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 29 May 2019

WOYWW #521- The Nearly Crop Time Edition

Yep, just a few days now,and many of us will be meeting up for the Birthday Crop,meanwhile we're linking up at The Stamping Ground, to show our desks to the world.  Need to get my butt in gear and sort out what I'm taking.
 Some ATC's have arrived from folks, thank you ladies.

I must show the the envelope that Diana's came in.

The front..............................

 The back...................................

 and a little envelope with die cuts in.
But how amazing is that envelope?

Goodies from Zsuzsa too,

And a card from Cindy.

These are the ones I made, some have been sent but most will be swapped at the Crop. If anyone still wants to swap, let me know.

Made some cards over the weekend, and discovered the one thing I don't have is a New Home die! So I made some die cuts on my Silhouette, which is fine, but if I wanted to use glitter card, that won't cut it. So, I popped over town and had a look in The Range. And look what I found!

These mini word dies at £1 each- what a bargain.They have masses of dies at this price, all sorts including things like fantasy (unicorns & stuff), and Beach. Loads more word ones too.Well worth a look if you have one near you.

 They are pretty much an inch high, which is perfect.(25mm)
Notice I'm keeping the enabling to a sensible level, whilst maintaining my reputation?😎

They'll all be in my dies box at the crop, so if anyone wants some sentiment die cuts, that'll be your chance.

And so, I'm almost done here.

 This pic I'm showing for Zsuzsa, after her cat Oreo walked all over her work last week. It's clearly a cat thing, Zsuzsa.

And that just leaves.......................................And Finally.............................................

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Cards using Clarity stencils & HoneyDoo Stamps

A few weeks ago now, I spent some time creating these panels.
  I used two different Clarity stencils, Framework Circles, and Framework Squares. Both are 7" square, and they come with the cut-outs too, so you can mask off areas easily. These cards are just from the circles ones.

  The cardstock is Clarity too, they make a 7" square cardstock pack, which fits the stencils perfectly.

All the backgrounds were created using a light, mid and darker ink, blended using brushes.

By adding each of the two darker colours over smaller portions of the shape, it helps to create a  more 3D look to them.

If you use a dry baby wipe to bring in the colour left on the stencil around the shape before you lift it off,  it does help to define the shape nicely. I picked up that tip from Barbara Gray.
 Most of these have now been turned into cards, and I'll share a few here, and do another post for the others, as there's quite a lot!

These first two use one of the flowers from a HoneyDoo set called Cherry Blossom. The sentiment is a Crealies die, and was cut three times and stacked up. 

These three also use a Honey Doo stamp, this time called Flower Power. In both cases the set comes with 3 sizes of flower, and a stem, or leaves to build up your image.
For all of them I restamped the image onto coloured vellum, then added those to some of the flowers with Glossy Accents, and either Stickles or Glass flatbacks to the centres.

They are all matted onto toning cardstock, then onto an 8" card blank.

In some cases, I lightly stamped a script stamp into the circles, using second generation stamping, and the darkest colour of ink used.

The final three in this post used butterflies, in exactly the same way. No idea what brand the stamp is,  I've had it years, and it's just a random one.

The Best Wishes die is from Crealies, and the Thinking of You is a Sue Wilson Mini Expressions die.

The cardstock used for matting is from a pack by Papermania- Capsule Collection Textured Cardstock.
 It comes is a variety of sizes, A4-which this is-A5 and 12x12. The A4 pack I get from The Range, and they seem to be the cheapest place to buy it, at £9.99. You get 75 sheets of cardstock, one of each colour, so you get quite a lot of shades of each colour, making matting a breeze.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

WOYWW #520- The Birthday Edition!!!!!

Indeed we are! What an amazing achievement, and all due to our much loved hostess with mostest, Julia, over at The Stamping Ground, home of WOYWW. Keeping us organised, and letting us link with all the friends we have made over the years, all over the globe.
 Just over a week till the Birthday Crop, hosted this year by the lovely Annie and Jo, known to us all as Wipso & Twiglet. Details about the Crop can be found HERE.
We'd love to see you, whether you are a long time WOYWWer, or a brand new one. 

 I will be bringing my cutting dies, and Big Shot, so if you want to do any die cuts, bring your cardstock!
There are a lot of Bigz dies as well as the thin ones.

 I'll also be swapping ATC's at the crop, so we can all save on the postage. If anyone else wants to swap, leave me a message in the comments, and we'll swap addys.

So, the reason we are here- desks!

Main item on mine this week is my ATC's. I've made quite a pile, as not sure how many I'd need, lol.

This weeks shopping- some of the new Alcohol Ink Pearls. I've enjoyed playing with my AI's on Yupo, and having seen these demoed, rather liked the look of them. There are a few more colours besides these, but they'll be for another day.
I think I might bring my AI's and Yupo to the crop, as my crafting for the day.

And that, ladies, is it for me today.Very short and sweet.

It just leaves us with.......And Finally.......

I can relate to that!

Wednesday 15 May 2019

WOYWW #319- The After Happy Stampers Edition (and the Almost Birthday Edition.)

Back from our Happy Stampers trip,and meeting up with some fellow WOYWWers as usual. 😀
You'll probably see almost identical pictures on a few other posts today, as we'll all be linking up at Julias Place, The Stamping Ground, to bare our desks to the world!

Sarah, and Chris (pear shaped crafting)

Neet, who happily managed to get there.

Neet and Heather.

And we'll all be meeting up again at Crop10.

So what came home with me?
Well the first pic is one of the two main items I wanted to get...

