Sunday, 20 August 2017

Product Review Series | Watercolour Paper Comparison


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

A few weeks ago, I did a review on the paper types we crafters often use to create our cards or layouts, and a reader requested a watercolour paper comparison. So here it is! Thank you for the suggestion. I am very excited to get started.

Once again, this is a long one. I'd apologize, but I like to be thorough. I also added some fun math at the end!


Today I will be reviewing:

  • Strathmore 140lb Cold pressed watercolour paper - this is my usual paper type.
  • The Artist's Loft 90lb Cold pressed watercolour paper - a less expensive craft store brand.
  • Winsor & Newton 140lb Cold pressed watercolour paper - a more expensive brand.
The test image I used today is the beautiful tulip from Clearly Besotted's "Forever Friends" stamped using the MISTI with Antique Linen Distress ink. I chose this ink to create a "no line" look as I thought the stamped lines would take away from what I'm really trying to showcase today.

All the images are painted using my Gasai Tambi 12 colour palette and my size 4 Prisma water brush pen. All images were allowed to air dry, I did not speed up the process with my heat tool.



Up first is the Strathmore 140lb cold pressed paper.

  • Sturdy paper, doesn't require being taped down for an image like this one, probably a good idea to tape it down if you are doing a whole scene or using lots of water
  • Lots of texture so when I stamped the image it took a couple of impressions using the MISTI to get it done
  • Very little warping when water is applied. 
  • Water seems to pull the colour across the area giving more of a "watercolour" look instead of just being coloured in.
  • Paper flattens almost completely after drying
  • Felt very confidant being able to add additional layers of colour without damaging the paper.
  • Cost vs. Quality is excellent, comes in various sizes and is relatively inexpensive. About $20 CAD for a 15 sheet pad of 11x15"

Next is the Artist's Loft 90lb Cold pressed paper.
  • Paper feels very flimsy and I had immediate concerns about stability
  • Very little texture so it took the initial stamping of the image very well
  • Warping with first pass of water on the paper, even in the small area of the petals
  • Water seems to sit on top of the paper instead of saturating the area so the colour just sat there instead of wicking through the dampened area
  • Paper did NOT dry flat
  • Took much longer to dry
  • Paper took damage after second layer of colour, pilling up and seemed to get mushy after the third.
  • Incredibly inexpensive paper to purchase - less than $8 CAD for a 25 sheet pad of 12x9"



Finally the Winsor & Newton 140lb cold pressed paper.

  • Very sturdy, despite equal poundage it felt thicker than the Strathmore
  •  Nicely textured, took a couple impressions using the MISTI to get a stamped image
  • Water stays where it is put and seemed to absorb straight down
  • Layers, layers, layers - I felt incredibly secure about piling on the layers
  • Almost no warping at all
  • Paper dried almost completely flat
  • Colour wicks across the dampened area beautifully
  • Reasonable amount of drying time per area
  • More expensive "high-end" paper. I paid about $12 CAD for a 15 sheet pad of 4x6"
Painting small images whether from a stamp or freehand is one thing, but we generally don't stop there. At least I don't. After the image area is completely dry, I like to create a halo around the image because I love that dreamy look.

I did that with each of these as well. And each performed about as I would have expected. After seeing how each paper reacted to my initial work, there were no surprises when I went on to add more water over a larger area. For each of these I did tape them to a board (I thought it best to give them all the a real fighting chance.)

Here are the pictures of each piece with the light blue halo. 

