' ' ' 'Crafty Endeavours: 2016

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.

Under the feather

I am quite excited to find out what you think of this card. I made it for my guest appearance on the Rubber Dance blog and it's one of my rare attempts at humoristic cards.

So don't hold back, tell me what you think and hop over to the Rubber Dance blog to see how I made it.

Thanks for coming by,
I am entering the Fashionable Stamping challenge.

Friday 9 December 2016


Do you like the look of collaged papers but are short on time? Or not keen on the sticky stuff and the drying time etc... I have a solution for you, a quick and foolproof way to get a collage look without the sweat and tears.

Of course, you know me I'm using stamps... easy isn't it? Well the designers have done all the work so we can PLAY, why not use the technology...

So there you are, here's my finished project, but do come by the Craft Barn to see HOW I did it.

I hope you are getting on with your Christmas makes, I have yet to complete LOTS,
Also entering the Stamplorations Theme& Sketch challenge.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Triple Time stamping

Today I am showing this opulent red and gold creation over at the Craft Barn blog.

I only used one stamp for this card, a Cover A Card from Impression Obsession. Come by the Craft Barn blog to see how I made it...

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the SSS Wednesday and The Artistic Stamper challenges.

Christmas Town

I can't believe we are in December, Christmas is looming and another year has passed!

Yes, it's the 1st of the month, time for a new challenge at Country View Crafts and I made this Christmas card to kick off our theme hosted by Debs.

My inspiration was slow to come and it's only when I found a very old piece of cardstock that I finally had a brainwave. Any of you have ever encountered Stardream?

I checked and it still exist. This card is smooth, very thick and has a plastic feel to it. I thought that maybe it would work just like a gessoed surface... and it did work with my chosen medium the way I wanted so now I know how to use up my stock! The colour I have is Sapphire a deep blue that reminded me of a night sky.

I first applied some Gelatos and using my fingers spread it around the bottom of the card where I next stamped the Textured Houses (Rubber Dance) in Archival ink.

For the sky I used JOFY Mini 06 (Paper Artsy) and also the small star flurry motif form the Textured Feathers (also Rubber Dance) stamped and embossed in white.
I stamped the sentiment (Katzelkraft) in the same way.

To give the idea of the Milky way I added Distress crayon in white around the embossed stars, spreading the colour with my fingers. 
Finally, I matted my image on a contrasting colour of cardstock.

I have great difficulties in getting decent photos at this time of the year, especially with my Daylight lamp on the blink so I am including this picture taken with sunlight catching it.

So hop over to the Country View Craft challenge blog, admire what my teamies did and get a full tank of inspiration for your Christmas cards.  Just make sure you come back to link to our challenge and show us your beauties, you could win a £20 voucher!

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the SSS Wednesday, The Artistic Stamper and Inkychicks challenges.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Dictionary Challenge Letter I

Welcome to my latest entry to the Craft Barn Dictionary challenge!

The letter is I and there are no twists. Plenty of choice... and that was the problem! I was mulling over and the only thing that came to mind was "indecision"...  but I couldn't decide!

Finally, in a reverse illustration process, I selected the stamp I have been wanting to show you for a long time, and picked a word that I could use with it.

Don't you think that cottage is lovely? Apart from all the logical reasons why a thatched cottage isn't entirely practical to live in, it would be my dream home.... one can dream!

This is one of the Art Stamps by Imagination Crafts, and I inked it with markers. This is the most difficult part of this project, since when inking you are looking at the mirror image of the actual stamp. Thankfully, being transparent, if you turn over the acrylic block you can check what you've done.
I did lose a bit of the definition, and it's my fault for using different types of markers with a different drying rate. Obviously you won't do that mistake!
My favourite markers for inking rubber stamps are the Zig Art&Graphic because of their soft and flexible tip, which doesn't get damaged like standard fibre tip pens do. I can't recommend them enough.

And, as usual, the definition and the letter, stamped on the Cottage's door, complete the page.

Doing this just reminded me how much I love these photo realistic stamps and want them all!
Thanks for coming by,

Thursday 24 November 2016

Bibi's Birthday

Today I am guesting on the Rubber Dance blog after winning the October challenge with this make:

I'm showing my virtual Birthday card for Bibi, which is following this month's challenge theme and colours.

Come and see how I did it on the Rubber Dance blog,  I give you my watercolour tips!

I hope I will inspire you to enter the challenge with a stamped creation. The theme is optional and there are 2 chances to win this month so don't delay!!

Thanks for coming by,
Also linking to the SSS Monday challenge (3 sentiments).

Wednesday 23 November 2016

In the mood for dancing

Today on the craft Barn blog, I am showing a card inspired by the roaring twenties and Charleston.

OK, I didn't actually have any dancing girls to stamp so used these "ladies who latte" instead. I like to think they are discussing their evening plans, outfits etc... for a wild night of dancing.

The iconic music of that period is a piece by James P Johnson, who composed many hit tunes including the theme song of the Roaring Twenties film, "Charleston" which debuted in 1923 on Broadway. You can listen/watch here.

See you on the Craft Barn blog to see how I made it!
I am entering the TIMI Craft Stamper and SSS Monday challenges

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Alcoholic Angel

The latest challenge at Paper Artsy is on the theme of alcohol inks. I don't play enough with them although they are wonderful so I pushed myself to create something.
I loosely followed Helen's post but I had to replace the Yupo by glossy cardstock when I couldn't find it!

