Friday, 13 January 2017


Inspired by the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances (last aired in 1995 in the UK) I titled my make Bouquet... Like Hyacinth, the "lady of the house", I'm using a variant spelling but this time it stands for Bokeh.
This week the team at the Craft Barn is trying their hand at this technique born from the photographic effects. See the picture on the right to get an idea of what we are aiming for.

Stencil: DIY Circles stencil
Stamps: Paper Artsy EK02
Kaisercraft Love This
Versafine Black
Clear Embossing powder
Distress inks & crayons
White pigment ink

Come by the Craft Barn blog to see how I made it!

Thanks for coming by,
I am entering the Stamplorations MM, Vintage Journey and Creative Artist MMchallenges.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mothballing Christmas

Welcome to my second inspiration piece for the January Country View Challenge hosted by Brenda.
A nice and easy theme of Anything goes allows me to share my January crafting activities.

If you thought "A snowman!" after Christmas... well I don't know about you, but after a month long making Christmas projects, I have lots of left overs, crafty ones that is... Which I won't need until late 2017. So, I can either bin the lot, or use it to make some cards for next Christmas and, since it's the holidays, I might as well use the time constructively and avoid waste!

First, I look at scraps of cardstock and paper too small to be used as mats or as a base to stamp on. I die-cut or punch shapes and sentiments from these, like this Brusho'ed piece of card on the right. Here I used a Memory box leaf and some Handwritten Tim Holtz dies.

Then, any piece that suggests a make I put to use immediately. And so I made my first snowman panel out of a sprayed sheet of white paper. Actually it's not the paper I had sprayed, as such, but some snowflakes, the paper was just there to catch the drips! But looking at it I saw snowy hills, perfect to stamp pine trees and snowmen...

The pine trees are from Stampscapes and the Snowman and sentiments are from Rubber Dance. For colour I used pencils on Mr Frosty.

The spray (Prima Bloom in Precious Stone, a silvery grey) already gave a snowy look to the sky but I decided to add a few white flakes with an acrylic paint pen (Graphmaster).

I still had another square from the same paper so I tweaked the design to give this second version:

I hope I have inspired you to use your scraps and that you'll enter our Anything goes challenge, you could win a £20 voucher to spend on new goodies!

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the Craft Stamper TIMI and Stamplorations CAS and Casology challenges.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Mixed Media play

Today I'm showing this Mixed Media project on the Craft Barn blog. I used stencils with inks, sprays and paste and had great fun.

Come and see how I made it here.

Thanks for coming by,
I am also entering the Stamplorations Theme and Sketch challenge.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year

Today at last I''ve had a little bit of me time in the "craft room". Father Christmas was generous and I have some new kit to play with...

If you haven't got a lot of time I have selected 5 of my best 2016 makes below and if you are looking for more inspiration I also show a slideshow with my favourite projects (85+) at the bottom of this post, until my next post.

Do tell me your favourite in your comments!

I wish you all a splendid 2017, hoping it will bring all our wishes true!
Happy New Year,


Dictionary Challenge Last page!

[Edited to include photo and video of all the pages together]

Yesss made it to the end!
The last letter was an easy one with lots of options and no twist!

Once again I chose my word after choosing my stamp... a magazine freebie set called Oriental Garden which I have never inked before (my new item).

So I give you Pagoda!

I simply stamped the pagoda and the Cherry blossom branch in black dye ink, adding colour with watercolour pencils. And of course I added the definition and letter to finish off the page.

I think we (all the bloggers who have made it to the end) can pat ourselves on the back! I'm looking forward to look at the completed project and re-discover my pages. So pleased I did it, it's such a lovely online community and I want to thank all the visitors to my blog who left comments throughout the year.

This year the Craft Barn has a different challenge and you can read all about it here.

The finished pages in video:

and in picture:

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the SSS Monday, Penny Black and more, Allsorts, That's Crafty and SSS Wednesday challenges.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

A burst of sunshine

January is quite a grey month, cold, rainy and hum...grey!

As an antidote, today I'm showing a rainbow-coloured card with a dash of black for my first Country View Challenges inspiration piece where the theme is a nice and easy Anything goes.

I first stencilled yellow ink and applied permanent masking liquid (Winsor & Newton) on top with the Sunburst stencil (Andy Skinner/DecoArt) before dropping coloured inks at the top of my watercolour card.

When the ink was dry I die-cut the Happy (Papertrey Ink) from the base card.

Lower left is a stamp from the Happy Birthday set (Rubber Dance), inked with several inkpads and the birthday die-cut is from the Handwritten Celebrate set (Sizzix/Tim Holtz).

I love the play of light on the die-cut, which throws different effects depending on the angle, below a shadow on the inside of the card:

Hope you'll get a bit of sunshine through my colourful make and that you'll join in with our challenge at Country View Challenges this month, you could win a £ 20 voucher!

Thanks for coming by,

Also entering the Artistic Stamper challenge.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Techniques galore

Today I am showing this card on the Craft Barn blog with a photo rich step by step.

If you like techniques, you are in for a treat!

And a closer look at the resist technique:

Hop on to the Craft Barn blog to see how I made this.

Thanks for coming by,

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Only one more sleep to go (to Christmas) and one more dictionary challenge at the Craft Barn! So today a quick page for the letter M before returning to the festive preparations...

Initially I was going to illustrate the word Music, but, since many people had already chosen that word, I decided to use that lovely Crafty Individual little girl. She has an air of melancholy about her, and that fits in very well with my mood, as the end of year approaches and I reflect on the events, good and bad, of 2016. Fair to say this Christmas will be a very bittersweet occasion.

