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 25 April 2018

WOYWW #464

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good day! Just a few bits and pieces going on this week:
I made some of the Mehndi Flowers and glittered them, then cut them out with the matching dies.

Just need to be layered up, then I'll do a blog post on them.

While I was at it, I used  up a load of leftover paste from another technique to make some more that I intend to do the Hot Foil laminator technique with.

They'll be die cut & layered then too. One or two may be done 'as is' , as the colours came out too nicely to cover!

I also sat and trimmed down those unmounted stamps from the grab bag. I like to have mine as close trimmed as possible, although I admit that now I have a Stamping Platform, it's no longer so critical, as any ink around the edges of a stamp no longer transfer. That's been one huge bonus with it.

Now here's a thing. I don't know it's proper name, but I'm sure LLJ and Annie (Wipso) will be able to tell us. I do know it's used for transferring pattern markings to fabric. I spotted it in my sewing box yesterday, and wondered if it would 'cut' into card, and yes it does. So you can get the 'stitched' look around pieces of card, although they are more dot like than the little slits of a die, but still decorative.

I shall do my best to visit as many people as possible, but it's going to depend on Internet access and reliability. I forgot to mention last week we are off on our holidays today, we're going to Gran Canaria for a week, so probably by the time most of you see this, we'll be up in the air!  Funny bit, the plane we are flying on is the same type the engine exploded on in the US last week!  Luckily, we have prebooked seats at the front, so we're well away from the wing area!
So that's it from me, just have a little last minute packing to finish this afternoon (Tuesday), and we will be heading off to see if we can contribute to a cocktail shortage in Spain, lol. Link yourselves up via Julia at The Stamping Ground, who it appears is also on her holibobs this week!
 And finally.....................................
....or indeed any sort of crafting products!

Wednesday 18 April 2018

WOYWW #463

Good Morning all, and here we are again, and heading rapidly towards our 9th birthday. Julia has a page on The Stamping Ground with details about this years ATC swap. I will be up for this, so if you'd like to swap, then please leave me a message in your comment, and if you'd email me your snail mail addy, (worldwide) I'll send you mine.
 And moving on to the desk:
First make this week is using a Sweet Poppy stencil, and its matching die. I bought the die at Ally Pally, as I already have the stencil. It lets you cut out 3 sections of the piece, so you can layer them up.

There is also a Poinsettia stencil and die  too, and you can see that in the Christmas Card post below this one.

You could of course fussy cut, but I hate doing that!

I had made a couple of each design, but you can cut them all from the same one, and add some cardstock at the back of the base to mount your layers onto.
 I think these would look fab done in glitter, or the hot foil technique, which I'll be giving a try next.

These I did to try out using two colours in an image, by masking off the leaves and doing the flowers, then when that was dry, doing the reverse.

Then I spent some time using my Silhouette to cut out some stencils. I dusted the poor thing off -literally- I can't remember when I last used it, as I wanted an arch stencil, but couldn't find one the size & shape I was after. So I thought I'd have a go at making my own, using some OHP film.

I only want them for sponging ink through, so I think they'll be sturdy enough for that, but I don't think they'd be strong enough for anything more. 

Anyone thinking of getting a digital cutter, I can say it's one of the best investments I ever made. You can see here how I've been able to resize each image as I wanted, which is the main thing I love about it.

 I've also kept the inner bits, to use as masks.

I want to CASE a card I've seen done in a Facebook post, from the Loving all things Lavinia group, and the lady had used an Arched Clarity stencil that doesn't seem to be around now. It was a tall, thin one, rather than the smaller one they have now.

I'd also had a go at hand cutting some from some plastic packaging, but not tried them yet, and I don't know how smooth my cutting has been.😐

 The window shape below was not only resized, I also changed the actual windows to just 4, as it had multiple small panes in it. Plus, it cost me 99 cents from the Silhouette store!

 I have some round-topped ones to cut as well.

These cotton buds may interest you. I picked them up by the tills in Primark yesterday. I thought both ends should be very useful in crafting.

 Now for a couple of other items you might find useful.

  Firstly, those die storage pockets from Avery Elle I was storing all my dies on magnetic sheets on?
 Now, they are not exactly cheap, although they are good quality and very sturdy.  They are around £7-£10 for a pack of 50, depending which size you want, and I have found they are often out of stock over here.

Last night, while browsing You Tube, I came across a video from a lady who had made her own using a laminator & pouches. As she says, it's sheer genius! They look great and are nice and strong too. The upside of course is you can have custom made sizes to suit your storage method. Hers don't have a flap, but I'm sure that'd be easy to figure out if you wanted them, she just puts a thumb grip at the end with a 1" circle punch. Anyway, it's only a 10 minute video, and the link is HERE if you are interested.
 So I reckon, even if you don't have a laminator, you can pick up a basic bog standard one for around £15, and packs of laminating pouches on Amazon are about £7.50 for a hundred (and you can even get them in Pound stores too), if you have a number of dies- or even stamps- you wanted to put into pockets,then it's cheaper to buy a lamintor and make your own. I know I shan't be buying any more of the Avery Elle ones.

