Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Retro Rubber #39..May Flowers..still time to join in the fun...


There is still time for you to play along with the fun May Flowers challenge over at Retro Rubber.

Don't forget to use a stamp a year or older and tell us all about it.

Also please limit your challenge entries to 10 including Retro Rubber.

Challenge ends on June 3rd.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy 1st Birthday...


So the Son of good friends will be turning One this week and I wanted to make a fun card for him.

I decided to look through my stash of 'special' makes and see if there was anything there.

I came across this -

From my first ever Loft Art Retreat in 2015..

I thought he would be great to modify and turn into a 1st birthday card.

As you can see from the main photo today it totally worked with two simple changes - 1) add a new sentiment, over the existing one. 2) add a Thickers number sticker to a balloon.

I love it when I can slightly tweak something I've already made to use for a slightly different purpose, it feels very 'clever' LOL.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Happy Birthday...


So at the loft art retreat I bought a set of the new Tim Holtz mini stencils, I bought a set that didn't contain any of the full size ones that I have.

I used Picked Raspberry and Spiced Marmalade through the stencil and spritzed it and then dried it with my heat tool.

I cut it in to a narrow strip and mounted it onto the card blank.

The tag is a shop bought one - I love tags and buy them all the time..its an addiction to go with my many other addictions LOL.

I mounted the tag at a jaunty angle and originally only had the orange Happy Birthday strip (stamp by Simon Says Stamp) I didn't like it, so die cut a Happy in white and added orange embossing powder.

Now I am much happier with my final card :)

I love all these fun techniques using distress inks, they are so versatile and can really change a card from cute to a teeny bit edgy.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Flower Monkey Slider...


Happy long weekend..whoop whoop.

It is Memorial Day weekend here in the US and in the UK it is the Whitsun holiday.

Hubby and I went to Atlantic City on Thurs night, it was a one night of madness thing..

So today I am showing you the famous (well to me and mine) Flower Monkey Slider card that I made for JT, following our weekend in Providence.

We got drunk and somehow came up with this crazy idea, which I then brought to life!

It made me smile so much and it's totally hideous, but fun.

I also learnt that my Stampin' Up label punch can be used to create sliders..clever.

The Monkey is by Waffle Flower, the flowers are by Altenew and stamped with Dew Drops and Distress Inks, the sentiment stamps are by CAS-ual Friday.

Hope you have a great weekend.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Take Us to Your Cake...


Happy Long Weekend - whoop whoop.

Today is recovering from last night in Atlantic City day and tomorrow is closet tidy day for me - boo.

I recently bought the great Alien Invasion stamp set from Gerda Steiner Stamps.

I saw a couple of cards made with it and the sentiments really caught my eye.

This is the first card I made and I made it quickly the night the stamp set arrived..could not resist.

I saw JT playing along with this week's I love Promarkers challenge - which is anything goes and thought I'd join in the fun too :)

I used Lime Twist, Orange and Frosted Jade Promarkers to colour the aliens..I added the spots using the orange Promarker.

I love masking things right now, it works so well if you want to blend the background.

This is such a fun set, I can't wait to play with it a bit more.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Moving Along With The Times... Age Related Sentiment..


Time for another Moving Along With The Times challenge.

This time Jenny is our hostess and her theme is 'Age Related Sentiment'

I wanted to make a 40th birthday card for a friend and I had the background to my card sitting on my desk and it sparked an idea.

I added some dots and glitter paste to the background. Because the background is quite dark, I used bright distress inks to create the little die-cut ink resist panel that the numbers are on. I love this technique and it looks stunning and has added a pop of colour to the card.

I used a fave Clearly Besotted sentiment and punched it using a Stampin Up label punch.

The whole thing is a bit artsy fartsy and I love it, the background was so easy to create and it's only two different ink colours, but looks like more than that.

Your turn to show us your creations, but first go over to MAWTT and see the things my teammates have made.

Challenge ends on June.8


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WOYWW #364..Seventh Anniversary...


Happy WOYWW, it is the Seventh Anniversary of WOYWW today and ATC swap day.

Our illustrious leader Julia is away this week and so Lunch Lady Jan or LLJ is the hostess with the mostess, over at her blog Lunch lady Jan's Fabric Frenzy.

I am not joining in the ATC swap this year, I just didn't have the time this year with my large project at work.

