Monday, 25 September 2017

Window Daisy | Paper Punches!


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

Today, I thought I would step away from the stamping and colouring (I know, right??!?!) and do something that I haven't done in a while.

Paper punching!! While the greeting is clearly stamped from Clearly Besotted, the rest of the card was made with punches. I cannot remember the last time I did this.



To begin, I punched the small daisy from some plain white cardstock, I punched the centre from a scrap of yellow patterned paper.

I punched the larger square 4 times, then punched a smaller square out of the middle of each to create some frames. I could totally have done this with my dies, but then I couldn't say I did all of this card with punches, right?

I used the larger square punch to get the green patterned background and built my frames up on that one. Had I done this with dies, the frames would have been even and not wonky on the bottom. But that's part of the joy. At least it was wonky for all of them.

I'm nothing, if not consistent.

I then adhered my frame to the front of a standard A2 sized card base, then stamped the greeting from Clearly Besotted. I added my little daisy to the centre.

To finish it off, I used a scattering of enamel dots from my own Spring Daisy mix.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. You can also follow me on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Product Review Series | Daler Rowney Simply Acrylic Mother of Pearl Structure Paste


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

It took a little while to put this one together, not because I had such a hard time with the product, but because in order for me to really show you the product, I had to use a black background, but when I actually use the product I'll be using it on white.

So for the purposes of today's review, the product will be tested on 65lb Recollections black cardstock. In the future when I use this product on an actual project it will most likely be on white.


I'm going to just start out with saying, this bottle is giant. 8.4 US fl. oz, or 250ml. That's an insane amount of product to put in one tube. I got this at my local Wal-Mart. I paid $5.97!!! They were practically begging me to buy it.

I've never heard of the product before, but since I'm always on the look out for new and inexpensive things to use on my cards, I thought "Literally, the worst thing that happens here, is I lose $6.00." That's like skipping a latte, let's all be honest.

Firstly, the fact that this is in a squeezey bottle is just amazing!
Pros:

  • Not worried about drying out
  • No more dry product cracking and falling into the good stuff
  • No more scrambling to get the lid on between applications because we don't want our precious pastes to get hard and therefore crappy to use.

Cons:

  • Can't really put excess back in the tube - it's really a use it or lose it situation. 

This gel, is just that; it really reminds me of a gel or a hand lotion. It's smooth and creamy and spreads beautifully, and you don't have to wait until it dries to get that shine. It is amazing. 

As you can see in the picture above, I have used the back of my palette knife to spread just a bit across a black page. I originally tried it on the white - because I want to show you how I would normally use the product - but there just wasn't enough contrast. 

It didn't matter if my flash was on or off, the shine on this stuff is incredible.


I looooooove using embossing pastes through stencils. I love the look and the texture and the little something extra that it brings to a card.

This stuff did not fail me. Like all other embossing pastes - your results are going to depend on your stencil. For this review - I used an incredibly basic stencil. 

Couple of Observations:
  • Spreads like silk
  • This particular product is quite thin, so it may seep under a stencil edge if the stencil isn't secured or is very delicate - here is an example of this paste over a shimmering background (why I had to do this review with black) but also how the edges of the stencil are not as defined.
  • The product is a bit tacky when it seems dry. It wasn't until the next day that these little dots were completely dry.
  • Very low odor. YAY!
  • Clean up was the same as other embossing pastes - move fast, use warm water, a bit of gentle soap and an old toothbrush
Overall, I really like this product. Because of the Mother of Pearl finish, I didn't bother mixing this with colours as I typically would to coordinate with my project. I would use this for those times where I want something a bit transparent and incredibly shimmery. For the price, you certainly can't go wrong. Even if it is a bit different and you have to "waste" some product on practice runs, at this price, who even cares? I've paid nearly triple that price for half the product in a little jar that ended up drying out because the lid didn't have a good seal on it.

The only real downside that I have found using this product is the drying time. This isn't something you can just toss on a card or a project and work over in the next hour. It literally took overnight for me to feel confident that this stuff was fully dry and that was a thin stencil. Maybe if you find a background you really like, make a few of them at once and then use them later.

In the end, there is absolutely no loss when trying this product. Maybe you like it, maybe you don't. I'm not going to toss my other products in the trash because this is the be all and end all of structure gels, but once they are gone I'll certainly have less motivation to replace them. For me, this product is what I'm looking for in a shimmering gel. I'll just have to plan accordingly.

Also, They have a white medium texture paste - looks thicker and I cannot wait to try that one out! It's been sitting on my desk, calling my name. So maybe we'll see that one next week.


I hope you like today's review. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any further questions about this product or have a suggestion for a future review, please toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

*disclaimer: I am not sent products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting and that I have purchased with my own money, my hope is to provide you with information based on my experience. I am not given incentive, payment or reward. All reviews are based on my experience and are my opinion only.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series| ft Lawn Fawn Magic Color Slider


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

For today's Hello Halloween card I thought I would use some awesome pattern papers, one of my all time favourite stamp sets and the Magic Color Slider Die set.

