Sunday, 30 August 2015

Wow, Double Post Day!

Hello Again ........well I've been here once before today even if you haven't, lol!

Over on the PaperArtsy Blog at the moment they are just going into the second week of their current challenge theme which is 'Circles' (see Leandra's intro post from last Sunday HERE) and as always there has been some absolutely fabulous inspiration from the various designers.  I've been itching to join in especially when I saw the gorgeous cards from Jo Firth-Young on last night's post so this afternoon I went through my stash of PaperArtsy stamps and pulled out several sets with promising images.  However, I went off on a complete tangent for this entry and only used one tiny stamp ..... for a sentiment, lol!

For the previous PaperArtsy challenge to use gels/mediums lots of us fell in love with Lin Brown's fabulous faux paua shell technique (see my entry to that challenge & link to Lin's video HERE) and one result of my play was a piece of crackly tissue.  It was actually my favourite result but I decided I wanted to use it on this card and very bravely (I think) punched various sized circles out of all of it.  I have enough circles to make 2 more similar cards and as you can see I only used the one sentiment stamp from a JoFY set.

I'm sorry I forgot to take photos of each step.  I cut a square card base and a smaller square of card which would leave a 1 cm border.  I found my Nestie circles were exactly the right size to leave a border round my punched circles.....very handy..... so I decided where I wanted them to go and diecut the circles from the top square.  I used a stencil and a mix of Guacamole and South Pacific Fresco Finish paints together with some Fresco Metallic Glaze to stencil the little circles.

I used two co-ordinating metallic chisel tipped markers to edge the circles and the outer edge of the topper and then mounted it onto the card base with 3D foam.  I then glued the punched circles into the holes and used the smallest diecut circle to stamp the sentiment onto before adhering it with 3D foam.  This was a happy accident because initially I was going to stamp the sentiment directly onto the topper but forgot all about it until after I'd stuck it to the card base.  I was then worried in case I messed up the stamping (and ruined the whole card) as the 3D foam underneath meant I nolonger had a stable surface to stamp onto.  Thanks Sam for suggesting stamping on a bit of card!  I actually think it balances the design better than my original idea ;D!

This shows the dimension of the 3D layering.

Well, I have 10 birthday cards to make for September so this is one off the list ;-).  I'm off to link up to PaperArtsy then crack on with another card.  See you soon.

Lesley  Xx

ATC Swap Time!

Morning All!

'Tis a bit dull and cool this Sunday morning but as it's the long bank holiday weekend what more can we expect, lol!  Great for me and my craftroom though ;-)!

I finally managed to get my ATCs done for this month's Tag and ATC Swap with some buddies.  The theme for this month is 'texture' which I love but for some reason I struggled for 2 days just to get going.  Never mind, I got there in the end so here they are.

This first one was cut from a piece of black card embossed in a folder.  I then stuck a torn piece of fine corrugated card to the right hand corner and blended some PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk paints in various greys over it and onto the black.  I followed that with a bit of stamping in Black Archival using a Chocolate Baroque stamp (Texture Fragments set).  I didn't use a block and like the way the ridges picked up the stamping and created more texture.  Next I added some Golden soft semi-gloss gel in the top left corner and added teensy glass beads to it.

When the gel was dry I rubbed on some Treasure Gold in pewter and a bit of a blue limited edition one and added the cut out words.

The second one was also cut from a piece of previously folder embossed card which had a stonework design on it.  I blended various colours of Fresco Finish starting with Concrete, then Stone and then more or less dry brushed Toffee and Brown Shed, blending and dabbing off with a wet wipe.  I then stamped the Chocolate Baroque image (Gothic Fragments) onto tissue, painted it with Fresco Finish, tore round the image and stuck it to the ATC.  I gave it all a coat of DecoArt Soft Touch Varnish and when it was dry I added some Prima Clear Crackle Paste through a stencil and when that was dry wiped over with Vintage Photo Distress Ink before adding the cut out words.

