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, 22 May 2019

WOYWW #520- The Birthday Edition!!!!!

Indeed we are! What an amazing achievement, and all due to our much loved hostess with mostest, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground, home of WOYWW. Keeping us organised, and letting us link with all the friends we have made over the years, all over the globe.
 Just over a week till the Birthday Crop, hosted this year by the lovely Annie and Jo, known to us all as Wipso & Twiglet. Details about the Crop can be found HERE.
We'd love to see you, whether you are a long time WOYWWer, or a brand new one. 

 I will be bringing my cutting dies, and Big Shot, so if you want to do any die cuts, bring your cardstock!
There are a lot of Bigz dies as well as the thin ones.

 I'll also be swapping ATC's at the crop, so we can all save on the postage. If anyone else wants to swap, leave me a message in the comments, and we'll swap addys.

So, the reason we are here- desks!

Main item on mine this week is my ATC's. I've made quite a pile, as not sure how many I'd need, lol.

This weeks shopping- some of the new Alcohol Ink Pearls. I've enjoyed playing with my AI's on Yupo, and having seen these demoed, rather liked the look of them. There are a few more colours besides these, but they'll be for another day.
I think I might bring my AI's and Yupo to the crop, as my crafting for the day.

And that, ladies, is it for me today.Very short and sweet.

It just leaves us with.......And Finally.......

I can relate to that!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

WOYWW #319- The After Happy Stampers Edition (and the Almost Birthday Edition.)

Back from our Happy Stampers trip,and meeting up with some fellow WOYWWers as usual. 😀
You'll probably see almost identical pictures on a few other posts today, as we'll all be linking up at Julias Place, The Stamping Ground, to bare our desks to the world!

Sarah, and Chris (pear shaped crafting)

Neet, who happily managed to get there.

Neet and Heather.

And we'll all be meeting up again at Crop10.

So what came home with me?
Well the first pic is one of the two main items I wanted to get...

 Sweet Poppy are mainly known for their stencils, but they have started branching out into dies for some of the stencils, and stamps. This Dragon stamp set was a must have when I saw it on FB back last week.

And these from Lavinia stamps were my second reason. Crows and wolves, just awesome.

  A couple of Christmas stamps from Honey Doo, and some gorgeous stamps from Crafty Individuals.
 Three more Clair inkpads- like I need more inkpads- a tub of clear dew drop gems, and a few stamps from Inkylicious. I have the larger version of the distressed circle stamp, and thought this one would be great for smaller cards.

 Some stamps from Chocolate Baroque- a new line, and there is also a big Tag stamp that the tall images fit into, forgot to photograph that one.

Showing you those, as what's actually happening on my desk this week is ATC's- I finally have an idea, lol.

And that's it from me, which brings us round to.........And Finally.....

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

WOYWW #518-The Pre- Happy Stampers Edition.

Yes, and next week will be the Post Happy Stampers Edition, lol. We have our tickets ready for Saturday, and they are now all sold out. Looking forward to a catch up with Sarah, Neet & Heather, who are also going, as well as a bit of shopping. Then when we get back, I really need to get started on my ATC's. As always on a Wednesday, we are linking up at Julia's place, The Stamping Ground, for our regular desk tour.
 My time is being split a little between crafting and DIY. Not huge jobs, but stuff that needs doing, as it looks like Hubby will be redundant in a few weeks, and as he's been saying we needed to start thinking about moving to a house with just one flight of stairs, rather than two, we're looking on this as the time to start seriously looking at this.  It will free us up to move to wherever he finds another job, so we will put this up for sale, and move into a private rental while we let everything pan out.
 We also had Bank Holiday Monday down London, for a Gig on Monday night, so not too much time spent crafting at all.
I did do a post below this, reviewing a budget set of colouring pencils, if  anyone is interested.

 The black card is finished, the red one almost. The tray of pencils is one from the budget set.

This blue one I finished off trying out the pencils for the first time.