When this "Happy Harvest" stamp set came out, I almost died. I'm not kidding, I couldn't have been more excited. This was the perfect scene building set.

Don't get me wrong, their Christmas scene builders are amazing, but I'm a prairie fall girl and there is nothing more exciting than that crisp autumn air and the harvest and for me, this was the set.

This was also the first time I used the Magic Slider as a component to my card instead of the ONLY part of the card.


To begin, I created my Magic Color Slider using some Recollections Halloween paper. I stamped the wagon from Lawn Fawn's "Happy Harvest" on my acetate using Staz-On Black ink.

I stamped the scarecrow with his little crow on a piece of 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I then used my Brother 2 Scan N Cut to cut him out. While I do have the coordinating dies for this set, I added the crow directly to his arm and the dies can't cut that. I then coloured him with Copics.


For the "Magic" piece, I stamped that same wagon, masked that off and stamped the corn stalks with CTMH Honey Ink, then I stamped the crow and coloured them all with Copics.

I used a piece of my favourite Halloween cardstock for the background of the card, sadly I have no idea of the brand as the packaging didn't make it. And I can't find any more of it, so it's officially a paper that I'm hoarding now. LOL, I want to say Imaginisce, but that may not be right.

I adhered the slider to the front, slightly off centre and added my scarecrow to the left.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar; 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:
Lawn Fawnatics Challenge

Friday, 22 September 2017

Dance and Twirl | ft. Darcie's Heart & Home


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

My super sweet little niece is turning 3 today! I can't even believe how fast that time has gone by. I thought my babies were growing up fast. Last week she had her very first dance class, and she has to be the cutest little thing in a tutu I have ever seen!

In celebration I made this card for her.


To begin, I stamped the little mouse from Darcie's Heart & Home (JCS275) using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly card stock. Then coloured her with Copics.

I prepped the bottom of that little panel with my powder tool and stamped the greeting using Worn Lipstick Distress ink and moved fast to heat emboss it with clear embossing powder.

For the larger panel, I prepped the entire thing with the powder tool again, and stamped the ballet slippers along the edge using VersaMark ink and clear embossed them. I then sponged on Worn Lipstick to create a pink emboss resist background and adhered that to the front of my standard A2 sized card base.

I used super strong Skor tape to mount the smaller panel - I find that regular tape runner won't always stick over distress ink and I didn't want to run the risk of it not staying stuck.

To finish it off, I used Glossy Accents by Ranger on her slippers, her belt and headband; then placed a little diamond from CTMH Bitty Sparkles in the centre of the flower; then because I just don't know when to stop I added some enamel dots from CTMH around the little mouse.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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:
Crafting with an Attitude

2 Crafty Critter Crazies
Challenge #6

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Layered in Blue | ft. Altenew "Totally Tropical"


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

I gotta say, this particular Muse had me stumped; but what really drew me in were Kim's colours. The purple of the bird over those beautifully layered flowers is just beautiful. With every challenge, I like to put my own spin on things, but I didn't know what I was going to do for this one. I sat and I thought and I thought and then I remember!

I have the most amazing layering set from Altenew that I have been dying to play with and I felt that this was the most perfect opportunity!


I've mentioned before that I'm extremely new to layering stamps and to be perfectly honest they frighten me. I'm always so surprised by how they turn out.

To begin, I stamped the solid stamp in CTMH Sky ink, then the detail stamp in Gypsy. These stamps have holes in the centre - maybe so you can line them up, I don't know. So I took the outline stamp and sponged on Pacifica ink to the middle and put that over top.

For the leaves I used Sweet Leaf and then Pear inks, also from Close to my Heart. The greeting is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black.

The middle flower on the right side got lost between the other two, so I lined up the outline stamp again, and stamped the whole thing with Pacifica. In retrospect, I think I should have stamped it off once and used a second generation stamping for the outline, but... hindsight, am I right?

Finally I matted the panel on to a medium blue piece of cardstock then adhered it to a standard A2 sized card base. Then of course, me being me, and I just can't leave well enough alone, I used some Pico Embellisher - the Wedding Dress irRESISTibles in the middle of each flower. My idea was for this to remain white, but it picked up the colour of the ink and I'm glad it did. This looks nicer.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar, 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:
Muse Challenge #234

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

#Birthday Boys | ft. Clearly Besotted "It's Good to be Bad"


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

Today I'm going to share with you another of my #birthday cards. There have been a couple others, that you can see here (with the three little pigs) and here (with Goldilocks and the three bears). All three of these are so super cute and again I just could not resist the urge to put this into a Polaroid frame.


So, I don't actually have a Polaroid frame die, so I have to make my own, which is incredibly easy. I used a square die and a larger rectangular die around it. Pass that through the die cutting machine, and if the bottom is a little too long, just trim it off. This is also something you could totally do by hand as well, using your paper trimmer or a straight edge.

