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 29 October 2014

WOYWW #282

Another week gone, another closer to the years end,lol.  Back at WOYWW for our regular browse at the desks of the world, thanks to our Champion Desker, Julia at The Stamping Ground. Only a couple of things on my desk this week, I've been swapping stamps over to the Aileenes Tack it Over and Over method, and I must say I'm liking it.
Last weeks selection of Stampscapes, and a few oldies, painted with the glue and drying off.
 I reckon this bottle will last forever, such a small amount needed, and I'm painting it on with a foam brush.
 For those who don't know about it, its a sort of repostionable glue, almost like you find on the edges of Post It notes.  Stays tacky for ever, almost. This way, they stick to the holder sheets, and your acrylic blocks, and generally take up far less storage space than using the foam EZ mount. I did at first put all my u/m's onto that, but over the years have found that it started to separate from the stamps, and quite some number have started to 'cup', which means they don't stay on the carrier sheets, or the blocks. So thats an ongoing project. Talking of stamps(!), Chocolate Baroque, every now and again, have a sale of what they call 'Broken Biscuits'. You can probably figure that out, its stamp sheets that didn't all come out perfectly, so the poor ones have been cut away, and replaced with a good stamp. It means you get all the stamps in a set, they are just not all joined together on a sheet when you get them. As you are going to cut them apart, that's no difficulty. And generally they sell them at roughly half price, which means I got an A4 set for £15, instead of the usual £24.96.The set I bought is called Artistic Affirmations.

I was expecting to get a bag of mainly loose stamps, but when it arrived, it was almost a complete sheet- just one stamp separate from the rest!
 Not a lot of crafting done this week, we called in at IKEA on Friday, and I bought another couple of drawer units, a tall Alex and a wide one, so there has been some tidying and reorganising going on.
Last and final thing I want to show you: Beloved Hubby has struck again! The things he manages to find on the Internet never ceases to amaze me. I knew he had ordered something for me and Mikey, but had no idea what it was. Then on Saturday morning two packages arrived, and he told me to go ahead and open them.
 This is what was inside:

Two cushions, with pictures of Ambrose on. One set for us, and one set for Mikey and KT.The fabric is suede- like, and the image quality of the prints is amazing. Got Mikey to pop over yesterday, with KT, said we had something for them. They were both chuffed to bits with them.
My treatment is  plodding along, still so far, so good. The worst part is the time involved- 45 minutes there, the same back. The actual treatment takes less than 10 minutes, and three days last week I was called in within 5 minutes of arriving. Monday this week, we got there to discover they were running 70 minutes late! Not funny. Also this week, on Monday, I returned to work, doing half shifts at first to see how it goes.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

WOYWW #281

Yet again, another week has flown past, and here we are back at our Head Desker, Julias place at The Stamping Ground for another WOYWW.
 I actually have a few pics of purchases this week, so the weak willed amongst you may wish to look away, lol.

 First up, some new Stampscapes unmounted stamps. I do love my scenic stamps and these extend the range of scenes I can build up. The top two are intended to be snowy brooks, but can easily be grassy ones with a change of ink colour, and the next two down on the right are a right and left version of a river bank. Some small filler grasses and rocks, and a wading fisherman to add detail.

Next up is the engagement card I made for Mikey and KT.

Just a simple diamanté buckle threaded onto ribbon, and matted onto matching navy card, with a stamped and heat embossed sentiment.

Next up is a book I saw advertised in a Chocolate Baroque email, about Brusho paints. I still haven't got round to trying them out, been concentrating on the C- cards, but thought this might make interesting reading. Its full of various techniques for using them with other products, such as alcohol inks/gilding waxes etc.

Final pic is something I purchased thanks to Shoshi's post last week- some more mini misters. She had found an online store, Ampulla, selling them very cheaply. I went to have a look, and they turned out to be identical to ones I had bought from the NEC last year, just a lot cheaper.

These are the ones I ordered, and they are 54p each-and it works out to 49p each if you buy 25. I paid about £4.50, for a pack of three, at the NEC, and that's about average if you do an Internet search,so these are a lot  less than a 'craft' version, as usual!
 These are the ones I bought at the NEC, one set was branded, Mist-It!, one has nothing on it. The one on the left is the 'new' one, the two on the right the originals.

