Wednesday, 18 December 2013

December quintiles

In even more of a rush than usual this month - why is it that Christmas always seems to suddenly leap out at you?
I did two different ones, as I thought that 2 with the huge  baubles background stamp would be cheating a bit, even if I did colour them in differently............ and to be honest. sponging skies in is far quicker than colouring baubles!
I did add some glitter to the reindeer from the old Christmas fusion set of stamps, and the buildings are from the town houses set randomly stamped along the bottom and coloured in with markers.

Monday, 2 December 2013

sporty masks

 Saturday was the last Clarity East workshop of the year, and Janet had chosen a stencil and sports stamps as the base of the day. . The top card is the first one we did, brushing distress inks over the stencil then stamping into the spaces. We used the full size of the stencil, 7x7", which was mounted onto green card in my case then onto an 8x8" card base.
As a change from masculine cards, we made the thank you card using the same stencil, embossed onto linen card before inking through the stencil in rather more feminine colours this time. The stencil was just cut into 2 strips about 4x11 cms, mounted onto toning card and then onto a 7x7" base card which I brushed with lilac inks first, the word panel was stamped in purple archival ink on colour-brushed card to match the stencilled pieces, then covered with versamark and clear embossed.
In the afternoon we went back to masculine cards, and made the golf card, using post-it note masks for the figures. I even did the wavy lines round the figures like I was supposed to..................think Janet is still suffering from shock!
I always have white card with me, knowing that I seem to work faster than everyone else, so I got 2 alternative designs done to finish off later - very useful, as I couldn't decide which sport I was going to use!
 It was  a lovely day, and we even had a raffle as Barbara had kindly sent Janet some goodies, and Iwon a set of stamps - sketched lady, Eiffel tower and a very nice corner stamp - now I need the Paris skyline mask to go with them.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

November quintiles

 As you may have expected, the theme for November was fireworks - sounds simple - and obvious- but finding any Choc Baroque stamps that fitted it wasn't easy.  I was beginning to think I would be reduced to splodging colour on randomly when I thought of the wild meadow stamp set, which includes this stamp- can never remember what plant it is though!
Anyhow, I just used the flower head, and stamped it twice in versamark onto dark blue card then added random embossing powders - they all came from a box of powders I was given, and I used the most lurid ones, the photo doesn't really do justice to the bright pink, orange and purple  (perhaps thankfully!). I added splodges of holographic powder using a versamark pen around the flower heads to try to create a glow around the main colours.
The diecut houses are from a Tim Holtz die, cut in black card.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

craft club

It was craft club time at Gissing on Sunday, and this was the card I eventually finished off today. Being very awkward , I didn't like the geometric starry tree stamp Moira had brought for her card , so I did the background, collected my deer diecuts and added ' proper' trees at home later - it also ended up as a square card rather than Moira's diorama card..................... Not sure what stamp we used for the snowflake background, but it was embossed in white and distress inks sponged over for the sky - I know I used broken china and chipped sapphire for the blues but can't recall the sun colour. The small trees are from Chocolate Baroque (terrific treescapes), large one from Stampin Up (lovely as a tree), and the snowflakes on the base card are also Stampin Up (snowflake soiree) clear embossed and brushed with the same blue inks as the sky.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


 I had another play with the new halloween stamps from Chocolate Baroque and a pile of distress inkpads, and these are the results.
All the images were stamped with black versafine ink, and the distress inks used were rusty hinge, aged mahogany, spiced marmalade, dusty concord, chipped sapphire and black soot.
Square card is 6x6, with matting layers of black and dull gold, and the spooky drawn in sakura sparkle pen   using the negative from a sizzix die as a pattern. The next  one is A6,mounted onto dull black distressed round the edges and then onto a kraft base card.
 The mini ones are 4x4, stamped  and inked directly onto the white base card.
 I did add a bit of colour to the gravestones with promarkers

am linking these to the Make my Monday challenge, which is halloween this week (obviously)

