Friday 24 April 2020

How is everyone? ........

Hello there .......

Happy Friday!  I hope you're all safe and well.
It's Week 6 of our self isolation and, we're doing OK ..... I think!
I do feel guilty though,  it's like we're here in our own little bubble, and everything's ticking along nicely, whilst the rest of the world is doing it's best to survive.
Apart from the fact I haven't seen the sea since I can't remember when,  and I really miss the kids and our family get togethers, life is pretty much the same.  Hubby's home a bit more than normal but hey!  he's no trouble.   The nice sunny weather we've been having is helping too!

The sunny days have given us clear nights but, we still didn't see the satellites passing over, or any of the meteor shower, but,  Venus has been out there every evening ......

Life on the island is starting to change ........ slowly.  A few of the restrictions have been lifted here today.  The government seems to think we have things under control ..... I just hope they're right. 
Construction workers, gardeners, window cleaners and related businesses are allowed back to work as of this morning which is good.  And there's now no restrictions on the amount of time we can spend outside.  Our borders are still well and truly closed, and we still have to social distance.  There's no gatherings of more than two people and they have to both be from the same household, but we can now travel further on the island, and spend longer outside.
That means,  and we have checked with the police, we can take the 'van' out ..... whoo hoo!!!  Remi's going to get to see some of the island at last!
There's no overnight stays anywhere obviously, but we can drive somewhere and park up for a while which is good news.  Road trip at the weekend!!

I've actually been spending some time in my craft room ..... yeah!  Lots of DT things for next month's Blog Challenges, and lots of stuff like this ....... making swatches for all my embossing powders (I must be bored!!) .......

Sorting through my stencils ....... (still not finished that one!)

And organising my much loved Fresco Finsh Paints (another work in progress!) .....

Each bottle has a colour swatch on the lid now ....... don't they look pretty!  They will do when they're all in there (if they'll fit!)

I've also been joining in with some FaceBook Live online workshops, hoping to jumpstart my mojo, and I think it's working.  I've really enjoyed just doing stuff.

Organised by Sharon from the Forget Me Not Kraft Kabin we've had JOFY using her new stamps and stencils.  Mine hadn't arrived in time for the FB Live, so I improvised ......

The new ones are here now so I'm looking forward to doing this one again.

And then last weekend it was Tracy Scott using her brand new Lace Books ...... I absolutely loved this!  It was the best Saturday afternoon I've had in a long time

Lots of paints and stencils, stamping and doodling ..... it was so much fun.

I've already signed up for the next ones ..... can't wait!

So, not quite as manic as usual in the craft room, but I am keeping busy.
Time to finish mowing the lawn now I think.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day and have a lovely weekend.
I would have been off to the Happy Stampers Festival at Port Sunlight with my crafty ladies this weekend (sigh!)  Hopefully we'll get the chance to go in October .... fingers crossed.  I might just have to do some internet craft shopping this weekend instead!

Cheerio until next time ......  stay safe, stay well, stay home!

Wednesday 15 April 2020

There's still time to play along with this month's CAS Challenges .......

Happy middle of the week ......

We've had another lovely sunny day here, and I've done absolutely nothing!!
I did go into the craft room this morning, put a few things away, moved stuff around a little bit on my desk, and then walked straight back out again ....... it was too nice to be in there.  Instead I grabbed my laptop and Kindle, a bottle of sun cream and headed outside.  It's been lovely catching up on emails, watching some FaceBook Live craft videos, and just enjoying this nice weather.  Might even go in the hot tub later!

First, I have got a quick reminder for you, about a couple of this month's CAS Challenges.
We like to give you a few more ideas mid way through the challenges just incase you need a little bit of inspiration.

First up ..... the CAS Mix Up Challenge, where the theme this month is Bleaching

Don't forget to check out the links on the CAS Mix Up blog to some useful videos on using this fun technique.

You might think using bleach on your cards is not for you.  I know I'm not that keen on the smell, and even though you can get odourless ones these days there are other ways of achieving the same look.
I like to use plain old water, and Distress Inks, it works a treat. 

I stamped the flowers across the centre of a piece of white cardstock, heat embossed the image in gold, and then blended Distress Ink over the top.