And that, believe it or not, is it from me this week.
It just leaves us with ......And Finally.....this week theres two, as they go together so perfectly!

This is totally what laundry looks like here- I even buy Surf Washing Liquid for Black clothes far more than one for whites/colours!

And this is also true- I have at least this many pairs!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Reviewing a 'budget' set of colouring pencils.

Okay then, I bought this set a few weeks ago. I do have a full set of Prismacolor, but as I tend to do my colouring books downstairs, they tend to be kept downstairs. If I want to do any colouring in my craft room, this means I'm frequently taking them up and downstairs. So I wanted a second set, but wasn't intending on paying a huge price for them.

To give you some guidelines, current Amazon prices are looking like this:
Polychromos,( Faber Castell) 120 set, an eyewatering £136.99
 Prisma, 150 set. £86.14
Arteza, 72 set.£65.99
 Spectrum Noir Colourblend, set of 7 boxes, 144 pencils, £63.04
 Dropping down to the 'budget' ranges, we have:
Castle, 120 set, at £39.99
Zenacolor, 160 set, £27.99.

 So basically the Zenacolor gave me the most pencils for the best price. The Amazon reviews were quite acceptable, I thought, with the majority (91%) giving 4 & 5 stars.
 The box opened up, and as you can see, there is a colour chart on the lid.
This is the top layer of pencils.
 The lid of the box also has magnets on the flap, so the lid stays closed, which is a nice touch.


  The second layer. You can see the finger grips at either end. The plastic layers are not incredibly flimsy, but as they are quite long, care does need to be taken in lifting them out, and keeping them level. One or two Amazon reviews mention them being damaged in the corners on arrival, but mine were perfect.

The third layer

and the fourth and final one. 

All four layers here, so you can see the colour range.  And of course you can rearrange them in a flow that suits you best.                          

But of course, how they perform is the important part, so as I wanted to add a bit of colour to some images I'd just stamped, which is what I really want them for, I gave them a trial.             

 This is the piece I wanted to add a little colour to. It's stamped in Archival Cobalt, and the squares were coloured with Distress Inks.
 I intended to add some colour to the flowers, and some shading to the Pebble People.
 I have to say here that I am no colouring expert, and my biggest fault is being a little too heavy handed!

I began by adding some of a mid blue to the petals, and to be honest, I could have stopped at that.The pencils went on over the ink with no difficulty.

But I added some of a slightly darker blue over that.

 I forget to soften my strokes as I get further along! That makes blending so much easier. I think I may also have jumped shades a bit too far.

I was curious how the yellow would appear on top of the blue, but it's very well pigmented, so gave a good clear yellow on top of the blue ink. No sign of a green tinge to it.

Added a little of a more orange yellow to the edges, and to the stamens.

I went back to the very pale blue to add some shading on the people, and using a lighter hand made a big difference.

If I'd been a little more gentle with my colouring, the blend on the petals would have been much better.I did go back over them with the palest blue, which helped to smooth things out a little.
 Also, the green for the leaves covered the blue with no change of colour.

And this is the finished piece. I definitely went too dark with the petals, but thats a lesson learnt for me.

As far as the pencils go, I have no complaints. They are not quite as soft as my Prismas, but at the price I think they will be perfectly acceptable for my purposes.They seem to blend just fine, so my next trial will be on plain white cardstock, rather than over ink, so will perhaps be more fair to them.

I have only used these pencils to blend with themselves, I haven't yet tried my Prisma blending pencil with them, as I wanted this to be a test for these pencils alone.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

WOYWW#517-The Getting there slowly Edition

Yep, slowly but surely, those stencil backgrounds from last week are getting there. Time, as always on a Wednesday to reveal our desks in all their glory via Julia over at The Stamping Ground.
 Dang, can you believe we're at the start of the fifth month? Already! Just where is the time going?

I've started off with Florals again, then switched to Butterflies, Dragonflies and other suitable stamps.

