Saturday, 22 July 2017

It's all about swaps (and a birthday)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and have a nice weekend to look forward to without rain possibly?  It's lovely here at the moment but we had heavy rain all through the night and more on the way tonight apparently so enjoying the sun while it lasts.

I should have been on a workshop today but unfortunately I have been proper poorly all week with a stinking cough and cold and with a water infection thrown in for good measure so just didn't feel up to the very long day it would have entailed not to mention the annoying coughing bouts which are best kept away from polite company, lol!  So, instead I'm sharing the small amount of crafting I've managed to do over the past couple of weeks.  I did make a birthday card for my Son's Father-in-Law (managed to get to his birthday lunch last Sunday before the lurgy struck on Tuesday) and also my swaps for this month in the UK Stampers Forum Facebook group.

First the card.  I wanted to make something bright for a change.....a little fed up of seeing browns for men all the I mixed four little batches of Grunge Paste with different colours of Brusho powders and applied them through a stencil.  Simple matting and layering of the stamped sentiment then the same with the whole piece onto the base card finished it off.

Love how the PaperArtsy Grunge Paste works with the vibrant Brushos and it works equally as well with PaperArtsy's gorgeous Infusions. 

Now on to my swaps for this month and first up are the ATCs for which the theme was Anything Goes.  I'm still trying to use my rediscovered old backgrounds whenever I can and these were cut from a piece of glimmer misted card onto which a mask that had been sprayed over was flipped and placed onto the card to use the spray from.  I used a variety of stamps in the background which I thought appropriate for the gorgeous quotes from the lovely Alison Bomber's new stamp sets for PaperArtsy.  I love using quotes and I just know I'll be using these beauties a lot!

Next up is my postcard for which the theme was the sea.  All the stamps used on here are from Chocolate Baroque (except the little birds) including the beautiful poetry.  I have no idea how I created the background, lol, it's another piece from several years ago which I thought perfect for the theme.


Finally, I have my tag which again had an 'anything goes' theme and I began by using a ready prepared tag from my old background stash (doubt I will ever use it all, lol).  I began by adding some background stencilling followed by stamping.  

I then stamped the above image onto blank sewing pattern tracing paper, tore round it and adhered it to my tag with matte medium.  Unlike the finer tissue it didn't disappear into the background so much and looked a bit odd so I used a micron pen to follow the torn edge which looked better.

Finally, I stamped another of Alison's new quote stamps, cut it up and stuck it to my tag then added Treasure Gold gilding round the edges and also created a few highlights on the main image.

Well, that completes my swaps for this month and I do hope the recipients enjoy them.  I love receiving mine as they sure brighten up the mail these days but they won't start arriving till the beginning of August.

Thanks for dropping by and hopefully I might be a bit more productive next week 😊

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why has this been languishing?

Hello for the second time today!

Two years ago some friends and I had a fabulous workshop with the lovely Lin Brown (YoursArtfully).  We'd all been in awe of the wonderful things she has created using metal with our much loved inks, stamps and paints and wanted to learn some of her techniques.  As usual I was way behind by the end of the workshop but came home with all my bits and pieces ready to assemble once I had finished my background canvas board.  Despite all my good intentions I could not decide on which colours to use so the project was left to languish until last weekend.  Yesterday I finally completed it and I'm just as pleased with it as I thought I'd be 2 whole years ago, lol!

I'm not going to attempt to describe the techniques we used but they are the sort of thing that suits me to a T.  I find working the metal with the various tools very theraputic.

A close up of the word 'Dream' hanging from the rod at the bottom.  After embossing (the letters were done by hand) the pieces were painted with black acrylic which was then buffed off just before it was dry to give the aged looked.  I decided to add just a little turquoise paint too to give a patina effect.

The canvas board had been covered with pieces of designer papers before painting and I should have left some of this showing but I found it difficult to leave a patchy background (OCD ?) and ended up obliterating most of it so I did some subtle stamping and stencilling before stamping the pretty Lynne Perrella stamp in black Archival ink. (all the stamps are PaperArtsy)

I created the flowers using PaperArtsy dies and a contrasting designer paper from my stash.

