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 October 2012

WOYWW #178 …..I really need to do some Christmas Cards….

I suppose it really is way past when I should have started (again), so this is whats on my desk for this weeks WOYWW, courtesy of Julia at The Stamping Ground. I bought Tims Snowflake Rosette die a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would just randomly doodle onto some plain vellum with some Stickles, then make up the (hopefully) sparkly rosette. We shall see, maybe next week. It may look icky, of course, and get consigned to the bin, who knows? I might try sparklying (is that a word?) up some Christmas papers & vellums as well. The other half of my desk looks like this:

too many Christmas stamps to be able to choose, quite honestly. I admit to having way too many – and I haven't even got out the box of wood-mounted ones. I think a clear out is in order after Christmas. The trouble, I think,is that our tastes (and styles) change over time, and what was great once, just isn't our thing anymore. I have bought one new stamp, a Stampendous cling one called Snowy Postcard- but that is definitely the only one I will be buying.

Just a couple of other pages in the binders-note to self- must stop impulse buying!
Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday, and a good week – heres to seeing around this weeks desks.

P.S. I've been putting #90 on all my comments- I see Julia has been editing out the  errors, and now I'm  #86, lol.

Monday 29 October 2012

Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers & Cuttlebug

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   A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had bought these, the new Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers. You have probably seen, like me, the DIY versions that people have posted on You Tube, and they looked like a really cool idea. So when I saw these, I thought they had to be worth a try. This has #1 on it, so I assume he will be bringing out some other shapes somewhere along the line. What you get in the pack is 3 frames, for want of a better description, and the 3  inserts that are cut from them. A large oval, a small long oval and a circle.IMG_7221 w So effectively you get 6 options for changing around what you can do with your embossing folders.
  To try them out, I used the large oval. The idea is that you get an un-embossed area with the frame, or just a small embossed area with the insert. You can stamp into the un-embossed area, or even double emboss-adding a different texture to that blank area.
Now, I did have a look around the net to see what sandwiches people were using with these and the 'bug, as Tim obviously uses a Vagabond in his demos. I did find a couple of different sandwiches for the 'bug, neither of which worked in my machine.
If you've had your 'bug a long time, you will have a good idea what will fit through it, and what won't. To  those who are not so familiar with their machine, NEVER, EVER try to force a sandwich through- you WILL break your 'bug. Err on the side of caution and start with a really thin sandwich, and gradually shim up till it will go through with reasonable ease, and produce a good embossed piece. Better to throw away poorly embossed cardstock, than a Cuttlebug! The sandwich here worked for mine. It may be too thick, or too thin for your machine. One video I saw the lady used an A plate, B plate, folder with cardstock, Diffuser, then B plate. Went through her machine perfectly, and came out well embossed. This sandwich was WAY too thick for my machine, but hers was fine with it. So be warned!
According to Tim, the Diffuser replaces one cutting plate, and as for embossing folders I would usually use A plate, B IMG_7223 wplate, folder & cardstock, then B plate,I put one B plate aside, and my sandwich was:
         A plate,
         B plate,
         Folder & cardstock,
Like I said, this worked just nicely in my 'bug. The first time I tried it out, I discovered that its a bit difficult to get the folder/Diffuser to stay where you want it to- so I recommend low tack tape to hold everything together while you feed the sandwich through.IMG_7198 w
The first piece I did was with one of the Tim Holtz Alterations folders , Retro Cirque set. You can see my sandwich on the left.

This is what you get- an embossed piece of cardstock, with a central oval panel left plain. Meaning you can stamp onto it, or use it as a base for a matted piece of stamping.


You don't get a crisp outline around the emboIMG_7201 wssing, by the way, it just sort of fades out.

       So now, the oval shape that is cut from the frame. Its layered up exactly the same, on top of the folder, and this time you definitely need the low tack tape to hold it in place- otherwise the minute you try to feed it, it slides everywhere. You have lots of options as to where you place it, or the orientation, as it just sits on top.
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I'm just going for the central oval here. I also tried feeding it through upside down, just to see if it made any difference- it doesn't, Embarrassed smile.

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So here are the two pieces together- the top one is the frame Diffuser, the bottom one what you get with the Oval. 

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IMG_7216 w        The thing Tim demo'ed with this is that you can place one type of embossing with the frame part of the Diffuser, then another type within the plain area using the oval insert. This time I have used the Swiss Dots folder, with the Diffuser frame for the first bit.           The first embossing.Looking through my folders, I found one that I thought would go perfectly with this:   

IMG_7224 w
  IMG_7225 w        I tried the frame over it, and it does indeed seem like a perfect fit. It's a Sizzix folder, by the way.  This was layered up exactly the same as to get the embossed oval with a plain frame: Folder with cardstock, Oval Diffuser on top.IMG_7217 w