Second thing of note was a tip I saw on a Joanna Sheen newsletter, from a crafter called Dawn Knight, about the annoying way silicone dries in the tube- (especially I find, Pinflair.) She said:
'I found that no matter what I did to protect it, whenever I wanted silicone glue, I had to spend ages gouging plugs of cured glue out of the top of the tube.  I have now taken to squeezing the glue up to the very top of the tube and covering it with a piece of cling film before replacing the cap.  Since then, I have never had to dig out the cured glue.           Dawn Knight
So hopefully that will be a helpful bit of advice.
And finally.......................... 

I reckon we all qualify! 😊😊

Sunday 15 April 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge #8- Poinsettias/ Christmas Greenery.

 Back with another of our fortnightly challenges, and this time it's Mary who has set the theme for us.
 Whilst at Ally Pally last week, I bought a new Sweet Poppy Stencil and matching die for Poinsettias, so that's what's getting an outing this week.

For this one, I stencilled in a Red glitter paste- made using Translucent paste and mixing in some glitter. This works great, as when it dries you have no glitter shedding! The stencil and die have 3 sizes of flower, so you can match them to the size of your project, or layer them up for some real wow! I used all three layers here, and filled the centre with some tiny beads and Glossy Accents. These beads are red & gold, and were amongst 3 tubes I bought the the NEC Hobbycrafts show last year.
 The sentiment was stamped in Versafine Satin Red, and is from Circa Design.Stamped onto white card, and matted onto red pearl paper, as was the main front of the card.
The same red pearl paper was edged with an X-Cut border punch called Lace Trim. The Holly sprig behind the Poinsettia is, I think, one of the Cheap from China dies, as I have no brand for it.

A similar version, this time in gold & white. I'd made some white Glitter paste, but this time I only used the two smallest flowers to layer up, and the centres again filed with small gold & white beads & Glossy Accents.
 This sentiment came from a Hobby Art set called  Winter Wishes. I stamped in Encore Metallic Gold Pigment ink, and heat embossed with Gold detail powder. After I trimmed it down, I ran the gold pad around the edges, then sprinkled with the detail gold powder and heat set that.
 I double matted the sentiment onto gold paper & white card. I cut a piece of gold to fit the card front, then a sheet of white slightly smaller, which was run through an Embossing Folder called Poinsettia Trellis, from Creative Expressions, by Sue Wilson. The folder is about 8x8. Another piece of the gold paper was edged with an old Fiskars Holly Border punch. A sprig from the Tim Holtz die set Winter Greenery was added behind the bottom one, and a small flourish behind the top one.

This is the stencil & die from Sweet Poppy.

So those are my cards for this challenge, but just before I finish, I thought the rest of you ladies might like to see this:

Sylvie and I met up at Ally Pally! It's always lovely to meet in the flesh crafters you have known through the Internet.😍

Wednesday 11 April 2018

WOYWW #462

Hi folks, back again for another WOYWW as we settle into April. Our lovely leader Julia, awaits your link over at The Stamping Ground, so do go visit her if you're new here, and read about WOYWW, and especially about Septembers Crop, and also Donna's September retreat.
So to start with- what I did at the weekend, lol. Meet crafting friends and spend money at Ally Pally!

Mainly stamps purchased this time round - Lavinia, VI,Cardio, Paper Artsy, and some fab Woodware birds, as well as some great Phill Martin Collage stamps, amongst others. Link to the full blog post here.

Think this was the bargain of the day though- when I tipped them out at home, there was 60 stamps in the bag, mixed sentiments and images, for £3.

In other news, HERE is a link  to a post about the Gilding Waxes. Seems that Cosmic Shimmer ones are not alone in drying out. Another fix suggested by one of my commenters is Food Grade Glycerine, which should be easy to find in any supermarket baking aisle.
 And HERE you can find the Retiform Technique cards I made from last week.
 Best part of the day was meeting friends at Ally Pally. Met up with Helen early on, and we both forgot to take a picture,😉. Also met up with a FB friend, Dawn Geater, whilst we were visiting the Visible Image stand, but again didn't get a picture.

 Pictures I did get: Dolores (Cardarian) and her Hubby Alan.

Erika Philpott and Cindy Ashplant - respectively Sum Bunneh and Plants List.

Cindy & Erika doing a Make & Take at Lavinia stamps, and we stopped by to say our goodbyes, as we were totally worn out!

I also met the lovely Sylvie, who takes part in the Christmas Card Club that I'm in. She had come over for the whole weekend with a friend, from Gibraltar- which makes any craft travelling we do pale in comparison!

  Think you can tell from my face that my feet hurt! As did Dougs, we'd been there all day.

This was at dinner the night before- a mojito or two may have been consumed.

