have been kept busy with loss adjusters, electricians and water damage specialists. Upto now they have all been wonderful and I have only praise for them.
Carpets have had to be thrown out, cupboards emptied and stuff sent into storage until we straighten ourselves out again. It could have been a lot worse - we can still live here for now although that may not be the case if the ceilings need to be brought down. For the moment we are living with the endless noise of industrial sized fans and dehumidifiers trying to dry the damaged areas. The mouldy smell has subsided but it will be a few weeks before the fans can be switched off.
I'm not really in the mood but I decided to make an effort to enter this fortnight's challenge because it felt good to do something that was 'normal' and not related to clearing/sorting the mess we find ourselves in.
So on to more pleasant things:

This fortnight's letter on the Craft Barn dictionary challenge is V. I've chosen a simple word 'Vehicle'. I used TH's old jalopy die with an Artemio stamp of London buses & taxis. The background is a SplodgeAway mask with peeled paint DI and some words from TH's traveller stencil. I thought the words were appropriate because the invention of vehicles gave people the ability to travel longer distances than their feet could carry them and opened up the world. I added sequins coloured with a Sharpie for no reason other than I fancied a little sparkle. That's it for this entry, I doubt I will be able to see all your entries but I will try.
Edited to add: This page was picked for a prize by the random generator.

UK Stampers Forum - Update

Yesterday (28th October) the U.K Stampers forum suddenly went offline with a message that reads 'account suspended'. No one knows what has happened but the original owner (who has had nothing to do with it for a long time) appears to have severed all links without warning. There are various swaps outstanding and I had records of all my forum friends in my forum message box which I can no longer access. I have contact details for some people but not all. If you are a former U.K. Stampers forum member please get in touch so that when/if this gets sorted out we can inform each other. I have used this forum for years and am devastated at what has happened.
I will try and post news of any developments on here.
The ATC swap has survived and has a new (temporary) home of the rebel stampers forum.

UK Stampers ATC Swap - D for Domino

My final ATC this month is 'Domino'. I have a domino embossing folder so I brayered it with black ink before running some card through in order to get the black tiles with white dots. I decided to cut out a few to show a small game in progress. the background is made with stamps from a set by Inkadinkadoo called circles & dots.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - D for Duck

My second ATC this month is 'Duck' using a lovely Crafty Individuals stamp and coloured pencils. I raised the duck in the foreground on foam pad, embellished with Glossy Accents and added the number 22 which has the bingo call 'two little ducks' (to which you are supposed to reply 'quack quack').

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - D for Dress

This month's letter in our continuing ATC swap is 'D'. I have recently had a sort out of very old patterned papers and this gerbera printed paper was one of them. I stamped an unknown grab bag stamp onto it and embellished it with a Pearl pen. The background consists of a couple of Tim Holtz stencils and a text stamp.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - October

This month's postcard swap has the theme of Autumn. I decided that unlike previous years I wanted to create a postcard with an autumnal feel but no leaves on it. My background was made with Gelatos scribbled onto the card and then blended with a wet finger. I started with yellow and then added a punched circle to mask off the moon before scribbling on the other colours. The tree stamp on the left is by Marion Emberson and comes with separate leaf and blossom stamps to add to the branches. The other group of bare trees is an unknown unmounted stamp. Using a stamp positioner I added an old clarity stamps moon and cloud stamp and then used the edges of that stamp to create a hazy mist effect. It all looked a bit lifeless so I added some Crafty Individual birds from 2 different sets flying south for the coming winter and some text by Paper Artsy.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Dictionary Challenge - E

Great excitement as this fortnight's letter for the Craft Barn challenge is 'E'. There are an enormous number of possible words to choose (too many to enumerate) and I couldn't really narrow it down to just one so there are extras on this page. I finally went for 'Entrance'. The door stamp is by Crafty Individuals and I embellished it with a wreath made from a green pipecleaner, some punched flowers and a tiny bow. The picket fence enclosure is a Sizzix die which I embossed with a woodgrain stamp. I also stamped a few evergreen trees.
So where is the all important definition??????