If you click on the pics you can see more detail.

I still haven't mastered the technique of stamping on tissue and adhering it to textured surfaces or any surface come to that!  Unless I fussy cut the image the tissue is always visible and I've tried a multitude of different tissue and adhesives/gels.  It's that long since I painted on tissue I've forgotten how to do that too so must revisit Leandra's fab video HERE.

Have a lovely weekend and a long one if you're here in the UK.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Final Chocolate Baroque Guest DT make for this month.

Hi everyone,

Crikey where did this month go?  What with grandchildren staying over and Guest DT spots over on the fabulous Chocolate Baroque DT Blog it's gone by in a flash!  I'm scheduling this post between sleepovers by my little people and have to make the most of it as visits are few once school resumes in two weeks time.

Today I am sharing my final makes over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog using the beautiful stamp sets Christmas Candlelight and Sparkling Trees.  They definitely won't be my last make with these gorgeous stamps though as there are several I haven't used yet so their potential still has a long way to go.  My first card today still has lots of white space but couldn't be called simple I don't think, lol!


I took an A5 white card base and lightly drew in pencil around the outside of a circle die, taking it slightly off the edge.  I placed a strip of masking tape down the right edge of the card so that I was going to be left with a clean 0.5 cm narrow border.  I then inked up the reindeer with Sepia Archival Ink and stamped him to the top of the circle, followed by the tops of the trees using Black Archival Ink. 

I then cut a piece of white card slightly smaller than the card base to give a 0.5 cm border, placed it over the base and lightly marked where the die needed to cut.  I then stamped the three trees in the bottom left corner using Black Archival Ink.

I created a mask of the trees by stamping on a post-it note and a rough mask to create hills from torn copy paper.  I then used Distress Inks and brushes to give a hint of background hills both in the left corner and also behind the tree tops in the circle.

I watercoloured all the images with Distress Inks and added some Diamond Stickles to the trees and the reindeers antlers with a damp brush. (I only like a hint of glitter ;D). 

I stamped the greeting then 'rolled' the edges of the top layer on my scoreboard and gave it a finished look by going round with a gold Sakura Pen-Touch pen.  Finally I attached this layer to the base card with 3D foam.

The lovely reindeer has a Red Stickles nose!

My second card uses a 10 cm wide x 21 cm tall tentfold card base.  Because I make a lot of square cards I get quite a few offcuts this size when I'm making my card bases.

All the stamps used on this card come from the Christmas Candlelight set.  First of all I streaked ink direct from an Evergreen Bough Distress Inkpad from the fold at the top.  I then stamped the fir cone branch using Black Archival Ink followed by the lovely lantern. 

I used Distress Inks to watercolour the images except for the lantern where I used a metallic Viva Precious Metal paint.  It wasn't quite as translucent as I'd hoped so I went over the lines of the image with a very fine black pen. 

I stamped the Merry Xmas banner on separate card, coloured it, cut it out and attached it with 3D foam pads.

I have really enjoyed using these beautiful, finely detailed stamps to kick start my Christmas card makes this year and there are many more ideas still floating around in my head.  Do drop by the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog as there are some absolutely gorgeous ideas being posted by the Design Team.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A second PaperArtsy challenge entry!

Hi everyone,

How's your weekend going.  I'm going to moan, lol .........IT'S WAY TOO HOT HERE!!!   As I am drafting this post it's gone midnight and 25c.  I don't think there'll be a good night's sleep had in this house!

Anyway,  today I'm sharing two tags I've made for my monthly swap where the theme this time is 'texture' but also I made them using Lin Brown's inspirational faux paua shell technique.  You can see the video HERE on the PaperArtsy Blog.  I'm not sharing step by steps as I forgot to take photos, lol, but Lin's video is the best way to see how it's done as I used the same products.  There has been some fabulous inspiration as always over on the PA Blog this past two weeks and so many projects to set the creative juices flowing......just need the time and a cooler craftroom!

