'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??????
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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.

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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