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Friday, 4 September 2015

Take a stamp .... any stamp ..... it's challenge time again!

Happy Friday folks!

It's the first Friday of the month again ..... I can't believe we're in September already! ..... only 16 weeks until Christmas (yikes!!!)
It's also time for a brand new challenge over on the Craft Stamper Blog.

Speaking of Craft Stamper ..... have you seen the new look to the magazine?

How fabulous does that look!!! And not only have we got a new look on the outside ..... there's a few new faces on the inside too!  Grab yourselves a copy of the brand new issue .... you're in for a treat!

This month on the challenge, it's the turn of Take a Stamp ......... you can create whatever takes your fancy, all we ask is that there's some rubber stamping on there somewhere (no digi images .... sorry!)
Remember ...... link your entry post back to the Craft Stamper blog, only ONE project per post please and, you can enter up to 3 times.  Fancy giving it a go ..... you could win one of the two great prizes up for grabs .....

First up .....  our sponsors prize ..... randomly chosen.  This month the challenge is sponsored by the fabulous

and the prize is .....
Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments stamps sets and .......

Leaf Print and Bold Florals stencils too!

Not only that ..... STAMPlorations have been very generous and have supplied us with a Coupon Code for Craft Stamper Challenge players to take advantage of  a FREE SHIPPING offer from the store.  All you have to do, is use the code CSTAKEITMAKEIT on all orders over $20 (approx. £12.90) to get the free shipping (even to the UK!!)  The code is good for the whole of September and can be combined with any other STAMPlorations coupon.

Next ....... the Design Winner prize ....... chosen by the DT.  They will get their winning project published in the Craft Stamper magazine, be invited to be a Guest Designer on a future Craft Stamper Blog Challenge, AND .... get their own Winners Profile published on the Craft Stamper Blog ..... WOW!!
For more details and full challenge rules, check out the Craft Stamper Blog.

Right .... now that's out of the way, time for some inspiration I think.

I love my rubber stamps! and at the moment I'm loving making pieces of home decor.  This started out as as small 6x6 canvas board but as you can see ...... in true Barbara Gray style ...... it's ended up as a 12x12!!!

Sorry about the picture quality ........ bad light!!  The colours look very pastel but actually they're a lot more vibrant in real life.

Anyway ..... I started out by playing around with the 'bleeding art tissue' technique on a blank white canvas board.  I first saw this on the the very talented Eileen Godwin's blog some time ago .....  she's also done a video on YouTube too .... check it out here

It's so easy to do and it's one of those techniques where you'll never get two results exactly the same.
All I did was cut out some shapes from the coloured tissue paper ..... which by the way you can buy from Amazon and ebay etc., and it's not expensive.  I used dies and punches but you can just as easily tear it.
I then placed the tissue shapes onto my canvas and brushed over the top of each one with some clean water..As the water soaks through the tissue you can see the colours transferring to the canvas and they also mix with each other where the tissue overlaps, which is quite cool!

Once all the pieces of tissue were in place and I was happy with the design, I put the canvas to one side and let it dry naturally.

In the meantime,  using a Black Archival ink, I stamped one of my current favourite stamps onto a piece of regular white tissue paper ...... (I say 'current favourite' as this does change quite regularly!!) I do love this butterfly from Tim H's Perspective stamp set .......

I added some colour to the image using Spectrum Noir pencils ..... colouring on the back.

Once the canvas was dry, I carefully removed the tissue shapes and voila!! ...... the background was taking shape!
Using a paint brush, I splattered a little ink over the top to add a bit more interest, using colours to match the butterfly.
When this was dry I pasted the stamped butterfly over the top using a thin coat of Glue and Seal.  I love the translucent effect you get when stamping onto tissue paper, and once it's all dry you can hardly see the edges.  I also added a sentiment to the canvas in the same way

To finish it all off I took some white acrylic paint along with some black gesso, and used an old gift card to add the painted lines around the edges

I decided to hang this on the old craft room wall but, I felt it wasn't big enough .....

So ..... I took a 12x12 canvas, and gave it a coat of black gesso.  Still wasn't 100% happy with it, so ....... out came the brick wall stencil, a little bit of texture paste here and there and another coat of black gesso.  Now I'm happy!

Right ..... it's over to you.  What will you create ..... I can't wait to see!
If you still need inspiration though pop over to the Craft Stamper Blog the rest of the Design Team have created a stunning collection of pieces for you this month!