 Sweet Poppy are mainly known for their stencils, but they have started branching out into dies for some of the stencils, and stamps. This Dragon stamp set was a must have when I saw it on FB back last week.

And these from Lavinia stamps were my second reason. Crows and wolves, just awesome.

  A couple of Christmas stamps from Honey Doo, and some gorgeous stamps from Crafty Individuals.
 Three more Clair inkpads- like I need more inkpads- a tub of clear dew drop gems, and a few stamps from Inkylicious. I have the larger version of the distressed circle stamp, and thought this one would be great for smaller cards.

 Some stamps from Chocolate Baroque- a new line, and there is also a big Tag stamp that the tall images fit into, forgot to photograph that one.

Showing you those, as what's actually happening on my desk this week is ATC's- I finally have an idea, lol.

And that's it from me, which brings us round to.........And Finally.....

Wednesday 8 May 2019

WOYWW #518-The Pre- Happy Stampers Edition.

Yes, and next week will be the Post Happy Stampers Edition, lol. We have our tickets ready for Saturday, and they are now all sold out. Looking forward to a catch up with Sarah, Neet & Heather, who are also going, as well as a bit of shopping. Then when we get back, I really need to get started on my ATC's. As always on a Wednesday, we are linking up at Julia's place, The Stamping Ground, for our regular desk tour.
 My time is being split a little between crafting and DIY. Not huge jobs, but stuff that needs doing, as it looks like Hubby will be redundant in a few weeks, and as he's been saying we needed to start thinking about moving to a house with just one flight of stairs, rather than two, we're looking on this as the time to start seriously looking at this.  It will free us up to move to wherever he finds another job, so we will put this up for sale, and move into a private rental while we let everything pan out.
 We also had Bank Holiday Monday down London, for a Gig on Monday night, so not too much time spent crafting at all.
I did do a post below this, reviewing a budget set of colouring pencils, if  anyone is interested.

 The black card is finished, the red one almost. The tray of pencils is one from the budget set.

This blue one I finished off trying out the pencils for the first time.

And that, believe it or not, is it from me this week.
It just leaves us with ......And Finally.....this week theres two, as they go together so perfectly!

This is totally what laundry looks like here- I even buy Surf Washing Liquid for Black clothes far more than one for whites/colours!

And this is also true- I have at least this many pairs!

Saturday 4 May 2019

Reviewing a 'budget' set of colouring pencils.

Okay then, I bought this set a few weeks ago. I do have a full set of Prismacolor, but as I tend to do my colouring books downstairs, they tend to be kept downstairs. If I want to do any colouring in my craft room, this means I'm frequently taking them up and downstairs. So I wanted a second set, but wasn't intending on paying a huge price for them.

To give you some guidelines, current Amazon prices are looking like this:
Polychromos,( Faber Castell) 120 set, an eyewatering £136.99
 Prisma, 150 set. £86.14
Arteza, 72 set.£65.99
 Spectrum Noir Colourblend, set of 7 boxes, 144 pencils, £63.04
 Dropping down to the 'budget' ranges, we have:
Castle, 120 set, at £39.99
Zenacolor, 160 set, £27.99.

 So basically the Zenacolor gave me the most pencils for the best price. The Amazon reviews were quite acceptable, I thought, with the majority (91%) giving 4 & 5 stars.
 The box opened up, and as you can see, there is a colour chart on the lid.
This is the top layer of pencils.
 The lid of the box also has magnets on the flap, so the lid stays closed, which is a nice touch.


  The second layer. You can see the finger grips at either end. The plastic layers are not incredibly flimsy, but as they are quite long, care does need to be taken in lifting them out, and keeping them level. One or two Amazon reviews mention them being damaged in the corners on arrival, but mine were perfect.

The third layer

and the fourth and final one. 

All four layers here, so you can see the colour range.  And of course you can rearrange them in a flow that suits you best.                          

But of course, how they perform is the important part, so as I wanted to add a bit of colour to some images I'd just stamped, which is what I really want them for, I gave them a trial.             

 This is the piece I wanted to add a little colour to. It's stamped in Archival Cobalt, and the squares were coloured with Distress Inks.
 I intended to add some colour to the flowers, and some shading to the Pebble People.
 I have to say here that I am no colouring expert, and my biggest fault is being a little too heavy handed!

I began by adding some of a mid blue to the petals, and to be honest, I could have stopped at that.The pencils went on over the ink with no difficulty.

But I added some of a slightly darker blue over that.

 I forget to soften my strokes as I get further along! That makes blending so much easier. I think I may also have jumped shades a bit too far.

I was curious how the yellow would appear on top of the blue, but it's very well pigmented, so gave a good clear yellow on top of the blue ink. No sign of a green tinge to it.

Added a little of a more orange yellow to the edges, and to the stamens.

I went back to the very pale blue to add some shading on the people, and using a lighter hand made a big difference.

If I'd been a little more gentle with my colouring, the blend on the petals would have been much better.I did go back over them with the palest blue, which helped to smooth things out a little.
 Also, the green for the leaves covered the blue with no change of colour.

And this is the finished piece. I definitely went too dark with the petals, but thats a lesson learnt for me.

As far as the pencils go, I have no complaints. They are not quite as soft as my Prismas, but at the price I think they will be perfectly acceptable for my purposes.They seem to blend just fine, so my next trial will be on plain white cardstock, rather than over ink, so will perhaps be more fair to them.

I have only used these pencils to blend with themselves, I haven't yet tried my Prisma blending pencil with them, as I wanted this to be a test for these pencils alone.

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...