Tuesday 24 April 2018

I'm back!!! ......

Hello there ...... happy Wednesday evening to you,

What a busy few days!  We get back from holiday and it's been non-stop.  Think I'll go back to Italy, it's quieter over there ..... and warmer!

We had a lovely week away ..... beautiful scenery, this was our view every morning from our hotel room ..... looking out over the bay of Naples, with Vesuvius in the distance

(Don't worry I won't bore you with lots of photos ....... we didn't really take that many!!)
Our hotel was a little gem ...... 5 minutes from the center of Sorrento, but so peaceful.
Not every day was bright sunshine though ......

The day we went to see Pompeii, and then up to the top of Vesuvius, was a little bit cloudy at times.  It was still very warm though .....

Pompeii was amazing .... and so big!  We only got round a tiny part of it whilst we were there and I must confess we hardly took any photographs .... too busy taking in all the sights and the information from our guide.

After lunch we went on to Vesuvius ....... the coach drove most of the way up there then you could walk the rest of the way to the top if you wanted to.
On a clear day, the view apparently is spectacular from up there, but as I said it was pretty overcast when we were there so there wasn't much to see.  We still went up to the top though ...... we had to see the crater ......... and look, it was steaming!

We also spent a day on the beautiful isle of Capri ......

What a pretty island ...... 

We had lunch up in Anacapri, did a little shopping in the town ..... well it would have been rude not too

And finished the afternoon with a boat trip around the island .....

It was a little bumpy in places but, I must say it's one of the best ways to see the stunning coastline.  We didn't get to go in the famous Grotto Azzurra (Blue Grotto), the tide was too high but we did get pretty close to the shore in places ..... and the waters were amazingly clear.

We did sail through the Faraglioni though ......

(Some pictures courtesy of Google!)

It was a fabulous week .... but then again, we love Italy.
We ate far too much delicious food ...... and drank way too much nice wine.  And maybe just a little bit of this stuff .....

We didn't have time to do half of what we wanted to, there's so much to see.  So ...... we're already planning our next trip.


Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your evening.
It's back to normal for a while .... the craft room door is open and it's business as usual.  Lots of fun new stuff to play with!

Cheerio until next time .......

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Ciao dall'Italia ....... (Hello from Italy)

Happy Wednesday ....

Just a quick post to say even though hubby and I are away enjoying ourselves on the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy ..... I am still working!!  OK .... maybe not working, but I am on the Uniko Studio blog today with an inspiration post for you, using the gorgeous Chrysanthemum stencil.  Here's a few sneaky peeks ......

so pretty in pink!

crisp and fresh, perfect for Spring.

looks striking in black .....

and don't forget, your stencils work great alongside all those word dies

Why not pop over and see the designs in full.

Cheerio for now ...... time for breakfast

Friday 13 April 2018

There's still plenty of time to enter the Craft Stamper Challenge ......

Happy Friday 13th!! ......

I hope you're not superstitious. 
This is a scheduled post as I'm currently on my way to Naples ...... (I hope I am anyway!)  Then we're off to Sorrento on the beautiful Amalfi coast, for a week of relaxation, sight seeing, good food and nice wine. Hopefully we'll get some sun too!

April's Craft Stamper Challenge is in full swing, I did sneak a quick look at the gallery before I left and there's some amazing entries on there already.
If you've still not got yours in don't worry, there's plenty of time and if you need a little inspiration here you go .....

A little bit of stencil monoprinting.  You know I don't like to waste anything and this was a left over piece from a stencil workshop.

This was done using the pretty Daisy stencil from Inkylicious.  I'd used the stencil in the normal way, applying ink through the design to get the daisy image (see that card HERE)  Instead of wiping away the excess ink left on the stencil I added a touch more, spritzed over the top with a little water then placed the stencil ink side down, onto a piece of watercolour card.

