Tuesday 28 August 2018

A walk on the wild side .......

Happy Tuesday ......

I've got the little man here to keep me company today ...... there's only one more week left of the school holidays.  That six weeks has flown by!!  Luckily he's looking forward to starting junior school.
He's had a great summer break I think ...... he's been here there and everywhere. The beauty of this island is there's always something going on .... somewhere.
He even managed to grab a quick photo with the great John McGuinness, who's back on the island for the MGP/Classic TT.

Dare I say, the weather has improved, and racing has finally got underway.  You can see just how misty its been though, from the photo above.

Alex also had a couple of birthday parties to go to while he's been on holiday, and guess who got the job of making the cards?
Funnily enough I don't do a lot of kids cards so there were none in my stash (note to self ..... add childrens cards to the to do list!)

Here's what we came up with though .......

As one party was up at the Wildlife Park, that was my starting point.
I've had these stamps forever and they'd never been used.  They're old Creative Expressions Designs called Jungle Friends and Monkeying Around ....... I had great fun playing around with these, as you can see ......

Lots of die cut apertures  ........ various stamped and coloured jungle friends

A little extra foliage here and there and a few ink spaltters .....

And more on the insides too .....

I even decorated the envelopes ......

Oh well .... must dash I've got a lot to do.  Hubby is on his way home ....... Whoo Hoo!!
He's left Melbourne a day early.  They managed to get everything done that needed to be done work wise, so he changed his flights home by 24 hours. 
He's currently on a plane to Dubai .... and it's around half past midnight I think, Melbourne time (3.30pm here in the IOM).  Then, it's Dubai to Manchester, leaving Dubai in the early hours,  and finally Manchester to Isle of Man, hopefully arriving on home soil around 3pm tomorrow, assuming there's no delays.  It's a heck of a journey, even in Business Class ..... jet lag is going to be fun!
Looking forward to having him home though.

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

Cheerio until next time .....

Monday 27 August 2018

Monday again ......

Happy Bank Holiday Monday ......

Yes, here in the UK we've got our last Bank Holiday before Christmas.  Scary isn't it!
I have been thinking about the festive season though ...... well sort of.  I put the idea out for a Christmas workshop last week, and everybody was very quick off the mark to get their names down.  Either they've been missing me (I don't think so), missing our monthly craft sessions (more likely) or,  they're also getting into the Christmas spirit!  I just need to play around with a few ideas now and then get the date sorted.

A few of us actually got together yesterday and had a lovely day round the craft table.  There were new home cards, a Jennifer McGuire inspired ...... Inside Shadow Box Card (Lyn mastered this one), a few Christmas ideas and some beautiful festive tags.  Me .... I wasn't that productive.  All I managed to do was to update my colour chart for the new Distress Oxide colours!!

I did have another play with the Alcohol Lift Ink though ...... and now everyone has a shopping list (sorry girls!)  It had to be done though, as I recently gave in and purchased that mahoosive stamp from Tim Holtz .... Glorious Bouquet.
The number of times I have talked myself out of this stamp, then I would see it being used, and well ..... now it's in the craft room, and it is beautiful ..... and BIG!!

It works well with the Alcohol Lift technique too ....... just look at the detail. Gorgeous!!

I haven't had chance to do anything with this yet but I'm sure I'll think of something!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day, and if it's the Bank Holiday for you too then make the most of it.

Cheerio until next time .......

Thursday 23 August 2018

Twofer Card Challenge .......

Happy Thursday ......

We're heading nicely towards the weekend ..... and this time next week, hubby will be nearly home!
Today I'm playing along with this month's Twofer Card Challenge ..... two cards, for two occasions, made using the same stamp or die.
The theme for August is ...... Geometric

Hmmmm ....... took me a while, but I got there in the end (just in time too .... I think the challenge closes tomorrow)

I've used a Memory Box die ...... I think it's called Mod Squares Background ..... and yes it is on both cards.
First ..... the female version ......

This beautiful stamp from Unity is one of my current favourites.  Stamped and heat embossed in Rose Gold and then coloured using the new Spun Sugar Distress Oxide before being cut into using the Mod Squares die

I also cut the die again, three times, from white cardstock and then inlaid and layered the various squares back into the stamped image.
I varied the number of layers on each square so that they would be at different heights and add a little more interest and texture to the design

A simple stamped sentiment and a few ink splatters finish it off

Now one for the boys using the same die .....

This was so simple to do ....... I die cut the squares from a piece of black card cut to fit the front of my card blank.  I cut it again from another piece of black card and again from a couple of pieces of designer papers.

I layered up the various squares of card and papers and then inlaid them back into the main piece of card matching up the stripes on the papers ....

An embossed sentiment and few dots of Nuvo Crystal Drops and we're done!

Two cards, two occasions, same die!

I was out yesterday for a lovely afternoon tea.  I met up with some of our crafty group to celebrate Carol's BIG birthday ........ we couldn't let that one slip by now could we!

