Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deeper and Deeper

You may be forgiven for thinking that by now I would have begun to dig myself out of the distress oxide inks rabbit hole; but no, you'd be wrong. So very, very wrong. See, I stumbled upon some more YouTube videos and ... yeah, enough said, I think. #jennifermcguireisanenabler

Up until now I've been sponging my DOs on regular white card but that all ended today - because I tried them on watercolour paper and OH. MY. GOLLY. GOSH. I am deeply in love all over again. Man, these things just keep getting betterer and betterer (yes, I know that's not a real word, but it expresses my feelings so well, so roll with me on this one, okay?)

Here, take a lookie:

Materials used:
  • stamps - Seaside Shore
  • card - watercolour, basic black, pistachio pudding
  • other - aqua painter, distress oxide inks, water spritzer, shimmer mist, Dimensionals, glitter epoxy shapes

I maybe kinda sorta went just a smidge overboard spritzing this piece with some shimmer mist as well as regular water. But oh, it's sooooooooooooo pretty, all sparkly and stuff. Mhmmm. The little glitter epoxy "bubbles" fit right in. Unfortunately, I could not seem to capture all the sparkle in a photo, so you'll just have to take my word for it, ok?

And also:

Materials used:
  • stamps - Sunshine and Rainbows
  • card - watercolour, basic black, vellum, daffodil delight
  • other - rainbow builder dies, Big Shot, Stamparatus, MFT radiating rays stencil, distress oxide inks, blender tools

DD says the combination of spritzed splotches, stencil effect and graduating colours gives this one a tie-dyed look, which I can totally see. Very Katoomba-ish, lol (sorry - Blue Mountains joke).

And then I did go back to using white card, and came up with this Autumn-themed beauty which I am loving the background of.

I stamped and embossed the sentiment before sponging, then did the water-drop thing and also stamped leaves with water. More sponging on scrap white let me cut out leaf dies in matching colours, which I curled slightly at the edges and only attached in the middle, so they'd look as if they are actually fluttering down the page. Did it work? Let me know - feedback, people!

Materials used:

  • stamps - Colourful Seasons
  • card - Sahara sand, whisper white, early espresso
  • other - distress oxide inks, blender tool, water spritzer, white embossing powder, heat tool, Big Shot, Seasonal Layers thinlits, mounting tape, fine tip glue

Okay, I've been out here long enough, methinks. Time to get back down my rabbit hole. Toss me some chocolate, would you please, and thanks for stopping by. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Just Can't Resist

Hello from down the rabbit hole! It's great in here - there's distress oxide inks and chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs! What more could a crafter wish for? Okay, you make a good point: wine would be good too. I'm sure the sun is over the yardarm somewhere in the world, right?, yes.

I've always loved the white on white effect, especially when teamed with a pop of colour. Today's first card is such a one - take a lookie:

Materials used:
  • stamps - none
  • card - whisper white, lemon lime twist
  • other - balloon punch, Celebrate You thinlits, Big Shot, mounting tape, distress oxide inks, sponging tool, two-way glue pen, snail adhesive

More balloons for my second card and I've used a stencil for this one, spritzing it with water then applying over my sponging for the oxidation process to give me my pattern.

In the next close up, you can see the recessed panel and the shine on the sentiment. It was stamped in craft ink and clear embossed.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Picture Perfect Birthday
  • card - Sahara sand, whisper white, basic black, Sahara sand patterned paper
  • other - basic black craft ink, clear embossing powder, heat tool, double stitched rectangle dies (non SU), chevron stencil (non SU), black rhinestone (non SU), balloon punch, linen thread, Dimensionals, mounting tape, sponge dauber, distress oxide inks (non SU)

My last card is pretty straightforward sponging, but I love the colour combination.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Colourful Seasons
  • card - basic black, whisper white, silver foil
  • other - distress oxide inks, blending tool, silver embossing powder, heat tool, Card Front Builder thinlits, Big Shot, Tree Branch Circle die (Memory Box)

 Time to get back to some chocolate...I mean...housework :-P

Thanks for stopping by.


