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 31 August 2011

WOYWW# 116- Inkpads & Promarkers

This week I had a play with some inkpads!
Being fairly new to Promarkers, I have picked up some of the basic rules about which inks to use with them- definitely not Staz-on, and that pretty much everyone recommends Memento.So I was browsing the net, as you do, and found that actually quite a few people were also recommending that you could use a number of other ink pads with them, and then someone else would say no you can't! So I decided I would try out any of the pads they said you could use, which I own.
These are the results:

Memento (left) Archival (centre) and Adirondack Dye (right)
The Memento, on the left, obviously works well- the image stays nice and crisp. The Archival, in the centre, shows clear blurring of the image (Ignore the slightly wonky stamping here).  The third one, Adirondack Dye, Pitch Black, actually gave me a real surprise- no blurring of the image when I coloured over it, even when I used the blender pen, and a nice strong, crisp black image.

Versafine (left) & Impress (right)
  These two inkpads are recommended by a number of people, but I got a very poor result from both.On the right the Versafine shows clear blurring of the inked image, yet a lot of people said this works fine for them,but it is possible that this one works if you are colouring inside an outline image rather than colouring over the top of the ink. The Impress image, (this was the only colour I have in Impress pads, they were on sale somewhere, lol) really doesn't work at all, although I did get some interesting colours from where the ink blended with my Promarkers, even if that wasn't the intended result! Again, a few people said it works fine, maybe the black does, or maybe it works as an outline image. I will test this out later and post the results.
 Another point seems to be card or paper- everyone has their own preference. These samples above were done on plain white 100gsm multi-copy paper from Staples.Yet the Memento and Adirondack performed really well.  But just in case the paper type had a bearing on the Versafine & Archival, I tried both on NEENAH card, which seems to be one that almost everyone recommends.

Archival (left) & Versafine (right)
 Again, the Archival on the left performed really badly,(if anything worse on this card than plain paper),the blurring around the butterfly isn't my attempt at blending, its almost as if the Promarkers 'bleach' away the ink colour. You could get some interesting (but probably not very controllable) effects though. The Versafine on the right didn't fare any better, you can see that it still smudges & blurs any fine detail, I didn't think there was really any difference between the two types of card/paper. Oddly enough though, I did notice more bleeding of the Promarkers outside the image lines than I had on the copy paper-not sure if this was just me being a little careless, or if it does bleed more.  I will be trying a few more images in outline, to see if that improves how the Archival, Versafine & Impress perform, and I have ordered a Letraset Bleedproof pad, which is recommended also for Promarkers, so I shall do some comparison images on that too when it arrives. Have a great WOYWW.

Monday 29 August 2011

85th Birthday

The lady who ordered the Ruby Anniversary card, also wanted a card for her Mothers 85th Birthday, and again I went with an easel design. The base and face of the easel were covered in a rose print paper, and both edged with a silver peeloff border and corners. as the lady seems to be wearing a pale lilac and silver dress, I went with these colours for the card. I cut silver & lilac paper with a deckle edge blade on three sides, then punched a fancy border on the last side. These were layered up, then the photo matted on top. I wrapped White & lilac ribbon around the front and tied in a bow before I mounted it onto the easel. A triple embossed heart in White & silver finished the front. The base uses Nesties Petite scalloped rectangles, again in Silver & lilac with white/lilac roses (Craft Creations) in the corners.The word MOM was cut out with a Quickutz squeeze and Alphabet die. Its been a very long time since I last used that- I'm not even sure if they are still making them! I bought it very early in my crafting, to add names, ages etc to cards, then got annoyed at not having any real choice in size of letters, and that I would constantly have to buy new Alpha sets if I wanted a different style, and still not have much of a size range. So I ended up buying a Silhouette digital cutter- I found them on a really good promotion, loved the fact that I could cut any font on my PC, in any size I wanted. I have had it now for about 7 years, and I have to say it was the best money ever spent, when you consider the cost of Alphabet sets/shape dies for manual machines.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Ruby Anniversary

 I used to work with the lady in the picture, until she retired recently, and her sister asked if I could do a card for her Ruby Anniversary.You will have seen the Harlequin Rose Panel image before, from Chocolate Baroque, as well as the triple embossed hearts.I really love those hearts, so easy to do, and very effective as an embellishment.I even did some in black & silver recently for a male birthday card- the colour makes all the difference. The Harlequin Rose is such a useful image too- Weddings, Anniversaries, Engagements,Valentines Day  all spring to mind, as well as birthdays. The die cut labels are  Nesties Labels 4, and I stuck to the dark red & black colours to fit the occasion.I also added a few stick on acrylic gems in red.

