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 July 2013

WOYWW #217

Another week, and month, been & gone.Time for this weeks Virtual World Tour, courtesy of our Amazing Hostess, Julia, at The Stamping Ground.So, whats to show this week? Firstly, my desk- I admit, slightly tidied, so I could take the pictures that follow it.
4.30 on Tuesday afternoon, and a bit of summer sun through the window- not as much as the last few weeks, but sun nevertheless. Top right, the remnants of the weekends play with acrylic block stamping,(posted lower down) lower left, assorted tags, both finished & blank, a watercolour pad I was using for the stamping, and an assortment of stamped images for cards- waiting for some inspiration on being put together.
 The Poe card for my son got finished, and is in the post below this one.

 Got some Happy Mail last week, first one from Deeyll,aka Queen Lightwell, a WOYWW ATC swap. It arrived too late for me to put it in last weeks, Love the colours & layout, but especially the sentiment: Be the Best You that You can be.Gorgeous little fabric flowers included too- saving those for something special. Thanks Deeyll, I really appreciate it.

 Second was a purchase. I had my eye on these as soon as I heard about them- Distress Markers in the 'limited edition' colours. As the first lot of markers took so long to get over here, I wasn't expecting to get them yet, so it was a nice surprise to get a promo e-mail from  Jennie, The Artistic Stamper, with them on. And a Summer Discount code too!

 A heads-up here to everyone who has the Distress Markers- I noticed this label stuck on the side of the new pack.
I distinctly remember watching Tim's CHA video at the first launch, when he said it didn't matter how they were stored, upright was fine, thats why they came in that container. It seems like that has changed, and it DOES matter! Haven't seen anyone commenting anywhere about problems, but I'm guessing that one end or other is drying out. So, if you've got the DI markers, best get them lay down comfy somewhere.
  Still loving my night shift, not having any problems sleeping during the day either. I think maybe the mornings have been the coolest part of the day recently. You can tell how well we sleep- yesterday(Monday) apparently we had thunderstorms all morning- never heard a sound, lol. Scheduling this for early morning, and I shall link up as soon as I get home. Have a great week everyone.

Monday 29 July 2013

That Poe Card.....

So, the card got finished, and I can post it now, as its been given to my son.
The Raven background was stamped in Versafine Onyx black, onto an ivory coloured paper that had been given the lemon juice treatment. This post covers that.
 After stamping it ,I added some blue and black Distress inks to the raven, with sponges.
 I used the Crowscape Stampendous stamp from this post to create another 'black on black' backround paper, just  stamping in Versamark, and heat embossing with Black detail powder, onto Black pearl paper,to cover the front of the base card.

 The smaller Raven piece is called Quoth the Raven, and has been made into a fridge magnet.
I used a piece of Stampbord for this, but a piece of mountboard would do just as well.
The Stampbord is only slightly smaller than the image, and to get it right I inked up the stamp, Onyx Black again, and lay it on my desk face up. Then I placed the Stampbord onto that and pressed down well. I left it overnight for the Versafine to dry well, as the first piece I tried started to smudge. The beauty with Stampbord, as it has a clay coating, is that you can sand off anything you put on the surface, and try again.
 Next day I started sponging on Distress Inks, in various brown shades, using a Colorbox stylus tool.
The first two colours were Old Paper & Antique Linen, then I added a light application of Victorian Velvet, to 'warm' it up a little.

I added more browns, with Brushed Corduroy & Gathered Twigs.I finished the edges with Walnut Stain. At this point, it looked too different to the original piece on the lemon burnt paper, so I added some Brushed Corduroy & Gathered Twigs to that, to pull them together.
 Now to turn it into a fridge magnet. I took some Magnetic Photo paper I'd bought in Tescos to do this. I'd bought it originally, with the intention of using it to store Nesties & such like on, in a binder, but it turned out that the magnetic photopaper isn't strong enough to grip them without them sliding off. So after I bought magnetic sheets for the dies, I put the paper to one side, as I was sure I'd eventually have a use for it.
 I covered the back of the Stampbord with DST, Just the cheap 3 rolls for a quid from Poundland.

Drew around my Stampbord and cut it out. I did the fine trimming after with a scalpel.
Next I used a Distress Marker in Black to go all around the outside edges, to hide the white of the photopaper and the brown edge of the Stampbord.

Almost done, but I wanted to give it a coating of clear embossing powder, just enough to make it wipeable. For this I used ordinary detail embossing powder, as the UTEE tends to need 3 or more coats to get an even finish, and I didn't want to make it that thick.

Dabbed all over with Versamark, then added a layer of detail Clear powder, heated it, then re-coated with Versamark and added a second layer. Gave it just enough to protect it, without making it too glossy.
Assembly time! The black background went onto the card front, then I added the main image. The Fridge magnet is attached with a couple of Repositionable Glue Dots, so it can be removed without damaging the card.
 Some black and brown eyelash wool was wrapped around the spine and knotted at the top front. Finally I added an ivory paper insert for writing the greeting.