To begin, I made my frame and cut out an acetate piece as well. The acetate isn't really necessary but I think it gives a finished look to the picture.

On a separate piece of 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock, I stamped this trio from Clearly Besotted's "Good to be Bad" stamp set with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured them with Copics.

I then masked them off and used Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn Distress inks for my grass; Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress inks for my sky. Then I put my picture together.

I adhered it down on a piece of Kraft cardstock, because to me it looks like a bulletin board. I know I had a linen background stamp that I think would work perfectly to give that cross-hatched look but do you think I can find it anywhere? Nope.

My washi tape is rather thin, so I find that if I double it up it is a bit less transparent. I chose this particular patterned tape because I wanted it to coordinate with the sky and grass in the photo.

Finally I stamped the greeting using the hashtag from "Good to be Bad" and the Happy Birthday from "Wild Thing". Then I adhered the panel 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 already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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

CASology Challenge

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Coloured on Kraft Series | ft. Clearly Besotted's "Feeling Fruity"


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

I'm back with another Coloured on Kraft! While I'm still hanging out in the Clearly Besotted playground for my Kraft projects, I'm doing a critters today instead of flowers. Weird, right?

This set is just too cute and those little faces will make the most perfect Thanksgiving cards. Like a bunch of little fruity mice hanging out around some harvest flowers. Hmmm, maybe I'll do that sometime soon.


To begin, I stamped the strawberry mouse from Clearly Besotted's "Feeling Fruity" stamp set in Memento Tuxedo Black in on 65lb Kraft cardstock, then masked him off and stamped the berry mouse on either side. The greeting is also from the same set in Memento ink as well.

I then coloured all of the mice with Lyra Rembrandt coloured pencils. These pencils are an oil based core that layer wonderfully (there will be a review on these in the future because they are awesome and not nearly as expensive as Polychromos).

I used a length of red and white twine to add a little accent bow on the side.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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 Challenge

Monday, 18 September 2017

Hello Coffee! | ft. Newton's Nook "Newton Loves Coffee"


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

I think that coffee is a vital part of any morning. It's pretty much the first thing I do when I get up. I'm not even sure why. I can drink coffee right before bed and it doesn't keep me awake, but there's just something about that first cup of the day that is just wonderful.

Now that my kids are back in school, my first cup is on the go but it is no less amazing than having one and just being able to sit and enjoy it.

I love this shifty-eyed Newton, because that's exactly how I feel. Either "That better be for me", or "I'm taking this as soon as no one is looking".


To begin, I stamped the travel mug from "Newton Loves Coffee" randomly in CTMH Chocolate ink on 65lb Kraft cardstock.

I prepped a smaller piece of Kraft with my powder tool and stamped the two solid coffee cups and the beans from the same set in VersaMark ink and heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. I then sponged some Walnut Stain Distress ink around the edges just go give it a bit of interest.

I sponged the long piece with Ground Espresso Distress Ink to work as my accent piece. For the greeting strip, I prepped a narrow piece of white with my powder tool and stamped the greeting with VersaMark and heat embossed with clear powder, then sponged Ground Espresso Distress ink over it for an emboss resist.

For the main focus, I stamped the Newton image with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock and die cut it using one of my Spellbinder oval dies; then coloured the image with Copic markers. I used a black glaze pen over his eyes so that he'd look really shifty.

To finish it off, I popped the greeting banner and the oval up on foam tape and put the card together. Then, because I just can't help myself, I used Glossy Accents by Ranger over the coffee mug to make it really shine. Like a beacon of hope in the early morning.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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:
Inky Paws Challenge

Sunday, 17 September 2017

New Die Prepping and Storage


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

As I've mentioned my kids are back to school (yay!) and that means that they have brought home all sorts of nasty germses (Gollum voice) and all those nasty germses have manifested in the mama. I have had the worst cold since I don't even know when. I slept for 13 hours last night. 13. Hours. In one night!! Craziness!

So in light of my inability to move, I don't have a product review for you today. But fear not! I do have a fun post lined up that I think you'll find very helpful. I've had a few PMs about how I deal with my dies; cleaning, storage and whatnot so I thought it may be time to share.


So here we have some brand new dies. As you can see I was so excited about them that I forgot to take the picture while they were still together. So we're just going to pretend that these are all still attached and just removed from the sticky backing and packaging they came with. (The dies here are from the Lawn Fawn "For You, Deer" set - guess what's coming for the holidays!)

Most dies are pretty easy to deal with, you just bend them apart and the little tabs break and you're done, easy peasy. But if you're like me (and let's be honest if you've been reading along this far, you just might be) those little ends are going to drive you insane.

And probably poke you. Which is not cool.


I like to use a pair of wire snips - these ones were super cheap in the wire and beading section at my local craft store, like $7? Once I get the dies apart as you can see in the picture, I lay down a damp baby wipe and snip off as much of that pokey piece as I can. The baby wipe stops it from flying away and inevitably ending up in your foot when you least expect it.

