Rubber Art Stamping & Card Making.

A Warm Welcome to all my visitors.

Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really appreciate it. Please leave me a comment, even just to say Hi, It means I can come and visit you, and find new friends!

All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If they have been inspired by someone else, I have credited them in the info. Please feel free to use my designs, I just ask that you provide a link back to my blog, Thanks.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

WOYWW #364- The Birthday Edition.

It's here at last, our incredible 7th birthday, and I'm betting our beloved Julia had no idea what she was starting, all those years ago. Today, of course, we're linking up at the home of LLJ, whilst Julia enjoys her pre surgery break.We're all thinking of you Julia, and sending loads of love and healing thoughts your way, and to Hubby too, a few of us knowing only too well how hard this is on the partners. And, should you have been living on a desert island for the last few years, and wonder what this is all about, it's the biggest, greatest blog hop of crafters from all over the world, sharing all sorts of wonderful crafts, and some of the messiest desks its ever been your misfortune to stumble over. So, a crafty peek at whats been on my desk for the last few days- yes, I did leave it that late!
A number of ATC's enveloped up ready to post, and a few leftovers. All the people I've already arranged a swap with are done, I have one set aside for my swap in the list, and I have 4 left, so if anyone else would like to swap, let me know in the comments.
So what else has been happening? Well, our garden finally has 6ft fencing the whole length- thats 150 foot of it! It's taken forever, a lot of the time we've been here, it's either been wire fencing for the first few years, then trellis fencing, and due to having the neighbour from hell, it's taken a while to get it done.  I do have photos, I will do a post maybe next week sometime. Now we just have to re-do the decking- when you see the photo's you will realise the scale of the job. It is a long garden, and on quite a slope, which has meant a fair bit of terracing needed to be done.
 Last Saturday I paid a short visit to what was formerly Pink Tulip Crafts, in Studley. The owners had had to give up, as it was becoming impossible for them to manage, but at the last minute a couple who run a business called Crafty Ideas stepped in and bought the store, so they had a grand opening/sale day.  Judgement is being withheld at the moment, I shall go back in a few weeks and see how it is then, but I was very disappointed with the contents of the shop on Saturday. A couple of Lavinia Stamps, and a few heavily discounted Christmas Stamp sets were all I bought- and when looking online for images of the stamp sets for my catalogue, it seems they are a few years old and long discontinued! I've also noticed now, having looked at the stamps since I got home, they are clear stamps, but are quite yellowed, so were obviously stored badly. If I'd looked at them in the store, rather than just at the pictures on the package, I wouldn't have bought them, but I wouldn't have expected a craft shop to have stored them in sunlight, which is clearly what's been done. Anyway, thats all my news for today, and everyone has lots of visiting to do, so I'll see you later.



Wednesday, 18 May 2016

WOYWW #363

Wednesday again, that week flew past! Time for another wander round the desks courtesy of Julia, over at The Stamping Ground. Sending you love & hugs, Julia.Not a lot happened on my desk, to be honest with you. It saw no action over the weekend, as the weather was nice, and we had some fencing needing to be finished. We now have a load of decking to rip up and replace, so hoping the weather stays dry this weekend.
 I was putting away my stamp purchases, and managed to get sidetracked. Not very far, just in organising my stamps a bit better, and in a number of cases stripping off the dreaded foam on the backs.
 A long time ago, 10 or more years, when I started collecting stamps, I started buying bare rubber, and mounting it onto foam backing myself. Seemed like a good idea at the time. However, as time went on, I started to get problems with stamps cupping- forming a concave shape, which meant they wouldn't stick well to the storage sheets, or the acrylic blocks. Then, a few years ago,I discovered in some cases the foam just peeled straight off the stamps.So I started to defoam a load of my stamps,but left the ones where the foam was quite secure.
 Now I find those are starting to peel, so I'm stripping off a load more.
Here's a typical example from this weeks batch. So, one thing I'd say to anyone about to go down this route, is think very carefully about using mounting foam. For starters, you can store more stamps without the foam, and secondly, it's not a once and forever job. Eventually the glue will break down, it will start to peel off, or it will start to cup. And it's not a humidity problem, here in the UK, we don't have humidity, lol.
 So now, all my stamps are getting repo glue on the backs. Right now, I'm using Tombow Mono Multi- it's a permanent glue if you stick something down whilst it's wet, but wait for it to dry and you have a removable item. I was using Aileenes Tack it Over & Over, but  it needs to be diluted, and everyone seems to prefer a different dilution, and I couldn't find one that really worked for me.
All this organising required some more storage sheets, and for these I just laminate odd sheets of card. The laminator I got cheap in a sale at Tesco a couple of years back, and I had been buying my pouches from Poundland, in packs of ten. Did a quick E-bay search the other day, and got 100 for £5.49, which is effectively half what I was paying. Bonus. I started laminating my own sheets after I purchased some storage sheets online, and when they turned up, I realised that's exactly what they were-just laminated cardstock.
The upside of getting sidetracked is finding stamps I'd forgotten about, so I'm trying to make a printed out catalogue, which I will be able to flick through in future.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