I did have some difficulties, many of my butterfly & dragonfly stamps are either too big or too small for this, which is why I went looking for other suitable stamps.

The blue squares uses a set of stamps from Inkwell Stamps called Pebble People.

The cats on the green one are also from them, and the cats on the brown squares are from Hobby Art.
An assortment of Lavinia Stamps in the purple squares.

Flowers are much easier to do, as using a stamp platform, I just had to position the stamp in the first spot in a corner, then just rotate the card. Move it to a centre spot, then rotate again. Doesn't matter that the flower gets stamped in different orientations. However, that makes a huge difference with all the other stamps, so they were either placed in a new spot each time, or I did them by hand on a block.

The green one with the cats is pretty much finished, as I had a bit of a disaster that I had to fix.
As you can see, bottom left, the stamp slipped on the stencil, as I'd put it back in place so the images stayed within the coloured spot. Going to cut a circle from some copy paper for next time!
 Fortunately, I had two sheets with green circles, so I just stamped 4 cats again, die cut the circles, added some fun foam circles to the back, and covered the four corners.

 These are all the flowers, butterflies and dragonflies cut out to add to the stamped bases.

Doug bought some stuff from Amazon the other day, and had a look at the Daily Deals while he was at it. I spotted a Yupo pad, A4 size, at a really good price, and Doug pointed out a set of make up brushes, also really cheap. They are lovely soft brushes, and will work well I think for ink blending.

The reason for the Yupo- I had some fun the other day with my neglected Alcohol inks and some Yupo, and adding foil to them.

Not sure if the pics will show it, but basically where the ink creates an edge as it dries, that edge stays tacky longer than the background itself, and foil will adhere to it. It's not a precise thing, in that you can't control how much, or how little attaches, but you may get an idea from these two below.
 You just have to give it a minute or so for the main part to dry, otherwise you get far too much sticking to it.

 This one was a disaster, as I didn't let it dry enough.

Way too much foil got attached.

This one though came out really well. I used a holographic foil, and it sparkles like tiny crystals.

Well thats me done, just leaves us with......And Finally........

I reckon most of you are with me, right?

Last thing- I will be swapping in the Birthday ATC swap, if you'd like to swap with me, let me know in the comments, and we'll swap addys.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

WOYWW #516- The I'm Back Edition

Yes, back again, and only just! These bank holidays get very confusing, today has just felt like a Sunday, or maybe Monday, so I almost missed it. MIA last week, as we had a concert on Tuesday night booked in London, which meant driving down on Tuesday afternoon, and then a stopover, so hadn't done a post, or took my tablet with me. However, since we've been back I've been making some more stencil backgrounds to replicate some cards I made a while ago.
You probably remember seeing these, done with Honey Doo floral stamps.
 Well, it crossed my mind that as well as doing florals, I could use Butterfly/Dragonfly stamps too, and I'm sure if I have a good look, I can find some other stamps that would work for this.

 Made a number of them, and although the camera doesn't really show it well, the two blue ones and two red ones do use different colours. All Distress Inks.

These are also Distress inks.

These have a couple of Distress Inks, and some Adirondacks too.

Then I thought it might work well with a square stencil too.

And while I was at it, I pulled out another couple of stencils too. These are mainly Distress Oxides. I'm thinking there may be fairies involved with these!

  The stencils are all from Clarity, as is the cardstock, which is their Stencil Card, and perfectly sized at 7" for the stencils.

Tickets have arrived for the Happy Stampers Festival in May, so looking forward to that, and seeing one or two WOYWWers there!

I was looking at my stats the other day, and discovered that my first blog post was on April 20th, 2010. So 9 years of blogging!

And so, I'm done. Which brings us to....And Finally......

Yep, I know that well. And the reverse resultant panic when what I thought was a hair on my arm, actually turned out to be a humongous spider!

WOYWW #520- The Birthday Edition!!!!!

Indeed we are! What an amazing achievement, and all due to our much loved hostess with mostest, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground , home ...