I think Cara will be happy with my desk this week, she's always telling me it's too tidy.. I signed up for a Dina Wakely art journal class run by The Inkpad NYC and so I wanted to have a little play before the class. On my desk you can see my art journal front and centre, my paint pallet, waterpots and brushes, my coffee from the local deli, a piece of scrap grid paper for stamping on and various other bits and bobs.

Because I work from home from my craft desk, my enthusiasm for staying at my desk to make cards is not there. I felt I needed something more unstructured, but I am SO linear that it can't be too random..

So I thought painting would be good and then I was turned onto the idea of Art Journaling by Cheiron.

I am loving what I am creating and it's such a fun, messy way to spend 30 mins immediately after work, then my mojo returns and I spend another hour or so playing at my desk before Hubby comes home.

Here's the spread you can see on my desk..not sure if it's finished or not, but that's the fun part of art journals, you can come back to a page if you want to.

Because I like structure in some shape or form, I traced around oval dies to create the egg like shapes. I then die cut tissue paper in the two sizes and stamped over it. Before collaging the stamped ovals onto the page, I broke out the water colours and painted around the egg shapes. 

The stamped tissue pieces got applied using Liquitex Multi Matt Medium, as did the butterflies.

I then used a Faber Castell Pitt Big brush pen in black and white to draw around all the shapes and add some interest to the blue watercoloured eggs..

I love bling..so...

Here's a close up, so you can see the details.

Fun times right? Best bit is..because of all the different techniques I love to try, I have only had to buy a journal..I have everything else in my craft room.

Happy Seventh Anniversary everyone, especially big shout out to Julia, you are awesome and WOYWW gives me so much every week, even if I don't join in.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Retro Rubber #39...It's May and time for flowers...


Time for another fab challenge from the Retro Rubber team.

This time we are celebrating the arrival of May with Flowers - 

I have SO many flower stamps, this really was a challenge for me, deciding which ones to use.

I settled on a fave Simon Says Stamp set - Favorite Flowers, I got it as part of one of my first SSS cardkits in 2014 and I use it A LOT!!

This time, I thought it would be fun to combine it with a few new bits and bobs - the sentiment is brand new and by Hero Arts and the leaf stamp is by Avocado Arts from last year.

I stamped the sentiment first and then masked it off, so that I could splodge (technical term..) two colours of distress stains around the while panel.

Then I stamped the flowers over the stain splodges. I used a paintbrush to dab in the green splodges and then stamped the leaves over them.

I had originally planned to mount the white flower panel and the pink panel onto the cardblank, but it felt flat, so I decided to create the background using the medium and large flower stamp -

I am so pleased with the whole card and I totally need to create my own backgrounds using one or two stamps more often.

Now it's your turn to get creative and show us your flowery creations. First pop over to Retro Rubber and see what my talented teammates made.

Challenge ends on June 3rd. Don't forget to use a stamp a year or older and tell us all about it - this is the best bit for us :)


Monday, May 23, 2016

I heart Playdates...


Hope you had a good weekend.

I had a fun time playing in Cheiron's craft room (still jealous).

We did a few individual makes before making the thank you cards for all the wonderful companies that gifted us things at the April Loft Art Retreat.

Today's main photo is of all the things we made to say thanks, we divided and conquered. From the top left going clockwise:
Winnie and Walter (me), Simon Says Stamp (me), Newton's Nook (Cheiron), Lawn Fawn (Cheiron) and Neat & Tangled (me).

Fun right? So many great stamps and techniques.

I made three cards, using Cheiron's kit (yay) I also got to play with the new Lawn Fawn releases.

The first two cards used the new Lawn Fawn releases - Mermaid for you and So smooth, both of which I now have to buy!

Woodgrain paper - coloured with distress sprays, stamps coloured with distress inks
Distress ink Peacock Blue background, stamps coloured with Copics
My third card used a great die by Poppy Stamps that I found on Cheiron's desk. I put Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Mowed Lawn and Mustard Seed distress inks onto my mat, spritzed it and smooshed my paper in it.

I was quite surprised by the colour I got in the end, the green completely disappeared. I loved it though and when it was die-cut it was even prettier.

I kept it simple by sticking the die-cut pieces to a piece of Tim Holtz Woodgrain paper and adding a simple sentiment.

Here's a bonus 4th card that I made when I got home using the die-cut piece from card three -

No sentiment yet, sometimes I leave cards blank, ready for an occasion
I love playing with other people's kit.

Have a great week, four days for me, as I am off to AC on Thursday :)


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wooden Letters..


Happy Sunday!

I had a fun playdate with Cheiron yesterday. I am MOST envious of her amazing craft room..one day..