WOYWW #362

I'm Back!!!!! Yes, after a week on the high seas, minus internet & phone access to anywhere, other than when in a port and settled down in a bar somewhere, lol. There was wi-fi available on the ship,but at an eye watering £56 a week! This was our home for a week, and it was a very nice ship. We had a good holiday, saw some interesting places, but I don't think we'll be doing it again, apart from maybe a Northern Lights cruise. Not really our type of holiday, in the end. But it was a good experience, lovely crew and very nice fellow cruisers.Oh, and we got an invite to dine at the Captains table one night, which was fun. We arrived home last Tuesday, the  3rd of May.The weather has been extremely warm ever since we came back, I think we may have just snagged the sunshine and towed it back with us. Unpacking and washing, as you do for the next couple of days, then re-packing an overnight case for our trip up to Port Sunlight for the Happy Stampers Festival. 
What can I say, but Wow! If you've never been, if you're a stamper, you really must. Fantastic show,almost all stamping related, and I came across some new companies I'd not  heard of.
















 
 We also got to meet our Neet,( Hickydorums) and Chris, (Pearshapedcrafting). I got to meet some other lovely crafters, friends of Neet- one of whom, Lyn, recognised our name from FB posts, lol. Neet brought me a lovely book, full of celtic designs she thought I'd like, and a smashing rubber stamp. Has a plain side, to stamp a background, and on the other side is a gorgeous rosebud.
The pic above was taken at our lunch break- about 1.00pm, we all stopped for a reviving drink, and some food.Much purchasing of stamps was done-now I just have to catalogue and store them all.


 Love these cats and dogs from Indigo Blu- and you may spot a bit of a cat/dog theme here.

Some Sweet Poppy stencils- a steampunk cat, and dog(!) amongst others.

Hobby Art stamps here, this time we have Cats & Owls, along with a scenic set.

Over to Cardio, and a selection of stamp sets here. Bunnies, some flowers, and a scarecrow set, with a really sweet little snail on it, in a few sizes. There's also an Oriental set, with a few sizes of Hummingbird on.
I also picked up a set with a number of fairies in small sizes in a variety of positions, and I think quite a lot of these stamps are a perfect size to mix and match with the Lavinia Stamps I have, which is always good.



Inkwell Stamps, I have seen before at the NEC, but not really had a good look at what they do. A set of stylized cats(!) grabbed Dougs attention, as well as the Pebble People stamps. A cute penguin and snowman Christmas stamp, along with a NOEL stamp in the sale.






A few from Crafty Individuals- The loose stamps were 5 for £3, a bargain. I think they are oddments from some of their larger sheet sets.

 I've heard of these Cover A Card stamps, but this was the first time I'd seen them. The Holly one, which was reduced in a sale, will be great for Christmas backgrounds, and the Spiders Web one I have loads of stamps it will go with.





A visit to Helen and Mark at Visible Image provided these stamps, and a nice chat.  I'd been chatting to Helen on FB when we were starting to drive up, and thanks to her info about the state of the M5 & M6, we stuck to back roads, and made good time.






A few from Lavinia stamps, I have a large version of the dancing fairies already.





These came from Stamps Away/Clevercut. I'm always on the lookout for sentiment stamps, trying to get a variety of sizes, and scripts.  Liked the handwriting font for these, and they are a bit larger than normal, without being too large.



This is a company I had never heard of before, Honey Doo Crafts. They have some amazing, beautiful stamps. If you don't know them, go have a look. They have a huge range of stamps, and loads of other crafting goodies.







  This one was a freebie, I think it was buy 4 large stamps, get a small one free.