Strathmore with Halo

Artist's Loft with Halo

Winsor & Newton with Halo
Overall Impressions:
  • Strathmore: For myself, I will be sticking with this for my watercolour paper. If the opportunity to try something new comes up, I will certainly not turn it away, but for my budget and my art room and the pieces that I typically create this paper is exactly what I need. It is an excellent quality for the cost, it takes layers like a dream, moves the water and paint the way I would expect and want; in the event that I mess up beyond being able to fix it, I'm not devastated if I have to toss it; aside from the amount of work that I just put in.
  • Artist's Loft: This is definitely an instance of you get what you pay for. While I have many other Artist's Loft products and mediums - this paper is not something I would ever buy again. If my daughter decides she wants to watercolour paint, I'll let her use what I have left of this, then upgrade her to something else. My inability to comfortably add layers of colour to this, destroyed any illusions I had that I could find some use for it in my art room. 
  • Winsor & Newton: This paper held up with multiple layers of colour, there was very little warping and zero damage. The colour moves across the page the way I expect it to when I think of watercolouring. That being said, for what I do, this paper behaved too much like the Strathmore for me to justify the difference in price. If you are a serious watercolour artist then this may be more what you are looking for, but then you would probably all ready have your paper of choice picked out.
A little bit of fun math, because why not. Given the prices at the time of this writing (above), I thought it would be fun to work out the cost of each 4x6" piece. 
  • Strathmore: I can get 4 panels at 4x6" out of each sheet, that's 60 panels for each 15 sheet pad; as I mentioned I paid about $20 for it. That works out to about $0.33 per panel
  • Artist's Loft: I can get 3 panels at 4x6" out of each sheet, that's 75 panels for each 25 sheet pad; as I mentioned this pad is about $8. That works out to $0.11 per panel
  • Winsor & Newton: I got exactly 15 panels out of this 4x6" pad and paid about &12 for it. That works out to $0.80 per sheet
I hope you enjoyed this review. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future reviews and projects, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about this review or have an idea for a future review, please toss me a line in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.

*disclaimer: I am not set products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting and that I purchase myself, with my own money; I receive no incentive, payment or reward to do so. All reviews are based off of my personal experiences with them and are my opinion only.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Birthday Bear | ft. MFT's "Beary Special Birthday"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Today I have a super sweet little bear who's just waiting for the party to start. While I've mentioned before that it was Lawn Fawn that got me going, MFT very quickly rose in the rankings for favourite stamp companies.

Their sweet little images are perfect for nearly any type of card and it is impossible to resist using them! It took a me a little bit to get my hands on this particular stamp set, but I started seeing these impossibly amazing cards and I couldn't hold out any longer.


To begin, I stamped the bear image with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on a piece of 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I ran that through my Brother 2 Scan N Cut machine (no more fussy cutting more me!!!) and coloured him in with Copics.

I used the Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle Overlay on the balloon and covered that with Glossy Accents by Ranger.

While he was drying I stamped the party hat and the pile of gifts on a narrow strip of the same paper. I used Twisted Citron Distress ink to shade the background and then coloured the images in with Copics.

I trimmed down another piece of cardstock and used my half inch corner rounder to soften those edges. I then used Milled Lavender Distress ink to add a bit of colour and then my Gelly Roll black glaze pen to add some stitching detail.

I adhered down the strip, and stamped my greeting. Then I popped the little bear up on some foam tape and placed him down.

Finally I adhered the whole piece to the front of a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future projects. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
My Favorite Things
Sketch Challenge 346 #mftstamps

Crafty Animals

Friday, 18 August 2017

Brother 2 Scan N Cut | part 1 - First Impressions and Card


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Okay, gonna apologize now for a few things. First, I know it isn't technically review day (you'll still get one on Sunday) but I just could not wait. Second, This is going to be a longer post with lots of pictures. Third, The Brother 2 CM350 Scan N Cut is not something I can do all in one review. So as I become more familiar with it I will have more.



I've had this machine less than 24 hours and I legit think I'm in love. I've had other cutting machines but this... this is like nothing else. Based on my less than 24 hours of experience with it I can all ready say that this was the best thing to come into my craft room since my first set of stamps.

So my very first impressions:

  • This is not a cheap purchase. I would highly recommend making sure that this is the right product for you. There is a quilting store in the next town that (as of this writing) sells this for $799 CAD. I did not pay that. I almost died when the lady on the phone told me the price. That being said, it was far less expensive on Amazon (Canada) and I still put it off until they had a deal going on. 
  • It is about the same size as a Cricut cutting machine. It weighs about the same as well, unless you have the first release of the Cricut then maybe this one is lighter, 'cause that thing was huge.
  • It comes with one low tack cutting mat, one blade, a tool for the touch screen (though your finger works) a lifter - you do not want to touch the mat! two pens and one pen holder cartridge which would take the place of the blade in the machine. And more instruction manuals than I have ever seen (They aren't in the picture) All the little tools have a cute little pouch to keep them together.

Here the machine is out of the box, set up and plugged in. Sorry about the lighting, I was way too excited to fiddle around with that. I had to get a picture immediately. The touch screen looks like a hand held gaming device on the top right. It is attached to the machine, don't try to pull it off. Don't ask why I felt that was important to include. It is on a tilter so you can adjust the angle of viewing.