IMG_7218 w


 Its not too difficult to get everything in the right place, as you can see enough through the folder to place your design.  As you can see, lots of tape this time, I really didn't want it to move at all.                    
  The oval plate just puts the pressure on the words in the folder, and adds it to the blank area. The three pieces from the various combinations.
IMG_7220 w

Wednesday 24 October 2012

WOYWW #177

IMG_7188 w
   A crafting desk liberally scattered with stuff, for this weeks Wednesday Wander round the Worlds Wordesks, courtesy of our delightful hostess, Julia Dunnit at The Stamping Ground. In the middle of making a Birthday card for our Daughter-in-law, who as regular visitors to WOYWW will know, is Silvercrafters (Maggie) daughter. Tim Holtz is out in force for this one- Distress Inks, Distress Pens, Craft Resist Paper Pad and Papillon stamp set! IMG_7189 w

There are a few stamped butterflies about, as I tried a few different colour combos from the Distress Pens. I used a sheet from a Papermania pack to stamp the Papillon words on repeatedly.Tore it in half and sponged & distressed the edges. I stuck it to the front, then decided I would tear off the remainder of the front and stick a piece of the Kraft Resist Papillon sheet behind it.IMG_7192 w
I've threaded some fibres through the tag,- bit of a fancy title, fibres- its actually 'knitting wool, lol. Cost me a quid, in a clearance sale. I've bought a load of them that way, different types of wools in assorted colours. These matched the tag perfectly. the tag is mounted with sticky pads, I've just got to sort out the sentiment and its done. So that's my mess  desk this week- I shall schedule this for Wednesday morning, but probably won't get to link up till this afternoon as we are now working alternating shifts- one week mornings, one week afternoons. This week we are doing mornings, 6 till 2, so I shall be round to visit later.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

WOYWW #176

Well that's another week gone by, and here we all are again, courtesy of Lady Julia IMG_7176 wof The Stamping Ground. My desk this week is a bit of a shambles, to be honest. Having a bit of a sort out & tidy. Lots of stamped images getting sorted out, and going into the plastic wallets I bought ages ago. I often make a lot of backgrounds in one go, or stamp up a bunch of images when I have a particular stamp out,or sometimes something doesn't work for what I wanted, and they get dropped in a drawer, completely forgotten about. Hopefully this way they will be out where I cIMG_7174 wan see them and they'll get used.
A few months worth of Craft Stampers to take the stamps off & put away.  The new Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers on the bottom of the pic, next to the Mini Mister stand, both from where I visited on Saturday. And where was that? you ask. The wonderful new shop opened by Jennie, The Artistic Stamper, iVLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310Ws where. I've posted about my visit here, and all the other goodies I came back with. I mentioned in there that it was the Official opening of Jennies Workshop Room, and she got us to decorate something for the walls. She very kindly gave me permission to post it on my blog, so here it is. You can tell what a squirrel I am, I even kept the flyer on the right that I had been stamping off & testing colours on as I thought' it'll make a great background with a little bit more work' lol.VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W 

  I missed last week, as we went to Paris for our Wedding Anniversary, and we had a smashing week. I've put some pics in a post here,so you can have a look later if you like, but one thing lots of you will love to have a look at is in this post here- United Buddy Bears at the Eifel Tower. The most amazing 'altered art'- just right up our street,Open-mouthed smile.
So have a great Wednesday, show us your best (or worst), stock up on coffee & biccies, and lets wander the worlds desks together- sort of Crafting Buddy BearsWinking smile.

Sunday 14 October 2012

What I did on Saturday……. Visited The Artistic Stamper

Artistic Stamper.On the last WOYWW  I did, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a post from Jennie at the Artistic Stamper. To cut a long-ish story short, I remembered seeing that she had now opened a bricks-and-mortar shop, and just out of curiosity, as we were going to be driving to the south of England, Dover to be precise, I thought I'd just have a look and see where she was. After all, it might not be TOO much of a side trip…..lol. And what did I find? Jennies new shop is about 20 minutes away from Dover!! The gods of crafting (All Hail Tim Holtz) were definitely smiling on me. So on Monday, we did a little side trip to The Artistic Stamper.Well, Jennie wasn't there on Monday, but we had a lovely chat (and coffee) with Mal, I had a browse (and shopped) and my Beloved Husband suggested we came back on Friday. Then we realised that by the time the ferry docked, they would be closed. So Beloved Hubby said why didn't we stop at the Dover Premier Inn again on Friday night, and come up on Saturday, when Jennie was having the Grand Opening of her New Workshop area. Which is exactly what we did. I got to do a little project for Jennie, along with some other lovely ladies, and I am sure Jennie will be putting these up on her blog when its all sorted out, so I'm not going to post any pics here yet. I also got to shop (again) and a day of fabulous company. We got the warmest welcome you could wish for from Jennie & Mal, plus lots of coffee & cake!
VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W
  By the way, I am not really much taller than Jennie- I just had 5" platforms on, lol! My super size gig-going shoes. Hard to show the size, but here is one next to my normal trainer. The platform is pretty much as high as the whole trainer!
So, what did I come home with? IMG_7162 w
An exciting bag of goodies……  IMG_7163 copyw
Some of Jennies stamps….IMG_7166 w
Lots of Tim Holtz goodies……IMG_7167 w
and a few other bits & bobs.IMG_7173 w
Two Tim items I really had my eye on, and Jennie had both- the Snowflake Rosette strip die, and his new Embossing Diffusions set.I also got a pack of Fragments to have a play with.
IMG_7170 w
IMG_7171 w
I am looking forward to having a go with these Embossing Diffusers, I have seen lots of You Tube videos on making your own. The idea is that you can either emboss all of a piece of card/paper except for a round or oval panel, or just emboss the panel, leaving the rest plain. So effectively you get 6 options, which is not bad. When I have done a couple I will post up what they look like.

