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

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

We have a great new challenge for you this time over at Try it on Tuesday.
The Beauty of Nature!
What better theme to concentrate on at this current time. 
As we all try to go about our everyday lives as best we can, separated from the people we love and the friends we 'do life; with, it's good to focus on the good things around us and the beauty and peace in them. Nature goes on and seasons change... and nothing stops that. I hope you're able to enjoy a little of that blessing, even though we're not allowed to spend much time outdoors. My bulbs are in full flower and more stunning every day...I thank God for that blessing! Focus on the good things and celebrate beauty instead of the fear and panic filling the News channels at the moment. Life may not be perfect but it's still good!

I decided to try something different this time, so I took a (sun)flower stencil and applied some ordinary, everyday filler paste that I'd bought to try out. I'm always disappointed with my stencil paste attempts but this worked wonderfully, although I did sand it down very gently to get it perfectly smooth.
I then added some Distress Oxides (Cracked Pistachio and Shaded Lilac, with a little Wilted Violet) to my work surface, sprayed with water and smooshed the card with them. Stamping some background texture with stamps complete my background. A little shading between the petals, using a grey brush pen, and a little Wilted Violet sponged  around their edges makes the flower stand out a little more, along with some white gel pen to highlight. I used my labeller to print 'The wonder of', then stamped and clear embossed the word Nature, to complete it. Adding the black and white layers just seemed to pull it all together and show off the beautiful pastel shades.
I took some photos as well because I was frustrated that the scan made it appear debossed, showing the flower in relief instead of standing out...it always does that with dry embossing, too. 
These are definitely my 'feel good' colours in all shades, though I usually add a touch of blue. I find them really calming and very peaceful. 

Please go look at the gorgeous art created by the team
It would be lovely to see your Nature themed artwork of any kind during the next two weeks, so please join us over at Try it on Tuesday. This is my last post as a member of the Design Team. It's been a great learning curve and has kept me focussing on art during some very difficult months, but it's time to leave. Thank you to all of you for being such wonderful teamies and a source of encouragement. You're appreciated. I'll still visit your blogs regularly and, who knows? I may well even join the challenges, lol!
It's especially important to to focus on the good things in our lives and to enjoy some therapeutic, mind absorbing art! 
Have fun and lose yourself in creating 😁

Edited PS
I walked into my craft room last night, when it was dark and yay! My fluo Prismas on the giraffe I coloured a few days ago were really, REALLY glowing in the dark...I am so impressed 😊😉

Linking to
A Place to Start, Unconventional Materials (filler paste)
Crafty Friends Challenge, Spring Colours
My Time to Craft, Off the Edge
Time Out, Lots or a little purple
Simon Says Stamp Mondays, Spring Moodboard

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God bless you and keep you safe!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Good morning and Happy Sunday.
I'm currently trying to post a bit of art to KCUK most days, so here's today's offering - a bit of fun, using one of my favourite stamp sets. It's so easy to use and works well for a lot of Greetings - I've even used it for Christmas. Perfect for a man, too 😉

I'm linking this to
Allsorts Challenges, Men and Boys
Alphabet Challenge, Z is for Zoo Animals
Just Add Ink, Just Add 'E' - Elephant
Fun Friday, Cute Critters
Mix it Up Challenge, Anything Goes, optional smooshing (background smooshed)

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God bless and stay safe!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Just a quickie cos I'm VERY late with this...

The challenge on Allsorts Challenge is Any Animal in the Animal Kingdom, so I just made a very quick crazy giraffe card. It's beautifully coloured (well, fully coloured, lol) in real life - the photo has made it appear patchy - sorry. I used my fluorescent Prismas for fun. The whirling background is symbolic of the world at the moment - spinning faster and faster... 
Lots more mistakes, too...I really need to get my act together and maybe stop rushing. Hope I'm in time!

I had to queue 2m apart at the Fruit & Veg stall on an outdoor market (food stalls only today, well spaced out) this morning, the bakery where I buy my bread is closed and a large shop was allowing entry just one at a time, with a queue around the car park. The bus was empty but for me and one other person!