Once I have snipped off as much as I can, I use the flat metal file (also from the wire and beading section) to file down the sharp little edge as close as I can to the edge of the die.

When I get in the zone, I don't notice those sharp little bits and I've cut myself. And I've bled. On my tools, on my clothes and worst - on my projects. Again, I do the filing over a damp baby cloth because you don't need metal shaving laying around the craft room either.


Next, I deal with the sticky stuff that is on the backs of the dies. While it is wonderful that the stamping/die companies package the dies so that we can actually see them before we purchase and they aren't in a tangle at the bottom corner of the package; that adhesive, without fail is going to be stuck to the back of your dies.

Does this change the way the die works? Nope. Does it change the way the die is stored? Nope. Does it drive me as insane as the the pokey little pieces we just got rid of? Yep.

So once I've wrapped up my metal pieces and shavings, and wiped down my whole work surface, I lay out some paper towel and grab this stuff.

Un-Du. This stuff can usually be found in the sticker or stamp section of your local craft store. If not there, you can probably find it at your hardware store. It comes with a scraper attachment, I didn't like it so I took it off.

I put the dies on the paper towel and put a couple drops of this over the back and let it sit for 30-45 seconds. It has a strong odor and a slick feeling, I think it's based on turpentine or paint thinner. I have no idea but for some reason it makes me think of my Dad's workshop when I was a kid. No particular memory, just the feeling of being there.

After a time, gently roll a Q-Tip or cotton ball or a dry cloth over the goopy stuff and poof! It's gone. If it isn't all gone on the first pass, repeat the process. Then wipe with a baby wipe to get the residue off. You'll get the hang of this real quick.

This stuff is also super great for scissors or craft knives that have been gunked up by adhesive. And the bottle lasts forever. I'm going into year 2? with it and I still have about half a bottle.


Now that my dies are all apart and gunk-free, I store them in a binder. I get these adhesive magnetic sheets from the dollar store and centre them on a piece of cardstock. I slide that inside a regular school page protector and into the binder.

I write the brand and name of the die somewhere on the cardstock as well, just so I know what is where and if anything has gone missing (kids). And so I can reference it when I'm doing posts for you guys.

As my die collection has grown, this isn't the most ideal storage for them. Sooner or later the weight of the dies is going to do a number on the rings or rip the plastic from the page protectors, but so far it has worked out for me.

Side note:
This whole process can take a while, especially if you've never done it or just got a bunch of brand new dies. I like to set up my iPad and watch Netflix or Youtube while I do this. Once you have your current collection done, upkeep is easy if you get into the habit of doing it as soon as you get new dies.

I hope you found today's post helpful. If you haven't already please follow me on the right side bar, you can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about this or suggestions for a future post, please toss me a line in the comments section below. I love to hear from you.

*disclaimer: all the information above is based upon my experiences through trial and error and what works best for me. I am not sent products to review and I receive no payment, reward or incentive to do so. All the information here is my experience and opinion only.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Home Sweet Home | ft. Mama Elephant and Lawn Fawn


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

My in-laws recently moved from our relatively large city to a substantially smaller city in the mountains. It's been their retirement dream for some time, as they are both avid hiker/skiers, living in the mountains would be ideal for them. Imagine being able to do everything you wanted to, but get to sleep in for an extra 90 minutes and NOT have to go to bed early the night before? How awesome would that be?

Well, they're living their dream now, but it isn't easy leaving a house you've lived in for 20 plus years, where your kids left home (and came back ... again) where you were when your Grandchildren were born, where you've laughed and loved for so long.


To begin, I stamped the branch from Mama Elephant's "Lunar Extras" in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I then stamped the house and added the door and the string(?) from Lawn Fawn's "Home Sweet Home" set.

I coloured the images with Copic Markers and stamped the greeting from the same Lawn Fawn set. To bring a bit more life to the panel, I sponged Tumbled Glass Distress ink around the edges, and used a length of yellow twine around the top to make a bow.

I then popped the panel up on foam tape 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 already, please follow me over on the right side bar, 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:
Addicted to CAS Challenge
Grab our Badge!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series | Treat Bag ft Lawn Fawn and Clearly Besotted


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

I thought today I would mix things up a bit, instead of doing a card I would show you a little treat bag. These little bags are super handy for class treats or for handing out little gifts at almost any holiday.


To begin, I used the Lawn Fawn Goody Bag Die to cut two pieces from 65lb Kraft cardstock. I then used the Grassy Border die and Stitched Cloud dies (also from Lawn Fawn) to get the pieces for my scene.

I used Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke Distress inks to shade the clouds and Forest Moss with just a touch of Gathered Twigs Distress ink for the grass. Then set those aside to dry completely.

I stamped this adorable little ogre from Clearly Besotted's "Good to be Bad" with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I coloured him in with Copic markers and fussy cut him out.

Then I put my scene together. I then stamped the greeting, also from Clearly Besotted with Memento ink.

