Saturday, 18 February 2017

Mid-month Inspiration at Stamping Sensations

The DT's current mid-month theme at Stamping Sensations is "My go-to stamp", and I have to admit that my heart sank a little when I saw it! For me, trying to pick a go-to stamp is like attempting to choose a favourite piece of music - there are so many I like and all so different. How do I narrow it down to one above all? Well, if I have to decide, I guess it must come down to trees or butterflies. And as this month's challenge theme is Animal Magic, I've gone with a butterfly. It's by Hero Arts and I have it in three versions: the original rubber, clear (in a set), and a rubber cling which is part of a Sizzix Framelits set. Oh, and a digi version! Sadly I think they are all now discontinued, but some occasionally pop up on eB*y.

The original one is one of my oldest stamps, but I still use it a lot, often as an embellishment to something else. This time, however, I decided to let it take centre stage, which, since it is so pretty, it certainly deserves to do. And it's wonderful to colour.

I made a background by dusting with Memento inks and overstamping the butterfly in two colours. Then stamped the butterfly again on white card, coloured it with Zig Clean Color pens and cut it out and matted it with Spellbinder dies. Sentiment by Stampingallday. Here's a closer look.

There's still time to enter our Animal Magic challenge, with a fabulous prize from sponsors Tattered Lace. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

February Challenge at Stamping Sensations, and a strange phenomenon

Since Christmas, my mojo seems to have disappeared. I reckon it's taken itself off to warmer, sunnier climes, given the cold, grey, wet and dreary weather we've been having here lately, and I can't say I blame it. However, I need it back, but how to attract it? One look at the state of my craft room was enough to suggest the answer!

A mega clear out was long overdue. The task was so daunting, I'd kept putting it off but I knew that a good tidy up would go a long way towards making me feel like crafting again. One of the main problems was not being able to find anything I needed without having to shift piles of stuff out of the way first. I store all my unmounted stamps in A5 ringbinders, and when I first set up my craft room, five years ago, they all fitted into a small bookcase. Not any more! As my collection grew, the extra binders had to be crammed into odd spaces here and there on other shelves, which was really annoying.

Then, a few weeks ago, my daughter announced that she had a large, tall bookcase that had become surplus to her requirements, and would I like it? Would I??! Of course, that meant I had to bite the bullet and start the grand clear out! To cut a long story short, what once looked like this



now looks like this!























So much tidier and more efficient, don't you think? Anyway, the clear out is just about finished, (as well as the stamp shelves I have two walls of built-in floor to ceiling shelves and drawers to store everything else) and I now know where everything is again.

But - and here's the strange thing - although I have removed a considerable amount of rubbish and stuff I didn't want to keep, and have gained more storage space with the new bookcase, there doesn't seem to be any more room on the other shelves than there was before! If anyone has an explanation for this odd phenomenon, I'd be very interested to hear it!

Fortunately I managed to clear enough space on my desk in time to make my sample for this month's challenge at Stamping Sensations, where our theme for February is

* * * * * ANIMAL MAGIC * * * * *

As usual, you may interpret this however you wish, as long as the main element of your design is hand stamped (or a hand coloured digital image) and reflects the theme. Please do check that your project fits our rules, otherwise it will not be eligible for the prize or top 3, and may not be commented on, in fairness to others who do follow the rules. And you will not want to miss out on this month's fabulous prize, kindly donated by our lovely sponsors Tattered Lace.


For my card I have used some of the latest new Lavinia Stamps, which are absolutely gorgeous. The range includes badgers, foxes, squirrel and snail, all perfect for our challenge theme, as well as some beautiful fairies.


All stamps on my card are by Lavinia Stamps. I stamped and masked the moon before creating a background with an Inkylicious mountain and valley stencil and pigment inks. The badger, fairy, flowers, foliage and distant trees were then stamped over the top, and a bit of sparkle added with some glitter glue to finish.

I'm entering this card in the Lavinia Stamps Creative Challenge for February, where the theme is "The Full Moon".

