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

Thursday 31 January 2013

Caught in Crystal

Back before Christmas, I purchased a stamp from Jennie at the Artistic Stamper, by our very own Doone,(Donna Louise Rogers), which is a Green Man. I must admit, these are a particular love of mine, Green Men. I have a few around the house, and a couple of stamps already.So, my vague plan has been to stamp him onto a 'caught in crystal' background, then during this weeks WOYWW, one of the bloggers mentioned a bottle of Johnsons  'KLEAR' floor polish,which is used for this.Which prompted me to make a start. The KLEAR is very much like Glossy Accents, but for something like this a LOT cheaper. This post will go up in two parts, as having made the basic sheets, they need a while to dry.
So, what do you need ?
Tissue came in a huge pack from The Works.

 Old newspaper,
 a bottle of Johnsons 'KLEAR' floor polish
transparency sheets, or acetate
 Masking tape (any will do, mines from Poundland)

Inks - reinkers etc
Tissue paper- white is fine, I've used a couple of colours here. I've also heard of people doing this with kitchen towel & facial tissues.
Disposable gloves are a good idea!

First step is to tape your transparency sheet to a couple of layers of newspaper with the masking tape, sealing down the edges well. Now pour on some of the 'KLEAR'- you want enough to be able to spread over the whole surface, best done with your fingers, and its good idea to wear disposable gloves doing this too.

Once its spread over the surface, begin dripping an assortment of inks into it. Best to stick to only 3 or 4, or you'll end up with a muddy mess. I used Distress Re-inkers for this one, using 3 different greens and 1 brown.
I did find the DI reacted it bit strangely with the KLEAR, going a bit thick, that doesn't happen with Alcohol inks, but it still comes out fine.
Here I used red, orange & yellow Alcohol Inks.   


 The next step is to move your inks around in the KLEAR- fingers, paintbrush, whatever- just be careful how you mix them so it doesn't turn to an icky mess.

Next you need a piece of tissue paper slightly larger than your coloured sheet. Scrumple it up, then smooth it back out.


Now you lay it on top of the inky KLEAR.

Gently start to dab it down, using your fingertips- don't press too hard, or rub or push. The wet paper tears easily, although you can gently push any torn edges back together. Now you need to put it aside to dry, at least overnight. Don't try brayering/rolling over it, it will muddy all the colours together.
Even though its taped to newspaper, the ink can seep through- wherever you are going to put it to dry, put plenty of newspaper underneath it. Or lay a large bin bag down and put it on top of that.
You can see here where it leaked through onto my mat.

So thats the basic idea.

The reason its called 'Caught in Crystal', is because before you place the tissue paper down, you can add inclusions- glitter, fibres, beads etc.

I'm hoping you can see I've added glitter in a few different greens to this one.

 This one I've sprinkled crystal glitter in, and I'm going to use yellow tissue on the back.

 The thing with inclusions is, if you make them too dimensional, it becomes extremely difficult to stamp on the smooth side. You can of course do your stamping first, then flip it over and do the crystal part if you want to include beads etc in the crystal. I just like to do the crystal first, as then I can choose where best to stamp my image to best effect, rather than the random effect I'd get doing it the other way.

I've used this a few times, the Christmas Angels I did were made from it and one or two cards I've done in the past have used it.
So that's Part One. I did two green sheets, and one red/yellow, so they are all on one side now drying out.

EDIT:   Okay, I'm stepping back in time from 2020, as I discovered that KLEAR had been discontinued ages ago, then while searching for an alternative, I found out it had actually been re-launched, this time under the name of PLEDGE MULTI SURFACE POLISH.
 Pic here of what you're looking for. 

