Thursday 24 March 2016

Weekend workshop ......

Happy Thursday .....

Looking forward to the weekend ..... I know I am.
Before all that though I want to share with you what we got up to last weekend, when I had a group of ladies round and we spent the afternoon playing with alcohol inks.

Alcohol inks are not something that I've used that much ...... they've been in my stash forever,  just not really got around to playing with them.
I kept things simple .... just used the inks onto glossy cardstock (I used the Clarity Chromo card) using different techniques to apply them

Using one of the Ranger Applicator tools and felt we started off by applying a few drops of alcohol ink onto the felt, using two of three different colours, a few drops of blending solution and then just pounced the ink onto the card, moving the applicator tool around a little to get a more random, marbling effect.
Next we put some drops of ink onto a craft sheet, again using two or three colours, added quite a bit of blending solution and then took a piece of glossy card and 'smooshed' it through the inks until the card was covered.
Finally we tried an ombre effect using just one shade of ink at a time.  We applied the alcohol ink onto the felt along with some blending solution and then swiped the colour across the glossy card, gradually going darker with the shades of ink.

Some of the colour combinations were gorgeous and it was nice just to have a play and see what happened.

Then it was onto making some of the inked pieces into cards.  
I'd seen a gorgeous design on Pinterest (as you do when you spend the morning browsing!) by a lady called Jacqueline from Jacqueline's Craft Nest.  She'd made a gorgeous Christmas design using alcohol inks and embossing, and then cut her piece into squares to make a grid card ........ which I thought would be a great idea for a workshop ..... it would get them all thinking about design and layout and get them working with their trimmers, or knives/scissors, cutting all the squares equally. No cheating using dies here!! 

So here's what I came up with ...... 

We started off with something simple ..... just three pieces.

Alcohol inks for the background, then stamped and embossed on the top using Versamark ink and White and Gold embossing powders. 

The good thing about alcohol inks is that they dry immediately .... no waiting or heating required.  
It's a good idea to use an anti-static bag over the card before stamping, just as you would normally when using embossing powders.  A quick dust over, stamp your image and then use your embossing powder.  I used my favourite Penny Black stamp ..... blush, first with the white embossing powder, then again over the top with gold ...... dusting each time with the anti-static bag in between stamping

I then cut it into three equal pieces and mat them onto a piece of black card which I think makes the whole thing pop!

A simple sentiment on the front 

And a smaller version of the stamp on the inside 

Next up we did six pieces ........ and used a large stamp over the whole of the coloured card

I'm not sure of the name of this stamp but it's by Hero Arts and it's a lovely large script stamp with butterflies on 
I simply stamped the image over my card and then used white powder over half of it, and gold on the rest.

I then cut it into six squares and rearranged them a little to add a bit more interest ...... mixed up the white and the gold ......

I punched a little accent piece from a bit of leftover card and added a simple greeting to the bottom

To finish the afternoon we went for nine squares ..... this is my favourite I think

This got them all thinking .......... I found the easiest way to do this was to cut my nine squares from the coloured card and then do my stamping.
I did stamp over two or three squares at the same time ..... the script was done like that, and the flowers. Then some were embossed in white and some in gold.

I used a mixture of stamps ...... the script is from Stampin Up! I love this large background stamp ..... unfortunately I think it's been retired.  The bird is from Hero Arts  ......  a cling stamp called Timely Bird.  The flowers are from Penny Black ..... ebullient and there's also a Kaisercraft stamp on there called simply 36 ....... figures!

They all had great fun mixing up their squares and deciding on the layout of their stamped images .... the key is don't think about it too much though, you want it to appear random.

I added a stamped sentiment to the front, and another little punched accent piece to finish off

I love how these turned out ......  the design possibilites are endless.  It's a good way of using small stamps too as well as the larger ones.  I'll definitely be repeating some of these .... thanks Jacqueline!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.
And if you're celebrating Easter then have a great time .... enjoy the holiday break.

Cheerio until next time


Wednesday 23 March 2016

CAS Mix Up ....... I can't resist a challenge

Happy Wednesday ......