But I don't think you'd truly want to drink too much alcohol in the restaurant- this was the tiled floor!
 I loved it, such a great optical illusion, however I have to admit to my first thought being-' I've got an embossing folder like that'

Just remembered, and Finally..............

Sunday 8 April 2018

A Grand day out at Ally Pally

'Twas indeed a great day out. Loved the show, all about papercrafting/stamping which I love. A very sensible ticket price, and free parking for everyone. Not a gigantic hall, but plenty big enough for stands to be well spread out with plenty of room to move about, unlike the NEC, which for all it's size, always feels like a sardine can!

This gives you a sense of the size- and that's an organ right at the far end.
This was taken about lunch time, and was still really busy, so you can see there was plenty of room to move about.

First lot of stamps bought- Visible Image, Lavinia and Card-io.

Some fab flowers from Paper Artsy, and some new Phill Martin releases.

Flipped one over here, you can see they are really big stamps.

Some really cool Woodware stamps, and the Sheena Douglas and Crafters Companion were all reduced.
 The Owl stamp was sold on the strength of a Sample on display, as were the Quirky Birds at the end.

The owl also had what looked like a Clear embossing paste through a stencil over the image, which you can't see in the photo.

Some Honey Doo stamps and an Inkylicious sentiment.
 Was really shocked, whilst talking to Amanda, to hear how much trouble they'd been having from people stealing. And this was about lunchtime, so they'd only been open 3 or 4 hours! So much of a problem, they'd had to ask to have the security cameras pointed at their stand. Shameful behaviour.

Had to laugh about this one- Doug had gone to put the stuff we'd already bought in the car,  whilst I went for a loo break. When he came back he said' I bought a stamp set on my way to the car! It was a really cool Pirate themed one, and was reduced in the sale too'.😇😇

This though had to be the show bargain. A grab bag of unmounted Rubbernecker stamps for £3 .
 I've heard of them, but never seen them anywhere before.

So I had to empty them out to see how many were in the bag. 60 stamps, some image, some sentiment/quotes. I'll have to stamp them out to see what the wordy ones say!

Dies next- Doug spotted the top two, the skull is a Sheena Douglas one.
 The two Sweet Poppy are part of a new range of dies for cutting out stencil images. The one on the left cuts sections from the Mehndi Flower stencil, and the Poinsettia die on the right goes with a new Poinsettia Stencil, which I watched a You Tube Video of Lucy making the other day. In fact, I watched a few, and most of my purchases were because of them, lol.

The Poinsettia stencil, ( I already have the Mehndi Flower), a Grid stencil, a Christmas one and a Magnolia flower, along with a couple of empty pots, for a Marbling Technique Lucy did in a video too.

These were a great find, and the find was due to a lady sat by us all when we met up for a sit down and some lunch. Tiny little blending tools and foams, on the Craft Habitat stand. So much so, Erika, Cindy and I all went and got some!
 The foams are 3/4" wide, or 2cm.
 Just had a look, and you can get them on E-Bay.

 Some gorgeous 3-D embossing folders fell in the basket next!

A few packs of card, some more of the non shed glitter card and a pack of Weave effect black.

This is cardstock, with an amazing 'oil on water' effect.
A bit like those plastic type sheets that were around a few years ago.
 Both items from Pink Frog Crafts.


Just a last few odds and ends, some plastic cups for Shaker cards- they'll work well with some Snow Globe stencils and stamps I have.
 A Tidy tray, which I keep meaning to get. One of Lucy's techniques used glass micro beads, and when I've used them before they were a nightmare to collect up afterwards on paper.

Some sparkly gems, those plastic cups I forgot to move, some heat activated Puffy Paint and 3 more Clair inkpads.

Shopping over, now to meeting some of my crafting buddies!

Cindy and Erika doing a Lavinia Stamps make & take, with Amanda Branston, who I met back last year on the Eileen Godwin workshop.

Dolores and her Hubby Alan. WOYWWers know Dolores as
  Doug, Erica, me & Cindy having a well earned sit down and lunch.

By an amazing stroke of luck, as her phone wasn't working over here, Sylvie from the Christmas Card Club I'm part of spotted me! Not that I'm easy to miss, 😎😇😊. She'd flown here from Gibralter with a friend, and was going again on Sunday, as they make a weekend of it.

We also met up with Helen,( Stamping by H), but forgot to get a picture. Lots of pics from the day over on Helens blog.

Time to go home! Can you tell from my face I was done? This was about 4.30, and we'd been there since 10.30 ish. My feet were killing me, as were Dougs.

Finally, two pics from the night before. We'd driven down Friday afternoon, and stayed at the Travelodge in Wood Green. Across the road we found a great place to eat, beautiful food, and cocktails!  What more could I ask for? Food was so nice, we had breakfast there Saturday morning too.
The pic on the right is of their tiled floor, how amazing is that? My first thought was 'I think I've got an embossing folder like that'😏.

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...