Can't find any info on the volume of the Tim Holtz ones, but I reckon these hold at least half as much again, at 8ml. Here they are side by side. And they do spray a lovely fine mist.

 Last couple of pictures now. One from Saturday night, when we went out for a meal with Mikey and KT to celebrate, and also my Eldest son Ant, came along, with Becky and the grandkids.
From the left, clockwise: KT, Becky,Mortimer, Ant, Merlin behind Doug, and Mikey.

 A better pic of Merlin.                                                                                                              


Finally,as all of those who know me on FB  know,  on Sunday, we had to have our much loved cat Ambrose put to sleep. He was 16 1/2, and in final stage of heart failure, all his organs were shutting down. Mikey is heartbroken, he and Ambrose were pretty much inseparable when he lived here, where Mikey went, Ambrose followed. I phoned him to tell him what the vet had said, and he and KT came over, so all four of us were with him and fussing him when he died. We all left in tears, he'd been a big part of our lives for so long. I do have to say the veterinary staff inside Pet City were wonderful, and could not be faulted. Later next year, when all this cancer thing is done, we will adopt a rescue cat from Cats Protection, and give another cat a forever home. Speaking of the cancer thing, by now I've had my first day of chemo/radiotherapy, and be having my second later today. I will post up on my page later in the week how its leaving me feeling.The chest infection has gone also, so that's all to the good.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

WOYWW #280

Morning all, and yet another Wednesday is here. Scary how fast this year is vanishing, isn't it? This is my desk shot for the week, joining up with our (freshly holidayed) Julia at The Stamping Ground.
 Still plodding along with the Christmas cards, I've trimmed all the stencilled toppers now, trees, Noels and some baubles. Next up will be some stamped ones, using the tree stamp, from Inkylicious, just about visible on the right.
 By the way, the stencils I've been using are all Dreamweaver ones.
One thing I have done, is quickly go over the top of them with a stiff stencil brush, or a toothbrush, which removed any loose glitter. So should be less shedding when I make them up. I do sparkle quite nicely though!
And an update on the Gold embossing paste- don't know whether it was the daylight in my room, or my eyesight, but the new pot turned up this week, and it dries out exactly the same, and they both now look like gold! Go figure.

A card I made last week, for my Beloved Hubby, as last Friday was our 5th Wedding Anniversary.
The hearts are a Visible Image stamp, the one stamped and heat embossed in silver also had a little silver glitter added. The words are a stamp from Inkylicious. I added various red shades with a colour duster brush, and by swirling a darker red over the hearts, I achieved a nice shadow effect.

 I managed to pick up a chest infection last week- started Wednesday with a bit of a sore throat, that had gone Thursday, and it felt like I was getting a stinking cold, or flu. Unfortunately, that really went downhill on Thursday night, and I ended up having a couple of asthma attacks in the night. Never, ever had one before, and I don't think I've ever known anything so scary. Ended up at the docs on Friday morning, he put me on a nebuliser in the surgery, as I was struggling to breathe, and I have antibiotics, a course of steroids I finished this morning, and an inhaler.So we didn't go anywhere over the weekend, Hubby had intended us to have a day around Stratford, but as I couldn't walk the length of the room without gasping for breath, that didn't happen.Seems to be clearing up now, fortunately, as next Tuesday I'm due to start my Chemo/radiotherapy. At least it happened before that, rather than during.Went for blood tests on Monday, ready for the start, and on Wednesday I have to go see the Occupational Health Nurse at work, prior to starting back, which I intend to do on the 27th, just doing half shifts for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Just a case of trial and error, really, as I have no idea how I'm going to feel once the chemo/radio starts.I shall make adjustments if necessary- doing less, or even being signed off again, if its too much. We shall see. 

Finally, a cause for some celebration.My youngest son, Mikey and his girlfriend, KT announced they are engaged! Apparently, they got engaged on 14th August (our Birthday), but have only just told everyone.
This pic was taken when they were having a day around the Bull Ring Centre in Birmingham, Mikey is the one on the right- wonder who he gets his dress style from? The guy in the pic was some promo thing going on. And yes, that's the closest Mikey ever gets to smiling in a photo, lol.