Stampendous stamps; Crowscape, raven Background and Quoth The Raven.(Links in the linked posts above)
Versafine Onyx Black
Distress Inks in Old Paper, Antique Linen, Victorian Velvet,Brushed Corduroy, gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain. (Black Soot & Chipped Sapphire to add colour to the Raven)
 Clear Embossing Powder
 Black Detail Embossing powder
 Stampbord piece, or Mountboard
 Magnetic paper or sheet
 Ivory paper and black pearl paper
 Repositional glue dots 
 Black marker for edging

Stamping with Acrylic blocks

I've seen this technique around, and wanted to give it a try. An acrylic block, dye based inkpads and a mister. You also need card to stamp onto, and it needs to be able to take water without buckling. I used it on watercolour card, and on some fairly thin, smooth card. The trouble with the watercolour card is that its not smooth, although such a thing is available. Mine isn't, but I did find that the back was smoother than the front.
All you do is apply inks to the block- you can use markers as well as inkpads.

I used Distress Inkpads- Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Salty Ocean & Peacock Feathers.
Then spritz with water. How much you spritz is up to you, and the surface you are going to stamp on, I found. The watercolour paper takes up a lot of the water, so the result can be patchy if you haven't added enough.

On the other hand, on smooth card, you want less water. And you don't want that much water that the ink runs when you start to flip the block over to print.

First print, not too bad- you can spread the ink a little with a fingertip if its blotchy.

    I topped up the ink, and added a lot more water this time.

 Excess ink in the corner, from how much water I added. I soaked it up with a piece of kitchen roll.

Went a bit mad experimenting, and made a few more. I decided to trim them all down, and use as backgrounds that way. Not sure how successful this would be using it straight onto your card front- I think theres too much likelihood of the card warping as it dries.
So, its cool for a soft, watercolour-like finish, with softly blended colours, I shall try it with some other cardstock, to see if I can get a 'one-layer' card from it.

 Dye based inkpads/markers
 Spritzer bottle
Acrylic blocks
 Card, or watercolour paper.

Sunday 28 July 2013

Lavinia Stamps Mosaics

Two cards here using some of my favourite stamps and definitely my favourite colour scheme in this one. I randomly stamped a bunch of Lavinia Stamps onto white card using Onyx Black Versafine.
 Then I used a Woodware punch to cut out as many pieces as I could get out of the images.

 Square punches are a bit odd, when you buy them.

The one I used for this was described as a 1"punch when I bought it, but the sides measure 1 1/4". I bought another 1" punch, but the sides of that  are 3/4", its the corner to corner measurement that is an inch. I haven't actually found a 1" punch that gives 1" sides yet. Its easy to cut them with a ruler, I know, but a punch is quicker.
 The squares were matted onto black card, in a grid. I use some thin strips of card I cut for the purpose, to keep my lines straight, with a ruler at the top & side.

It was trimmed to leave a border roughly the same as the joints between the squares.The sentiment was stamped in Onyx black again onto a scrap of white card, matted onto black, and some black acrylic hearts added.

The Mosaic panel went on to a white square card base. with some black &white eyelash wool wrapped around the cards spine.

I wanted to add some colour to the next one, so I stuck a selection of squares down onto scrap paper with repositionable tape.I added the colour with Inkylicious Colour Duster brushes, Distress Inks in Spun Sugar, Dried Marigold, Shaded Lilac and Salty Ocean.

                          I matted them up onto black card again, in the same order.

Trimmed the matt down, added it to a square card base again, and some multi coloured wool added to the spine. I treated a scrap of card with the same colours, then stamped the sentiment onto it, and added clear acrylic hearts this time.
I've also entered these in this months Challenge at Lavinia Stamps, which is 'Use a die cut or punch'

Supplies; Assortment of Lavinia Stamps
 Versafine Onyx Black inkpad
 Distress inkpads: Salty Ocean, Dried Marigold, Spun Sugar,Shaded Lilac.
 White card to stamp on
 Black card for matting
 Square card bases.
Colour Duster Brushes, or sponges.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

WOYWW #216- a bit of magic

Good Morning all! Anyone just dropping by and wonders what this is all about, hop over to Julia's  at The Stamping Ground, and join in our world-wide blog hop.  Display your desk, messy or tidy, in all its glory. I have actually done something this week- working on my eldest sons Birthday card, with the Poe stamp. A technique I tried out is the bit of magic in the title. Heated lemon juice.
 As always, I couldn't do just one! I remembered seeing it used before, and thought it looked interesting, and have been meaning to try it for a while.You get a similar result to sponging with Distress Inks, but its a lot more random, and controlled only by how much heat you apply. The more heat, the more the lemon juice burns.
 Spritzed it all over with lemon juice, just the sort you get in a plastic bottle to squeeze on your pancakes-then set loose with the heat gun.
I could never get that much random by inking, I don't think.
So its coming along nicely.

