'What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, 29 December 2011

I enjoyed using Versamagic, so made these in pastel colours for two special people who are going through a very sad and difficult time right now.
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They’re more or less the same design, using the same colours but stamping the backgrounds in different colours (alternating between Ocean Breeze and Aquatic Splash for text and flowers) finishing off with two different colours (Purple Hydrangea and Turquoise Gem) which gives them a slightly different look.  Spring Pansy just adds a touch warmth to the otherwise cold colours. It’s not often I stamp without black but I’m quite enjoying the softness of these inks at the moment.
Love this stamp set from Innovative Stamp Creations – the flowers are wonderful and work well for a lot of occasions but will also be perfect for a backdrop in my journal.
Thought I’d have a go at the Craft Barn Journalling challenge and found this – I’d forgotten all about it.  I was upset and frustrated about something at the time – can you tell??????
aj fff sm

So I just finished this page for the Craft Barn Challenge.
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The theme is buildings and I was thinking about a U2 song (or 2).
I still haven’t decided on the Blog Candy – my apologies but I’ve found it difficult for various reasons, so will ask someone else to do it as soon as I can!  Sorry to keep you waiting but I got some other stuff together and there will now be more than one prize, so hang on in there.
Wohoo!  Just found out I won the Craft Barn Journalling prize and am absolutely gobsmacked!  Can you tell I’m from ‘up North’, he, he?  Ooh, I get a prize, too – can’t wait!  Thanks to whoever chose my page xxx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The colour challenge at Gingersnaps this week is
Soft Yellow and White and lasts for four weeks.
This is the final week of my month as visiting artist there and I’ve really enjoyed being challenged with things I wouldn’t normally do.  This week’s colours are no exception.  I don’t use any shade of yellow on its own very often at all, although I often use it with other colours because I think it pulls them together so well. 
I know the Once in a Blue Moon challenge was for Thank you notes and has only just ended, but we can’t have too many of those after Christmas when we have so many people to thank and so many things to be thankful for.
Cath Wilson soft yellow int
You’ll have to click to enlarge to see the detail, but I’ve taken some close up photos, too, to show the embossed bits.
I love the soft look of Versamagic inks and they are always my first choice for pastel colours.  They have the added bonus of being permanent, stamping on most surfaces (including fabrics) and embossing really well.
The base was sponged randomly with Thatched Straw -   Versamagic doesn’t stipple well, but it sponges beautifully if your inkpad is nice and moist, so it’s worth having reinkers. 
The Hero Arts Thanks stamp is stamped down the right hand side, in the same ink, followed by the background flowers (Innovative Stamp Creations) to the left, heat setting to seal. 
Then, inking only random sections of the same stamp, I overstamped a few times with Versamark, followed by stamping the two flowers for the foreground and embossing with White detail EP. It’s hard to pick that out and even more difficult when trying to photograph, so I took a couple of close ups.
To finish, I edged with Ranger Lemonade dabber, matted onto white, then onto two Fleur de lis Nestie squares, offset to top and bottom corners. Before attaching it to the pale lemon card (Bazzill) I white embossed the Thank you stamp in opposite corners of the card and edged the whole thing with pearl acrylic paint. 
I finished off by stamping and clear embossing ‘So Kind’ in Thatched Straw on white, punching out a small tag and edging with ink before attaching to the front with a pale lemon heart brad.
Thank you VERY MUCH to the Gingersnappers for inviting me to share in the fun of the challenges.  I really appreciate the honour, having admired the work there for so long.
I’ll update this post later today, with the results of the Blog Candy draw and show/tell you what else I’ll be adding to the parcel!
Cath xxx

Monday, 26 December 2011

Today, I am simply thankful…
… but especially for my two boys and my family.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Just taking the opportunity to wish you all a very special and Happy Christmas! 
bw non christmas 3
I’m afraid this isn’t a new card – it’s from a couple of years ago - but I’ve had flu and been out of action for a whole WEEK!  Eeek! That’s never happened to me  before and it seriously interfered with all my Christmas plans. 
If you didn’t receive a card from me, please accept my apologies, but the cards ran out long before the names on the list did this year.
Thanks to all of you who take the time to visit and to leave a comment – they’re all very much appreciated.
Cath xxx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