 I would dearly love to go to the Hobbycrafts at the NEC in November, 6th -9th, which is in four weeks, but I shall wait till closer to make a definite decision on that, again depending how I feel. It may be a 'decide on the day' sort of thing.
And one final AAARRRGH! Slipknot and Korn have announced they will be touring in January, they will be in Birmingham at the end of January, (27th) and we can't book tickets!  My main surgery should be at the beginning of the new year,so have no idea what the date will be, or how I will be by the end of the month. But short of needing to drag a drip with me, I shall be doing my damnedest to get there, lol.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

WOYWW #279

I've remembered what day of the week it is this week, and am getting my post written in plenty of time! As you will see from the posts below this, I have actually managed to get my a** in gear, and get started on the C Cards.So for this weeks WOYWW, courtesy of Our Julia at The Stamping Ground, here it is, in all its mess glory.
Assorted embossing pastes and glitters, stencils and stamps. Actually doing more with the stencils at the moment, I shall swap to the stamps when I get bored with trailing glitter everywhere.

Talking of Embossing pastes, as I mentioned in one of the previous posts, my Gold embossing paste, which I've probably had for a couple of years, seems to have lost its colour, its not gold out of the pot, and it doesn't dry gold either. By contrast, I spotted some Aileenes Glitter snow on the shelf, and thought I'd try some white embossing.
I'd already opened this jar, and had closed it again with sellotape, but it is absolutely perfect. I'd rather anticipated it would be dried up, but no. The reason I am so surprised, is that I had to look at some old scans of Christmas cards to find out when I last used it. 2004! The stuff is 10 years old, and as good as the day I bought it. Hows that for value?
 I have sprinkled the trees with crystal glitter, and I've also done some green ones, gold and silver.
 Forgot to take a picture of the silver ones.
Final bit for today, and I'm sure it will make you laugh as much as it did me. I received this in the post, from Deb Willis during last week. She has no idea how right she is, lol. I'm not even human till after my second coffee.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Still at the Christmas Cards.

Still plodding along here, and I'm swapping between two stencils at the moment. I moved over to doing some sparkly trees, using another Dreamweaver stencil, as I wanted to sprinkle them with glitter, and that meant I could use the 'off-gold' paste!

Both are done with the gold paste,and the glitter hides it nicely.

I've also done some white and silver ones.

I shall be adding some acrylic flat back gems as 'decorations' eventually.

 I'd swapped to doing the trees, as I was having trouble getting the NOEL stencil to come out cleanly. I kept getting paste go under one edge of the 'L'.

Anyway, I went back to it after a while, and tried again. I discovered the trick to this particular stencil is to drag the paste down from the top, rather than spreading across the stencil from left to right/right to left.

 Once I figured that out, it went much better. I also decided to leave the glittering of the snowflake till after the paste had dried, and go back to that bit. As you can see, no nasty smudged line anymore.

When the paste was dry, and I left them overnight by the way, I lay the stencil back over the design, and using a small piece of Cut'n'Dry foam, patted a little Flitterglue over the snowflake.  Removed the stencil and sprinkled the glitter over it.
This made it much easier to apply, without having to be so careful about it sticking to the edges of the letters either side.

I've also done some white, using the Aileenes Glitter Snow paste, crystal glitter and silver glitter again for the snowflake. These were easy to glitter all in one, as I did the crystal glitter first, then the silver.

Monday 6 October 2014

I Started the Christmas Cards!

Finally, after a few weeks of 'getting around to it', I finally started them. I ordered some card blanks from PDA Card & Paper, and went for a Landscape folded C5, as most of the stamps/stencils I planned to use fit that shape better. Stuck with C5 size as I have loads of envelopes to use in that size.I've also decided that this years will be a mix of designs- usually for all my smaller cards I use one design, but I end up getting sick of doing 100 or so cards all the same. So I have a few designs this year, probably amount to 20 or so of each, and we'll see how that goes.
For the first batch, I've been using a Dreamweaver NOEL stencil.
I started by doing some in Silver paste, and adding silver glitter to the snowflake. All going well. Then I switched to Gold. It seems that the Gold paste has gone 'off', as when I put it on, the colour did not look right. I've used it before, and it definitely looks Gold. This is almost a pinky/brassy sort of colour, so they are on hold for a day or two, while some fresh paste arrives! I can still go ahead and do my Gold Christmas tree stencil with it though, as I plan to sprinkle glitter over the whole tree, so the colour of the paste won't be seen. With the NOEL stencil, I'm sprinkling silver glitter over the snowflake, leaving the letters silver.

