Sunday 14 January 2018

A Fun Friendly Challenge......Week 1 and it's Frames!

Hello Everyone,

A little group of friends and I decided last year was a very poor year for our creative endeavours so we decided to have our own private little challenge this year with a prompt each week to kick us off.  Not sure how long we will manage to keep it up before life gets in the way and we can opt out of the odd week if we don't like a particular prompt (drawn out of a 'hat') but I've really enjoyed this first one where the prompt was 'FRAMES' to be interpreted in any way we chose.

 I decided to decorate a large MDF tag (5.5" x 10")...I am determined to use up more of my unloved stash this year and this has been a very good start! 

First I covered it with a lovely designer paper I have been hoarding for several years.  Its from a pad I created our Daughter's Wedding stationery from 7 yrs ago.  I added some stencilling using Distress Inks and some light stamping using Versafine Inks (second generation) and PaperArtsy Mini stamps.  For once I remembered to ink round the edges before I stuck everything on.  My usual trick is to forget till the very end which is sooo tedious, lol! I then found the perfect use for one of my Tim Holtz Botanicals 😄

Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the various stages I did to cover my lovely frames 
 which I have also had in my wood and chipboard embellishments for an age.  Both were from the Basics range at Hobbycraft.   Click on the pic for a better look but I was really chuffed with the way they turned out.  I used a couple of coats of DecoArt White Tinting Base followed by their crackle medium (can't remember which one, lol) and finally their Antiquing Cream, first a brown one rubbed back with a wetwipe, then the same with grey.  I backed both frames with co-ordinating paper (from the same pad) having first stuck the TH Paper Doll image to the larger piece.  I added a very light hint of colour to some areas of the image and added the butterflies which are also from the Botanicals.

Before I stuck the frames to the tag I added some shadowing down one side of the flower with a carbon pencil then raided my stash for suitable flowers and flourishes.  I think the flowers were old Prima designs and the flourishes were from Ally Pally last year from a company I had never come across before  They had some beautiful designs but they are extremely delicate and cut from a thickish paper product so I knew they wouldn't take much wet medium like sprays so instead I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints to colour them. I then stuck the frames and other elements down with Heavy Gloss Gel Medium.

I then rooted around for a suitable quote and found this one on a Wendy Vecchi set  (another sadly neglected item in my collection).  I stamped it twice on a scrap of the background paper with grey Archival Ink, cut it up and inked the edges before sticking it to the tag.

A final look at the dimension on the bottom of the tag.

I love watching Marta Lapkowska's YouTube videos (Maremi's Small Art) while I am crafting and there's quite a bit of inspiration from her in this tag not least of which is to 'USE YOUR STASH'!

Well, that's it for today!  I hope you like my tag and I'm now wondering what our prompt will be for this coming week.  I'm scheduling this post so we'll find out the next when this goes live just after 1:00 pm today 😀.  See you again soon!

Lesley  Xx

Sunday 7 January 2018

A 2018 kickstart!

Hello again!

Right here we go with my first proper blog post for this year. 

This is my first birthday card design of the year.  I had two birthdays very close together in the past week so I made the same design twice but changed the quotes on the front.  I forgot to take a pic of the alternative one.  The beautiful tree stamp is a  'cover the page' stamp from Impression Obsession and in this case the quote is one from an Alison Bomber set for PaperArtsy.  I love the beautiful quotes Alison has brought to us via these stamps and I can't wait for February when she has some new sets coming out with the new PaperArtsy releases.

Before stamping the trees I used a dusting brush to add some Distress Ink colour to a piece of script designer paper.  I wanted to give the impression of hazy winter sunlight filtering through bare trees.   I inked the edges and layered up onto the base card before stamping and cutting up the quote and added it to the top.

Now for something I haven't done much of at all....journalling!  A friend pointed out that France Papillon was starting a new challenge on her blog, A Layer A Day/A Spread A Week (ALAD/ASAW) so a couple of us decided to have a go. If you want to know the details have a look at France's blog but I have to say I found it extremely difficult to only do one layer then walk away till the next day.  Once I get in a crafting mood I want to keep at it whilst it's flowing but I'll give it another go this week hopefully and see how I get on.  

I did take about three pics with my phone of the different layers but for some reason I couldn't get them to download this morning 😞 .   I started off with a couple of pages I had already stamped a rose onto with two colours of Distress Oxides, left over ink from a previous project.  Over that I randomly stamped a fab script stamp I bought recently by ALL&Create (from That's Crafty) then I gave it a patchy wash with gesso.


Next came Grunge Paste through an Imagination Crafts mixed media stencil.  Love this stencil as it has different shaped 'holes' making a random design.  Next layer was PaperArtsy Infusions which I allowed to run and drip plus an old Crafty Notions white spray and some shimmery Glimmer Mists.

A couple of words from a Seth Apter stencil and stickers, a few touches of Treasure Gold and a light application of black ink to the edges finished the actual pages then I stamped a Tim Holtz butterfly twice onto a scrap of brusho'd card, cut them out and stuck them to the pages.

Right that's it for today!  Hope it's not too long before I have something else to share.  Thanks for dropping by today.

Lesley  Xx

2017 Christmas card recap....just for my records really!

Hello to anyone who drops by and a belated Happy New Year.

No new year resolutions here but I do hope to be a slightly more consistent blogger in 2018 but we'll see if I stick to that, lol!  Anyway, before I blog a bit of new 'art' in my second post of the day I wanted to share pics of the Christmas cards I made for 2017 as I like to have them recorded here.

This first selection were made from backgrounds I'd made ages ago from which I diecut the starts and then stamped and embossed the snowflakes.

Still on a star theme but this card was a one off with Chocolate Baroque snowflakes stamped and embossed onto a script paper background and the edges heat embossed too then the stars again diecut from a previously made background.


A few months before Christmas I bought two gorgeous Penny Black Christmas design stamps from lovely Val, the very talented owner of Snazzy's whose design team I used to be a member of.  I absolutely adore these stamps and the batch above are using the poinsettia stamp.   I inked the stamp up using different shades of Distress Inks and dragged the colours out with a water brush, added a little stickles to the centres and then stamped and embossed the sentiments.

This next batch  use the other PB stamp, berries and bell.  Again I inked up with Distress Inks and am so pleased with the effect I got after dragging the colours out with a water brush.

Here's a closer view on which you can see the gold foiling I added, especially if you click to enlarge.

I have decided that as we don't have so many Christmas cards to exchange these days, sadly as we get older there are friends and loved ones nolonger with us and of course, no work colleagues now we have been retired for several years so this year I am hoping to make all the cards I need, not just the ones for crafting friends.  Wish me luck, lol!

Okey Dokey,  now for the new stuff........I'll be back shortly!

Lesley  Xx