When I saw wax as the theme for this I went into serious panic mode.  Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE wax collage – I’ve tried it, am BAD at it and just hated working with it, although I love other people’s creations.  So I had to approach this from a different angle and here’s what I ended up with.
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I’ve had this candle stamp for years – bought it from someone who, as far as I know, is no longer in business, but I love it. I stamped it on glossy card, using Stazon ink and then coloured the candles with a small, sharpened candle, to create a wax resist effect. I then overstamped with Versamark before sponging various Adirondack green inks over, creating a second resist effect. Once I’d wiped off the wax, I added some shading with Tombow felt tips. The music and candle card is one of my oldest (and favourite) stamps from Embossing Arts and after shading with Tombows I used Sepia accents to age it a bit more.  The Kraft card (Woodware) is stamped with Versamark ink, to give a bit of depth under the layers. All layers (including card) are edged with gold Krylon pen.
The gift card is a Scrapling, one of my favourite things to make and perfect for gift tags. Whenever you make a card which isn’t quite A5/A6, you’ll have a strip of folded card left (if you fold first, as I do) and that ‘scrap’ is perfect for a little accompanying card.

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The candle was white.  I stamped the angels (Beeswax stamps, he, he) on tissue paper, coloured them with Prismacolor pencils, adding some colour for the background, then stippling a bit of ink to add more colour before stamping the text. The silver stars are stamped in Silver Stazon ink.
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There’s an odd wrinkle in the tissue paper because it wasn’t perfectly folded, but I like crinkles :-)
It’s wrapped with hemp and the candle itself has been finished with a special candle painting medium to make it anti flammable, although I would still recommend burning only a couple of inches, then placing a tea light inside the shell to preserve the decoration.
I enjoyed this so much, I made another matching set …
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… then one using flowers. I’ll probably end up making more of these now that I’ve ‘got my feet wet’ so to speak.
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You can see the fab design team’s inspirational works of art over at Gingersnaps.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Do you sense a theme?  I don’t know why that’s what I’m drawn to this year, but I’m just going with it and enjoying it.  Lots of glitter on this and some flicked Crafty Notions white spray for snow.  Iced Spruce works really well for snow and background trees. The greens are Adirondack Meadow.  Words aren’t stamped well, but I still like the patchy look.  If I do this again, I’ll go off the page to make it more realistic but time’s run out for now.

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I’ve just stamped a stack of simple card fronts and will be trimming and mounting them tonight, while I’m catching up on a couple of my favourite programmes, missed while I was away for the weekend.  At least I’ve made a start and although some of them are the same, I’ve varied them slightly. I have loads more to make but I just seem to be making more mess right now and can’t find a flipping thing in my stamping room. One day I’ll learn not to leave everything until last minute – or will I?
I’m entering this into this week’s Drunken Stampers Challenge, which is Glittery Holiday.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Been meaning to photograph and post this for a while but didn’t get my act together until now. Anyway, as a Christmas present from me to say thank you for visiting and to celebrate reaching 250 followers (now an amazing 265 – thank you!) here it is.

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Neither of these has ever seen ink and the ums haven’t been opened, so leave me a comment, telling me why you deserve them and you can have them.
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I’ll draw a name sometime closer to the end of December but will only post after the Christmas rush, to avoid losing them in the Christmas post! I will, of course, be adding other goodies to this, but I haven't yet decided what ... but it will be nice :-)

Please note!
Please don’t put your name down if you live in RUSSIA.
Add a link to your side bar (you can copy mine from the top of the right hand column) if you like!
Best of luck.  Cath x

Friday, 9 December 2011

Just a quickie to post this card – haven’t had much time to make more, although I need loads, so will have to get going on those next week!

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Told you I had a bit of a ‘green’ thing this year, he, he.  More resist here, too, but this time it’s embossed, for a change. I love this swirl from Stamp Camp. Not much light here – grey skies, strong winds and hail, unfortunately!
I’ll be away this weekend, so see you when I come back!  Have a great weekend and hope the weather’s kind to you.
Cath x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I was thrilled to be invited to be ‘Visiting Artist’ over at Gingersnaps for December – a great honour – thank you for asking me.
December isn’t my most creative month, I have to admit – I tend to concentrate on simple Christmas cards, with the odd gift thrown in for good measure, but I tried to fit this in with this month’s challenges.
For the month of December, the theme is Holiday lights and the first ‘theme’ challenge is ‘Starry Nights’.  I love starry skies and so decided to make a calendar for this one.