It's been a busy old week here .... hubby's had the week off work and we've got quite a bit of stuff done.  Had the odd day out here and there, a couple of nice meals, coffee with friends you know what sort of thing I mean.  We're off out again tonight ... nothing fancy just a few drinks with his work buddies to round off the week nicely.  Then next week's going to be a big one .... the little man has got his first day at school (noooooo!!)  Both me and his mum will need the tissues that morning I'll bet!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day and have a fabulous weekend!

Cheerio until next time


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sprays and mists ......

Happy Thursday evening to you,

How is everyone? I hope you're having a good week.
We've had the Manx Grand Prix going on this week ...... it's been race week.  There's been a few disruptions to the race schedule but at least they weren't all because of the weather!!  It has been pretty good on the whole ..... the Bank Holiday was glorious and the only rain we've had has been during the night.
We haven't actually seen any of the races though, heard the bikes ..... and have been caught up in the road closures .... always fun!!  It's been a good week though ....... and you never know, we may just catch one of the races tomorrow as it all comes to a close for another year.

I have managed to spend some time in the old craft room though ....... hubby has taken advantage of being off work and has spent some of the time in front of his computer, which has meant that I didn't feel too guilty locking myself away to play with my craft stash!  To be fair .... I have had DT stuff to do so it hasn't all been play time!

One thing I did manage to do was play along with this week's Less is More challenge.
Last weekend we were still in August, and because it was the 5th Saturday of the month we have a Lucky Dip week this week. The challenge is .......

 to use Sprays/Mists

You know me ..... I love spritzing and spraying.  Splattering ink here and there is one of my favourite techniques.

We still have to keep things CAS though ..... lots of white space.  Not always easy when usng a spray bottle .... anything can happen!

Using a Black Archival ink, I stamped the beautiful butterfly (from Tim Holtz) slightly off the edge of a piece of white cardstock.
I then made myself a mask and covered up the image, before spritzing, just the once, with Abandoned Coral Distress Spray Stain

I let this dry for a couple of minutes then spritzed again over the top, with the mask still in place, only this time I used the Perfect Pearls spray mist.

I also mixed some of the Perfect Pearls with some Distress inks to colour in the butterfly ..... spritzed the PP directly onto my craft sheet, swiped my Distress ink pads on there too, then mixed the two together with a clean paintbrush ....... shimmery Distress .... how pretty is that!!

I added a touch of Glossy Accents to the body and finished off with a sentiment ......

Well that's it from me today.  I'll be back in the morning with the launch of this month's Craft Stamper Blog Challenge ........ have you got your copy of the magazine yet?

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Challenge time at Happy Little Stampers!

Hi there

It's time to launch September's CAS challenge over at Happy Little Stampers, and this month it's all about ...... Colouring

We have a new challenge sponsor too.  From this month, until the end of the year the CAS challenge will be sponsored by our very own Happy Little Stampers Shop

The challenge winner will receive one of the fabulous stamp sets from HLS
So ...... what are you waiting for .... get those entries in!

Here's a little inspiration for you to get you started .....
There's lots of ways to colour in your stamped images ...... use inks, paints, pens or markers, pencils .... the choice is up to you.
I've gone for pencils .... you know I love my Spectrum Noirs!

And I've used one of the gorgeous new stamps from the HLS Butterfly Birthday stamp set ...... these stamps are fabulous ..... I love them! (can you tell!) They're great designs and so easy to use.

I've kept things very CAS, masking off the butterflies as I stamped, to create the continuous line across my card.
I actually started off by stamping my first butterfly across the fold of the card ........ and carried the design onto the back.  I've seen this a few times recently, on Pinterest, and thought what a fab idea ..... looks so cool!

I then coloured in each butterfly using the pencils ..... nothing fancy, kept each one a different colour and added a touch of shading to the wings

I added a sentiment to the bottom (comes in the same stamp set)

and gave the bodies the Wink of Stella treatment. Sorry, this doesn't come across well in the picture, trust me it's very sparkly in real life! 
You can also see I've added a few dots of white Enamel Accents here and there.

OK! OK! ...... I confess ...... these were a bit of a last minute thing.  
The card was more or less finished when disaster struck!!!!  The dreaded tiny spot of black ink suddenly appeared ..... where from ..... who knows, but ..... I wasn't colouring in all that lot again!!!
Not a bad rescue job .... can you see the black spot?

Anyway ...... to finish off, as always, I had to put a pretty butterfly on the inside ......