There's some stunning Animal Magic by my lovely teamies over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and take a look, and they would be delighted if you had time to visit their individual blogs too. I think this will be a popular theme, and am looking forward to seeing your entries.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Coffee and Cream

Happy New Year, everyone, I hope 2017 will be good to you all! As New Year's Day is a Sunday, we're straight in with our first challenge of the year at Stamping Sensations, where our January theme is

* * * * * COFFEE AND CREAM * * * * *

As usual, you may interpret the theme however you wish, but please do remember that we are a stamping challenge, so the main element of your design must be either hand stamped or hand coloured digi and should reflect the theme. Sadly, projects which don't fit the theme or our rules will not be eligible for the prize or top 3, and may not be commented on, in fairness to all those who do follow the rules. If you're not sure what they are, you can find them here.

Here's the prize for this month's lucky winner!


And here's my sample.

I was aiming for a vintage feel, which I think works well with this lovely image by Crafty Individuals. The background paper is from the same Dovecraft pack as the paper I used in my November sample. Although the pack is Christmas themed, many of the designs are suitable for other occasions too, and the one I've used here seemed to go perfectly with the theme. A piece of self adhesive lace. some pearls from Be Creative, and a sentiment by Inkylicious, cut out with a Spellbinders die, completed the card. I thought the sentiment was quite appropriate for the New Year.

My lovely teamies have some really beautiful samples to show you over on the Challenge Blog, so do pop over and have a look at them. I'm just off to put the kettle on. Still got a drop of cream left over from Christmas, so I shall have a final seasonal indulgence and put it in my coffee. Back on the diet tomorrow!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Flowers in December!


It's time for our final challenge of the year at Stamping Sensations, and what better than some bright and beautiful flowers to lighten up dark and dreary December days? Hence our theme this month is

* * * * * FLORAL FANCIES * * * * *

We want to see flowers as the focal element of your entry, and, as usual, because we are a stamping challenge the focal point must be a stamped image (hand stamped rubber or clear, or  hand coloured digi). Any type of flower is eligible, doesn't just have to be winter ones. And please note: if we do not comment on your entry it will be because it does not follow the theme, qualify under our rules, or because we are asked to sign in or provide additional data to comment. We do not want to be rude but we do want to be fair to those who do follow the rules.

Our prize this month is a superb selection of items from Sizzix, and who wouldn't be delighted to win this little lot?!


But that's not all! In the spirit of Christmas, the top 3 will also receive a surprise gift from us this month! So no excuses, get those entries in!                            
I love flowers, and couldn't possibly pick a single favourite, but tulips would certainly be high on the list. I've used the beautiful tulip stamp (A Year of Stamping Issue 2 - February) from Chocolate Baroque for my card, and coloured them with my new favourite pens, Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, which have such gorgeously vibrant colours, making them ideal for these tulips.

I matted the image on to a Spellbinders diecut and added a couple of butterflies ("Magical Butterflies" dies by Sue Wilson).

The backing paper is some I have had in my stash for years (think it came from Lakeland when they sold craft items) and I've been hoarding it because it's so pretty! However, it was just perfect to go with the tulip image, and fortunately I had two sheets, so I still have one to keep! Sentiment is by Inkylicious.

My  talented teamies have really excelled themselves with some stunning samples for you to admire, so do go and have a look at them over on the Challenge Blog. I am so looking forward to seeing this month's entries!

We have had wonderful support for our challenges this year, so thanks very much to everyone who has entered. It has been a pleasure viewing all your beautiful projects, and we hope to see you again in the New Year.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

November Challenge at Stamping Sensations

I've been a bit quiet(er than usual!) in blogland over the past few months, having been very busy with a non-craft project which has taken up a LOT of my time! However, that is finished at last, and the realisation is dawning that Christmas is not far away and I haven't even begun to think about it yet! So it's perhaps as well that our November Challenge at Stamping Sensations has a seasonal theme, as it has ensured I have at least one Christmas card made!

This month our topic is

* * * * * CHRISTMAS GREETINGS * * * * *

We would like to see a Christmas greeting on your projects, as either the main image or an added sentiment. Also, as always, since we are a stamping challenge there must be stamping (rubber/clear or hand coloured digi) as the focal point. And please note: if we do not comment on your entry it will be because it does not follow the theme, qualify under our rules, or because we are asked to sign in or provide additional data to comment. We do not want to be rude but we do want to be fair to those who do follow the rules.

I've used the stunning Merry Christmas stamp by Inkylicious on my card.

 I  cut a circle stencil and sponged around inside the edge with pigment ink to make a frame for the sentiment. Holly corner punch and patterned paper are by Dovecraft. Poinsettia die set by Marianne Design.