I gave it a quick press down with a paper towel then removed the stencil and what was left was this pretty monoprint effect.  I really like how the image isn't perfect, and of course no two are ever going to be the same.
This is a great way of using up any left over ink on your stencils ...... they make really interesting background pieces,  and you can add more colour if you want to, or stencil different designs over the top to add layers, or simply stamp onto them as I've done here

A Penny Black sentiment, and a couple of my favourite bees from Lavinia Stamps

I did stamp the bees directly onto the card, to get the tiny details of the legs etc., and stamped them again onto a piece of white cardstock.  These I coloured in and then fussy cut them and layered them over the top

A touch of sparkle to the wings and a few drops of glitter glue and we're done!
I did brush around the edges with a little Vintage Photo Distress Ink just to frame the daisy

As always we have a challenge sponsor, and this month it's ....

and the prize for the challenge winner (randomly chosen) is 2 fabulous stamp sets (see below)

We'll also have a Design Winner ...... chosen by the DT.  Who knows .... this month it could be you!
You can find all the challenge details along with more fantastic inspiration from the rest of the Design Team over on the Craft Stamper blog

Thanks for popping by ...... have a great weekend.
And I'll see you all when I get back.

Arrivederci alla prossima volta .......

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Happy Little Stampers ATC challenge ........

Happy Tuesday evening ......

Only 2 more sleeps to go then we're off on our trip to Italy ..... non vedo l'ora!

Before I get started on the packing though, it's time to get the final challenge for April underway over on the Happy Little Stampers Blog.

It's already been a busy month over there ...... as it is every month.   There's a challenge for everyone whether you like to Watercolour,  or is CAS your thing?  A little bit of Christmas maybe,  or Mixed Media.  And if dies are your thing, then there's also a challenge for you with Anything Goes with Dies ...... and last, but not least this month it's the ATC challenge

It's a great theme this month ...... we all have butterfly stamps in our stash.

I've kept things fairly simple ..... watercolour card inked with Distress Inks and spritzed with water and then cut into ATC sized pieces (2.5 x 3.5 inches/64 x 89mm)

A little bit of random stamping on the background with a white ink

And then I stamped my butterflies using Onyx Black Versafine and heat embossed the images with a clear powder

All the words/sentiments have been stamped onto vellum using Versamark ink and heat embossed in white

I stamped a little extra onto the bottom of one of the ATC's .....

And this little guy has been stamped onto a leftover piece of card, fussy cut and given the Wink of Stella treatment to add a touch of sparkle, before attaching him to the ATC .....

and a few dots of white gel pen here and there finishes everything off nicely.

So .... are you an experienced ATC maker or have you never made one before?  Why not give it a go and join in the fun.
As with all the HLS challenges there's a $20 gift certificate for the winner AND .... if they've used HLS stamps then the prize is DOUBLED!!

Happy stamping!

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

It's been a busy few days here .... I've finally made it back into the craft room and I've been playing catch up trying to get everything done before we go away. 
Thank goodness my back is a lot better than it was ..... I can comfortably sit down again ..... yeah!! (Maybe the G&T's at the weekend did work after all!)

Cheerio until next time .........

Friday 6 April 2018

Time to Travel for the Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media challenge ....

Happy Friday evening .....

Yeah! ..... the weekend is here!
Should have kept my mouth shut yesterday about the sunshine.  No blue skies today I'm afraid ..... and it's cold!!!  It was a little fresh on the prom this morning .... glad I wasn't on the boat! 
Never mind ....... this time next week I shall be in Italy, on the beautiful Amalfi coast.  Sunshine (hopefully!), delicious food (no doubt!), nice wine (of course!) and seven relaxing days .... I can't wait!

Lot's to do before then though!  Including getting this month's Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media challenge started.

This month's theme is Travel ...... hmmm. Had to think about that one, even though I am getting in the holiday mood. 
In the end I came up with a pretty tag (could be classed as a luggage label I suppose) and, as I couldn't find any stamps relating to Italy in my stash (must do something about that!) I chose another of my favourite places to visit ...... PARIS  (something else to go on the To Do list .... haven't been there in a while)

I started out with a plain manila tag and simply added some colour using Distress Oxides directly from the ink pad onto the tag (I think it was Worn Lipstick and Twisted Citron)  I then used a wet wipe to blend the inks and cover the tag.

I used a couple of stencils to add more detail to the background ..... a heart stencil and the Worn Lipstick ink, and a leaf stencil which I used a wet wipe with to take away some of the ink and give a ghosting effect.

