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

Friday 27 February 2015

Shoshi's surgery

Hi folks, just a short post, I had a message off Shoshi's husband Nicholas about midday. Apparently her surgery has been postponed as the HDU is full. No idea how long for yet, but can't imagine it will be before Monday at the earliest now. Poor Shoshi, I can't imagine how she's feeling right now, I know I'd have been climbing the walls.
 If anyone wants to send cards whilst she is in hospital, my email addy link is on the right, I have an address for her.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

WOYWW #299

Well, 1 week away from the big 300- will next weeks edition be an epic production? Cue lots of bare chested Greek men in leather skirts, swinging swords left, right and centre and yelling 'This is SPARTAAAA!!!!!!' Or not, as the case may be.
 Anyway, apologies at the start for a photo heavy post, mainly of a very enjoyable weekend. As you'll remember, we were going down to Plymouth, and also visiting Shoshi while we were down there. Our friend, Rob, who's birthday we went down for, also managed to pass his driving test on the Friday, so I had a card to make for that too! Men! Both cards are in the previous posts.
Rob is the guy sitting in front of Doug, we were at an Asian all you can eat buffet, so there are a few people missing from the table, refilling plates, lol. Rob was under the impression it was just him and his girlfriend going for the meal, so when he walked in and saw us all there his face was priceless.
Earlier in the day, we had arrived in Torquay, to go and see Shoshi.

We had a short trip around the shops first, and Doug spotted a really interesting shop, full of fabulously gothy stuff. They also had handbags, but I was very good and left without any more. Which showed remarkable restraint on my part, I might add.

However, I did have to have this clock for my wall.

And these coasters, which I will seal before they get used.

 Shoshi and her Hubby were lovely people, it was a pleasure to have met them. We had a smashing couple of hours before we had to head off to Plymouth. I got to see Shoshi's ArtHaven, and discovered as well as  being sisters in bowel cancer, we are obviously separated at birth Really Useful Box twins!

Sharing cakes and coffee.

The great part of meeting WOYWWers in the flesh is that there's no initial awkwardness, no difficult silences. Its meeting people who have become real friends over the months and years they've been taking part in this wonderful blog hop, and for that, like everyone else, we love you Julia. You've given us all an amazing group of friends that just keeps getting bigger.

 When we got to our Travelodge for the night, we discovered the restaurant was literally a 5 minute walk away- out the hotel, across one road, walk 20 paces, cross another road, walk 10 paces and we were there. Which was probably a good thing, as I may have consumed my own body weight in Long Island Iced Tea. Not my fault, it was cheaper to buy it by the jug! But Beloved Hubby did help me drink them.

We were going to visit somewhere on the way home on Sunday, but it started raining as we left Plymouth, and poured down the whole way back to the Midlands.

On Monday this package arrived. I'd ordered some re- inkers for my Marvy inkpads, and a few new pads too, from Kevin Nakagawa, of Stampscapes. I've rarely been able to find the pads over here, and never the re-inkers. As it was $23 shipping, I emailed Kevin and asked if he had a rough idea how many pads/reinkers I could get in the box for the shipping cost. Later the same day I got an email back, he'd sat down with the box, pads and reinkers, and worked out exactly how many would fit in, and various combinations! How's that for customer service? I'd been email chatting to him a few weeks ago, about the Adirondack line being discontinued, and mentioned that I was watching all the You Tube lessons he's done, as I was spending a lot of time having a lie down, being tired after radiotherapy for bowel cancer. At the time he answered, wishing me well, and telling me he had a friend going through the same treatment for the same cancer right now. When he emailed me the info on the shipping, his email opened with a question about how I was doing now, how my treatment was going, and hoping that I was starting to feel better. Aren't crafters the most wonderful people?

So, in the box, a few inkpads, reinkers and a 10 pack of stylus tips. I could have got more in, but was worried about getting stung for import duty over here, so kept it sensible.