Our lovely sponsor this month is Stamp Addicts, who have given us a £35 store voucher for our winner, and with the fantastic variety of products on offer, that lucky person will definitely be spoiled for choice!

Well, it's a nice and easy theme, but if you should need any inspiration, just pop over to the Challenge Blog and have a look at the beautiful creations showcased by our design team. We look forward to seeing lots of entries. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Autumn Glory



Well, it doesn't seem five minutes since September arrived, and here we are at the start of October! This year is flying by! It means, of course, that it's time for our next challenge at Stamping Sensations, and this month we have one of my favourite themes -

* * * * * AUTUMN GLORY * * * * *

Not my favourite season of the year, as it reminds me that we are getting closer to winter (hate the cold and the long dark nights) but I do love the autumn leaves, trees and colours. So I will be hoping to see lots of those in our challenge entries. As usual, you may interpret the theme however you wish, but please do remember that stamping (rubber, clear or non-pre-coloured digi) must be the focal or predominant element of your project.

Our October sponsor is the wonderful Penny Black, and we have a fab selection of their products for our winner.


Recently I came across Andy Skinner's video showing how to do the alcohol ink float technique. Haven't used my alcohol inks for ages, so I decided to try the technique for my Autumn card. It was very easy to do!

The effect, produced on porous paper or card, is much softer than that obtained by using the inks on non-porous surfaces, and it makes lovely backgrounds. Having made mine, I stamped over it with Inkylicious leaf stamps, which I then coloured with diluted distress inks. Being water based, the DIs didn't affect the alcohol ink background. The next step was to stamp some of the flowers and the butterfly from Penny Black's "Enamor" set, which I also coloured with distress inks. The sentiment is from the same set. 

I added some shading around the leaves, flowers and butterfly with a Spectrum Noir pencil to make them stand out a bit more. The finished picture was then mounted with various layers on to a 7" x 7" card. The patterned paper is by Bo Bunny. A snippet of ribbon, a few punched leaves and a flower button were the finishing touches. I didn't look in my button box for a suitable button until after I had coloured the flowers, and it is a lucky coincidence that I just happened to have one in the same style and colour, which I'd forgotten I had!

I thoroughly enjoyed trying out the technique, and it's one I think I'll be using again. If you'd like to try it too, you can watch Andy's video tutorial here.

 My lovely teamies have some gorgeous projects to inspire you on the Challenge Blog, so do pop over and take a look, and we will look forward to seeing lots of awesome autumn entries!


Sunday, 4 September 2016

One For The Boys

Our September Challenge theme at Stamping Sensations is one I often struggle with, as I'm sure do others, so coming up with an idea for this month's sample really was a challenge! It is, of course,

* * * * * ONE FOR THE BOYS * * * * *

We would like to see projects with a masculine theme, but please do remember that we are a stamping challenge, so your entry must include stamping as the focal point if you wish to be eligible for the prize or top 3 place.

Browsing for inspiration, I just happened to come across a tutorial for a card fold I'd never seen before - the Trapeze Fold - and thought I would try it out. It  appealed to me because it has plenty of potential for decoration, and it was easy to do! The tutorial can be found on the Trimcraft website.

Having completed the fold, I covered the card with papers from Craftwork Cards and made a topper using Inkylicious ink dusters, stencil and stamps.

Here's a view showing how it stands.























 And a close up.

This month we are sponsored by Hero Arts, who have been making and selling top quality stamps and accessories for an amazing 42 years! They have given us a fabulous prize!




If, like me, you find masculine cards tricky, then just pop over to the Stamping Sensations Challenge blog, where you will find gorgeous inspiration from my talented teamies. We can't wait to see your entries!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

August at Stamping Sensations

We're keeping up our easy challenges for the summer months at Stamping Sensations, although up here in the frozen north one might dispute that it's summer! Ok, I exaggerate a bit. Not quite frozen, but a few nights lately have come close. Actually, we did have summer the other week. Just the one day. The temperature on our outside thermometer hit 30C, in the shade, but the next day it reverted to type. Since then it's been cool, grey, wet, misty, with just the odd dry and bright spell. Still, at least the midges haven't been quite so bad as usual here. Always a silver lining!