You can see more of the background stamping and stencilling in this close up.  The word 'beautiful' was handwritten into the metal and I was amazed because my handwriting is not good.  This doesn't look half bad though, lol!

And a final close up of the top section.  Don't forget if you click on the pics you can see more detail.

This really was a lovely project to make and I am sooooo pleased I finished it.  Lin's workshops are always so packed with inspiration and tuition, they are a joy......she's very patient with this old slow coach too, lol!

See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Lazy Days of Summer?

 Hi Everyone,

It's been a rather warm summer day here but not lazy.  Does anyone have a proper lazy day these days I wonder.  We all seem to rush about cramming as much into each day as possible, lol!  Anyway, after a 'steady' day of bits of housework and a fair amount of crafting in my really hot conservatory/craftroom I stupidly fell asleep after my tea and didn't wake up till after 11 pm!  Needless to say I am now wide awake and heaven knows what time I will be ready to sleep again now.  Whenever that happens and I ask why OH didn't wake me up earlier he says 'You didn't tell me to.'!  Duh!!!

Anyway,  as I'm not going to the Land of Nod anytime soon I thought I'd share what I've been making this week. 

This is the first card I've made with my recently purchased Kay Carley stamps (for PaperArtsy).  I do love the pretty, delicate way Kay interprets flowers.  
I created a soft background by pressing Distress Oxide inks onto my craftmat and spritzing with plenty of water.  I then dipped matt coated card into the inks and then dried with my heat tool.  I was pleased to get the nice soft shades that I wanted.  I then did a little background stamping with the Oxides.

Next I stamped the flowers, some with green shades of Archival Inks and some with black and the lilac coloured ones were inked with green for the stems and lilac for the flowers.  I painted some of the flowers with Fresco Finish paint and finally added touches of white paint using a fine embossing ball tool and a bit of Stickles bling.
Mounted onto co-ordinating pearl card and finally onto the card base I had a lovely dainty summery card.

I'll be back later with a project which should have been completed 2 years ago!  I hope you have time to drop by again.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Playtime ......just because I can!

Hello everyone and a very good morning to you.


At the end of May I was so happy and proud to be the chosen winner of the fabulous Stamping Sensations Challenge.  I think this was probably the first challenge blog (known then as The Sir Stampalot Challenge) I started to follow when I realised there were such things waaaay back when I started blogging but I've rarely had time to make an entry.  In May 2010 (must be a lucky month for me, lol) I was one of their top three with this Memory Box commission which you can see HERE if you want more pics.  As you can see I loved butterflies back then too and birds still come fairly close as well.

Brenda and her team do a wonderful job bringing fabulous inspiration for the various themes every month and they have some super prizes for the winners too.  My prize was a beautiful set of Courture Mariposa dies and butterflies being just about my favourite images you can imagine how thrilled I was to win.

As their winner I was honoured to be asked to do a guest DT piece for this month's theme and I already had an MDF tag started with an idea that fit the brief so I decided this was going to be it.

 This tag is 10" x 5.5" and I specifically wanted to use as much of my newest stash as I could throw at it, lol!


So, I started with a coat of gesso then some DecoArt texture paste through a stencil.  When it was dry I applied the beautiful Distress Oxide inks with Cut n Dry foam.  Next came stencilling with a brush, Fresco Finish Paints and a new stencil by Kay Carley for PaperArtsy.  I then dug out some die cut pieces my friend Sam sent me ages ago to create the foliage at the top and added the red butterfly for a pop of contrast colour.