Working nights, we've found it simpler to stick to the same pattern over the weekend, and Saturday night I was happily crafting away, it was so warm I opened my window wide to try to get any air that might be moving around in. Bad mistake. Every moth within a 3 mile radius decided it wanted to visit my craft room and barrel about bouncing off the lights, the walls, and me! Very distracting. Especially when you get one the size of a small bat popping in.
                                                                                                  Meet my new friend:

He settled up in a corner overnight, and I called Beloved Hubby to come see him the next day.

 He retrieved him to put him back outside.

He's a Poplar Hawkmoth, if you're interested. The moth, that is, not Beloved Hubby.

I'm typing this on Tuesday afternoon, so I can schedule it for Wednesday morning- we had an awesome amount of rain & thunderstorms this morning. Yay for the Met office! Got it right this time. For those around the world surprised by this, we are rather used to getting the exact opposite of what they forecast- it actually comes as quite a shock when they get it right.

Last thing, anyone else seen this on Facebook? The newest way to empty our purses by Tim Holtz- Distress Glitter. I have to admit, I like the look of some of the colours, especially the browns/yellows/oranges. Not common glitter colours.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

WOYWW #215

It's HOT!!!!!!! What are we like- moan if its wet, moan if its cold, moan if its hot- just no pleasing us, is there? It is glorious though, isn't it?  A picture of a climbing rose in the garden, Its called 'Spirit of Freedom', from David Austin Roses, which isn't too far away from us. We had a trip there about 3 years ago, and they have acres of ground, planted with their roses, beautiful sight, and the scent from them is awesome.
The blooms are huge, its one of the old fashioned cabbage roses, and has a gorgeous proper Rose smell.This is possibly the first year that the blooms haven't been ruined by rain.

Each flower is really heavy, you can see how they hang over, and each stem has 3 or 4 flowers on it. Both the clusters on here have already had one rose shed its petals.

Hanging baskets are doing well,last year they were a complete washout. Kitchen door in the background, with cat flap. Which Ambrose rarely uses. He prefers to sit there meowing & looking pathetic, until I open the door for him. Which I always end up doing. He doesn't try it with Doug, as he doesn't open the door for him!

Outside the front of the house we have some planters, with Lillies in, amongst other stuff. I love Lillies, one of my favourite flowers.

No real crafting going on this week, too flaming hot.A shot of my PC desk, instead, lol. Taken while writing this post. Littered with stuff. A couple of Simons Cat soft toys, an onyx penguin, with my WOYWW badge. A little teddy in a penguin suit on the right, a mug of coffee.

  A few people were very taken with the Raven stamps last week. I did try & give everyone who asked the links, there are  two versions of the stamp, a portrait version called Raven Background (above), and a landscape version called  Nevermore.     Both at The Stampman.

 Separate subject, has anyone else been seeing the Tim Holtz sneak peak e-mails?  The Distress Markers are coming out in the Limited Edition colours (which are part of the general range anyway now),  love the Laboratorie paper stash, and some of the new dies look awesome. There are Bottles,a Quill pen & inkbottle, a moon & stars and a Wall clock. Some new strip dies, love the railing fence one, and the new alphabet.

 Join us all over at The Stamping Ground, with out hostess Julia, click on the links and see a whole world of crafters desks.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

WOYWW #214

Two desk shots this week, this one looking over from my PC desk, to a view of a desk liberally littered with crafting stuff. Underneath the sheet of paper you can see the packaging of a Corner Chomper, unopened as yet. Tub of inking tools, RUB's with sponges & the pieces for the inking tools on top.The easel has the card on from the last post, theres a tub of tags to the right, an Ikea cutlery holder that is home to my rulers.

Front shot with some recently acquired goodies:A metal shim for intricate metal dies- seen a lot of people raving about how good & easy a cut you get with this-An intricate metal die- well I have to test it out, don't I?, some mini sponge daubers, a bottle of Glamour Dust and a new stamp. Actually, its a second version of a stamp I already have, The Raven, Stampendous. The stamp is built around the Poem by Edgar Allen Poe (one of my favourite authors)  The Raven.
Here it is a bit closer, with a piece from the other version stamped onto Stampbord. The other Version is a portrait one, this one is landscape and will work better for what I have in mind, a card for my eldest sons birthday,and a fellow Poe fan, with part of the image on Stampbord, so I can turn it into a removable fridge magnet. With the portrait version, the main quote' Quoth the Raven, Nevermore', is split between the top & bottom of the stamp, so I can't get it all on one piece of Stampbord. The landscape version has all the quote together, alongside the Raven, so it will look better. And it is only slightly larger than the Stampbord ATC sized piece. So thats my Show-and-Tell for this week, join in at The Stamping Ground, where our much-moved hostess, Julia, attempts to keep us all in line- not saying that she succeeds, but she does try, bless her little cotton socks.

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...