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 24 April 2019

WOYWW #516- The I'm Back Edition

Yes, back again, and only just! These bank holidays get very confusing, today has just felt like a Sunday, or maybe Monday, so I almost missed it. MIA last week, as we had a concert on Tuesday night booked in London, which meant driving down on Tuesday afternoon, and then a stopover, so hadn't done a post, or took my tablet with me. However, since we've been back I've been making some more stencil backgrounds to replicate some cards I made a while ago.
You probably remember seeing these, done with Honey Doo floral stamps.
 Well, it crossed my mind that as well as doing florals, I could use Butterfly/Dragonfly stamps too, and I'm sure if I have a good look, I can find some other stamps that would work for this.

 Made a number of them, and although the camera doesn't really show it well, the two blue ones and two red ones do use different colours. All Distress Inks.

These are also Distress inks.

These have a couple of Distress Inks, and some Adirondacks too.

Then I thought it might work well with a square stencil too.

And while I was at it, I pulled out another couple of stencils too. These are mainly Distress Oxides. I'm thinking there may be fairies involved with these!

  The stencils are all from Clarity, as is the cardstock, which is their Stencil Card, and perfectly sized at 7" for the stencils.

Tickets have arrived for the Happy Stampers Festival in May, so looking forward to that, and seeing one or two WOYWWers there!

I was looking at my stats the other day, and discovered that my first blog post was on April 20th, 2010. So 9 years of blogging!

And so, I'm done. Which brings us to....And Finally......

Yep, I know that well. And the reverse resultant panic when what I thought was a hair on my arm, actually turned out to be a humongous spider!

Sunday 14 April 2019

Christmas Card Club Challenge #8- Christmas or Winter Scene.

So we're back for another Christmas Card Club Challenge, and this week it's my pleasure to have chosen the theme, which is a Christmas/Winter Scene, with the alternative of Anything Goes, if the theme doesn't work for you.

I've got two cards for this week, both using the Stampendous Snowy Postcard stamp.

In each case I stamped the image twice, then cut the centre oval out of the second image so I could pop it up with Foam Tape.
 Images were stamped with Archival Cobalt for the blue, and Versafine Sepia for the brown.
I worked through a range of blue DI's for the first one, and used a Twinkling H2O blue for the oval frame. I coloured the holly leaves with green H2O's, and Liquid Pearls in Garnet for the berries.
 The Paper covering the card fronts is from an old Papermania pad, and the embossed piece was done with an Appleblossom All Occasion  Merry Christmas folder.

The Sepia one used various Brown DI's, and a brown H2O,  otherwise all was the same. In both cases, I added some clear embossing ink to the roofs and ground, then sprinkled with Stampendous Sparkle Puff powder. It doesn't puff up as much as the Inkylicious Puffy Stuff, but it's perfect for when you only want a little dimension.

Friday 12 April 2019

Glittered Medallion cards

 Well, this is the first half of the Glittered Medallions that I've been working on.
 One beauty of them is they can be used for almost any occasion, and because there is so much detail in the stamping and glittering, you need do very little to the card base.
 In all of these, the only thing added was some embossed lines using a scoreboard.

I'll add some close up pictures further on, so you can see what was added to each.

These three had more embossing added, but still simply done with a scoreboard.

This is the stamp I was using, and I stamped it onto OHP film, first off using Staz-on, and then I did a second batch with Archival Black to see how that did. It took longer to dry than Staz-on, but I was leaving them overnight anyway, and by next day they were fine.

 It's an old stamp, used to be wood mounted, probably bought about 15 years ago. The image stamps out to roughly 3" square, and the majority of the card bases are 5" square.
Looking back at a post from where I used them before, it's called Striped Jewel, as was by Hobby Art.

 Glue and glitter should be added to the back, and a few tips here.
 1.  First off, take your glue partly on to the lines in the section you are working on. It won't be seen from the front when you are done. It does have a slight tendency to shrinkage, and this help to prevent too many gaps.
2.  Next, when you add glitter, add plenty and give it a moment or two to sit and settle into the glue. That helps you get good coverage. If you tip it straight off, very little glitter will sink into the glue.

 3.  Also, don't add glue to too many areas before adding glitter. It won't dry, but it will form a skin, then the glitter won't sink in as well.
4.   It's best not to try and do the whole thing at once, you'll probably end up leaning on a glittered area while it's wet. Doing a couple of colours at a time, then leaving to dry is probably best.
5.  When each batch of glittering is dry, it helps to clean off any loose glitter before continuing. First time I did it, I tried a Swiffer cloth. DO NOT DO THAT!!!!  The glitter grabs fibres from the cloth, and that gets stuck in any glue you're adding next. Best solution I found was a small stiff brush, like a stencil brush or a toothbrush.