Enclosed behind the entrance door here:

Stamps by PaperArtsy and Darkroom Door.
Enjoy yourselves!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Memory Box Challenge - October

Spurred on by my success in the draw in last month's Memory Box challenge I have an early entry for this month's challenge the theme of which is sequins. I am still playing with the Brush Strokes stamp set by Inkylicious that I bought at Ally Pally last month and used the smallest of the 3 stamps for the background in faded jeans, salty ocean, broken china and tumbled glass DIs. The sentiment is by Clearly Besotted and some silver sequins complete the card.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

LIM 296

The theme this week on the Less Is More blog is turquoise & lilac. I used a brush strokes stamp by Inkylicious with Impress cerulean blue and Stazon vibrant violet for the background. The diecut is by Joy Crafts and the sentiment is by Clearly Besotted (who have now sadly shut up shop until the new year). I edged the panel in blue and mounted it on foam pads.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Dictionary Challenge - X

Well the letter we have all been dreading had to come up at some stage but that is not why I am sneaking such a late entry into the Craft Barn's Dictionary Challenge. For once I knew which word I wanted to do but I have had family staying with me and crafting has had to take a back seat. Regular readers will know that I am also taking part in an alphabet ATC challenge on the UK Stampers forum and had made 3 different 'X' ATCs for that recently. I had sort of figured out which 'X' word to use for the Craft Barn challenge at that point. My word is 'Xenophile' - the opposite of Xenophobe. I love finding out about different people, countries and cultures and so it seemed an apt word for me to use.
I started with some patterned paper from Papermania called 'All Aboard' but sadly it was not long enough to cover my page so I added a strip of another paper from the same range. The join was covered with some decorative tape with a travel theme and the quote 'we are on the way - life is like a journey waiting for us to find all the good things'. The main image is by Hampton Arts, stamped in Sepia, coloured with pencils and cut out. The landmarks were all stamped on tissue paper, cut out and stuck onto the background - this is a really good way to add stamped images if you are worried about ruining your page with a badly stamped image. Most of the images are by Katzelkraft with the Taj Mahal by Judikins and an unknown oriental image. I added some other small tickets/tags from the Papermania set and a Tim Holtz hotel stamp.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Memory Box Challenge - September

This month's challenge on the Memory Box blog is to use stencils. I'm trying to cling on to the last remnants of summer by using a 'hot' lemon card blank. The stencil I've used is one I fell in love with at first sight and bought immediately.
Die - Memory Box Spring Border
Stencil - Memory Box Texture Rhapsody
Ink - Distress Twisted Citron, Versafine Onyx Black
Text - Winnie & Walter
Misc - Dragonfly punch, decorative tape
Edited to add: This card was picked for a prize in the monthly draw.

UK Stampers ATC Swap - J for Jingle

It's almost that time of the year again when I get out the (whisper it) Christmas stamps to make my cards for the year. I bought this TH Poinsettia stencil earlier this year because I liked the flowers so I decided to use it as my background. The card I used had a slight coating on it so my Coloursoft pencils appeared quite pale. They reminded me of the pink poinsettias you sometimes see in the shops alongside the white and red ones. I added glossy accents to the holly berries but they looked very insipid so once they were dry I coloured over the glossy accents with a Sharpie - much better! I have had these small bells for years - they give a lovely jingly sound and were ideal for this ATC. The text is by Clearly Besotted.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - J for Jigsaw

My second ATC this month is J for Jigsaw. For the scene I used an old Art Impressions stamp that I found in a charity shop. Having coloured it in, I punched out 3 jigsaw shapes with a small punch.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Dictionary Challenge - O

This fortnight's letter for the Dictionary Challenge on the Craft Barn blog is O. I had a lot of options for this week but the problem (obviously) was narrowing it down to just one. I finally opted for Ornate but with an Oriental twist and used some tiny strips of my precious washi paper. Some gold embossing and gems completed the page.
Stamps: Non Sequitur, Clearly Besotted, Simple Expressions.
Inks: Distress ripe persimmon, picked raspberry, peacock feathers, Archival teal.