Next I made the little house with my fairly new Tim Holtz die.  I used DecoArt paints given to me for my birthday again by Sam, Seth Apter stamps for PaperArtsy to create texture effects on the roof and Artemio wildflower stamps on the walls.  I then ran the wall pieces through a brick effect embossing folder before I assembled the house.  I used some dinky little mdf pieces from Calico Crafts with crackle glaze on the door and window frame and red paint and glossy accents on the heart.  I also stuck on some pretty flowers from a recent purchase of Tim Holtz Ideology Botanicals.  How cute does it look 😃....I think I want to live there!

Next came the little picket fence which was gessoed and crackle glazed.  A happy accident was that the glaze turned the gesso a bit brown in places which had a lovely aging effect.  I placed the 'sisters' and little dog from TH Ideology Paper Dolls behind the fence then diecut the wildflowers (TH/Sizzix new purchase) and positioned them on my arrangement.

I added some more of the die cuts on the sides of the house to finish it off and here you can see the dimension all the bits and pieces create.   I was originally going to place the house further up the tag but by placing it at the bottom it turned this into a freestanding piece.

I had a whale of a time making this piece because it was all just for fun and I even though I decided to use it for the guest DT spot I had loads of time so there was no pressure of deadlines involved.  I hope you all enjoyed it along with me.

See you all again soon and thanks for visiting.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Penny Black meets Infusions

Hi Everyone,

I'm a bit late posting tonight but I forgot to do this earlier as I had a house full of men today 😉!  We changed our media supplier back to Sky and although it's changed in the fifteen months since we left so far we are glad to be back.  It was quite funny having our fairly small lounge overrun with two Sky engineers, one Openreach engineer and one OpenReach guy to test the fibre optic connection but they did a grand job.  I can't believe how slow our VM internet was compared to this.

Anyway, onto the crafting.... Monday was my friend Helen's birthday and I'm sharing the card I made for her.

Last month I was really chuffed to be chosen the winner of the Stamping Sensations Challenge and my prize was a set of Couture Creations Mariposa Dies, well, three sets really and this is my first make with one of the sets.  It's a bit of a puzzle placing the dies (it take 8 to cut this design) inside each other but I think it's worth it once I got the hang of it.

I have never used this type of design where the diecut is the principal part of the card,  I'm more into my inks and painty backgrounds so true to form I stuck the pretty diecut ontop of a layer of lovely PaperArtsy Infusion background card I  had made previously.  The diecut is from pearlescent card and I stuck a few sparkly embellishments on, layered onto a co-ordinating matt and finally onto the card blank.

I couldn't have a card without stamping somewhere though so I stamped the sentiment on the inside front and on the inside back I used my gorgeous new Penny Black stamp again (see my previous post for simple stamping of it).  I used a technique with Infusions that Courtney (Leandra and Mark's daughter from PaperArtsy) taught at a Make n Take at Ally Pally in April.  You use your finger dipped into Infusions to apply them direct to your stamp which means you can select specific colours for specific areas, then spritz the stamp with water until it beads and stamp onto your surface.  It gives a lovely watercolour effect  and you can stamp several times with the same application.  The stamping in top right and bottom left corners was after I respritzed the stamp so the definition was going but still a nice effect.

To finish I overstamped with Black Archival Ink at which point I thought I'd made a mess and ruined the whole card but I left it till the next day and it started to grow on me.  In the end I was quite pleased with the effect.  (Don't forget you can click the pics to enlarge)

That all tonight folks.  See you again soon.....

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 23 June 2017

A Birthday and a Bereavement.

Hello everyone

A quick post from me to share a couple of cards I made for recent events, one for a happy birthday and the other, sadly for a close friend whose Mum passed away.  These are both quite simple cards but I was particularly pleased with them.

First the birthday card which was for our Son's lovely Mum-in-Law.

It was a difficult card to photograph really to get the fab effect of the butterflies which are cut using a new die I bought recently at the StampMagic show.  There is a background layer created using PaperArtsy Infusions then the diecut layer placed over the top with the wings lifted. The large butterfly is a mini Tim Holtz/Sizzix die cut from the same Infusions background and overstamped with a PaperArtsy Mini script stamp.