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The ‘mountboard’ was made by stamping silver stars on a mid blue tissue paper, using acrylic silver paint and an old freeby foam stamp I had knocking around, then crinkling when dry, to create a bit of texture.  Using gel medium, I attached this to a larger piece of very heavy, slightly corrugated mid blue card, edging with more roughly applied silver acrylic paint and finishing with a glitter glaze, which gives a bit of a sparkle but not too much. It’s hard to photograph glitter and especially when the weather’s grey.
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The image (Bella Rosa) was stamped on glossy card, using Stazon Azure ink. I cut around the image, then punched the odd star out of the sky and attached to a slightly larger piece of silver mirror card, tying a piece of sliver ribbon around one edge, threading through a silver diamante star button.
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This was attached to a glossy resist background, which was first stamped with Versamark ink, using various star images, then sponged with a few different shades of blue dye ink.  I overstamped a few more stars in Silver Stazon ink, before attaching to more mirror card and then to the mount. The words were computer generated, cut out and attached to mirror card, then randomly placed on the background.
I edged another piece of heavy blue card with acrylic paint, attaching a calendar then put two star eyelets in the top, matching up to another two at the base of the mount.   This is attached with narrow silver ribbon.
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To finish off, I attached a few punched stars, randomly around the edge of the board, then attached a hanger.
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I enjoyed making this!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Just like buses, nothing for ages then suddenly you get a few posts, lol.  I finished these over the last few days but haven’t had chance to photograph them, partly due to lack of light!
The first one is for the One Layer Wednesday challenge, which is to use nothing but a Greetings stamp on two cards, using different colours or placement. Just sneaking in by the skin of my teeth on this one, even though I had hoped to take part earlier in the week!
My first one is embossed in glitter gold EP on champagne pearlescent card.
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The second one obviously uses the same stamp, but this time it’s embossed with Pearl Gold EP on a cream 6x4 card. Hard to photograph in this grey light.

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I confess that I find these a bit too stark and will emboss lines above and below before I use them, perhaps even layering them onto other card bases – we’ll see.
My second challenge is for Less is More, which this week is to use green.  The KCUK challenge this month is to make a Christmas card in white and one other colour, so this is also for that challenge. You can’t really see it but the lines above and below the trees (Hero Arts) are dry embossed to add interest and the stripes of green card are just above.  I originally cut these thinner but had to do it again and cut them a bit thick – shame, really cos they looked better.
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The last one is another card for the white and one colour challenge.  I’ve got a bit of a green thing going on at the moment, for some reason. Most of these are Stampington stamps but the swirl that I stamped on the border (in Ranger Pearl Acrylic) is Inkadinkado and the postmarks are Simple Expressions stamps.
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Looks as if the corner was caught a bit there – oops!
I have some blog candy to offer but won’t post it with these, in case I lose track – I’ll be back with that and tomorrow I’ll be posting my first Visiting Artist Challenge project, although I’m working, so it will be later in the day.
Thanks for looking.  Cath x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

… to the very talented Nellie,

who sent me this fab blog candy.

nellie blog candy


this gorgeous card!

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I’d already admired this on her blog, so was thrilled to see it in real life and of course it’s more gorgeous than it looks!

Thank you, Nellie!

It’s very much appreciated.

Sorry I haven’t been around much this week but I’ve been out of action for a few days.  I’m hoping to be back now, but may still be a little quiet x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Couldn’t resist having a go at this one because I used to use this technique an awful lot with chalk inks.  So, I got out my Colorbox Fluid chalks, which I’ve probably only used once in the last 5 years (shame on me) and my trusty stipple brushes and this was the result.
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One of the biggest problems with these inks is the tonal variation from one pad of the same colour to the next and my purply colours seem to be a bit pinkish, but I love it anyway. I used Wisteria and Violet inks, with a little Purple Pansy (Versamagic) in places. The beauty of chalk inks is that you can layer lighter colours over darker ones – a lovely effect.
I’m still in Christmas mode – not sure how long that will last – and this is one of my favourite Christmas stamps.  I thought I’d lost it the other day, but after a frantic hunting for what I reckoned to be about 8 stamps, I actually found a basket full of them – some I’d forgotten all about! Just goes to show what happens when you ‘put things away safely’ instead of in their usual place – they’ll stay with the rest of the Christmas stamps from now on!

