Saturday, December 28, 2019

Zini Holiday..


This is probably my last post of 2019 and in fact the decade!

I started my blog in 2010 at the start of this decade and it has been a source of great pleasure for me.

When I moved to New York, I decided that I would make more of an effort with my blog and posted more and was invited to a few design teams.

But last year I realised that I was 'competing' with myself to post almost every day and to outdo my total posts per year!

I decided last December that I would take my foot off of the gas and only post what I really wanted to and not because I felt I should - basically putting the fun and pleasure back into my blog posts.

It has worked, this year I have posted 173 times v 305 last year! And it has been a much more pleasurable and not stressful thing.

My card today was made for a good friend, using a gifted Zini from another good friend. I love how shiny and fun it is. The gold dots were created using Indian Gold Nuvo Mousse through a Clearly Besotted stencil.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and that 2020 brings you much happiness and laughter.

Hubby and I are heading to London tomorrow to spend some serious QT with our family and friends.

See you in 2020.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Cards 2019: Translucent Paste Dots...


Well it is almost Christmas, my cards left a long time ago and have been slowly landing with their new owners!

Today's cards are accidentally gorgeous!!

I had stamped and masked off the frame with the banner and added the stenciled dots. Then I coloured and fussy cut the cat and dog to sit in each frame.

I decided that it all looked a bit bland and flat...

Cue the translucent paste. I put the frame/banner mask back down and the stencil and applied the paste through the stencil. I was worried that I was going to smudge the dots, but it was fine and once the paste dried, the dots ended up with this amazing shine. Yay!

Now I feel like a genius, even though it was a random idea and I was crapping myself a bit as I did it, worried I might ruin my perfectly fine card because I was a brat!

Oh and the wonderful set is 'Seasons Greetings' by Lil Inker Designs and the stencil is by Clearly Besotted.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Good Luck...


Hope you are all well?

I had a fun weekend in Florida with my girlfriends, a few makes from that trip will be posted soon.

Today's card I made for a work colleague that was leaving.

He is a copywriter, so it made sense to use the awesome pen stamp that I have - it's from a Technique Tuesday set 'Man Day' and the pen has never actually been used before this card!

I kept it super simple and used glittery Thickers for my sentiment.

Love it when a card in my mind comes to life so well.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #125 - Still Time to Play.. Colour Challenge..


There is still time for you to play along with the current Retro Rubber challenge.

The theme this time is a great colour theme, alongside your Christmas makes.

Show us your cards and pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends December 13th and it's our last one for 2019, so be sure to join in.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, that is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

NND Inky Paws: Snow Day..


Today I am playing along with the current Newton's Nook Inky Paws challenge..

It felt like it was meant to be as one of my fave Newton's Nook sets is 'Snow Day' (which I don't think it's available anymore) AND on Monday when I made my card it was snowing..

I started by stamping and colouring the cute bunny from the set. I then die-cut some slopes using Lawn Fawn stitched border dies. I die-cut a stitched rectangle from blue paper and then heat embossed snowflakes from the set onto the panel.

I LOVE how the heat embossing came out.

I assembled the whole thing and then stamped the sentiment also from the set and added that to my card. For a finishing touch I added some stickles to the slopes.

Fun card to make me feel a bit better about the odious weather..oh and the fact that I am off to Florida tomorrow ;)


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #125 Christmas Colours...


Welcome to another fun Retro Rubber challenge.

As this is the last challenge from us for 2019, we have a Christmas colour challenge for you.

I thought it would be fun to use the colours with a stencil and finally settled on an old fave Heidi Swapp stripes stencil.

I blended red and green distress inks through the stripes and the parts that were not blended were left white.

I used the Hero Arts 'Merry' stamp and die set that I have had since January 2018 (post holiday bargain that hasn't ever been used..) I die-cut the Merry in white and stamped the rest of the sentiment in red. To complete my card I added red and green gems.

Love this colourful card and it was a handy addition to my Christmas card pile.

Show us your interpretation of the colours and pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends December 13th and then the RR team will be back in January for what I believe will be our 6th year!! WHOOP!!

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, which is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Birthday Calories..


Welcome to December!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Hubby and I had a very chilled one, it was lovely. I am sure I did far too much BF sale shopping, but hey that's what I work for right!?

As I have now completed x2 different 30 day challenges in tandem, I can resume normal blog duties.. It's been quite a busy month, more about that in another post.