A different angle to try and show the dimension.  It still doesn't show it too well with being white but the effect is lovely and I was really pleased I'd bought this die from Chloe's stand.  The stamped sentiment is from Chocolate Baroque.

My second card is one of those inevitable ones we crafters wish we did not to have to make but I always try to take extra care to keep them simple and elegant when I do.

This was a simple case of stamping the beautiful Penny Black stamp (another StampMagic purchase this time from Snazzy's) with Watering Can Archival Ink, then the sentiment from Chocolate Baroque and finally layering onto a co-ordinating matt before sticking it to the card base.

I absolutely love this elegant stamp and the clever dimensional effect given by the cut of the rubber.  Val, the owner of Snazzy's had two or three other designs in the same range and it was so difficult just choosing one.  I think I might have to have at least one more!  

It has been so hot over the past week making my conservatory craftroom unbearable until too late in the evening for much crafting to be done but we (or might that just be me) are looking forward to a much cooler weekend so I'm hoping to have some playtime this weekend.

Thanks for dropping by and until next time........

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 16 June 2017

I said I'd be back!

Hello Again,

For my second post today I am sharing a postcard created for one of the other swaps this month in UK Stampers Forum.  This time the theme is numbers.

I've used PaperArtsy stamps throughout on this piece, mainly HotPicks sets.  I stamped the main image (affectionately known as Shrek Girl amongst PaperArtsy fans) and then created a mask to cover her while I blended Distress Oxides and did all the random stamping on the background.

When I removed the masks I decided not to add much colour to Shrek Girl as I liked the way she popped from the background so I just coloured little bits and then added Glossy Accents to her heart.  

And speaking of hearts..... when I'd finished this piece I realised it fits the fab Country View Crafts challenge again so I'm off to link it up. 

It might be next week before I'm back again so I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Lesley  Xx

This time it's ATCs!

Morning all,

The weather has cooled down a little from a couple of days ago....much more my comfort zone now 😉 but it's set to rise considerably again for the weekend so I will probably be complaining, lol!

My first post this morning (amazingly I have another one to follow) is to share the ATCs I have created for this month's UK Stampers Forum swap (Facebook group).  If you're interested this is becoming a very popular group run by Sid Hazelden.  There is lots of varied inspiration with friendly members and Sid kindly organises several swaps every month which I'm really enjoying so look it up on Facebook if you're interested in that kind of thing.  It says UK but I think there are international members too.

The theme for this month's ATCs is 'Anything Goes' so I created three totally different ones.

 I used different background techniques and products and different stamp manufacturers for each one.

 This one turned out to be my favourite and its a stamp by Artistic Outposts.  I laid down random colours of water soluble crayons then covered them with PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze and finally a mix of two slightly different shades of green Fresco Finish.  I was rushing the layers a bit because my conservatory craftroom gets so hot everything dries before I can apply them and I don't think I put enough crackle glaze on so only got a few crackles here and there but I think it was for the best in this instance.  Finished off with a little highlighting in red.

This one has a spritzed background of Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays.  The image is from one of the newest Lynne Perrella sets from PaperArtsy stamped with black Archival ink.  I then added London Bus and White Fire highlights using PaperArtsy Frescos and painted the face.  This ended up heavier than I wanted because again, it was drying too fast for me to blend it properly but it didn't look too bad in the end.

The final one is Distress Oxide ink squished on my craft mat, spritzed with water and then the card dipped into it.  I stamped the clouds then used a water brush to remove some of the colour.  I did the rest of the stamping, added colour to the ladder and bird and finished off with painting the clouds with glitter gloss.  EDIT :  I forgot to say the stamps are from Tracey Easson's Wonky Tonk collection.

Once again a fun swap to enter and I love waiting for my swaps to arrive each month.

I'll be back shortly with another post.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 12 June 2017

I got off to a slow start.......

but I'm up and running again now for June!

