Sunday, 2 February 2020

It's Feminine February At Stamping Sensations!

I have to say February is my least favourite month. Christmas and New Year are long gone, it still seems ages until spring, my favourite season of the year, and although the days are beginning noticeably to lengthen now, they are often cold, wet and grey. Just as it is this morning! There is nothing particularly exciting to look forward to in February, its only saving grace is that it is shorter than the rest!

However, it is not all gloomy, as we have a new Stamping Sensations Challenge to brighten things up, and this month our theme is

* * * * * FEMININE * * * * *

Plenty of scope here, as we want to see anything suitable for a lady or girl. Please do remember, though that the focal element of your project must be hand stamped and reflect the theme if you want to be in with a chance of a prize or top 3 place. And we have not just one, but two prizes on offer this time! Our regular sponsors Bee Crafty have donated a fantastic £25 voucher to spend in their online shop, and we also have a sponsor who is new to us, JMC Designs, with hand drawn digital images by Julia McNeill. She is offering a selection of her gorgeously quirky designs for one of our lucky winners.

I am on a mission this year to use up old stash! So my first sample this month is not a card, but an A5 notebook, which has been taking up space in a drawer for longer than I can remember, just waiting for the right project to come along! I have been having a major craft room tidy up, and came across a pack of mixed media fabrics and threads which I have had for even longer than the notebook, possibly for at least 20 years!! I decided to combine the two.

In the pack was a piece of hand dyed fabric, on to which I stamped the Bee Crafty Doodle Art dragonfly (Regular size). I coloured parts of the image with Arteza fabric pens, and then highlighted the body and wings with space dyed threads and sequins from the pack. I added a few more sequins around the dragonfly for extra sparkle. The central lines on the wings are in a sparkly thread, but unfortunately it doesn't show up well on the photo. I inserted the dragonfly behind the cut out window in the front of the notebook.

A long time ago I bought some gorgeous wrapping paper from Ik*a, and had a little bit left over, just enough to cover the front of the book. It is almost like mulberry paper, with a very subtle debossed floral pattern, perfect for a feminine project. Over it I stamped various Bee Crafty stamps from the Doodle Art Dragonfly and Doodle Art Sunflower sets and coloured them only lightly with Arteza coloured pencils, as I wanted the debossing still to show. I sponged a bit of extra colour over the background too, and finally stamped the sentiment from Bee Crafty Creativity Words set. A glittery ribbon (bought at one of the very first Stamp Magic shows 10 years ago!) around the binding added the finishing touch. As the sentiment implies, I will use the notebook for jotting down thoughts and ideas for future projects.

My second sample showcases one of Julia McNeill's delightful digis, the lovely "Marcelle".

I've coloured her with Promarkers, stamped a few hearts from the Bee Crafty Doodle Art Dragonfly set,  matted her over a floral background paper (VERY old stash!) and added some Bee Crafty Ticker Tape Words (Set 1).

My teamies have a bumper selection of stunning samples for you over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and feast your eyes on some fabulous feminine inspiration. And have fun creating your own feminine projects. We can't wait to see them!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Another Favourite Stamp

Here's another sample for this month's Stamping Sensations Challenge, where the theme is "Favourite Stamps. We've had some superb entries so far, and there's still plenty of time to enter and be in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize from our January sponsor Tattered Lace. Full details, including our challenge rules, are on the challenge blog.

 I think I like this Aall & Create stamp (#206 Hexagon Stem), again by Tracy Evans, even more than the one in my previous post.

I made another background on a gel plate, this time the 5" x 3" one, which I attached to an acrylic mount so I could use it like a stamp. I brayered distress oxide inks on to the plate, flicked some Brushos on to it with a fan brush, sponged some ink through an AAll & Create stencil (#39 Lotza Dotz) to add a bit of texture and then pressed it down on to a piece of Cass Art hot press watercolour paper, which is very smooth and excellent for stamping on.

The stamp is quite large and needed an A5 size base card to accommodate it. I stamped it over my background and lightly flicked some more Brushos over the whole piece. I then stamped the stamp a second time on a separate piece of the watercolour paper. I coloured the flower head and several of the hexagons with my favourite Arteza Watercolour Pencils, cut them out and decoupaged them over the main image with foam pads. Having tied a strip of raffia down one side, I matted it with a thin purple border on to the base card. The sentiment, by the way, is part of the stamp.

The Aall & Create range is quite different from the styles I usually go for, but I think it's good to step outside the comfort zone now and then. It makes one think in different ways and stops boredom creeping in. I'm really enjoying working with these stamps and stencils.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

New Favourite Stamps For The New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone, and happy new challenge at Stamping Sensations! For our first challenge of 2020, we would like you to showcase your

* * * * * FAVOURITE STAMPS * * * * *

For this challenge, your favourite stamp should be the main element of your design, and must also follow our challenge rules, which can be found HERE, if you want it to be eligible for our prize or top 3 place. Our sponsor this month is Tattered Lace, and there will be a fab prize for the winner. Full details on the Challenge Blog

Now, I thought this would be an easy challenge! But trying to single out a favourite from all my thousands of stamps (I've been collecting them for over 30 years!) proved well-nigh impossible! So I decided I would have to choose one from my latest favourite stamp range, which is Aall & Create, and in particular the stamps designed for them by Tracy Evans.