I mentioned my Green Men earlier, here are a few of them:

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Distress Re-Inkers

This is only a quick little post, not my WOYWW,(thats the post below this one) but I wanted to give anyone who may have bought any Distress Ink re-inkers over the last couple of months a heads-up. I read a few weeks ago on Splitcoast Stampers, that some people were getting a problem with DI re-inkers in Aged Mahogany.
They were really thick, not like ink at all. Anyhow, I'd bought some re-inkers starting back in November, and hadn't really got around to using them till I had a project I wanted to start today.
When I opened my Dried Marigold, it was just like they described, like a thick jelly. So I opened all the unopened ones, and it turns out my Aged Mahogany is the same, and only half full. All the others are fine.
They weren't all bought from the same place either, so its not a vendor issue. This is the picture I took and added to my e-mail to Ranger, as the ladies on the forum said Ranger had been replacing the ones they had a fault with. You can see the Aged Mahogany is upside down, and nothing is coming out! So if you've bought any of these recently and not opened them, it might be worth checking yours.

WOYWW #191

Back at The Stamping Ground, for this weeks WOYWW, hosted as always by our gracious hostess, Julia.
When JoZarty asked a couple of weeks ago, about making quilts for her Lillybo project, I remembered a box full of fabric panels I had, bought on various visits to the NEC, and it instantly sprang to mind for the quilts. They are from Pinflair, and they always have fabulous card samples on display using them. Another project I kept meaning to try, but never got round to.

teddies & fairies
There are all sorts of things:

cats & dogs

Wild Animals & Birds
Anyhow, I thought these would be perfect for quilts, and put to a good cause instead of remaining in a  box.

And I get to use my new Ikea Pinking Shears, lol!
I had a pair of pinking shears, but they were very old, and chewed through the fabric, rather than pinking it, to be honest. Searched all over the net, for a good, reasonably priced pair, because I don't use them that often. Blimey, some of the prices were scary! Which if you use them all the time, is ok, but I could probably count on the fingers of one hand how often I use mine. Finally found some soft grip ones, via Hong Kong(!), no brand, but all the feedback on them said they were very good, so I ordered a pair.  They are very good, I will agree, and I think cost me  about £8. Then we went to Ikea for my furniture, and I found them in there for £7. So now I have two pairs, lol. Just in case. So thats what I'm up to today, post your desk pics, good or bad, tidy or messy, and we'll get around to visiting you, sooner or later. Have a great week.

Monday 28 January 2013

Stampbord & Stampscapes

I was watching another couple of Kevins videos on the Stampscapes You Tube channel today. I've got up to number 17, and this one is called 'An Introduction to Stampbord'. Something else I have some of, but haven't really spent much time playing with. Anyway, Kevin made it look really easy- mind you, he makes whatever he does look easy, lol- so I thought it was time to give it a go. The piece I thought I'd try is ATC size- I think I bought the pack in a sale at Chocolate Baroque.
He only uses 3 or 4 colours, so I went with Cloudy Blue, Stonewashed & Denim, with Pitch Black for the edges, and stamping the image. I've pretty much imitated how Kevin did his.

For the first colour, Cloudy Blue, I just swiped the pad over the whole surface, and evened it out just a bit with the Stylus tool (colorbox).

The second colour was Stonewashed, which was applied around the edges,leaving a pale centre to the Stampbord.

So onto the third colour, Denim, applied the same, around the edges moving inwards, but leaving some of the Stonewashed showing.

I was beginning to think I'd messed up here, as it doesn't look like much!

Pushed on anyway- I can always sand it off, I suppose.

Last colour application is black, to define the edges.
So now to stamp. I used the same stamp Kevin did, Lakeside Cove, although he worked on a   smaller piece of Stampbord, so he used the small version of this stamp.

Inked the stamp up well with the same Pitch Black Adirondack. Kevins advice was to place the Stampbord on to the stamp, rather than taking the stamp to the Stampbord, so you can control where your image is placed.

Came out surprisingly well, although I do think the image could have done with being placed a little lower, so that the light area was more even. But I'm happy enough with it that I will still use it.