Give it a brush over, then flick it over the bin to get rid of any loose glitter left behind.

You can just toss this, or you can save it all into a pot. I've done that with lots of glitter leftovers from bags when I've bought it, so I added the brushings off to that.  You end up with a pot of  a totally unique mixed glitter. I actually used it on one or two of the medallions too.

It took a few days, but eventually they were all done.

 It's a good idea, by the way, to leave yourself a good margin of film all around your stamped piece to make it easier to move & handle when it's wet. Once they're completely finished and dry, then you can trim them down.

 I added a little interest to the base card with a scoreboard. To do these, I lightly marked out the square on the inside front of the card, then used a stylus & scoreboard to mark out the shape, making sure I was slightly larger than the design. When I was done, I erased the pencil lines inside the card. On the left it's just a simple square around the image. On the right, I added another score line from the corners of the image to the corners of the card.

  I've taken close ups of these so you can see what I did.

This is just a basic square around the focal image.

As the images are a symmetrical pattern, you can  turn it a quarter turn, and have it placed on end.

The pieces were added to the bases with some Pinflair Glue gel, I've found a silicone type glue works best for doing this.

I got a little fancier with these two, adding lots of diagonal lines in each of the four corners. I have a diagonal scoreboard, but you could do it with a straight line one, just taping your base in place on a diagonal on your board.

This one I did by starting with a square around the image, then added a line to each corner. Then I just filled in with straight score lines.

The lines add just enough interest to the card base, without fighting with the strong central image.

Finally adding a selection of sentiments to them, cut 3 times from a plain matching cardstock, then once from glitter cardstock to match, and layering up for some extra dimension.

 This is the diagonal scoreboard. I believe it was a Stampin Up product that was being discontinued when I bought it. I don't have an SU scoreboard, but by luck- or maybe they make it too- it fits a Martha Stewart board I was gifted.

Wednesday 10 April 2019

WOYWW #514- The Return to Glitter Edition

Gooooood Morning People!!!!!!!! WOYWW speeds round again, and time to link and visit desks around the world in all their glory. Hosted by our lovely Julia over at The Stamping Ground as always.
 I have to take the picture from the side to get most of the desk in.
 Littered with the makings of cards from those glittered medallions.
 Front corner, a stack of pastel square card blanks. Do not ask how long I've had those, the memory doesn't go back that far.

 Next to them, some embossing folders, of which more later on.  A handful of cards mounted, needing sentiments on. To the back, a bunch with their sentiments, and next to that, a half dozen not mounted yet. You can see my little glue bottle next to the stack of finished cards. Still using those small bottles, and they are working great. Nice and soft to squeeze, and as yet- and it must be 6 months- I haven't had any issue with the fine nozzles blocking up. Just wipe them with a baby wipe, and make sure the nozzle is cleared with a pin before putting the lid on. An EBay purchase, £3.14 for 10.

I'm die cutting sentiments for these.

These will get added to cards after I've finished with the first lot.

 And so, on to the Enabler Extraordinaire Award, which this week goes to Kathryn, ( Frantzlady) who joins us via Instagram.
 Those embossing folders that were on my desk- 3D ones from Crafters Companion. Two are 5"x7", and one is 4" x 6". Kathryn had shown the one on the left, Studded Leather, in her post, and when I went looking for it, I also saw the other two. I did go to Crafters Companion for them, but had way too much trouble with their checkout process keep changing my payment method, so I went looking elsewhere. Which turned out to be a bonus, as I found them slightly cheaper at Craft Stash!.

 I've run them through using a white Pearl card, and they look fabulous. Had to figure out the right sandwich, as 3D ones are a bit thicker than normal folders, and it really does help to lightly mist the cardstock first. The top right I think still needs a slightly different recipe, as some of the card surface has split, but I have found that with the 3D ones, one recipe doesn't work for all.

Here they are individually, so you can see the texture. The folders are: Top Left, Studded Leather, Top Right, Seamless Waves, and bottom, Isometric Cube.

A few people asked me last week where I get my scalpel blades from- well the company is called Scalpels and Blades.
 They have a huge variety of blade shapes, my personal favourites are the Number 11 on the left, and the Number 6 on the right.  They also do a pack with a blade assortment, so you can try them out to see which you prefer. They come in Sterile or Non Sterile choices, and I only get the Non Sterile, which are the cheaper of the two. There are two handles available, a size 3 and a size 4, and you buy blades accordingly. If you already have a handle, the number should be stamped into one side of it. There is also a small blade remover, but I just use a small pair of jewellery pliers, and despite being reasonably clumsy, I've never cut myself yet! I have a small plastic tub that I've cut a slot in the lid, and I've been using that for my old blades for about 5 years, and it's not even close to full.
So, after all that, it just leaves.....And Finally......