Here is the mat, lifter, touch screen pen and in the bag are the two markers - black and red - and the cartridge they go in.

So for my very first cuts (after test but that's boring and I don't want to bore you. What kind of blogger would I be if I did that?) I decided to use the running unicorn from MFT's "Magical Unicorn" stamp set.

The top one is the original stamp using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. The lower one is a mirror stamp using the Paper Smooches "Stamp Mirror Blocks". You see what's happening here? 

So sidenote: I'm very new to mirror stamping and there will be a Technique Tip post about it once I practice more. 

The stamp was faint so I went over the lines with a 0.3 Staedtler Pigment Liner. I haven't been able to get Copic Multi-liners and have found that this works.

So basically all you do is stamp your images on the paper, scan it through the machine, crop the area and cut. I chose to add a mini border because it's awesome! And the machine does it all. 

Have I mentioned that this does NOT have to be hooked up to the computer or wifi? That's right this can be used as a stand-alone machine and that is currently my exact intention. It'll be a whole other post if my intentions change.

I coloured the images in with my BG Copic markers and created a spinning card! A glittering unicorn spinning card! YAY!



I used a homemade cloud stencil (spoiler: there will be a DIY post on making that coming soon too!) and Peacock Feathers Distress ink to create a cloudy background.

I sandwiched a length of Unique Ultra Fine Invisible Thread between my unicorns and suspended him in the oval window of my card. I stamped the greeting from the same stamp set in Memento ink and to finish it off I used Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkling Overlay pen on his horn and hooves and covered them with Glossy Accents by Ranger.

I hope you all like this first impressions post on the Brother 2 Scan N Cut machine as well as the first project I used it for. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right sidebar so you don't miss more reviews and projects in the future. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook.

*disclaimer: I am not paid or given incentive to create product reviews. All reviews and comparisons I do are about products I have actually purchased with my own money, that I find interesting and that I hope others will find helpful. I am not sent products by companies to do reviews nor am I recognized by them for doing so.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Tropical Birthday | ft. MFT's Polynesian Paradise


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Today I have a clean and simple birthday card that I'm hoping will warm the heart of the person I give it to. I know several people who loooove the tropics and I thought that this card would be loved just as much.

I've really been trying to challenge myself to use some of the smaller stamps in a set instead of running for the big one each time. Don't get me wrong, it was hard not to reach for the little dancer in this set.

Believe me, I sat for a bit trying to figure out how she could fit in here, but in the end I was able to control myself. Just barely.


To begin, I stamped the toucan from MFT's "Polynesian Paradise" stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly card stock. I then coloured it with Copics and fussy cut him out.

Next I used some Dried Marigold Distress ink to sponge a circular area on my standard A2 sized card base. I then used some orange cardstock to create two banner accent pieces. I wanted a bit more black to tie the card together so I used my Gelly Roll black glaze pen to add some stitch detail to the larger banner.

I stamped the Happy Birthday greeting using Memento Tuxedo black ink. Once I had the banners adhered in place, I popped the little toucan up on some foam tape to give the card a bit of dimension.

To finish it off I added a few enamel dots for interest and because you know I gotta have my bling.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future posts; if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
2 Crafty Critter Crazies

Fusion Card Challenge

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Freehand Thanks | ft. Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by, I hope you are having a great day.

Recently, my Mom went on vacation to visit some family on the island. She had a fantastic time and wanted to express her gratitude. My Aunt has always been a huge supporter of my work and any art that I put together. So when Mom asked me to create a thank you card for her, I wanted something that I knew they would both love.


To begin, I roughly sketched in the horizon and the scene using a regular pencil. I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to add the islands then my Prisma waterbrush to pull out the colour. Once that was dry, I added the water and again pulled out the colour; always being careful not to trap the pencil under the colour. Once it's trapped it's not coming out.

I erased any pencil marks and added darker shades of each colour to give it some depth. Finally I sketched in the palm trees, right over top of the scene that was all ready there. The great thing about these markers is the ability to layer colours.

Once everything was dry, I used my light and medium grays to add some shadows. I then stamped the sentiment using CTMH's Archival Black ink.