This first tag uses a delicate leafy stencil for Lin's technique so I took poetic licence and created some leaves in similar colours to the lovely background.  I stamped them onto smooth card, cut them out and then carefully sprinkled teeny grains of Brusho then spritzed with water until I was happy with the effect.  I then triple embossed with clear embossing powder before adhering them to the tag.  I stamped the quote cut it out and blended inks in co-ordinating colours.

On my second tag I used a Tim Holtz stencil for the faux paua effect.  I also used heavy gloss gel at the top and Grunge Paste at the bottom to see what the difference was.  I actually liked them both  but of course the GP gave a rougher, dull finish as opposed to the smooth, shiny Golden gel.  I used some seaweed stamps from Chocolate Baroque on the right hand side enhanced with pencils and the seahorse is also one of their stamps which I stamped onto shrink plastic painted with Snowflake Fresco Finish.  I spritzed some mesh bandaging which I found in an old first aid kit at my Mum's with the Lindy's StampGang Starburst sprays I'd used in the background and glued it to the tag and then attached the seahorse.

We have Izzy and Charlie coming to stay for another couple of nights later today.  This time the weather forecast is not good for the two days they'll be here with lots and lots of rain!  We look like getting wet because unlike their wimpy Mamma they don't much care what the weather is like as long as they can get out so wet walks in the wood might be on the cards, lol!

Thanks for dropping by today and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.  

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My second Guest DT project for Chocolate Baroque.

Morning Everyone,

As the title says, today I'm sharing my second project for Chocolate Baroque as the Guest DT member for this month and I hope you get chance to hop over to the DT Blog to see all the fabulous inspiration from the rest of the team.  I am really enjoying playing with these gorgeous new stamps, Christmas Candlelight and Sparkling Trees and there is no way I will have even scratched the surface of possibilities in the 3 posts I'll have shared on the DT Blog by the end of the month so I'll hope to share more with you leading up to Christmas on here in my own time.

For today though, I have a card and matching gift bag to show you.

Christmas Kraft Card

I love Kraft, white embossing and a touch of red for Christmas makes so I've once again kept the design simple and relied on the gorgeous stamps.  All stamping was done with Versamark ink then heat embossed with Wow Brilliant White powder.  I have separated the Merry Xmas scroll from the main image as it appears in the Christmas Candlelight set so that I can use it more easily for multiple projects but I can still marry it back up with the candle image when I need to.  The touch of red on the wording is a Sakura Stardust pen and I've added tiny blobs of Diamond Stickles to the main image.

If you click to enlarge the photo you will be able to see how I score the edges of my matting layers.  I use my scoreboard and bone folder and I do this on most edges now if they are not inked or distressed in some way.  I just think it gives a neater more finished look.  I've also added a bit of dimension by fixing the top layer with 3D foam.

Gift Bag and Tag

When stamping on the bag I inserted a piece of smooth cardboard cut to the same width to give me a better stamping surface and I scored the edges of the tag in the same way as the card layers.

 I wasn't careful enough with the first image I stamped (partly hidden by the tag) and the bump of the bag handle spoiled the image a bit.  Never mind.... it happens, lol!

And here's the set together.  I think I might stamp some tissue to match for inside the bag as well.

I'll be back next Wednesday with my final share with these stamps on the DT Blog.  See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Fun new PaperArtsy Blog Challenge theme

Good Morning everyone.......

.......and what a gorgeous morning it is after such a blinking awful day yesterday!  We had non-stop rain (as I think did lots of us) but this morning is wonderful sunshine :D!

