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, 12 December 2018

WOYWW #497 -The Glittery Edition.

The desk in full mid-create! Been doing some stencil paste pieces- some backgrounds, and also stencilling onto a few of the Brusho sheets from the other week.
 An assortment of holly backgrounds, mostly with added glitter. Apart from the Black one, which I intend to foil.

This was a new stencil I bought at Happy Stampers- I quite like the one on the Brusho sheet, looks like a blizzard in the background.

These are some older stencils which I will probably foil too.

I don't often buy craft magazines, but I liked the  Embossing Folder with this one, and the Father Christmas stamps with the second one.
I also picked up the TONIC magazine/box, as you got the Embossing folder, plus a set of dies. It's an outer star that fits the EF, plus has an inner star you have a sentiment in, but that can easily be snipped out, and 4 different corner dies, which can also be used to cut the shapes into the outer star, so gives you a lot of options.

Not bought much in Christmas sales, but Craft Stash had a special one day of two EF's for a £5, so got these two Christmas and two Birthday ones. Good sizes too, 6"x6", and 5"x7".

While sorting through my photo files, I found this one, the stuff I got at the Motorcycle Museum Craft show.  That cardstock is awesome, a fab 'oil on water' look to it.

Off to leave my link over at Julias place, The Stamping Ground.

So that's me about done, just leaves......And Finally........

Some of you have probably seen this on Facebook, sharing here as it did make me laugh!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge #25- Cute

Well, here we are at the last Challenge for this year, and it's been chosen by Sylvie, who wants to see Cute. I actually seem to have quite a number of stamps that fall into this category, and I admit they don't get enough use.

 Mainly because most of them need to be coloured, and until I discovered how enjoyable Prismacolor pencils were to work with, I avoided colouring like the plague. So we have 5 Christmas cards, and 4 more gift tags to the collection.
These two penguin images are by Whimsy Stamps. I've added Glossy Accents to the Candy Canes, and also used Inkylicious Fluffy Puffy Stuff for the fur on the hats. I'll share how I found it worked best further on.

This is another Whimsy stamps image, and Beloved Hubby bought me all three last year for Christmas. He couldn't find them in the UK, so got stung for Import Duty ordering from the USA, but when we visited the Papercrafts Show at the Motorcycle Museum recently, we discovered Dies to Die For, a UK company who stock many of the well known US brands of stamps and dies, such as Altenew, Lawn Fawn,Mama Elephant, Pretty Pink Posh, and Whimsy.
 I used the Fluffy Stuff on these too.

This is a Hobby Art stamp, bought at Happy Stampers a couple of months ago. Called Archie & 5 Pals.

Another Hobby Art stamp, Paws for Thought.
 Both of these are Rubber stamps.

These Penguin tags are also using a Hobby Art set, clear stamps this time, called Round Penguins.

 The Polar bear tags use stamps from Inkylicious, on the left, and a very old Woodware set on the right.  Laughing right now, as I just did a Google search to see if it was still available. The only two images that showed up are both from my blog, so I guess not!

So, I said I'd tell you about the Puffy stuff.
 It says on the bottle to apply a line of it, then heat with a heat gun. That works fine, especially if you are trying to line hills or trees for instance, but I found didn't produce the look I wanted for the fur.

So what I did was to add a thickish line of it onto the fur trim, then used a cotton bud to dab it all over.

I bought these cotton buds in Primark recently, you can find them in their make up/beauty section. They are great for crafting, as you have a thin pointy end, and the other end is flat. I used the pointy end to dab the Fluffy stuff over the fur areas, then heat set. You want a fairly even level, not too thick or it will puff up too far, but not too thin either, otherwise it doesn't puff at all. However, it's pretty forgiving- if you haven't got enough on, or have bare patches, you can just add some more and reheat.

If some areas puff up too far, you can flatten it down- the flat end of the cotton buds was perfect for that!

It's a really great little product for adding some dimension and texture to your Christmas creations.

And so we are done for another year, and I'd like to thank everyone for making this such a fun challenge. You've all provided so much inspiration, and often, reminded me of stamps I have that I'd forgotten about!

It's been great for taking the stress out of Christmas Card making, and made it something to enjoy through the year instead. As I wrote out and sent almost 70 cards earlier in the week, then another 30+ for work colleagues, and 20+ for family, I realised why in previous years-when I didn't start till November- I'd got heartily sick of the sight of them long before I was finished. So thank you ladies, and I hope you all have a quiet, peaceful and Happy Christmas, and thank you all for the lovely Christmas cards that have arrived!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

WOYWW #496= The Writers Cramp Edition.