Hello everyone,

After doing so well up to the middle of May I disappeared. lol, but some of that was down to family time over half term holidays etc.  I have made several items but either can't blog them yet or I haven't had time but finally tonight I can share a tag I've made for the UK Stampers Forum (Facebook group) June swap.  The theme this month is anything goes which is handy because I've managed to make it fit a some challenges.

I started off with a large manilla tag and layed down several layers of Fresco Finish Acrylic paints very randomly using my small brayer.  I used 3 shades of grey plus a light layer of lilac.  When I was happy with the painty layers I mixed some PaperArtsy Violetta Infusions with a dollop of Finnabair modelling paste and applied it through a heart stencil.

I then did some light stamping on the background using Emma Godrey and Darcy stamps (both for PaperArtsy) and then stamped the quote from Darcy's set with black Archival ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

Finally I diecut a scribbly heart from a piece of Infusions treated card using a Tim Holtz/Sizzix die, stuck it to the tag, edged the whole thing with black and added some ribbon.  I keep looking at the tag now and thinking it's not quite finished and I think it needs another diecut heart.  I'll have a go tomorrow and if I decide to add another one I'll edit the pics.

I'd like to enter this tag into the following lovely challenges...

I hope to be back with you by the weekend with another challenge entry 😉.  In the meantime I hope you all have a good week.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 19 May 2017

I'm doing well this month.......

Hello everyone on another wet and grey day....

I hope all this rain is making some difference to our depleted stocks of water, lol!!!

Anyway,  for some reason despite several days away from my craftroom I'm doing quite well on the production rate this month......for me at any rate, Ha! Ha!  This morning I've finished a tag for the UK Stampers Forum tag swap.  As mentioned in my previous post this is a lovely FaceBook group for beginners and experienced stampers alike.  The theme this month is Anything Goes so how could I not enter.

 I had no plan in mind for this tag, it's very rare that I do but by complete happenstance I ended up with a tag which I think has a reference to our current situation here in the UK, ie  our upcoming General Election.

Once again I started out with a recently discovered tag.  I think this one was done with Distress Stains judging by the splats of gold and the colours.

I stencilled with Fresco Finish paint through a Seth Apter designed stencil then created the background with PaperArtsy Minis and Hot Picks stamps.  I stamped the clock/watch face 3 times onto another piece of background card (Glimmer Mists this time I think) die cut them and stuck them to the tag.

Finally, when I got home from an overnight visit to our daughters last night the Paperdolls from Tim Holtz' last release of products were waiting for me.  Haven't we been waiting an age for this release to reach the UK for all but a very lucky few?  As I went through them all just to see what was in there (there are lots) this lady struck me as looking like a suffragette and so together with the 'MAKE IT (your vote?) COUNT'  I thought she completed the tag perfectly.  I simply inked round the edges of the lady with Sepia Archival Ink before placing her.  I added the key and the OXO (painted with a mix of gold and copper FF and then clear embossed) for balance.  Finally I layered the tag onto black card and added the sari silk and lace.

That's it from me for today.  See you again soon and have a lovely weekend everyone.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

I nearly forgot again, lol!

Evening everyone who hasn't gone to bed yet!

I got a little busy with chores this afternoon and forgot to come back and do this quick post but as I'm going up to my daughter's in Harrogate tomorrow till late Friday I didn't want to leave it.

This time I have a postcard to share.  It's for another swap in the UK Stampers Forum again and this time the theme is 'Floral Heaven'.  Well, I have more flower stamps than butterflies I think so I was spoilt for choice on which to use.  I decided on a beautiful stamp from Chocolate Baroque called Crackling Rose.

Once again I've started with one of my found glimmer mist backgrounds (I have loads, lol).  I stamped the image using Watering Can Archival ink and embossed with clear ep.  I then painted the image using Amsterdam Acrylic Inks (bought from PaperArtsy at Ally Pally last month).  I stamped the lacy border, another Chocolate Baroque stamp from their Lace Fragments set and used cut n dry foam to edge with black Archival ink.

