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 23 April 2014

WOYWW #255

Well I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break- we had two days off, Mon and today, which was cool. Writing this Tuesday evening, to schedule, as I will be asleep in  the morning, lol.Got some crafting done, which are in the last few posts. A card and a tag using a couple of the Molly images I coloured, and then some cards using a technique called Northern Lights, in the posts below. So as of today, Tuesday, my desk is looking remarkably tidy. I do have a pic to show you of some purchases on Saturday, from The Works. Worth popping in, in you have one near you. The two square Papermania Urban stamps were £1.49 each, the clear one was 99p.The alcohol marker pens are 99p each too- they had about 8 colours, including a blender pen.  I got a black, as you can never have too many black pens (did I say that?) , a red, a skin colour and a blender.  And now they have a loyalty card- like I really need another one of those. Does anyone NOT do a loyalty card now? I've ended up with so many, I had to buy one of those little credit card wallets for my bag. Mind you, the amount of times I visit them, its probably a good thing.
 Just to prove that tidy is not my natural state, here is a pic from yesterday:
The images you can see on the left are the Northern Lights technique- its awesome, and so easy. I also seem to have an interesting looking background appearing on my scrap pad- another reason I prefer to work on paper rather than a craft sheet. So thats my show and tell for our Leader of the Desking Pack, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground.

Monday 21 April 2014

Building a whole scene using the Northern Lights technique.

As the previous project came out so well, I was intrigued to see if I could build up a whole scene with a group of stamps and still using the Northern Lights technique for the sky. I figured if I used some masking, it should work ok. I have to admit, I'm loving this method- even I think this sky is stunning!

The stamp positioner came out for this- I have a phobia about not matching the stamps up quite right. I used Versafine on the positioner plate, but Staz-on for the actual stamping. I used to stamp onto the plate with Staz-on, then discovered it was that that turned my plate all cloudy.  Having stamped the mountains in place, I placed Lakeside Cove below them then masked the mountains to stamp Star Birth over the top.This was the completed scene, before any sponging.

I put the mask back in place to begin the sponging- I wanted the colour to reflect in the water, but not be visible through the  mountains.

I started with Mustard Seed again, but this time I was a little more free-form in how I added it, not just in straight lines.

  I sponged the sky, then added some streaks to the water area, with a few dabs onto the rocks.

After the Mustard Seed came Adirondack Citrus, followed by Sailboat Blue.

Finally some Dusty Concord, then the mask was removed from the mountains.

Now I began adding Blues to the water area, Sailboat Blue and Denim Adirondacks.

Latte and Slate were added to the rocks.

To colour the mountains, I dabbed in some Citrus and Mustard Seed lightly, then added Slate over the top, with finally a bit of Latte. A few stars were highlighted with a white gel pen.

I trimmed the edges of the image down, to remove the excess card, matted it onto black, then dark blue card.
I'm also entering this into the Craft a Scene Challenge for April, which is a Mountains and Hills theme.

 Adirondacks, Citrus, Sailboat Blue, Denim, Latte and Slate.
Distress Inks Mustard Seed, Dusty Concord.
 Staz-on Black
 White gel pen
 Stampscapes stamps:
 Lakeside Cove, Rocky Peaks and Star Birth.

Northern Lights- a la Pinterest

Right, so I saw this technique on Pinterest, and thought it would work well with scenics. The original of the pin is here, on a blog called Stamping To Share. Haven't used my Stampscapes much lately, so out they came.

The blog owner, Kay, has done a video on there, using the Stampin Up set Lovely as a Tree- here's my pic by pic post with the Stampscapes.
 First off, I cut two Nestie shapes, using the 2nd largest die of labels 8.

  I also cut two from Classic Scalloped Rectangles, but I haven't used them yet. You can also see the inks I used at the back, the stamps and some sponge pieces.

Taking the lightest colour, here Distress Inks Mustard Seed, swipe lines across the label, the full width.

 Swap to your second colour, I used Tumbled Glass, and swipe alongside the yellow. Let them overlap a little so the blue will blend with it in places, making green.

Now bring in a third, darker colour- I used Dusty Concord DI, filling in the spaces, and lightly swiping over the other colours to tone them down a bit.
 The beauty with this is that you can't possibly do anything wrong! The colours will merge and blend no matter what you do- even mistakes blend in.