I was a bit surprised at how much the glossy cardstock absorbed the inks (it shows at the back) and it took a long time of adding inks and alcohol before I got the same sort of effects Helen achieved.
Next time I will choose colours that are closer on the colour wheel, instead of this complimentary red and green scheme (blame it on Santa) which is easily transformed into mud colour.
Apologies for the lacklustre photo I'm using my phone and indoor lighting.

The star stamp is JOFY Mini 06, which I have stamped with white pigment ink and embossed with WOW Pearl Blue embossing powder.
The Pearl powders are translucent and combined with the white pigment ink give a semi-opaque look that doesn't totally obliterate the background. I wasn't entirely satisfied and decided I needed to get some of the stars, at least, to show up a bit more. I heated the card again and sprinkled white detail embossing powder on and around the stars, obtaining a flurry of snow in the process.

The sentiment is from the All Occasion Sentiments #4 set (Uniko Studio) stamped and embossed in the same way.
In this next picture I'm trying to show you the Blue Pearl effect (excuse the lightbulb's reflection):

The card called for a bit of something in the sky and That's Crafty gave me the solution with their "Angel" challenge theme. I finally used this lonely angel in my stash and gave it the alcohol ink treatment before hanging him from silver cord (hence my title...).

Thanks for coming by,
Also entering the Uniko Studio and WOW embossing powders challenges.

Monday 21 November 2016

Tag-A-Thon Part 4

Today another batch of Christmas tags but in a very different style to Saturday's offerings.

My base were already tags... received last year, where one side had the handwritten message and the other side was blank. I cut identical tag shapes from scraps of Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium 12x12 paper and die-cut Merry Christmas from the middle.

I placed Double sided tape behind the patterned paper tags, making sure to at least cover the die-cut space.

I cut the Merry Christmas die 3 times again, this time using scraps of white paper, 2 from glossy and one from standard cardstock.

Taking off the protective paper from the doubles sided adhesive, I then placed the patterned paper tag onto the handwritten side of the base tags adding the white die-cut into the "holes" to complete the inlaid technique.

The explanation sounds a lot more complex than it really is, I'm sure you get the idea just by looking at the photo. The great thing about this design is using up scraps...

Will there be a part 5 in my Tag-A-Thon?  Possibly... I'll just see how the mood takes me, so watch this space...
Also linking to the Tagplorations hop and the SSS Monday challenge.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Star of Thrift, Tag-A-Thon Part 3

Welcome to my second DT creation on the theme of Stars, chosen by Rachel for November, at Country View Challenges and the 3rd instalment on my Tag-A-Thon...

Stars and Christmas for some reason go hand in hand, so my tags today are for Christmas.

I did something similar in the past (see here) and not only enjoyed it but also relished the thought of using up supplies that would have finished in the bin. I made Christmas tags for the many (now I'm being hopeful) presents we will have to wrap in December.
And yes, I know the tags will end up in the bin soon enough but at least they will have been USED!

These are the supplies I had gathered at the start of my crafting session.

Transparent Texture medium (Ranger), Grungepaste (PaperArtsy) , glitter and Perfect Pearls to mix in with the pastes and a new star stencil from Creative Expression.

Smaller stencils are great if you want to use them in different areas on a project without disturbing your previous work (ask me how I know...). They are also cheaper and take less space... perfect excuse to buy more!

In the photo the offcut of watercolour has already been stencilled and you can see there was already some colour on it but I didn't mind.

I decided to use powders and selected green and red (for Christmas) Brushos and my favourite Infusions Stormy Violet and Golden Sands.
I use a small brush to pick up and distribute the powders. I changed the colours as went along so I would get different looks.

I adapted the shape and size of my tags according to the placement of stars and colours to minimize any waste. You can see top left the bits that didn't make the cut. Not much waste there...

If you have a tag die, by any means use it but I used the 45 degree angle markings on my paper trimmer.

Next I added some stamping and in keeping with the thrifty theme I only used "free" stamps. They are all from Craft Stamper. I do keep them all and although I don't use them often I do use them. For a start, their smaller size make them ideal for tags.
The more recent ones are acrylic and like all acrylic stamps, they need a light sanding before they'll accept dye ink [using pigment inks, chalk inks or Crafter's inks they work fine].

I took a lot of convincing before taking sandpaper to my stamps so I am including a demo below.
On a scrap piece of paper I stamped an acrylic stamp that I had never used before. Not very good! These stamps being so small I took the stamp to the sanding block and rubbed it a few times in all directions.

I stamped again with red ink on the scrap piece and black on the back of one of the tags and you can see the difference. (click on the photo to get a bigger image) The effect is more pronounced in solid images.

Here's my tip of the day... Now remember I'm talking acrylic stamps NOT high quality photo polymer stamps which take the ink fine either after a few uses or a rubbing with nothing harsher than an eraser.

So both kinds being clear how can you tell the difference? These are my clues:

- high quality polymer stamps stain easily with dye inks, whilst most inks wash off acrylic stamps easily with water and washing up liquid including Archival ink.
- polymer stamps tend to yellow quickly whilst the cheaper stamps keep their slightly blueish tinge.
- acrylic stamps are not as "clingy" as the polymer stamps after a few uses.

I guess  should show you the finished tags too, especially if you've made it this far!
All that remains is for me to encourage you to enter your starry creations, thrifty or not, in our Country View Challenge.
See you soon for the next instalment of my Tag-A-Thon...
Also linking to the Tagplorations hop, Stamplorations, Fashionable StampingPenny Black and more and Stamping Sensations challenges.