A warm welcome to all my visitors,

Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really do appreciate it. I would love you to leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say Hi. It means I can come visit you!

All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If I have been inspired by someone elses work, I have named them in the post, and where able, I have provided a link.

Please feel free to use my designs for inspiration, I just ask you to credit me, and provide a link back to my blog.

Thanks, Shaz XX

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

WOYWW #489

Took this last night, as I have a docs appointment with the nurse for a diabetes blood test and Pneumonia jab this morning. That could end up taking a while. Thanks to the good old chemo, my veins are a mess, and I am 'trying to get blood out of a stone' personified, lol. Really, I've left before now with holes in both elbows, back of both hands, and usually at least one wrist. Fortunately, nurses seem able to do this painlessly, the only time I've had a doctor trying to get blood, I ended up with the back of my hand totally black, a lump the size of half a grapefruit, and he still ended up with no blood!

Card making stuff in evidence, there has been a flurry of snowflake cards (Sorry) made over the last few days.







I die cut a huge number of snowflakes on Saturday, as I have a few projects in mind with them. If I'd known how long it was going to take, I'm not sure I'd have bothered. An hour or so, I thought. Easy.What with multiple passes, shimming, finding the 'sweet spot' on the platform, recutting, it ended up taking me all day.



The only ones that cut first time, every time were the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowflake Alterations.
 Those trays, by the way- I found a pack of them in a cupboard. Meant for party snacks, but thought they'd be really useful in my craft room, lol.


I made 3 cards like this, using layered up snowflakes.






These two were from earlier Tuesday, again layered snowflakes on top of an embossing folder.



 
Still plenty of snowflakes left.


And don't you just love a happy accident? I also cut a couple of Frame winter scenes, two ended up as cards for the Christmas Card Club (post here) on Sunday, and one odd one I put down on my desk, on top of some cardstock I'd stencilled  a week or so ago.



I spotted it during the day, and thought 'Oooh, that works!'



 



 So I ended up cutting another couple- many shims and waxed paper were used!- and now I have the makings for another 3 cards.





 That'll be a project for later today.



 

Well, I'm done, and that just leaves



.......................And Finally..........................................



So, linking up at Julias place, The Stamping Ground, and I'll be around in a while.

Just seen, whilst getting the link, that Julia has a post about the 10th Anniversary Crop HERE. It's going to be on the 1st of June 2019, so lots of warning for you to make plans. And in Shrewsbury. It would be fantastic if we could make this a really big one, as I'm sure there can't be many blog hops that have been running this long!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Snowflake Christmas Cards

Putting all of those snowflakes to good use, and this is the first 3 cards made using them. They were inspired by a card I spotted on Pinterest back last week.

 This is the card that I saw, and it was mainly the embossing folder that caught my eye, as I have that one.  It's by Darice, called Snowflake Swirl.

The cardmakers name is Carol, and her blog is Our Little Inspirations.











I think my card is made larger than hers was, as I needed to add some embossing to the lower part of the piece of cardstock I was using. Mine is based on an A4 sheet of cardstock scored and folded.
 A few weeks ago I did some stencilled sheets using the Tim Holtz Merry Christmas stencil with silver embossing paste and sprinkling it with Crystal Glamour Dust, but they weren't long enough for this so I needed to do some new ones.
I found this stencil best to work with upside down, as the tiny parts of some letters- notably the 'R' and 'M', can easily get caught as you spread the paste. This also applies when cleaning them, you do need to be very gentle to avoid bending them.





I also had to do each one in two sittings, as the stencil wasn't long enough for my card front, but they only take about an hour to dry.I tried with the first one doing the whole strip, but it's impossible to do without smudging the paste you've already laid down.
 As you can see, epic fail!



While I was waiting for the paste to dry, I made a start on layering up the snowflakes. They're not all for these cards, I have another set planned. There are 3 or 4 snowflakes used in each one.





 I trimmed the strip down to roughly one third of the card width, then trimmed the embossed panel down to fill the front.


Both were attached with DST. I added a very narrow strip of silver ribbon to cover the join. For that I cut some narrow dst roughly down the centre, and added that over the join, then wrapped the ribbon around the card front, siting the join where I intended to place the large snowflake at the top.





The card base and the embossed panel are both Pearl White cardstock.