I used super strong 1/4" Scor Tape to put the treat bag together and used a couple pieces of twine to tie the bow at the top.

I hope you like today's treat bag and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series | Clear the Cobwebs


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

It has been one *heck* of a morning. It has literally taken me 3 hours to get my computer working. Needless to say, I was not impressed. I don't even know what the problem was or if it still has a problem but I was ready to toss it out a window.

Anyway, I thought today I would share a super quick CAS card in the spirit of my mood and for the Wednesday challenge over at Simon Says as well as the CAS challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More. If this broom came with magic powers I would have zapped this computer. I tell ya.


To begin, I stamped the broom from Lawn Fawn's "Critters in Costume" with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I then masked that off, and stamped a spider web from an older set in CTMH Whisper ink.

I used a black fine point marker to draw in a corner. And stamped the greeting using a Hero Arts (CL141) alphabet set.

I then coloured in my broom with Copic markers. I mounted the panel on a piece of Recollections spider patterned paper 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 already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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
Clean and Simple

Addicted to Stamps and More
#259 Clean and Simple

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series | ft. Lawn Fawn "Trick or Treat"


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

Today's card was inspired by Tracey McNeely, over on the Muse Challenge. The ladies over there are so fantastic with their designs and always provide excellent inspiration for the challenges. As you'll see at the bottom, Tracey went with a Christmas themed card, and while I love the CAS style of it, I'm not ready for Christmas just yet. Well, not ready to post the Christmas stuff just yet, anyway.

So here is my more Autumn twist on her inspiration card.


To begin, I used the smallest and forth smallest of my Spellbinder nested circle dies to cut a doughnut shape in 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I then stamped the small candy corn from Lawn Fawn's "Trick or Treat" stamp set, using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, in a circle around it. I felt that my wreath was too sparse, so I flipped the stamp and made another loop with the candies facing the opposite way.

I stamped the little bat from the same set on a scrap of 110lb cardstock. I coloured all the images in with Copic markers. I used Spectrum Noir Sparkling clear overly to give the bat some shimmer, then fussy cut him out and popped him up on foam tape.

I covered my candy corns with Glossy Accents by Ranger, so they would have that shiny look. Once that was dry I popped the wreath up on foam tape and adhered it to my panel, and added the bat.

I stamped the greeting from Lawn Fawn's "Booyah" stamp set, using Lawn Fawn Black Licorice ink. Finally, I added a black mat to the panel to coordinate with my bat and then adhered the whole thing 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 already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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:
Inspired by Tracey McNeely's card



  Thank you all so much for your votes!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sparkling Wedding | ft. Daler Rowney Mother of Pearl Structure Gel


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

Today I thought I would share another wedding card (lots lately, right?) that I created for a friend. She had like four weddings back to back. Not her own, obviously, but for friends.

Since it was a wedding card, and I don't really know the people I thought something a little more traditional would be appropriate instead of all the cutesy critters.


To begin, I prepped a piece of shimmering cardstock with my powder tool and heat embossed the banner piece and greeting using silver embossing powder. I then cut around that and popped it up on foam tape.

I then used the damask stencil over another piece of shimmering paper with the Mother of Pearl Structure Gel by Daler Rowney. I've used this gel a couple times before, and I promise there will be a review. I then set the panel aside to dry and quickly washed up my tools.

Once the panel was dry, I adhered it to a piece of glitter cardstock and then wrapped a length of 1/8" satin ribbon around the top, and adhered the whole panel to a standard A2 sized card base.

I then used a length of 5/8" white satin ribbon to create a bow and placed that on the top. To finish off the card I added a scattering of iridescent sequins across the card.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. You can also follow me over on Facebook. Toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Layered Floral Birthday | ft. CTMH " Beloved Bouquet"


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

First off, I just want to thank you all so much for the support. The responses to the Distress Showdown I posted yesterday have been overwhelming. I cannot tell you how much each click and like and view mean to me. You guys are awesome.

Today I thought I would do something a little different. It's a relatively new (to me) technique that has been gaining popularity in the crafting circles. Layered stamping. I'm always surprised at how lovely these turn out, which is silly because they work exactly the way they are designed to.


To begin, using the MISTI, I stamped the solid flower from Close to my Heart's "Beloved Bouquet" Tulip ink. To get full coverage, I stamped this a couple times. This is where the MISTI becomes invaluable. I can't line up a clear stamp to save my life, so the MISTI has become one of my most used tools in the craft room.

Next I stamped the detailed flower over top in CTMH Barn Red ink. Then I masked the flower. I stamped the solid leaves using Pear ink, then stamped the detailed leaves using New England Ivy. Once everything was dry, I removed the mask.

I stamped the Birthday greeting from Stampendous "Happy Messages" using Golden Glitz Delicata ink and again let everything dry.

Then I drew a frame using an ultra-fine Sharpie. For the dots I used Opal White Liquid Pearls by Ranger. As you can see, I need some more practice with these. I found them to be thick and they kind of had a mind of their own. They didn't really want to do what I wanted to do, but I was very happy with the card thus far, so I went with it.

