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 26 March 2014

WOYWW #251

Gooood Morning WOYWWers! All happily linked up over at The Stamping Ground, with our Chief Desker, Julia? Good, then we'll begin. Not a huge amount on my desk this week, some new stamps from Chocolate Baroque- I've been coveting the Fragments one for ever, with all those delicious Gothic Arches. And the borders-I can see a lot of uses for those.
Other than these, just some experiments with inking card with Distress re-inkers and water.
I love the Spiced Marmalade DI- such a glorious colour- I think I got a bit carried away, it was supposed to be more subtle than that! I have a problem with subtlety, you may have noticed.

This was how I started, and was more what I was aiming for- I didn't allow for how strong the Spiced Marmalade colour is. So it'll be back to the drawing board- or the inking mat- this weekend, Less ink and water this time.
Seen on top of my 'craft mat'- £1 heat resistant baking sheet from Poundland, sorry Tim.

   Some cards made over the weekend in the previous post,  triple time stamping, mainly thanks to Julias experiments recently with the Brilliance pads- I'd forgotten how wonderful they are.
Speaking of Tim, thats something I am waiting to arrive. I saw one of his CHA videos about his Blending Solution pen, for Alcohol inks, and also the palette for the inks. Looks good to me, so found both online.  You can put a few drops of alcohol ink into the palette, let them dry for a few minutes, then pick them up with the blending pen for colouring.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Mosaics again!

Three cards in this post, all using the mosaic layout.  The real beauty of these is that you can use up oddments, scraps, images that didn't come out properly- or you can stamp a bunch of random images and use those. It can't go wrong, as long as something unifies the design, whether its a theme or colours.For this one I used a couple of images stamped onto alcohol inked card in similar colours, added a word fragment with Glossy Accents, and a violin charm to echo the one in the stamped image. The phrase' Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, art is knowing which ones to keep' is a Tim Holtz stamp, and I stamped it onto an offcut of alcohol inked card with Versafine Onyx Black, then cut it up into words and sentences so I could arrange it over the card. The phrase fits the theme perfectly- a card created from things that went wrong.

This one is a mix of scraps and deliberately stamped images, all heat embossed in either black or white. A completely eclectic mix of images unified by colour.

The third card was created with a selection of  randomly stamped images which I then punched out. Some have been heat embossed, some left without.
 The punch I used is a Woodware one, and punches out 1 1/4" squares.

A return to Triple Time Stamping

I like this really neat technique, which exploits the 'halo' effect you get when you stamp over a paper mask. For this card, which is on a 6x6 square base, the stamping pieces were 5", 4" and 3", and the blue mats 51/4", 41/4"and 31/4".

I cut all the white pieces first, then stacked them up using a repositional tape runner on the backs.

 I stamped the flower, which used to be a wood mount, by Butterfly Kisses, called Sakura,
in Brilliance Pearlescent Blue.

In order to get the effect, you need to make sure some of your images are stamped over all three layers.

I added some random small flourishes in Versafine Majestic Blue.
 The blue matting layers were cut next, and each stamped panel added to its corresponding mat.
 A useful tip here is to write a letter 'T'  lightly at the top on the back of each stamped and matting layer as you separate them. Its very easy to get disorientated when  flipping them over to add tape, and it can be awkward to get them layered right, depending on what images you have stamped with.
Before attaching to the card blank, I wrapped some ribbon around the panel. the sentiment is an old Penny Black stamp, and was stamped in Versafine Majestic Blue again, then die cut with a Nestie, Labels 4,small,  and a mat layer cut with the next size up (large set). I added it over the ribbon with some small foam pads.
 I repeated the design for two more cards, both for Mothers Day.

 This one was again stamped in Brilliance Pearlescent Blue, this time I used a brighter blue matting layer.  The second card was stamped in Brilliance Pearlescent Lavender, and a different scroll stamp used. The sentiment is die cut on the same Nestie die, just larger sizes.

White card for stamping
 Brilliance Pearlescent Blue and Lavender inkpads
 Versafine Majestic Blue
Matching cardstock for matting layers
Image stamp- 2 is best
 Nestabilities Labels 4, large and small set

