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

Tuesday 27 November 2018

WOYWW #495- The Messy edition.

And this is nothing compared to the state of hands! I decided I'd have a play and create some more Brusho backgrounds. Built myself a blast shield from newspaper, lol.

This pile is pretty much dry.

These are getting there.

I also have the sheets of Paper Towel I was working on top of.

2 sheets together, so this is side 1.

And this is side 2.

The Papercrafts show on Saturday was quite good, the only downside, which I didn't realise beforehand, or I'd have found us another route there, instead of the M42, was that The Bike Show was on at the NEC. 20 minute journey under normal circumstances, took us an hour and a half, and the majority of that was the last 5 miles or so.
 Lots of exhibitors there, some favourites, like Honey Doo & Circa Design, and lots of others I'd not seen before. Didn't buy a huge amount, some of the last release of Oxides, a batch of glitter cardstock, a fab Dragon stamp by a brand called Pink Ink, and discovered Dies To Die For, a company that carries a huge amount of USA companies work. Some storage boxes and some sparkly embellishments pretty much rounded off the haul.

Just had to show these- in each case, it's only one colour of Brusho sprinkled onto wet cardstock.

Over the weekend it was the Christmas card challenge, and I think I've got more than enough cards now, so I made some gift tags.Details in the post below.

And I'm almost done.  I'll be popping over to Julias at The Stamping Ground, and leaving my link there, so I'll see you all later.

That just leaves......And Finally.......

                                                               Best quote ever!

Monday 26 November 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge #24- All Wrapped up!

Sorry ladies, completely lost track of what week it was.  This fortnights challenge is set by Carol, and she chose the theme 'All Wrapped Up'. I've taken a bit of  a liberty with the interpretation here, as I think I'm overflowing with Christmas cards this year, so I've made a bunch of gift tags!
  I ended up making 7 designs, in a pretty random number for each. The tags are more or less 3" square. I used a lot of off cuts to make these, so there is a little variation.

 This one uses a Holly stamp from Lavinia Stamps, stamped in Versafine Clair Rainforest, then I added  Stampendous Crystal Embossing Powder over them and heat set. Then Liquid Pearls in Garnet for the berries.
 The sentiment comes from a Hobby Art set, Winter Wishes. That was stamped in the same green ink, but not heat embossed.

The Bells come from a Card-io set called Merrily on High.
 I stamped the first bell in Gold Encore Pigment ink, masked it, then stamped the second. Heat embossed both then with the same Crystal EP.

The sentiment is from a Crafters Companion set.

Afterwards I added the holly sprigs using an old Rubber Stamp Tapestry set.
 I used the Garnet Liquid Pearls for the berries again too.

 Quite a lot of Card-io stamps used for the tags, this one is called Christmas Greenery. Stamped in Versafine Spanish Moss, heat embossed with the Crystal EP, and then the sentiment stamped in Versafine Majestic Green. I added  White Opal Liquid Pearls to the Mistletoe Berries.

 Another Mistletoe design, this time using a Lavinia Stamps Mistletoe Branch. I stamped this one in Olympia Green, added the Crystal EP, then stamped the greeting in the same colour. The same Opal White Liquid Pearls used for the berries too.

 Christmas Trees next, and these are from a Visible Image set, and I used the medium one once, then the small one was stamped in both first & second generation images, using Versafine Olympia Green.
 For these I used a Stampendous EP called Rainbow Sparkle, and although it doesn't show in the photo's, it makes it look like the trees are covered in lights.
 I added a tiny acrylic star to the top of each tree. The sentiment here is from a Phill Martin set,Scribbled Christmas Petite.

This was the biggest batch I made. All Card-io/Majestix stamps, the branch is a partial stamping of a tree from the Christmas Breeze Collection. I stamped in Clair Rainforest, first and second generation images.  I added a mix of baubles from the two sets,Zendangles and Bells & Baubles, using Versafine Majestic Blue and Deep Lagoon. The strings were drawn in with a very fine Micron pen.Sentiment again from the Crafters Companion set.The branch and baubles were heat set with the Crystal EP.
Last set used two Card-io/Majestix snowflake sets, Winters Kiss and Winter Flurry.Stamped in Encore Metallic Blue, and heat set with WOW! EP in Glacier. Sentiment again from the Hobby Art set, and stamped in Versafine Majestic Blue.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Blending Brush Comparison- Clarity and Toolstation Sash Brush set.