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Thursday, 26 March 2020

We decided on KCUK that it may be good to have a weekly challenge while lots of us are confined to our homes and the post seems to be very iffy right now, so I set out to make a very delicate Spring Flowers card...oops! That background was gorgeous, until I spattered gold paint,  and forgetting that it was still wet, turned it over to add tape! So I had to rescue it as best I could. By then, I'd already added the Gathered Twigs stamping and edging, but I had to use a wet sponge to spread some of the gold, so it was no longer delicate and pale, lol. 

Plus, the word Spring that I had sstamped just wasn't a bold enough font to stand out over the flowers and branches, so I then had to root through my die cut letters and find something to cover it. So much for plans 😊
But I still like it, lol. I probably shouldn't have stamped anything other than the main words, but I had a wonderfully messy couple of hours of fun.
Linking to
Daring Cardmakers, Floral Focus

Stamping Sensations, Spring Flowers
Penny Black & More, Spring Flowers
Penny Black Saturday Challenge, Anything Goes, Optional Spring

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Good afternoon. 
I hope you're all doing well, despite current circumstances? 
It's hard to imagine the scale of what's happening on a beautiful sunny day like today. But Spring is definitely on its way! It was my birthday yesterday, but I wasn't able to see my family or most of my friends - and had to cancel my evening celebration. One of my most precious friends did come, so we spent a wonderful few hours chatting and sharing stamping stuff. I think I spent the rest of the day on the phone 😁

This is something I began in preparation for a Try it on Tuesday challenge, but ended up not being able to complete it because I was stumped by the closure 😣 I had originally inserted magnets into front and back, but because I used a lot of thick layers, they didn't work! Then I prematurely punched two holes in one cover but what I wanted to do didn't work with them, so I was flummoxed, lol - probably because I had a lot of other things going on. So I left it 'til later...when I came back to it it seemed so simple, it was silly. 

So this is what I began with...
Using the Eileen Hull Wrapped Journal die, I cut out the covers, then cut out the same in a painted piece of heavy watercolour paper (a playtime from a couple of years ago) and in thin black cardstock.
The materials I chose were quite thick, so didn't fold well without cracking - I will learn from that 😉 although I did manage to cover it with inks and you can't see it now.
So this is the completed journal before decorating.
I stencilled the background with both a baby wipe and with Brilliance Moonlight White. After lots of pondering and grand ideas, I found the already coloured flutterby and loved the way it looked, so that and the stacked letters spelling 'Notes' became my only embellishments. The punched holes limited my choices.
I alternated black and white (undecorated) pages inside, which consists of 4 sets (or signatures) of pages.
Spine, showing the thread that holds the folded signatures together.

You can see where some of the black lining card is cracked and curling. I've put this right now, but this is a learning curve...
Sorry it's so photo intensive, but I wanted to show you the snags I hit upon to make it easier for you if you want to attempt one of these.
I will sew the signatures next time and will definitely use a lighter weight card. I quite like the idea of 'lining' it, though. I like that effect.
I have more cut and ready to go and it's looking as if I'll have lots of time to complete one or two more, if the movement restrictions continue.
Linking to:
Addicted to Stamps and More, Make Your Mark (watercolour and Prisma pencils on butterfly)
Creative Artiste Challenge, Anything Mixed Media
Blank Page Muse, Anything But a Card
Mix it Up, Anything Goes
Not Just Cards, Anything Goes