Using a paintbrush and some clean water, I 'bleached' out the colour from the leaves.
I simply painted the water onto the leaves and then mopped it away with a piece of paper towel removing the Distress Ink too.  The more water you apply, the more colour you will remove

Once it was dry I fussy cut around the bottom edge and then attached it to the top the front of a card blank, leaving white space at the bottom to show off the fussy cut edge

I stamped a sentiment on there and finished off with a few sparkly gems

Next up .... the CAS Stencil Challenge
This month the theme is Gilding Flakes. Not a product known for using with stencils but, they work.

I've gone for a 'less is more' approach on this design with just a touch of gilding flakes on the stenciled detail in the background.

I smooshed a little Distress Ink onto the centre of a white cardblank using a piece of acetate, and then stenciled over the top with some texture paste.

Once this was dry I placed the stencil back over the paste and used my finger to apply a little bit of glue to the surface ...... not too much, and I wasn't that careful about applying it as I wanted a sort of grungy look, I didn't want to completely cover the texture paste.

I removed the stencil and then applied the Gilding Flakes.  A gentle rub over to make sure they had covered all the glue, then I took a sponge and rubbed away any excess

I stamped the butterfly onto a piece of mop up card and added a touch more colour to it using some coloured pencils before fussy cutting around the edge

He was attached onto the card, and I finished with a sentiment

 I think we could all do with some happy thoughts right now!

There's still plenty of time to get your entries in for all the CAS Challenges, and if you need more inspiration then check out what the rest of the Design Teams have been up to.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
I'm off to create something in the kitchen now, not quite sure what yet.  I'm thinking a chilli maybe with a nice bottle of Malbec.  Well it is World Malbec Day on Friday this week ..... we've already booked our special menu for Friday night, freshly prepared and delivered from our little place in town ...... looking forward to that.

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

Products used:

CAS Mix Up
Stamps: Precious Peony (Altenew); Special Sentiments (Penny Black) 
Inks: Distress Ink - Picked Raspberry; Versamark Ink; Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Other: Gold Embossing Powder (WOW!); Clear Glitter Gems

CAS Stencil
Stamps: Flutters 2 (Inkylicious); Happy Thoughts (Penny Black sentiment)
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Distress Ink - Picked Raspberry
Other: Tim Holtz Stencil - Stripes; Texture Paste (Ranger); Flitter Glu, Gilding Flakes (IndigoBlu) 

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Perfectly CAS (using only one third or less!) Challenge ......

Happy Tuesday .....

It is Tuesday isn't it!?  I'm having real trouble remembering what day it is .... thank goodness it tells me on my mobile phone!!

I hope you all had a good Easter ..... probably not the one you planned but, at least the weather was nice.

It's time for challenge #8 for Perfectly CAS (using only one third ..... or less)

CAS (Clean and Simple) ....... not everyone's cup of tea, and not always that easy to achieve.
It's all about white space, minimum layers and very little in the way of embellishments, and if you stick to the one third or less rule, then you can't really go wrong.

The theme this month is Masking ......

I decided to use a few different stamps, and a bit of clever masking to creatre a pretty layered look

I stamped my sentiment first, followed by the butterflies.  You can see I stamped the butterflies quite close to the words.
Remember ....... when using multiple stamps to create a layered, or collage look, the image that you want on top, or at the front, needs to be stamped FIRST, and then masked.  This makes anything that you stamp over the top, look as though it's underneath once the masks have been removed (hope that makes sense!)

So, I created masks for the butterflies, just from simple Post-It notes. 
Tip ....... when stamping onto Post-It notes make sure that some of the image is stamped with the sticky strip underneath, that way your mask has something to help keep it in place

I masked off the butterflies and also the words ..... again just with a simple Post-It note cut to size.
I then stamped the foliage over the top before removing all the masks

I used ZIG Markers and a water brush to add some colour, and to define the sentiment  I drew along the edge of where the mask had been using a gold marker pen, creating the look that my sentiment was on a seperate piece of card.

I finished off with a few splatters of gold ink on the front, and added a little bit of detail to the inside

I look forward to seeing your designs in the gallery.

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

Cheerio until next time .......

Products used:
Stamps: Flutters 2, Sentiment stamp (Inkylicioous); Wallpaper Art -foliage (Altenew)
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata - Golden Glitz (splatters)
Others: ZIG Clean Color Brush Markers, Gold Metallic Marker pen 

Friday 10 April 2020

There's no place like home ......

Good morning ..... Happy Good Friday!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well, and enjoying the Easter weekend at home.

If you fancy spending some time in your crafty space, then why not play along with this month's Craft Stamper Challenge.  There's still plenty of time to get your entries in.