To put the card together, I adhered the watercoloured piece to black cardstock to give it a border and then put the whole thing on a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future posts; if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Watercolour Dahlias | ft. Wplus9 and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

I created this card for my Mom's birthday, this is one of my absolute favourite floral images. While I'm sure there is a traditional way to colour dahlias, I typically let my imagination take flight and colour with what calls to me.

This is also my first time joining the Flower Challenge as well as the Cards Galore Encore Challenge. Check out their links below and I hope you'll play along!


To begin, I prepped a piece of Strathmore 140lb coldpress watercolour paper with my powder tool and used VersaMark ink to stamp the beautiful Dahlia image from Wplus9 "Beautiful Bouquets" and heat embossed it with white detail embossing powder.

I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers to add a tiny bit of colour where I wanted the petal or the leaf to be the darkest and used my Prisma waterbrush to pull the colour out. After all the petals and leaves where done, I traced around the lower right side of each area with my light grey and pulled that out to create a shadow.

The greeting from CTMH's "Sending Smiles" is heat embossed with detail silver powder.

I used some super sticky two way tape to adhere the watercolour paper to a piece of coordinating patterned paper and then put the entire piece on a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
We would love you to display our banner !

Monday, 14 August 2017

So Much Cake Shaker | ft. MFT's "Beary Special Birthday"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

It happens every time. Every birthday; that delicious cake is just staring at you and you want to just gobble the whole thing up. We've all been there. Normally we don't actually do that. It wouldn't be proper.

Someone forgot to tell that to this little guy.


To begin, I stamped this sweet little bear from MFT's "Beary Special Birthday" with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock.

I then used my largest oval die to do some partial die cutting, I fussy cut the space around him. I then coloured him with Copic markers, I used some Glossy Accents by Ranger over the icing of the cake and then dipped it in the Clear Rock Candy Glitter.

I lined up the top panel with the bottom to determine where I wanted the balloons. They are also from the same set, stamped with Memento ink and coloured with Copics. I used a very light shade to colour background behind the balloons and the same shade to make some diagonal lines on the front panel.

I added a piece of acetate behind the window and created my shaker area with doubled up foam tape. I filled the space with sequins and chunky glitter and stuck them together. I thought it needed a little something more so I created so stitch lines with a thin multi-liner.

Finally I adhered the entire thing to a standard A2 sized card base. For the banner I die cut a piece of cardstock using the mini banner die from Lawn Fawn's "Magic Color Slider" die set.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar; if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Inspired by Tracey McNeely

Crafting from the Heart
Crafting from the Heart Badge

2 Crafty Critter Crazies

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Product Review Series | Glitter Brush Pen Comparison


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Ahh glitter. We all love it. We all hate it. We love the shine and the sparkle. We all hate that we find it everywhere for days after we've used it. But that won't stop us. We gotta have our glitter. At least I do. Glitter, glitter, glitter. Love it!

For today's review, I'll be doing a comparison between the clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen and the Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen in Crystal Clear Overlay.

I'm going to show you a comparison of each pen and then a comparison of the results that I found.


On the left we have the Wink of Stella Clear and on the right is the Clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen.

In my area, I have found both pens to be accessible for purchase individually. I know that the Spectrum Noir pen can be purchased in a 3-pack on line, but I haven't seen that in my art stores.












Both pens have a brush tip and a squeezable barrel, both have click on caps to protect from damage or leaking (unless you squash it, then it'll probably leak all over. But that's on the user, not the design)

Clear Wink of Stella:

  • Brush Tip
  • Small narrow tip - ideal for those tough spaces
  • Clear liquid
  • Smooth application
  • Glitter appears to be gold when held in the light
  • White barrel - if you hold it up to a light you can see approximately how much is left
  • Can be taken apart and filled with water and used as a regular brush pen after the glitter is gone
  • Requires several passes to make the area really sparkle

Spectrum Noir Crystal Clear Overlay:
  • Brush Tip
  • Larger brush - less ideal for tiny spaces
  • Clear liquid
  • Smooth application
  • Glitter appears to be iridescent when held in the light
  • Black barrel - unable to see approximately how much is left
  • Larger barrel - sounds like it holds more liquid
  • Can be taken apart and filled with water and used as a regular brush pen after the glitter is gone
  • Very thin liquid - do not squeeze this barrel over your project 

For comparison I used this cute stamp from MFT's "Beary Special Birthday" I only applied glitter to the orange area, the portion of the bow on the box was also covered with Glossy Accents by Ranger. The paper is my usual 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. The image is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured with Copic markers.