The stamp I chose for this one is called Lakeside Cove, and I stamped it in Staz-On Black, as I wanted to add some more ink yet, and didn't want to risk Versafine smudging if it wasn't dry enough.
 In Kays version, she sponged Dark Blue over the ground area after she'd stamped, so you didn't see the continuation of the streaks. As my image had water in the foreground I just wanted to tone the colours down a little, so they would appear to be reflected in the water.

To do this I used Adirondack Sailboat Blue and Denim sponged over the water area- toning down the colours reflected in the water also had the effect of making the sky seem more vibrant.

Final ink was some Adirondack Mushroom on the rocks- again just to merge the colours in, rather than cover them up.

 I repeated the technique on the second label, adding Adirondack Citrus to the mix this time, and using a stamp called Rocky Creek.
Again I used the Blue Adirondacks to tone the colours down in the water, and Latte and Mushroom on the rocks.

 I also felt the label size was a bit too big for the image, so cut them both down using the next size down Nestie.
I  added some stars in the sky, and reflected in the water, with a white gel pen.

 I used the second largest die to cut out some black card to matt them onto. I cut two card blanks to roughly 6" x 5". Two strips of card, one gold, one silver were embossed with Cuttlebug folders, the gold with Diamonds in the Rough, the silver with Forest Branches,and the strip of card added to the card front using DST. I added the image on top with more DST.

Supplies: Dye inkpads in Yellow, blues, brown and purple.
White card
 Stampscapes or other scenic stamp
 Staz-on Black
 Nesties label die
 Embossing folder of choice.
White gel pen.

This was my desk mid- session, lol.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Molly on a Tag

Posts today are a bit like buses- none for ages then two show up at once!
 I decided that I would enter the Visible Image Blog April Challenge, which is Create A Tag, using at least one of their stamps. As you can tell from the title, I used another of my coloured Molly images. Apologies right now for shortage of pictures- I completely forgot whilst I was stamping.

This was the image I used, and I cut her out from the background with a scalpel. After that, I went around the edge of the image with a Black Promarker, to cover the white edges.
The tag itself was cut from a sheet of card I did some Distress Ink techniques with a few weeks ago- the DI re-inker was put onto a craft sheet, misted with water, then the card dipped into it. After that, I flicked some water over it, let it sit for a minute or two, then blotted it off with kitchen towel.

Festive Berries was the re-inker used, all the colour variation comes from the misting and water flicking. I stamped over all the tag with Ripped Fishnet, in Black Versafine, then heat embossed it using Crystal Sparkle embossing powder, for a bit of bling. Next I wrapped some black lace around the tag, securing it on the back with double sided tape. Over this I tied a narrow red ribbon into a bow.
The top of the tag had a hole punched, and a red eyelet put in. A skull embellishment was threaded onto some red eyelash wool, and tied through. Molly was mounted on the tag using silicone glue, for dimension.
Here is the tag enlarged, so you can see the Ripped Fishnet detail.

 Visible Image stamps, Molly Rules and Ripped Fishnet
 Distress Re-inker, Festive Berries
Onyx Black Versafine inkpad
 Crystal Sparkle embossing powder, Stampendous Stamp'n'Stuff
Black Lace
 Red Ribbon
 Red Fibres
Charm- mine came from Riverside Beads, in the Steampunk section.

Triple Stamping with Molly

So, about time I posted something between Wednesdays, and as I'd gone to all the trouble of colouring the Molly images in, I thought a card with her on was in order.
I went about this a bit backwards, to be honest. I wondered if I could turn her into a triple stamped card, which meant masking her out first.

 I worked out the card sizes I needed, stacked them up, then added the Post-it mask. Its simple enough to get the right sizes- each stamping layer is 1" bigger than the previous one.

The stamps I used to over stamp with are mainly from the Molly Rules set, by Visible Image. I used Versafine Onyx black for the stamping of the phrase, barbed wire and skull. There is an ink splat stamp in the set, but I felt it was a little too large to work with this picture, so I used a smaller one from the Ink Splats set. I also used Adirondacks to stamp them in. I applied a layer of Stonewashed to the stamp, then just did a bit of random dabbing with Denim.

Molly unmasked!, and ready for layering onto dark blue card.To get the coloured layer, each one has to be 1/4" bigger than the stamped layer that will be matted onto it.
 Normally, I'd cut all the stamping layers first, then cut all the mats, but like I said, I was doing this backwards.