As always, the theme is Anything Goes, you just have to remember to include some actual rubber stamping on your project, and then you're good to go.

I've been searching for my mojo recently, and I thought maybe some time spent playing in one of my journals would help.
So ....... inspired by a prompt from an online journal course here's what I came up with .......

You've probably guessed the prompt was ....... Home

I used acrylic paints, Distress Oxide Inks, stencils, and a few JOFY stamps ...... and I must say I did enjoy the process.  It's good to get inky fingers occasionally!

I lightly sketched the hills across the bottom half of the journal pages and then used a brush to roughly apply the acrylic paints

I wasn't too fussy about applying the paints, I just wanted to get some colour on there and also a bit of texture.  And I quite like the fact you can see the brushstrokes in places ..... adds a bit of interest.

I did the same with the sky ...... and used a piece of sponge to add in the white clouds.

I did leave a space without any paint so that I could add in the sun  ......

For this I used a stencil and a thin layer of yellow acrylic paint, and then extended the rays a little using a yellow watercolour crayon over the top, and blending them together with a little water

I added a little extra detail using a flower stencil and white paint, and also defined the hills a little using a black pencil.

I stamped the trees onto white cardstock, and then used Distress Oxide Inks to add the colour before fussy cutting around them

The house was stamped onto a piece of cardstock from my bits box, coloured using PaperArtsy's Infusions I think.

Everything was then glued down over the background in my journal, and I finished off by stamping the various sentiments all around the edge, added a touch of doodling here and there using black and white fine liner pens, and of course added in the words ........

With what we're all having to go through at the moment, there really is no place like home!

As with all the Craft Stamper challenges, there's prizes up for grabs.
This month's randomly chosen, Challenge Winner will receive this amazing Woodware bundle .......

And, we'll also have a Design Winner.  They will receive a Winner's Profile post on the Craft Stamper Blog, they will be invited to be a Guest Designer on the Blog Challenge and, they will also have their winning project published in a future issue of the Craft Stamper magazine.
Check out the Craft Stamper Blog for more details.

I'm hoping to spend some more time with my journal this weekend ..... lets hope I've kicked started the mojo!

Speaking of the weekend, I think we're going camping!  Don't worry it's only going to be in the garden, well on the drive actually. 

We're spending some time with Remi ......

Have you seen anything on Facebook about the Great British Campout for NHS Staff
A guy called Ian had this idea of having a 'camp out' to raise some money to support the NHS staff and volunteers, for all their amazing work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
So, last Saturday night anyone that had a camper or motorhome on their drive, or a tent in their garden could donate £2 each (or more) to the wonderful NHS staff, and then spend the night camping out.
The reaction he got was unbelievable!!  Even people without vans or tents were camping out in garden sheds, or making tents in their lounges ...... it was incredible. 
I think he said he was looking to raise a couple of hundred pounds .......... he did in fact raise over £100,000!!!! And that amount is still rising ....... amazing or what!

So ..... they're doing it all again for the Easter weekend, and hubby and I thought we would join in. 
We had planned to spend this weekend on one of the campsites on the island with Lauren, Robbie and Alex.  They would have been in George (the VW), and us in Remi ..... so, if we can't go to the campsite, we'll bring the campsite to us.  Let's hope the weather stays nice.

Thanks for popping by ....... enjoy your Easter weekend.
Stay safe ....... stay well ....... stay at home!

Cheerio until next time ......

Products used:
Stamps: JOFY 29, JOFY 9, 11, 12, 49 (for the words), JOFY Mini JM42 
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Distress Oxides - Gathered Twigs, Shabby Shutters, Mowed Lawn
Paints: PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Acrylic Paints - Granny Smmith, Magic Moss, Blue Oyster, Snowflake, Cheesecake
Other: Jane Davenport AquaPastels (Yellow); Sunrays stencil (Visible Image); PaperArtsy Stencil - PS107 (flowers), White Gel Pen, Black Fine Liner

Saturday 4 April 2020

CAS Stencil Challenge ......

Happy Saturday to you ........

I hope you're having a good day.

It's time for another Blog Challenge.   Are stencils your thing?  Fancy doing something a little bit different with them?  How about joining in the fun on the CAS Stencil Challenge
We've got a great prompt for you this month .........

