Wednesday, 11 October 2017

I'm impressed!

Morning everyone,

Last Saturday was the Autumn Happy Stampers Show at Port Sunlight and I had a trip across with my friend Emma.  It's a fair trek of 2.5 hours drive from here which is a bit much for me these days, there and back with a show in between so we went the night before, stayed in a cheap Travelodge, had breakfast in Port Sunlight's Garden Centre then went to the show in the beautiful hall across the road, another bite to eat before we left and back in Mansfield for 6.30.  We had a great time and as always the show was fab (apart from being too hot in the hall). 

I was quite proud of myself as I pretty much stuck to my shopping list for once (just a few extra stencils and 1 set of PaperArtsy JoFy stamps snuck into my basket) and the item I had at the top was a stamping press because I am finding that as I get older my hands occasionally don't do what I tell them, lol, and most importantly I have always had trouble getting really good silhouette images.  There are quite a few on the market now and for various reasons I had decided on the Be Creative one from Once Upon A Stamp.  Today I'm sharing my first little test using it.

As it was just a test and I didn't intend making anything with it I just stamped the cute image from Lavinia stamps onto a piece of scrap card.  I forgot to photograph the first impression too and have to say it wasn't too bad actually but it still had a few bare patches in the middle so I inked up again and repeated the stamping and voila! A perfect silhouette image with no gaps!  Of course, I then thought it was too good to waste so I made a mask and used Distress Oxides and a stencil to create the sun rays.  I turned the post it mask round to cover the rays then used Oxides again to blend greens onto the bottom bit.

I dripped some water and dabbed it off for the speckles and I did the leaves and flowers stamping the traditional way and inked around the edges.  Then I used the stamp press again to make sure I got the tiny word stamp in just the right place....perfect!  Finally I added various colours of Stickles before matting and layering onto the base card.  

I was delighted with my little card and I have to say I'm very pleased with the stamp press so far.  I was a bit concerned it might be another gadget that would end up shoved to the back of a cupboard but I now think it's going to become one of my most used tools.

Have a good day everyone and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 9 October 2017

And.....Missed It!

Morning All,

Two weeks ago the PaperArtsy blog challenge topic was one of my favourites ie Metallic and I did manage two entries which is pretty amazing given my usual production rate, lol.  However, I did start a third but it got no further than bits on my desk which got left while I tootled off to a fabulous workshop with the delightful Tracy Easson and her beautiful Wonky Tonk Dreamer girls ....more on that in another post!  Yesterday, I determined to stick to my new rule of finishing projects before embarking on the next and this is the result.

I altered a mega cheap frame from Poundland using embossing metal tape and Fresco Finish acrylic paints.

I used various shades of grey starting with a good coat of slate and used a makeup sponge to apply so that I got good coverage on the metal. 

I then got carried away having fun and forgot to take progress pics as I added a couple of orange and brown shades with the odd touch of blue and spritzed with water, dabbed with tissue and let it run.  I kept on till I was happy with it, dried with the help of the heat tool and then sanded lightly to reveal the silver foil on the embossing.

I also had a rummage in my old bits and bobs box and found the acetate leaves which I'd coloured with alcohol inks years ago.  I drew in some veins and scrumpled them up a bit by heating gently and then stuck them to the frame with heavy duty gloss gel and added the pine cone to hide the blob.

I then blended co-ordinating Oxides onto a piece of card and did a little subtle background stamping before adding the lovely quote from one of the new Alison Bomber sets from PaperArtsy to finish off.  I only got these on Saturday from the fab Happy Stampers show at Port Sunlight 😃.

A close up of the leaf detail.

And a final one of the painted metal.

I'm now feeling very virtuous for finishing this little project and as well as having some painty fun I'm pleased with how it turned out.

When I was editing these photos I realised I still have several fairly recent pieces I haven't shared yet so I must make an effort to catch up this week.  Have a good week everyone till then.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 25 September 2017

And......another entry for the fab PaperArtsy blog challenge.

Good morning all,

Well, I didn't do another blog post over the weekend as promised mainly because I was having another play in the craftroom after finishing chores and as well as a tag just for fun I made another entry to the current PaperArtsy, Stamps and Stencils and Country View Challenges

A couple of weeks ago I mixed some texture paste with Infusions and Brusho powders and of course, made loads more than I needed.  I couldn't waste it so ended up with two tags and a piece of card as well as my original piece for a card which I forgot to photograph before I sent it, Doh! This is made from the piece of card which I also forgot to take a pic of in it's original state.  I sprayed a couple of Lindy's mica colour sprays to cover the card and then stamped the PaperArtsy image with Versamark Ink and embossed with Ranger Queen's Gold embossing powder.   Originally the image was lost against the background but as the sprays are water based I bleached out most of the colour from the face and then touched in the empty spaces with Sakura Stardust pens (been in my stash like forever!).  

I also removed a little colour from around the image to make it pop a little more and then used the same Tim Holtz stencil as the textured area to remove bits of colour here and there.  Next I used Cut n Dry foam to add Versamark ink and embossing powder around the edges.

Finally I replaced the stencil over the texture paste and added some Treasure Gold guilding paste before sticking the piece to a base card.  If I find a suitable word sticker or something I may add it to finish it off completely.

It's a horrible very dull rainy morning here, the complete opposite of yesterday, so the photos aren't the best and are not picking up the subtle sparkle from the lovely mica sprays 😞.


This is the tag I created very quickly and just for fun late last night.  I used one of the tags with left over texture paste on and blended Distress Oxides in two suitable colours before adding stamping which is all done with PaperArtsy Minis.

I used a sparkle brush pen on the eye and the textured flourish to finish it off,  Oops, just realised I didn't ink the edges to 'frame' it.  Must rectify that before it will look finished to me, lol!

Righty Ho,  off to do the link ups and maybe I'll manage another 'metallic' entry before weekend.  So looking forward to a Tracey Easson class on Sunday.  It will be my first workshop at Art Workshops and I am really looking forward to it.

Thanks for dropping by and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 22 September 2017

Ooer.....Long time, no see!

Wow, I hadn't realised that it is exactly one month today since my last blog post so for anyone who has been lovely enough to stick around waiting .......

Goodmorning on this beautiful sunny Autumn day!

I haven't been totally idle on the crafting front but somehow just never got round to blogging my makes over the past couple of months.  I've made several birthday cards and two lots of swaps for UK Stampers Forum Facebook group.  Some of the cards I even forgot to take pics of so they are not going to get shared, lol!  I'll try and catch up with the ones I do have though over the next couple of weeks.

Today I'm sharing an entry to the fab new PaperArtsy challenge ........did you see all their lovely new releases over the past couple of weeks?  Some beautiful Christmas stamps and stunning inspirational creations from the stamp designers and their wingmen. This link will take you to the first of the two weeks of new release posts and they are well worth a visit.  Anyway, back to my entry.....

As I want to make a few birthday cards for October I used the theme of metallics, introduced beautifully as always by Darcy HERE, for this one.   I started with a Gelli background I made a few weeks ago (forgot to take a pic) when I had a lovely messy play with some new acrylic paints I got on a brilliant offer from Hobbycraft.  Some of them are beautiful metallics from Pebeo and Abstract and although they are very subtle on my background they are there.

I went with two of my favourite leaf stamps from the gorgeous Lin Brown set for PaperArtsy ELB33 and a lovely background 'punchinella' stamp from ELB34.  I used the smaller more skeletal leaf and the background stamp with PaperArtsy Gold Fresco Finish paint to random stamp all over the background and the larger leaf stamp I inked with Versamark onto the piece of Gelli background I had left and embossed with Ranger Queen's gold embossing powder before fussy cutting them.

I stamped and embossed one of Alison Bomber's beautiful quote stamps (set EAB02) onto a Gelli scrap cut it out and embossed the edge.  I layered the background onto a piece of gold metallic card, then the card base, added the strips of German scrap and finally stuck my cut out bits.  If you click on the pics to enlarge I think you might get an idea of the lovely textures I ended up with on this.  I absolutely love it.  It's very tactile and I must stop stroking it otherwise it will be very grubby before it reaches the recipient, lol!

Righty Ho!  I'm off to link to the challenge.  I'll be back to share some of my swap makes over the weekend but here's hoping you all have the same beautiful blue sky I can see right now.  Thanks for dropping by....

EDIT  I just remembered there are a couple of other lovely favourite challenges of mine with a metallic theme this month so I am also linking to them, see below

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 22 July 2017

It's all about swaps (and a birthday)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and have a nice weekend to look forward to without rain possibly?  It's lovely here at the moment but we had heavy rain all through the night and more on the way tonight apparently so enjoying the sun while it lasts.

I should have been on a workshop today but unfortunately I have been proper poorly all week with a stinking cough and cold and with a water infection thrown in for good measure so just didn't feel up to the very long day it would have entailed not to mention the annoying coughing bouts which are best kept away from polite company, lol!  So, instead I'm sharing the small amount of crafting I've managed to do over the past couple of weeks.  I did make a birthday card for my Son's Father-in-Law (managed to get to his birthday lunch last Sunday before the lurgy struck on Tuesday) and also my swaps for this month in the UK Stampers Forum Facebook group.

First the card.  I wanted to make something bright for a change.....a little fed up of seeing browns for men all the I mixed four little batches of Grunge Paste with different colours of Brusho powders and applied them through a stencil.  Simple matting and layering of the stamped sentiment then the same with the whole piece onto the base card finished it off.

Love how the PaperArtsy Grunge Paste works with the vibrant Brushos and it works equally as well with PaperArtsy's gorgeous Infusions. 

Now on to my swaps for this month and first up are the ATCs for which the theme was Anything Goes.  I'm still trying to use my rediscovered old backgrounds whenever I can and these were cut from a piece of glimmer misted card onto which a mask that had been sprayed over was flipped and placed onto the card to use the spray from.  I used a variety of stamps in the background which I thought appropriate for the gorgeous quotes from the lovely Alison Bomber's new stamp sets for PaperArtsy.  I love using quotes and I just know I'll be using these beauties a lot!

Next up is my postcard for which the theme was the sea.  All the stamps used on here are from Chocolate Baroque (except the little birds) including the beautiful poetry.  I have no idea how I created the background, lol, it's another piece from several years ago which I thought perfect for the theme.


Finally, I have my tag which again had an 'anything goes' theme and I began by using a ready prepared tag from my old background stash (doubt I will ever use it all, lol).  I began by adding some background stencilling followed by stamping.  

I then stamped the above image onto blank sewing pattern tracing paper, tore round it and adhered it to my tag with matte medium.  Unlike the finer tissue it didn't disappear into the background so much and looked a bit odd so I used a micron pen to follow the torn edge which looked better.

Finally, I stamped another of Alison's new quote stamps, cut it up and stuck it to my tag then added Treasure Gold gilding round the edges and also created a few highlights on the main image.

Well, that completes my swaps for this month and I do hope the recipients enjoy them.  I love receiving mine as they sure brighten up the mail these days but they won't start arriving till the beginning of August.

Thanks for dropping by and hopefully I might be a bit more productive next week 😊

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why has this been languishing?

Hello for the second time today!

Two years ago some friends and I had a fabulous workshop with the lovely Lin Brown (YoursArtfully).  We'd all been in awe of the wonderful things she has created using metal with our much loved inks, stamps and paints and wanted to learn some of her techniques.  As usual I was way behind by the end of the workshop but came home with all my bits and pieces ready to assemble once I had finished my background canvas board.  Despite all my good intentions I could not decide on which colours to use so the project was left to languish until last weekend.  Yesterday I finally completed it and I'm just as pleased with it as I thought I'd be 2 whole years ago, lol!

I'm not going to attempt to describe the techniques we used but they are the sort of thing that suits me to a T.  I find working the metal with the various tools very theraputic.

A close up of the word 'Dream' hanging from the rod at the bottom.  After embossing (the letters were done by hand) the pieces were painted with black acrylic which was then buffed off just before it was dry to give the aged looked.  I decided to add just a little turquoise paint too to give a patina effect.

The canvas board had been covered with pieces of designer papers before painting and I should have left some of this showing but I found it difficult to leave a patchy background (OCD ?) and ended up obliterating most of it so I did some subtle stamping and stencilling before stamping the pretty Lynne Perrella stamp in black Archival ink. (all the stamps are PaperArtsy)

I created the flowers using PaperArtsy dies and a contrasting designer paper from my stash.

You can see more of the background stamping and stencilling in this close up.  The word 'beautiful' was handwritten into the metal and I was amazed because my handwriting is not good.  This doesn't look half bad though, lol!

And a final close up of the top section.  Don't forget if you click on the pics you can see more detail.

This really was a lovely project to make and I am sooooo pleased I finished it.  Lin's workshops are always so packed with inspiration and tuition, they are a joy......she's very patient with this old slow coach too, lol!

See you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Lazy Days of Summer?

 Hi Everyone,

It's been a rather warm summer day here but not lazy.  Does anyone have a proper lazy day these days I wonder.  We all seem to rush about cramming as much into each day as possible, lol!  Anyway, after a 'steady' day of bits of housework and a fair amount of crafting in my really hot conservatory/craftroom I stupidly fell asleep after my tea and didn't wake up till after 11 pm!  Needless to say I am now wide awake and heaven knows what time I will be ready to sleep again now.  Whenever that happens and I ask why OH didn't wake me up earlier he says 'You didn't tell me to.'!  Duh!!!

Anyway,  as I'm not going to the Land of Nod anytime soon I thought I'd share what I've been making this week. 

This is the first card I've made with my recently purchased Kay Carley stamps (for PaperArtsy).  I do love the pretty, delicate way Kay interprets flowers.  
I created a soft background by pressing Distress Oxide inks onto my craftmat and spritzing with plenty of water.  I then dipped matt coated card into the inks and then dried with my heat tool.  I was pleased to get the nice soft shades that I wanted.  I then did a little background stamping with the Oxides.

Next I stamped the flowers, some with green shades of Archival Inks and some with black and the lilac coloured ones were inked with green for the stems and lilac for the flowers.  I painted some of the flowers with Fresco Finish paint and finally added touches of white paint using a fine embossing ball tool and a bit of Stickles bling.
Mounted onto co-ordinating pearl card and finally onto the card base I had a lovely dainty summery card.

I'll be back later with a project which should have been completed 2 years ago!  I hope you have time to drop by again.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Playtime ......just because I can!

Hello everyone and a very good morning to you.


At the end of May I was so happy and proud to be the chosen winner of the fabulous Stamping Sensations Challenge.  I think this was probably the first challenge blog (known then as The Sir Stampalot Challenge) I started to follow when I realised there were such things waaaay back when I started blogging but I've rarely had time to make an entry.  In May 2010 (must be a lucky month for me, lol) I was one of their top three with this Memory Box commission which you can see HERE if you want more pics.  As you can see I loved butterflies back then too and birds still come fairly close as well.

Brenda and her team do a wonderful job bringing fabulous inspiration for the various themes every month and they have some super prizes for the winners too.  My prize was a beautiful set of Courture Mariposa dies and butterflies being just about my favourite images you can imagine how thrilled I was to win.

As their winner I was honoured to be asked to do a guest DT piece for this month's theme and I already had an MDF tag started with an idea that fit the brief so I decided this was going to be it.

 This tag is 10" x 5.5" and I specifically wanted to use as much of my newest stash as I could throw at it, lol!


So, I started with a coat of gesso then some DecoArt texture paste through a stencil.  When it was dry I applied the beautiful Distress Oxide inks with Cut n Dry foam.  Next came stencilling with a brush, Fresco Finish Paints and a new stencil by Kay Carley for PaperArtsy.  I then dug out some die cut pieces my friend Sam sent me ages ago to create the foliage at the top and added the red butterfly for a pop of contrast colour.


Next I made the little house with my fairly new Tim Holtz die.  I used DecoArt paints given to me for my birthday again by Sam, Seth Apter stamps for PaperArtsy to create texture effects on the roof and Artemio wildflower stamps on the walls.  I then ran the wall pieces through a brick effect embossing folder before I assembled the house.  I used some dinky little mdf pieces from Calico Crafts with crackle glaze on the door and window frame and red paint and glossy accents on the heart.  I also stuck on some pretty flowers from a recent purchase of Tim Holtz Ideology Botanicals.  How cute does it look 😃....I think I want to live there!

Next came the little picket fence which was gessoed and crackle glazed.  A happy accident was that the glaze turned the gesso a bit brown in places which had a lovely aging effect.  I placed the 'sisters' and little dog from TH Ideology Paper Dolls behind the fence then diecut the wildflowers (TH/Sizzix new purchase) and positioned them on my arrangement.

I added some more of the die cuts on the sides of the house to finish it off and here you can see the dimension all the bits and pieces create.   I was originally going to place the house further up the tag but by placing it at the bottom it turned this into a freestanding piece.

I had a whale of a time making this piece because it was all just for fun and I even though I decided to use it for the guest DT spot I had loads of time so there was no pressure of deadlines involved.  I hope you all enjoyed it along with me.

See you all again soon and thanks for visiting.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Penny Black meets Infusions

Hi Everyone,

I'm a bit late posting tonight but I forgot to do this earlier as I had a house full of men today 😉!  We changed our media supplier back to Sky and although it's changed in the fifteen months since we left so far we are glad to be back.  It was quite funny having our fairly small lounge overrun with two Sky engineers, one Openreach engineer and one OpenReach guy to test the fibre optic connection but they did a grand job.  I can't believe how slow our VM internet was compared to this.

Anyway, onto the crafting.... Monday was my friend Helen's birthday and I'm sharing the card I made for her.

Last month I was really chuffed to be chosen the winner of the Stamping Sensations Challenge and my prize was a set of Couture Creations Mariposa Dies, well, three sets really and this is my first make with one of the sets.  It's a bit of a puzzle placing the dies (it take 8 to cut this design) inside each other but I think it's worth it once I got the hang of it.

I have never used this type of design where the diecut is the principal part of the card,  I'm more into my inks and painty backgrounds so true to form I stuck the pretty diecut ontop of a layer of lovely PaperArtsy Infusion background card I  had made previously.  The diecut is from pearlescent card and I stuck a few sparkly embellishments on, layered onto a co-ordinating matt and finally onto the card blank.

I couldn't have a card without stamping somewhere though so I stamped the sentiment on the inside front and on the inside back I used my gorgeous new Penny Black stamp again (see my previous post for simple stamping of it).  I used a technique with Infusions that Courtney (Leandra and Mark's daughter from PaperArtsy) taught at a Make n Take at Ally Pally in April.  You use your finger dipped into Infusions to apply them direct to your stamp which means you can select specific colours for specific areas, then spritz the stamp with water until it beads and stamp onto your surface.  It gives a lovely watercolour effect  and you can stamp several times with the same application.  The stamping in top right and bottom left corners was after I respritzed the stamp so the definition was going but still a nice effect.

To finish I overstamped with Black Archival Ink at which point I thought I'd made a mess and ruined the whole card but I left it till the next day and it started to grow on me.  In the end I was quite pleased with the effect.  (Don't forget you can click the pics to enlarge)

That all tonight folks.  See you again soon.....

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 23 June 2017

A Birthday and a Bereavement.

Hello everyone

A quick post from me to share a couple of cards I made for recent events, one for a happy birthday and the other, sadly for a close friend whose Mum passed away.  These are both quite simple cards but I was particularly pleased with them.

First the birthday card which was for our Son's lovely Mum-in-Law.

It was a difficult card to photograph really to get the fab effect of the butterflies which are cut using a new die I bought recently at the StampMagic show.  There is a background layer created using PaperArtsy Infusions then the diecut layer placed over the top with the wings lifted. The large butterfly is a mini Tim Holtz/Sizzix die cut from the same Infusions background and overstamped with a PaperArtsy Mini script stamp.

A different angle to try and show the dimension.  It still doesn't show it too well with being white but the effect is lovely and I was really pleased I'd bought this die from Chloe's stand.  The stamped sentiment is from Chocolate Baroque.

My second card is one of those inevitable ones we crafters wish we did not to have to make but I always try to take extra care to keep them simple and elegant when I do.

This was a simple case of stamping the beautiful Penny Black stamp (another StampMagic purchase this time from Snazzy's) with Watering Can Archival Ink, then the sentiment from Chocolate Baroque and finally layering onto a co-ordinating matt before sticking it to the card base.

I absolutely love this elegant stamp and the clever dimensional effect given by the cut of the rubber.  Val, the owner of Snazzy's had two or three other designs in the same range and it was so difficult just choosing one.  I think I might have to have at least one more!  

It has been so hot over the past week making my conservatory craftroom unbearable until too late in the evening for much crafting to be done but we (or might that just be me) are looking forward to a much cooler weekend so I'm hoping to have some playtime this weekend.

Thanks for dropping by and until next time........

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 16 June 2017

I said I'd be back!

Hello Again,

For my second post today I am sharing a postcard created for one of the other swaps this month in UK Stampers Forum.  This time the theme is numbers.

I've used PaperArtsy stamps throughout on this piece, mainly HotPicks sets.  I stamped the main image (affectionately known as Shrek Girl amongst PaperArtsy fans) and then created a mask to cover her while I blended Distress Oxides and did all the random stamping on the background.

When I removed the masks I decided not to add much colour to Shrek Girl as I liked the way she popped from the background so I just coloured little bits and then added Glossy Accents to her heart.  

And speaking of hearts..... when I'd finished this piece I realised it fits the fab Country View Crafts challenge again so I'm off to link it up. 

It might be next week before I'm back again so I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Lesley  Xx

This time it's ATCs!

Morning all,

The weather has cooled down a little from a couple of days ago....much more my comfort zone now 😉 but it's set to rise considerably again for the weekend so I will probably be complaining, lol!

My first post this morning (amazingly I have another one to follow) is to share the ATCs I have created for this month's UK Stampers Forum swap (Facebook group).  If you're interested this is becoming a very popular group run by Sid Hazelden.  There is lots of varied inspiration with friendly members and Sid kindly organises several swaps every month which I'm really enjoying so look it up on Facebook if you're interested in that kind of thing.  It says UK but I think there are international members too.

The theme for this month's ATCs is 'Anything Goes' so I created three totally different ones.

 I used different background techniques and products and different stamp manufacturers for each one.

 This one turned out to be my favourite and its a stamp by Artistic Outposts.  I laid down random colours of water soluble crayons then covered them with PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze and finally a mix of two slightly different shades of green Fresco Finish.  I was rushing the layers a bit because my conservatory craftroom gets so hot everything dries before I can apply them and I don't think I put enough crackle glaze on so only got a few crackles here and there but I think it was for the best in this instance.  Finished off with a little highlighting in red.

This one has a spritzed background of Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays.  The image is from one of the newest Lynne Perrella sets from PaperArtsy stamped with black Archival ink.  I then added London Bus and White Fire highlights using PaperArtsy Frescos and painted the face.  This ended up heavier than I wanted because again, it was drying too fast for me to blend it properly but it didn't look too bad in the end.

The final one is Distress Oxide ink squished on my craft mat, spritzed with water and then the card dipped into it.  I stamped the clouds then used a water brush to remove some of the colour.  I did the rest of the stamping, added colour to the ladder and bird and finished off with painting the clouds with glitter gloss.  EDIT :  I forgot to say the stamps are from Tracey Easson's Wonky Tonk collection.

Once again a fun swap to enter and I love waiting for my swaps to arrive each month.

I'll be back shortly with another post.

Lesley  Xx