The theme at Make my Monday is Snowflakes, Flowers or Foliage.  I’m trying to get into a C mood now (I think … watch this space, lol cos I’m bound to change my mind soon) and so I concentrated on snowflakes.
I used my favourite technique – resist – stamping snowflakes as a background on glossy card, sponging various shades of blue and lilac over the top, using a torn paper mask.  Trees were then stamped behind the hills, followed by a little snowman family, the great text (Stampinback) and lots of snowflakes (stamped in white and embossed in Hologram powder). I finished it off by sponging Snow white Dabber around the edges.

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It’s a simple little card but it was fun to make for a change. The snowmen were stamped again, coloured and glued in place over the original stamped image. I rarely do glitter but this one called for it and I think Christmas is a time when glitter is great!
Here’s a close up to show the holographic effect – bit blurry but that’s because it’s suddenly gone very grey – again!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Well, since I messed up last time and this has almost become a black and white challenge (with a hint of colour, lol) I thought I’d make some more cos I love black and white and especially with a hint of colour!  This is the first of the batch – more to follow when I finish them off.

This is actually one of my favourite images but I don’t use it a lot because it’s big. I wanted the appearance of a sun setting low in the sky (yes, I’m into setting suns at the moment, can you tell?), so I sponged the sun (through a circle stencil) after I’d stamped and clear embossed the silhouette stamp.

LIM 42 2

I would normally add some more sky colour in pinks, blues and greys, but since this is LESS IS MORE, I’ll leave the white space!

Firstly, I must say a big THANK YOU to all the LIMettes for your lovely comments.  Having looked at every entry for last week (I hope I didn’t miss any!) I have to say they definitely weren’t all justified.  There were some amazing entries and I learned so much from browsing entries and blogs, so a big thank you from me, too.
This week’s Less is More challenge is to use a silhouette stamp.
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In answer to a couple of questions, yes, it is an Inkadinkado stamp and the sun is sponged through a stencil, using DIs Barn Door, Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.  The words are from Stampendous, one of their earlier Clearly Stamping sets.
Having browsed through other entries, I’m not sure this image will be accepted because it isn’t solid, so I’ll be rooting out my other silhouette stamps and making another, lol.  Sorry, Chrissie and Mandi.
I’ll be perusing the entries whenever I get the chance this week and I’m sure I’ll learn a whole lot more from you all!
I really would recommend this challenge – it’s a fab way to make you think and plan before you stamp – something I seldom do.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Part II of the KCUK Challenge is a 10  minute C card. (Eeek!  Way too early to say the real word and to get all the C stamps out!)

Anyway, here’s mine.
10 min C card
The background is a Cuttlebug Smoosh (or is it Smooch?) – coloured with Memories Soft Stone ink, swiped over it before embossing.  The stamps are Stazon on acetate, which had to be thermal so I could heat set them.  Attached with brads and a bit of ATG under the tree, then matted first onto silver card, then onto grey.  I had the card cut to size before I began and the card is a lovely, thick embossed card I use a lot because it absorbs inks well, so it dried quickly.

This was my second attempt because my first one didn’t work :-(  I clear embossed and tried to use Glimmer Mists but NONE of my sprays worked!  I was well miffed.  I brought them downstairs to clean out but half of them still didn’t work, so I may just give up on them and use them as paints :-)  Wouldn’t mind but I have loads of them, although to be honest, I haven’t used them much since I stopped doing workshops.

Forgot to say that this fits the Sunday Stampers’ theme for this week, which is Pine trees, so I’m going to enter it for that.  It came to mind as I was thinking about which stamps to use and then I forgot.  That’s what comes of rushing out in the morning, lol.  Thanks for the challenge, Hels!

Had one of those days…
Went to use my Stampers Anonymous flourish and couldn’t find it.  There are some stamps I leave permanently on mounts because I use them so often and that’s one of them – I think it’s the best flourish stamp I have. Then I decided I wanted to use my CI angels stamp – guess what?  Can’t find that, either, so I was already frustrated before the Glimmer Mists incident.  AND while looking for it, one of my A4 sheets of Christmas stamps fell behind the chest of drawers they’re kept on – aagghh!  I need another good blitz in that room, I think, although I’m getting ready to move everything into another room, so sort of putting it off until then. I won’t be able to stamp for a while when I do that and I’m not looking forward to it!