Sunday, 6 October 2013


 Thanks to winning a set of the new Chocolate Baroque halloween stamps  - many thanks Glenda - I have managed to make my October quintiles early (I know, wonders do still happen occasionally!). The set I won is called 'nevermore', and I loved the spooky candlestick. I also wanted to use the raven on the gravestones, so I excavated a crate of stamps and found a rather gothic-y window in a set of Christmas stamps (stained glass Christmas). I didn't want the candle design in the window, so for the first tile I inked up the edges of the stamp with a grey marker and stamped onto pale grey card, then drew in the stones around the window. I masked off the wall, then stamped the raven in the window using memento black ink. I coloured in the branches, gravestones and fence  with promarkers, and then sponged distress inks round the moon mask to create the sky.
The candlestick stamped with black memento ink and clear embossed, then the background was brushed with a mix of black, concord and sage inks. I coloured the candles with gel pen, drew a huge web with a grey promarker, dotted it with stickles, and added gilding flakes to the flames - the flames blowing in the wind haven't quite worked.
The second tile I stamped the window in smoky grey ink onto darker grey card and cut the window frame out. The raven was stamped in smoky grey onto white card, coloured with promarkers and distress inks, then glued behind the window. Candlestick stamped with versamark and silver embossed, candles in white gel pen again. Some dabs of bleach to show the candlelight on the wall, then the candle flames and the spiderweb were drawn in with a glue pen and gilded.

Monday, 30 September 2013

done fiddling

As promised, this is what I ended up with as my version of Moira's secondhand snowflakes card. I didn't want to use the snowman, but I did have this santa stamp from Stampin Up with me on Satruday, so tried him instead.
Originally, I stamped him in browns on kraft card, but that didn't go with the blue snowflakes, so  I took the bits home and stamped him in smoky slate on white card, cut him out with framelits and then mounted him onto blue card. I cut the mat by hand after drawing round the die I used for santa - the next size up was way too big!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Diva Red September

 Had a great day yesterday with Moira and Janet out in the wilds at Gissing - at least this time I found the village hall first time (it's one of the 'best-kept secret' type, carefully hidden off road without a sign, so you can go past it even if you're looking for it). It was great to be joined by Eileen Godwin, so nice to meet the face behind the blog - and thanks Eileen for letting me plunder your Treasure Gold!
 This screen card was what we spent most of the morning on -as you can see, mine was mainly black and gold. The embossed black panels were rubbed with Treasure Gold white fire wax, then topped with die cut poinsettias and swirls - both Marianne dies- poinsettias had more Treasure Gold and rhinestone centres, and I think the greeting was Hobby Art. Having got the camera out to shoot the card, I couldn't resist taking one of a very concentrating Moira - but she looked up just as the flash went off!
Janet's two cards both used Clarity stamps (no surprise there). For the first one we brayered the card before stamping the tree in versamark and embossing in white, with bits of gilding in the leaves. I used Adirondack latte and Stampin Up coastal cabana inks, and the same inks were used to stamp the tree on the textured base card - the stripe was an offcut from the brayed card., and the mat was white centura pearl card. We all ended up with different colour schemes, from Eileen's very springlike greens to Moira's lovely grey/salmon combo with a brass tree
The last card used bleach on and around  the image, with sakura sparkle pen on the flower.
 There was another card, which I am still fiddling with.................
When Eileen's husband and dogs came to collect her, Holly decided to supervise, and nipped smartly onto Janet's chair - much more comfortable than the floor!

Monday, 23 September 2013

autumn days

 It's quintile time again - it seems to come round quicker each month at the moment, and I have yet again had to apologise for sending mine in late. This time I was searching for my build-a-tree set of stamps,  and eventually had to give up - doubtless I shall find them tomorrow, somewhere in plain sight!
Both tiles are landscape scenes, in what I hope you will see as autumn colours of distress inks with a couple of SU ones as well, using the traditional torn copy paper to make the hills
The first one uses the wall from landscape edges, stamped in black,
 then brushed with smoky slate and crumb cake inks, with a few patches of green marker pen in the cracks. The trees are from the  teeny tiny meadow set, coloured with green, coral and red markers.
The second tile again used the teeny tiny meadow stamps, with the foreground grasses from the floral edges set. This was the one that was due to have the tree on, and after much searching -every tree stamp i found was just the wrong shape - I decided to use one from let your heart sing. I inked up part of the stamp using versafine smoky grey, and stamped it off the edge of the tile. I used the grey as I didn't want ti to be too obvious, but thought afterwards that I should have used black and stamped off some of the ink.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Diva Red

 I don't normally get to any of the Diva Red workshops, but did manage the morning last Saturday, and these cards are the result.
I had to scan them both, as the weather is too lousy for the camera - and the birdcage is meant to be hanging straight down, not squiffy, but I ran out of patience fiddling with the scanner!
The birdcage was Moira's card, and took quite a time to do - and I don't think she has recovered yet from seeing that I did what I was told to do! (mind you, the fact that this session was held in the village hall and all Moira's stash was not available probably had a lot to do with that). it started out as a triple fold card, and the first double fold was cut using a spellbinder die and a grand caliber - this suffered from cutting through 2 layers of heavyweight card, so much so that it got really hot, and will probably have to end up in diecut hospital - which definitely took musclepower.
The front of the card and the insert were both stamped with a Clarity leafy swirl stamp, with a greeny embossing powder used on the front and perfect pearls on the insert. Birdcage was a Marianne die, butterflies spellbinders embossed with an embossabilities stencil, not sure where the swirl die came from. Hopefully Moira will blog the correct details sometime
Janet's contribution was the Christmas card using a Clarity stamps - the colour combination was right up my street, and it would be a very easy card to batch make; details are on Janet's blog, so you are spared my version of how to!