I'll show the makes from yesterday tomorrow.

Oh and I saw that I got the Rockstar over at Retro Sketches for my Magic card for RS #213 - Yay!!

Today I wanted to show you a fun card that I CASEd - but here is the rub, I can't find the card anywhere..If you recognise your card when you see mine, please reach out so I can show you some love and credit you.

The card had a giant letter U on it..So I bought a wood U from Michael's and painted it with Navy acrylic paint.

Because I wanted the U to be the focus, I kept the colors simple and the rest of the sentiment was as minimal as it could be,

I am getting lots of mileage already out of the happy die that JT bought me :)

I love this, I need to make some more of them, they really work for 'man' birthday's.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Make 5...Umichka Challenge...Part two...


Happy Friday!

I am currently playing along with a 5 part challenge over at Anna / Umichka's blog.

You have to use the same stamp set for each of your cards and keep the cards CAS. You can see my first card here.

To refresh your memories, this is the stamp set I am working with -
It's from the October 2015 SSS stamp kit.

This time I went for a detailed background to make all the other elements pop.

I used a Hero Arts background stamp for the background, inked it with distress inks, spritzed it with water and lay my watercolour paper onto the stamp..only one muddy area, not too bad :)

I die cut the background panel and a plain white panel using stitched dies - both by Lawn Fawn.

I contemplated adding bling to the card, but I actually like it as it is. Simple and pretty clean.

Have a great weekend. I have a playdate with Cheiron tomorrow :) Yay!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Distress Ink Recipes...


So after extensive playtime, with Distress Inks last weekend at the Loft Art Retreat I really wanted to learn a bit more about which colours would blend well together.

I had a look around and came across this - a genius post by Shari Carroll on the SSS blog, she basically created Distress ink recipes, here are a couple for you to see -

They are awesome and totally inspired me.

I made 3 cards, using the recipes and CASEd Shari's card as the layout / design for each card.

The main card uses recipe 2 and a Hero Arts background stamp - I love how it turned out..super simple to make too..

Here are the other two cards -
Hero Arts background stamp, Tim Holtz dies, Recipe #6
Gina Marie background stamp, Tim Holtz dies, Recipe #10
I love working with a mix of colours, but I've always found it a bit tricky to match them up..so it is really nice to have 'recipes'


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mixed Media Loft Art Retreat..


So I had a super fun weekend, as JT was here for the weekend and we went to Providence to Jenn's last loft art retreat - she is moving, so I believe there will be Art Retreats, but no more Loft.

We had so much fun and it was great to spend QT together that is not work related :) We managed to lose JT's phone on the way to Providence, but all credit to JT, she just waved it off and got on with the weekend. Bill the super helpful Amtrak guy helped to make it all feel a bit better too, so a big shout out to Bill where ever you are, you are the hero of the weekend.

The collage, shows us getting inky, Mister Harley, our tags mid way through and some of the food that we ate - we ate and drank a lot, none of it was good for us and I am having to eat a LOT of vegetables to balance out the badness of the 3 days.

It was great to do the mixed media loft art retreat together because we were both a teeny bit out of our comfort zone and it was good to have my all time fave craft person with me, JT knows me so well, she just laughs when I get all weird...

JT used stencils for the first time ever and I managed not to freak out too much about my fingers being so dirty / inky..it was hard, but my new Ranger craft scrubby is going to help me deal with this moving forward.

It was a lot of fun, our table was a hoot. We learnt so many new techniques, which I'll be showing over the next couple of weeks, as I had a post class play at my desk on Monday - seeing if I had retained all that we learnt.

My fave new technique is the one where you create a blended distress ink panel, spritz a stamp with water and lay the tag onto it. It reacts and kind of bleaches it, like this -

I put my canvas together on Monday, because I didn't want it to get damaged on the train and I love how it looks -

I can't wait to hang it and visit JT and see her's hanging up too.

JT and I were lucky enough to win prizes in the raffle - I am very pleased with mine -

Fun times.

I just want to say to JT - thank you for coming all that way, you made me so very happy, hanging with you is always awesome and playdates are the most fun, especially when they involve Fried Pickles and Flower Monkey Sliders...

Love you man.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Retro Rubber #38.. Colour Challenge...There is still time to play....


There is still time for you to play along with the colour challenge over at Retro Rubber.

Don't forget to use a stamp a year or older and tell us all about it.

Also please limit your challenge entries to 10 including Retro Rubber.

Challenge ends on May 20th.



Saturday, May 14, 2016

More Sweet Summertime...