Once the panel was completely dry, I adhered it directly to a standard A2 sized card base.

On a side note, I cannot stress enough the importance of letting this dry between each step. Use your heat tool if you have to, but you don't want to add a layer of water-based ink on top of a layer of water-based ink that has not dried. It will run and it will wick out, and if that is the look you are going for - fantastic. It wasn't the look I was going for, and I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar. 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:
Crafting from the Heart
Crafting from the Heart Badge

Crafting with an Attitude

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Product Review Series | Distress Showdown - Regular vs Oxide


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

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the chit chat today (I'll try not to.. we'll see.. yeah it's already happening), because this is a long one.

I'm going to do a side by side comparison of the Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I have broken this up into 5 commonly used (by me) categories, the first four are done on 110lb cardstock (my go to, as that is where I would typically be using it) and the fifth is done on Strathmore 140lb cold press watercolour paper (my go-to watercolour paper; if you want to know why click here)

So lets dive right in - there is a lot to cover today!


  • Regular Distress is a water-based dye ink that is acid-free, non-toxic and fade resistant
  • Distress Oxide inks are a water reactive ink and pigment fusion
  • Distress Oxide does not come in the mini cubes
  • Both have the same price point for the full-sized pad as well as the reinker
 

Category 1: Sponging

Probably my most commonly used application of this Distress inks. I use them to create backgrounds, and to colour in large areas because I'm too cheap to use my Copics for big spaces. I like getting that halo look around the edges of my paper and I like the feel of the sponge tool in my hand as I do it.
  • Regular Distress ink took more applications to get a smooth coverage, and even then it appears blotchy, for the Distress Oxide ink, it literally just went on, first pass; annnd done.
  • Both are designed to stay wet so that you can blend, however it took much longer for the Oxide to actually be dry. Maybe I was too liberal?
  • Regular Distress ink did not change the texture of the paper. It soaked in, dried and that was that. 
  • Distress Oxide leaves the paper feeling chalky and even after it dries there is some transfer if you pull your finger along the sponged area.

Category 2: Splatter

Ahhh, the reason we even buy Distress inks. They are reactive to water. They reactivate when new water is applied, they can be pulled up with water; making them one of the best for watercolouring because you can correct minor mistakes. For this demonstration, each were splattered with clean water from a size 8 round watercolour brush, the droplets were left for 30 seconds, then patted dry with a clean paper towel. Remember this is not watercolour paper; this is still the 110lb cardstock.
  • Regular Distress inks result in a faint splatter that seems to push the ink from the middle to the edges, allowing for a darker outline of the splatter, 
  • With Distress Oxides the colour seemed to disappear. The splatters are much more distinct, much more white and (in my opinion) should be used much more conservatively.
  • Looking at each, the Regular Distress reminds me of an underwater scene, while the Distress Oxide reminds me of space. 

Category 3: Blending

This is going to be a little more difficult to see, and that's my fault. I only have Salty Ocean and Broken China in the Distress inks at this point, and while I don't want to provide you shoddy comparisons, I felt this category was too important to leave out.
  • With regular Distress ink, I had to go back and forth between the two, despite how close the colours are to get a nice seamless blend.
  • With Distress Oxide I didn't even go back once, I put down the Salty Ocean then the Broken China and done. 
  • Even with the extra layers because of the additional colour, the results of the Regular Distress coverage are still blotchy
  • Both blend together extremely well - and I should hope so. That's what they are designed to do.

Category 4: Stamping

Maybe it's just me, but I love stamping with my Distress inks. Though I typically use the MISTI for them, (as well as the majority of my stamping), I did not do that this time. I stamped the Octopus and greeting from Lawn Fawn's "Critters in the Sea" using a 2x2" acrylic block. I did this because some people don't have a stamp tool like the MISTI and because this whole section would be moot if I did.
  • Stamping with regular Distress does not give consistent coverage and the lines appear blotchy, Nothing the MISTI couldn't fix. Or being really good at lining them up manually. There's a reason I have the MISTI, folks.
  • Stamping with the Distress Oxide put too much ink on the stamp and the lines are thicker in some places than in others. This is not something that could be fixed with the MISTI, maybe just more practice?
  • After the inks dry, the Oxide appears to be "truer" to the colour, while the regular Distress seems to fade out, even without additional water being added.