Hi folks, and  a You Tube video post today, as I wanted to do a 'live showing' of how these Sash Brushes from Toolstation stack up against the well known and loved Clarity brushes.
 The Clarity ones are a set of four, and the normal retail is £19.99, although right now, the Black Friday weekend, they are  a third off, which is a great time to get them if you want to stock up.

The other set are Decorators Sash Brushes, from the Toolstation, and are £6.99 for a set of three, which is a great price point, assuming they do the job well. I looked at these as I'd seen someone somewhere on FB say that B&Q Sash brushes were a good alternative, and again, much cheaper. I did a Google search for the B&Q ones, as our B&Q has recently downsized a lot, and didn't want a wasted journey. Anyway, the ones that came up first in my search were a set by Toolstation, and the pic shown made them look visually at least as being very similar.

As you see, the Toolstation set does not have an equivalent to the largest Clarity brush . The Code for them is 78094.

They do appear very similar in looks, and as for the feel, I would say the Clarity ones are slightly softer, but only very slightly. Maybe slightly less rigid than the Sash brushes, but it's not a big difference.
 To test them out, I used two types of Clarity card, their 7" square Stencil card, and some A5 sized Theuva card, which has a slightly glossy coating.
 I used 3 Distress Oxide colours for testing, and worked on a blending mat.

This is the result from the Toolstation brushes. In the video you will see the comparison colour by colour, I just forget to take individual photos! Theuva card at the top, Stencil card on the bottom.

  This is the pair using the Clarity brushes. Again, Theuva card on top, Stencil card on the bottom.

 All four pieces side by side, Clarity Brushes on the Left.
 I then did a small comparison of the Toolstation brushes with an Inkylicios Blending brush.
The Inkylicious ones are much stiffer, they feel more like the old fashioned Shaving brushes, but I think they both compare well.

 My overall opinion? I felt they compared well. I'd really say there was little to choose between them, and if craft spending is an important consideration, I'd say the Toolstation ones are excellent value for money, and perform well. A very affordable way to have a set for each colour family. I only bought one set to test them out, but will definitely get some more.
I've linked the video here if you'd like to see how they perform, it runs for about 12 minutes.

Friday 23 November 2018

Lots of quick die cut cards!

Right, lots of cards here, all using die cuts, some as a frame, some as the main focal point.
 The top three use frame dies, and a Happy Birthday sentiment die from Quietfire/ Creative Expressions.They're all backed onto glitter cardstock, and the sentiment layered with black craft foam.

These four used up some scenic stamping images I'd done in the past that were in my UFO box,
The leaf shape is a Sizzix Framelits die called Birch Leaf.
 The star is from a set I think I picked up in The Works.
 The circle one is a die that was gifted to me, so I'm not sure exactly what it is. The die is white in colour, and I'm afraid I don't know who makes those, if anyone does, I'd love to know.

 All the cards use a C5 card base.

The embossing folders I used are ( far left) Ocean Waves, Creative Expressions, and on the right, Swallow Pattern, from X-Cut.

These use a die by Memory Box, called Large Circle Burst.
 In each case I've backed them with glitter card, and then added a
Tim Holtz Butterfly die cut.
 I'll leave adding sentiments to these, so I can use them for many different occasions.

Not sure where the medallion die came from, may have been gifted. It's backed with a glitter paper with a shiny coating.

These use the Circle burst die again, and a die cut birthday sentiment.  The card bases are 5" square.

 The tree outline die I think came from Aliexpress, as I was trying to find the Memory Box version, but it seems to have been discontinued.
 The Chinese Lanterns is a stencil by Sweet Poppy, and was done in Bronze stencil paste.

Again, leaving the sentiment until I need them for something.

One of the cards from the first picture, the die is from Paper Trey Ink, called Quatrefoil.
 I matted it onto some rainbow glitter card, then added the sentiment layering it with black craft foam for dimension.
Here I've used a sable brown glitter card for the top one, and gold for the bottom. The sentiment done the same as before.I think a lot of these would make great cards for men, even with the glitter!

Final card is for a relatives birthday in December .
 I cut the panel from some metallic blue cardstock, and then cut the number from another scrap of it. It's backed with blue glitter paper. The TODAY word is a die I was gifted, and I think it was from a Stephanie Weightman set.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

WOYWW #494- or the too many UFO's edition.