It's the middle of another week ........ and we've got Easter coming up at the weekend.  I'm looking forward to a few nice relaxing days.  And as the little man is off on holiday on Friday with his mummy and Robbie, it's going to be very quiet around here.
They're all flying off to Tenerife for a week ...... it's alright for some!! I'm getting ready for some warm sunshine I can tell you.  Although it's been lovely here ..... just need the temperature to go up a notch or two!

Have you heard about the brand new challenge that launched at the beginning of March?  It's called CAS Mix Up ...... sounds like my sort of fun!

And I'm so trilled to say that it's the brand new baby of two of my lovely blog buddies ..... the very talented pair ..... Loll Thompson (Stamping with Loll) and Bonnie Klass (Stamping with Klass)

This is right up my street ..... CAS (clean and simple) along with a little Mixed Media thrown in.
The rules are simple ..... check them out here on the blog.   You'll also find all the challenge details and the definition of CAS Mixed Media along with a list of  "Your Choice"options to get you started.

As usual I'm on the last minute with a challenge entry ..... but better late than never as they say.  I wasn't going to miss the first challenge now was I!

As you can see ..... for March we had to include Stamping .... check!  Watercolouring ...... check! and for my choice element I went for stenciling with a little bit of texture paste and a touch of Gilding Flakes

I was inspired by an article in the April edition of Craft Stamper magazine by the lovely Kim Dellow, all about layering.

I started by giving the background a wash of colour using the acrylic block technique to give this watercoloured look.  I applied Victorian Velvet Distress Ink directly onto an acrylic block, spritzed with water and then 'stamped' onto my piece of card
I repeated this until I had the look I was after

I then stamped onto the background using a grey ink with stamps from the Stampin Up sets ....... Gorgeous Grunge and the new Timeless Textures (love this set!!!)

I stamped the butterfly onto the front of the card using Dusty Concord Distress, and again onto a separate piece of  white card and then used a wet paintbrush to bring out the colour from the edges giving this nice delicate watercoloured look.  It was then fussy cut and placed over the top of the stamped imaged (no need to cut around the antennae!)

I applied some texture paste through a stencil randomly onto the background and whilst it was still wet I sprinkled white embossing powder over the top and heated it .... love how this adds to the texture.

A light touch of FlitterGlu in places and some silver gilding flakes give a little bit more detail and shine

A simple word stamped on the front ......

and a little something on the inside finish everything off nicely

Like I said, I'm a little late joining the party but there's still time left if you would like to join in the fun.  The challenge runs until March 24th so be quick!!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.
I need to tidy my desk before I start on the next job on the 'To Do' list.

Cheerio until next time


Sunday 20 March 2016

Happy Special Birthday Kim! .....

Hi everyone,

I'm popping in today to wish my Happy Little Stampers team mate, the lovely Kim (Cupcakes, Cards and Kim)
 a VERY HAPPY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY (she's 60 today!)

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday dear Kim ......
Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

To mark this special occasion our HLS boss (aka the lovely Kylie) is hosting a Surprise Birthday Linky Party over on her blog .......

Here's my birthday card for you Kim ....... hope you've had a lovely day!

I've used the HLS Butterfly Birthday along with the Fun Birthday Sentiments.

There's quite a bit of masking gone on to create the background ...... using just two of the gorgeous butterflies from the stamp set

I decided to leave the butterflies without colour and I gave the background card that was still showing a wash of colour instead.

For the centre panel I stamped and embossed the sentiment in the middle and then applied Distress Inks over the top.
I blended the colours a little and then spritzed with water to give that splattered look

Using the same colours of Distress  I stamped more of the different sentiments over the rest of the card

On another piece of card, coloured with the same Distress Inks, I stamped the third butterfly from the set three times, and cut them out using the matching HLS dies
I then added these to the front of the card

So pretty ......

and I stamped some more butterflies on the inside to finish off .....

I hope you've had a special day Kim.  Your card is on it's way ..... sorry it's going to arrive late, but it means you can keep the celebrations going a little longer .... mwah! xx

If you'd like to join in the fun and wish Kim a Happy Birthday you can find the Linky over on Kylie's blog.  It will be open for 2 weeks so there's loads of time to join in.

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

It's time to finish the weekend off with a nice gin and tonic I think, and a toast to my team mate ......


Cheerio until next time


Thursday 17 March 2016

Live Life Out Loud .....

Happy Thursday folks ......

I've got a little more inspiration for you for this month's STAMPlorations CAS Blog Challenge.
The theme is Anything Goes .... with an optional color twist of YELLOW

Now YELLOW is not a colour I generally go for but, I must admit I'm liking it a little more after creating this card ..... it looks so pretty!

I've used the gorgeous Blooming Buds from STAMPlorations for the flowers.  I simply masked off the small rectangle in the centre using a Post It note and then stamped the bloom around the edges. You can see that I did stamp over the edge of the Post It note in places ......

I wanted to create the finished look of the greeting being in front, or on top of the flowers.

With the mask still in place I added some colour to the flowers using my Distress Inks, mixed  with a little water ....  two colours to add a touch of shading .....

I then removed the mask, drew around where it had been, using a ruler to guide me, but I didn't keep the lines perfectly straight

To finish off I added one of the sentiments from Shery's Noteworthy stamp set......

and a little something on the inside

Check out the STAMPlorations CAS Challenge blog for more fabulous inspiration from the rest of the DT and then it's over to you.  You'll find all the details on the challenge blog.  Go on get those entries in before the deadline ...... you have to be in it to win it!
Happy stamping!

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

Cheerio until next time


Wednesday 16 March 2016

Let the words say it all .......

Hello again ......

As promised earlier ...... a little crafty post for you.
It's the middle of the week already ....... and so far this week it's been glorious here.  Blue skies and sunshine ..... I hope it's nice where you are.

I've missed playing along with the Less is More Challenge for the last couple of weeks but I wasn't going to miss this week ....... it's my favourite ....... One Layer Week!
The challenge is to make your SENTIMENT the main focus of the card.  Still lots of white space required, and that all important just ONE layer ......

I knew exactly which stamp I was going to use ...... my new Stampin Up Sale-a-bration set Botanicals for You ...... the large sentiment is perfect for the job.

I just wish I had my MISTI .......  it could have done with another stamping I think to get a deeper colour only I wasn't going to risk doing it again free hand!!
Yes, I've finally given in and ordered the MISTI tool, well they were such a good price from Craft Obsessions .... I couldn't resist! It was dispatched yesterday so it should be here before the end of the week,  Just need to find time to have a play with it!

Anyway .... where was I?
The sentiment was stamped using a pink Memento ink (it is actually a little darker in real life, than it looks here) then I gave it the dotty treatment with a white gel pen to add a bit more interest

A few flowers underneath adds a bit more colour .........

a few nice words on the inside too .........  job done!

OK ... time to make a start on the mountain of ironing ...... oh joy!  I hope your evening's entertainment is more fun!

Thanks for popping by ...... again!

Cheerio until next time


Food glorious food .........

Happy Wednesday .......

Do you like to eat out?  Do you always go to the same, favourite places?  How often do you try something new on the menu?

Well .... the Isle of Man is definitely the place to be if you like your food.  There's loads of  nice restaurants ..... not just in Douglas but all over this little island, and hubby and I have set ourselves a task of finding them all!

We have our favourites ..... Samphire is mine ..... delicious seafood

along with MacFarlane's ..... love their goats cheese souffle!!  although we haven't been for a while.

14 North comes in a close second ..... and the Little Fish Cafe is great for lunch.  They do fabulous weekend brunch too ...... with  nice champagne cocktails (Hic!)

Although if you want cocktails ..... the Bath & Bottle is the place to go

They serve you this tasty popcorn in tin mugs ..... not a bad trick as it does makes you thirsty! The Bellini cocktails, or a Heminway Daiquiri can soon sort that out though.

It sounds as though we do nothing but eat and drink ........ well, yes ..... that's pretty much it! Only joking.
But if you've been following my blog for a while you'll know we do love our food, and the odd glass of wine!

So ...... we've decided that each month, one night (or lunchtime) we're going to eat somewhere we haven't been before, work our way around this delicious island ...... yum!!

January we went to a lovely Italian place just around the corner from where we live ...... walking distance in fact ....... Enzo's.  Nice place, lovely food and the service was good.  One to add to the list.

February we went down to Castletown to Leonardo's  and had a fabulous meal there.  Again great service and good food ..... the focaccia bread was amazing!

And then last night our new restaurant for March was a little family run Italian place called Andrea's down in Port St Mary.
The food was delicious .... medium rare steaks cooked to perfection!   We arrived early but it was no problem and for a Tuesday evening it did get quite busy.  They don't serve alcohol but you can take your own wine/beer etc., and they don't charge corkage which is great.  We knew this before we went so we took a nice bottle of wine with us, but if we hadn't there was an off-licence next door.
Definitely a place to go back to ..... I want to try the pizzas next!

I'm going to keep a list on the sidebar of my blog, of all the new places we visit so if any of you are locals and fancy trying them ...enjoy!  And if any of you decide to visit this little island at any point at least you'll know where to eat.

If you like cooking there's a fantastic cook book that came out at the end of last year, called the Island Kitchen.  It's put together by some of the best restaurants and chefs on the island, some of which I've mentioned above.  It's definitely worth a read and if you love your food then I'm sure there'll be something in there to tempt you.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
Don't worry I'll be back later with a crafty post for you ..... it's not really all about food!

Cheerio until next time


PS .......  the diet always starts tomorrow!

Friday 11 March 2016

I'm back again .....

Hello there ......

Just a quickie.  I'm finishing the week on a bit of a sad note ........ I'm stepping down from the Clarity Design Team.
I've had a smashing 8 months being part of one of the best DT's in the business.  Huge thanks to Barbara and the team for the fabulous opportunity to work with such great products.

But ..... life happens ..... things change ...... and a new chapter begins.

Have a great weekend ...... and if you've got the nice weather .....enjoy it!  Spring is just around the corner.

Cheerio until next time


Have you entered the Craft Stamper challenge yet? .......

Happy Friday,

Another weekend just around the corner and it's looking like it's going to be a nice one too.  The sun is still shining over here and the temperatures are actually warming up a little (oops! maybe I shouldn't have said that!) Anyway ..... whatever you've got planned for the next couple of days, enjoy it!

First though .... have you entered this month's Craft Stamper Take It Make It challenge yet?  If not there's still plenty of time.  There's fab prizes up for grabs ...... one from this month's sponsor .......

 A fabulous €20 (EUROS) voucher to spend in the store

And then there's the Design Winner 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 challenge and get a Winner's Profile published on the blog!

Need a little more inspiration ...... here's a little something from me, and you can also find lots more on the Craft Stamper Blog today

I'm ticking off more than one job on the 'To Do' list today ........ there's quite a few birthdays in March that I need cards for so this is another one done!

Spring is on it's way .... the crocus and daffodils are starting to bloom so I thought I'd go all floral.

The background is the Stampin Up! Hardwood simply stamped onto a piece of white card using the Wendy Vecchi Hydrangea Archival ink  ..... love this shade!!

I then stamped various flowers from the Doodle Buds stamp set by WPLUS9 onto white card, coloured them using Distress Inks and then fussy cut around them

The butterfly is by Prima ..... one of the gorgeous stamps from the Finnabair range, stamped first directly onto the Woodgrain background and then again onto white card, coloured, cut out and layered over the top.  Doing it this way avoids having to cut around those fiddly antennae

I arranged my flowers on the front of the card using foam pads to attach some to add a bit of dimension ......

and finished off with a sentiment from the Happy Little Stampers Fun Birthday Sentiments

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

Now it's your turn.
Your entry can be anything you like, as long as there's rubber stamping on there.
Remember ....... one entry per blog post please.   Link back to your actual challenge entry post, not just your blog, and include a link to the Craft Stamper Challenge Blog.  Happy stamping!

Thanks for popping by ..... have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.
I'm off now to quickly tidy up the old craft room ...... I've got a crafty buddy coming round this morning and I need to get my things ready .... need to get out of my PJ's too!!!

Cheerio until next time