I wanted to include this image as well, I wanted to show it in my usual lighting, this is the spot in my art room where I usually take photos of my projects, before they are posted to my blog.


Comparative Thoughts:

  • While both give off great sparkle, I found the Spectrum Noir really shined. It is picked up better by the camera, I needed fewer passes over an area to get the sparkle I wanted, and the glitter appears to actually be clear, while the Wink of Stella glitter had a golden shimmer to it. 
  • Both need to be squeezed after opening to get them flowing. The liquid in the Spectrum Noir is very thin and after only a light amount of pressure it was dripping off the brush. Do not squeeze this over a project. I cannot stress this enough.
  • I've mentioned before that I have arthritis in my hand so the larger barrel of the Spectrum Noir is more comfortable, that being said the Wink of Stella is not uncomfortable, but there is a noticeable difference in size - if you have gripping issues this may be something to consider.
  • In my area (and this will differ based on where you purchase your supplies) I found the pens to be similarly priced. And even that difference varied by store.
Overall, I like both pens and think that both have their place in the craft room. In terms of super shiny-sparkliness the Spectrum Noir wins for me. I feel the quality for the amount I spent on it is excellent and the final result is more glitter. Yay Glitter. 

If you are doing smaller areas that require more detailed application - I'd recommend the Wink of Stella, the difference in brush size my not look like much in the pictures but in actual use there is definitely an advantage to having the smaller brush tip.

In the end, the choice you make is up to you depending on what you are looking for in your glitter pen and the project that you are working on. For myself, I will continue to stock both pens in my art room as I have a need for both.

I hope you like today's review. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about these pens, or have a suggestion for a future review please toss me a line in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.


*Disclaimer: I am not sent products for review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting and that I purchase myself, with my own money and I receive no incentive, reward or payment to do so. All reviews are based off of my personal experiences with the products.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Coloured on Kraft Series | ft. Clearly Besotted "Fresh Flowers"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

If today's card looks a little bit familiar, you aren't mistaken. After I created the Orchids in my Floral On Kraft post, I could not stop thinking about doing more like it. I just love the way the pencils look on the Kraft cardstock and since I have several of the floral sets from Clearly Besotted, it was only a matter of sitting down to colour.

And then I thought, why not make a mini series?!?!?! So while the other one still counts towards this, I'm way to lazy to go back and change the post to indicate that. Anyway, welcome to the Coloured on Kraft Series! YAY!!


To begin, I stamped the large flower from Clearly Besotted's "Fresh Flowers" stamp set on 65lb Kraft cardstock using VersaMark ink. I chose this ink because I didn't want the harsh lines of the black, the VersaMark ink creates a soft tone on tone effect that is brilliant for colouring with pencils.

I then coloured the flowers in with Lyra Rembrandt oil based pencils. (I'll have a review for these in the future. Spoiler: They're great!) I then stamped the greeting in black as I wanted the contrast to really stand out against the softness flowers.

Finally, I took a very light twine and tied a bow (Tie One On, get it?) I then mounted that on a piece of light purple cardstock for a border and adhered that to a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Daisy Chain Challenge
Grab our Badge!!

and

Seize the Birthday Challenge

These are both brand new to me challenges and I'm super excited to be taking part in them both!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Smashin' Birthday | ft. Lawn Fawn "Year Seven"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Once again, I cannot say enough good things about Lawn Fawn. Their consistently cute stamps that are pretty interchangeable make unlimited possibilities when it comes to cards and layouts. Now that they have interactive dies, the fun never stops.

Today I have an interactive birthday card. The second I saw this set I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

We are having a fiesta!




To begin, I used Dried Marigold and Mermaid Lagoon Distress ink, to make a fun background, I then used some clean water to create a splatter and then patted it off with some paper towel. As this isn't watercolour paper I didn't want the water to sit too long, so the splatter isn't as defined as I would have liked.

Once the panel was dry, I used the small curved die from Lawn Fawn "Slide on Over" die set to make the groove where he could swing. I also used my Crop-a-Dile to punch a 1/8" hole and a colourful eyelet. I knew he would be swinging from a string and I didn't want that friction to damage the card.