Today I wanted to use one of the (never seen before) cards from the 30 day colouring challenge as my entry to the current Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge -

My card uses the awesome sentiment from the CAS-ual Fridays 'Whole Shebang' set. I combined it with the various ice-creams and lollies that I had coloured - they are from the Waffle Flower 'Sweet Ice Cream' set.

I had originally planned to colour the Waffle Flower set for the whole 30 days, but to be frank 15 days in I got bored! So I have actually made 15 cards from this set - to be shown in another post.

This one I kept super simple with just a subtle background ink blending to make the ice-creams pop. But I really wanted the sentiment to shine.

I'm off now to watch NFL ALL DAY LONG - whoop!


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #124 Tic Tac Toe...


Welcome to another fun Retro Rubber challenge.

We have our last Tic Tac Toe board of 2019, created by Jan.

Loves me some Tic Tac Toe.

This one was fun, as I got to pull out a ready to go smooshed background. I chose the bottom row - Birthday / Masculine / Twine.

I stamped some of the sentiments from the 'Large Sentiments' set by Studio Calico that I have had since 2017 and coloured them in using an Altenew Watercolour brush marker in 'Lagoon'. I added the little dots that are part of the set, you get stripes, dots and solids so you can decorate your sentiment.

I added some ancient (circa 2011) paper twine to finish it off and match my chosen row.

Perfect card for a male friend :)

Which row will you choose? Don't forget to pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends November 29th.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, that is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Hipster Kitty...


Happy Monday!

I am showing you a card today that I made quite a while ago!

I love the Tim Holtz 'Hipster Animals' set, it gets quite a lot of use. For my birthday my friend Lisette bought me the dies for them!

So now they are getting even more use.

For today's card, I used a kraft card blank and added my fave spotty stamp Penny Black 'Dots in Space' to the card blank in a toning colour for a bit of interest.

The new dies for the Hipster Cat came with a die for his cool glasses, sadly you can't see in this photo, but I cut them out of sparkly black card, so IRL they are super sparkly.

The sentiment is by A-Muse Studio.

Fun, easy card for a male friend.


Monday, November 11, 2019

NND InkyPaws - Ornamental Newton..


Hope you are well and had a good weekend.

I am currently playing along with Kathy Rac's 30 days of colouring and Carabelle Studio's 30 days of ATStamps. Busy, but a lot of fun. I'll show you both of them at the end of November.

Today I wanted to join in the fun over at Newton's Nook. I really like their Inky Paws challenge and I was sad to hear recently that Newton had passed away. Always sad when we have to say goodbye to fur babies.

The current challenge is a colour one -

I love non-traditional Christmas colours and so I thought these colours would make a great holiday card and work really well with the lovely 'Ornamental Newton' stamp set.

I stamped snowflakes in green and teal (Snowflakes are by Simon Says Stamp) and die-cut the panel out.

I added a big teal piece of card to hold my sentiment and anchor Newton.

I love the bauble, so big and bright in the 2 shades of pink that I used. I hope it's ok that I coloured Newton in Grey?!

I added a few teal sequins here and there to finish off my card.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #123 Anything Goes..


Welcome to another fun Retro Rubber challenge.

This time it's everyone's fave, Anything Goes.

If you know me really well, you know that I absolutely do not like to eat Carrots (raw, ok, maybe) and that I LOVE pickles. So when I was looking through my stash for a under-used stamp for this challenge and saw this one I LOL.

The sentiment stamp is from the 'Big Dill' set by Sweet Stamp Shop and I have had it since 2017. I knew I had to use this sentiment, but what would I do about the background. I realised I don't have a Carrot stamp (obvs), so I googled carrot background paper..really, I mean?!

I saw a lot of ideas, but the best one was the sketchy, watercoloured one I saw. So I decided to have a go and make my own background. It's basically splodges of orange and green watercolour and I used a fineliner to draw in the Carrot details. I LOVE it.. more Carrot cards in my future.

I stamped the sentiment onto an orange scrap and used stitched rectangle stacking dies to cut both the orange and the green panels. I popped the whole sentiment panel up with foam tape.

Fun card, that left in the post to one of my besties.

What treasure will you find to play with? Also pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends November 15th.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, that is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy 15/10...


Hubby and I are currently in Mexico to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but if you have read my blog before then you know that yesterday was the anniversary of our first date - making this 15 years that we have been together!

I have written SO many posts about Hubby and our relationship over the last 10 years that I have had my blog.