You Shine

This week's challenge over at Just Add Ink intrigued me -

As I've been right into stencils lately it didn't take me long to think of an idea for a card design and luckily, as I worked it all fell into place very nicely. Here's my offering:

I sponged first using distress oxide inks (you know by now how much I LOVE how well these blend), applied my stencil spritzed with water and dried with a heat tool to bring out the oxidation process. I cut two 'Shine' dies from gold foil and stuck them together for a bit more dimension, and the stamped sentiments come from two Stampin' Up! sets. The final touch was the clear epoxy shapes, which add interest and dimension without detracting from the coloured background.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Lovely Inside and Out, Amazing You
  • card - whisper white, basic black, gold foil, amethyst (non SU)
  • other - Radiating Rays stencil (MFT); distress oxide inks - candied apple and wild honey (Ranger); mini blender tool (Ranger); mounting tape; water spritzer; sparkle and shine dies (PTI), clear epoxy shapes; tweezers; stamp-a-ma-jig, heat tool

I hope you're not getting sick of distress oxide cards - I've got more colours arriving this week, so I'm not crawling out of this rabbit hole any time soon!

Thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bunnies and Punnies

I have fallen down a rabbit hole.

Kinda not unexpected, given the proximity to Easter. Ha. [Oh, come on! Work with me here! It was at least semi-funny. You had to have anticipated something of the kind, given the title of this blog post. (You totally just re-read the title, didn't you?)]

So, as I was saying, rabbit hole.


See, the thing is...well, you all know how much I love brayering and sponging for making beautiful backgrounds for cards, right? Right. So, for some time now I have been resisting the almost irresistible lure that is distress inks. And then they came along with distress oxide inks, and my self control (of which I have, I freely admit, very little) was pushed almost to breaking point. Almost, but not quite. I managed to resist them for some months, perhaps years. I don't know; I lose track of time.

Any-who...just recently I made the mistake of watching a YouTube video of Jennifer McGuire demonstrating distress oxide inks....and....well, my resolve weakened, shall we say? And maybe four colours got added to an order I was placing online...and then perhaps a few days - and YouTube videos - later, another (heh, heh) twelve more colours were ordered...

...and now...

Man, I love these things!

So yeah - rabbit hole.

I may or may not have been spending a fair amount of time experimenting with different techniques and colour combinations and...well, you get the drift.

The upshot of all of that is, here for your delectation today are a some cards made using distress oxide inks. Have I mentioned how much I love these? Okay, good.

Materials used:
  • stamps - none
  • card - watermelon wonder, basic black, whisper white
  • other - distress oxide inks, blending tool, Inkylicious stencils - Wings of Flight and Skyline/Rooftops/Sun/Moon/Stars, post-it notes, mounting tape

Here's the birds again, this time with a night time sky rather than morning.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Best Yet (retired)
  • card - Bermuda bay, whisper white, basic black
  • other - distress oxide inks, blending tool, Inkylicious stencils - Wings of Flight, embossing buddy, white embossing powder, heat tool

And this next one is my favourite so far. I love the colour combo plus the effect of the stencil, which was simply spritzed with water and left to sit over the sponged background for two minutes, then the piece was dried with a heat tool. Also love the way the oxidation process not only lightens the colours but gives a textured look as well. BTW, this card is an adaptation of one of Jennifer's.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Sunshine and Rainbows
  • card - whisper white, basic grey
  • other - distress oxide inks, blending tool, heat tool, stitched circle die, Big Shot, Up and Away thinlits, water spritzer, paper towels, sunburst thinlits, Dimensionals, MFT Radiating Rays stencil

So, yep, I'm firmly down this hole and have no intention of digging myself out any time soon...okay, maybe for Easter. Cos, you know, chocolate.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, March 16, 2018


As crafters, I'm sure we're all familiar with the old adage, 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' - in fact, we even created our own version of the phrase: CASEing. To CASE means to 'copy and share everything' and it's a major part of what we do - we share our creations in the hopes of inspiring others. There is an etiquette to CASEing though: if you copy someone's else's work, you give them credit for the original design and don't just purloin it as your own idea.

Today's card is one I've CASEd from Paula Dobson, who is a master with a brayer or a sponge. Sure, I've made a few cosmetic changes, but it's still essentially the card she designed. I fell in love with it and simply could not resist attempting to recreate it, and I'm so glad I did.