New Ceative Expressions Embossing Folders

When I visited Pink Tulip Creations last week, as well as watching the Promarker Demo, I bought a couple of Creative Expressions embossing folders,Lattice & Brick.They are a little larger than the Cuttlebug folders, I have pictured them alongside one here to show you.

They do give a nice crisp emboss, but I did find that the Brick pattern was too thick to go through my 'Bug with the standard 'A', 'B', folder & 'B' sandwich. So I discarded the bottom 'B' plate, and tried two pieces of card instead. I used the sort you get on the back of notebooks, like chipboard. I think I could have added another thinner piece of card, and improved the emboss.I know every 'Bug is a little different, so be careful with this one, it definitely would have needed too much force using the normal sandwich on mine.

Here are the folders, with their respective pieces.

I have also been un-mounting some Foam backed stamps, from sets I bought when I first started stamping, and from early Craft Stamper magazines.I really found that it was difficult to get a decent print from a lot of these, and as I had quite a few sentiments amongst them I was fed up with not being able to use them properly.
I also have a nice Floral alphabet, which is on the left. I am one of those who love Kling-on/U-mount cushion on their stamps, and all my u/m's are on it. I have even, in the past, put some silicone stamps on it that did not stamp too well, and now they work fine. Its either a love it or hate it product, I think.

One final thing, I notice that the photos of my followers keep vanishing, then reappearing, then vanishing again. Really don't know why, can't find much of an answer on Blogger help either. I have posted on their forum, to see if anyone has an answer, so if its happening to you as well, you are not alone! :)

Tuesday 23 August 2011

WOYWW #116

Well, I'm back again, after missing last week completely. I lost track of the days, and was convinced it was Tuesday,lol. First picture up is the card I made for my Beloved Husbands birthday. The dragon (Tanda Stamps,Dragons & Fantasy Set 4),was stamped onto acetate, with Staz-on, then stuck onto a double sided sticky sheet,(Stix2). I added gilding flakes in Copper Thunder, from Crafty Notions, onto the back, which gave a good appearance of scales, I thought.The dragon is mounted onto a sheet of black card which I sprayed with various mica mists, and the frame is from a Robert Adams craft CD, called Celtic. It is supposed to be an insert, but I resized it to make the centre big enough for the dragon, then cut out the white centre and placed the misted card behind the space.
  As I think I have said before, my Hubby & I share the same birthday, which is odd, but at least he can't forget mine, and get himself into trouble, lol.
         Here are the two cards we received from Silvercrafter,(Marg ) and her Husband:

The one with the butterfly is mine.
These three were made by our Grandchildren, Mortimer & Merlin, and by my eldest son. Merlin's is on the left, Mortimers in the middle, and my eldest sons is decorated with a picture of the much-loved Bill.
                                       My Beloved husband bought me this one:

Very, very sweet!

Now for some other stuff, on Saturday I went to a local craft shop, Pink Tulip Creations, as they had a Letraset demonstrator there, working with Promarkers, Safmat etc.  Her name was Rosie, and her blog, Freycob, has lots of tutorials for using Promarkers, if anyone needs some help.
I have mentioned before, I know, that Marg & I are co- mother-in-laws, (my son is married to her Daughter.) As you all see, Marg & I enjoy our card-making, and dabble in other crafts as well. The thing is, we have clearly spawned between us, quite an artistic gene-pool. Her Daughter is a very talented artist, and has the neatest, tiniest writing you can imagine.I think she could probably get this whole post on the back of a postage stamp- and you would still be able to read it. My son has built models and drawn since he was a toddler. He hoarded boxfuls of bits & stuff to build spaceships, scenes, landscapes- you name it.He also has an HND in graphic design, and works as an editor at the BBC. If you ever see the name Ant Smith on the end of things like The Sky at Night, Gardeners World, Big Hairy Bikers, and a lot more, THAT'S MY SON!!!!(Proud parent? You bet!). Well, they have always encouraged their kids to do art & crafts, and spent time doing stuff with them- as you can see they did the Birthday Cards, they also do all the Christmas cards as well. You probably remember from a couple of weeks ago, I did a post about Ants birthday, and the canvas I printed for him. Well, it seems canvases were the' in' thing this year. Mort & Merlin both did one for there Dad, and here they are:

This one was Merlins, who was 9 in July, with just a little help from Mum.

And this one was Mort's, done all by himself, and he was 11 yesterday.

Occasionally, I feel sorry for Beck, who has to cope with a combined total of 4 Leos!, Me, Doug, Ant and Mortimer.And that is another funny story I will tell you another time.