My fave post is this one I wrote to celebrate our 10/5 year anniversary and I can't top that. I also decided not to use one of our Wedding photos for this post. The one I have used is from a friend's wedding last year and I love it, as it's SO us.

So today, I'm just going to show you the two cards I made Hubby for both anniversaries - I am a cardmaker, after all, so he always gets two cards!

I bought this amazing set by Ellen Hutson when it was on sale, especially for this occasion, as I refer to Hubby as Otter Boy - too personal for this blog ;) AND Hubby really hates all my punny cards, so I love to wind him up by giving them to him..

But also Otters mate for life and when they are in the Ocean or the River, they hold hands/paws at night, so that when they sleep they don't drift apart.. We have always thought that this is the sweetest thing ever and the set had two Otters holding hands/paws making this set perfect.

The first card is the one for our 15th Anniversary -

Gorgeous right! I started by stamping the Otters and masking them off before stenciling over them using a fave heart stencil by Dutchdoobadoo. The bottom half is a Clearly besotted stencil and I added the sentiment from the Otter set along with some Tim Holtz stickers to complete it. To hide the join, I added a glittery blue strip.

Here is a close-up of the sentiment - 

Here is the card for our 10th Wedding Anniversary.

This card is SO sparkly IRL, as I added Wink of Stella everywhere!!
I started by stenciling in the waves using a MFT stencil, then I added the sunburst, using a Clear Scraps stencil.
I stamped, coloured and die-cut the Otters and added a sentiment from the set.

Really happy with both cards - especially the mad puns!

Happy Anniversary Hubby, so glad that we are 15/10 in and continuing to have fun together, here's to the next 15/10 of fun, laughter, love and adventure. You will always be my Otter boy.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge.. Let's get sketchy..still time to play


There is still time for you to play along with the current Retro Rubber challenge.

This time we have a sketch (by me) for you.

Show us your interpretation of the sketch and pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends November 1st.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, which is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Simon Says Stamp: Stamptember Critter Crowd..


Happy Monday (from Mexico).

I love Stamptember over at Simon Says Stamp, there are always so many fun collaborations.

This year I bought two sets, one of them I used on today's 'Critter Crowd' - the other set, you'll see soon.

I started by stamping and watercolouring the critters and the balloons. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my little video about this step - I am attempting to make videos, they are a bit janky right now, but practice makes perfect ;)

I then stamped the Happy Birthday and created a little mask for it, so I could blend over it to create the pretty pink and orange background you see. I watercoloured the sentiment too and then added my critters and the balloons, all popped up using foam tape.

Such a pretty card, I can't wait to play with this stamp set a bit more.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

The World is full of Beautiful Things..


You might have noticed that I have been posting a lot recently.

I had a bit of a mental health break from my blog this year and decided to not put so much pressure on myself!

Recently I have made so many fun things that it felt right to share them, that's really what my blog is about. For a couple of years I made myself post almost every day and that was so time-consuming and not as much fun as this is supposed to be!

I made today's card a long time ago... it has been sitting in my 'to be blogged' folder patiently waiting it's turn!

I love digital stamps, they were my go to when I first starting crafting and I was still nervous about physical stamps and inks. That has obviously changed, but I still love digi stamps.

A company I discovered this year is Graciellie Designs - I love their digital stamps and I believe they do physical rubber ones in conjuction with Unity Stamp Co. (who I also love).

I bought their 'Tea for the Soul' set on sale because I loved it and one of the sentiments 'When life gives you lemons make tea' - you can see it here.

I fussy cut the stamp out after colouring it with Copics and because I chose to make the fruits Limes, I went with a kind of green theme.

The mini cover-plate die (Scalloped Stripe) is by Reverse Confetti and it is an all-time fave of mine. I die-cut it out of green cardstock and mounted it onto my card blank.

I cut my cardblank down to a kind of 4bar size. The excess that I trimmed off I used to stamp and heat emboss my sentiment which is by Hero Arts and then I fussy cut that to size. I hate to waste a decent sized scrap!

I love how bright and cheerful this card is and it has long since left to make a friend smile.


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Desk Crap..


So whilst I am sunning myself in Mexico, I thought I'd treat you to a super long post about some desk crap I found a few weeks ago!

I had this box on my desk that I have been dumping stuff into - oops. It finally gave up all pretence of standing and collapsed. So I threw out a bunch of stuff and the main photo shows some of the useful things I found (elephant dies I have been searching for, for months).