Finally I stamped the word BLOOM which is part of a quote from a PaperArtsy stamp and I added a few tiny 'dew drops' of Glossy Accents but I don't think you can see them on the pic.

I'm off to enter this into a challenge.

I hope tomorrow and Friday are as glorious as it's been here today.  I have tickets to the Stitching Sewing and Hobbycrafts show which starts tomorrow for 3 days so Jenna and I are going on Friday.

See you all again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Everything's coming up Butterflies!

I'm back .....

.....for the second of three posts today!

I've made three ATCs for a swap for the UK Stampers Forum (not just for crafters in the UK) this month were the theme is 'I've got butterflies'.  There couldn't be a better theme for me as I might just have a 'few' butterfly stamps knocking around my craftroom, lol!  Add to those the new Distress Oxide inks with which I am in love and I was in seventh heaven.  The Forum is a lovely group, growing daily with beginners and experienced stampers alike.  It's full of inspiration with some lovely swaps and challenges so why not look them up on Facebook.

They all started out with blended Oxide backgrounds which I sprinkled with water and dabbed with paper towel.  Stamping was then done with Black Archival ink.

This first one simply had a few touches of Sakura gold sparkle pen before edging in Walnut Stain Oxide and adding a bit of Frantage on the corners and a Chit Chat word.

The second one had some of the colour removed with a wet paintbrush before once again adding a bit of subtle gold sparkle, walnut stain edging and Frantage.

The third one is my favourite I think.  Same methods as the other two but with a few dots of white pen added as well.

I really enjoyed these quick makes and I like them so much I think I need to make three more for me, lol! 

I'm entering them into a couple of lovely challenges.... 

Another post .....yes, 3 in one day, lol...... coming up later.

Lesley  Xx

Oops I forgot!

Morning All,

And what a gorgeous morning it is here in North Notts....about time too!  The awful northerly wind has gone to be replaced by a gentle breeze and glorious sunshine. It's not too hot so perfect weather for me that certainly makes you feel more like being smiley, lol!

Last Saturday was my birthday and a week or so before, Leandra over at PaperArtsy shared a link to an Infusions class being given by Sandra Botham at Art From the Heart in Harrogate.  Now, I've had my Infusions more or less since PaperArtsy first started making them so I'm pretty comfortable with them anyway but I liked the look of the projects and thought it would be a nice way to spend a few hours on my birthday.  It also gave me the perfect excuse to travel up the day before and spend some time with my daughter and her family...... lots of smiles and cuddles from 3 of my beautiful grandchildren!  As I thought, the class was lovely, very chilled and I came away with some smashing backgrounds plus a couple of nearly complete projects.  I'll share them all with you another time.

For this post I have a couple of birthday cards that I forgot to share last week after they landed with their recipients.

The first was for my friend Hazel

As regular visitors will know I've been been having fun using up some lovely backgrounds I found recently during my clearout and this was one I particularly liked made with Glimmer Mists.  The colours are fairly unusual for me and I think that's why I liked it so much.  I did some simple stamping and embossing with white ep using Artemio stamps then added touches of Stickles Stardust.

I mounted the piece onto coordinating cardstock then used my new TH/Sizzix wildflower dies to cut from two coordinating colours of card.  The greeting was also diecut.  I arranged it all on my cardbase and job done.

The second card was for another crafting friend, Sally.

For this one I masked off a strip across my cardbase and blended two shades of my new gorgeous Distress Oxides, then sprinkled water droplets to dabb off some of the colour.  I stamped the silhouette border which is a new to me stamp by Bee Crafty that I picked up at Ally Pally last month.

Although you can hardly see it I did stamp the Inkylicious moon image as if it were rising over the flower strip but I used a very pale colour and then spritzed the card with pearl glimmer mist which almost obliterated it.    I stamped the sentiment then added two narrow strips of ribbon.

I'll be back later today with another couple of makes which I want to enter into challenges.

Lesley  Xx