15 Apr 2018

Eat Beach Sleep Repeat

Well hello!  It's fab to see you visiting here today.

I was over the moon when I realised that I had won the AAA Card Challenge a couple of weeks ago (here's the link showing my winning card), and today I am super-excited to be guest designing for the challenge. 

What a fab cue card and theme they have given us ..... 

....A perfect day.

My REAL perfect day would be to spend it with my children and grandchildren because they are all in a different country to me, and I miss them terribly. However, I just couldn't get the inspiration together to depict that on a card. So, instead I have another type of perfect day that I can often enjoy here in the Algarve; one of eat, beach, sleep, repeat.

Ha, ha! Actually that is a luxury day for me because visiting here on holiday and actually living here are two completely different things.  When you live here you find that you just get on with day to day chores like every other person does in their home country. I'm not complaining though...I love living here and feel lucky to do so.

Right, to my card. It's not often that I use a digi image, but I spotted that I had this one, so I coloured it with coloured pencils, embossed the central image with Wow! clear sparkle embossing glitter and added glossy accents to the starfish and palm tree leaves. The sentiment was rotated on my PC so that it fit onto the base card, and the panel attached to that with funky foam.

Really pleased with myself I took the photos, added the watermarks, sent the final photo to AAA card challenge and started to write this blog post.

Then..... dang!

I forgot to check if you could still buy this image. I searched, but I couldn't find a link to it anywhere (dontcha just hate it when that happens?) So, I'm really sorry that this isn't a current image, but I'm sure you could find something similar if you wanted to create a card like this. And the PC is always good for writing a sentiment.

I'll give you the details of the items used. You never know, you may even find this digi set lurking in your folder of digi images.

STAMPS: digi stamp by From The Heart Stamps called Beach Medley (www.fromtheheartstamps.com the website is unavailable at the moment)
OTHER: White linen card, colouring pencils, versamark pen, Wow! clear sparkle embossing glitter, Ranger glossu accents, fun foam.

Don't forget to head on over to the AAA Cards Challenge blog for some fantastic inspiration from their design team.

I'd like to enter my card into the following challenges:
1. Addicted to Stamps and More! #287 - Make your mark (coloured pencils) (entry #3)

2. Crafty Cardmakers #209 - Water ( It's in the middle image :-))
3. Papercraft Challenges #009 - Bingo - I have Embossing, Text and No Designer Paper

4. Shopping Our Stash #349 - Headed to the Beach
5. Stick It Down - April sketch challenge (with the following sketch)

6. The Little Red Wagon #441 - Shine (a second entry from me)
7. The Mod Squad - Simply Clean - I think this is my 3rd entry
8. Tic Tac Toe Challenge tttc043 - I have water, CAS and Trees

That's it from me for now. I hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

14 Apr 2018

Less is More #369 - Bring Something Back

Hello. How are you diddling? I'm looking forward to this week. Hubby is away for a few days (yes, I will miss him!) but it does mean that I can play in the craft room all day and all night if I want to without feeling guilty.  Or I could just sunbathe ..... if the sun ever wants to come out and play again. 

But enough of that. Let's take a look at the new challenge theme for Less is More:

 ......something that you've not used on your cards in ages / out of fashion or favour

That's a great theme. You could bring back some old stamps, an old technique, or old products, there's lots of scope and maybe you could even start off a new craze for something that is currently out of fashion. Who knows!

We have 2 guest designers at LIM today: Cara of Crafting Bunnies who was our random prize winner for January, and Sue of Sentimentally Sue who was our February winner. They have created 2 brilliant cards. You can head on over to the challenge blog to see those and also the fantastic inspiration from the design team.

And our April sponsor is:

I have just 2 cards for you today (I'm falling down on my new years resolution for these blog posts, so I must try to fix that for the next challenge!).

1) Flowersoft!