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I'll be back soon

Friday, 20 March 2020

Today I'm sharing a card to remind us that we are far bigger than anything that can happen to us. This little girl, standing on a torn bit of Washi tape - Stampinback or 100 Proof Press, I think - is one of my all time favourites. I think I like her because she looks a little mischievous, despite her innocent look. The background is smooshed Oxides - Broken China, Iced Spruce, and a little Cracked Pistachio. You can see Aall and Create stamps an stencils and a little TH die cut in the top corner, that just seemed to balance the whole thing. 
I seem to be using a lot of blue, green and lilac at the moment - this one is Peacock Feathers and Twisted Citron and feels very serene...the Flowers are Lavinia Stamps. I hope you can see the stencilled Brilliance Resist background - it worked perfectly. I just stencilled Brilliance Platinum Planet ink, then added colour. Such a quick and simple effect. I think both number stamps I used are Paperartsy and the text is from an old grab bag from someone in the US who used to do some wonderful ones, maybe Paper Roses or something similar? I have a box of background stamps and forget which comes from where.
Linking to
Mix it Up, Anything Goes, with Optional Smooshing (both smooshed)
I'm thinking of you all, and my heart goes out to anyone who has been affected by the virus - especially if you have or had someone seriously ill because of infection. We really don't need to be afraid, but we do need to take sensible precautions and follow advice, especially if we are in the vulnerable group. 
As the world changes around us, the internet is one of the big blessings, keeping us connected. I'm very grateful for my phone, too! My 81 year old mum may be in New Zealand, but it's great to be able to text and find out how she is.

I seem to spend half my time trying to get essential shopping done, running to the various shops around. 
I was surprised to find my local open air market 75% open this morning and crowded! I got my bread from the bakery - but it was the last one. All toiletry and food shelves are empty! The panic buying is far more scary than the actual virus is, actually creating a shortage of items when there's absolutely no need.  

Thank you for calling in today
I'll be back soon
God bless you all. Stay safe!

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Good Morning!
Time for a new challenge from Try it on Tuesday
and today that challenge is
Home Sweet Home/Where Would you Like to Live?

My first thought was that it had to be France, my favourite place. But I've already tried living in France for a short while and, although I loved every minute of being there, speaking French, I missed my friends and family too much (as did my elder son) and came back 'home'. I considered an imaginary place - that was tempting - or another part of the UK, the Scottish Isles, maybe. But my heart kept coming back to the people I care about and the truth that I feel 'at home' when I can relax and just be me, usually with the people I have shared history with, even if that history is more recent with some.

The background is a gorgeous blend of bright Oxide shades, over which I used a baby wipe through a couple of stencils to remove some of the colour. This technique works best when you use a lot of ink and the colours are quite intense.

I added some stamped and fussy cut Stampendous Houses, coloured with Prismas and Inktense pencils, then some Die cut letters and single letter stamping on white card, making the words 'Wherever I can be me is Home'. The heart is cut with a VERY old Sizzix die - one of my first, given to me with my old red Sizzix - a long time ago. I stencilled a little colour on it, to detract from its plainness and used it in place of the letter 'O'.
I used washi tape at the bottom to represent grass. It's now a page in a journal. 
Colours used are Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, Mustard Seed and Toasted Marmalade.

I hope you'll visit the Challenge Home Page and see the Design Team's beautiful creations - so much variety. 
We'd love to see where your heart calls home and look forward to seeing your fabulous entries in the next two weeks.

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Thursday, 5 March 2020

Good Morning!
Just sharing an offshoot from my challenge card for the current New Technique Challenge at Try it on Tuesday

Before I decided to do a 'full front' card, I had originally intended to do this design... again using Red, Yellow and Blue inks, but this time through an Ink Blot Stencil. After spritzing with water and allowing to dry, I realised it wouldn't work with a sentiment and I wasn't happy with the amount of blending... my 'ink blots' weren't quite close enough to create the effect I was after.
This was the one I was hoping to use my alphabet dies (YES, I'm still hunting for my 'T'!)  on it. They would've been the perfect size. I could still have used them with lower case dies, but because my original plan was foiled, I changed tack. I was still left with this one, however and it was too 'interesting' to waste, so I simply added a white die cut Happy Birthday and did a little 'happy spattering' with all three primary colours. This one was made with Distress Inks, not Oxides. I love the blending, even though it didn't work out quite as well as the one I chose to use.
It makes a great card for a man - or boy - quite versatile - with or without the hearts 😉  or stars or whatever you choose to add...
Linking to Seize the Birthday's current challenge, 'Sentiment as Focal Image'.