Here's my take:

You can see Paula's original here, plus she also gives a brief rundown on how she made it. Two tips I can give from my own experience: (1) don't apply too much ink when you're sponging and (2) keep inky fingers away from the clean white space! (yep, learned that one the hard way, lol)

Materials used:

  • stamps - Amazing You (SAB)
  • card - soft sky, basic black, whisper white
  • other - white embossing powder, heat tool, embossing buddy, Celebrate You thinlits, Big Shot, Dimensionals, sponges, rhinestones, stamp-a-ma-jig

We're coming to the end of the Sale-a-bration promotion, but I know I'll be using this stamp/die combo for many months to come, I just love it.

Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hugs and Flowers

Inspired by a Monica Gale card, I played around this morning with my new Stamparatus. In case you've been asleep through all the hoopla about this stamp positioning apparatus, it's a recent Stampin' Up! product which will be on the market worldwide on June 1st. What sets it apart from other similar tools is that it has two removable/reversible stamp platforms, giving you the opportunity to set up four (yep, FOUR) stamps at once for multi-step stamping. It also means you can do the effect I've done here, called hinge step stamping.

The flowers were coloured with pink pirouette and old olive Stampin' Blends, then accented with my sweet sugarplum marker. Lightly drawing around the silhouette with Sahara sand or (as in this case) soft sky marker creates a natural shadow and makes the bouquet 'pop' visually out from the paper. Try not to look at the crookedness of my white layer - when this happens in class, we always say "That's how you know it's been lovingly hand made and not mass produced". Well, that's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking with it!

Materials used:

  • stamps - Lots of Lavender (SAB), Lovely Inside & Out
  • card - sweet sugarplum, basic black, whisper white
  • other - Stampin' Blends, markers, Stamparatus, Dimensionals, white embossing powder, heat tool

Here's a video of the hinge step stamping technique:

This is the same technique I used on my 'sneakers' card here. Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lavender Love

Have you had a play with SU's new Shimmer White Embossing Paste? No? OH. MY. GOODNESS. Order some NOW!!!

I had a play with this new product earlier in the week and instantly fell in love. There will be a whole lot more on my next order, believe me.

Here's the first finished card. For this I mixed two drops of flirty flamingo re-inker with a good sized blob of paste (gave me enough for two cards), then used it on SU's diamond decorative mask (comes in a pack with 3 others). It is soooooooo damn sparkly and pretty - trust me, you won't be able to resist this stuff. Hint: once your jar is opened, cover the top with Glad Wrap before putting the lid back on (to stop the air getting to it and hardening it).

Materials used:

  • stamps - Lots of Lavender
  • card - whisper white, flirty flamingo, fresh fig
  • other - shimmer white embossing paste, palette knives, silicone craft sheet, re-inker, Pattern Party decorative masks, blender pen, layering ovals dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, clear Wink of Stella

Here's a bit closer up so you can see the sparkle.

Have I convinced you yet to get some? Good! Go forth and purchase! (and hey, thanks for calling in)


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Just Me and My 'Connies'

If I'm being honest, I would have to admit there have been advantages to having been forced into retirement; one of those being that I get to spend most of my days in casual clothes. Hand-in-hand with that is having reached "that age" where I mostly choose my footwear for comfort rather than fashion (yes, it pains me to admit it, but it can no longer be denied) - and thus, enter my favourite shoes: my red Converse sneakers. (Not that they're not fashionable, cos they are, but they're not office attire!) These factors are a large part, I'm guessing, of the appeal that the SAB stamp set Epic Celebrations holds for me. I simply cannot resist those sneakers!

So yesterday I happened to be at my friend Robbie's house and she just happened to let me have a play with her new Brushos, and then I just happened to get a brand spanking new Stamparatus - and yeah, okay - Houston, we have a card. (Unfortunately, I also just happened to not notice my stamping was a bit crooked until the card was finished. Ho hum. At least the recipient probably won't notice.) Here tis:

Materials used:

  • stamps - Epic Celebrations
  • card - pumpkin pie, basic black, watercolour
  • other - Stamparatus, layered circles dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, aqua painter, Brushos, water spritzer

Are you loving it? Me too. This'll go into the pile for DD25 to give to her students - which is a wonderful excuse for me to make kid cards and teen cards now that both my daughters are too old for such things! Well, until they start giving me grandbabies, that is (lol).