My immediate thought when I saw this challenge was......Flowersoft! No-one seems to use it nowadays and I have pots and pots of the stuff!! Bet some of you do too! So I tried really hard in this card to make Flowersoft look a little bit cool again. I actually like the bit of interest and texture that it adds so I may use it a bit more often going forwards.

The other things I'm bringing back on this card are velvet ric-rac and patterned paper (because I never use those now).

This card is for:
Addicted to Stamps and More! #287 - Make Your Mark (a second entry and promarkers used here)
Fab n Funky #300 - Cute Critters
Happy Little Stampers - Anything Goes with HLS stamps
Ikes World Challenge #107 - Spring (I think nelly is carrying spring flowers)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Texture
The Paper Shelter #334 - Flowers

This was so easy to make - just stamp the image and sentiment on a panel, colour the image with promarkers, then draw some flower stalks on with a black pen. Next stick a piece of designer paper and ric-rac onto the panel as a band, mount onto foam and add to a card blank. The final touch was to add glue where the flowers were to appear, sprinkle fluffed up Flowersoft on and let it dry. Easy Peasy.

STAMPS: Happy Little Stampers birthday friends
INKS: Memento Ttxedo  black
OTHER: White card, Promarkers (ice grey 1,2,3,4 & 5, blossom), Black micron pen, Basic Grey paper pad (Boxer), velvet ric-rac, fun foam, glue and Flowersoft (sweet pea).

2) Fusible Film and Fibres

The other thing that immediately sprang to mind was some NBUS (Never Before Used Sctuff) fantasy film and fibre. Shock horror! I've had this for DONKEY'S YEARS and never tried to use it.

Well, that little kit I bought from ClarityStamps Ltd got a dusting off and I searched for a video of  Barbara Grey from ClarityStamps using this technique to refresh my memory of how to do it. You can watch her on these links:
Fibres only:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et_anU1IvRw
Fibres and film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIHGIHHOzmk

I used white and bright lime green fibres with film on this card.

Top picture was taken under electric light. Below is a photo snapped in sunlight so it shows the colours a little better.

This one is for
Cards 4 Galz #69 - Black and White plus one bright colour
The Little Red Wagon #441 - Shine it's your day (anything that shines)
The Mod Squad 4 April - Simply Clean ( a second entry from me)

STAMPS: Clarity Stamps Heart Rose & a leaf,  Clearly Besotted Dandelion Dreams for the sentiment
INKS: Archival ink, versamark ink
OTHER: Black card, gold card, fantasy film and fibre kit (fibres in lime green and white, film, Perspex riser), baking parchment, Iron, scissors, sequins, beads, WOW! Ultra Bright White embossing powder, red liner tape.


Well, that's it from me. I'll be back again tomorrow morning with a guest designer card for AAA card challenges. Hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

12 Apr 2018

Sparkly Eyes

Close your eyes to the past, open your mind to new beginnings.

What a wonderfully positive and uplifting sentiment that is.

This fab New Beginnings sentiment  from  Visible Image stamps was one of the ones that I couldn't wait to use as soon as it came through my craft room door, and I knew it would be a perfect match for the closed eyes in their Face It! set too. Face It! is a set that I have had for a little while now, and I have been itching to 'bling' it like all those amazing glittery eye shadows that you see, but I had to wait until this sentiment arrived.

This is a fairly quick to make card because you are only spritzing with distress marker pens, stamping and adding glitter. The time consuming piece is waiting for the glitter to dry, but you can get on with other crafty projects while that happens ;-)

Distress marker spritzing is one of my favourite techniques because it is a clean way to achieve the brusho look without having dyed hands for days. Maybe that's just me - I love brushos but I do end up covered in them. Anyway, distress marker spritzing is a technique that I really don't use enough.

How to make this:

Using distress markers and the distress marker spritzer, spritz a band of colour horizontally along the centre of a piece of card measuring 13.5cmx20cm (5.5"x8"), using first the tumbled glass marker and follow that with the salty ocean marker.