Blimey, this has turned into a long post! I am doing this on Tuesday night, so I can post before I go to work, and I will be back to start visiting tonight. Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday, and if you have no idea what this is all about, please come visit the Fabulous Julia Dunnit at The Stamping Ground, and come snoop, stalk and snigger at the dozens of desks around the world!

Wednesday 10 August 2011

WOYWW #114

First on my desk this week is another map card.The maps are from a set available from Stamp & Go.com, SIFS65,which features 6 maps, some waves, a couple of ships, and a ship in a bottle. It was stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black onto an alcohol ink background then cut into a mosaic and matted onto black card. The two tags use a stamp from Artifacts, The Stamp Bugs own stamps, Spirit of Adventure Collage. Just went to their site to get the link, and their u.m stamps are on sale at the moment, with 25% off! The Time & Tide stamp is by Paper Artsy, Clocks plate 3, which also features some of the stamps in the third picture I have posted. I sponged old Paper, Antique Linen & Walnut stain Distress inks onto some script background paper and both tags.

  The second card is again using alcohol ink backgrounds, and the Crafty Individuals stamp from a couple of posts ago. The square card base was covered in paper from Dovecrafts Aquamarine Floral Prints paper pack.

Here are some of the clock images from the Paper Artsy plate, stamped onto Distress inked card, cut out then the 'glass' created with Glossy Accents. The card was coloured by swiping Distress inks onto a craft mat (mine came from Poundland, a baking sheet) spritzing with water then wiping the card/tag across the ink. Here is a link to Tim Holtz showing how he does it. The clock hands have been cut out using the Silhouette, using a 'dingbat' font that features clocks & timepieces.Have a great Wednesday, and if you are new to this idea, visit the Amazing Julia Dunnits Stamping Ground and join the fun.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

WOYWW #113

Just Because....
     This was made for a guy who wanted a card for his wife,'just because'. I thought that was really lovely, don't you? I can't remember who the stamp is by, if anyone could tell me I'd be really grateful, as I can credit it then. Thats the problem with u/m stamps, no makers details. I have got a lot better at jotting details down now, in my images folders, but such organisation was not always the case, lol. I suppose I never really expected to accumulate so many (oops), and I certainly never expected to be posting my work online. I am pretty sure that the sentiment came from an Elusive Images sheet, but I may be wrong. That wouldn't be unusual, :)
I can say the vellum sheet with the roses came from a booklet called' Painted Vellum Papers #2, by Paper Pizazz. I bought this a few years ago at an NEC Hobbycrafts fair, so its probably discontinued now! I'm not doing very well today, am I?
 Anyway, the image was stamped onto some white linen card with Memento Black and then coloured with Promarkers. Cut out with Nesties Small Scalloped Ovals using the largest die, and sponged with pale blue ink around the edges. I stamped the sentiment in Impress dye ink, Garnet. Cut out with a Labels 4 Nestie. Some pink organza ribbon tied around the spine, and a couple of paper roses added with silicone glue. The paper roses are from Craft Creations, and they ARE available,lol.
  I do enjoy using the Promarkers, colouring was never my strong point and I hated the lines and joins I always had. The Promarkers do make the blending really easy, and even I am happy with my results, and we are usually our own harshest critic, aren't we?
        Speaking of Promarkers. I have seen ads for another marker lately, Spectrum Noir. They come in packs of 6 matched colours, or 24 packs of pastels, brights etc. I was quite taken with the idea, but on SCS it seems they have been available in the US for a while, and the general opinion doesn't seem very good. A few people thought they did not blend as well as Copics, so I am waiting for a while to get a better view of their capabilities. Some ladies on there from the UK have ordered some and will post their thoughts when they have had a play with them. They do seem to predominately have Copics in the US, very few people seem to use Promarkers, so maybe they fall down against Copics, but will fare better when compared to Promarkers. We shall see.
 The only other thing I have done this week is the inkjet printed canvas a couple of posts down, for my sons birthday. 
 Finally, here is Ambrose, as promised a couple of weeks ago. Looking in fine fur again!. No bald eyebrow, all scratches healed. I think he is losing weight, just need to get round to weighing him. That will probably be as difficult as getting medicine down him.
Oh, and for a couple of people who haven't visited yet, there is a versatile blogger award below. Its so hard to choose who to pass these on to, every person I 'meet' on here gives me so many ideas, inspiration and support!So, on that note, I will sign off to go to work, and I will be back to visit tonight. See you all at the Marvellous Julia Dunnits, for this weeks WOYWW.

An End of an era

An end of an era

I write this with a broken heart, that only time can heal My beautiful, wonderful wifelet Shaz (Silverwolf) passed away peacefully in the ea...