Need a little bit more inspiration ..... then pop over to the HLS Blog.  You'll find lots more gorgeous ideas from the rest of the DT and, we have a Guest Designer with us this month ....... the very talented Riti (A Lil Piece of Heaven) is joining us for September ..... why not pop over and say Hi! you won't be disappointed! 

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day, and good luck with the challenge.

Cheerio until next time

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Where's my Christmas spirit .......

Happy Sunday folks,

How's your weekend going?
Just a quick post this morning ..... the clock is counting down on the latest Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge and I don't want to miss it.

This time the challenge is to use Light Green, Dark Green and Red!

Hmmmm ...... nice festive colours, very traditional.  Could I come up with anything ....... NO!!!  My Christmas spirit is no-where to be seen I'm afraid ...... Bah humbug!!
This is as good as it gets this time .........

VERY CAS ...... but I have used all the colours.
The light, and the dark green for my holly leaves ......

I used a punch to cut the leaves from a piece of white cardstock then added coloured card to the backs. A touch of red glitter glue for the berries and a nice festive sentiment stamped with red ink

I did similar on the inside of the card ......

Again, using the punch for my holly leaf ......

Backed with green card and a touch of red sparkle.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Well ....... we've had a lovely weekend so far ..... doing absolutely nothing!!! And today is going to be more of the same I think. There's no rush to go here there and everywhere in two days because ..... it's the Bank Holiday weekend (whoo hoo!) and ..... hubby's taking all next week off work ..... yeah! No early starts.  You never know ...... I might just get breakfast in bed one morning .... for a change (hint hint).
We're hoping the weather stays nice so we can have a few days out ..... explore a little more of the island maybe ..... see some of the racing in the Manx Grand Prix and just generally recharge our batteries.
We started our little break on Friday evening ....... with good food, nice wine and great company. We went to the french restaurant in Douglas ..... L'Experience and had a beautiful meal. I finally tried escargot for the first time (hubby had ordered them)  I won't be trying them again any time soon I can tell you ....... I've decided ..... I don't like snails!!!!
Hopefully dinner tonight will be nice ..... yes we're off out again.  Tonight we're going to my favourite Italian on the island .... La Mona Lisa up in Laxey.  They've been advertising on Facebook that my favourite dish is back on the menu this weekend ..... Lobster Linguine ..... yummee!!!

Hope they've got some left!!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Oooh .... before I go .... don't forget the lovely Barbara Gray is back on our TV screens with Clarity stamps .... whoo hoo!!  In case you haven't heard ...... Sky channel 663, Freeview 39 and Freesat 822 is the home of the brand new craft channel ....... HOCHANDA (Home of Crafts Hobbies and Arts)
Barbara had a great show yesterday and she's back at 10am this morning (Sunday).  Tune in if you can .... it'll be fun!

Cheerio until next time


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

It's Sketch week at Less is More

Happy Wednesday to you!

Another week is speeding by ...... this one's a little on the quieter side thank goodness!  Although saying, that we do have a Poker Stars gathering here this evening. One of their interns is leaving so they've decided that ours would be a good place for the farewell party ....... Thanks guys!!
So .... a little after 6 this evening, the whole of B.I. (well .... most of them) will be coming through the door planning on eating, drinking, and playing cards no doubt!  There will be music involved at some point ..... always is when hubby's had a few, and lets face it ..... we haven't had a good old Walmsley Wednesday for a while.

Before all that though, here's my entry for this week's Less is More Challenge.
It's a Sketch week ......

and I've kept pretty much to the design

Classic black and white with a hint of colour.

I used the Clarity Bouquets for my image ...... you get 2 stamps in the set, the outline and the silhouette version.  I used both!
I inked up the silhouette stamp using my Distress Markers, spritzed with a little water and then stamped the image onto a piece of white card
I then followed over the top using the outline stamp

This is where my version of the Sketch comes in ....... I cut across the white card to follow the sketch, trimming around the bottom part of the bouquet.  I then layered this over a piece of black cardstock which had had my sentiment embossed on the bottom.

I added a cute little twine bow to the bouquet and finished off the flowers with a little dot of white enamel accent to the centres

You can also see I added a few ink spots here and there, and of course there's a little something on the inside too

Job done!

Right .... I'd better be off.  Time to scurryfunge before the crowd get's here!
And, the kitchen looks like a Chinese laundry, there's a mountain of clothes that I don't know whether to iron it or climb it! Maybe I could just hide it until tomorrow .... hmmm ..... sounds like a plan!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.  Hope the sun is shining where you are .... it's summer again here.

