Dec 21, 2014

Nostalgic Christmas card.

Hell Everyone,
I have arrived home after 4 wonderful weeks, I will write about some of the highlights on my UK trip later.
More importantly is my second card for Country View Crafts Challenge: Nostalgic Christmas.
The Challenge is still open if you have any last minute Christmas cards to make.

The Penny Black background stamp

Fabulous effect, using Red acrylic paint.

Most will recognise these diecuts: 

Cut some frames an used rub-ons for my sentiment.

The greenery provides a wonderful contrast.

The Poinsettia and the colour palette is as I remember my childhood Christmases.
Still time to join in this Challenge, before all the festivities take over.

I was very lucky to meet up with fellow Design Team buddies whilst in Cambridgeshire.
The perfect penultimate memory of our UK trip, we chatted and ate lunch at a fourteenth century Inn, and although it was cold we all enjoyed the occasion.
Living in New Zealand, one never imagines that you would meet your virtual friends across the other side of the world, I was delighted and very thankful that Brenda, Chris, Nicki and Susan (Country View Crafts on-line owner) all made the journey to meet up with me.
Brenda was one of the first artists I followed when I started up my blog in 2010, so I was especially delighted to meet her face to face.

Here we all are:

May I take this opportunity in wishing you; my followers a most joyous Christmas Day.
Thank you for the support you have forwarded to me all through 2014, it has been fun.
All the best for 2015 and hope you all have some wonderful crafty goodies in your stocking.


Dec 6, 2014

Mixed Media Book cover.

Hello everyone.
The Mirror Crack'd has a new Challenge up and it is Recycle/Upcycle.
I honestly could not find anything I wanted to recycle, but what I did find is this old exercise book that had never been written in, the cover looked boring, so I up cycled to a more attractive state.
If you remember I gave you a sneak peek when I was constructing it a few months ago.

This cover is full of Mixed Media would not believe how much mess I got into during the process. I have a few photos but understandable not many.

This is the book naked!

Coating of Gesso.

Applying Fibre past through a stencil and adding a cloth doily for texture.

Arranging all the elements.

And this is where I stopped with the photography, but my next step was covering the whole cover with Gesso.
Now a case of layering up Inks and paints to create some depth. 

 Click on pics to see the detail.

You can enter the Challenge here and at the same time have a browse at my fellow Dt creations for more inspiration.

Have a great week,

Dec 1, 2014

Nostalgic Christmas.

Hello Everyone,
Well it is December and the countdown to Christmas begins.....
I have shared many wonderful Christmas days with family, and I am at an age where I can look back and remember what stood out for me many moons ago.
In colour terms Christmas is represented by Red and White, I always had something Red to wear and the family home was always decorated in Red White and Green, it so happens that this is the colour that represents my country of birth. (Wales).

My fellow Dt at Country View Crafts; Astrid has set the theme for this months Challenge  'Nostalgic Christmas'  so guess what colours I picked?

The stamp is a Penny Black (Xmas Light)
The script is from an old book.
I stamped the candle in Archival ink twice once on the Bg and once on the script Bg, then fussy cut the latter and mounted it over the stamped candle.

The Holly leaves were inked, fussy cut and glitter applied

Now it was a case of finding some Papers to mat it up and my go to pad is G45.
And need I mention the stitching.
The twine, pearls and little handmade rosebud completes the picture.
To me this card represents Christmas of days past.

Hop over and see the others for your inspiration HERE.

At this moment I am in Wales visiting my family, and with any luck catch up with a few bloggy friends.
Have a great day,

Products used:

Nov 25, 2014

Wallowing amongst the Flowers.

Hello Everyone,
This is my second creation for Country View Crafts; 'Bugs Bees and Butterfly' Challenge which can be found here.
 And I have made a Tag.
I do not often make Tags as I never know what to do with them, this one will be placed in the Tag box with all the rest no doubt, nevertheless it was fun making it and I can understand why Tags are so popular amongst card makers.

At first glance one cannot see the bugs, but as you read on they will be identified.
First up, my substrate that I created, using fluid matte medium and Acrylic paint.
 Attached a torn off piece to a painted Tag and added the die cut.
My ladybug was not happy being stuck at the bottom... she crawled her way up through the flowers....
...scaring  the butterflies.
The metal Bee has been highlighted with treasure Gold.
 I coloured up the lace in chipped sapphire distress ink which matched perfectly with Squid ink paint. 
The glamour is courtesy of Prima

There is plenty of time to join in the Challenge Here.