I hope you have the chance to have a play in your craft area today. Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Vintage Card for a Vintage Man

In class this week we're making the very simple masculine cards I showed you here, but I also wanted to give my ladies something with a 'bit more' to get their teeth into. A perusal of Pinterest gave me some great ideas, so I hauled out some Tim Holtz dies my DH bought me a while ago which had never seen the light of day (*guilty face*) and reached for my texture paste. Here's what I ended up with:

Firstly I coloured my texture paste with 3 drops of re-inker and applied that to my stencil, randomly using a dabbing motion at the end because I wanted a mix of rough and smooth textures. While that dried I cut my cogs, making sure to use the precision mat for delicate dies so they cut sharply and were easy to remove. I stamped the car and coloured it using ink and a blender pen. Some of the cogs have extra layers for dimension and added interest - the ones at the top and side that protrude past the border, plus the bottom right hand one.

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out and even 'He Who Is Particularly Fussy And Difficult To Please' thinks it's pretty nice.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Guy Greetings
  • card - basic black, very vanilla, baked brown sugar
  • other - stitched oval dies, Big Shot, Tim Holtz cog dies, texture paste, silicone mat, spatula, Dimensionals, stencil, blender pen, precision plate

Hope you get the chance to play creatively today. Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sending You Hugs

If you're a crafter - and let's face it, you probably are if you're reading this - then you may know how it can sometimes happen that you wake up with a project design in your head. I have no idea how it happens that way, just that it's a nice feeling to suddenly have that idea there, rather than have to search for inspiration.

So yes, as you've no doubt already guessed, this morning I woke with the following card floating around inside my grey matter and as soon as I got up out of bed, I went into my craft room to turn it into a reality. For this particular idea, maybe it's because we're big huggers in our family; certainly the wide open arms of the panda made me think of hugs.

Now the panda stamp comes with a party hat on his head, so how did I get rid of that? Well, the answer is that before I stamped him/her I covered the hat with washi tape which was removed after inking, then once stamped merely filled in the missing bits using my black marker. Easy as pie! The border around the 'sending you' sentiment was a lucky happenstance - when I inked up my stamp with Versamark, I obviously pressed way too hard and got ink all around the outside edges of the stamp as well. Of course I didn't know it was there until I applied the embossing powder, when I saw this great border. Pure coincidence, but look how well it turned out! Lastly, to make the 'hugs' part stand out a bit more, I used a Versamark pen to apply ink and clear embossed it. Here's a close up of the shine:

Unfortunately, when I decided I needed to move the position of the sequins, I discovered my mini glue dots had worked too efficiently and they were there for the duration unless I wanted to rip my card. Damn! Ah well, lesson learned, eh?

Materials used:
  • stamps - Party Pandas, Lovely Inside & Out
  • card - basic black, whisper white, melon mambo, retired dsp
  • other - Lovely Words thinlits, Big Shot, white embossing powder, heat tool, Dimensionals, Veramark pen, clear embossing powder, sequins, mini glue dots

I hope you are blessed with some creative inspiration in your day - and a hug or two as well. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Hamming It Up

It's always a blast to make a card that's cute and funny at the same time, so I was chuffed to play with one of the stamp sets Santa brought me. And I got to do some colouring in, so it's all good! Lol.


  • stamps - Hog Heaven (MFT)
  • card - daffodil delight, whisper white, rich razzleberry, Tutti Fruitti dsp
  • other - Stampin' Blends, MFT Hog Heaven dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, simple stripes embossing folder

These little guys are so adorable, they always make me smile. Having made one, I was then inspired to create another, so here tis.

  • stamps - Hog Heaven (MFT)
  • card - whisper white, tranquil tide
  • other - Stampin' Blends, MFT Hog Heaven dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, Hip Hello die (Poppystamps)

Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Heart You

I woke up yesterday morning with an idea for a Valentine's Day card in my head, so naturally I had to try it out to see if my vision would work. And while it's by no means a Work of Art, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Take a lookie:

I did the texture paste hearts first then assembled the rest while I waited for it to dry, and because I had it all mapped out in my head, this card took probably no more than 15 minutes to make. Some retired product used - ie the papers and the triple heart punch - along with the gorgeous new Celebrate You thinlit and Amazing You stamps. This is the best option in the SAB offering, in my opinion. So versatile.