The sentiment is a Crealies die, and I cut it 3 times from white cardstock, and once from silver glitter and layered them up for a dimensional sentiment. I added a tiny acrylic jewel as the dot on the 'i'.






I also did a couple of stencilled sheets using Glossy White stencil paste- both this and the silver are by Sweet Poppy- and again sprinkled with Crystal Glamour Dust.






 So I changed it up for the third card, using the white sheet, and swapping the sides round too. In each case the ribbon join is under the large snowflake.

A small acrylic gem in the centre of each snowflake finished them off nicely.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Christmas Card Club - Mono Colours

Okay, so this post is a bit late, mainly because Plan A didn't go according to plan at all.  My card design was going to be using snowflakes. Simple, I thought. Die cut some snowflakes and away we go. What I thought was going to take a couple of hours, so far took a day & a half, and that was just the die cutting. I cut more than I thought I needed, definitely, but between the shimming, moving the dies around to find the sweet spot on the platform, and running through multiple times, then poking out all the bits, recutting some that hadn't cut all the way through, my 'simple' idea became anything but. However, now I finally have them cut, the cards will be made during the week. In true Mastermind tradition- I've started so I'll finish!
 Which brings me to the cards made instead. This week it's Kates choice of theme, and she picked Mono colours.
So we have a totally white version, and a dark blue and white one too.

The die used here is called Village Frame Square, and seems to be branded Amy Designs. Must be right, as a Google search found them at  The Art of Craft.
I cut it from White Pearl cardstock, and gave it a spritz with some Crafters Companion Spray & Sparkle, in Iridescent Glitter.  Next time I cut this, I'll add some Double sided adhesive sheet to the cardstock first, as adding glue to all the tiny bits of the design was slow going.

I cut another square of white pearl cardstock and embossed that with a folder called 'It's Snowing', by Leonie Purjol. I'm guessing it's discontinued, as I can't find anywhere with it in stock. I matted the Village scene on top of that, and then both pieces onto a 6" card base.
 The greeting is by Presscut, again, next time I'll add DST to the cardstock first. I used a white glitter card, as using the same pearl cardstock left it fading into the background.

 Made exactly the same, this time with a dark blue Metallic cardstock background. I have an old stamp that's just lots of tiny dots, so I stamped that all over the square, then heat embossed with Stardust Embossing Powder. Same greeting, this time cut from more white pearl cardstock.


Just for info purposes, these are the snowflakes!
The white pearl ones at the back on the paper have also now been sprayed with the Crafters Companion spray, for a bit of shimmer.

Funny thing is, mainly the worst ones to cut were from expensive dies. Some cheap ones I picked up from The Works,  £4 for 4 dies, cut like a dream.They are quite intricate too. A Sue Wilson Snowflakes die, which is very pretty, very intricate, and not cheap, was a nightmare!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Floral Honey Doo Birthday Cards

Wow, two posts in two days! Well, the makings of these were on my desk this week.


The black and white card is on an 8" square base, the Blue & white on a 7".
 The same stamp was used in both cards, Floral Corner Flourish by Honey Doo.

On a recommendation, I recently bought some Sheena Douglas Stamping Card from Crafters Companion, and I have to say it does stamp beautifully.
 I'd cut one square for each card, and I've said this before, but when using square pre-made card bases, the dimensions given are  the envelope size, not the card base!


Meaning, one called 7" is actually going to be closer to 6¾", so you need to cut your matt layer & stamping layer accordingly.
 I stamped the image using my Tim Holtz Stamping Platform, and that makes the positioning easy, as there's no need to move the stamp, just rotate the cardstock 180 degrees. They were both stamped in Versafine Clair ink, Nocturne (black), and Paradise (blue).
 On the black card I sprinkled WOW! Black Twinkle embossing powder, and on the blue, a Stampendous powder called Stardust.
  I also stamped them onto white pearl paper multiple times, heat embossing them too. Then fussy cut them out.


Lots of extra flowers here, as I've also stamped some other images ready to make more cards. The tray they are sat in is intended for party snacks. I found a pack of them unused in a cupboard, and thought they'd be really handy in my craft room!
 Those scissors you can see are great for when you have a lot to cut out. They have a small pair of blades with a fine pointed tip, and a shear action, so you don't end up with aching fingers.

These were by X-Cut, but there are a few other brands out there as well.

I sorted out 4 large flowers,and 4 smaller ones. Shaped them around the pokey tool, and then just pressed down in the centre with the ball stylus.