I've used one of Tracy's most recent designs, the gorgeous teasel from set #240, for my card.

The circular part of the background was made with distress oxide inks, brushos and an Aall & Create stencil (#61) on my round gel plate. The corners were sponged with ink and some detail added with another A&C stencil (#27). The leaves and flower head were lightly coloured with Arteza coloured pencils. The sentiment is from Aall & create set #213.

As usual, there's plenty of inspiration for you over on the Stamping Sensations Challenge Blog. It's really interesting to see the variety of stamps which the DT have chosen as their favourites. We look forward to seeing yours!

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Last Challenge Of The Year At Stamping Sensations

I can't believe it's December already - this year seems to have flown by! Whether you have all your Christmas makes done and dusted, or you're like me and having a last minute panic, we hope you'll find a few minutes to enter our final challenge of 2019 at Stamping Sensations.

We appreciate that it's a busy time of year, so we have a nice easy theme for you:

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

The subject of your entry can be anything you like - however, please note that our challenge rules do still apply (see them here), otherwise your entry sadly will be ineligible.  We would hate you to miss out on the chance to win the fab prize from our lovely sponsors Be Creative. See the challenge blog for details.

My sample is a Christmas card (I actually managed to get two done!)

I used the brilliant "Deck The Halls" turnabout stamp from Concord & 9th. I love the turnabout stamps, they are so clever. You can find all the stamps and how-to info on the Concord & 9th website.

I stamped Deck The Halls 4 times, using a different colour each time. The first layer was embossed in silver. Should you wish to try this, make sure your embossed layer is the one you do first, otherwise the embossing powder will stick to all the previous layers, unless you've made sure to dry them completely first. Which I didn't, on my first attempt, so you now have the benefit of my experience!

I cut the bauble with a Spellbinders die, sponged pigment ink around the edge before removing it from the die, then added the stamped sentiment (magazine freebie). A ribbon bow completed the design.

Here's card No.2 in a more traditional colourway.

My teamies have some absolutely gorgeous inspiration for you over on the Challenge Blog. I hope you'll pop over and take a look, and that you'll be able to join in our last challenge of 2019. We look forward to seeing your projects!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Mid-month Inspiration At Stamping Sensations

Just popping in with another card for our November challenge at Stamping Sensations, where the theme is Traditional Christmas Colours, ie. red, green and gold.

My main image is a lovely Woodware stamp, which I coloured directly on to the stamp with Arteza brush pens. I then splattered the panel with diluted Distress inks, using a fan brush, and sponged some red ink around the edges. The background stamp is also by Woodware, and the sentiment is a magazine freebie.

There's still plenty of time to enter the challenge, which is sponsored this month by Chocolate Baroque, who have kindly donated two of their stunning stamp sets as the prize.

You'll find lots more inspiration from my teamies on the Challenge Blog, so do go and take a look. Hope you are able to add an entry (or two, or three!), and good luck!

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Red, Green, Gold

Well, it's that time of the year again, you know, the one where I start to panic because it's November and I have made the grand total of 3 Christmas cards! I start the year with the best of intentions to do a few each month, but somehow that never happens. I do manage to get them done in the end. If only it could be in an atmosphere of calm relaxation instead of a frantic rush ! Oh well, maybe next year.....

Were it not for this month's Stamping Sensations Challenge, my grand total thus far would have been two! However, our November theme is to use


and so my sample became Christmas card No. 3!

We would like to see your projects in the traditional colours of red, green and gold. You may use any or all of those colours, but the main focal image must be stamped and reflect the theme, otherwise it will not be eligible. This month we are delighted to be sponsored again by Chocolate Baroque, who have very kindly donated these two gorgeous stamp sets for our lucky winner.

         Let's Get Festive Rubber stamp sheet - A5    Hark the Christmas Rose individual unmounted rubber stamp  - A6

I have used the beautiful Christmas rose stamp for my card.

I used the no-line colouring technique, stamping the image with Desert Sand Memento ink, and colouring it with Arteza coloured pencils. I cut it out with a Spellbinders die, sponging a little red pigment ink around the edges before I removed it from the die. I covered the base card with a background paper by Dovecraft, mounted the image to it with foam pads, and added some tartan ribbon, die cut sentiment (Britannia Dies) and holly sprig (magazine freebie) to finish it off.

I love hellebores, they are such elegant flowers, so the Christmas rose is one of my favourite Chocolate Baroque stamps. It's lovely to colour, and in fact I did manage to have quite a relaxing hour or so doing it! Here's another close up.

I must admit to being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas, so I am really looking forward to seeing lots of entries in those Christmas colours. I'm sure you won't have any trouble coming up with ideas for this theme, but do go and have a look at my teamies' samples on the Challenge Blog anyway, just to feast your eyes on their loveliness. Meanwhile, I had better make a start on card No. 4........

Friday, 18 October 2019

The Leaves Are Beginning To Turn...