Anyway, our August Challenge couldn't be easier, since it's

* * * * * ANYTHING GOES * * * * *

So, whatever you like, with the one proviso that as we're a stamping challenge, we need to see stamping - rubber, polymer or digi (not pre-coloured) - as the focal part of your project.

I always find it quite difficult to decide what to do for an "anything goes" theme. Too much choice! So this time I thought I would close my eyes, pull out one of my stamp binders at random (I keep my stamps in A5 ring binders on shelves), and use a stamp or stamps from the first page in the binder. As luck would have it, I picked my Penny Black binder, and the first page contains the "Enamor" set which I bought some time ago but hadn't yet used. Been dying to get the stamps inked up, as they are so pretty, but hadn't had chance. Next question was how to use them.


One of my favourite techniques is to stamp with Distress Inks and colour the image by pulling the colour from the image lines with a water brush. However, this time I decided to add a twist. Instead of colouring in, I pulled the colour away from the flower image to make the background, leaving the image itself uncoloured. The butterfly and sentiment are from the same set. I mounted the picture on to a Spellbinders diecut and backed it with patterned paper by Prima. Nice and simple, job done!

Here's the finished card.

I'm hoping to see lots of gorgeous entries this month to brighten up our dull days! And with the prize on offer, there's no reason not to get busy with your projects! Our lovely sponsors for August are Foil Play, who have donated a fantastic £35 voucher to be spent in their online shop. They have a huge selection of items for your cardmaking and crafting, not just foils. What's not to like? So get those entries in and good luck everyone!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Monolith

I loved the idea of the new Visible Image monoliths and couldn't wait to order a pack, along with some of their stunning new stamps. Here's what I did with the first one.

I primed each side and the base with gesso, let it dry, then sponged with acrylic paints using a make up sponge to create landscapes. On the butterfly side I used the edge of the sponge to make some little flowers, which looked lovely. However, when it came to stamping the images, I couldn't fit in the ones I'd chosen without covering up the flowers, and I also decided the colours didn't look right, so I covered them up again with more paint!

I was aiming for the mood of each side to be different but still to complement each other, and the flowers just didn't work. The beauty of using the acrylic paint is that it was easy to get rid of them! Because the surface of the MDF became a little rough as the fibres swell a bit when painted, it was tricky to get a good stamped image, and I had to go over them in places with some ink and a paintbrush.

The large bird and tiny bird (Leave Your Fears set) are both on the one stamp, but I wanted the tiny bird to be further towards the corner, so I inked and stamped the two parts separately. I used the tiny bird on the other side as well, again to tie the two sides together. The butterflies (one stamped over the other) are from the  gorgeous new Own Kind Of Beautiful set, which is my new favourite Visible Image set! All stamps I've used are by Visible Image. To finish it off I sponged around all sides with pigment ink.

Here's a close look at each side.



I really enjoyed making my monolith. Now what to do with No. 2.........


Sunday, 3 July 2016

July Challenge at Stamping Sensations

Well, it's time for a new challenge at Stamping Sensations, and we have what I believe will be a very popular theme for you this month!

* * * * * ANYTHING GOES WITH A STAMP AND RIBBON * * * * *

Who doesn't like adding a ribbon or two to their creations?! We're sponsored by the fabulous Crafty Ribbons, who have a superb range of ribbons, buttons, lace and more for your crafting needs. They have given us a fantastic bundle of ribbons and embellishments for this month's lucky winner.


I recently acquired the gorgeous new Bigz Butterfly 1 from Inkylicious, and couldn't wait to ink it up! I stamped it on to watercolour paper and coloured it with Be Creative alcohol markers, then masked it and sponged, stamped and stencilled the background. I added some shading around the butterfly with coloured pencil to make it stand out a bit. All stamps by Inkylicious. Tim Holtz Mixed Media die used as stencil. I mounted the finished design on to the base card along with a strip of patterned paper (PDA), sheer and satin ribbons, and pearl embellishments which I coloured with the alcohol markers to match the ribbon.

The base card is 7" x 5", which gives you an idea of the size of the butterfly, which is simply stunning.

In the knowledge that people will be busy with holidays and summer activities this month we've kept the theme nice and simple, so I hope lots of you will find time to enter for a chance of winning that gorgeous prize! We look forward to seeing your projects!
Related Posts with Thumbnails