 He also included a whole bunch of the printed postcards he has done from the finished article in the video lessons.

And on the back, they have  a short description of how the scene was stamped and coloured.
 Ok, I'm done.I'll set you free now to go join in the WOYWW link-up at Julia's place, The Stamping Ground.

Monday 23 February 2015

Congratulations card.

Our friend who had the birthday kept me busy this week. On Friday, the day before his birthday, he passed his driving test at the first attempt. So, a dash upstairs to make a card!
 The background is a square cut from an old map book saved for this sort of thing.

 The 'L' plate is an alphabet stamp, from the same set as the Numerals used on the birthday card. Stamped in Adirondack Classic Cherry, then coloured with a Ruby Promarker.
 I sliced it in a curved half, to represent torn up 'L' -plates, with a scalpel. I did try cutting one in half with deckle edged scissors, but didn't like how it looked.
 The car keys are an old Quickutz die, the sort that got used with a Squeeze tool. I remember buying a few of these dies really cheap, when it was clear the Tool and dies were going out of fashion, once things like the Cuttlebug came along. I cut out two keys from silver card for the key part, and two from black for the fobs.
 I sandwiched the 'key' bit between one black and one silver 'fob' piece, and glued them together. Threaded them onto a key ring, and lay them with the black part of the fob at the front.
Attached the map, then the 'L'plate with foam dots. The keys were added with Pinflair glue gel when they were dry.
 Congratulations stamped in Classic Cherry again, and also mounted with foam dots.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Birthday Card with Indigo Blu stamp

So, I can blog this card, now its been handed out.
 I mentioned last week we were going down to Plymouth, for a friends 30th birthday meal, so a card was a necessity. The stamp used, by Indigo Blu is one of their 'Dinkie' range, it measures 3" x 2 1/4", and features a Penny Farthing, which seemed perfect, as Rob is a keen cyclist.

The card is based on samples I saw at Pink Tulip crafts quite a while ago, when I bought the stamp.

I must admit, I did a few colour variations, both in the stamping and the inking, until I found one I really liked.The stamping was all done in Archival, apart from the grey, which is Versafine.

Out came the trusty stamp positioner, as I cannot 'eyeball' this sort of thing, I'd never have got an even spread of the stamping. Its just 3 images stamped from one inking, so they gradually fade out.

I did one pretty much the same as the samples.
Then added DI in Tumbled Glass & Salty Ocean, Scattered Straw and Old Paper.

Same inks, but this time in bands across the cardstock.

Then I tried a sort of half and half.
Then the one I finally used.This one is again DI in Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean, then Adirondack Sandal and Lemonade, with a little DI in Squeezed Lemonade also.

The corners were punch with a SW punch- can't remember when I last used that,and matted onto dark Blue cardstock.

Dark blue brads in the corners.

For the front of the card, I used some Tim Holtz paper from the Lost and Found paper pack, which features a bicycle themed sheet, in french.

The sentiment was stamped in the same Cobalt Blue Archival, onto an offcut sponged the same as the main image, then punched and matted to match.

The numerals for 30 are a set of stamps from Dimension, who used to be Dimension Fourth. I stamped them in the same ink onto offcuts of the backing paper, and attached them with Pinflair glue gel.

I now have a number of stamped, and some inked, images left over.

When I was looking at the samples after I'd done this card, to get the image for this post, I noticed the Butterfly card in the left corner. Its been done with Adhesive film and Glamour dust. So, I thought, I wonder what one of these images would look like?
 I took the one that I'd inked in bands, and added a sheet of double sided adhesive film to it.

Before I peeled the backing off, I burnished it down well with a hard rubber roller.

Peeled off the backing paper, and sprinkled it with Glamour Dust, in Crystal. Rubbed over it first, to make sure it was well covered, then tipped the excess off.

Came out looking pretty good, I thought.
I matted it onto some pale blue card, stamped a sentiment and matted that onto pale blue too.