I can show you her birthday card now .......

Love this image from Stamping Bella ........ coloured with ZIG markers and fussy cut

The sentiment is from SU ....... and is a two parter.   This goes on the outside of the card ....

and I'm sorry, but silly me forgot to take a picture of the inside, which says ......

 ...... Like "WHY did I walk into this room?" 
(it made me smile)
That could actually be me at the moment ..... can't remember anything unless I write it down!!
Happy Birthday Carol ..... remember hun, it's only a number!

I do remember though we arranged another crafty get together at mine at the weekend which should be fun .... looking forward to that. There's going to be birthday cake!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day
The sun has just popped it's head out .... lets hope it dries up all the rain from the monsoon that we had about half an hour ago!  Typical Isle of Man weather,  all the seasons in one day.  There's supposed to be another practice session today for the Manx GP  ..... fingers crossed!

Cheerio until next time .....

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Two cards ..... two challenges

Happy Tuesday ........

It's been a funny old day ...... it's been foggy here for most it, which was not good.  Our little island doesn't cope well with fog! 
First off the plane that brings some of the mail didn't arrive this morning ..... it couldn't land because of the fog.  Possibly why there was nothing through the letterbox today .... no craft stash delivery!!
And then the practice/qualifying session for the racing, which is due to run this evening because it was cancelled last night, has been a bit of a worry all day.
I think it is finally going ahead, a statement was issued earlier saying conditions have cleared considerably this afternoon on the mountain so, fingers crossed everything goes according to plan.  Did I mention we've got the MGP (Manx Grand Prix) on at the moment.  It's practice/qualifying this week, then race week next.
Oooh ..... the sun has just appeared, so we might just get a nice evening after all.  I hope it's shining where you are.

I'm playing along with a couple more challenges today ....... first up, CAS Watercolor

As you can see, the theme is Sunflower ...... 

I found this piece in my bits box whilst I was looking for something else, and thought it would go nicely with the challenge.
It's actually a leftover from a workshop I did I think ...... a stenciled mono print using a pretty design from Inkylicious.  I'm not sure but it may actually be a daisy, but I think it looks a bit like a sunflower so hopefully I'll get away with it!

I've used Squeezed Lemonade Distress Ink (I think!) directly onto the stencil, spritzed with water and then placed the inky side down on a piece of watercolour card

I love how the finished image isn't perfect.

I swished one of my brown ink blending brushes around the centre to add just a touch of colour, and then stamped the sentiment over the top.

Now for something a little more festive .......... the CAS Christmas Card Challenge

I couldn't resist this one .... you all know how much I love my Christmas tree, and I love how this has turned out .... may just make a few more like this

The tree is from IndigoBlu, stamped in Old Olive ink from Stampin Up!

I then ran the card through my Big Shot with the Softly Falling Embossing Folder (again from SU)

I added a touch of glitter to the tree and some of the snow ......

And finished with a simple sentiment ......

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.
I'm off back to the craft room to check on a mirror.  I'm painting the frame so that I can hang it in the spare bedroom.  It's only been on the to do list for about 5 years!!

You wouldn't believe what I've got done whilst hubby is in Australia.  My craft room has had a major clear out, I've been through nearly everything .... except my stamps.  That's too big of a job for now!  Kitchen cupboards and drawers have been sorted and cleaned.  Wardrobes sorted and tidied.
The refrigerator has been emptied and cleaned, we won't go into what was in the back of there!  And then this morning I started on the window blinds ..... he won't recognise the place when he gets home.  He definitely won't be able to find anything.  That'll teach him to go on a business trip without me!!

Now ..... what's next on my list?

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

Monday 20 August 2018

Stencil Mono printing for the CAS Mix Up Challenge .......

Happy Monday evening .......

Well, that's one weekend gone without hubby ........ only one more to go. 10 days and he'll be home. Anyone would think I'm missing him!  (You all know that I am of course!)

I did have a lovely weekend though.  A nice crafty day on Saturday (with cake ...... and gin!) and then a lovely lunch out on Sunday with Lauren and the little man.

Shhh! I don't want to say this too loud but, I think the mojo might be on it's way back too!  Finger's crossed I haven't spoken too soon. 
Saturday was lovely ...... crafting with a friend is always fun, and this weekend I was actually productive.  I can't share it just yet...... it was a special card for someone who's very recently had a BIG birthday (Sunday) and I haven't given it to her yet.(You'll get it on Wednesday Carol)

I do have something I can share though ..... yeah!  It's been a busy day in the craft room, not with anything in particular, just me trying to rustle up the mojo. 
Seeing as I have a little time on my hands I thought I would play along with some of my favourite Blog Challenges, I don't always get the chance.   First up is ...... CAS Mix Up

CAS ..... one of my favourite styles, mixed up with some fun techniques .......