I stamped the pinata and the candy on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured them all in with Copic markers. I also used my white gel pen to add some dot detail to all the pieces. I then used the coordinating dies to cut out all the images. (Yep, got the dies for this one. I know, right?)

I used some micro dots to adhere the candies in place. I created a penny slider for the back of my little pinata and sandwiched in some green twine for him to swing from. I don't know why he's a him, but he is. I used the greeting from the set, curving it along the edge of the die so he wouldn't obstruct it as he swung by.

After everything was in place, I doubled up the foam tape (important!!) and adhered it to a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future posts, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

and

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Pastel Paradise | ft. MFT "Polynesian Paradise"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

When I get a new set, I'm typically after the big piece. The main stamp and my scene will be built around it; but those little stamps, that sit back and mind their own business can really come into their own light when you 'forget' about the big one. I've been challenging myself to use some of the littler pieces in a set to create something without the fanfare of the main image.


To begin, I cut a grey frame using two of my nested circle dies. I then cut a circle using 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock and the larger die to create my window piece. I had considered doing an acetate overlay here, but I discarded the idea later.

For all the stamping I used CTMH Whisper ink. This is a dye based ink, so as long as you are careful you can use your Copic markers with it. This was a new discovery for me and it opens up so many doors of opportunity. I am no longer tied to a black outline. I literally have dozens of the CTMH inks and since I use Copics more than anything else, there are few cards I'd like to recreate with a softer edge.

For the flowers I stamped the small hibiscus flower from MFT's "Polynesian Paradise" and masked a couple off so that they would look like a bouquet. I also stamped the little lizard from the same set, but I used the mirror stamping technique so he would face the other way and work with what I had in mind.

Because this is also for a color challenge, I had a very limited palette to work with. Their colours this week were Aqua, Light Pink, Lavender and white - and you can pick a neutral so I chose the grey.

After coloring all the images, I covered the blossoms with clear Wink of Stella because it has to sparkle! (I used my BV markers for the Lavender, BG markers for the Aqua and my lightest R markers for the Light Pink.)

I masked the right side of the panel off except for just over an inch and used Glacier CTMH ink, when looking at my swatches, it was the closest to an Aqua colour that I have.

To put the piece together, I adhered the panel to an A2 sized card base, then I used Tombow Mono Multi Glue to put the circle in place and foam tape for my little chameleon. I used the same Whisper ink to stamp the Birthday greeting (from MFT's "The Whole Herd").

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future posts. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Sketch Challenge 345 #mftstamps



and 

My inspiration came from the colours in the picture.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

#Birthday Selfie | ft. Clearly Besotted "Once Upon a Time"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Today's card could be used for either a boy or a girl, depending on what their interests are. When it comes to cards for kids, I prefer to do things that could be used for either. Don't get me wrong, I certainly fall into the stereotypical colour patterns and themes, but when the opportunity comes up to make a card that can go either way, I try to take it and I usually have an extra couple in the stash.


To begin, I stamped the three little pigs (and wolf) image from Clearly Besotted's "Once Upon a Time" using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Copic-friendly cardstock. I then masked them off and used Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress ink to create a sky; Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn Distress ink to create the ground.

I then removed the mask and coloured the images in with Copic markers. I then trimmed that piece down so it would fit into my make-shift Polaroid frame. I cut a piece of acetate down so that it would look as though it were an actual photograph.

I used the "Happy Birthday" from Clearly Besotted's "Wild Thing" stamp set, also in Tuxedo Black ink to create the greeting.

I then mounted the 'picture' on a piece of Kraft cardstock and added some washi tape to make it look as though someone had hung it up. Finally, I adhered the entire piece to a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Watercolour Florals | ft. Hero Arts and Zig Clean Color Markers


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

If you're like me, you see these super pretty cards online and then get a million ideas on how to use that stamp; so you rush out and buy it only to forget about it completely.

No? Just me? Huh.

I got this stamp a while back because I saw all these super pretty cards online and I had to just rush out and buy it, only to forget why I wanted it in the first place. So when I saw the inspiration by Anita Bowden in the Muse challenge, along with a Happy Birthday Challenge and an Anything Goes challenge I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I'm not going to lie, the execution of my idea took a wee bit longer than I wanted, but now that I have the hang of this one, I'll probably make a couple more with different colour palettes for my friends.