Well, I don't know what it's like by you, but it's gone darned cold here!Staying inside, keeping snugly is the name of the game right now. So, time to link and visit at the Mother of Desks, Julia over at The Stamping Ground.
 I'd seen one or two cards on Pinterest a while ago, featuring stamped scenes set behind a feather die cut, and kept the idea in the back of my mind. There's plenty of room, lol. I do have a feather die, but it's a bit too small, so I had a search amongst what I have, and came up with a Sizzix Birch Leaf die, amongst others. While looking for images to use, I came across so many UFO's it's shocking. This is only a small fraction. I need to get my butt in gear and turn them into cards.
The other thing I've been doing is scoring and folding a bunch of card bases. Sort of realised that 9 times out of 10, I use white bases, as that's mostly what I have ready made,so I have made a selection in various colours. Bet I never have the 'right' colour though!
 Short and sweet this week. On Saturday we're off to a Papercrafts show at The National Motorcycle Museum, which is opposite the NEC. They have a big list of exhibitors, tickets are £4, and parking is free, so what's not to like? They have this 3 or 4 times a year, and have been meaning to visit for a while, but always forget. So, there may be goodies on my desk next week.😁
 Which brings us to......And Finally........this week it's a cute!

 I was sent this info by another crafter last night.Apparently there are huge copyright issues with some stamps- both old & new- by Sheena Douglas. Due to this, crafters who own these stamps should not use the images on cards for sale/donation to charity until the issue has been resolved. Link HERE and HERE to the FB articles with more info.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

WOYWW #493- the no exciting things happening edition.

Back again for a link up at Julias place, The Stamping Ground, and also at #WOYWW on Instagram. Progress has been made with the flowers, but it all got put aside to make Christmas Cards for the Christmas Card Club Challenge last weekend, they're all in the post below. So the flowers are back for a second run.

I did do these so far.

Most of the images I've got left are for larger cards.

Still got a few left from the Christmas cards to finish up too.

All done with Sweet Poppy stencils & paste, and a few were foiled as well.

I think these tall trees were my favourites.

The purple and blue is a bit of a departure for me, it seems that I most often stick to traditional colours at Christmas.
 But, I'm using up paper pads and peel offs, which can only be a good thing.

I was surprised earlier to see a miniature rose in the front garden not only in flower still, but covered in buds too. And a Fuchsia is still flowering well.

I've also bought some Winter flowering pansies to put in the planters, which, apart from a few geraniums still flowering, are pretty much all over.

So weather permitting, they'll get planted over the weekend.

And I'm done, apart from..........And  Finally...........

Sunday 11 November 2018

Christmas Card Club Challenge #23- Decorations/Gifts

For my cards for this challenge, which was chosen by Rita, I've gone with the decorations theme, and that's baubles and trees!
 In all cases, I've used Sweet Poppy stencils and stencil paste, and some have also been hot foiled. The foil ones are not always easy to photograph, as depending how the light catches them makes a world of difference to what you see.Had to take them over by the window so the colours would show, otherwise they just look black.

Starting with some foiled baubles, both backing papers are from old packs, the red I think came from The Works last year, and the blue is an old Dovecraft one, quite a few years old now.The blue baubles have some acrylic gems added for a bit of bling.

These next baubles are a new stencil from Sweet Poppy this year, and I thought it worth a try to add foil, then see if I could stencil another design onto the bauble after. You can, but it's a bit fiddly, lol.

 For the Blue bauble I used a Tim Holtz Snowflake layering stencil and silver paste.

The top red one also uses a TH stencil, Flourish, this time with gold paste.

On the bottom red bauble I've used an old brass stencil of a holly border.

That foil on the bows is actually gold, not green.

 Again, paper from a pad from The Works used as a backing.

The sentiments are peel off stickers coloured to match with Sharpies.

Next set of cards uses another new this year stencil, called Starry Night Tree. To get the marbled effect, I added blobs of paste on one side, then sort of shimmied the spreader across the stencil. I was hoping to get the paste down without straight lines, and it worked ok. Acrylic gems added randomly to match the trees.

One final tree card, the stencil is called Swirl Tree.
 Covered in green foil, and some red gems added.
 Backing paper from a stack from The Works, back last year, I think.
The sentiment is a Crealies die, layered up for dimension.

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...