The watercolour tag pack was a great find and that inspired me to use as much of the crap as I could to make x10 cards using the watercolour tags.

So first I watercoloured the tags - just a basic colour wash -

Then I set to work making cards. It was a LOT of fun - there are x5 photos to follow with all the cards. Way too many products used to give you a full list, leave me a comment if anything particularly grabs your eye.

The Peep sticker, is actually an action wobble!

The sparkle tag was made using perfect pearls and is super shimmery, the holiday bauble card, I cut down the embossed heart from my main photo.
The card on the left uses a great Unity Stamp Co after dark stamp and was not part of the desk crap.

This is a bonus photo as I wanted to show you how anything in your craftroom can be used to create. The lines on a lot of the panels were created using the corrugated card from the watercolour tag packaging. I just added ink and 'stamped' it directly onto the panels.

I love all of these cards and they are now nearly all gone!


Friday, October 25, 2019

Cards for Colleagues..


Happy Friday!

Tomorrow Hubby and I leave for Mexico - WHOOOP!! So excited, can't wait to feel the sun on my body again. Summer seems to have gone by so quickly.

I thought I'd show you a batch of cards I made a while ago for a few of my colleagues in the London office.

The first one was a leaving card and the colleague in question loves a Llama. I forgot all about the great wooden Llamas that I had bought in London earlier this year and it seemed like the perfect time to use one. I kept the card simple. The sentiment is by A-Muse Studio.

The next card is for a colleague who got promoted, she has a French Bulldog, so I thought she would appreciate the headphone wearing dog. Again, kept super simple with a negative die-cut out by Tim Holtz.

The final card was also for a colleague that was leaving - yes you guessed it, she likes Cats! The stamp is from the same set as the dog above and I added the great self-adhesive sunnies! The sentiment is by Simon Says Stamp.

3 really simple, but impactful cards.

Have a great weekend. I know I'm gonna!


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Perfectly CAS: Happy Birthday Bridge..


Today I am playing along with a new challenge Perfectly CAS.

The idea of the challenge is to use one-third of your card, alongside the theme.

I love a CAS card and the idea of using just a third of the space on my card appeals to me.

I used this as an opportunity to pull out an older stamp set that I haven't used in a while 'Wherever You Go' by Stampin' Up - sadly no longer for sale.

I started by putting my stamp onto my white cardstock and marking where I wanted the blue panel to go.

The Wendy Vecchi 'Make Art Stay-tion' came into it's own when I was doing this, as I could hold my panel and the masks down firmly (I use post-it's for masking).

I blended x3 distress ink colours from left to right - Tumbled Glass, Broken China and Faded Jeans. The paler Tumbled Glass, kind of got absorbed by the Broken China..

I am so happy with how this came out, the blend is pretty much the ombre I had envisioned - how rare is that!

I stamped the bridge from the set over the blended panel and then added a simple Happy Birthday sentiment at a slight angle.

Then I just had to die-cut it using a stitched rectangle die and affix to my card blank.

Perfectly CAS = me perfectly happy.

More playing along with this challenge.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CAS(e) This Sketch: Cheers...


So I was really happy to have made the favourite's list over at CAS(e) This Sketch last week.

I was going to play along with this week's sketch anyway, but then the sketch featured a hexagon (swoon).

For some reason I LOVE hexagon's, I have no idea why, I just do.

So I broke out my fave Spellbinders nesting hexagon die set and went to work :)

I had an idea, as the 'Cheers' die by Winnie & Walter, was sitting on my desk. So I die-cut two hexagons in black and purple cardstock and die-cut the cheers out of a scrap of Lawn Fawn plaid paper.

I bought the Waffle Flower 'Currently Drinking' set on a whim 2 years ago, as I thought it would be handy and honestly it is one of the most used things in my craftroom.

I used x3 of the stamps from the set to create a little background on my purple hexagon.

I affixed the black one to the card blank and popped up the purple one and the cheers.

To finish it off I added some adhesive green pearls.

Fun card, suitable I think for both men and women.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #122.. Get Sketchy..


Welcome to another awesome Retro Rubber challenge.

Last sketch of the year for you, created by me!

I love sketches, they always make me use my imagination!

Whilst this challenge is live, I will be in Mexico with my Hubby celebrating 15 years as a couple and 10 years as a married couple. I can't believe we have been together so long - it feels like just yesterday that I saw him across a crowded room and decided he was the one for me (true story).