Materials used:

  • stamps - Amazing You
  • card - melon mambo, whisper white, basic black, retired DSP
  • other - stitched circle die, Celebrate You die, Big Shot, triple heart punch, Dimensionals, texture paste, distressing tool

There's a little more decoration on the inside too:

That's it! Happy Valentine's Day to you all and thanks for calling in today.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Mellow Yellow

The cards we're making in class this week all feature yellow - and why not? It's summer and, let's face it, daffodil delight and crushed curry are great colours.

Here's some daffodil paired with Pacific point. This was inspired by a Leonie Schroder creation, which I turned into an easel card.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Bird Banter
  • card - Pacific point, basic black, whisper white, watercolour, cucumber crush
  • other - beautiful branches thinlits, Big Shot, aqua painter, Dimensionals, stitched rectangle die

A simple lever card makes an ideal showcase for the Picture Perfect Birthday set, here paired with retired papers.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Picture Perfect Birthday
  • card - basic black, whisper white, crushed curry, It's My Party dsp
  • other - stitched square framelits, Big Shot, Dimensionals

For our last card we're using a lovely bundle from the second-release SAB catalogue which includes a stamp set and deep embossing folder. Knowing how much I love colouring, it will come as no surprise to you that I pre-ordered this one! I stamped the basket using basic grey ink, then over-stamped with Versamark and added clear embossing powder. Colouring was done with daffodil delight, pumpkin pie, old olive and crumb cake Stampin' Blends.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Blossoming Basket, Tabs for Everything
  • card - daffodil delight, smoky slate, whisper white
  • other - basket weave embossing folder, Big Shot, Stampin' Blends, clear embossing powder, heat tool, jewellery tag punch (retired), linen thread, Dimensionals, paper piercer

Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Classy Gents

Today I really enjoyed making up some masculine cards for my stash, using one of my all-time favourite elegant colour combos of vanilla and black. SU's Truly Tailored stamp set dovetails perfectly with older SU punches and dies, plus some other dies I bought on eBay.

Materials used:

  • stamps - Truly Tailored
  • card - basic black, very vanilla
  • other - masculine dies (brand unknown), tailored tag punch, moustache die, bow builder punch, large black rhinestones (non SU)

The one with the bow tie makes me think how sumptuous men look in a tux - am I right, ladies?

Thanks for calling in.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Yeast Likely

With two Kiwis and two Aussies in our family, the (mostly) good-natured rivalry between the two countries and their 'inventions' has always been a source of amusement and frustration. Pavlova, of course, is a hotly contended one.

One that hasn't ever been an issue - mainly because DH (in most un-Aussie-like fashion) hates both (in fact he calls them Black Death, lol) - is the argument between Marmite (Kiwi) or Vegemite (Aussie). Growing up in New Zealand, I always had Marmite, which is made from a slightly different recipe to the original UK version. Sources tell me it has been produced in NZ since 1919, whereas Vegemite was not developed in Australia until 1922 (as a result of a post-war shortage of the UK Marmite) and not marketed until the following year.

Yes! Kiwis for the win! They are, of course, very similar products, though I personally find Vegemite much saltier and more bitter.

Anyway, for this year's Waitangi Day card (ie New Zealand Day), DD19 suggested a Marmite card, and I thought that would be a bit of a laugh. I've put my own spin on it, naturally.

Luckily I don't have to mail this, as it stands 18cm tall and is too big for a regular sized envelope!

Materials used:
  • card - basic black, real red, daffodil delight, acetate
  • other - alphabet dies (non SU), Big Shot, large jar die (non SU), corner rounder punch, crimper, computer and printer

This version of Marmite is made solely for the Australasian market in my home town of Christchurch. In November 2011 the factory received some damage from the terrible earthquake that struck Christchurch and production was halted for a few months - causing a nationwide shortage and apparently even a Black Market for Marmite! Luckily, I buy a few jars at a time, so we managed to survive the shortage until my favourite spread was back on the supermarket shelves. Phew!

Hope you're having a happy Marmite Day wherever you are. Thanks for stopping by.

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