Hope you are having a good weekend.

JT and I are in Providence at the loft art retreat, I'll post the makes and fun times from the weekend on Monday.

I thought, I'd continue on from yesterday's post and show you another card, using the Sweet Summertime stamp by Unity Stamp Co.

This time, I was just playing with the stamp and not following any rules.

The stamp feels so simple that it doesn't need a lot of fuss, so I kept it pretty CAS and again added little stars around it, after colouring it with distress inks and an aquabrush.

I do love a quick card :)


Friday, May 13, 2016

It's playdate time...


Happy Friday.

I am super happy.

A) JT arrives today
B) We are off to Providence to do the Mixed Media Loft Art Retreat, hosted and taught by the wonderful Jenn Shurkus.
C) I have 2 days off
D) JT arrives today

I wanted to show you my card for last week's Unity Stamp Co. Show and Tell challenge on Facebook.

I just bought the great lemonade stamp - I am already in love.

This time the challenge was a sketch -

Super simple sketch - the best kind.

I used Lawn Fawn heart paper, from 'Let's Polka in the Meadow', the Unity Stamp and sentiment, 2 dies (MFT and SSS) and distress inks.

The lemonade panel looked a bit bland, so I added some tiny yellow stars - much better.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

It's a Girl....


So I LOVE making new Baby cards.. no idea why, I just do!

So JT's bestie and her Husband had a baby Girl last week (congrats) and I have met them, so I wanted to send them a card, welcoming her to their family.

I recently bought a whole batch of the mini Lawn Fawn stamp and die sets, as they were a good price.

One of them was -

I thought it would make a great new Baby card, as the Elephants could represent the parents and the heart would appear between them and be the new Baby.

I dug out a piece of ancient DCWV sparkly Baby Girl paper - I think I've had it since 2011.. I die cut it and a coordinating pink piece using nesting Spellbinders label dies.

The sentiment is by Simon Says Stamp, once I had placed the Elephants I didn't think the stamped heart would work, so I punched a pink heart, popped it up and added a bling to signify one new baby.

I love it, Baby cards make me happy.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WOYWW #362...Double life...


Happy WOYWW.

I have decided to reward myself for working so hard, by making time to play WOYWW this week - yay!

I love this time of the week where we go and visit Julia over at her blog Stamping Ground and nosy at lots and lots of lovely desks and hangout a bit with our blogland buddies.

My desk photo shows how my craft desk lives a double life as my work desk..I know shocking right?!

You can see my laptop, my keyboard, my mouse - because I am a geek, I don't need a monitor, I have jacked him into my massive Dell all-in-one, which is working a giant monitor for the odious Mac thing. My notebook, notepads (because I walk all over the house taking calls and these are very portable and magnetic, so I scribble notes here and do not mess up my notebook....) and pens.

Doesn't look much different really, but I have found putting odious Mac thing away at night means the work day is over and playtime can commence - hence the twofer shot, showing my desk back to it real purpose :)

It's always this clean after work..
Also, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the Pocket Letter that I made and sent to Nikki C - can't see it all because she hasn't received it yet :)

What a pocket letter looks like all folded up for posting

All wrapped to prevent damage and for a bit of a surprise..
The New York paper was bought shortly after we moved to NYC..check out my desk 3 years ago..

Fun times, I love to swap stuff :) Message me if you want to swap things.

I am super excited, tomorrow is my Friday as JT arrives, so we can go to Providence for the Mixed Media Loft Art Retreat..I think this constitutes the world's most expensive playdate, but I don't care, it will be fun to see JT and play together.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Retro Rubber #38.....Colour Challenge...


Welcome to another fun challenge from the Retro Rubber team.

This week we have a colour challenge for you - 

I tried all different things for this challenge and nothing made me happy..cue a lot of half finished cards!

Then I was moving some stamps and this great set by Sizzix dropped on my foot, so I figured it was an omen and I'm super happy with my card. So it would seem dropping things on myself is inspiring...

I stamped and die-cut two of the flowers from the set - which I have had since 2014 - I decided to settle on three of the colours from the inspiration photo.

I coloured the flowers using Promarkers and mounted them using foam tape onto my die-cut white panel.

The sentiment is by Inkadinkadoo, a friend gave it to me as a gift way back in 2012..I remember clearly when she gave it to me, as I was so surprised, because she is totally non-crafty and not at all interested in my hobby.

I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment onto the die-cut vellum panel.

