Saturday 27 April 2019

Artisan Design funky flowers for Allsorts

Morning Peeps, Saturday again so time for our new Allsorts challenge and this week Mervi is our host and as it's Mothers Day in many parts of the World she would like to see 'Feminine creations'. We have two lovely Woodware stamps for this weeks lucky winner. It's also my turn to post over at the Chocolate Baroque blog today and you can see my creation further down.

My thanks to all for their enquiries as to how my treatment went at hospital last week. I have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought, 32 injections in your head and face can never be pleasant but it was over quickly. If the treatment works then I should see some benefit in a few weeks although it could be longer, in other words not an instant fix! And if it does, then whilst it won't get rid of my migraines completely, to have half the month free of them would be wonderful and I'll happily go back every twelve weeks for the same.

My top card is another of the recent Hochanda TV samples I created for Pete Simpson on Artisan Design using the Funky Flowers, I confess I'm not sure which if the sets these come from as the eight came to me direct from pressing and ended up getting them all rather muddled and am yet to organise them into the appropriate sets. And keep a look out in May as Pete has some more beautiful stamps on their way.

After colouring oddments of card with Distress Oxides I stamped with sentiments from the sets using a slightly darker ink, dried and then stamped the flowers with Versamark and heat embossed with detail white EP and cut out. Using Pan Pastels I created a background and placed behind a die cut frame and placed the flower over the frame onto 'stems' made of coiled up jewellers wire. Finally again using Versamark and white EP I stamped and cut our some leaves from the sets, placed across the bottom and added a shrink plastic Butterfly which is Chocolate Baroque.

This one is a Chocolate Baroque make also for Hochanda TV, the beauty about working with such wonderful quality stamps (and Pete's are also manufactured by CB) is that the ideas just keep flowing with the result I always end up with far more samples that I need for the Chocolate Baroque blog.

After distressing the tag with inks and stencils I stamped the dressmakers mannequin with Versamark black, masked across the bottom and added a stand from another of the stamps in the same show to extend it down the tag. Next I gathered up some pale blue tulle and fixed on the skirt with a bow, a button cut out from another stamp set in the show and a little dress hanger embellishment which I seem to have had for years, seam binding and a Little Birdie Rose.

And now for my Chocolate Baroque creations from our recent shows on Hochanda TV, full details of the stamps and techniques I used can be found on the blog here.

Happy weekend all.
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Thursday 18 April 2019

LOVE as depicted in letters

Good morning, a scheduled post as I'm in hospital having the first course of the injections I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'll admit I'm not looking forward to 32 injections in my face and head, but if they prove helpful to my constant migraines then I'll (probably!!) be happy to go back for the next round in three months.

So my mid month shares for Stamping Sensations and Penny Black and More where our April Spring challenges are in full swing, both run until Wednesday 1st May. Further down I also have a short review of an interesting book I was recently sent.

I'll keep the details short as it's a long post, the top one has an Oxide background, stencilling and stamped twice with a Penny Black stamp and one heat embossed with detail white EP. The sentiment and raindrops are both from Inkylicious.

This one has a Pan Pastel background, Penny Black stamp with a matching die for the blooms in the foreground and a computer generated Shakespeare Spring quote.

And a couple using one (yes there are more) of the new stamps I succumbed to a couple of weeks ago, I ordered from John at PB stamps in the States, the package left him and was in the UK within three days, it then took RM seven days to deliver and of course collected the obligatory Customs fee of £23.47.

Now for the book I mentioned.....................

Recently the publisher of a new book asked me if I would like a copy to review, the book is called 'Love Letters' by Deborah Brown, but it's not your ordinary read, in fact it is as the promotional literature states "A picture book for grown-ups".

My introduction to the book came about because of rubber stamps. The author was studying for her MA in Illustration at Cambridge and was set a module to create a short book, whilst doing her research she found an old set of letter rubber stamps she had as a child. She stamped out the word LOVE and that formed the inspiration for the book.

I will admit it wasn't what I expected at all, yet there is something within the pages which makes you keep turning them right to the end. It's a love story which as with any other is about a couple who meet and fall in love, marry, have their relationship ups and downs and seek help getting back on track, have two children who grow and leave the nest and sadly has a bittersweet ending. 

But that's where the traditional ends as the text is very minimal and the story is depicted through the four letters........LOVE which are printed randomly on the pages to carry the story. It is a brave book to undertake because it's unorthodox yet contains all the elements that we expect in a love story. 

Thank you Deborah for allowing me to peek inside the covers of your book and I wish you every success with it.

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Saturday 13 April 2019

Blossoms and putting Paperbox products through their paces

Morning Peeps, time for our new Allsorts challenge and this week I am your host with a two week challenge to carry us over the Easter holiday and the theme I have chosen is Blossoms, Butterflies and Bugs and we have a new sponsor this week The Paperbox.

Recently the Paperbox offered to send me a package of their products and invited me to write a review of them, we chatted and agreed that it would be nice if they were to sponsor Allsorts this challenge and I would use some of their products to create my artwork.

Their web site offers a wide range of card, paper, vellum, envelopes, embellishments, weddings stationery and more and card and paper can be purchased in packs of just ten right up to bumper bundles of 250.

So being the inky crafter I am I was keen to know how their card stock stood up to different treatments and for my first creation decided to stamp directly onto one of the Paperbox's A6 Bright White Card Blank and Envelope's. Placing the card blank into my stamp platform I used a Penny Black stamp called Blossom Branch, inked with Distress Markers and yes..........spritzed with water just as I would if I were creating a piece to be be matted onto a card blank. After stamping my first impression I then re-inked and stamped a couple more times to get more colour definition and now the telling time, removed the card from the stamp platform and here you can see the bleed through.