Wednesday 19 March 2014

WOYWW #250

Hi folks, wasn't that a glorious weekend we just had? I think we can be fairly certain that spring is here now.Our Headmistress of Desks, Julia, is waiting for your link over at The Stamping Ground, so don't disappoint, go link up now. Show us what you got!
 So what have I got? Well, there's another Clean and Simple masked card a couple of posts back,and the previous post is my almost-disaster, a stamped image that went horribly wrong right at the end. But I saved it- so proof that never bin anything till you're sure it can't be saved is the way to go.
 So, on my desk right now-these Paper Mache dress forms.
I put the Tim ruler next to them so you can see the size- just over 7" tall. Some of you might remember I mentioned a company called Creativity Direct a while back, and how they had the most amazing selection of alterable stuff. I had in my mind buying a Jewellery Stand for my Granddaughter Merlins  birthday later this year, but hadn't been able to find one suitably gothy for her. Then I remembered seeing these, and thought I would make one instead. So thats one project for the next few months. They were great value too- £3.20 each, inc VAT. Whilst browsing the site, I also thought about a jewellery box, and found this one:
This one cost me £13.99, and they have masses of wooden boxes, of all types, sizes and shapes.
This one opens up like this:
And I have plenty of suitably gothic/halloween/fairy stamps to alter it to suit her perfectly.
 If you like this sort of thing to alter, I recommend giving their site a look,they have  almost every shape/type of Paper Mache or wooden item you can name.

 Last thing on my desk, well they were before I moved them to show you these, is some stamps from Designs by Ryn, the lady behind my much used Water Droplets stamp. A different set of Water Droplets, Rising Bubbles, Raindrops and some Starfish.The Starfish are currently at 50% off. Ryn doesn't have a UK/Europe supplier yet, so you have to order from Canada, but the exchange rate is great, and  her shipping is so fast- I got these in under 7 days from ordering, I've waited longer for orders within the UK! Nice deep red rubber stamps, they come mounted on foam. Speaking of exchange rates, and ordering from abroad, I had been looking around the UK for a refill bottle for my Versafine Onyx Black pad. No-one at all seems to have any, and I know they say you should never have to re-ink, because they last for ages, but mine is getting a bit dry, after about 6 years, and I object to having to throw a pad away and buy another, on environmental grounds, as well as cost. So, I found refill bottles on Amazon.com, for the Black, and got two bottles, plus shipping, for £11.98. I also ordered a refill for my Sepia pad while I was at it, as it doesn't need re-inking yet, but I thought I may as well save on the postage. That is the only two colours of inkpad they make refills for, by the way. Have a good week everyone, and I hope the weather is suitably spring like wherever you are.

Monday 17 March 2014

Cat and Butterfly Scene


   I have made a very similar scene before, and to be honest,
this one was intended to be pretty much exactly the same. I also forgot to take pictures till half way through, so this wasn't going well.  I started off by sponging a sheet of card with purples and browns.Adirondack Cool Peri, then DI Shaded Lilac, then Adirondack Eggplant. The browns were Adirondacks, Lake Mist, Latte and Hazelnut.

I followed that by stamping the Inkylicious cat in Versafine Onyx Black, and also the Oak Branch, Stampscapes.

Having got the tree and cat in place, I used a couple of stamps from the Inkylicious 'Essential Grasses' set along the bottom, using first and second generation stamping.
 I also added a butterfly, which comes with the cats on the Inkylicious set.

 Now this was where things began to go downhill. I decided it needed something on the right for balance, and thought I would go with some bushes, made by stamping with the tops of trees over a post-it mask.

That worked ok, it was when I decided that they needed 'grounding' that it all began to go wrong.

 I think if I'd stopped at the edge of the bushes, it would have worked. But I'd put my post-it mask across the whole scene, and sponged over the edge to create a hilly landscape.  Complete disaster- way too dark on the side by the tree. So I attempted to remove some of the ink- that actually made matters even worse, removing paper as well as ink.

 So I'm sat there, really annoyed at myself, and tossing up whether to bin it, or can I retrieve this unmitigated disaster? When I remembered a set of Hobby Art stamps I'd last used ages ago, which had a hedgerow and a stone wall in it. Found the set, and spotted the fence stamp, which by an amazing fluke was facing in the direction that would best hide my mistake.

Funny thing is, I think it actually makes the scene work better- and I'd never have thought about it, if I hadn't made such a pigs ear of the scene.

 Adirondack inks in Cool Peri,Eggplant, Lake Mist, Latte and Hazelnut
 DI in Shaded Lilac
Versafine Onyx Black
 Inkylicious stamps, Playful Cats (2cats & 3 Butterflies)
Inkylicious Essential Grasses set
Stampscapes Oak Branch also available on Nature Sheet 8
Hobby Art In The Country set

Sunday 16 March 2014

One Layer Bee card

 Another card on the CAS theme- this time using a hexagon shaped mask, and Bees instead of butterflies.
 The mask was cut from copy paper using a hexagon Nestie, and repostionable tape runner on the back to hold it in place.

 I used Distress Inks to sponge with, Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.
 One thing worth noting here, I worked on a Pearl card base, and the ink does not dry as fast as on other cardstock. It is easier to dab the ink on with a sponge, then do any blending with a clean sponge, rather than trying to do it the normal way, it just spreads too far.
You can see how much excess ink blotted off after I'd finished sponging.
At this point, I just stamped the Water Droplets stamp in Spiced Marmalade over the mask, and put it aside to dry for a while.