(Quick edit – this was Thursday – just found my flourish stamp – Friday!  Phew!  Looked everywhere for it and then found it in my basket of used stamps – duh – minus mount!  I’ve put it straight back onto a mount so that I don’t lose it in future :-) What a waste of precious stamping time, lol!)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

I love the rich colours of Autumn and after using my leafy stamps for the LIM challenge, I just wanted to do more. So a couple of days ago I started this before going to work, adding a bit to it the morning after. I need to use it now for an assignment, so I thought I’d take a photo before I start journalling – lines pencilled in because it’s official, lol – it needs to be neat-ish and plain writing!

journal autumnb
I’ll rub the pencilling out when I’ve finished.

I began by scraping lots of Gesso on the pages first, because I wanted some texture, so I stamped into it and used various sizes of bottle/jar tops to create some circles. I then used a variety of inks and stamps for leaves and colour, finishing off with an Ochre Acrylic glaze (Golden) to pull it all together, then highlighting the texture with gold and copper Brilliance inks to add a bit of richness and depth. I toned some of it down with a bit of Versamagic wheat reinker, so that’s why there’s a bit of a ‘bloom’. 

Here’s a close up of the texture effect, although it’s taken in sunshine (YES, we have sunshine today!!!) so it looks a lot lighter and the background colour seems to have disappeared.

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Off to prepare a presentation on the Evolution of the English Language, but I’m going to try to start some quick and easy C card stamping later on – I have a ten minute challenge to do and some ATCs!

I’m entering this for the Happy Daze Design Team challenge, which is ‘Explosion of Colour’. We once did a swap on KCUK with a similar title, but I called it ‘Riot of Colour’ – Explosion sounds so much nicer, lol. Distress inks, Brilliance Dewdrops and Gesso can all be bought at Happy Daze.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Had a lovely hour yesterday, playing with the same colours of DI I’d used on my LIM leaves card, but this time on Glossy card and with stipple brushes.  It’s a long time since these little friends of mine have been out of their basket. I used to use them all the time to add colour because I found it easier to place colour exactly where I wanted to AND because it’s good for you.  There’s something about thumping a brush on that card – very therapeutic.

It has to be said that I’m not over happy with this one because I added micro beads in Sepia Accents but it’s given a bit too much dimension to the sunflower heart.  Might just have to add more to the petals… will think about that one.

sunflower collage stamp
I love this stamp – it’s humongous and is great for selective stamping – using just the bits you want at the time.  It’s a simple one stamp affair, with a few postmarks stamped on but I did enjoy getting inky.

This one’s just a matted up version of one of my LIM one layer leaf cards. I liked the colour (Aged Mahogany) and the design, but thought it a bit too stark to stay on its own.

your special day
Browsing through this week’s LIMette entries has given me lots of ideas.  It’s amazing what you can learn from looking at other people’s LIM design ideas.  Some people have a real knack for making a simple card stunning.  LIM is a great challenge, so if you get chance, please do join in – the beauty of it is it doesn’t take long at all, although some of the designs aren’t quite as simple as they appear to be. There are some incredibly talented peeps in blogland!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

They’re celebrating 600 followers on the Craft Barn Blog and look what’s up for grabs!

Craft Barn blog candy

All the details are HERE.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

This one’s Big ‘n’ Juicy Herb Garden
LIM 41

This one’s Versamagic Spanish Olive 

I enjoyed using these stamps so much (after years of neglect) that I just had to make one more.
This one’s using Aged Mahogany, Spiced Marmalade, Bundled Sage and Wild Honey.
LIM 41C 

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Falling Leaves
Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.

Margaret Postgate Cole

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I had to play with my pears once I’d got them all out and it IS the only time of year they’re in season…

pear 2
I was determined to play for an hour or two today, so I made some backgrounds, using Adirondack Colour Washes.  After stamping and embossing the pear and text image (one stamp - I used Petal Points to colour the pear before stamping) I played around for a bit with mica powders and gold ink, tore the card, edged it with Cranberry and Currant inks, then embossed a bit of gold Pear text on the corners. The white card isn’t white at all, it’s cream – not even off white. I took a photo and a scan but it didn’t show up in either, so I give up :-)
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The gold and irridescent powders made it look a little duller, so I adjusted the colours a bit on the photo. Still can’t get it to look cream, though… x