Using black ink, stamp the closed eyes onto the spritzed band. Stamp the first two lines of the sentiment above the eyes, then the last two lines of the sentiment below the eyes. Use a post-it note to mask off the lines that you do not want to stamp, and remove the post-it note before stamping.

Once the ink is dry, draw a line with glue to mark the area where the lower part of the eye lid meets the upper part of the eyelid. Sprinkle picked raspberry distress glitter over the glue and set aside to dry.

Once dry, add glue to the lower lid and sprinkle with tumbled glass distress glitter and set aside to dry again.

TIP: If you are sending something glittery to someone that doesn't like the way that glitter sheds, you can always use glossy accents to keep the glitter in place.

Mount the panel on an A5 card blank (14.8cmx21.1cm or 5.75"x8.25") with fun foam.

The finishing touch is to add 3 tiny gems at the side of each eye to represent glittery eye liner.

Stamps Used:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):

Other Supplies:

White card, Tim Holtz distress marker spritzer, distress markers (tumbled glass, salty ocean), versafine onyx black ink, post-it note, stamping platform or stamping blocks, glue, distress glitter (picked raspberry, tumbled glass), fun foam, tiny clear gems.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
AAA Cards #112 - A Favourite Technique (this is one technique that I don't use enough!)
Addicted to Stamps and More! #287 - Make Your Mark - well I did use distress markers so I hope that counts
Creative with stamps - CAS and a sentiment (they are celebrating their second anniversary - Congratulations!)
Get Creative Challenge #68 - No Patterned Paper
HeARTful Stamping Challenge April 8 - 15 - Anything Goes + a stamp
Stamping Sensations April - One For The Girls
The Mod Squad - Simply Clean
Through the Craft Room Door April 10 - 16 - Anything Goes

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges

That's it from me for today. Thank you for coming to visit and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

31 Mar 2018

Less is More # 368 - Case Card

Hello everyone. Well, we're into spring now although I bet it still doesn't feel like it for a lot of people. Hang in there....the sun will soon be on its way!

As we're on the 5th Saturday in the month it means we're having a lucky dip challenge at Less is More

Aileen from Colour and Sparkle, our January winner has kindly given us this incredibly beautiful card to CASE. (CASE = Copy And Share Everything).


 We also have the fab Kylie as our other guest designer this week, and she is also sponsoring the challenge.


Head on over to the challenge blog for some fantastic inspiration from the design team

I struggled with masculine images for this challenge so I failed to make the masculine card. But I do have 2 other cards for you.

1) Coloured flowers

I took inspiration from the colours, flowers and silver raised sentiment from Aileen's card.

Instead of one single flower type I've used a variety of the stitched doodle flowers by Happy Little Stampers, masking so that they appear behind each other. I also added a few leaves in. Then I coloured the flowers with promarkers, adding a little shadow underneath the arrangement to 'ground' the flowers. The panel was cut with a stitched rectangle die and mounted on fun foam before adhering to the card base. The sentiment was cut on my ScanNcut.

 This card is for:

 Addicted to Stamps and More! #285 which has the following photo inspiration:

Card In Envy - No Patterned Paper
Crafty Creations #363 - Anything Goes
The House that Stamps Built M2818 - Anything Goes

STAMPS: Happy Little Stampers Doodle Flowers
DIES: My Favourite Things inside out stitched rectangles
INKS: Memento Tuxedo Black
OTHER: White card, silver glitter card, Promarkers (Duck Egg, Cyan, Aegean, Ice Grey 1 & 2), Fine tips for promarkers, , Fun Foam.

2) Multiple colour embossed butterflies

I suppose this one is my technique card, as I heat embossed several different colours and types of embossing powders, so you have to be careful not to re-melt and flatten out some of the colours.

Want to see how I did that? Then check out this 4 minute VIDEO (with happier music too for a change)

This one is a more loose interpretation of Aileen's card, substituting butterflies for the flowers, and shifting the layout up to the top of the card.

