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!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

More Things With Wings

Just a quick reminder of this month's challenge at Stamping Sensations, where our theme is "Things With Wings". See the Challenge page for full details.

Here's another of my samples.

The butterfly stamp is one of my old favourites, by Hero Arts. It was one of the first stamps I ever bought (must be over 25 years ago now!!), and I still love it. I coloured it with Arteza watercolour pencils, diecut it with a Lawn Fawn die, and sponged pigment ink around the edge before removing it from the die. I matted it on to a piece of lilac card.

The background is a section of the printed layer of a paper napkin (separated from the plain layers), which I affixed to a piece of white card and then matted on to the lilac card. The tiny sentiment and butterfly were magazine freebies.

There's still plenty of time to join in our "Things With Wings" challenge, and there's a fab prize on offer of a £25 voucher from our lovely sponsors Rubber Dance, but of course, you've got to be in it to win it!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Flap and Flutter!

For our August challenge at Stamping Sensations we return to one of my favourite themes, which is

* * * * * THINGS WITH WINGS * * * * *

I love to watch the birds and butterflies in my garden, so it's not surprising that they frequently find their way on to my cards and projects. Of course, anything with wings will be eligible for our challenge, so this could include insects, fairies, dragons or even aeroplanes, as well as butterflies and birds. To be eligible for our prize or Top 3 your "thing with wings" must be the main focal point of your project and must be stamped, and you must put a link to Stamping Sensations Challenge in your post. For the full list of rules, see here.

For my card I stamped some butterflies from Inkylicious, coloured them with Arteza watercolour pencils, blended the colour with a water brush, and cut them out. I used a Spellbinders die to cut a piece of white card unequally in two, matted the pieces on to purple card and stamped a sentiment by Chocolate Baroque on the larger piece. The beautiful backing paper was a magazine freebie. A few flower sequins added the final touch.

Also returning this month are our lovely sponsors Rubber Dance, who are giving the lucky winner a fantastic £25 voucher to spend in their online shop.

I can't wait to see this month's entries! My teamies have plenty of gorgeous inspiration for you over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and take a look!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Happy Flowers!

We have a lovely new challenge theme for you this month at Stamping Sensations! What could be more reminiscent of summer than

* * * * * THE EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS * * * * *

We want to see anything floral in your creations, but please do bear in mind that flowers must be the focal point of your project and they must be stamped (hand stamped or hand coloured digi) or they will not be eligible for our prize (a fab £25 voucher from our lovely sponsors Crafty Individuals) or top three, nor will they be commented on by our DT.

I have used some Crafty Individuals stamps and papers for my project.


My base is a MDF Artboard plaque from Inkylicious, which I covered with a piece of one of the gorgeous background paper A4 sheets from the Aurora Borealis pack. This has a matching stamp (CL-493) which I stamped over a pigment ink sponged background and cut with dies from The Works for my focal point. I embellished the design with flowers from the CI-206 elements plate which I cut out and coloured with brush pens. A sentiment from Hobby Art completed the plaque. Apart from the sentiment, all stamps are by Crafty Individuals.

I think our July theme is going to be very popular, because who doesn't love flowers! So I am looking forward to seeing lots of beautiful floral entries!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Blue, Purple, Turquoise

It's hard to believe, but already we are halfway through our 2019 challenges at Stamping Sensations! This year is flying by! We've had some great themes so far, and loads of wonderful entries, and there are plenty more to come.

For June we would like you to

* * * * * SHOW YOUR TRUE COLOURS * * * * *

By, that, we mean use your favourite colours in your project! This is a nice and easy theme, and one you probably shouldn't have to think too hard about. However, please do remember that your entry/entries must still follow our challenge rules, which you can read here on the challenge blog. 

We are delighted to welcome back Visible Image as our fab sponsor this month. They are offering a super £25 voucher for the very lucky winner to spend in their online shop. I'm a big fan of their amazing stamps, several of which I have used for my card.

My favourite colours have always been those at the cool end of the spectrum - blues, purples, turquoises, and greens. Shades of the sky and the sea, and of the earth and the trees. Calming and soothing hues. I think one of the reasons I feel so much more relaxed living in this beautiful rural area than in the city which was our previous home is that I look out every day over rolling green fields, majestic trees and distant hills, with stunning big skies overhead, although the latter are looking pretty grey at this moment!