I'll be honest and say I was sceptical because the weight of the base card does not feel as heavy as I would usually go for, I tend to use 300gsm minimum and I would guess this is 280gsm max, but it took the ink and water remarkably well and as you can see there is no evidence of any colour stain on the reverse. As those who know me are aware I'm not a colourist so not able to say how the card would react to different types colouring pens. 

I masked the envelope with a post it note, inked the edges with distress ink and followed the same process for stamping as with the card, although only added a very light spritz of water as obviously the envelope is paper as opposed to card, but it stood up to the treatment I gave it very well.

The Butterfly on the card is made from the A4 White Iridescent Vellum sheet that was in the pack sent to me, it's a nice weight of vellum and held up well when I stamped with the Chocolate Baroque Butterfly using Versafine Black and heat embossed with details clear EP. At £3.41 (offer price and normally £4.01) for a pack of 10 it represents good value compared with what I usually pay for stamping use. I coloured in with with Distress Markers to coordinate with the flowers, cut out and added to the card along with wire antenna. The sentiment is also from CB.

For my next card I really put the card stock through it's paces deciding what I had in mind would either work or it wouldn't and I was amazed with the outcome. The soft shades of the A4 Matt Card stock (300gsm) are such pretty colours so I went through my Distress Oxides to do some colour matching and found Cracked Pistachio and Squeezed Lemonade matched the Mint Green and Pale Yellow perfectly. I took half of the sheet of Matte White (also 300gsm) from the same collection and gave it the normal Distress Oxide treatment, ink, water, heat, more ink and water and more heat and it took it all in it's stride, the ink distributed nicely without any 'persuasion' and was still pretty flat at the end of the process and no untoward buckling. 

Next I stamped the inky panel with a Chocolate Baroque stamp and coloured in with sparkle pens, then die cut a frame using the two coloured sheets, ran the yellow one through an embossing folder  with no cracking and mounted with foam pads onto an A6 Bright White Card Blank. I have tried an awful lot of different card stock over the years for inking and many have failed dismally, but I would happily buy the Matt White specifically for this purpose.

I also tried the Matte White with with Brushos which requires the use of ample water and was more than happy with the results. At £9.83 for 50 sheets it compares well with the card that I currently buy for my inky activities and the 150 pack at £19.83 even more so.

One final share using a sheet of A4 Dusky Pink Paper which is a lovely colour and has a nice textured finish to it along with a matching envelope. I decided to see how it took a juicy ink so decided on Versafine Clair and a Heartfelt stamp and it drank up the ink really well without any bleed sidewards, it comes in a range of colours so would certainly use it again for stamping. I cut the flowers with the matching die and layered, stamped an Inkylicious sentiment and created a fairly quick and simple card, adding some Tattered Lace Ivy. I also added some of the flowers to the envelope.

I still have a few sheets to try out and will share those at a later date, I am very impressed with a sheet of Silver Glitter Card also yet untested but it is the smoothest I have ever seen, they say it's non shed and having given it a good rub it certainly shows no sign of any loss as many makes tend to, so if you are in need of some take a look on their web site as it comes in a range of colours.  One thing I would love to see added to their range is black cardstock, I use black a great deal and probably 50% of the cards I make uses black as the base card as well as lighter weights for matting and layering.

I am grateful to the Paperbox for allowing me to try their products and give you my thoughts on them, whenever I am asked to do this I always endeavour to offer an impartial viewpoint which is what I have done today.
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Sunday 7 April 2019

Showers and Flowers

It's time for our  new challenges at Stamping Sensations and Penny Black and More where our themes are 'April showers bring May flowers' and 'Springtime'. As always there are wonderful prizes to be won at both.

So lots of flowers for my Stamping Sensations creation suggesting there have been a good few showers already to bring on those lovely blooms which are mostly all Chocolate Baroque with the exception of the Poppies which are Inkylicious. I stamped the all with my current favourite inks Versafine Clair, added the dancing girl and raindrops both of which are Inkylicious and the sentiment which is computer generated. I added glossy accents to the raindrops.

I make no excuses for bringing out William Wordsworth yet again but the lovely Penny Black verse just has to be used this time of year along with the lovely 40-378 Daffodil Dance which I repeat stamped using Distress Markers to fit within the aperture and also stamped PB Aspire and used  Pan Pastels for the shading in he background.

And another for Stamping Sensations which is one of my recent Hochanda TV samples for Pete Simpson, distress inks for the background and the flowers were stamped onto the same piece of inky card and cut out and decoupaged onto the base card which also has a corner element using a stencil and texture paste. You can buy all of Pete's stamps, stencils and card etc., on his web site here.

My team mates have some lovely inspiration to share so please do pop over to the challenge blogs and see what they have created, I also hope you will join our challenges this month.
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Saturday 6 April 2019

Sentiments in focus at Allsorts

Morning Peeps, time for our new Allsorts challenge and this week Helene would like to see our 'Sentiments in Focus'. We have a lovely set of sentiment stamps from Bee Crafty for this weeks weeks lucky winner. 

A pretty plain and simple card from me this week, perhaps reflects the mood of the moment, I've been struggling for mojo as the six week withdrawal from the 'heavy' meds has been pretty horrendous, muscle cramps, shivers, insomnia and back to almost 24/7 migraines. So after much thought on 18th April I go to hospital for the first course of Botulinum, 32 injections in my face and head. I know nothing will get rid of them completely but if they work they should reduce the number of migraines, then it's the same again every three months, but I'm at the stage where I'll give almost anything a go.

So back to my card, I sat myself down with a favourite sentiment and some poppies to see where it took me and this is the result. Not a lot to explain really, the base card was in a pack I picked up at Doncaster show in the Autumn from Which Craft which make quite an elegant card, the sentiment and the Poppies are from Inkylicious.

Happy weekend all.
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