Category 5: Watercolouring

This was a huge one for me. I looooove to use my Distress inks to watercolour images. They are the first things I move towards, and I actually have to move them out of the way to get to another brand. This stamping was done with CTMH Archival Black ink on Strathmore 140lb cold press watercolour paper. I smooshed both pads to a palette and added clean water.
  • Regular Distress is light and travels well across the paper, it wicks well into wet areas and dries to create a light "watercoloury" feeling
  • Distress Oxide was much thicker and more opaque, it did not wick or travel well across the paper into wet areas.
  • Distress Oxide was too opaque to be painted over the stamped line. Clean up with an Archival maker or restamping would need to be done. 
  • Using the Distress Oxides felt more like painting with a thin acrylic than a watercolour paint.
  • The Oxides don't come in a mini cube and that's a big thing for me. I like how little space the minis take up and frankly, I'm not even sure where these two Distress Oxide pads are going to live.
For anyone keeping score, it would seem that the Distress Oxides have won in most of these categories - sponging, splattering and blending to be sure; it all depends on what you're going for. 

For the mixed media artist, I would recommend the Oxides - hands down. For me personally, I'm a huge fan of the watercolouring and the properties the regular Distress inks have align with my needs much more than that of the Oxides. 

That being said, we all know me. I'm going to get the Oxides. I'm just not going to rush out and replace all my cubes. I like how small they are. I like that the round sponge fits right into the bottom of the pad, exactly where it should. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the sponges for the Oxide pads or where I'm going to keep them.

But, fear not! I will figure it out. And when I do, when I have more colours and I have used the Oxides more I will do a rematch with advanced comparisons. So stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed this review. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about this review, or have a suggestion for a future review, please toss me a line in the comments section below and let me know. I love to hear from you.

*disclaimer: I am not sent products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting, that I have purchased with my own money and that I think you would enjoy reading about; and I receive no incentive, reward or payment to do so. All reviews are based off my personal experience and are my opinions only.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Coloured on Kraft Series | ft. Clearly Besotted's "Sunshine & Smiles"


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

It occurred to me that I hadn't done a colouring on kraft in a little bit, so I thought today I would do that. I mean we were dangerously close to having a streak of Halloween cards. Like in a row; and while that would be fantastic, I can't put them all out now, there would be nothing left for closer to Halloween. So think of it as like an intermission; the first of many.



To begin, I stamped the floral image from Clearly Besotted's "Sunshine & Smiles" set with VersaMark ink on 65lb Kraft cardstock. I used this particular ink because I didn't want the harsh black ink lines of regular stamping. As we all know, Clearly Besotted is fantastic at keeping their lines thin and crisp, but even still, there is a difference. Maybe I'll show you one day (foreshadowing? Probably.)

Next I stamped the greeting from CTMH's "Sending Smiles" in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Then I coloured in the image using Prismacolor Premier pencils. These are a soft core, wax based pencil that lay down beautifully on nearly any paper. While I have my issues with this particular brand, they remain my favourite of the wax line.

Then, as I went to line the panel up on my standard A2 sized card base I discovered that I didn't line up my stamps at all. These images weren't even a little bit straight. Like I was on a canoe at the time or something. Maybe deep into the cups. I have no idea what happened. Initially I tossed it. Then I was sad about tossing it because I was really pleased with how the colouring had turned out.

So I fished it out, layered it at an angle on a piece of blue cardstock and then adhered it to my card base. Now, no one will ever know that I had messed up, right?

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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:
CAS On Friday Challenge
For your blog

The Flower Challenge
(Sentiment, CAS, Colour - Blue)

Friday, 8 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series | ft. Simon Says Stamp "Trick or Treat"


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

I hadn't intended to make today's card a Halloween card, I wanted to wait a few days, but something things just don't work out like that. Today's card was made specifically for the Muse Challenge (of which you know I am a HUGE fan). When I saw Anita's card, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do at first, so I sat on it for a few days.

So when it came to me yesterday, I knew what I had to do. And I knew that I couldn't wait to post it.


To begin, I masked off the bottom left and the top right edges, and used a light hand to apply Dried Marigold Distress ink in the middle.

Once that was dry, I removed the masks and set them aside and prepped the panel with my powder tool. I then stamped the large greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Trick or Treat" set with VersaMark ink and heat embossed it with black detail powder. I also stamped the smaller greeting on a different sheet and heat embossed that with black as well.

I then used the large and the small bats from the same set and stamped them randomly in the light orange area and heat embossed them with clear.

I then replaced the masks and sponged on Wild Honey and Carved Pumpkin Distress inks to create an ombre look getting darker as it went down the card.

I removed the masks again, and raised the panel up on foam tape and adhered it to a standard A2 sized card base. Then I cut around the mini greeting and used a black marker to finish off the sides. I then popped that up on a piece of foam tape and placed it just below the big greeting.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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:
With inspiration by Anita Bowden

 Thank you all for your votes once again!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Hello Halloween Series | Clearly Besotted "It's Good to be Bad"


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

Though it may seem early, and the weather is still very warm (where I am, it's been a crazy hot summer. Like gross hot) I thought I would kick off my Halloween Series this year a bit early, because really, it's never too early for Halloween! It's like the perfect holiday. The warm, cozy smells, and the crisp air, the coloured leaves, the monsters peeking out of their summertime hiding places. It's just a wonderful time of year.


To begin, I stamped the cauldron from Clearly Besotted's "It's Good to be Bad" stamp set in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I then masked that off and stamped the greeting and the old witch also masking her off.