To begin, I prepped a piece of Strathmore Bristol Smooth 100lb cardstock with my powder tool. I then positioned it in my MISTI and stamped this Hero Arts "Large Blossom" using VersaMark ink. I actually did it twice so that I was certain the black embossing powder would stick where I wanted it when I heat embossed it.

I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers in Carmine, Light Carmine and Bright Yellow for the flowers; and May Green and Mid Green for the leaves and stems. To get a nice blend I put only a bit of each colour at opposite ends of each section and used my Prisma watercolour brush to bring the two together.

Because Bristol isn't actually watercolour paper, it is best to use a very light hand when it comes to adding the water. You can always, always add more, but once you have too much the paper will warp and pill -- no one wants that.

Once that was completely dry, I heat embossed the sentiment using the same black embossing powder.

I then added a bit of twine to the left and bottom of the panel, and adhered the whole piece to a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View web version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Inspired by Anita Bowden

and

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

and 

Stamping Sensations August Challenge

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bubble Birthday | ft. MFT's "PI - I Pick You"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

I personally find sketch challenges very difficult. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because I'm such a fan of one layer cards (as you may have noticed) and when it comes to a sketch I feel a need to multiple layers and pattern paper and all sorts of things that I'm not usually comfortable with.

But isn't that really the point of these challenges? To challenge us? I hope so, 'cause that's what's happening for me. And it's a good thing. It breaks me out of my comfort zone and forces me to try new things.

And sometimes, just sometimes, new things are wonderful.


To begin, I used the largest of Lawn Fawn's Stitched Scallop Border Dies to cut down the right edge of my panel.

I then stamped the image and greeting from MFT's Pure Innocence - I Pick You stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I then coloured the image in with Copics and coordinate with the bubbles on the patterned paper.

The patterned paper comes from a stack in my stash that has long since lost it's cover, so I'm not sure what brand it is.

I then adhered a 1/2" and a 1/4" strip of the patterned paper directly on to the panel, and popped the panel up on foam tape. For the right side, I put a piece of the same patterned paper down directly on the A2 sized card base, and then put the panel down on top of that.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View Web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:

and

Simon Says Stamp

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Product Review Series | Tombow Mono Sand Eraser 512A


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

I don't know about you, but I have been hearing a lot about the Tombow Mono Sand Eraser, everyone is using it and it honestly seemed to be too good to be true. Like one of those things where we all like the rest of Tombow's products so why wouldn't this one fall in line as well?

Dimensions of the Tombow Mono Sand Eraser 512A
So naturally, I had to get one and test if for myself. I purchased the "Tombow Mono Sand Eraser 512A for Ink". I tested this using my 8 most frequently used mediums for card making. I will post the before and after photos and then I will go through each and discuss what I found.

Below, on the left is my tester sheet. I used 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I chose this cardstock because it my primary choice for card making and felt that since I would be using this the majority of the time it should also be the one that I use for testing. On the right, I have the exact same sheet after using the eraser. I attempted to make each of the marks as though it were "accidentally" done through regular use.


1. Ball Point Pen: An accidental scuff with a regular blue ball point pen should pose no problems. The sand eraser takes the light scuff right off with very little damage to the paper.

2. Pencil: Comes right off. I'm not sure why you would choose to use the sand eraser over a regular white eraser when it comes to getting pencil off, but you never know, so I thought I'd include it.

3. Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker: (Deep Green) This took a lot of effort. A very light scuff should be no problem but if you drop the marker tip down (we've all done it) you may have to cover it or start again.

4. Tim Holtz Distress Marker: (peacock feathers) This eraser won't help you. As you can see above I was unable to get much of this marker off the page at all. There was substantial damage to the page and the results were not worth it.

5. Memento Tuxedo Black ink: We've all scuffed a stamp or gotten ink on our fingers. Provided you didn't drop the entire ink pad face down on the paper, this eraser should help you. I was able to get the light scuffs off, with very little effort and very little damage to the paper.

6. Copic: There's no hope. Because of the way Copic markers work, I didn't expect the eraser to yield any results.

7. Black Glaze Pen: Will remove the light smear with very little damage to the paper. And honestly, who hasn't smeared an eye at least once?

8. Pigment Liner: (Staedtler Pigment liner 0.3) medium damage, removes tail.

Overall, I'm rather impressed with this product. It also removes most coloured pencil provided you are working with decent quality paper, it also removed glitter pen from my clear Gelly Roll Stardust pen.