I stamped the beautiful Eiffel Tower onto the tag using my MISTI, just to make sure I got a clean image. I then added a touch more colour to the flowers, using the Distress Oxides again

And you can see I added a little bit of white gel pen to the centres and also to  highlight the main word.

I added a final layer to the tag by using the leafy stencil again, this time with texture paste .....

and a sprinkling of fine crystal glitter

As always there's a $20 Gift Certificate for the challenge winner ...... and don't forget if there's HLS stamps on the winning project, then the prize is doubled!!
You have to be in it to win it though ..... happy stamping!!

It's been a busy few days challenge wise, the beginning of the month always is.  Thank goodness I was prepared and had everything ready to go. 
What I wasn't ready for though was my workshop, which should have been this weekend ..... sorry ladies!
I'd moved it forward a week because of the holiday coming up,  then I went and put my back out didn't I.  I haven't been able to sit in the craft room and prep everything so unfortunately, I've had to cancel ....... sigh!  I really look forward to our monthly meetings ...... never mind, the May one is a week earlier than it should be too.  I'll be all prepared for that one ..... hopefully!

Thanks for popping by ....... have a lovely weekend, whatever you have planned.
Finger's crossed the weather gets a bit better. We're off out tomorrow evening, it's Chris's girlfriends birthday so we're going out for dinner ...... and maybe a cheeky cocktail or two!!

Cheerio until next time ......

Thursday 5 April 2018

Be You ......

Happy Thursday ......

It's challenge time again.
As you know the challenges over on the STAMPlorations Blog have been running a little differently lately.
To give Shery and her family time to catch up with things, and get used to daily life with a brand new baby and a toddler (I don't know how she does it!) instead of all the different monthly challenges that run, there's only ONE!

There's still a challenge theme, and as long as you follow the theme then any type of project is welcome ..... so anything goes really

This month the theme is ..... FOCUS ON THE SENTIMENTS ....... let the words take centre stage.  Make a feature of your sentiment, either on it's own or alongside another image.

There's so many fabulous large sentiment stamps around at the moment ....... check out the Typografia range or the Say it Big series from STAMPlorations, which is where the sentiment that I've used on my card comes from ......

It's called Be You and I've used it here alongside the pretty Radiant Roses from the In Bloom collection (which by the way is in the Spring Sale!)
Oh Yes! there's a fantastic Sale event going on at the moment ...... the STAMPlorations Spring Fever Super Sale.  It's running from April 1st through to the 8th so there's still a few days left to grab a bargain.
You'll find gorgeous stamps, stencils and dies in the Spring section on the website, all with 25% off.  Just use the Code SPRING25 at the checkout.  See the website for full details

Anyway ...... back to the card ......

I stamped the roses using Versamark ink and heat embossed the image with gold embossing powder.

I then coloured the flowers with various shades of Distress inks and used a water brush to blend the colours.
A few ink splatters on the background with the same inks, add a bit more interest

I stamped the sentiment in Black Versafine straight onto my card ...... I used my MISTI to do this so that I could re-stamp until I got a really deep, crisp image.

I stamped it again onto a seperate piece of card, this time in a deep pink shade, to co-ordinate with the flowers, and heat embossed with a clear powder.   I did a little fussy cutting around the word 'You' and attached this over the top of the black version, slightly off set to give the look of a shadow. You can also see that it's had a coat of Glossy Accents, this brings the colour out even more.

To finish off I added the flowers to the inside of my card .....

Heat embossing in gold again, and using the same Distress inks as before to add the colour.

Now it's your turn .... can't wait to see your designs in the challenge gallery.

Check out all the challenge details, along with prize information, over on the STAMPlorations Blog.  You'll also find some amazing inspiration pieces from the rest of the Design Team on there too

Happy stamping!

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

It's been lovely here today, the sun has been shining ..... and dare I say Spring has finally arrived!
My back seems to be getting better too ..... fingers crossed!  I'm OK stood up now, and I can walk around fine, it's just sitting or lying down I'm still having trouble with!   

Cheerio until next time .....