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

Sunday 31 December 2017

Favourite projects of 2017

Well, here we are, at the end of another year, and as I've done for the last few, a shortish roundup of my favourite projects of the year.

This is just a couple of cards made using the Tim Holtz Mixed Media dies, backed onto a coloured or patterned paper. Found this was a great way to use up some of the mountain of backgrounds made using things like alcohol inks/blended sheets/Brushos.

Also great for  patterned papers that I probably would not use on their own, maybe too busy, or the design too large.

 On to one of my favourite stamp companies, Honey Doo, who have lots of lovely images, mainly, but not entirely, florals.

I stamped the image on white cardstock, then stamped again in co-ordinating vellum, and cut out the flowers. Added a few gems/pearls for a little bling.

Completely outside my comfort zone with this, I decided to try a bit of  Mixed Media to alter the cover of a Birthday Book.

This one was a 7" square canvas, made for my Son Ant for his birthday. I think I added some drips to it, but forgot to take a final photo.

One of my absolutely favourite stamp companies, Stampscapes. I have about another 10 or so to mount- it's amazing what you can achieve without the Internet for a few days!

This had to be my most loved technique of the year.

Julie Rose, (Amber Rose Crafts), a DT member for Sweet Poppy Stencils,did a post about using Heat Transfer foil with Stencil Paste & a Laminator, and I was hooked.
 You can buy (expensive) machines to do this with, but a cheap laminator works just as well.

Most of these still need to be made into cards, and are currently in my UFO box.

Final part of my post, is two fabulous workshop days I had this year.
Just as we were boarding the plane to go on holiday this year, Art From The Heart announced a weekend of Tim Holtz workshops!
 I knew I had absolutely no chance of booking from Kos, so was not a happy bunny. Then I had a brainwave. My lovely friend Debbie Rock-(Tattered Rocks)- is a huge fan of Tim, and I hoped she would want to book too. Could she book me a ticket as well? After a bit of a nightmare for her- AFTH had a huge server collapse issue with so many people trying to book- she amazingly got us both booked on.

Doug had to strongarm Debbie into this photo- she's a bit camera shy, but we both knew she'd regret it forever if she didn't have a pic with the man himself.

Both Tim & Mario were lovely, friendly & down to earth.

He even signed all my Distress books at the end! Debbie & I had a blast, although at this point I was actually coming down with Sepsis- I had no idea!

  My second workshop was a local one, at Amelias Creative Crafts, in Studley. This one was with the lovely Eileen Godwin, a lady I've wanted to meet for years, in fact as long as I've been blogging. She was one of the very first visitors to my blog, and to get encouragement from a complete stranger was amazing.

Eileen is as lovely and friendly as she looks in this pic! She is such a talented crafter- she's on the DT's for Lavinia Stamps, Sweet Poppy, Visible Image & Designs by Ryn.

The lady on the left in the blue apron is Julie Rose, the one with the laminator technique, so was great to meet her too. And do you remember the Glitter Girls, with the embossing boards? That's Kathy standing next to me. I understand they sold the company, and she now crafts for fun.

Two of the projects made with Eileen.

With Tim we made a series of tags using various products and techniques.

Saturday 30 December 2017

Versafine Clair- A New Inkpad in Town.

So, I'd seen these on Lavinia stamps website- I've not seen them anywhere else yet, and I do know that we in the UK have them before they've been released in the USA, which is a novelty. A discussion about them there a couple of weeks ago prompted me to get some, to see how different they were to our well known and much loved Versafine pads, as people were wondering if this means the original will be retired.

 These were the three I chose, called Nocturne, which is Black, Fallen Leaves, which looked like a Dark Brown, but more on that later, and Twilight, which was a Dark Blue.
  The pads are slightly smaller, and with a completely removable lid, not the hinged type.

 The full range is 24 colours, which is a lot more than are currently available in the original range.

To return quickly to the lid, it fits over the pad, leaving a gap between the top & bottom of the pad, which I do think means extra care will need to be taken to ensure they are closed properly, as you won't be able to tell just by looking at it.

Looking at the info on the back of the pad, it reads exactly the same on both.

" Pigment ink for Fine details"

 'Longest lasting Pigment inkpad available.Perfect for using watercolours to colour stamped images'.

From that, it sounds as if there is no difference in the inks. One lady on SCS who phoned the manufacturer to ask about the difference was told the new one has a slightly longer drying time, but I didn't see any noticeable difference myself, but obviously cardstock can play a huge part in that aspect.

I used 2 Lavinia Stamps to test, the Witch for a solid image, and the window for one with some detail. I also reinked my Onyx Black to give a fairer comparison against a new inkpad.

Comparing the Onyx Black and the Nocturne, I felt the new one was slightly thicker, and gave a really good coverage of the stamp. On this try out, I'd actually say the new one is slightly better, and although it seemed thicker, still gave a good result on the detail stamp too. But it definitely seems blacker, especially on the solid image.

Next onto the Fallen Leaves, which on the pad cover looks distinctly like a dark Brown.

 But, as you can see, it doesn't look Dark Brown when stamped. It just looks like another Black to me. The image quality is just as good, it's just not the colour I expected from the lid.

 Last one I chose was Twilight, a Dark Blue.
 It is a dark Blue, and very similar to the lid colour.