I love the 'Hot Chick' set by Avery Elle, I have had it since 2017 and it always makes me smile, I use it a lot, as I have friends that like to workout too and it makes a great birthday card for them.

I stamped and coloured the Chick and then die-cut it out using a stitched circle die and used the next size up to die-cut the second backing circle.

I recently realised that I didn't have a good set of banner dies and so bought a set from Avery Elle and they are getting a lot of use.

The background paper is interesting, because it has flecks of white and grey in it, that haven't photographed so well. AND I have had the paper since approx 2011 and it moved to NYC with me from London and this is the penultimate piece.

Fun card, that I can add to my punny card set I am making for a friend.

Show us your interpretation of the sketch and pop over to Retro Rubber and get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends November 1st.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, that is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Monday, October 21, 2019

Christmas Card 2019: Merry Wishes..


Happy Monday!

I have had a really fun weekend.

My Sister-in-Law brought our Niece and Nephew on their first ever trip to NYC!

We did SO much stuff - Grand Central Station, Intrepid Museum, Carousel in Brooklyn, East River Ferry, Statue of Liberty, Highline, Hudson Yards... phew!

Here is a little collage of photos.

As there hasn't been much time for desk action or photo retouching, I thought I would share a super simple Christmas card that I made a while ago.

Simple to do.

Mask off a circle and use watercolour paint to create the circle.

Let it dry, stamp some leaves and add your Robin and sentiment!

My leaves and the Robin are from the Pink Fresh Studio 'December Days' stamp set and the sentiment is by Lawn Fawn.

Super simple and I made a bunch of these.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

CAS(e) This Sketch: Happy Birthday..


It's been a while since I played along with CAS(e) this Sketch.

This week's sketch immediately sparked an idea -

I had the Simon Says Stamp 'Brush Stroke Messages' set out on my desk and I thought one of the brushstrokes would work really well.

I stamped the smallest brush stroke in x5 colours of Dew Drop ink - these and Altenew are my fave inks.

I masked off part of one of the sentiments from the set to stamp 'birthday' and then added the Happy die-cut - the die is also by Simon Says Stamp.

Super quick and easy card to make.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Retro Rubber Challenge #121 Tic Tac Toe - still time to play...


There is still time for you to play along with the current Retro Rubber challenge.

The theme this time is a fab Tic Tac Toe board, choose one of the rows.

Which row will you choose? Link up with us over at  Retro Rubber and also get inspired by the things the DT have made.

Challenge ends October 18th.

Don't forget to tell us the age of your stamp, that is part of the fun of our challenge and please only enter 10 challenges including Retro Rubber.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Watercooler Wednesday: Halloween


Happy Friday!

I wanted to play along with a new to me challenge - Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I love the theme - I am ALL about Occasions.

My wedding anniversary is actually Halloween! And this year we celebrate 10 years of marriage, so I really wanted to send a bunch of Halloween cards to our friends.

I loved this great set 'Mr Bones' by Tim Holtz that I bought from Michaels (you get stamps, dies, embossing folder) - it's a bit scarier than I would normally go, but I just fell in love.

I made a TON of these.. I used the embossing folder that came with the set with both black and orange papers to mix it up a bit. The awesome 'jagged edge' came from the Tim Holtz speckled edge dies.

I stamped 'Mr Bones' and used clear embossing powder over him to add that shine you can see, it wasn't necessary, but it felt like a nice touch to add.

I kept the sentiment simple, I punched a bunch of the little sentiment banners in orange and black and added an ancient Clearly Besotted 'Happy Halloween' to the banners.

I only realised whilst I was writing this post HOW many techniques I used - go me!

I am super pleased with how they came out. I figure this set will now be a fave.

Hope you have a great weekend, I am off to an all-day class tomorrow - super excited, I will be carving my own stamps - whoop!


Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Paper Players: Grateful..


The theme over at The Paper Players this week, meant I could bring out one of my fave stamp sets.

It was my birthday recently and I am super grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life, that took the time to think of me, come hang with me, send me cards, gifts, and lovely wishes. So this card and post are for them.

I used the 'So Very Grateful' set by Unity Stamp Co. I LOVE their flower jar stamp sets and I think I have them all now.

I stamped the flower jar onto watercolour paper and used distress inks to watercolour, I didn't really use fall colours, but I think that's ok. I love watercolouring these jars.

I am loving adding sentiments stamped onto vellum right now! So I did it again here.

Super simple make.