 I wanted to add a sentiment, and thought dog-tag style. I cut a piece of thick card a little larger than my stamp, which I covered in Black Soot Distress Ink. This is wet enough to be able to add embossing powder to it, and I used black detail for this. Three layers, and into the final layer I stamped the sentiment, which had first been coated in Silver Pigment ink.
 TIP:  Make sure you coat the sentiment stamp before you start heating the embossing powder. The pigment ink won't dry on the stamp, but you will want to be able to stamp into the molten powder before it can harden.
For the second part of the tags, I used a lock stamp, from the Max Rocks set. Done exactly the same way as the sentiment. When they had cooled, I coloured the edges and backs with a Black Promarker.

 Both tags  had a hole punched in one corner and were added together with a length of ball chain, and an eyelet put in the top of the matted panel to thread it through.
 If the embossing starts to crack when you punch the hole, a quick blast with the heat gun will fix it. Next time I'll make the holes first!

 Molly Rules, Max Rocks and Ink Splat sets, all by Visible Image
 Versfaine Onyx Black
 Distress Ink Black Soot
 Adirondacks (or any dye ink) in a couple of shades of blue.
Silver Pigment inkpad
Black detail embossing powder
 Black Promarkers
 Coloured Promarkers to colour Molly
 Ball chain & fastener
Dark blue card

Wednesday 16 April 2014

WOYWW #254

Good Morning Deskers- another week been and gone, where is this year vanishing to? Time for another show and tell, courtesy of our Chief of Desks, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground. Finally we have some spring type weather, lets hope it last for the Easter weekend.It would be nice to be able to do some work in the garden at long last.My desk still contains the images of Molly from last week, but now she has some colour.
 You can see a mask of Molly on a post-it, for later use, and some colour samples as well. 
I'm actually quite chuffed, as I seem to have stumbled upon a colouring method that works for me.
Regulars will know I frequently moan that my colouring skills are less than desirable- blending and shading have managed to elude me entirely. However, quite by fluke, I seem to have blundered into a solution. After I had coloured the purple Molly, below, I was as usual less than impressed. It still seemed 'flat', and I wanted to give her hair in particular, some texture. So I added one of the ultra fine nibs to my black Promarker, and flicked in a lot of short lines.Which I then coloured over in a dark grey.It wasn't perfect, but I did find that amount of colour was blendable. So I switched to using ultra fine nibs on all the colours I was using- and by putting down loads of fine lines, in two colours, then blending over the top with a third really pale one, I got what I wanted. Talk about a Eureka moment!These images have to be my first colouring attempts I'm actually pleased with, and that look pretty much like the version in my head- ( you don't want to go there, its a dark & scary place!). So much so, I think I'll be stamping up a few more, and I can see me colouring just for fun now. I've also just ordered a bunch more ultra fine nibs- so I can have one for each colour group, dark and pale.
  So apart from this, what else did I discover? Well,  I mentioned in last weeks post about how the black inks took to different card, and Julia also commented about how different all the 'white' card looked next to each other. Which they did, its true. 
Some had been stamped in Versafine, some in Memento, and a few had been stamped in Versafine & heat embossed.Results? The images were all left for a few days before I tried colouring- and I had issues with the Memento bleeding, surprisingly.

Not sure if that was because I was using the bullet point nib, and I will be testing it out with the ultra fine nib to see if that solves it. It may also be down to colour, as I find the reds tend to spread alarmingly. The heat embossed lines seems to cure that though.

Although it wasn't just the reds, I had a problem with the purple in this Memento image.

I shall be able to use the ones that bled, if I cut them out and mount onto a card, so all is not yet lost.
 One epic fail was the Clarity Silk Coated card- that and  Promarkers do not play well together. The image was heat embossed, but it was as though the next colour added 'lifted' the first one, rather than blended with it, leaving the blue in the image looking very streaky and also the black dried out looking very flat.

 So thats my desk, go on- show us yours! Have a good week folks, and hopefully a lovely Bank Holiday weekend too.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