Now it needed a backing, and I wanted something fairly light. In the end, I embossed a sheet of thin white card with a Cuttlebug folder, called Cogs and Wheels. I added a couple of strips of adhesive blue gingham ribbon, then the image over the top, along with the sentiment.
 So, two cards out of one idea.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

WOYWW #298

Extremely boring desk shot this week. The white part is clean, and I have put stuff away. Not all, the House Mouse stamps are still waiting for a home, and a few new Stampscapes arrived, just waiting to have the TIOO glue put on them. And you can see the Dreamweaver Stencil paste tool turned up, that I was talking about a few weeks ago. Haven't finished labelling those inkpads yet, either.
 The Valentines card that was hiding on my table last week is in the post below this one, so at least I got that far.
The desk behind my desk also got cleaned- it must be spring on the way.

I did buy a couple of cases for pens, one that holds about 24 Promarkers, and another that holds the thinner type of pens, like Tombow or Distress pens.
The thinking behind them is that they will hold enough to take on trips, or into hospital when I have my surgery, without it looking like I've moved my whole stash with me. The Promarker one should cover me for a light, medium and dark of each colour family. Feeling more human today, been ok over the weekend, then Monday I spent the whole day feeling nauseous, but seems to be going away again now. I mentioned last week we are going down to Plymouth on Saturday, and it turns out that Shoshi only lives about an hour away, so all being well, we will get to meet and have a chat whilst we are down there. So that's my short, sweet and very dull workdesk this week, have a great Wednesday, and make sure you leave your link over at Our Head Desker, Julias'  place, The Stamping Ground.

Monday 16 February 2015

Valentines Day

This is the card that was out of sight on last weeks WOYWW, and was inspired by a Pin I spotted on Pinterest a few weeks ago.


Its a scalloped 6x6 card blank base, by the way.

This is the Pin that gave me the inspiration:
Mine is also matted and layered, rather than a one layer card. I expect all sorts of things to go wrong working straight onto my card base, so hedge my bets!

The heart shape was done by cutting a heart from copy paper, I used an old Red Sizzix die, but there are loads of heart die shapes around. Cut your shape from the centre of the paper, and hold it down onto your cardstock with some low tack tape on the back- gives you more room to sponge off excess ink, with less chance of straying onto your cardstock.

I started off  sponging on the new Ranger Classic Cherry inkpad through the heart aperture, and came back in around the edges with Distress Ink Aged Mahogany. A Leafy Flourish stamp, from Dimension Stamps, was overstamped using Versafine Crimson Red. If you reposition your mask a fraction off the sponged shape before you do this, you will get your flourish starting right at the edge of your heart, rather than a few millimetres in.
I just tried to do a link to Dimension Rubber Stamps, and I can't find them, so maybe they have changed name, or ceased trading, sorry.

Using an off cut of the white card from trimming down the heart, I sponged again in the same two inks, and stamped the sentiment, from Visible Image in Versafine Crimson Red again.

Both pieces were matted onto dark red cardstock, and the sentiment attached with foam pads.

Inside the card, I used another Visible Image sentiment stamp:

I'm also linking this to Fiona's (Staring At the Sea) blog, for her SIPIDI meme, which is for See it, Pin it, Do it. I think most of us manage the first two ok, its the third one that we never get around to!

Friday 13 February 2015

Red Inks

Well, this is a novelty- two posts in the same week! I showed a new inkpad on my blog, the Ranger line that will be replacing the Adirondacks. I bought the Red Cherry, to see how it compared to the Red Pepper Adirondack, although I have managed to get re-inkers for pretty much all of them now, and as I've had them a few years yet without re-inking, I'm probably not going to run out in this lifetime.
So this is the old and the new, and there are re-inkers for the new ones too, and Susan over at Countryview Crafts has both on her site, she's also the wonderful stockist who has managed to order all the Adirondack re-inkers for me, so if you want the most fantastic customer service, as well as free postage, you know where to go! Anyway, back to the subject. I was curious to see how Red this one was going to be, and a few of you commented on the post you'd be interested to see what I thought of it.The packaging looks like a nice strong red, but then again so does the Red Pepper. But as that's not always a good guide to reality, I ink up my own narrow labels to put on the ends.