Two flowers on each of the larger ones, added with a drop of Glossy Accents.




Then a single flower on each of the smaller ones, and finished off with one of the resin Dotted Rhinestones. The ones that sort of look like glass?
 I'd matted the panel onto the base before adding the flowers. It's layered onto Black Glitter card.
 The sentiment is another Honey Doo set, called Happy Times, and also includes a Happy Anniversary stamp.



Again, stamped in Clair Nocturne, and embossed with Black Twinkle. It was matted onto more black glitter card, and the labels were cut with Spellbinders Labels 4, large & small. You can just use one of the two set sizes, but by combining the two sets, you get a smaller border.
 I stamped first, then placed the die where I wanted it and die cut the shape.








The blue version was done in exactly the same way, just using  Clair Paradise, and Stardust Embossing Powder. I also used slightly smaller dies to cut the shape for the sentiment, as there was less room for it. I have no idea where the sentiment is from, sorry. Just added a couple of sequins to it, as there seemed to be too much white space.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Wedding Anniversary card

Yep, this week saw our 9th Wedding Anniversary, and this is the card made for Beloved Hubby.
 It features a UTEE embossed heart, and also a sentiment die cut treated the same.

The card base is an 8" square one, and the design is matted onto some black linen cardstock, cut to size on my Rotary trimmer with a deckle blade, to match the card base.






The heart was die cut from thick card using an old Red Sizzix die of a large heart.
 I applied red pigment ink, then a single layer of red embossing powder, one from Moonglow Two Toned powders, called Hollyberry Red/Gold.
This was followed with 3 or 4 layers of UTEE, with Versamark ink being applied before each coat. It is possible to add the UTEE without the Versamark, but you have to work quickly, and it's risky, as the heated UTEE is VERY hot, and sticky.  Safer to let it cool, Versamark, then add another layer of UTEE.
 You can use normal clear EP if you don't have UTEE, but you will need more layers.

Plan A had been to include some Mica powder, which you can sprinkle lightly onto a UTEE powder layer, then carefully melt with the heat gun.
You need to hold the gun higher than normal, to let the UTEE start to melt, so that you don't blow the Mica powder off. When you are finished with the UTEE layers, the Mica seems to have drifted down through them. Unfortunately, the original heart was cut from a smooth white coated piece of thick card, and by the next day the embossing had started to shrink away, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got!




 This is what it looked like with the Mica powder, and some WOW! Coral Beach Sparkle Glitter added. It's much more red than the coral the name suggests..

It worked fine on the words die cut, so it was clearly the cardstock I used for the heart.

This die cut sentiment is from Tonic Studios. I can only find it available on E-Bay, so I'm guessing it's discontinued.



 Here was the original, all finished. You see the dimple on the left of the heart? If that happens, just heat again with the heat gun until it melts. You can also heat it and sprinkle a few grains of UTEE on it, then continue heating.










The 9 comes from a Tim Holtz set called Mini Numeric. Coated in Gold Pigment ink, then gently stamped into the top layer of UTEE whilst still hot. Because the UTEE is still liquid, you need to take care not to move the stamp as you press it in. Be gentle, you do not need to press as firmly as you would when normally stamping.
Leave for a few seconds, then lift off, and your number/image will be permanently set into the UTEE.
If it does go wrong, you can wipe away the ink with a baby wipe, although a little may remain, then remelt and try again.


The heart and sentiment were added to the card front with some dabs of Pinflair Glue gel. You may want to place some acrylic blocks on top whilst it sets.
The Peeloff sentiments for Happy Anniversary were added when the heart was set, 2 on each side, with a tiny peeloff heart between them.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

WOYWW #488

These Wednesdays seem to get here faster every week! Back to leaving our link at Julias place, The Stamping Ground, for this weeks Desk Fest.
 Had a great time at Happy Stampers, as always so much to buy, lol.
This was my desk on Sunday, ready to start the mammoth task of cataloguing in One Note, then putting it all away. Love One Note, as I have it on my PC and on my phone, so can check whether I have something before I end up buying it again. Yeah, that's a thing.
 Favourite purchases of the day?
Has to be these three stamps from Crafty Individuals.
 Love that fluffy, scruffy Raven on the end.



A few more Lavinia stamps.