Nov 15, 2014

Magpie Day at Country View Crafts

Hello Everyone.
It is Magpie day at CVC!
For those who do not know what this day is all about, let me explain. This is separate to the main Challenge, and it is just a bit of fun, if you would like to participate...(by the way there is going to be some blog candy; chosen randomly.) All you have to do is make something 'using up your scraps' and enter it here.

This is my colourful card for your inspiration.

The Bg is made with splotches of distress stains and dry embossing; left over from a  masterboard that I had made ages ago. I inlaid the  embossed butterfly, many of these Lepidoptera are lying about my desk in one form or another.
The sentiment again was found in my scrap box, I just inked it up to match my palette.

I made a few more.
Alcohol Inks on Glossy cardstock.

I have put this up to show you how the little diecut (left bottom) is too close to the corner....not good to the eye, the rule of thirds is all very well, but it has to connect and my little flower there is lost in space, it just needs to be closer to my others and would look much better, but someone will like it. 

My fellow Dt have made some inspiring pieces, so if you feel inclined look around your workspace and see what you can put together and join in for a chance to win.


Nov 13, 2014

The pros and cons of Black speciality Inks.

Hello Everyone,
I remember when I first started stamping I was very confused with all the different Black Ink pads on the market.
So I thought I would tell you my thoughts on some of them and why.

This is one of my favourites and my go to Ink pad.
It does bleed on Tissue paper and mulberry paper underneath and it smears on foil. Other than this it works well on all sorts of Card stock, including Glossy.
This dye based permanent Ink is a work horse in my craft room.
I have used it in conjunction with Alcohol Inks and had great results.

It is perfect over all sorts of mediums including Acrylics, the secret is to dry each layer and there are no problems with bleeding.
It is waterproof, and has great resist methods on coated paper.
This is a versatile Ink Pad, and it never leaves any residue on my stamps, you always have a clear bright image. 
Very much an all purpose Ink pad.
Easy to clean off on your stamps, which I find a huge plus.

Versafine Archival.
The lid is on a hinge, which I find fiddly and not user friendly.
the stamp pad is raised, this is especially helpful if you are inking large stamps or want to use a direct-to-paper technique.
The ink goes on evenly and smoothly and shows all the detail with no bleeding. 
Versafine really captures more intricate details, and it lasts a very long time with no need to re-ink frequently.
If you are quick it will take embossing powders.
It is oil based so it will not dry and also smears on coated card stocks,  or any non-porous surface.
It is also not completely stable for use with alcohol markers or alcohol ink.

                                                            Ancient Page Ink Pad.
This is a great little Dye based Ink Pad.
I have never had it smear on me, it is perfect for Glossy Card.
Use a stamp cleaner after use.
A fabulous raised foam pad, which I really like, I have had it for years and have only re inked once.

Staz On
This is a fast dying solvent ink
Best for non -porous and semi -porous surfaces; vellum, acetate, metal,  glass, plastic, clay and more.
No good for wet embossing.
You need to re-ink the pad frequently for good effects.
I suggest replacing the ink pad once it feels sticky, re inking  after this happens does not make a difference.
But it is a must in the craft room.

Dye Ink and fade resistant.
Fine impressions and coverage.
Very stable with alcohol inks, Copics and Alcohol markers.
It does not smear, your image stays dark and detailed, works with most papers.
It will not dry on many non-porous surfaces like glass or metal.
Personally I do not use this one very often.

This ink dries naturally on smooth surfaces such as vellum or coated papers, but it can take time. I have used the heat gun with success.
I love this ink for wet embossing; it is fantastic.
This pad needs to be re-inked regularly.
It has a squishy feel to the foam pad and it is easy to over ink your stamp which results in a messy stamped image, a light hand is required for this pad.
Not great on metal.

 There are many more out there but this is what I use.
And one last tip, dye ink is thinner in consistency than pigment ink and will typically dry more quickly, you don’t necessarily need to press hard when stamping to get even and complete coverage. Make sure the stamp is completely covered with ink and then lightly but evenly apply it to your card stock. Having scrap paper nearby to test on is also helpful.
I prefer to store my ink pads right side up and re ink when necessary.
 A properly inked pad is one of the most useful tools you own. 

And now a little Tag for you to look at after all this information.
And no Black ink to be seen!!!! Ha

Have a great day and thanks for the visit.