Thursday, 22 August 2013


I had trouble with this month's quintiles - too much choice! The theme was 'anything goes' , and I have a LOT of Chocolate Baroque stamps - in the end, as I was also supposed to be making ATCs I used the one theme for both sets 'Things that fly'. To my surprise I found that I only had one teeny tiny dragonfly stamp, so that ruled out using my gelli plate background using a dragonfly mask, so butterflies it was. Almost too much choice there, but I eventually found 2 matching butterflies in differing sizes, and used those for the quintiles.
The first one had a stippled background of distress inks, then the stamp from wild meadow repeat stamped to form the meadow effect - can never remember what sort this is, but it must be one of the most-used stamps from this set. The butterflies themselves were stamped n embossed in black, coloured with very ancient H2Os, cut out and glued on.
 The second tile I stamped the butterflies first, coloured with H2Os again, then went over them with a versamark pen and clear embossed them. The background uses distress inks and leaves from the garden as explained by Elaine. This gives a lovely effect, and is quite addictive - also works with die cut leaves.
 I used the same techniques for the ATCs, and the smaller of the butterfly stamps, with the addition of a punky flower stamp from a grab bag of stamps.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Clarity east

 Yesterday was a Clarity East workshop run by Janet - I think this was about the fourth one Janet has run, but the first that I was able to go to, and these are the card we made. As there was quite a lot of us, we split into 2 groups - one doing birdhouse cards, one Christmas with the holly tree. The Christmas ones were the more complicated, and I don't think anyone actually finished both cards in the time we had...........
My group started with the birdhouse stamp and the matching set of small stamps, and a rather nice floral stencil for the background (so nice one came home with me). We had a large selection of distress and adirondack inkpads to choose from, and I lazily used mostly the nearest ones, so my stencil background was mainly done in frayed burlap distress ink, with a dash of spiced marigold and and stonewashed. We cut the stencil down slightly, mounted it on black card, then on pearlescent white card base.
 The scene was stamped in black archival ink across a strip of white card before we added a moon and sky - sky was lake mist, tattered rose and mountain rose, with a bit of olive and peeled paint for the ground. Strip again on a thin mount of black card, trimmed at the sides to match the background layer.
Second card is all masked, and looks surprisingly dimensional when done................ We cut a mask for the centre first, and stamped the border around the edges using the leafy stamp from the set - I used frayed burlap again, with tattered rose and lake mist. Then we masked the border off and created our central scene - i used the same colours again, plus some mustard seed for the sun. I did the background first, using torn copy paper to make the hills, then put my birdhouse dead centre just to see if it would work.
 As some people didn't make it, I was one of the lucky ones to have a set of stamps to myself, so I had time to stamp another scene before lunch, and this is it.......using the leafy stamp to create tree branches, with stonewashed and mountain rose for the sky and lake mist for the ground. I put the cat in front of the birdhouse, as I thought he was a bit out of proportion anywhere else - when I got home I mounted this onto a 5.5" square of black card, then onto a 6x6" white card base.
In the afternoon we finished one card completely using the holly tree stamp, and most of the second card.
We stamped the holly tree onto white card, gold embossed it, coloured with perfect pearls, then cut it out. The background card was brayed in the corners with bottle and cranberry inks, then the holly sprays were stamped with versamark ink and dusted with perfect pearls. Holly tree stamped and embossed again in the centre, trunk painted then the cutout tree glued on top before mounting onto red card mat and a white card base.
The second card is still in pieces - hopefully Janet will have blogged it as it should have looked - mine is awaiting a nicer stamp to use in the centre of the two embossed and resist panels of holly at the sides ----------sorry, I really don't like the holly tree, so am still looking for a similar size replacement.................