Stencil Monoprinting ........ always a fun technique to try.  I've used the Tim Holtz Roses Layering Stencil and some pretty shades of Distress Oxides (Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry and Squeezed Lemonade)

If you've never tried this technique you'll find links on the CAS Mix Up Challenge Blog to some fab video tutorials ..... why not give it a go.

My choice of technique was ..... Die Cutting.  I used a stitched circle frame die to cut into my stencil monoprinted piece.
The inner piece was attached directly to my card blank, and I cut two more frames from plain white card.  These I layered together with the coloured frame on top, and attached them around the centre piece .... matching up the stencil design on the edge

See how the layered frame adds a little dimension, and the design still carries through .... love it!

A simple sentiment stamped underneath, and a few drops of Glossy Accents finishes it all off.

Well that's one challenge done ...... I'll be back with a few more, hopefully before the deadlines!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
I'm off for an early night tonight.

Cheerio until next time ......

Sunday 19 August 2018

Today's the day ........

Happy Sunday ......

Today is definitely the day if you're a Uniko fan.  It's New Release Day ..... whoo hoo!!
The brand new August release is available NOW on the Uniko website and ....... we're having a Blog Hop to celebrate.

First, here's a look at all five brand new stamp sets ........ there's something for everyone I think.  You've got background stamps, pretty florals, bold sentiments and of course lots of extras to suit any occasion. 

Which is your favourite?

Now ...... some inspiration for you. 
If you've started Blog hopping you'll have already seen a whole bunch of fabulous designs, and will have arrived here from the lovely Julie's Blog ..... don't worry if you haven't, just go back to the start  on the Uniko Blog and follow the list from there.

OK .... let's go!  You might want to grab a cuppa first, this post is a little photo heavy!
First up ....... So Much.  A pretty floral set with fab bold sentiments

I've simply stamped the sentiment in the centre of my card using a gold ink

Then stamped the florals top and bottom in black, and coloured with ZIG Markers

A few splatters of co-ordinating ink on the background and I couldn't resist using the tiny single flower that comes in the set, on the inside of my card ..... how cute is that!

Next up ..... those Background Builders - Happy Hexagons used along with the BIG & Bold Hello

 So simple to do ..... repeat stamp the border using various shades of Distress Oxides

I also used the outline version to randomly over stamp some of the hexagons, and then heat embossed in gold

I do love this Big Bold Hello stamp ..... it looks fab in the black! I did use the MISTI though,  to make sure I got great ink coverage

What about making a whole bunch of colourful gift tags .......

On to  ...... Beautiful.  Another pretty floral design .....

I've used the flowers here along with Distress Oxides and one of my favourite techniques ..... faux bleaching. 

I stamped and heat embossed the flowers in white around the edge of piece of watercolour card.
I then blended the Oxides over the top ..... I used Salty Ocean first followed by Blueprint Sketch (love this combination)

Once I was happy with the depth of colour, I used a clean paper towel to buff of any excess ink left on the white embossing and voila! the flowers just pop!
Now for the 'bleaching' ...... obviously you could use bleach to take the colour out but there's no need.  The oxides react with water so all you need to do is simply paint over the petals with clean water and mop up with a paper towel to remove the ink and give this faux bleached effect .....

You can get the same results using ordinary Distress inks too.

I added my sentiment to the centre and splattered a little more water onto the background

Still with me?  ...... last one.
The pretty Framed Florals .....

Used here with the brand new Alcohol Lift Ink ....... have you tried it yet?  It's a whole new way of using your Alcohol inks ..... I love it!!!

I've used YUPO card as my base, applied the Alcohol inks on top, using a little blending solution to move the inks around, and then left it to dry (it doesn't take long)

I then inked up my stamp with the Alcohol Lift Ink and stamped the image onto my coloured piece of YUPO.  Let the stamp sit for a couple of seconds before lifting it off.

Once you've lifted the stamp use a clean paper towel to blot any excess ink left behind on the YUPO card, using a clean spot on the towel each time you blot ..... don't rub straight away.
Once you're happy that there's no wet ink left, then buff over the design and watch the magic happen

You get this sort of ghosting effect, which is gorgeous

But .... that's not all.  Don't clean the alcohol ink that you've lifted off your stamp ..... take a plain piece of white card and stamp your image on to it .........

How pretty is that! And ...... you're not wasting your alcohol ink ..... clever or what!
Two cards in one .......

Well, that's it from me. I hope I've given you some ideas.
The whole of the new release is available for you now on the Uniko website, and your next stop on the Blog Hop is the lovely Lindsey.  Pop over and see more fabulous designs using this gorgeous new release.
Oooh ...... and don't forget to leave comments on your way through ..... there's a fantastic prize up for grabs.  You could win the ENTIRE new release!!!!
You have until midnight (BST) on 2nd September to leave your comments, and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy hopping!

Cheerio until next time .....