When it was dry enough, I added the Bee stamps, in Versafine Vintage Sepia.
The large Bee is a Judikins stamp, which used to be wood mounted. The two smaller ones are both by Aspects of Design, from The Stampman.
 Finally I added some colour to the Bee bodies with Distress Markers, using Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed in dots, and blending them with Squeezed Lemonade.
The quote was also stamped in Versafine Sepia. How long the ink stays wet on this type of card is worth remembering when doing the rest of the stamping- its very easy to smudge parts of the design. I had to tidy up one Bees wings because I forgot.
 I am going to enter this into this weeks 'Less is More' challenge, as the brief is to use masking or stencils.

 Card base
 Distress Inks in Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed and Wild honey.
Water Droplets stamp, Designs by Ryn
Versafine Vintage Sepia inkpad
 Bee stamps- the Judikins one is still about, both from Judikins, and on E-bay. Looks like the Aspects of Design ones are discontinued though.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

WOYWW #249

Well where did that week go? Or the weekend, for that matter? So here we all are again, meeting up in Julia's virtual front room, The Stamping Ground, for our much-loved WOYWW. My weekend plans were to visit IKEA (check), try out Julia's glorious Brilliance backgrounds, (check), and play with my new stamps from Visible Image (epic fail). The VI stamps were mainly the result of being picked as a winner for the Feb contest- £20 to spend on their stamps.
The ones on the right were the ones I picked as my prize, the two on the left just fell into my basket, the feathers because its so gloriously gothic, and the Molly Rules set, as that will be perfect for my Granddaughter Merlins birthday in July.
So, IKEA. Whats not to like? I had heard that the Expedit series was being discontinued, along with the drawers and cupboard with door fittings. The actual truth is that Expedit has been re-designed, the outer framing is a little thinner. Inner dimensions are the same though. I do hear that the big 5x5 unit is being discontinued, along with the desk attachment for the 4x2. Glad I got mine when I did.  I believe the bit about the drawers is correct too, and I did want another couple. So they are now in place in my 5x5.
It used to just have the two bottom pairs of drawers.

On to Julia's Brilliance backgrounds, and I love this.  Lovely pearly sheen to the sheets. Bit of trial and error for how much to mist, and whether to use glossy card or not, which didn't seem to make any difference as far as I could tell.

Last thing I was doing on Sunday was some brayered sheets. I bought a mylar mat, like the Splodge Away, at the NEC about 12 months ago- mainly use it for general inking techniques, but thought I would give the brayering a go, as everyone seems to like how it works. Usually I work on a scrap pad, to roll off the ink, and brayer onto the card from, which for me works just fine. And that is what I will be sticking with- I did not like the mylar mat method.  The three brown sheets on the top left were done off the mat, and for me, there is too much wet ink on the mat- when you start to brayer on, ink from the roller goes onto the mat, which I kept picking up on the brayer, when I wanted the ink to be fading out, it kept getting 'refreshed'. If that makes sense. I ended up with three almost one colour sheets. So I returned to my normal method of rolling off onto the scrap pad, then working up onto the card, and that gave me much better gradual fades/blends. Thats just my four pen'north, as they say. Each to their own, no doubt its just a knack, but the funny thing was, I had MORE trouble with the dreaded 'lines' with the mat than I do with the paper method. Whatever, I never said I was normal, thats just a vicious rumour put out by people who don't know me :).

Monday 10 March 2014

One Layer Card with Visible Image stamps

So, Monday afternoon, and I finally got some time to play with my new Visible Image stamps.I also wanted to see if I could successfully do a one layer card with them.

First step was to cut some masks, and for this I trimmed down some copy paper to fit through my 'bug, and used a variety of Nesties.

I cut a different one top and bottom, giving me 6 masks.

Selected my first mask, and attached it to the card front using repositionable tape runner.

 Using Scattered Straw, Squeezed Lemonade and Mustard Seed, I sponged on yellow Distress Inks. I followed that with Dried Marigold,Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.

Now for some stamping. I used Versafine Sepia to stamp the 'background' stamps, and for all of these, I used a second generation stamping, all done with the mask still in place, to keep it within the sponged box. Then the mask was removed, and a Large Butterfly was stamped in the top left corner, this time using a first generation stamping. Small Butterfly was stamped bottom right, and another two trailing down the card.

Enlarged it here, so you can see the background stamping.

Final addition was the sentiment, again in Versafine Sepia.

 Visible Image stamps:
 Bronte Script,Ripped Fishnet, Ink splats( from Free Your Imagination set) Large and Small Butterfly, We have each other word stamp.