Monday, 5 September 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - J for Jalopy

This month's letter for the ATC swap on the UK Stampers Forum is J. My first word is Jalopy (can you see the boneshaker backfiring?) I used a Tim Holtz image and text stamp on an old map background.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Dictionary Challenge - H

This fortnight's letter for the Craft Barn dictionary challenge is H. It took me a while to decide on a word - sometimes I just know straight away what to pick and other times (like this) it takes a lot longer. There was no shortage of words beginning with H but I couldn't settle on one until I came to Handbag. 'A handbag?????' I hear you cry in your best Lady Bracknell voice. Here's what helped me decide:
Some time ago (several months into 2007 to be exact) I picked up a handbag themed desk calendar at the bargain price of 95p. It had an image of a different handbag for every day of the year and I have used several on birthday cards since then. The size of the images is perfect for the 13x18cm format I am using for this challenge and this Argentinian red alligator handbag with brass frame from the 60s looked just right for cutting out. In a nod to a current trend I decided to give it a pompom handbag charm which I made with embroidery silks in 3 toning colours (no I don't carry a handbag with a pompom on it!). The background was made with Brushos in yellow, lime green and olive green. I added some punched handbags along the bottom.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - E for Explore

My final ATC this month is E for Explore. I used a stamp of an old map of Japan which I got years ago in a grab bag and a die cut word from a TH set.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Memory Box Challenge - August

This month's challenge on the Memory Box blog is to use yellow. I couldn't stop thinking of a canary so decided to use this Tim Holtz crazy bird stamp with a Memory Box cross stitched frame border die. This Memory Box set is a recent addition and has already proved very useful and fun to use. I got the idea for the colour scheme from this post on Stamping Mathilda's blog. I coloured in the bird with pencils but couldn't quite get a vibrant enough yellow until I finally used a Sharpie.
This card is destined for an old friend (at least he was until I sent him this card LOL!)

Thursday, 18 August 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - E for Elegant

I had made this ATC background a while ago using a TH stencil and some KTZ dots. The main image is from an old Hero Arts set which I stamped a couple of times in order to get the dress and hat a different colour to the body. The letters are stamped with a small peg alphabet.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

UK Stampers ATC Swap - E for Elephant

This month's letter in the continuing ATC swap on UK Stampers is E. My first ATC is for Elephant. I have a whimsical elephant stamp and die set by Hero arts and I decided to make an ATC in that style. My elephant is cut from card that I coloured with Gelatos to give an ombrĂ© effect. I die cut some crosses as a base from a Mama Elephant die and placed him (?) on a background stamped with a stamp by Impression Obsession. Some star and flower gems finished the ATC.

Monday, 15 August 2016

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - August

I have been occupied with family staying over and watching the Olympics and am a little behind on my monthly challenges but found some crafting time while watching the rugby 7s final between Fiji and GB(for once I was not disappointed that Team GB only got silver). What a one-sided match but how wonderful for Fiji to win their first EVER medal in Olympics. For me these are the moments that make the Olympics so special although I have been doing a fair amount of shouting for Team GB while the cycling and rowing has been going on as well.
Anyway back to business and this month's postcard swap, the theme of which is Sea/Nautical. I have to admit I struggled with this because in previous years there have been similar themes and I have used my CI beach huts and my Katzelkraft shell etc etc. I had an idea to do something a bit different but during the course of trying to find the required stamp I came across this Inkylicious poem and the grasses (also by Inkylicious). I had in mind sand dunes and the coastal grasses that grow in them (they may look like mountains but they are meant to be dunes). The tiny shells are by CI as is the seagull.

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