 A few stencils from Glitzcraft, and some Scenescapes cards from Lavinia Stamps.


An awesome little Dinky stencil of Bats.






Then a handful of basics- some Stickles, some pearls, a new pot of Glamourdust, some Puffy Stuff- I thought it might make interesting snow texture- and some glue.






And the final purchase was some deckle edged 8x8 cards, and envelopes. 4 packs of 15 for a tenner.
 All in all, quite a haul there.So now all I have to do is pack it all away, and of course I need to get going with my ATC's for this years Birthday bash. Anyone who would like to swap, just leave me a comment, and if we haven't swapped before, drop me an e-mail with your snail mail in. That should keep me quiet for the rest of the week, lol.Hope you all have a smashing Wednesday, and I'm sending loads of love and healing thoughts to our much loved leader, Julia, as she has a nice break before her surgery.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Fantasy Willow

Another Sweet Poppy stencil, this one is called Fantasy Willow. It was done in White Glossy stencil paste, then a brown glitter used for the trunk, with a light purple glitter for the hanging branches. I added a little dark purple Stickles at the ends of the flowers afterwards.















 The image is matted onto two shades of purple card, then finally onto black. A sheet of A4 pearlescent purple cardstock was folded for the base card.
 The sentiment, cut from purple glitter paper, is by  Creative Expressions, a Sue Wilson die.
 It's added to the base of the card with foam tabs.

Butterfly Tree, times 2.

This card is using the Butterfly tree from Sweet Poppy Stencils. It was done using white Glossy embossing paste and a selection of glitters. I added the Copper Glitter for the trunk first, and it's just a matter of being careful where you sprinkle it, and then tip it off away from the butterflies. A little going on them won't matter, especially if you are going to do an assortment of butterfly colours as I have here. I think in all I used 4 colours for the butterflies.
 I punched some spare butterflies from glitter paper, and added them atop the image with some Pinflair gel glue.
 It was matted onto  a copper coloured glitter paper, and I find when attaching any card to glitter paper, it is better to use a glue such as the Pinflair glue gel. You can put DST on the back first, but smear some glue gel on top of that. It will stick well to the glittery surface, and also give you some slide-ability when matting.
 Next I matted it onto a sheet of purple glitter paper that had had one edge punched with an X-cut border punch, called Doily Dots.
 All mounted onto a 7x7 card base.
The second card is similar, but I used a paler almost Champagne coloured glitter for the trunk, and pale pink and lilac glitter for the butterflies. I matted this one onto silver glitter paper, then purple again. The purple this time was punched with another X-cut border punch called Looped Fringe.The base is an A4 cardstock sheet folded in half.
 Both have copper coloured peel offs used for the Birthday greeting.
 I may end up adding a ribbon to these, as they seem to be missing something, I think.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Black Orchid Sweet Poppy Stencil, in White on Black.

The last time I did this card, I used Black stencil Paste and Black glitter, on white. This time round, I've used White Glossy embossing paste, onto black card, with a crystal glitter sprinkled over the wet paste.
I've added two black half pearls, and 1 white one into opposite corners of the image.The card base is a black textured A4 sheet folded.
 All the stencilling do'sand don'ts can be found in THIS POST.  




















 The second card to get the reverse treatment is this one using the Leafy Flowers Stencil. Again, White Glossy paste and Crystal glitter were used. This one is also on a folded A4 card base.
 Dark acrylic gems are added in the two opposite corners, and  Birthday Peel offs supply the greeting.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

WOYWW #359

Well, this is my desk right now. I've shown you this first, so you can see I did get things sorted! We are back again for our regular Wednesday round up of the desks from hell, otherwise know as WOYWW, all kept in some sort of order by our fantastic Hostess, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground.
On the left, a pile of images I am determined to get turned in to cards, at the back, 2 already done, on the right, one image and a stack of white & black card for layering.
 In the posts below this one, there are a few cards I made towards last weekend, including one about how to avoid lines in your cardstock if you are embossing with a small folder, or border ones, so if you get time, you may want to have a quick look.
 OK, that was the good bit. Now you may need to brace yourself for the next few photos. This was my craft room over the weekend;
 
 Besides my main workdesk, I have IKEA worktops in three other places in my room, two along walls, and one which is a table attached to an EXPEDIT unit, which I use as my cutting/embossing station.
This one on the right is the worktop in front of my inkpad storage.