WOYWW #253

Nothing exciting on my blog of late, I have to confess that I have been working on something I can't show yet. A while ago, Glenda Waterworth, of Chocolate Baroque, did a DT call for new members, and while I didn't get chosen, she did get back to me and ask if I would be willing to do a guest DT post- which I thought was way cool. She wanted a project by 28th April, and knowing how I would get stressed about getting it perfect if I left it too close to the date, I got on with it. Anyhow, its done and e-mailed to her now, so when its going to be published, I will be letting everyone know, lol! So, on to the reason we are all here,(even if most of us are not all there!) is our regular meeting at our Head Deskers place, Julia at The Stamping Ground.
What is on my desk this week, is the Ink Palettes I bought, now complete with all the alcohol inks I have. A few missing, about 8 I think.
I had seen Tim say there were labels on the Ranger site, but when I went there I couldn't find them, so did my own. They look like little butterflies, which is ace, they are actually punched from sticky labels with a 4 leaf clover punch, I just cut the stem off, then coloured them with the appropriate ink off a cotton bud.The ones in the closed palette , on the far right side, are not Tim Alcohol inks, they are by Zig, and if I remember rightly, I bought them from Jenny, The Artistic Stamper. Funny thing though, yesterday on FB there was a post by Tim with a link to all the labels for  his product lines. Organise your Ranger Products- this is the link if anyone wants it. They are colour coded labels for all the inks/inkpads etc. Just print off onto a sheet of sticky labels- I have some A4 sheets divided into 4 labels I got from Staples which are perfect- and stick them on. I also did some little circle ones that I put on top of each ink bottle, to make finding them easier.

I thought it might be time as well to start colouring some of the Molly images, from Visible Image stamps,- knowing how long it will probably take me to get an image I'm happy with- for Merlins birthday card. So I stamped up a bunch, on different types of white card. Funny how inks 'take' on different card. The top two are Memento, on Neenah card, and are not as black as I would like. The next two down are Versafine, on 'Super Smooth A4 white card' from Samuel Taylors, picked up last year from the NEC, and they are a nice solid black. The three on the left are on Clarity Theuva card (the two images) and Clarity Silk coated card (the single image). Both in Versafine, and I have heat embossed these with clear detail powder. The bottom sheet is White Stamping card, from Hunkydory craft, I think it came from Crafters Companion, and the left image is Versafine, the right one Memento. It really is a bright white card, and on this one there is little to chose between the two stampings.The Versafine is still the darker one, but only just. So, I'm reasonably confident I can get at least one usable image out of all these,lol.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

WOYWW #252

Almost lost track of the days this week. We had a long weekend, booking last Thursday and Monday off work, and I've only just realised its Tuesday!We had a night out on Friday, to the O2 Academy in Birmingham, to see 5 Finger Death Punch- they were AWESOME!!!!
I do my post up on Tuesday afternoon, and schedule it, because we work nights, and getting in at 6.30ish on Wednesday morning, I'm just about capable of linking in with our head Desker, Julia, at The Stamping Ground, typing up a post would be beyond me, lol. And my desk won't change overnight, unless the fairies get to it.
So this is what it looks like- the ink palette and blender pen arrived, the palette now filled with alcohol inks, and the blender pen with blending solution on the left.More on that in a minute. Just had to order a second palette, as I have more inks than I had spaces for. Some trial stamping with Gothic Fragments stamps beneath that.A tub of stylus tools with some ink pads on top. Bits of waste from dst, and a lone stamp on its block. Nothing very exciting.
Speaking of ordering stuff, I have a few times complained that I could not find refills for my Adirondack pads in this country. You can order them from the USA, but the shipping (and what you would probably get charged for Import duty) is ridiculous. That happened to Beloved Hubby last week. He wanted a rugged case for his new phone, not available over here, only from USA. Card off the post office through the door- Import Duty of almost £3, which wasn't bad, BUT, the Post Office also charged £8 for ' Handling Costs' related to the Import Tax! Total cost £11- how can they justify that? So I try not to order too much from the USA cost wise, just because of that Handling Charge. Anyway, back to what I was about to say-the site I found my palette and pen on, Country View Crafts, well, I was browsing, as you do, and what did I find? Adirondack pad refills! She must be the only place in the country that carries them. And, best of all, she has free shipping, with no minimum spend, which is always good, its quick too, my order turned up in a couple of days. So I shall be gradually getting refills for all my pads, some of them I've had for a few years now, and could do with a refresh.Final pic, and I had to put it at the bottom, so the pic doesn't show on FB, with RSS feed, is a Wedding Card for some friends getting married in a weeks time.
The embossed background is the Couture Creations Tied Together folder- love that one, its probably my most used. Little half pearls were added to the joins in the embossed design.The stamp is At the Altar, by Stampendous,stamped a second time onto a red vellum, and just the overdress cut out and added on top with Pinflair glue.Its a useful way of bringing the wedding colours into the card, I find. The message was printed on my pc, onto white pearl card. I chose the Ultra Glossy Photopaper setting in the printer, and the ink was wet enough for me to be able to sprinkle with Silver Detail embossing powder and heat set.

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...