Ha Ha Ha Ha....if I did that, I'd never get out of the house!!

Oh, and your countdown starts now! Did you realise it's the 10th Birthday Crop in 8 weeks?

Wednesday 3 April 2019

WOYWW #513- The Bit Boring Edition.

Definitely a bit boring this week. Nothing of excitement on my desk, just a few purchases.
These sentiment dies, in a sale at Craft Stash, all around the £3 mark. They have lots more besides these.

As always on Wednesday, we are meeting round at Julias place, The Stamping Ground, to view desks with a lot more interesting things on them!

 A box of Number 11 blades for my scalpel- still my preferred crafting knife. Scalpel blades work out much cheaper than branded 'craft knife' blades, and because they aren't the expensive part of the deal, you're not tempted to use them past their best.

The T'GAAL pencil sharpener is a gem! I bought one for sharpening my Prismacolor pencils, and love it so much more than my battery operated one. You can dial the sharpness of the point you prefer/need, so can have anything from a gently rounded tip to something you could use as a dart,lol. Available from Amazon- of course- they come in a range of colours. The prices seem to vary with the colours, and some only have free delivery on orders over £20, but it's something you can wait until you order something else, or wait a few weeks for it to come from Japan. Which I did with the black one, when I realised they would be amazing for make up pencils.
 I finished the Wedding card, and I'll put it down here, as it was made for a work colleague getting married for everyone at work to sign, and I expect  they're on Facebook.
 Gold and white, which seem to be a traditional thing for Polish couples, as do the Doves.

I forgot to post this pic from Wales last week.
 This is Rhuddlan Castle, and was literally over the river from the Premier Inn. We thought we'd go have a look around when we left on Sunday, but sadly it was closed from November till the end of March, so we were just a week or two too early.

 It seems that between us, Marg & Lynne complaining to Facebook, the matters been sorted finally, and Lynne can post her blog links. So thanks for all suggestions.

And thats it, I'm done for this week. Which just leaves........And Finally......

Not the one I'd planned on using, but saw this on FB yesterday! Shame there wasn't a video of him coming home, that would have been priceless.My second thought was I was surprised all the neighbourhood cats hadn't moved in!

Monday 1 April 2019

Christmas Card Club #7- Santa

Late this week, but I'm finally here. This fortnights Challenge was set by Rita, and she wanted to see Santa on our cards.
 I've made a total of a dozen cards, in three different colours, and two designs.

 Not the most fantastic photos, sorry, but the silver EP and the Sparkly one do not play nicely with the camera lens!

  There are three green, three blue and 3 red.
 In each case I stamped then die cut with a tag die the Santa image, then die cut three more white tags and embossed each with a Christmas Embossing Folder.

I found it's better to die cut the tags, then emboss, rather than the other way round, as the embossing gets flattened going through the machine to die cut.

Made a small hit on my eyelet stash, to add one to hold each pair of tags together.

Added the tags to the card front with foam pads.

Two shades of Distress Oxides were blended over the edges.

I added Christmas Vellum to the card front, and found that if you use double sided adhesive sheet over the whole of the back of the vellum, it doesn't show. The drawback is- don't use textured card! You can see the problem you get with the red card, which was a hammer finish.

For the second design I used a stitched oblong die to cut out the stamped image and also an embossed piece the same size, then just adhered to the card. The embossed piece with DST, the image with foam tabs, just offsetting them slightly.

This Santa stamp is a really old one, it used to be wood mounted, so must be 15+ years old. I believe it was by Rubber Stampede.

This one, called St Nick, was also a rubber wood mounted stamp,so is also quite old, but it is available now as a clear stamp, part of a set from Butterfly Kisses, which can be bought from Hobby Art Stamps.
I'd originally added Vintage Photo DI around the edges on top of the colour, but it dulled it too far, so I ended up going over it with a second darker shade of the colour used.

On a side note, we see Santa in a Red suit these days, but pre-1930's, Tan or Green were the traditional colours. Thomas Nast, actually the artist who developed the Santa image we all know and love, then changed to painting him in a Red suit. This was spotted by an artist called Haddon Sundblom, who was commissioned to do a Christmas advert for Coca Cola, and he used Red as it tied in with that theme. And the rest is history!

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...