And some fab ones from Hobby Art. Love the Round Penguins, far left, and the super cute Polar Bears.




There's a great Indigo Blu stamp called Batty, and a cool Fairy Castle, a steampunk Dragonfly and a couple of Halloween stamps.


 A great Halloween die cut, and a small Poinsettia die too, something I've been on the look out for.  Another Fairy House stamp, and some snowflake dies, reduced. You can never have too many snowflakes!


Good job, as I found a set at The Works this morning, too.

Along with some small wood shapes, angels & Trees, great bargain at 32 for a Quid.









These were on my desk on Tuesday morning, fussy cutting some stamped flowers from Honey Doo to go on the stamped bases. Had to shift them for now, as I needed to make an Anniversary card for Hubby. Married 9 years today, but I can't share it yet as he's on earlies this week, so he won't have it till this afternoon.



I'll blog it later in the week.

Along with the flower cards when I get back to them.




And I'm all done, apart from.........
  .......................... and Finally

 yeah, that's a thing too!


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Birthday cards for Guys.

  Trying out the Eclipse technique again, this time to make some cards that would be great for male cards, or the female music fans in your life.


It sort of started with a FB friends post from one of her friends, about her younger brother being in hospital for his 13th birthday, and asking anyone who wanted to send him a card to do so, to help brighten his day.




My card is the dark blue one in this pic, with SAM done as the Eclipse.


As I had all the stamps and stuff out, I thought I'd make a few more, in different sizes and colours.



Ive used Versafine Clair inks in Monarch (purple) Medieval Blue (dark one) and Paradise (bright blue). Versafine Clair Nocturne was used to stamp the images. The red is Versafine Crimson Red.





The stamps used are from Visible Image:
Rock Out, Guitarist, smaller guitar and Star border.
Feel the Beat, Drummer & Phrase.
Music Speaks, Large guitar.
Universal, the swirl & star in the background.








I have the original packets of Music Speaks & Feel the Beat, the packs now have extra stamps in them.




The cards all use the same method, just different colours, and using a different font set for the Die cutting.


 I also stamped and cut rough masks for the images.










After stamping and masking the main images, I used the star border stamp to go all around my cardstock in Paradise, and using second generation stamping.


I heat embossed the stars with WOW! Icicle EP.

To get a matching cardstock matt, I sponged another sheet of cardstock with the relevant Clair ink, this one was for the dark blue one. Then I matted the image onto white, trimmed to a thin layer, then matted onto this sponged card.

To matt onto this, dst won't stick to the damp ink, so you either need to let it dry, or use a wet glue instead.

  
 These were the four panels all stamped. A 5,6 and 7 inch square  image, and one A5.
 One tip when working with square card bases, if you have bought the ready scored packs. Whatever the measurement given on the pack, it actually applies to the envelope, NOT the card base. So, a 7" square card is really closer to 6¾", so you need to cut your panels accordingly.

 I used four different Alpha dies for cutting out the words, the other set is the iCraft Upper Case Alpha set I used in the NOEL Eclipse cards.
 From top left, these are X-Cut Wedding Alphabet & Numbers,
 Coles ABC, by Lawn Fawn,
and one by DieNamics called Bottom Line, which seems to be discontinued.





   In each case, I cut from the stamped image cardstock, then from white fun foam.
 When doing this technique, remember to keep all the little bits from inside letters like A,B and so on, as you will need to replace them into your cut out after you've added it to your matt/card front.
Refitting the tiny inner bits is fiddly with small dies, but makes all the difference  to the finished result.You don't need it from the fun foam.





 If you don't have fun foam handy, you can use a few layers of scrap cardstock die cuts, how many layers depends how dimensional you want it.



When adding your letters to the fun foam/card stack,it's wise to dry fit some letters first before adding glue. Depending on the font, some letters like O,H, maybe Y or W, can look as if they are symmetrical, but I found they are not necessarily so.

Another tip I found useful. When using smaller letters, Lay them out along a ruler, and a T Ruler is good for this, then gently lay some low tack tape across, and press to the card.  It's also a good idea to actually do this on top of the plate you will be feeding into your die cutting machine.This helps to stop them moving about.





On this one I staggered the letters across the design, but again used tape to hold them down to cut.




The four finished cards.



The matt layer was created exactly the same for this one.

Neither the red nor the purple have matt layers, as the card bases were an almost perfect fit.





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