I added some reeds to the foreground, and a pair of ducks, and I heat dried the previous stamping first- I found the black ink of the image stayed wet for quite a while. Then I had a little try-out with a scraper type tool, not a lot, I was too worried about wrecking it now!
 He also said he likes to seal his image, with a spray sealant of some sort, as the image on the Stampbord surface tends to be a bit flat, and dull. I do have some artist sealant, and I also have some Spray & Sparkle, from Crafters Companion. I haven't used it before, but thought I would give it a blast on this. I have Silver and Iridescent, and it was the Iridescent I chose to use on here. Its given it a nice sparkly finish, which actually looks better in the flesh than the picture shows.

So, all in all, not too bad, and I shall use this to mount onto a card- I love the Stampscapes for mens cards, and you could always put some magnetic tape on the back for a Fridge Magnet.

Ink Colour Sample Ring

I came across a thread on SplitCoast Stampers Forum the other day, posted by RachelRose,about making a Distress Ink Sampler. So, in my current mode of organising, I thought that sounded like a good idea. Once or twice in the past, I've been caught out by a colour not being quite what it looked like on the lid- with the Distress ones, I think Chipped Sapphire looks quite Purple on the lid, but is more Dark Blue in reality. I thought this also might encourage me to use different colours, rather than just my 'go to' ones.

I found out a pack of little tags I'd bought, WHSmiths, I think. I dabbed each tag on an inkpad, smoothed the ink over with a (gloved!) finger, then stamped on top of that with the same colour using a little stamp. I'll get slightly different results on different cardstock, of course, but its quite a good guide as to what to expect.
 I was going to put them on a ring with the strings, but they dangled too much, and tangled up. So I cut all the strings off, and threaded them onto the ring again.
Each one has a little label on the back with the name.
Adirondack inkpads are the ones where I find a few look quite different to the colour on the lids, or what you might expect from the name, so those were next.
 I only had half a dozen tags left by now, so I cut some strips of glossy card about the same size, about 2"x1". I inked them exactly the same, thin snipped them to a tag shape, and punched a hole in each.
 To my eyes, of these, Mushroom looks quite Grey on the lid, but on card is definitely Brown.

Pesto looks Green on the lid, and although there is a green tinge to it, its definitely at the brown end, more like a Dark Khaki.
You can tell how long I've had this- its one of the flip top lids!

And Pebble- lid looks Grey, but it's more Brown.

So I had both threaded onto rings, but didn't feel they had enough room to move about, so went foraging to see if I could find anything slightly bigger.

 Found what I needed, lol. If you look closely at the 'ring' , you'll see its actually an old hoop ear-ring :).

 Both sample rings, labels on the back, hanging on their ear-rings! Thats the biggest job done, as those are the pads I have the most of. I just have a few oddments of others to do now- a few Ancient Page & Vivid, and some assorted dewdrop pads

Sunday 27 January 2013

Some Fairy tags

I liked the purples & blues on this, and thought it would go well with some of Lavinia Stamps fairy stamps. I used the Tree Root stamp on the left, then reversed it and stamped again to take the tree to the top of the tag. Next, a Cherry Blossom Branch, then an Ivy stamped 3 times up the Tree trunk. Bottom right, I put in the Black Cat, then a scattering of Tiny Mushrooms, and a larger Toadstool or two.  I stamped a small fairy, placing her sitting on a branch. Then I thought the cat needed something to be looking at, so found a little butterfly stamp to be in his eyeline.
 The circular wording is just the centre of a stamp called 'Spiral of Spells', as it fit the open space nicely. I used a Cut n Dry nib to colour the blossom, using Spun Sugar and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Some Crystal Stickles went on her wings, and pink & purple fibres through the tag.

has the main stamp is 'Flower Fairy',stamped in Black Versafine, and Diamond Stickles for the wings.I also used Black Diamond Stickles on the ends of the branches, but that doesn't really show up in the picture! Tiny Mushrooms stamped along the bottom, and 'Orchid' is the trailing foliage. Pink & Green fibres to finish, along with a punched Black Butterfly in the top right.

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...