Pros:

  • Quality vs. Cost is very good
  • Widely available, in art stores or online
  • Works on a huge variety of mediums
  • Requires very little pressure
  • Very little to moderate damage to paper, depending on the pressure you apply
Cons:
  • Very Crumbly/Breakable
  • Leave a lot of dust during use
I found it worked best when I held it upright and only used a tiny bit of pressure, working in small circles. That reduced the amount of damage to the paper. Because of the amount of dust the eraser leaves behind during use, I found that wiping it away won't help the situation, use a loose brush or tip and tap the piece over a garbage to remove the grit.


I hope you liked today's review. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar so you don't miss any future reviews or projects. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View Web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about this review, or have a suggestion for a future review, toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

*Disclaimer: I am not sent products for review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting and that I purchase myself, with my own money and I receive no incentive, reward or payment to do so.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

This Birthday's in the Bag | ft. Newton's Nook "Newton's Birthday Bash"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

It's funny how we go through stamp phases. At least that's what I call them. When I started out it was all Lawn Fawn all the time. Then I discovered Newton's Nook and I had kitties on everything. Of course this was before I even started blogging, then it was a different brand and a different company and so on and so forth. But every now and then I like to look through my stash and use something that I haven't used in a long time.

There was a time that "Newton's Birthday Bash" didn't leave my work space. It was always out, and very much my most loved stamp set. Then something else came along and it got put in the stamp box to be used at a later date. I got to pull him out again today so we could play along with the Inky Paws #52 Challenge.


To begin, I cut down all the separate panel pieces I was going to use. I stamped the image from Newton's Nook Designs' "Newton's Birthday Bash" using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on to 110lb Copic friendly card stock.

Kitties make me feel all warm and cozy, so I wanted to do this with mostly warm colours to try and convey that. For the background panels I used Abandoned Coral, Dried Marigold and Scattered Straw Distress inks to add some colour.

I coloured the image in with Copic markers, and stamped the party confetti using a bunch of different CTMH inks. I covered the bag with a bunch of layers of the clear Wink of Stella to make it really sparkle, and two layers on the tissue paper to make it sparkle just a little bit.

I then used some orange twine to create a bow and popped that panel up on foam tape and adhered it down, all on a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View Web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
Newton's Nook Designs

Friday, 4 August 2017

Floral on Kraft | ft. Clearly Besotted "Thinking of You"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Today I wanted to share another image that was done with coloured pencils on kraft cardstock. Orchids are my absolute favourite flower, though many of them have the same structure their colours vary greatly. It seems to be one of those flowers that can work with any palette in the home, and with a little care and patience, they make an excellent housewarming gift.


To begin, I stamped the large orchid image from Clearly Besotted's "Thinking of You" stamp set using VersaMark ink, on 65lb Kraft cardstock from Recollections. While VersaMark is typically used for heat embossing (as you can see with the greeting, above) it can also be used to create a soft tone on tone effect. I chose to do this because it takes away the harsh lines of stamping in black, and is easier to colour over when using pencils.

I then used my Faber-Castell Polychormos pencils to colour in the image. There is a light, medium and dark shade for both the purples and the turquoise, two shades for the green as well as the soft shadow behind the flowers.

For the greeting I prepped the paper with my powder tool, and stamped the greeting using VersaMark ink again, and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I didn't want anything to take away from the vibrancy of the flowers.

I then wrapped some purple and white baker's twine around the panel and tied a bow. I don't know if it is just me, but I cannot seem to tie a bow with the right side up. Whenever I have to tie a bow, like this one, I have to turn the whole piece upside down to get it to look right. To secure that, I just used a piece of clear tape on the back so that the wrapped twine wouldn't move.

I then mounted this on a piece of turquoise paper that matched the medium shade of my pencils; and mounted the whole lot on a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right side bar. If you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View Web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

This card is for:
CAS(E) this Sketch

and

Muse Challenge 227

and

Time Out Challenge #89
Because a potted plant seems to be the cliché gift for a new home, I felt that this would be an acceptable submission. (I hope they think so as well)





Thank you all for your votes, support and encouragement; with these, I was selected as a "featured member" through this post on the Muse Challenge. I cannot begin to tell you what this me.










This card was also selected for Honorable Mention over on CAS(E) this Sketch! I'm so excited to receive this recognition!