Righty Ho! Leandra and the PaperArtsy crew have a fab new theme over on the blog at the moment  incorporating the use of gels and/or mediums.  There's lots of very useful info in last Sunday's introductory post HERE followed by some gorgeous projects throughout the week from the DT.  Wednesday's inspiration came from the very talented Lin Brown where she and Leandra shared a video showing a fab technique Lin discovered using heavy gloss gel and shimmer sprays.  As yesterday's weather was so awful I gave myself a day in my craftroom just to play and have a go at Lin's technique and this morning I'm entering one of the results into the PaperArtsy Blog Challenge.

Yep, I decided to do one of the pieces in my A6 size journal (thanks Sam)!  I had already slapped some leftover Fresco Finish paint onto the pages ages ago so spread some Liquitex Heavy Gloss Gel (only have Soft Matte in the Golden which Lin used) through a stencil.  Oops, unusually for me I hadn't cleaned the stencil from last time I used it with dye ink so the gel did it for me, lol! I then went on to use the two Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst sprays that I have but they weren't the right colours so I dug out some old Moon Glow stains that I've had for years.  
I'm just going to share a few pics now but do hop over to see Lin's video because her results are stunning on different papers and with slightly different products.  One thing I did notice is that once dry the mica in the sprays/stains rubbed off the card/papers that I used but didn't over the gel.

 The stamps are from PaperArtsy's Squiggly Ink range and were one of the first sets I bought from them at a show (NEC I think) quite a few years ago.  The wording is theirs as well from an Ink and the Dog set.

I'm off to link up now so have a smashing weekend everyone and thanks for dropping by.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Whoohoo, I've gone back for a visit!

Hello lovely visitors,

Some of you may have noticed from my sidebar that I used to be a member of the Chocolate Baroque DT but took the decision to step down when Mum and other family commitments had to take priority.  I always loved working with Chocolate Baroque stamps and being a part of the CB crew so as life has settled down a bit (I'm holding my breath here, lol) when Lesley, the new owner of CB, put out a DT call recently I asked if I could do a guest spot now and again.  I was thrilled to bits when she said yes and today is the day for my first Guest DT post.

The stamps Lesley sent for me to play with are their new Christmas stamp release and I love them.  The CB DT have been showing some fabulous makes using these stamps over on the DT Blog so please pop over there if you have time as there is always loads of amazing inspiration to be seen.  No one does Christmas quite as well as Chocolate Baroque in my opinion and I'm really enjoying these two sets called Christmas Candlelight and  Sparkling Trees.  My first project with these beautiful stamps is a luminary card which I hope you will like.


Chocolate Baroque stamp sets Christmas Candlelight, Sparkling Trees and Sentiment
20 cm x 20 cm white base card
19.5 cm x 19.5 cm square of dark gold or bronze metallic/pearl card
19 cm x 19 cm square of white card
40 cm x 20 cm piece of card (for inside)
2 pcs of vellum 9.5 cm x 19.5 cm
Die shape of choice (I used an oval Nestability)
Versamark Inkpad
Pan Pastels in metallic dark gold and dark silver
Copper Embossing Powder
Double sided tape in 12 mm and 25 mm widths
Suitable glue for use with Gilding Flakes
Gilding Flakes (I used mix of copper, gold, silver and red)
Gems to embellish


Front Panel

  1. Start with the front 19 cm x 19 cm panel.
  2. Apply Versamark ink to the reindeer only, then cover the stars with a post-it to avoid any chance of these marking the card.
  3. Stamp the reindeer in the centre of the panel then heat emboss using the Copper embossing powder.
  4. Clean the stamp and apply Versamark to the stars only, then cover the reindeer with a post-it before positioning the stars as per the whole image. You could use a stamp positioner to do this if you are not confident to do it 'by eye'.....I'm too lazy to use one, lol!
  5. This time pat dark silver Pan Pastel onto the stars and when they are fully covered buff very gently with a piece of kitchen roll.
  6. Arrange the snowflakes on an acrylic block, ink them all with Versamark and stamp around the reindeer before applying dark silver Pan Pastel as before.
  7. Ink the sentiment with Versamark and stamp centrally at the bottom of the panel then heat emboss with Copper embossing powder.  
  8. Adhere this panel to the 19.5 cm square of metallic card using double sided tape then set to one side while you concentrate on the luminary inside.  