I then took some Twisted Citron Distress ink and sponged a halo around the images. Once that was dry, I removed the masks and coloured the images in with Copic markers. I wanted everything to be black, but not the same black.

 I was able to use all of my different grays for this one. I used the cool grays for her skin, hair and the cauldron; warm grays for the shadows so it didn't look like they were just floating in the middle of nothing, and my neutral grays for her cloak.

I coloured the ooze with a single orange and then used Glossy Accents by Ranger over top to give it a liquid look. I had to get some sparkle so I used my Clear Wink of Stella pen over the metal of the cauldron.

I mounted the panel on a piece of coordinating orange cardstock and adhered it all to the front of a standard A2 sized card base. Finally, I added a scattering of purple sequins just to make sure that all of the Halloween colours were there!

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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:
Addicted to Stamps and More

Crafting from the Heart
Crafting from the Heart Badge


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Amaryllis Just Because | ft. Wplus9 and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers


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

Before my father passed away, he took a keen interest in botany. I'm not saying he went all out and had a green house or anything like that. But he did like to try growing things from seeds. Apple seeds, orange pips, a little maple, those sorts of things. I think he liked the feeling you get when you see something you have nurtured take form.

His favourite, though, were Amaryllis. He would get the package of bulbs and take such care in removing that dead skin that forms, and planting it, and watering it and watching it grow.

I got this stamp right before he passed away, and afterwards I could never really bring myself to use it. It hurt too much. Even now, as I'm writing the screen blurs from tears. I can't even explain how much I miss him. How much I hate that my girls probably won't remember him. Too much of a downer today? I'd apologize, but today it's about expressing the emotion behind the art.


To begin, I prepped to pieces of Bristol smooth cardstock with my powder tool and stamped the Amaryllis from Wplus9 in VersaMark ink on the smaller piece. I heat embossed with white powder and then stamped the Amaryllis greeting below and repeated the embossing.

I took the floral blossom and stamped that with VersaMark randomly on the larger piece to create my own patterned paper and heat embossed that with white powder as well.

I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to add a bit of colour and pulled it out with my size 4 Prisma waterbrush.

Once those were both dry, I popped the smaller panel up on foam tape and adhered it to the larger piece. Then I added a piece of green patterned paper behind that for a nice border and to tie the green from the leaves into the rest of the card.

Finally I mounted it all on 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 already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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 if for:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Happy Back to School! | ft. MFT "Class Act"


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

In the spirit of back to school, I thought I would post a back to school card. I'm super pleased to say that my littlest who entered Kindergarten today took it like a champ!

It's a different feeling when the last one starts school. For the first it is very exciting and new and you're so proud of how brave they are.

For the last, it's a mix of emotions because your baby isn't really a baby any more, so that's hard, but on the other hand you get at least a half day of quiet! Maybe it isn't the same for all of you, maybe it was different for you.


To begin, I stamped the girl from MFT's "Class Act" using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic friendly cardstock. Then coloured her with Copic markers.

I cut about 3/4" off the left side, and popped her up on foam tape. I then stamped the apple from the same set randomly down the side of the lower panel and also coloured those with Copic markers.

I adhered the two together, and then mounted the whole lot to a standard A2 sized card base. Easy-peasy!

Hopefully her day goes just as well.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me over on the right side bar. 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:
Make it Monday Challenge

Crafting by Designs


Monday, 4 September 2017

Pumpkin Spiced Love | ft. Lawn Fawn "Pumpkin Spice"


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

As summer winds down and we are all getting excited for back to school, I thought I would start off the week with a fall favourite. Pumpkin spice. It's in the air, it's in the food, it's in the coffee.

Coffee, coffee, coffee! As we say good bye to sleeping in, we can say hello to pumpkin spice lattes!


To begin, I stamped the little shaker, then masked it off, then stamped the latte mug and masked that off from Lawn Fawn's "Pumpkin Spice" set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock.

I then stamped the two pumpkins (masking them as well) from Lawn Fawn's "So Thankful" set. I then removed all the masks and stamped the little shaker sparkle from Pumpkin spice to make the scene magical, because really pumpkin spice is magical.

I coloured all the images in with Copic markers. I added some Spectrum Noir Clear overlay to the shaker bottle and the whip cream and covered those with Glossy Accents by Ranger.

I stamped the first and last part of the greeting using Lawn Fawn Black Licorice ink and the "Pumpkin Spice" using CTMH Autumn Terracotta ink - which turned out to be the perfect pumpkin spice colour.

I wanted a coordinating border, but didn't have quite the right shade of cardstock, so I used some Rusty Hinge Distress ink to make it close. Then I adhered the whole lot to a standard A2 sized card base.

I didn't want random brown sparkles, so instead of colouring in those little specks, I added a mini diamond from CTMH Bitty Sparkles to each of them.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, 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 Monday Challenge
Dream Valley Challenge