Cathy's  our Host for the April challenge,  and she wants us to use ........ Gilding Flakes

Possibly not the first thing you think of when using your stencils but ..... they do work so well.
If you're not familiar with using Gilding Flakes then check out the CAS Stencil Blog.  On there you'll find lots of inspiration from the Design Team, and our fab Guest Designer this month ...... Mac (The Sweetest of Peas).  There's also some links on there to some fab videos to give you some ideas on using gilding flakes.

I've used Gilding Flakes to add a touch of shimmer and shine to the background, using one of my favourite stencils ..... I do love this honeycomb design.

I started by using the stencil with Distress Ink directly onto my card.
I then took a piece of Cut n Dry foam and applied a light touch of glue, over the ink, through parts of the stencil ....... remember if you're using any kind of glue through your stencils clean them thoroughly asap after use.

I placed my Gilding Flakes onto the sticky surface, rubbed over the top with the flat of my hand to make sure I'd covered everything and then gently rubbed over the flakes using a sponge to take away the excess and bring out all the detail of the stencil again.

I stamped the pretty sunflower onto a seperate piece of cardstock and heat embossed the image with a clear powder.
I coloured it using Distress Inks, and fussy cut.

 I stamped the bee and my sentiment onto the card ......

The sunflower was added using foam pads to give a bit of dimension, a bit of colour onto the bee, and I finished off with a touch of shimmer on his wings ......

I'd forgotten how much fun Gilding Flakes can be ..... enjoy!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I've got another night off from cooking this evening ....... we're having a little treat (again!)
A lot of the restaurants on the island have had to rethink ways of keeping their business going during this crazy time.  A lot of them, our favourite little place (Wine Down) included, have been offering take aways and delivery service for food, and wine.
Wine Down have also been doing their special menus ..... week before last was Greek week, which was delicious.  Last night we had a special Lebanese menu, which was amazing!  And when we saw the menu for this evening we couldn't resist so, we've ordered in again!
We've got Beef Wellington tonight.  It's all arrived, beautifully prepared, with full instructions on how to cook it and all I have to do is put the oven on and open the wine ....... sounds good to me.

Stay safe everyone ......... cheerio until next time

Products used:
Stencil: Texture Honeycomb stencil (MemoryBox)
Stamps: Sunflower Bee (Julie Hickey Designs; Bee Happy Clear Stamps (Uniko)
Inks: Distress Ink - Wild Honey, Scattered Straw, Tea Dye; Versafine Clair - Nocturne;
Other: Clear Embossing Powder (WOW!); Chariot of Fire Gilding Flakes, Flitter Glue, Scoochy Sponge (IndigoBlu); Yellow Watercolour pencil; Wink of Stella pen

Friday 3 April 2020

Uniko Challenge #58 ...... Spots and Stripes

Good morning .....

Well we've made it to Friday again.

I've got a little reminder for you this morning about the current Uniko Challenge.  If you want to join in the fun then there's still plenty of time to play along.

It's Challenge #58 and we would like you to include Spots and Stripes.  As always there's an optional twist ....... for this challenge it's to use a stencil, or stencils if you like.

I haven't included the twist, instead I went for a nice CAS design but, I have used the spots and stripes.

The stripes (Background Block - Pinstripe) were stamped onto a piece of white card and then die cut using a nesting circle die.

I used a matching scalloped circle die to add a decorative layer behind, and then attached this using foam pads onto the front of my card.

I then stamped the flowers (Pure Florals - Cosmos) onto a piece of white cardstock and also onto a snippet of dotty patterned paper.
The ones on the white card I fussy cut around the image in full, and the ones on the patterned paper I just cut around the flower heads, paper piecing these on top, and then I attached the flowers to the side of my circle

I added a simple sentiment,  and finished off by adding some dots of Black Enamel Accents around the scalloped edge of the circle

Don't forget to check out more inspiration from the rest of the Uniko Brand Ambassadors and, we also have a fabulous Guest Designer too ...... the very talented Mac Mable is joining us for this challenge so be sure to pop by and say Hello.
Full challenge details and a list of prizes can be found on the Uniko Studio Blog.

Happy stamping!

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

Cheerio until next time ......

Products used:
Stamps: Background Blocks - Pinstripe, Pure Florals - Cosmos, Simply Said Blocks II (Uniko)
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Others: Double Dot Patterned Paper (BoBunny); Nesting Circle Dies; Scalloped Edge Circle Dies; Green coloured pencil, Black Enamel Accents, Gold Glitter Glue.