...but there's still plenty of time to enter our October Challenge at Stamping Sensations, where our theme is Trees and/or Leaves and/or Autumn.

This time I've used a stamp by Penny Black. I stamped it with Memento "Desert Sand" ink so I could use the no-line colouring method. I coloured the image with my Arteza coloured pencils. Background paper is by Dovecraft, sentiment by Inkylicious. Silk ribbon and button from my stash.

The challenge runs until 30th October, and my lovely teamies have even more gorgeous inspiration for you over on the Challenge Blog. We have some beautiful entries already; why not add yours and be in with a chance of winning a fab £25 voucher from our sponsor Stamp Addicts. Please just remember, though, that the focal element of your project must be stamped and fit the theme, otherwise it will not be eligible for the prize.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Chill in the Air

Into October now, and there's definitely an autumnal feel. We've had a few frosty mornings this week and the leaves are beginning to turn. I really do not look forward to the winter, but the wonderful autumn colours are some compensation. And it is in that vein that we introduce our October challenge at Stamping Sensations with the theme of

* * * * * TREES and/or LEAVES and/or AUTUMN * * * * *

We want you to show us the beauty of autumn in all its glorious colours. As usual, to be eligible for our October prize, kindly donated by our lovely sponsors Stamp Addicts, the main element of your project should be stamped and follow the theme.

I needed a lightweight card to post, so decided to make it one layer. I masked the edges of the base card before sponging pigment inks through the stencil and around the edges of the masked area, thus creating a white border to the card, before overstamping with the trees, buzzard and sentiment. Very quick and easy to do! All the stamps and the stencil are by Inkylicious.

We are hoping for lots of autumn colour this month, and I can't wait to see the entries! There is some wonderful inspiration from the Design Team over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and take a look. Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

More Flowers

Just a quick reminder of our September challenge at Stamping Sensations, where the theme is "Anything Goes With Flowers", sponsored by Bee Crafty. A £25 voucher to spend in their online store is the fab prize for this month's winner. All stamps and the stencil I've used on my card are by Bee Crafty.

I sponged the background with pigment inks, added more ink through the stencil, and then stamped the borders and sentiment. The flowers and leaves were stamped separately on watercolour card, coloured with brush pens and cut out. They were then adhered to the card, with some being raised on sticky pads to give a bit of extra dimension.

 We have some wonderful entries so far, and there's still plenty of time to enter, as the challenge runs until Wednesday 2nd October.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Easy Peasy With A Floral Touch

Well, we're into September now, about which I always have mixed feelings. Sad that the summer is coming to an end, happy that the autumn colours will soon be in evidence, and sad again because once the summer holidays are over it feels as though we're at the start of the slippery slope to winter and (sshhh!) Christmas! I'm one of those people who wish they could hibernate over the winter and wake up in spring, my favourite season. I hate the cold and the dull, gloomy days. But at least the long dark nights are the ideal excuse for more crafting!

But not quite yet, though. Hopefully there will still be a few fine days to come, and we've given you a nice easy challenge this month at Stamping Sensations, for which the theme is

* * * * * ANYTHING GOES WITH FLOWERS * * * * *

An easy topic, but please remember that our usual rules still apply. Your subject matter can be anything you choose, but your project must include flowers and the main element/focal point must be stamped or a hand coloured digi. For full details of the rules, please look on the challenge blog here.

We have a very welcome return visit from our fabulous sponsors Bee Crafty, who have generously donated a £25 voucher for our September winner. They have the most amazing and eclectic range of stamps, stencils and card making accessories, some of which I've used for my card.

I decided to use the "Daisy" set from the Beautanicals range. This set also includes the Serendipity sentiment, which turned out to be very appropriate! I made the background first by dotting drops of Distress Oxide inks (from reinkers) on to my glass mat, misting them with water and laying a piece of watercolour card on top to pick up the inks. The inks are very concentrated, so I blotted the card with a piece of kitchen roll to lighten the colours. The result of this was that the dotty embossed pattern on the kitchen roll transferred itself to the card, which I have to admit was quite unintentional and very serendipitous!

Having got this unexpected bonus, I didn't want to cover it all up. I used one of the discs from the Inkables "Texture Discs Set 2" to stencil a few areas with pink pigment ink,and stamped the daisy three times down one side, masking where necessary. I added a couple of butterflies (Birds & Butterflies Set 1) and coloured them and the daisies with Arteza coloured pencils. The sentiment completed the picture, or so I thought. However, I wasn't happy with it, it seemed a bit lifeless. This is how it looked at that stage.

I often find the hardest part of a project is determining, in the first instance, what you're going to make. The next hardest is knowing when to stop! I didn't want to introduce another element in case it spoilt it. After some pondering, I decided to define the flower centres with Nuvo Crystal Drops, and to bling up the butterflies' wings with a clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen (a bit hard to see in the photo). Still not sure if it made enough of a difference, but it is certainly better than it was before.

Anyway, I hope you like my serendipitous card! There is some gorgeous inspiration from my teamies over on the Challenge Blog, and I will look forward to seeing lots of lovely entries to keep these last few days of summer bright and happy!