The stencil taped in place using low tack artist masking tape. I cut each strip in half, to make it easier to place the stencil without touching the previously pasted word, and to make the tape go a bit further. You can't really re-use it on the next stencil, as it will have paste on it.

Its best to tape all four sides, as this can get messy, and its far too easy to have paste go over the edge of the stencil.

Its rather like buttering a piece of toast! Keep your spreader (Mine is from a cheap pack of Artist tools from The Works) at a slight angle to the stencil, and try to spread across in one sweep, if possible. Too many sweeps across can tend to push the paste under the edges of the letters. Smooth across, then sweep off any excess and return to the jar.

Next start peeling off the masking tape, leaving one side still attached to act as a hinge. It doesn't matter which, just whichever you find easiest to work with, or, if you are like me, whichever one is left when you remember not to peel them all off!

Now gently lift the stencil, folding it back on the 'hinge'.

Peel away from the card.

And if all went well, leaving you with a stencilled design on your cardstock.

At this stage, the advice is drop the stencil in a bowl of water, so the paste does not set, and then clean it up. I found this not very user-friendly, to be honest.

You get water dripping everywhere when you lift the stencil out, and it is far too easy to accidentally bend the stencil whilst cleaning it.
 My choice is to have a baby wipe lay on my desk, drop the stencil on that, and fold the wipe over it. I leave it like that while I do the glittering step, then come back to cleaning it. For that, I use a second baby wipe to wipe all over both sides, while it is still flat on the table. Then I move it onto a piece of kitchen towel and dry it over with either another piece of kitchen roll, or a towel.
This way you are highly unlikely to do any damage to your stencil. Do be aware of the various parts to your stencil though. This one is quite good, with no parts of the design that are only connected at one end. Those parts are very easy to bend by accident, so always just pat those clean and dry, rather than rubbing.

 The cat stencil here is a perfect example of this problem- the piece that shapes his back haunch is very easy to bend out of shape, as its only attached at the bottom, which results in paint/paste going underneath it.
 I have seen people suggest running it through a 'bug or big shot to flatten it if this happens, and I should imagine that would work well.

Now for the glitter, and I use an old teaspoon to place it fairly accurately, as the snowflake is quite close to the letters.I'm using a silver with rainbow sparkle.

When you come to tip off the excess, try to curve your cardstock slightly, to funnel the glitter straight down. Its not always possible to avoid a little going on to the edge of the letters, but most of the time it works ok.

 The finished piece. I will make all my panels before starting to construct the cards. I found I can get 6 panels per A4 sheet of card.

Now to the Gold.
 It looks ok with the glitter over it, as the colour does not show through, but the paste is not drying out to the right colour. It should be a nice, shiny Gold, this is dull, and most definitely not Gold.

 So thats where I am so far. Today I shall mostly be doing the Gold trees, then some more Silver Noels, as well as some Silver Trees.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

WOYWW #278

Morning folks- Its only thanks to my Bloglovin feed that I've just realised today is Wednesday, not Tuesday, lol. So, not a huge amount on my desk- some card ordered to get my C cards started, and one image stamped up that I shall be using. Probably won't be doing all my small cards the same this year, which I usually do, then get sick of the sight of them before I'm finished. Also, using a few designs should mean that more Christmas stamps get some ink on them. I bought a landscape scored version of the C5 card, so I can use envelopes I already have. Other than that, anyone seeing our FB feed, knows we spent Saturday afternoon in London, with a visit to the Tower. It actually came about because Beloved Hubby bought himself another guitar off E-bay, which was collection only, from the other side of London. And we could only collect it in the evening, so we made an early-ish start, and spent the afternoon seeing the Towers sights. Glorious weather we had too.

Doug with a Beefeater, and I got to meet the only lady Beefeater, Moira Cameron. She was the first, and still only female Beefeater.

The most important thing I wanted to see at the Tower- The Ravens, lol.  So thats a quickie from me today, I'll be confused all week now! Oh, by the way, quick update- my Chemo/Radiotherapy starts on the 21st October, and runs for 5 weeks, so should finish around the 21st November.

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...