I made this one for a very precious friend who's having a bit of a hard time...I wanted to remind her that she is a Proverbs 31 woman 😊 
It's now been delivered so I can share it. 
The background is Versamagic inks - nice and chalky. I am determined to use more of my stash and I don't think there are any really pale inks as good as these...I knew it had to be a pastel background. The girls are lightly coloured with Prismas.
I'm linking it to Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, Something Feminine

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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

...or style, or medium, or....?

Crafting time has been short for me lately, but this is a great opportunity to try something I haven't done before. So I thought I'd try the Eclipse Technique. 

I kept it simple because time was short, but also so that I could master the actual technique. I planned to use my alphabet dies to say 'ART', so I duly hunted out my letters and agghhh! I can't find the upper case 'T'. That took up even MORE time, sorting through all my dies and sorting them further into sets - but no. I was left with the option of using a lower case die OR using another word. My dies are quite big, so I only had limited choice. So, I decided not to use my lovely alphabet dies (bought partly for this purpose) and to use a word instead. 

To keep it simple, I used one of my favourite inky techniques, using primary colours to create a rainbow. I sponged my card in Red, Yellow and Blue, overlapping the colours. 
My Candied Apple Oxide was in a mess, so I had to use Festive Berries, which is slightly more brown in colour.
I then spritzed with water, to blend the colours more. Here you can see that the colours are beginning to move around and blend together.
Once dry, I flicked with water droplets, drying with my heat tool, then stamped an overall pattern, using an old Stampendous stamp - just to keep it simple - (I overlapped it, which spoiled the effect a bit, but you can still see the way the Eclipse technique works.)

Next, I  die cut the Happy Birthday from the stamped card, then five times more in white card. After gluing them one on top of the other, finishing with the stamped card, I replaced them in the space created by the first die cut, using the coloured 'leftovers' to fill in the bits inside the letters that the die had removed. 

This is the result. It's NOT perfect - some of the letters slipped while adding more layers and I hadn't noticed - but it still works and that shows that you really don't have to worry about getting it absolutely perfect 😉.
And these photos show the raised dies a little better ... as well as the lovely water splatters.
I much prefer the red in Candied Apple for the rainbow effect - it blends better and is a truer red, thus making a truer orange. 
I've made sure to clean my inkpad again for next time (it had sort of exploded and leaked all over everywhere - again - yuk!)

It's a very simple example of this effective technique, but I hope it illustrates it clearly enough. 
It IS more fiddly than I expected, but that's mainly because of the fiddly little bits inside the letters and my poor dexterity. If you can use tweezers, which I can't do well, it would simplify it a little.

Rosie, my (very talented) teamie, created a few lovely scenic examples of this, well worth a look! If you scroll backwards from this link, you'll see a couple more.

The TIOT Design Team have created some wonderful examples of other techniques for you to see, so please go have a look...
I hope you'll join us for the next fortnight and share your new techniques 😊
I'm sure that like me, you'll always get excited by new ways of creating art!
I look forward to learning from yours.

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Monday, 2 March 2020

The Feb Mingle on KCUK was love - of any kind 😀
So this was the card I sent to my partner...
I actually made it a few months ago, but couldn't decide whether or not I liked it? I always see whimsical images  as needing discordant, clashing colours, to illustrate the fact that they are 'doing their own thing', rather than conforming. So I sometimes challenge myself to do just that! 
Hence, this card. 
But the results don't always appeal to me, lol... this one, however, grew on me 😉 
I made a clashing background instead of colouring the characters in clashing colours... the ink spreading onto the little bloke's trailing waistcoat just seemed to continue that theme...they just don't care what other people think about them!

And a couple of pages I journalled in my Bible at the beginning of the year. 
This is my 'Word' for the year... Be still and Listen! 
I used the Non Sequitur 'Be Still, Woman and know who you are' stamp in the background and love the way it underpins the other things that were on my heart.
And this one is a reminder that despite my fears, I have no need to fear what may be coming around the corner because I'm not alone 😊  God is far stronger than my fear!

Linking to 

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