I sorted out some red inkpads, and a handful of cosmetic sponges, so I could use a fresh one for each colour, not getting any colour contamination.

I went and found a few other reds after, a  Brilliance pearlescent, as well as a couple of others I have in Dewdrop size.

So here is what they all look like, sponged out.

Now how these look will differ from monitor to monitor, I know, but I think the basic shades/tones should show up ok. The three Adirondacks at the start are the ones I see as being in the red range, although the Watermelon probably veers more towards Carmine. Next up is the new Classic Cherry, and I was surprised that it is much redder than the Red Pepper, which almost looks orangey by comparison.The Versafine Crimson Red looks more like Distress Aged Mahogany than anything else, and that (The DI), also looks like it need inking! Festive Berries seems to me to be the truer red of the Distress inks, Barn Door and Fired Brick have definite orange tones to them. The Docrafts Palette inkpad, which is a pearlescent ink, to me looks more of a Carmine, than red. The Brilliance Pearlescent Poppy is quite dark, I'd have expected a Poppy colour to be brighter. The two Marvy inkpads next up both seem like good reds, the trouble is that Marvy have discontinued the Inkpads, and I can't find anyone in the UK with re-inkers either! Which is a shame,as I'd like to get some for those two shades. Memento's Rhubarb Stalk looks very similar to the Pearlescent Poppy/Versafine Crimson Red. The Ink It Up pad on the left end, I've had for ages, I don't even know if they are still about. That's a pigment inkpad, and not a bad red, to be fair. The bottom two Dew Drop pads I bought recently. The Versamagic is a chalk ink, and I think veers off towards orange again. The Memento Lady Bug is a nice strong red, and to be honest is probably my favourite for a good clear red. So I may well be upgrading that colour to a full sized pad- easier for brayering from.
 Right, onto actual use:
I just tested the Classic Cherry for print quality against a couple of the other dye inks, and the print is perfectly good. The smudges were ink off the side of my fingers!
Its funny, I'd always thought the Red Pepper was a good red, but up against the new one, and the Memento Ladybug, not so much. All this testing was just done on a bog-standard piece of white cardstock, nothing fancy, so results might vary a little when its used on say, Neenah cardstock, or glossy coated. And if anyone ever asks why we need so many inkpads, you can quote this test of 17 red pads, and no two are exactly the same! Similar, but not identical.Actually, that's quite scary. I had no idea I had that many reds. And  I do know that I have a bigger selection of blue pads and green. I'm not even going to count those!
 So, the biggest surprise for me was the Red Pepper inkpad- clearly not as Red as I'd always thought. One thing I want to mention, I was sat down doing this, so when I picked the inkpad up to take the lid off, I did notice a very slight solventy smell to the new Ranger one. Nowhere near as strong as Staz-on, which always reminds me of almond marzipan, and if you take the lid off while the pads down on the desk, I didn't notice it at all. But it definitely smells different to most dye pads. On a side note, does anyone else find this same problem with Red lipsticks? They nearly always veer towards orange, or start to turn orangey when you've had them on for a while?