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

canada goose

 Another card using the wetlands stamp set, and the same technique as the last post - on a bit of a roll here!
This time I added the canada goose (identification courtesy of ancient bird-spotters guide) which has been coloured using a water brush and baked brown sugar inkpad, with some wild wasabi marker pen over the rushes that he's standing in.
Both these cards are A6 landscape, and deliberately left without a greeting, as they are headed for my spares box...........
As the male room challenge is still open, I'm adding this one too

Thursday, 1 August 2013


There is a new challenge blog around this week -The Male Room, cards for men (obviously), and I thought I would try out my new stamps, a present from my daughter.
Base card is 6x6 pearlescent, and I started by masking off a stripe across the card and brushing it with coastal cabana and pistachio pudding inks from Stampin Up. I brushed some more ink on after removing the masking - just wondered what it would look like if I needed to cover up any stray ink once the masks got a bit tatty (have been making quite a lot of this style card lately using the same masking pieces), and decided I liked the effect!
The small wading birds were stamped in smoky slate ink, reeds and greeting in basic black -am not impressed with this inkpad, doesn't seem to have much depth of blackness, so will be back to versafine- then the tops of the reeds coloured with a wild wasabi marker pen.
Am entering this card to 2 challenges, both anything goes this week
 The Male Room
 Addicted to stamps 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

4th of July

4th of July was the theme for this month's quintiles - as usual, the one you think will be so easy turns out to be anything but!
My first thought was to do a scrapbook-type page using a photo of son in his American Football gear with a stars n stripes background - after hours spent trawling computer files, came to sad conclusion that it was one of the photos lost when a hard drive failed some time ago (not only that drive, but the backup failed too.....)
I couldn't get any vague ideas using said stars n stripes to work, then I found the file box with the Choc Baroque townhouses and cottages sets of stamps, which had seen vary little use so far. Some of the buildings looked vaguely American to me, so decided to use them. I brushed distress inks in shabby shutters and broken china over the edges of the card first, then stamped the houses and trees. Everything was coloured with inktense pencils, and a banner added with foam pads - pennants were just strips of card cut into rough triangles. White card with red promarker stripes and blue card with white stars drawn on with gel pen.
Sentiment is from SU, and believe me I held my breathe when I stamped it !
Tiles now in the post to Margaret - all I need to catch up with now is the ATC swap..............

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

craft club

 Sunday afternoon at Moira's was a very lazy one - think we were all too hot, although the day was much cooler than it has been.
Moira will probably post the details of the card we were supposed to make - as usual, I did something slightly different; am sure she would think I was ill if I didn't!
She found a bargain roll of wrapping 'paper' that inspired the fishy theme, plus some old peeloffs and created an underwater scene.
I couldn't find a bit of the paper that I liked -typical- so made my own background using markers scribbled onto an acrylic block and spritzed with water (have become quite addicted to this, sorry). I stamped the sea bubbles by Ryn, the water weed by Chocolate Baroque and the Coral by Stampin Up in smoky grey versafine ink to create my background scene, then the seahorses by Chocolate Baroque in black. I coloured the seahorses, water weed and shells with markers with markers
and added a few streaks of pink to the coral. Matting was actually as instructed, then I added dazzling diamonds from SU  to the seahorses.
As I had a piece of the wrapping, I felt that I ought to use it, so did another card, this time  with SU stamps - the new ' by the tide' set. The coral was stamped on white card using crumb cake and baked brown sugar inks, the the card covered with the wrapping paper. The shells were stamped on cream card using the brown sugar ink and cut out.The fish were stamped on the same card that had actually been gellied, though it doesn't show really as this was a second print, and embossed with copper EP, then cut out and stuck on with foam pads. After I'd put it together,I felt that it could really have done with some seabubbles, but the wrapping is too plasticky to stamp on, so it stayed as it was. Backing card and matting is actually more of a  greeny colour than the scan shows - I haven't worked out how to adjust the colour balance on my new printer yet

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

faux chalkboard

 Faux chalkboard is this month's technique on Techniquetime Tuesday - one I saw quite a bit of a few months ago, but never got around to trying until last week.
The first card is following Mynette's video instructions (just to prove I can do as I am told) using my new raindrops stamp by Ryn, and a dirt cheap clear stamp I found in Hobbycraft on Saturday while waiting for the queue at the hairdressers to reduce to sensible proportions. Considering the weather we have had recently, thought this combination was quite apppropriate...................                                            
Moira and Janet can now relax, as I then reverted to normal and started playing around (didn't last long, did it?)
The next two both had the raindrops background again , this time on grey card - you can tell I like this stamp - and sneak peeks of 2 new sets from Stampin Up. the small flower border across the base is from Best of Flowers and the flower and sentiment from Simply Sketched, which is a new hostess set.
After stamping the raindrops and the border, I stamped the flower 3 times, using a post-it note mask and embossed with white EP. Then I went off-course and painted the flowers with a waterbrush and white Stazon reinker, gave it a quick blast with a heat gun to stop it smudging and left it overnight to dry properly. The next day I painted the flowers with a waterbrush again and primrose petals and raspberry ripple SU inks, with a bit of green marker pen on the stalks.
One I just mounted straight onto a raspberry base card, the other I cut out using a topnote Sizzix die.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