Cheerio until next time


Friday, 21 August 2015


Happy Friday folks,

Well ..... where do I start!
The BIG news this morning was that Clarity are on the move.  Yes, in case you haven't already heard Barbara will no longer be appearing on Create and Craft (oh no!!)  Don't panic though .... she will be back on our TV screens again ....very soon (whoo hoo!!) 
Make a date in your diaries ..... Thursday 27th August at 12 noon is the launch of a brand new craft channel ....... and Barbara is going to be there!!

It's called HOCHANDA
(Home of Crafts Hobbies and Arts) 

You can find the channel on SKY 663 Freeview 39 and Freesat 822
Barbara will be back in the classroom again with a regular monthly show, as well as a new Groovi slot too ...... so, lots of exciting stuff coming up!

With all that going on this morning I thought it would be a great time to enter this weeks challenge over art Less is More ......
It's a Theme week ...... and the theme is ......


Here's my entry ......

Wonderfully CAS ....... and relatively quick and easy.  

This cute little guy is from Penny Black ....... simply stamped in black Versafine and coloured using my Distress Inks mixed with a little water.

I added a delicate wash of blue to the background just to ground my leaping frog, and finished off with a Tim Holtz sentiment

There's a little something on the inside too .....

Not a Clarity stamp I know, but ...... Congratulations to Barbara and the team's to the start of the next exciting chapter!

I think that's it from me today .... another busy weekend approaching.  It's the little man's last day at nursery today, he's going to be home soon telling me all about it, and then he's got his graduation party tomorrow.  Two more weeks and he starts 'Big' school!

We've got the Manx Grand Prix starting this weekend ....... just like the TT but not as busy! Practice week gets underway tomorrow ......... weather permitting that is! 
The Continental Food Market is still on the prom ..... which, by the way I haven't found time to get down to yet this week!  And on top of all that, there's the IOM Grand Beer Festival this weekend ...... all within staggering walking distance of us!!  Food ..... drink .... and motorbikes .....should be a good weekend!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day and I hope you have a great weekend too!

Cheerio until next time


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Remember that sneaky peek I gave you .......

Hello there ...... happy Tuesday!

How are you?
I'm trying to get back on track after a lovely weekend.  Saturday was spent with a group of friends crafting ..... in the sunshine!  Yes we all sat in the garden with the most beautiful view of the sea and we actually got stuff done .... surprisingly!

Sunday was the Poker Stars Treasure Hunt ....... not an outstanding performance from our team I'm afraid .... only managed to finish joint 5th!!! (sigh!)  We did get a nice tour of the island, parts we hadn't been to before, which was nice, but we just ran out of time towards the end.
Everyone found their way to the finishing line, eventually (one team even took a wrong turning and still managed to answer the remaining questions! - wasn't us I hasten to add!)  This year we ended up at a place called The Forge ...... fabulous restaurant and they make the best BBQ sauce EVER!!!
Couldn't resist popping in to stock up on some goodies .....

Ooops! how did that box of chocolates get in there ..... yum!!

Cast your minds back all the way to July ...... when I gave you a little sneaky peek of a project I'd been asked to do by my brother ....... he wanted something special for his son's wedding.  Well, the wedding was last week so I can share with you what I created for him.
If you remember, it went from this .......

to this .....

A beautiful Memory Box.

A plain MDF box, covered with tissue paper, gesso, paint, texture paste, lots of embellishments, treasure gold, mica sprays ..... you name it it's probably on there.  I did enjoy making this.

Lots of embellishments attached ..... paper flowers, metal flowers, cotton lace, chipboard shapes, glass beads

There's even some rubber stamping on there.

Once everything was on there, I painted over the whole lot using white gesso, then a layer of pearlescent paint.  I also spritzed with Perfect Pearls to add the tiniest hint of colour here and there (it has a very very pale hint of peachy pink in there which I don't think comes across well in the pictures)

Once all the paint and mica was dry I then rubbed over parts using White Fire Treasure Gold (love this stuff!)

The back of the box was kept plain .... when I say 'plain' it still has all the background texture from the tissue paper .....

but minimal embellishments

Same goes for the inside ..... simply painted with just a little something in there (wouldn't be me if there wasn't something on the inside now would it!)

I even made a card to match .....

A little lighter on the embellies but, still using the same techniques

Oh well ....... I'd love to stay and chat but I've got to dash.  I'm off to spend the afternoon with the ladies in Ballaugh.  It's their monthly workshop today so someone else has done all the hard work, I'm just going to enjoy myself ..... and do as I'm told (there's always a first time!)

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day

Cheerio until next time

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