Yay! I actually caught the fantastic sparkle from the embossing powders on camera!

This one is for:
Double D Challenges 21st March - Just 'wing' it
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
The Paper Girls #148 - Embossing
Crafty Gals Corner #162 - Anything Goes

STAMPS: Clearly Besotted - Everything Changes II
DIES: My Favourite Things - Inside Out Stitched Rectangles, Whimsy Stamps - Birthday Sentimentables
INKS: Versamark Clear
OTHER: WOW! Embossing powders (Oasis, Misty Sky, Coastal Embossing Glitter) Stampendous ( Detail Silver), Heat it up Black Embossong Powder, Zig Emboss Writer Pen, Glossy Accents, Mini gems. 


That's it from me for now. I hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

29 Mar 2018

Daughters - Your best friends

Are you like me? You know exactly what card making style suits you, but you simply have to try something totally opposite every now and then?  That was me last week. So, I had a play with a couple of my fantastic Visible Image stamps and the urge to get all inky again got the better of me.  My crafty session ended up with 2 cards using the same fabulous stamps and inks, but created with 2 completely different styles. One CAS and one full-on inky.
This daughter definition stamp is absolutely wonderful in the beautiful words it uses - I especially love the phrase about a daughter being a little girl who grows up to be your best friend.

It is also a perfect sentiment stamp to use for the thin, white embossing on black card sentiment style that seems to be the 'in-thing' at the moment. Actually, any of the Visible Image Definition stamps would be perfect for this style.

Anyway, I decided to make a shutter card, so above you can see it partially opened, and here is what it looks like from front on when it is standing up.

1) How to make the shutter card

You can watch my video

or follow the written instructions.

Take a piece of card 26cm x 18cm and ink blend a background with the 3 distress inks listed below. Flick some water onto the background and dry it. Then randomly stamp the kaleidoscope of butterflies stamp (isn't that a wonderful definition of a group of butterflies? a kaleidoscope) in aged mahogany and worn lipstick distress inks as well as worn lipstick distress oxide.

TIP: If the back of the card gets inky, you could colour it with the distress oxide and randomly stamp the butterflies on that to make it all co-ordinate. However, if you are using a lighter weight card, it may become flexible and have trouble standing up. If that happens, you may need to glue some white card on the back to fit over your inking instead.

Heat emboss the sentiment in white onto black card and cut it into each individual line.

For how to make the cuts and scores on the shutter card, please CLICK HERE for a page which gives all the measurements and cuts in photographs. Then carry on as follows:

Once the shutter card has been cut and scored, glue the slivers of sentiment as shown above.
  • the 'daughter (daw'ter) n.' and 'beautiful; she lights up your world;' are only attached on the beginning half of their length.
  • the 'a little girl who grows up to be' is positioned so that it is hidden by 'daughter (daw'ter) n.' when the card is closed.
Ink up another spare piece of card in the same colours as the background and randomly stamp the 'splattery bits' from the large butterfly  from the Live Life Now set across it. Punch out (or die cut) 3 butterflies from that piece of card. Add a little aged mahogany to their wing edges, and draw in a body in the same colour, then cover them with distress stickle for a sugary sparkle. Once that is dry adhere some clear gems onto their wings.

Take some linen-type material and ink part of it in dried marigold with a hint of aged mahogany, and leave the other part un-inked. Cut 3 pieces of un-inked material, and 3 smaller pieces in the inked material and fray each edge. Adhere these, and the butterflies to the card in layers with glossy accents as shown above.

2) How to make the CAS card

For the CAS card, mask off where you want the inky panel to be and blend the distress inks into it. Spritz water onto the panel, then stamp the butterflies in aged mahogany, and then remove the masking. Heat emboss the first line of the daughter definition sentiment in white embossing powder onto black cardstock and adhere over the inky panel. Attach the whole panel to the front of a card blank and then add the butterfly (made as above in the shutter card). Finally stamp the whole of the daughter definition onto the inside of the card in black ink.