Because the flowers were raised, I needed to raise the vellum panel - this meant I had three unsightly glue spots showing through the vellum, enter three perfectly positioned blingy gems :)

It's your turn to get inspired and show us your creations, but first go over to Retro Rubber and see what my teammates have been up to.

Challenge ends on May 20th, don't forget to use a stamp a year or older and tell us all about it. Also please limit your challenge entries to 10 including Retro Rubber.



Monday, May 9, 2016

CAS(E) this sketch...


Hope you had a nice weekend?

I had a very relaxing one and spent qt at my desk.

I am pretty excited, as JT arrives on Friday, so we can go to the Mixed Media Loft Art Retreat in Providence..yes hosted by Jenn Shurkus!!

Whoop Whoop!!

Today I am entering the CAS(E) this sketch challenge..I really like the sketch -

I was a bit undecided about what to use for my card, but then I remembered that I really wanted to have more of a play with this stamp set by Unity Stamp Co.

I stamped, coloured and fussy cut the teabag stamp. I used a freebie border stamp to create the pale pink background behind the teabag.

I figured out the perfect position for my sentiment and stamped it in a slightly darker shade of pink/red.

Once I had popped up the teabag, I stamped a few teeny tiny hearts around.

I love the soft colours and right now (being busy at work) I like simple CAS nature of the card..


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Make 5...Umichka challenge..


I am playing along with the great challenge over at Anna Kossakovsaya's site.

I follow her on Instagram, I love her work and her fun posts about her life.

The challenge is fun, you basically choose a stamp set and make 5 cards using it over the course of the challenge. Each stage last two weeks.

Fun times.

Anna talks about you choosing a neglected or NBUS stamp set.

I decided to go with this set by Simon Says Stamp -

It's from the October 2015 SSS card kit and I really love it, but don't use it as often as I should, especially as I bought the dies.

I kept my first card simple.

I die cut the heart and stamped it with embossing ink, then I added red embossing powder before heating it.

I wanted the black chevron stripe to be kind of faded, so I under-inked the stamp.

I mounted the white panel to the black card and then popped up the heart before stamping the sentiment.

Final touch (obvs) was some teeny tiny red blingy gems..

I really like it, it's like a classy Valentine's and so good to revisit a forgotten stamp set.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

U need hug?...


Hope you are having a good weekend.

Hubby and I are off out to lunch today up on the Upper West Side at a place we have been to once before and liked.

My card today uses the Tim Holtz crazy cat stamps..

They all look so worried and so I thought the Mama Elephant small talk 'U need hug?' sentiment worked really well.

The stripes were stamped using a stamp from the April Simon Says Stamp card kit.

I mounted the die-cut panel onto a card that has a gold trim - simple but effective.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Simon Says...Stencil it...


Happy Friday..although please say it quietly because the day after Cinco de Mayo always has a hangover attached to it...

I love a stencil, so was very happy when I saw the Simon Says Stamp Weds challenge this week is Stencil It.

The DT are using Stencil Girl products...I might enter again using an SG stencil, but for today's card I used a Simon Says Stamp fave grid stencil.

I think this stencil is one of the most overused in my stash..

I used Ferro metallic paste through the stencil randomly and let it dry. Then I die-cut the white panel using an SSS stitched die.

The gorgeous pink Birthday Wishes frame is a shiny new die that arrived this week, also by SSS...I'm in love already and it really pops against the metallic paste.

Obviously I had to add a bit of bling as a finishing touch.

This is going to be a birthday card for a good friend of mine who is a designer, she loves all the random crafting techniques, so I like to send her cards that have texture, etc.

Have a great weekend, as my playdate got canceled, I will be chilling at home.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happy Cinco de Lemon....


So it's Cinco de Mayo here - that magical day in the US where we go and get very drunk to celebrate something vaguely related to Mexico?! But I am not 100% sure - seriously, after 3 years I still don't understand!

But I very much like the drinking margarita's part..so not too many questions are being asked.

It also happens to be the birthday of my bestie Lemon...

The card today is her birthday card. The Unity Stamp Co. Addison Girl stamp reminded me of Lemon and seemed a natural fit for her.

She's not really a pink girl, so I used some creative license here :)

I've been using a lot of sequins recently and I saw no reason to stop here...I am liking the little sprinkle of sequins here and there.

The sentiment stamp would be perfect for Retro Rubber, because I have had it since 2011/2012 and its a firm fave.

I miss Lemon every single day, she is essentially part of me and being this far away from her is annoying!

Happy Birthday Lemons, I love you, you crazy wife you.