But I digress... on to the crafty stuff, here's my page:

I simply stamped the CI-101 ticket image with Versafine black, masked it and overstamped with a partial impression of a stamp from the Rubber Dance Nostalgic couple.
I added a bit of colour to the girl and the violet with Gelatos and created a shadow with a Distress Crayon in Vintage photo.

And as usual, dictionary definition and letter round off the page.

Have yourselves a fabulous Christmas!
I am entering the That's Crafty challenge.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Golden envie

Another postal make for the Paper Artsy challenge! This time I CASEd one of Butterfly's golden envelopes. I could have used the same stamp but decided to give some love to that Amsterdam row of houses from the Hot Pick 1601.

I also used some patterned papers (from a magazine freebie). I added a white panel  for the addressee to make it easy for the postman to read.

I stamped the houses with Flitter Glue and applied the gilding flakes. Love the shine but this is very difficult to photograph, especially as I used my phone and artificial lighting....

This might give a better idea:

Hope you like my envelope!
Onwards and upwards, more Christmas projects on the list...

Thanks for coming by,

Saturday, 17 December 2016


Paper Artsy went postal and I was inspired to decorate envelopes for Christmas cards.

First, a subtle envelope for an adult card:

I masked the address area before stencilling the snowflakes with several shades of blue Distress inks (window stencil acquired in the pound shop!!!).
I stamped the script and another motif from the ESN10 set by Paper Artsy.

Second, an envelope I made from freebie papers and decorated with a bit of stencilling (Scribble by DecoArt) and stamping (the deer is from another magazine freebie but so old I can't remember which!):

I'll be back tomorrow for an additional envelope,
See you soon,
Also linking to the SSS Monday challenge, Stamplorations Stencil linky party and Mixed Media challenge.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The X-mas factor

Glad to see you back here for my second Country View Christmas challenge inspiration project. Today I have a card with special features!

I used Crafters Companion Die'sire Create a Card Square Accordion die to create something that, hopefully, will look different on the mantelpiece and attract attention, something with the X-mas factor!!! =))

These dies have been around for a while (they exist in square, rectangle, circle and oval versions) and I did notice they had some Christmas specific overlay dies that allow the frame to be decorated with a themed die-cut, such as Candy Cane, Christmas Carol for extra Wow factor.

Here's the die-cut card, 2 panels only but with the Accordion dies you can cut and join as many panels as you want.

I stamped the fir cones from the Winter's Blossoms (Penny black stamp) using green ink for the pine needles and a water based pen for the actual pine cones.

I added a sentiment from the Pointsettia set (Inspired By Stamping) in black ink.

For the inside of the card  I have stamped the Pointsettia from the Penny Black set, using a "no line" technique . With this technique, it is usual to use a very pale colour for the stamping (for instance Vintage Linen Distress ink) but I added green and red ink where I could on top on my yellow base so I could see the impression more clearly.

I then coloured the image with coloured pencils.

The far right panel is 2 patterned papers (magazine freebies) die-cut with 2 of the frames from the Accordion die set. I stamped the Holly leaves and berries in coloured ink and the sentiment in black, all from the Inspired By Stamping set.

The next step is to cut the tab on the last panel, as it is not going to be used to link with another panel.

I left the card for a few days trying to decide if I should add something more, in particular on the frames. Nothing came to mind but serendipity came to the rescue! I received my prize package from Nefertiti for winning her first challenge on the theme of Halloween. And there was a small box of Christmas wooden charms!!!

So I chose 3 trees of different shapes, painted them dark green and added a bit of gold by dabbing DecoArt Metallic Lustre with a cloth. I threaded them on a piece of baker's twine and attached to the inside of the card as an additional surprise.

To show you the card as it will look when finished I have used Tim Holtz tissue tape to attach temporarily the decorated panels together.

I didn't glue the tab that links the 2 cards yet, because experience has taught me it isn't easy to write the message when the card is fully constructed... been there done that!

I hope you are getting on with your Christmas makes, and if you haven't entered our challenge yet it's time to think about it before the Christmas festivities take over our schedules!

Thanks for coming by,
I'm entering the Stamping Sensations and That's Crafty challenges.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The letter Y

Running late this fortnight with my Craft Barn Dictionary page for the letter Y.

Initially I was stumped, the only word I could think of was "year" and I wasn't excited by that!

A quick delve into a dictionary and I came up with lots of alternatives, settling on "yore". Excellent excuse to pull out some of my vintage image stamps...

The focal image is from the Paper Artsy Hot Pick 1207 and the Vintage ads background is from Crafty Individuals CI-461. The base is watercolour paper, Bockingford 300gsm/140lb.

As to the colouring I was inspired by the Paper Artsy Bleach theme, particularly Alison's project, and used Infusions in Violet Storms and Are you Cerise before bleaching the focal image.
I will take this opportunity to share what I learned in the making of this page.

I stamped the girls image with Versafine black as I thought it would give me the most detailed stamping. But actually it looked a bit blurry... I put it down to stamper's shake syndrome.
Only later, when I applied the water across the page, did I realise it was the ink that had a strange effect on the watercolour paper. I don't know what chemicals are involved in that reaction but the Versafine made the paper extremely porous (did it neutralise the size in the paper?) as well as feathering into the paper. I photographed the back of the paper and you can see clearly where the image is that the water (and some of the dyes) have gone through.

Lesson learned... next time I'll try with Archival or keep to trusty Memento (this is what I used for the Vintage Ads background stamp)!!!

My idea of a ribbon of Infusions colours across the page didn't quite translate during the execution, execution being the operative word, as I may well have killed off a perfectly good piece of stamping!
I mean does it look like I spilled my cup of coffee?

Well, anyway I don't have time to have another go, today is the Craft Barn sale day and I wouldn't miss it for the world as a) I love a bargain and b) I miss my regular visits to the shop so much!

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the Fashionable Stamping challenge.