Wednesday 11 February 2015

WOYWW #297

Annnnd we're back! Where'd that week go? Anybody? A pic of a very busy/messy/creative/untidy (delete as appropriate) desk this week. Head over to our Julias, at The Stamping Ground, and add your link to the greatest Blog show on Earth.
So, the desk. Current project, Hubbys Valentines card hiding under the paper on the left. He reads this blog, you see.  You probably got the Valentines theme from all the red inkpads, lol. The second one from the left is one of Rangers new pads to replace the Adirondacks. A nice bright red, but to me it has a bit of a funny, solvent like smell to it. Not like a dye ink smell at all.At the back, inkpads I'm labelling. Just using narrow sticky labels that I drag over the inkpad to get the 'true' colour, as opposed to the colour my printer prints out with the official labels. Some new pots of Stencil paste, so I can try that cat stencil again. A couple of House Mouse stamps, not my normal stuff, but they were so sweet. Over on the right, torn off the envelope my Rubberstampmadness magazines arrived in, some really cool looking stamps. Sheets of sticky 'dot' sized labels that I label the lids of my re-inkers with, also the ends of my Promarkers, although the last few I ordered, I saw Promarker have finally started doing that. A mini Ink Blending Tool, next to my coffee. Decaff, it is 9.30 on Tuesday night.The red ribbon is from this years Christmas cake. Not only Valentines day on Saturday, also my youngest sons birthday. We took him and KT, his fiancĂ©e, out for a Chinese all you can eat buffet last Saturday, for a birthday meal, as we are going out for a Valentines meal ourselves this week. I have an appointment tomorrow, Thursday, for my treatment to start. Not sure if its actually my first treatment, or a meeting with the nurses to get all the procedure explained, and all the info. If it is that, then the actual treatment starts a couple of days later, so probably Monday. If I'm ok, we'll be having the following weekend down in Plymouth. One of Hubbys friends is 30 on the 21st, and his Mom is organising a surprise Birthday meal, getting as many of his friends there as she can. So fingers crossed. Right, I'm done, so you can wander off to many other wondrous desks around the world. See you later.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

WOYWW #296

Back again for our regular Wednesday meet up, at Julias, over at The Stamping Ground. First thing on my desk this week was a completely unexpected piece of Happy Mail, sent by Mrs D- Just Because! A lovely card, and such an amusing and sweet gift.

The little card explains the items in the bag:
Sorry if its slightly blurred, I was trying to get as close up as I could. Thank you Chris (Mrs D), this was a lovely surprise to get in the post.
 Thanks also to Janet (Fairythoughts) who managed to get me a copy of the Simply Homemade mag, that had the feather stamps to go with the die from a couple of weeks ago! Every time someone sends me something through the post/ comments or emails me, I am very, very touched. Everyone has busy lives, and things going on in their own life, its really quite a big thing to realise that people have thought about you!
So what else is about? I was looking at Rubberstamp Madness magazine back issues a couple of weeks ago, and saw a couple that looked interesting. They arrived today, and I'm looking forward to sitting down with them.

I spent a couple of hours at Pink Tulip crafts with Marg (Silvercrafter), on Tuesday afternoon. I took a few images I'd stamped to add colour to, these are the 'before'. The 'after' still need some work, especially as Versafine ink does not dry very quickly on Clarity Silk card!

Some bits got a bit smudgy.I'd stamped them on Monday late afternoon, and they had almost 24 hours, but another ink would have been better. To be truthful, I do now remember having this problem before- I'd forgotten.

 These were something I was doing earlier- a new Sweet Poppy stencil, which has the word 'Friends' around the top of the circle, but I masked that off. I was having a bit of a problem, I think my paste may be suffering from old age. Either that or I was being rubbish at it! I had a few disasters, with the paste going under the stencil. It did seem a bit thinner than I remember, so I've ordered another pot, to find out if its the paste, the stencil or user error, lol. I also saw a You Tube demo for a Dreamweaver paste applicator, which is much wider than the usual spatulas you use, so I've got one of those on its way. That was part of the problem I was having, It was hard to level the paste without scooping out the cats bodies, so then you end up overworking it. The new tool is about 6" wide, so maybe that will help. That's me done for this week, still no news on the appointment front,I really want to get it started, as the sooner started, the sooner its finished.

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...