Friday 29 December 2017

My personal top picks of 2017

Good morning Peeps, I hope you all had a good Christmas and are ready for the New Year ahead and that you can approach it with renewed energy, enthusiasm and hope. 

Those who visited my Christmas post will know I decided to take a bit of step back from blogging and focus my limited energies on DT commitments, as it's turned out that's a sensible decision as over Christmas my MS kicked in big time and I am pretty immobile at the moment and everything has to be be in shorts bursts. But we had a wonderful family Christmas with 17 for dinner some days and it was really special to have all the children and grandchildren sitting round the same table.

So this post has taken me some tome to prepare but I was really taken with the post by one of my team mates Ellie at Penny Black and More and wanted to do something similar........hope you don't mind me being a copy cat Ellie. She did a lovely post with her twelve favourite cards of 2017, selecting one a month. However, once I started on my post I reaslied just how difficult it was and it took me ages to decide on my final choices, it did however confirm the stamps I turn to time and again are Penny Black and Chocolate Baroque with Lavinia coming a close third. And Pan Pastels remain a firm favourite for backgrounds and shading as they provide a seamless blend of colour every time. 

So here are my final twelve, plus as extra one at the top as I thought the inspirational quote from Chocolate Baroque very fitting as we approach 2018...................

Lavinia stamps and Pan Pastels

Stampendous P107 and Penny Black Dance, my all time favourite two stamps and Pan Pastels

Chocolate Baroque stamps

Penny Black stamps

Chocolate Baroque stamps

Chocolate Baroque stamps and Distress Oxides

Chocolate Baroque stamps

Penny Black stamps and Pan Pastels - this was a Birthday card for our French DIL

Lavinia stamps and Pan Pastels

Chocolate Baroque stamps and Brusho's - there had to be a Poppy in my choices

Lavinia stamps and Pan Pastels

Inkylicious and Penny Black stamps

Many thanks for popping in today and my very best wished for 2017.

Saturday 23 December 2017

Happy Christmas and a thank you

Good morning Peeps, before I move on to my challenge post I want to add a few contemplative or maybe philosophical words.

I have received so many beautiful Christmas cards from fellow crafters and would like to say an open thank you to each and every one of you. Looking at them all hanging in my hallway I realised the handmade ones almost outnumber the shop bought ones and confirm what an incredibly talented bunch you are, they range from CAS to cute to traditional and I am drawing immense pleasure looking at each and every one of them and appreciating your different crafting boring things would be if we all shared the same styles of crafting!

Looking forward to 2018, as many of you know I have not enjoyed the best of health in 2017 and I am not out of the woods yet and have more surgical procedures to come in the New Year. I don't do social media but have tried so hard to keep up with all of your blogs, but with all the will in the world I seem to have failed miserably and some weeks not got beyond DT commenting commitments.

Running three challenges does take a fair amount of time and commitment but is well rewarded by the high volume of entrants we continue to see and the wonderful sponsor who support us. Also I find craft is a good stress and pain buster and I love my DT work for the various companies I create for, so as far as blogging goes I will approach 2018 in slow steps and see how things go and hope you understand if I don't visit as often as I might wish or have done previously.

OK, got that out of my system and moving onto our new challenge at Allsorts which will run for two weeks over the Christmas holiday period. Mervi is our host and has chosen the theme of 'Seasonal Flowers'. Our sponsor is Stamp Addicts plus we have an extra prize as well, hop over the the challenge blog to take a look.

Also, Lesley from Chocolate Baroque is back on Hochanda today with a 'Best of Show' programme which will incorporate stamps that have been featured during the year, below are a few samples using some of the stamps that will feature. Also, I posted over at the Chocolate Baroque DT blog on Thursday and totally forgot to do the same on my own blog, so here rather belatedly is an edited version of that post which means this is a mega long post and you may need a cuppa or even a glass of something to get you to the end.

First my Allsorts creation at the top inspired by a lady demoing at Crafting Live last month using serviettes, so had to give it a try as I was so impressed by the results she was achieving. She was using Imagination Crafts texture paste which looked really thick compared by so many on the market and having used it have to say it's certainly one of the best I have tried over the years.

So I started with an 8 x 8 canvas which was pre-primed so I went straight in with the texture paste stippling it at the corners and around the edge. Next a Christmas serviette, cutting out the section I wanted and then carefully separate the three layers as it's the top one you use. Apply a generous coat of decoupage glue (I used Imaginations Craft's) roughly where you want to place the cut out image and carefully lay into's pretty fragile so you only get one shot at this part, then gently pat over the surface using a piece of kitchen towel...........the glue I used dries very quickly, you can also softly brush the edges of the serviette with any glue remaining on the brush.

I then stamped a sentiment and stenciled some holly before going around the edges with acrylic paint  using an almost dry brush and then gilding polish. Finally added some liquid pearls and glitter to the centres of the Poinsettias. It was fun and I made several of these to give to the children as an alternative to Christmas cards.

And here are my Chocolate Baroque shares......................

 Distress Inks and stenciling and stamped from Tangled Garden and Words of Inspiration.

Acrylic paints and crackle glaze and stamps from Lily Fuchsia and Hyacinth multibuy 

More oxide inks, flowers from Lily Fuchsia and Hyacinth multibuy, sentiment from Birthday Words 

Regular Distress Inks , stenciling and stamps from Breath of Spring and Birthday Words

Using Rose Steam Script onto a Dylusion's background

Using Katya onto a Brusho background, she was a real favourite with both the DT and viewes

Using leaves from the Take it or Leaf it set inked with Distress Markers

Using the large Baroque Corners onto a background of Distress Oxide's

Using Chequered Flowers onto a masked Distress Oxide background, I absolutely love this stamp

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Monday 18 December 2017

A host of golden Daffodils

Morning Peeps, today I have a couple of shares for our mid month posts at Penny Black and More and Stamping Sensations, at the latter the DT are taking it in turns to share a new technique and needles to say mine is a messy one.

I'm not a big fan of Winter so decided for my Penny Black creation to look ahead to Spring with a pair of PB stamps that were made for each other. I created a soft background with Distress Inks, the used Distress Markers to ink the Daffodils, spritzed with water and repeat stamped, then added with sentiment using Versafine black.

I have just lifted my post from Stamping Sensations:

I have no idea if or what the name might be for this technique and I am sure it's not a new one, but I actually came across it by accident one day when I inadvertently let a piece of printed paper land on a sticky background that was still wet. When I tried to lift off the paper I noticed that some of the print had adhered itself to the background so I had a play and rather liked the look so this is how I find it works best.

Start by creating an inky background, in this case I used Bristol cardstock and oxide inks, but it works equally well with with Brusho, Dylusions and other background mediums.

Next take a couple of pages form an old make sure they are 'appropriate'...........I did one a few weeks back, sent it off as a TV sample only to discover later that the printed content was not really 'viewer friendly'...........the TV presenter and crew had a laugh but it's made me more aware since!!

Tear the pages into small pieces and arrange on the background randomly and have a bone folder or ruler to hand along with a dries clear glue such as Indigo Blue Slap it On...............I experimented as the regular Slap it On didn't work as well as the Super Thick version which gave a much better adhesion and transfer. You need to work quite quickly here so best work on the pieces of paper one by one, giving a good brushing of glue to the base card and over each piece, then burnish with the bone folder or ruler edge several times and peel away the paper to reveal the print.

It doesn't matter if some of the paper remains as it all adds to the randomness of the piece and of course some of the print picked up will be the reverse but as it's a background it all adds to the interest.

Now you have your finished piece ready for stamping and on this occasion I used it with Chocolate Baroque stamps. I know it looks a messy process but that's all part of the fun and once stamped up to a finished piece gives an interesting and different look

Exactly the same process, just with different coloured inks. When I have spare time I like to make up a batch of backgrounds ready for stamping up at a later date........helps no end with rush TV deadlines!

Many thanks for taking a peek and hope you will give it a try.

Saturday 16 December 2017

A snowflake is Winters Butterfly

Morning Peeps, it's Saturday so that means it's time for our new challenge at Allsorts and this week I am your host and the theme is 'Cold and Frosty Colours. We have a prize from this weeks sponsor Crafty Ribbons, a bundle of ribbons in colours to go with the theme. 

I also have some Chocolate Baroque shares below, a day late I'm afraid as I've not been feeling at my best since my kidney procedure last week and not up to sitting at the computer for any length of time...................yes I do have a tablet but my dodgy dexterity means the smaller keyboard is just not an option as I spend more time correcting typos than writing the comment. So my apologies I've not been to visit many of you as I've restricting my time to short DT comments.

Lots of inkiness and embossing going on with this one, my starting point was to create the background with Brushos, but mopping them off so I only got a hint of the colour. Next some stamping with snowflakes and distress inks followed by creating some random lines with the edge of a credit card which I swiped across the same ink pads plus a scattering of silver Frantage which was also added around the edges of the piece. The Butterfly is Soft Wings from Penny Black, heat embossed with silver, cut out and coloured with the same inks. The sentiment is computer generated.......I do have it as a stamp somewhere but can I find it, of course I can't !

For this one I simple repeat stamped leaves in different colours to create the flower shapes

Here are some my my shares from yesterday's post over at the Chocolate Baroque DT blog, were each month we offer inspiration on quick and easy cards using CB stamps.

I used a torn piece of paper to create the wavy line mask, coloured with Pan Pastels, stenciled some flourishes with the mask still in place then stamped the Butterfly

Although many CB stamps are beautifully detailed, we aim to prove they work equally well to make cards when you are in a hurry and when creating cards for Lesley's TV shows on Hochanda the DT create some dedicated to CAS strles.

Brushos for the splatter background, stamped the flower onto black, embossed with white, cut out and fixed over two stamped leaves

Masked a strip across card, coloured with Pan Pastels then randomly stamped flowers with the mask still in place

Brushos again and blown with a straw to spread, stamped the Lily and coloured with Brushos

Applied Pan Pastels through an oval mask and stamped the wildflowers with the mask still in place

Stamped the Fuchsia and corners and coloured with distress markers

Happy weekend all and my thanks for popping in today.

Saturday 9 December 2017

Oh the snow, the beautiful snow

Morning Peeps, time for our new challenge at Allsorts and this week Helen would like to see 'Snowflakes'. Our sponsor is Marianne Designs.

Many thanks for all your kind wishes the last few days, I am home, rather bruised and needing a few days to recover before I get back into the swing of craft land, but fine apart from that. They seemed happy how things went, a further CT scan is scheduled and another procedure towards the end of January which I am really hoping will be the end of what's seemed like a never ending saga this year.

Onto my cards and I don't seem to have much in the way of snowflakes in my stash so for my first card I used an old wood mounted Hero Arts stamp which has a negative image of a little hamlet with snow falling so to compliment that I computer generated the first few lines of a John Whittaker Watson's 'Beautiful Snow' poem. I stamped the image in blue versafine and heat embossed with detail clear powder and simply matted and layered onto a larger card onto which I had printed the poem verse.

I kept my second share fairly CAS and used two snowflake dies to cut out the snowflakes and used the negative to place over a piece of turquoise glitter card, stamped the sentiment which is Inkylicious and tied some bakers twine and a gem across the top.

I hope our seasonal theme will be one you join in with and that you will pop over to the challenge blog to see all the inspiration from my teamies.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Imagine and a Fairy in a field of Butterflies

Good morning Peeps, it's my turn to post over at the Chocolate Baroque DT blog. Afraid it's a short and sweet scheduled posts, explanation in my last post.

As all of the details of the products and stamps used are on the DT blog here you can pop over there to get any specifics on how I created my pieces which were for Lesley's Hochanda show towards the end on November.

Before I went off for my trip courtesy of the NHS to have my kidney procedure I caught sight of the new Butterfly Challenge theme which as with previous years is, for this month only, all about Fairies and magical things, so I knew immediately that one of my creations in this scheduled post would fit the theme perfectly, it's one one below with the Fairy set in the shadow box of Butterflies.

As always my thanks for taking the time to visit today and I hope to be visiting you all again very soon once I have recovered.