My card reflects those heavenly colours. The circle background was done on a gel plate, with Distress Oxide inks, then I used a fan brush to flick some diluted Brushos over the whole square. I stamped elements from Visible Image's "Creative Chaos", "Wings of Change" and "Random Art of Kindness" sets, using Versafine Clair ink, and coloured them with Arteza coloured pencils (my new favourite art medium!). I sponged the edges of the picture with pigment ink to define them before matting it onto a background made with alcohol inks. No, I hadn't intended seeing how many different media I could use on one card, that's just how it turned out!

Occasionally I like to challenge myself and tiptoe outside my comfort zone with a different colour scheme, but I did so enjoy creating this card! I can tell by my teamies' beautiful samples that they also enjoyed indulging themselves, and I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you nip over to the Challenge Blog and have a look at them. I am looking forward to a rainbow of entries!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Back to winter!

Well, after all the water which came down in March, April turned out to be a great month! Dry, warm and sunny for the most part. Anyone would have thought it was summer already! It was obviously playing tricks on us, though, as right now it's so cold it feels as though we're back to winter, at least up here in the north. And even further north it's been snowing, apparently! Minus temperatures are forecast for us tonight. I think I put the thermal undies away too soon! How all that fits with global warming, I've no idea, so I'll just move swiftly on to this month's Stamping Sensations Challenge, where our theme for May is

* * * * * IN AN ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN * * * * *

We'd like your projects to show what you might find in a typical English country garden, so you could include, for instance, flowers, trees, birds, insects, wild animals, etc., or perhaps garden furniture, shed, greenhouse or even washing on a line! Whatever you choose, your main image must be stamped and relevant to the theme, otherwise your project will not be eligible. See here for our full challenge rules. You will not want to miss out on the chance to win this month's fab prize of these 2 beautiful A5 stamp sets, kindly donated by our lovely sponsors Chocolate Baroque.

English Cottages Rubber stamp sheet - A5Honey Bee Unmmounted Stamp Sheet - A5

I have used Chocolate Baroque stamps on my card.

I created the background with my Gelli Plate, covering it with Distress inks and then lifting off some of the colour with stamps from the Chocolate Baroque Spring Foliage set before taking the print.

The central image is from the Home Sweet Home set and the robin is cut from the main image in the Robin the Spruce set. I coloured the butterflies (Just Butterflies set) to look like Orange Tips, which have been visiting my garden during the past few weeks. The flowers on the grass at the front are from "The Spinney" Design A Tree set.

The main image is coloured with Polychromos pencils and cut out with a Spellbinders die. I used Arteza brush pens for the robin and butterflies.


There is some truly delightful inspiration from my teamies over on the Challenge Blog, so please do go and check it out. I am so looking forward to seeing your entries for this theme.

Mine is a Scottish Country Garden but it has plenty in common with an English one! I'll leave you with a few recent photos.

Orange Tip butterfly. Hard to photograph as they are hardly ever still!

Lesser Redpoll

Auricula

Ivy Leaved Toadflax, growing in the garden walls. In our garden, the wildflowers sit happily alongside the cultivated ones. We do not have weeds!

Bank Vole. We have a family of them living in the undergrowth behind the bird feeders. The baby ones are so cute!

Yellowhammer. Due to recent population decline they are now classed as an endangered species. Not apparently so in our garden! Last year we counted 20 here on one occasion. Not so many yet this year, but still several pairs visiting regularly.

Bluebells. This seems to be a really good year for them as there are lots about, both wild and cultivated. 

Sycamore. The warm April weather brought most of the trees bursting into leaf. This is my favourite time of year, when everything is fresh and new.

Heron. Not in our garden, but I took the picture from the garden as it took off from beside the river which is next to our house. We are so lucky to live here, surrounded by beautiful wildlife. It makes up for all the rain!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Been a bit wet here lately!

This year I think the April showers came along with the March winds! At least, I hope they did, and that we're not going to get them again this month! The river by our house, usually calm and placid, turned into a lake.


Fortunately our house is well above any possible flood level, but it is quite scary to see nonetheless.

February was lovely, much warmer than usual, but March certainly made up for it, and though the daffodils came out a good few weeks early, no doubt spurred on by the warmth of February, they are probably wishing they hadn't, as they are now being battered by the winds, sleet, and hail showers, and shivering in single figure temperatures! And it's only a couple of months until the longest day!

Still, hopefully all that water will be put to good use, which brings me nicely to our theme for our April Challenge at Stamping Sensations, which is

* * * * * APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS * * * * *

As usual, it is up to you how you interpret this, but the main image of your project must be stamped and relevant to the theme. Please check out our full challenge rules here to ensure your entry is eligible.

Our lovely sponsors this month are Be Creative who are offering a fab £25 voucher for the lucky winner to spend in their online store.

I had a gorgeous new background stamp from Concord & 9th which I was itching to use, and it happened to be perfect for our theme. It's called Lovely Blossoms and is a turnabout stamp. If you've never come across turnabout stamps before, there are many Youtube videos on the subject that are worth watching.

Having stamped and matted the background on to a 6"x 6" base card, I used the emboss resist technique to create the circle element. I stamped all the images with Versamark ink, embossed them with clear powder, and sponged various colours of pigment ink over the top. Wiping away the excess ink with a tissue made the stamping pop. I added a bit of extra colour to the main flowers with brush markers, and the result was nice enough, but didn't quite have the impact I was hoping for. After a few moments thought, I decided to stamp and colour the three large flowers again, cut them out and attach them over the original stamping with sticky pads. That simple addition made a huge difference and gave depth to the picture. It just needed something in the bottom corner to balance the composition. I had a Concord & 9th flower die which was similar to the stamped flowers, so I cut it twice and used the cutouts from one to fill in the other, with a piece of  Card Candi from Craftwork Cards for the flower centre. All stamps by Concord & 9th, except for the raindrops, which was a magazine freebie. Circle dies from The Works. The sentiment is computer generated.

In case you're stuck for ideas, there's some gorgeous inspiration from my teamies over on the Stamping Sensations Challenge Blog. We are looking forward to seeing lots of lovely flowery showery entries!

Monday, 18 March 2019

Somewhere Under The Rainbow!

The other week it was the Pink Ink Meadow Hare that bounded through my letterbox. This week a Sea Turtle swam through! Another stunning Pink Ink Designs stamp. I wonder what will come through next. You'll have to watch this space!

As our topic for this month's Stamping Sensations Challenge is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", I decided to give my turtle a rainbow shell. So he's under the rainbow, rather than over it, but I think he'll still count!

I made a background with Distress Oxide inks and overstamped the turtle. Then I stamped him again on a separate piece of card, along with the seaweed and fish, cut them all out and coloured them with a mixture of Arteza and Zig brush pens. I then stuck the turtle on top of the original stamped image, added the fish and seaweed and matted the resulting picture on to an A5 card. All stamps are by Pink Ink Designs.

The Pink Ink Meadow Hare is still my favourite, but the turtle is coming a close second. He's fabulous to colour.

There's still plenty of time to enter our Rainbow challenge. Full details are over on the Stamping Sensations Challenge blog. There have been some brilliant entries so far. Judging this month is going to be tough!

Friday, 15 March 2019

Must have been hibernating!

The other day I came across something called Alcohol Lift-Ink by Tim Holtz. Yeah, I know, where have I been for the last six months, lol?! It hadn't come up on my radar until now, and it sounded interesting, so I thought I'd better find out what I'd been missing. I'm glad I did! It's clever stuff! For anyone else who's been hibernating like me, you can learn all about it in Tim's video here.

Anyway, I've had a play with it and made a few cards.

(Fern leaf - Embossing Arts, Butterfly - unknown, Sentiment - magazine freebie)




 (Fern leaf - Embossing Arts, Butterfly - unknown, Sentiment - magazine freebie)


(Fern leaf - Embossing Arts, Butterflies - Visible Image, Sentiment - magazine freebie)


My alcohol inks had been neglected for quite a while, and the Lift-Ink gave me the impetus to get them out again. Wish I'd found it sooner!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

A Moment

Just had a play with some lovely new stamps from Visible Image, Distress Oxide inks and watercolour pencils.