Stamps Used:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):

  https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/live-life-now/      https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/daughter-definition/

Other Supplies:

White cardstock, Blending tools, Distress Ink (aged mahogany, worn lipstick, dried marigold) Distress Oxide (worn lipstick), Ruler, Pencil, Craft Knife, Black Card, Anti-static pad, Versamark Clear Ink, Wow! Opaque Bright White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Heat Gun, Butterfly Punch, Distress Marker (aged Mahogany) White Linen, Distress Stickles, Gems, Glossy Accents, 

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

The CAS card:
AAA Card Challenge #111 - Use only a third of your card.

Crafting from the heart #200 - Anything Goes
Crafting with friends #63 - Anything Goes
Creative Artiste Mixed Media #36 - Anything Mixed Media Goes
Incy Wincy Designs 19 Mar - No more than 2 colours (excluding Black and White)
Love to Craft - March # 20 - Anything Goes
Mix It Up challenge #11 - Make your own background (a second entry for me)
Pammies Inky Pinkies 1813 - Anything Goes
Polkadoodles #12 - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede #288 - Anything Goes

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like my cards and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

17 Mar 2018

Less is More 367 - One Layer Cards - Stencils


We're all playing with stencils on one layer cards at Less is More today

and  Shery from STAMPlorations is our guest designer. You can see her beautiful card on the Less is More blog. Don't forget to check out the fabulous DT cards while you are there.

I have 3 cards for you today.

1) Your Awesomeness Overwhelms Me

Here's a really simple card where I used a stencil to colour the silhouette. This really is a one layer card! If you want to see how I trick the eyes into thinking it is a panel on a base card you can ......

......watch my video :

I'm entering this into:
Crafty Creations #362  - Anything Goes
Pause, Dream, Enjoy #11 - Anything Goes
Pammies Inky Pinkies Challenge #1810 - Anything Goes

STAMPS: STAMPlorations - Fond Expressions
STENCILS: Sweet Poppy - Clematis
INKS: Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Oxides (Antique Linen, Fossilised Amber, Twisted Citron)
OTHER: White card, post-it notes, low-tack tape, black micron pens (sizes 005 and 08), distress markers (pumice stone, hickory smoke)

2) Under 10 Minute Stencil Layering

Actually this card only took around 8 minutes to make - honest! I filmed this one too and so you can check my under 10 minute claim if you watch it. 

 Crikey - I even appear in this one. I'm doing an experiment to see if I get more views if I appear in the video or if I don't. Would be interested in your thoughts on that.

Anyway, back to the card. I love layering stencils because it adds a lot of depth to an inky panel. Here I only used 2 stencils but I love the result. I'm also loving the colour combo so I'll probably use that one again in the future.

I made this one for:
Little Miss Muffet #184 - Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door 13 Mar - Anything Goes
Crafting From The Heart #198 - Anything Goes

I made a curved mask out of post-it notes and laid down a base coat of antique linen, then blended Victorian velvet through the trellis stencil. Aged mahogany came next blended through the honeycomb stencil. Remove the stencils and stamp the leaves in walnut stain then remove the masking and stamp the sentiment in walnut stain too.

STAMPS: Visible Image - create it and go to words
STENCILS: Creative Expressions that special touch of...Trellis, Tim Holtz Collection Honeycomb
INKS: Distress Inks (Antique linen, Victorian velvet, aged mahogany, walnut stain)
OTHER: White card, post-it notes, masking tape, blending tools, misti.


3) Textured Stencilling - using a piece of fly screen!

I spotted a technique in a Jennifer McGuire video HERE for adding texture into stencils....so off I trotted and found a spare piece of fly screen to try it out. It worked!