The ATC swap theme over at Chocolate Baroque this month is steampunk - now this is SO definitely out of my comfort zone, and steampunk stamps are not in my   collection - though I admit to having the lovely CB  punk rose on the wish list - so I was somewhat stumped as to what to do. Thanks to the lovely ladies on the Wednesday chat session , ideas came in plenty - I ended up trying 2 of them out.
The quickest and easiest was to cover card with foil, run through an embossing folder and grunge up  - the only folder I had that approached steampunk was a Tim Holtz clocks one, so that was duly dug out. It embossed beautifully, but just didn't look right to me - definitely seemed to be something missing, so I tried again using dark grey coredinations card, which I inked and sanded down, then added a butterfly cut from the original foiled pieces using a  freebie die.                          

The suggestion I liked best was simply to stamp something and grunge it up - now that I can manage! I remembered buying a set of mini stamps ages ago for the lovely tree images, and not using the rest .............I stamped the crackle and hessian texture stamps from mail art randomly across the cream card using SU crumb cake ink, overstamped with a script and the tunnel from mini scripts in early espresso ink, finally with the cyclist from curiosities in black versafine twice. A hefty smudge of vintage photo and black soot distress inks and some roughed-up edges to finish.
Not sure that either of them are really steampunk, but they're the nearest I'm going to get to it!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

June quintiles

 The theme this month is 'brides' for the Chocolate Baroque quintiles - I thought this was going to be really easy, but have been struggling to get two finished!
Backgrounds used the same large stamp from the harlequin rose set, and both used the same Kaleidacolour birthstone ink pad on watercolour paper. They were both  liberally sprayed with water and glimmer mist after stamping - the first one with silver bells, second with perfect peach.
The first one uses my only CB  'bride' stamp, which is not easy to stamp cleanly due to the large expanse of skirt - I lost count of the number that ended up in the bin with a mark on the skirt despite liberal use of Qtips, baby wipes etc before stamping, to say nothing of what I considered to be very delicate application of an ink pad in the first place! Finally I decided to do some paper piecing to get round this, and after trying various bits of printed papers went for a Sizzix  embossing folder, and added glitter glue to the veil.
With time running out, I decided to make a wedding cake for the second tile, using strips of white pearlescent card and the same embossing folder again. The roses were made using the smaller flower from the Tin Holtz tattered florals die, cut with white card, edges brushed with victorian velvet distress ink before cutting and curling the flowers.

Monday, 10 June 2013

doing different

Yesterday was our monthly crafty session at Moira's, and we were all very glad of the heater glowing in the corner as it was a very dull and dank day, though it didn't actually rain.
Moira had found a new to us technique involving alcohol inks and laminating folders  - splashes of inks on the inside of the folder, add gilding flakes, close up and run through the laminator. Stamp a flower stamp with versamark and emboss with black EP on the resulting plastic sheet, flatten quickly with a block, then cut out the flowers and arrange round a diecut stamped sentiment.
Quite simple - until I tried it! Everyone else produced a perfect mixed multicoloured sheet - I got a streaky inky mess..............which looked like a rather lurid underwater scene to my rather desperate eyes. Moira produced a sheet of fish peeloffs,
 and I stuck 2 of the fish onto white card, coloured with promarkers, cut out and glued onto the more underwatery bit of the piece of plastic, along with 3 bits of waterweedy peeloff at the bottom. the fish was coated with dazzling diamonds, which I later regretted, as they took ages to dry........
the card on the right is more what I should have done .
I dug out my inks when I got home - or rather the 4 that I could find - a laminating folder and got going. I added mica powders as well as gilding flakes - it took 3 tries with different laminating sheets to get something approaching a decent result - obviously some makes work better than others, as on 2 of them the inks just slid off the plastic. I used an orphan Chocolate Baroque stamp for the flower, and the EP is a mix of odds and ends of blue and green - sentiment is a Clarity stamp of Moira's. Base card is white pearlescent, mat is vanilla, which doesn't show up too well on the scan, as I had to adjust the colours to get the flowers to look reasonably true.                                                            
 The remaining 2 cards did come out rather more as they should have - apart from me using white EP on grey card rather than black on white card, with the addition of white craft ink on the second card.
Sorry for the squiffy scans, I gave up after I had carefully lined them up with the edge of the scanner 5 times and still got a crooked image............
allium stamp is another Clarity one.
Moira promised to blog her originals soon, so I will be able to see how different my home version turned's not a technique I will be using a lot, it took ages to clean the rollers of the laminator!