Yep. Writers Cramp. Because I'm way ahead of myself this year, and have been sat writing out- and posting- our Christmas Cards! Go me!
And this is part 2. Yesterday I wrote and posted 67 to the UK and abroad. Good job I'd been buying the occasional book of stamps throughout the year, so the only postage I actually paid yesterday was for the foreign ones. Think I'd probably have fainted at the price otherwise. Today I sat and wrote 33 for work colleagues of ours.
And finishing off with another 21 for family, that'll get hand delivered. Until names start popping up I've forgotten. Now I know why I used to get sick of the idea of Christmas cards when I left them till November.  I'm left with about two dozen, for any I've forgotten, or to go towards next year.
I'll be later visiting today, as I'm doing something I haven't done for more years than most of you have probably been alive,😁. I'm going to the hairdressers! I will still be red, purple & blue, but the purple & blue have gotten so dark now that the colours don't show properly, so it needs bleaching. And that's a job for an expert, having had a couple of close squeaks with it in the past, Doug won't go there now. The hairdresser I'm going to is Ellie, the lady whose wedding photos I showed a few weeks ago.Almost said girl, as I've known her since she was at school with my eldest, but as they are both in their 40's now, that would have been silly. The last time I set foot in a hairdressers, I was still in my mid teens!
 So no crafting yet. The Brusho sheets from last week have been sat under a glass mat, with the box of cards on top to flatten out a bit.
Our squirrels are quite tame really, and aren't afraid to come quite close- this one is about 12 feet away. We have what is obviously a pair, as they will both be here at the same time quite happily. Then there is another pair who visit, and if the two who have claimed our garden as their territory are here, then there's a lot of chasing the interlopers off up and down trees going on. They are funny to watch when they're annoyed about something. They sit on the fenceposts, stamping their back feet like rabbits do, and the tails are waving about like crazy. And I never realised they make as much noise as they do! They make quite a racket when they're annoyed, or trying to warn something off.
 So thats it from me this week, I'll be linking up at Julias place, The Stamping Ground, and round to see you all later.

 Which just leaves.....And Finally...............

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

WOYWW #495- The Messy edition.

And this is nothing compared to the state of hands! I decided I'd have a play and create some more Brusho backgrounds. Built myself a blast shield from newspaper, lol.

This pile is pretty much dry.

These are getting there.

I also have the sheets of Paper Towel I was working on top of.

2 sheets together, so this is side 1.

And this is side 2.

The Papercrafts show on Saturday was quite good, the only downside, which I didn't realise beforehand, or I'd have found us another route there, instead of the M42, was that The Bike Show was on at the NEC. 20 minute journey under normal circumstances, took us an hour and a half, and the majority of that was the last 5 miles or so.
 Lots of exhibitors there, some favourites, like Honey Doo & Circa Design, and lots of others I'd not seen before. Didn't buy a huge amount, some of the last release of Oxides, a batch of glitter cardstock, a fab Dragon stamp by a brand called Pink Ink, and discovered Dies To Die For, a company that carries a huge amount of USA companies work. Some storage boxes and some sparkly embellishments pretty much rounded off the haul.

Just had to show these- in each case, it's only one colour of Brusho sprinkled onto wet cardstock.

Over the weekend it was the Christmas card challenge, and I think I've got more than enough cards now, so I made some gift tags.Details in the post below.

And I'm almost done.  I'll be popping over to Julias at The Stamping Ground, and leaving my link there, so I'll see you all later.

That just leaves......And Finally.......

                                                               Best quote ever!

Monday, 26 November 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge #24- All Wrapped up!

Sorry ladies, completely lost track of what week it was.  This fortnights challenge is set by Carol, and she chose the theme 'All Wrapped Up'. I've taken a bit of  a liberty with the interpretation here, as I think I'm overflowing with Christmas cards this year, so I've made a bunch of gift tags!
  I ended up making 7 designs, in a pretty random number for each. The tags are more or less 3" square. I used a lot of off cuts to make these, so there is a little variation.

 This one uses a Holly stamp from Lavinia Stamps, stamped in Versafine Clair Rainforest, then I added  Stampendous Crystal Embossing Powder over them and heat set. Then Liquid Pearls in Garnet for the berries.
 The sentiment comes from a Hobby Art set, Winter Wishes. That was stamped in the same green ink, but not heat embossed.