I'm playing along with:
Crafting With An Attitude #37 - Anything Goes
Creative Moments Challenge 138 - Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations #195 - Anything Goes

Mask off a triangle with post it notes. Add both the brickwork and vine flourish stencils together and blend spiced marmalade through them. Remove the masks and stamp the flourish several times over the blended area in spiced marmalade. Stamp the sentiment in versafine black ink. Take the sweet poppy stencil and blend rusty hinge through one of the flowers, then without moving the stencil add some netting (aka fly screen for me) over the top of the flower and stipple aged mahogany through the netting. Repeat that step twice more. Finish with a few pearls to represent buds.

STAMPS: Hampton Art flourish and bloom, Waltzing Mouse Stamps - Big day additions
STENCILS: Clarity Stamps brick work and vine flourish
INKS: Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Inks (spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, aged mahogany)
OTHER: Yellow card blank, masking tape. blending tools and brushes, fly screen!


That's it from me for now. I hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon. 

If you watched either of my videos, please remember to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you found them helpful. I am trying to create a channel with all the techniques I know, so some will be old techniques, but some will be new techniques too.

I will definitely create a video for each Visible Image post (the Thursday prior to my LIM posts) and I'll try to film my technique card on my LIM posts too.  So there should be at least 4 videos a month arriving on the channel.

Sharon xx

15 Mar 2018

A little bit of calm.


It's time to share another card that I've made with some of my fabulous Visible Image stamps. Today I'm using the wonderful seahorse from the Create Your Calm set and teaming it up with some Ink Splats (to represent bubbles) and the Fibres stencil for a bit of movement in my inky panel.

I'm loving how I can take a large stamp and yet still create something wonderfully clean and simple with it. This is such a beautiful seahorse stamp, but as Veerle has shown how to expertly colour it (which you can see by clicking HERE for her video), I thought I would leave it in monochrome for a contrast on my inky band.

Here is a video of making this card:

 How to make this:

First heat emboss the seahorse with clear ink and a sparkly black embossing powder, then mask the seahorse with either a post-it note or some masking fluid.

Next mask off a section of your card for the inked band and blend 3 colours of distress oxide ink (cracked pistachio, peacock feathers, salty ocean) into the unmasked area to create a smooth ombré look.

Blend more ink through the fibres stencil using broken china and peacock feathers distress oxides and next splatter water droplets onto the panel.

Use second generation ink with the two remaining stamps (the ovals and circles) in the Create Your Calm set, to add more subtle interest to the background, stamping these in faded jeans and peacock feathers distress oxides.

Remove the masking, and add your sentiment. I split the 'own' and 'calm' into two separate words using a masking technique, shown in my video, so that I only inked the word I wanted at each place.

Now ink the splatters from the Ink Splats set in salty ocean, peacock feathers and cracked pistachio distress oxide.

Use a clear sparkle pen on the water droplets in the inky band to give them some shimmer. Use the same sparkle pen in the white areas of the seahorse.

The final part is to add glossy accents onto the ink splat 'bubbles' and also randomly across the band.

Stamps Used:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):
https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/create-your-calm/        https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/ink-splats/  



Other Supplies:

White Card, Versamark clear ink, Stampendous disco black embossing powder, Distress Oxides (salty ocean, peacock feathers, cracked pistachio, broken china, faded jeans), blending tools and foam, water, paintbrushes, heat tool, low-tack masking tape, post-it notes, scrap paper, Misti, Versafine Onyx black ink, Sakura gelly roll pen (clear star), Ranger glossy accents, 3d foam 

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

AAA Card Challenge #110 - Ombré
Creative Fingers Challenge March - Anything Goes
Dare2BArtyz March - Your Favourite Colours (always blues and teals for me!)
HeARTful Stamping challenge Mar 11-18 - Anything Goes
Mix It Up Challenge Blog MIUCB #11 - Anything Goes + make your own background
Penny Black and More! March - Feature A Creature
Polkadoodles #10 - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede #286 - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge March - Anything Goes
2 crafty Critter Crazies March - anything with a critter

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges

Thank you for stopping by today and please don't forget to watch my VIDEO
I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx