Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Clarity Stamp challenges for January - "Say it with flowers" and Barbara's Calendar Challenge - "A New Day is Dawning"

The main Clarity Challenge for January is "Say it with Flowers".  This is a design I have played with before but it is always such a fresh design with loads of white space.  For those who want to know, it is a one layer card.  

The first thing is to lay two pieces of masking tape across the card, and make sure you can keep the top and bottom completely protected from any ink.  Then ink up your chosen design and stamp it randomly between the two pieces of tape.  

Remove the tape and use a thin black pen to draw lines to enclose your design, either with a ruler or freehand, whichever is easier for you.  Then colour in the flowers with coloured pencils.

The sentiment is overstamped, first in black and then slightly offset in colour to give a shadow.


The second challenge is one from Barbara herself, to recreate this month's picture from her calendar.  January's design is a reflection technique, using the Gelli Plate to stamp the reflection itself.  Rather than go into how to achieve it, I would rather refer you to Barbara's own instructions on the calendar, or her YouTube videos.

I was short of one stamp, as you might see, the birds in flight, so I drew those in with a dark pencil crayon.  When I trimmed the large piece down I turned the offcut into a potential tag, drawing the birds in again.  After brushing brown and grey ink around the edges to make a vignette, I liked the effect of mounting it direct on the base card, rather than hunting for another piece of card to fit. 

I do not like throwing card away so this seemed a good use of this small piece.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 346

This is only my second blog this year, which is dreadful, and I am very late today.  For those who do not know what WOYWW is all about, I shall refer you to our esteemed leader, Julia, at her Stamping Ground blog.  As I am working on my Kindle tonight, I cannot add the link, but it is easy to find on Google.

My table today is all about a new challenge using the Groovi Plate Starter Kit, which I will talk about more when I have finished my entry.

You may also see the remains of my teatime smoother, which contained a banana, an apple, a large pear, cucumber, ginger, basil and carrot.  This is all part of my 28 days of juicing.  I have lost over 10lb in just over a week, so that is a good start, and I have gone right off things like chocolate and cake etc.

At the back you might also notice a part completed card.  It is holding flakes through a tree stencil onto double sided adhesive sheets.  Beautifully sparkly and very easy and quick to do.

I will leave it here and hope to visit as many of our other dealers as this week progresses.  Have a healthy and happy week.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year - my first completed card of 2016

After watching Barbara Gray working with double sided adhesive sheets, gliding flakes and stencils, I found a few minutes to play.  This is the result, using the tree stencil from Clarity.

Clarity stencil
Sheet of double sided adhesive
Gliding flakes -Pirate Treasure and Gold
Clarity stencil/Gelli card
Brown card for mounting

Place a piece of double sided adhesive sheet on the stencil card and smooth down firmly.  Remove the second piece of waxed paper from the adhesive and position your stencil as you wish.  Add gliding flakes and smooth them into all the sticky sections.  I used a mixture of the two colours to try to get some kind of sharing in the landscape.

Use the sanding block to remove all the excess gliding flakes and put them back into a tub for future use.  Then carefully remove the stencil slowly to avoid damage to the stencil.  Brush baby powder into all the sticky areas left from under the stencil.  Give the whole thing another good rub done to burnish it.

It looks good then but you can add more definition and depth if you highlight parts with a coloured pencil.  I used a dark grey and added shade on one side only of each tree and branch.  With this lovely treescape stencil, it is necessary to work out which branch belongs to which tree and highlight to show that.

I also added marks down the trunks and along the branches to give more depth.  It worked well as I found that the pencil on top of the baby powder naturally gave me the slightly scratchy marks I really wanted.

When it came to mounting it, I found that the dark brown worked better than black, giving a warmer feel and blending better with the building flakes.

If you try this technique, choose your stencil carefully,  I found the more open stencil of the treescape easier to remove than those with a wider framework.  The other major point to remember is to remove all droughts and don't sneeze or breathe on the gliding flakes.

Have a Happy New Year, all of you, and I look forward to seeing what you all get up to in 2016.