 Distress Inks in Scattered Straw, Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Dried Marigold, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.
 Versafine Sepia Ink

Wednesday 5 March 2014

WOYWW # 248

First Wednesday of March- this time flying lark is getting ridiculous! Another  jaunt over to The Stamping Ground, to join our illustrious (and industrious, looking at the last couple of posts) leader, Julia in our weekly snoop.
 A general shot of the untidiness left behind from the last few days cards I posted. This was taken Tuesday evening. So what have we got- centre front, some more mosaic card fronts made from left overs and stuff that didn't come out to well.There is a strong possibility I will over-use this method. A cotton bud- I have no idea- scalpel, ruler, tape runner- love these Stix2 ones- The Penguin Coaster is from Birdland. I do have a bit of a thing for Penguins. A syringe waiting to be filled with glue, above that some stamps, one a magazine freebie, and a couple that I found on the shelves of the Expedit that have dropped off their sheets. The really funky square glass jar full of paper strips is my mosaic grid method. I cut a bunch of thin strips that I use to keep the squares all the same distance apart- in theory. The Glitter cats are back, having a bit more done to them. May work, might not, we shall see. My heat gun hanging from a hook under the desk. Now I remember what the cotton bud was for- I added a violin charm to the front of the purple mosaic with Glossy Accents, and used it to clean up the stuff that squished out. May have used too much. Have a great Wednesday, will catch up later.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Using 'stuff' up

Thought I would try and use up some stuff I've had lying around forever with a few cards. Not entirely successful, I must say.  I'd started off by stamping some tags using the emboss resist that I've been playing with all week. I forgot to take pictures before I started, so you'll see the tags on the cards.

 The quote on the tag is a stamp by Inkylicious, called Live Life. The tag is sponged with DI's in Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade. I overstamped it with some Lavinia Stamps fairies, a group of stars and Running Water, another Designs By Ryn stamp.
 All stamped in Spiced Marmalade.

 The image is on a piece of card I had started to brayer in yellow, so I stuck on a post-it note mask,and brayered oranges and blues over it. The image is a Stampscapes stamp,Lakeside Cabin,stamped in Staz-on Timber Brown ,the birds from another Inkylicious set,Take Flight, which has a lot of different sized Bird flocks in it. Both image and tag are matted onto dark brown card. I ran a sheet of marbled cardstock through my 'bug in Tim Holtz's Woodgrain folder twice, and added that to the card front for a bit of interest.

The second card uses Inkylicious stamps again, the same quote stamp, and a Birch Trees background. The Birch trees were stamped in Smokey Gray Versafine, and the background had been brayered in red, getting paler towards the bottom. I just brayered over the pale end with Adirondack blues. Both pieces are matted onto dark blue on a black base card. The tag had Raindrops stamped over it, I randomly patted the stamp with Festive Berries and Salty Ocean.

  The final card is the one I am least happy with. I though I would try using up some of the ridiculous amount of patterned paper I have. 6x6,8x8,12x12- you name it. At the time I bought them, I loved them. Really. Now-not so much. The tag is fine, its the rest of the card I'm not overly excited about.

 The tag has a different quote from Inkylicious on it, called Always Remember. This tag was inked by putting DI's in Spiced Marmalade and Salty Ocean on  a craft sheet, misting with water and dipping the tag in, after I'd done the resist stamping. Then I overstamped it with the Birch trees stamp, in Spiced Marmalade again once it was dry.

 When I first started card making, I used a lot of patterned/textured papers, and possibly cornered the world market in mulberry paper. Nowadays, since I discovered stamping, its really not my thing anymore. I will have to try inking and overstamping some of them- maybe that will work for me.

 Inkylicious stamps, Live Life, Take Flight,Birch trees,Always Remember.
 Designs By Ryn, Raindrops and Running water
 Stampscapes, Lakeside Cabin, nature Sheet 6
Lavinia Stamps, Small fairies and star cluster
 Adirondack inks, Blues pinks, Yellows, Orange
 Distress Inks, Oranges, Blues, Reds,Yellows
Staz-on Timber Brown
 Smokey Gray Versafine
 Brayer (or sponges/brushes)

Using the scraps............

Well, so far I made 5 cards using the Butterfly, Dragonfly and Ladybird stamps, and now I have 4 more, made using the offcuts and one scrap piece that didn't work out too well.

 This is probably my favourite technique for using up scraps and odds and ends- punch or cut into squares and make a mosaic.

 This one was made from the strip that some of the embossing rubbed off on.
 It fit nicely onto a 5x5 card, as the squares are a little larger.

These ones are on a 4x4 base, and I used a 1" punch for them.

Also 4x4, and used up all the remaining green/yellow bits.

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...