 When I opened it, the pad actually looked Purple,  but that vanished on inking the stamp. Again, a good solid image, and all the detail of  the window was picked up too.

 The new & old pads side by side. You don't get the little fabric cover with the new ones. The pad itself seems to be the same construction as the original, nice and firm.

I found no difference in the ability to heat emboss with it, it works just as well as the original Onyx Black.

 Summing up, my personal opinion is that these are just as good at least, and maybe slightly better than the originals. Just be wary of the lid colours- that brown needs some improvement in the lid colour, it's very misleading. And with plenty of new colours, I can see these becoming as firm a favourite as the originals.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

WOYWW #447- The Nearly New Year Edition.

A little bit early, but wishing each and every one a Very Happy,Healthy and Peaceful New year.
 Probably like most, there hasn't really been any crafting going on, so just a couple of pictures of Christmas pressies  for this weeks meet up at The Stamping Ground, where Julia is no doubt attempting to keep us in some sort of order!

First, say hello to Batcat! One of a whole range of plush toys, all with a bit of a dark theme.

A couple of colouring books from Beloved Hubby, full of lovely images.

And a set of four cards to colour in too,all art work from Anne Stokes.

Followed by a very interesting looking bottle of gin!

And finally, as the January sales are upon us.................

Wednesday 20 December 2017

WOYWW #446- The almost Christmas Edition!

Indeed, a huge Merry Christmas to all my WOYWW buddies, wishing everyone a Happy and Peaceful Christmas. Last but one link up of this year, over at Julias Grotto, The Stamping Ground. 
MIA last week, for which I will mainly blame Beloved Hubby having Monday off!  Made me think Tuesday was Monday, and so on. He had yesterday off too, so I've been reminding myself all day that it is Tuesday, not Monday.
 Not a huge amount on the desk, to be honest. A few purchases, the Pram stamp I bought- and ended up using- from Stamps by Chloe, as the Clarity set only turned up last weekend.
The TH stamp set was from Country View Crafts, and in her Advent sale.

I did make another purchase from Clarity- that 'Groovi Grip'. I saw it mentioned on Barbara's blog- you  attach it to the back of a ruler, and when you press down, it stops the ruler sliding. It's transparent when you peel the backing off. Thought it was worth a try out, as slipping rulers really annoy me.
 Two A4 size sheets for £4.16. I often prefer to trim my cardstock & borders after stamping, rather than cut to size first, and depending on what size of border I want, usually prefer a ruler & scalpel.
These stencils came with the original Baby stamp order, I thought the Bell & Bauble would look good with Christmas scenes in. The Holly one was a special being added to orders in the Gray Friday sale, I expect it will get a general release next year.

And finally, the completed Baby card, I'll do a post with it over Christmas.

So, I'm done.Only a couple of presents left to buy, and all the cards are posted.
Which reminds me, a huge thank you to everyone who has sent us a card, we really appreciate them.
 Doug breaks up on Friday until the 2nd of Jan, and being on earlies this week, means he finishes at 10.40.
 Have the rest of a lovely week,and I'll see you next week for the Nearly New Year Edition. 🎄🎄🎅🎅🎄🎄

And finally......

Wednesday 6 December 2017

WOYWW #444

Plan A this week is to write out all my Christmas Cards, and get those posted that need to be. Australia's last posting day is Saturday, so I have a deadline! 
There has been some crafting, but I'll show that at the end, can't have the pic showing up in my Facebook link. So this is my computer desk, tucked into the corner of my craft room.
Lots of crystals, and crystal figures. My Punk Hedgehog, courtesy of LLJ, and behind that a Raven on a skull, on some Edgar Allen Poe books.
An empty Bitter Lemon bottle ties for first choice with Coke, lol- and just behind the keyboard is a stamp I've been waiting to get since I saw it on Helens blog, Stamping by H. It's called Catacombs, by Carabelle Studios. Helen must have bought the only one in the UK, as I couldn't find anywhere that had it in stock. I did look at Carabelles own site, but the postage from France was the same as the cost of the stamp, so I waited till someone emailed me that they were in stock.

Over on my crafting desk is some storage boxes for WOW! embossing powders, I bought some from the NEC, but needed a few more so I can store various colours together.

My box of Christmas cards for writing out. Most of these were made last year, as I had a bit of a Christmas Card frenzy, so haven't actually made many this year. I'll need to restock next year, I think. I have so many Christmas stamps, stencils and dies that have never yet seen daylight!

This is what Ive been working on this week- a card for a work colleague leaving to have a baby boy.

 I need a focal image, and ordered a suitable stamp set- I only have a couple of Baby stamps- both BABY in blocks- and wanted a pram image. 

I ordered a nice set from Clarity when they  had their sale a couple of weeks ago, but I'm still waiting for it, I've just emailed to find out if it's been posted yet.
 Had plenty of time when I ordered it, but it's getting a bit urgent now. I've also had a search, and ordered a second Pram stamp from Cards by Chloe, just in case.
This is the set I ordered.
 So that's my contribution to this weeks WOYWW over at The Stamping Ground. 

   And finally..........................

If anyone receives odd emails from me, or has in the last few days, probably mainly about ATC's, please accept my apologies, and ignore them.
I updated my Gmail account a few days ago, and for some weird reason it has now been sending out randomly old emails, from months ago. 
 Dougs going to have a look and see what it's playing at, probably tomorrow, as he has a day off.

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...