The Bells come from a Card-io set called Merrily on High.
 I stamped the first bell in Gold Encore Pigment ink, masked it, then stamped the second. Heat embossed both then with the same Crystal EP.

The sentiment is from a Crafters Companion set.

Afterwards I added the holly sprigs using an old Rubber Stamp Tapestry set.
 I used the Garnet Liquid Pearls for the berries again too.

 Quite a lot of Card-io stamps used for the tags, this one is called Christmas Greenery. Stamped in Versafine Spanish Moss, heat embossed with the Crystal EP, and then the sentiment stamped in Versafine Majestic Green. I added  White Opal Liquid Pearls to the Mistletoe Berries.

 Another Mistletoe design, this time using a Lavinia Stamps Mistletoe Branch. I stamped this one in Olympia Green, added the Crystal EP, then stamped the greeting in the same colour. The same Opal White Liquid Pearls used for the berries too.

 Christmas Trees next, and these are from a Visible Image set, and I used the medium one once, then the small one was stamped in both first & second generation images, using Versafine Olympia Green.
 For these I used a Stampendous EP called Rainbow Sparkle, and although it doesn't show in the photo's, it makes it look like the trees are covered in lights.
 I added a tiny acrylic star to the top of each tree. The sentiment here is from a Phill Martin set,Scribbled Christmas Petite.

This was the biggest batch I made. All Card-io/Majestix stamps, the branch is a partial stamping of a tree from the Christmas Breeze Collection. I stamped in Clair Rainforest, first and second generation images.  I added a mix of baubles from the two sets,Zendangles and Bells & Baubles, using Versafine Majestic Blue and Deep Lagoon. The strings were drawn in with a very fine Micron pen.Sentiment again from the Crafters Companion set.The branch and baubles were heat set with the Crystal EP.
Last set used two Card-io/Majestix snowflake sets, Winters Kiss and Winter Flurry.Stamped in Encore Metallic Blue, and heat set with WOW! EP in Glacier. Sentiment again from the Hobby Art set, and stamped in Versafine Majestic Blue.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Blending Brush Comparison- Clarity and Toolstation Sash Brush set.

Hi folks, and  a You Tube video post today, as I wanted to do a 'live showing' of how these Sash Brushes from Toolstation stack up against the well known and loved Clarity brushes.
 The Clarity ones are a set of four, and the normal retail is £19.99, although right now, the Black Friday weekend, they are  a third off, which is a great time to get them if you want to stock up.

The other set are Decorators Sash Brushes, from the Toolstation, and are £6.99 for a set of three, which is a great price point, assuming they do the job well. I looked at these as I'd seen someone somewhere on FB say that B&Q Sash brushes were a good alternative, and again, much cheaper. I did a Google search for the B&Q ones, as our B&Q has recently downsized a lot, and didn't want a wasted journey. Anyway, the ones that came up first in my search were a set by Toolstation, and the pic shown made them look visually at least as being very similar.

As you see, the Toolstation set does not have an equivalent to the largest Clarity brush . The Code for them is 78094.

They do appear very similar in looks, and as for the feel, I would say the Clarity ones are slightly softer, but only very slightly. Maybe slightly less rigid than the Sash brushes, but it's not a big difference.
 To test them out, I used two types of Clarity card, their 7" square Stencil card, and some A5 sized Theuva card, which has a slightly glossy coating.
 I used 3 Distress Oxide colours for testing, and worked on a blending mat.

This is the result from the Toolstation brushes. In the video you will see the comparison colour by colour, I just forget to take individual photos! Theuva card at the top, Stencil card on the bottom.

  This is the pair using the Clarity brushes. Again, Theuva card on top, Stencil card on the bottom.

 All four pieces side by side, Clarity Brushes on the Left.
 I then did a small comparison of the Toolstation brushes with an Inkylicios Blending brush.
The Inkylicious ones are much stiffer, they feel more like the old fashioned Shaving brushes, but I think they both compare well.

 My overall opinion? I felt they compared well. I'd really say there was little to choose between them, and if craft spending is an important consideration, I'd say the Toolstation ones are excellent value for money, and perform well. A very affordable way to have a set for each colour family. I only bought one set to test them out, but will definitely get some more.
I've linked the video here if you'd like to see how they perform, it runs for about 12 minutes.

WOYWW #497 -The Glittery Edition.

The desk in full mid-create! Been doing some stencil paste pieces- some backgrounds, and also stencilling onto a few of the Brusho sheets ...