United Buddy Bears at the Eifel Tower

I just had to post some pictures of these. They were being set up when we saw them, and I've had to Google them to find out what its all about.


They are called United Buddy Bears, and it was originally an art project, called Buddy Bears, celebrating the twin town status between Paris & Berlin. The original Buddy Bears are an urban project, and there are many bears all around Berlin, and there have also been touring exhibitions.

Here is the Wikipedia quote on The United Buddy Bears:

The United Buddy Bears are an international art exhibition with more than 140 two metre tall fibreglass bears. Under the motto: We have to get to know each other better, it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more, and live together more peacefully. More than 140 countries acknowledged by the United Nations are represented, promoting tolerance, international understanding and the great concept of different nations and cultures living in peace and harmony. The bears stand hand in hand in a peaceful circle.





There are a few gaps in the line at this stage, as apparently, at each exhibition site the bears are set out in alphabetical order, in the language of the country they are in, so the order constantly changes.


Doug was really taken with this one:


There is an incredible amount of detail gone into the collage work on this bear, which having zoomed into it, actually appears to be the French bear.IMG_6969 lge

Hi Folks- Back from Paris

This week was our 3rd Wedding Anniversary, and we went to Paris for four days. This was the view from our (tiny) hotel room window:IMG_7148

  We stayed in a little hotel called The Eifel Rive Gauche, and we were a five minute walk away from the Eifel Tower.


It really does look spectacular all lit up at night. We went all the way to the top,which involves two lifts. You can climb steps up to the second floor, but the very top 3rd level is only accessible via a lift. However, there are (apparently) 1650 steps to the second level! I don't do steps when they number hundreds, let alone thousands,lol.SDC10036 This is the view from the top, and us at the top. Though you can't tell in the dark. We could have been on the ground.Winking smileSDC10032

And if I look like a drowned rat, its because it started to pour with rain as we were queuing to go up. I'm just pleased I hadn't got purple streaks all down my face, I'd dyed my hair a couple of days before.


  Driving up to (by mistake) the Arc de Triomphe. We missed one turn on the sat-nav, and ended up going round this.  Just don't, ever. Its so wrong on every level. You hear about the traffic, but think' how bad can it be, we have really busy islands in the UK'. Firstly,forget about the island bit. The closest thing we have to this is found at your local fairground,and called a Dodgems track! There are no road markings. Anywhere. There is no such thing as 'right of way' or 'give way'. It is literally every man for himself. Every car just enters, points in the direction it wants to go, and heads straight for the eSDC10022xit. People even PARK on it!

We parked in secure parking and used the Metro to get around. That is definitely the most fantastic system ever developed. The trains are about 2 minutes apart and you can get anywhere at all in Paris in a few minutes.

The rest of our time there we squeezed in a visit to the Louvre, which we booked a half day guided tour for. Have to recommend that, you get to see & learn a lot more than if you just wander round.And if you book the half day tour, you can stay in there, or come and go as much as you want for the rest of the day.SDC10085

  Outside the glass pyramid. Saw the 'big three'- Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo & Winged Victory.

  The Mona Lisa is a lot smaller than you may think- 30" x20". It always looks so much bigger, but then you never see it next to anything to give it a scale, I suppose.SDC10065


  The Venus de Milo.IMG_6905


       Winged Victory.










Notre Dame de Paris.                                                      The fountain in the Boulevard St Michel.















 And a visit to the Musee Rodin to see this, The Thinker. The whole garden at the Hotel Biron, which was Rodins home, and is SDC10065now the Musee Rodin, is filled with his sculptures. The inside has many of the smaller bronzes, and the original small scale models for the full size sculptures.

These two are for The Kiss and The Gates of Hell.



Our final visit on Thursday was to the Musee d'Orsay, but no pictures from that as you are not allowed to take photographs, although bearers of i-Pads & i-Phones seemed to be getting around that with ease!

 Now I said above our hotel room was tiny.IMG_7158




   You can see just how small the toilet & shower cubicle were, but it was really inexpensive, and we intended to be out sightseeing as much as possible, so it was a trade-off to be this close to the Tower.

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...