     (close up detail of the beautiful reindeer and stars image)

    Inside Luminary


  1. Take the 20 cm x 40 cm panel of white card, score at halfway point on long side and mountain fold then score again 10 cm from each end and valley fold at these points.
  2. With the panel folded at the halfway point position the die shape centrally on the section nearest the fold and cut out the aperture. (This needs a diecutting machine capable of taking A4 size but you could always choose to make a smaller card or use a craft knife and cut a simple rectangle).

  1. Take the vellum pieces and stamp the Bauble Tree on each one using a suitable glue then apply the gilding flakes.
  2. Apply double sided tape to the front of these panels and adhere them to the back of the folded panel, centrally over the apertures.
  3. Apply double sided tape to the back of the left and right side panels and adhere these to the inside of the main card blank.

  1. Arrange the snowflakes on an acrylic block, ink with Versamark and stamp on the left side panel then apply metallic Pan Pastels randomly in deep gold and deep silver and gently buff as before.
  2. Finally adhere the front panel to the card base and add sparkly gems to the Bauble Trees and some of the snowflakes on the card front.

Present your card with one of the imitation tealights you can pick up very cheaply and you have a lovely luminary to add to a Christmas display. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a really good photo of it lit up but it does look pretty in real life!  Even my Other Half was impressed, lol!

I'll be back same time next week here and on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog with another project using these gorgeous stamps.  Hope you can drop by for another visit.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What a lovely workshop!

Morning All,

Hope you have sunshine this morning ....... we have ;-)!  It's a tad chilly at the moment but I don't mind that.  The downside of warm sun where we live at this time of the year is that this week it will wake up all the flying ants which give me the horrors.  It's unfortunate (for me) that we live ontop of sandstone so the whole area is one big ants nest and if you're unfortunate enough to be out walking when the little beggars fly en masse it's the stuff of nightmares, lol! All the ones under our patio (trillions of 'em) decided 7pm yesterday was the time to go but at least they weren't in my craftroom like a couple of years ago.  I still spend all spring/summer on the lookout and the first sign of a single ant inside and out comes the powder.  I think I have a phobia ;D!

Anyway, on to the happy reason for today's post! 

This time last week I was on my way to my first workshop with a really lovely and very talented lady and after a really smashing day where I learned lots and had so much fun and laughter with Sue Carrington, Ruth and Kerry, I can't wait for the next one.  Hopefully, it will be mid September time so if you can get to West Hallam, Derbys, without too much difficulty and like what you see here, keep an eye on Sue's blog and Facebook page for details.  Do have a look at Sue's blog if you can.  Unfortunately her old blog was hacked a few weeks ago and she had to start from scratch again so I know she'd love some visits while she rebuilds. 

The project we made last week (and I had to finish at home as usual, lol) was a large canvas board with a triptych of tags added to it.  I am not going to give any how to's as that wouldn't be fair to Sue but there are lots of painty layers using stencils and stamps.  It was great fun to do and I have spent some lovely relaxing hours this past couple of days doing all the detail painting and  decoupaged bits.  I finished it late last night and couldn't wait to take pics this morning so here you go.......

The paints - Fresco Finish, stamps - mainly Jo Firth Young and stencils - mainly Lin Brown, are all from PaperArtsy.

If you click on the photos you should be able to enlarge to see the details.  Thanks Sue for a lovely day and hope to see you again soon!

And I hope to be back with another post sooner rather than later, lol!  I have two of our rascals, Izzy and Charlie, coming to stay for several days from next Friday so that will put paid to grown up crafting for a bit but so looking forward to seeing them.

Have a good weekend folks!

Lesley  Xx