The desk on the left here, is my main workdesk, and as you can see is an utter mess. The reason for all this  is that a lady I know from work has decided to give up crafting completely, and take up quilting, so she sent me an enormous tub full of loads of crafting stuff.

                              This on the right is my 'desk behind my desk'.

This is my cutting/embossing station. In order to get everything put away,it involved creating even more mess to start with.





Just so you know I was successful, this it what it looks like now:



Looking much better, with the easel I use for photographing my cards on.
This is my real desk, just before I started trying to finish some more cards.
 The white turntable caddy at the back is something she gifted me, and I have to say, whilst I'd never bought one as I thought it unnecessary, I'm actually loving being able to have so much to hand in such a small space.
 A small guillotine and my glass mat as well.If it's on the desk, it's possible I'll use it!



The  'desk behind the desk', showing a nice splash of sunshine on Tuesday afternoon.



My cutting/embossing station, clean & tidy.
 I've found homes for Tattered Angels glimmer mists, a couple of dozen pots of embossing powder, mica powders, Cosmic Shimmers version of Liquid Pearls and Stickles, masses of tools, and loads more I can't even remember it all now.
 Needless to say, despite her saying she didn't want anything for it, I've sent her a huge bunch of flowers, and a Hobbycrafts voucher.

And, finally, our tickets arrived yesterday for the Happy Stampers festival at Port Sunlight, so I've also booked us a hotel for Friday night, as Doug said we could drive up Friday afternoon and stay over. Really excited, as we get to meet our Neet!( And some purchasing of crafting items (mainly stamps I expect) may well be made. :)

P.S. Forgot to say that I might be missing next week, as we go off on holiday on Tuesday. Fly to Tenerife in the morning, but thinking about it, the ship doesn't sail until midnight on Tuesday, so might be able to do a post, it will depend on my tablet, and the ships wifi. We shall see. xx

Monday, 18 April 2016

50th Birthday Card


Right, this was the card I was working on last week, but couldn't show as it was for a Birthday at the weekend. Visitors last Wednesday will remember seeing the embossed background, and the letter templates on my desk.
 The templates  are still available, from Clevercut, but I know they are having website problems at the moment,as something on their site has fallen foul of Virgin Media's' Virusafe, which has blocked the page. Just had a look on the FB page, and Ali has posted THIS LINK, which goes straight to the site.
 For making a special card, these templates are ace, as they measure 5 1/2" tall,and approximately 2 1/2" wide, so they can make a great impact.


Mine were cut from a black glitter paper, a pad I picked up once in Hobbycrafts.













Although it's a paper pad, the paper is more like lightweight card.




I already had a vague plan of what I wanted to do- you can see my notes on measurements, as I wanted to have different sized white blocks matted onto black card, which would all be mounted onto a white 8x8" card base.

With my 3 pieces of base card cut. I proceeded to emboss them with a new folder I bought from Crafters Companion, called Sunburst. Of course, had I actually measured the folder first, I would have realised it was 8x8", so could have just embossed one sheet of card, then cut it to size.






 I was quite impressed with how well the folder embossed to be honest. It came out lovely and crisp, with nice detail. No squishing or distortion of the embossing at all.

My next detail involved the use of two of the Sue Wilson Finishing Touches dies, the Classic Ribbon & Bow, and the Lattice Ribbon & Bow.
 These dies are the 'normal' sized ones, as it's worth mentioning they come in a second smaller size called 'Bitty Bows'.



I cut the Classic, which is a solid shape, from black paper, and the Lattice from white paper, to layer over it.





As my card was wider than the ribbon die length, I cut two pieces of each, and joined them together. This turned out to be a mistake, and something I should have remembered from the first time I did this.
Because of the orientation of the bow, you can see the join in the middle- I need to remember that I must remove the 'ends' of the Lattice ribbon, and join by the Lattices in future.


  I made a quick adjustment to my card, trimming down the bottom panel so that it was just long enough to allow one ribbon to wrap over the ends. Then the bow and tails, which again had the Lattice portion layered over it, were attached with a glue dot.


 I added a couple of black/white/silver layered flowers, which are cut with the Spellbinders Layered Poinsettia Dies, to fill the corners.
 Final touch was to add the greeting, a Happy Birthday cut with Poppystamps Dies Vintage Happy Birthday, and that's it.


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