31 May 2024

Just Add Ink 704: Colour Challenge

I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the very talented Design Team at Just Add Ink. As some of you might have read recently they celebrated their 700th challenge and I reflected on being there at the start of their challenge journey and so gosh what an absolute thrill in a good but also slightly scary way to be joining them "officially" as part of the DT.

One of the reasons I have enjoyed JAI over the years so much is the range and complexity of different challenges they post and for my starter DT card, it is no exception with a colour combo palate I found challenging. I was thinking to myself I maybe out of my depth here, if I'm honest.

I actually own all 4 colours from SU! and their reinkers so that was a good starting point but looking at the palate which certainly looks a pretty combo it wasn't reminding me of anything.

I then had decided on birthday balloons when I realised that was one of the parameters for last week, so it was back to the drawing board.....

As it's Autumn down under I thought of leaves and I still think this is an idea to play with. So play time  with a set called Delightful Leaves (PFS).

1. stamp and stencil below

2. stencil on top of some watercolouring with reinkers

Both were OK but I wasn't going ohh I love this when I had a light bulb moment and thought I would recreate a card I had made recently which you can see HERE but this time I would make my own Ink Drop Papers. I've used the reinkers, diluting with water and shimmers sprays to make a wash on watercolour paper and even if I say so myself I love it and I had a great time blending the colours. I was drying with my Heat Tool between colours, I was worried a couple of times I might make "mud" but I quickly dabbed at anything that looked dirty forming.

I then created 3/4" paper strips from my homemade DSP and also backed them up with a scrap of card stock also cut a tiny bit smaller than 3/4".

I've used my newest and latest embossing folder I have just bought Exposed Brick 3D (SU!) as my background. Added a brushed gold leaf which was already cut from the Lovely Layers: Spring Greenery (HB), I have popped some 1mm foam squares under the top bits to support them and then popped up a die cut out Hello using Gorgeous Grape (SU!) card stock with a vellum shadow. I have die cut the word out 3 times and glued together to make something a tad more sturdy with a hint of dimension. This die and shadow comes from SSS and looks like it was part of STAMPtember and so wouldn't be available to buy now but any sentiment or appropriate die cut would also work.

I'm really happy how this turned out and the shimmer sprays mixed with the reinkers means my homemade DSP is actually quite shimmery and really pretty IRL. If you're new to my blog thanks for popping in and I normally abbreviate the stamping companies I use a lot and you can find a key at the very bottom of the blog page if you can't guess it.

I am very pleased to get the first DT card done so now I can sit back and enjoy seeing what everyone created with this colour combo.


26 May 2024

AAA Card Challenge 266: Sketch Challenge

I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this sketch challenge. I have struggled for months with it. The joy of being on the Design Team, I get to see a year's worth of challenges and can work away at my own pace. This one has had me stumped as all I can see is "Mickey Mouse". I was going to use some circle dies and make a Mickey but didn't really have anything to use with the 3 black circles etc. and I've never been very good with punch art on a card.

Imagine my relief when I got a new stencil set which has triangles on it and then it was like yah I can make Christmas trees with it. I have to say this was quick, easy and only required moving the post-it note around to cover up triangles I didn't want to blend by accident. So this would be great to recreate for bulk card making for Christmas.

Supply List:
Stamps: Itty Bitty Holiday (MFT)
Ink: Mint (PFS), Meadow (PFS), Ocean Breeze (PFS), Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Hammermill White
Other: Leaf and Sky Blue clear drops (PFS), Overlapping Triangles stencil (PFS), 1/2" blending brushes (PFS)
Challenges: AAA #266, JUG#728

I look forward to seeing what the Design Team and the entrants create with this sketch so hope you can play along too. I'm also going to play along with Just Us Girls as they are wanting stencils this week and my card is 3 stenciled triangles.


24 May 2024

Anyone need a hug??

I'm delighted to be the Guest Designer for CAS on Friday latest challenge and the theme is

Normally I'd choose a cute critter hugging but I thought I would try something different and still hopefully be Clean and Simple. I've stamped a 4" x 5-1/4" panel with the fab flower from Miss Your Smile (PFS). This is actually the first Pinkfresh Studio stamp and stencil set that I bought and it's quite large. It has lots of hugs related sentiments and rather than colouring it up I thought I would just die cut the word hugs with a word die and colour the letters up. 

I've coloured up the die cut letters in multiple colours so I can also play along with Pinkfresh Studios May challenge too; this month it's Flower Power plus/minus a colour combo. I have flowers and I have used the 5 inks for the combo even if I had to stamp a wee sentiment in one of the colours to include it in the mix. I have glued 3 die cuts behind each letter for a bit of dimension as well. The sentiment I have just cut out by hand as there was no dies for this set,

Supply List:
Stamps: Miss Your Smile (PFS)
Ink: Versafine Clair Nocturne
PFS Inks: Bubblegum, Sunkissed, Citron, Ocean Breeze, Atlantis 
Paper: Neenah Solar White
Other: Big Hugs die (MFT), blending brushes (TE), sticky stencil mat (WF)

Thanks for popping in and hope you can join in with the CAS on Friday challenge and maybe try a different way of sharing "hugs".


Old School Masculine Card for Tic Tac Toe Challenge 248

Hi everyone I'm very excited to share the good news that I have joined Team X at Tic Tac Toe Challenges. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the TTTC faithful and this week we have a fun board to play along with chosen by Felicita. 

I just had to choose the bottom line (die cut, drink, masculine sentiment) as I bought a stamp set because my partner actually does drinks Whiskey BUT I've never used it for him after many years of hoarding it, so this seemed a really good reason to ink it up.

I've managed to pick up a head cold from my grandson and I meant to make a card using this set last week and it would have looked a lot different than today's efforts. So the head cold turned out to be fortuitous as it delayed me making the card and I got to watch Kristina Werner making a piece of white card stock look like weatherboards this morning whilst I was lying in bed watching YouTube videos on my tablet. So I thought I'd give it a go and would make my own DSP (instead of using a brown one in my stash). You can click on her highlighted name to see her blog post and links to the video.

Basically you score the card. Kristina used the old kind of rounded embossing tools we all used to have and yes I have several in my stash but I have no idea where I have stored them so I just used a bone folder and my Scor-pal and scored at 1/4" marks. I used  Distress heavy card stock for this step. You then swipe ink over them semi-randomly, I didn't go as dark as Kristina as I knew Whiskey is a golden brown/amber colour.

I then went a bit rogue and did my own thing as I thought it might look quite cool with an a bit of woodgrain embossing folder on it as well.

At this stage I decided it needed darkening and I had originally wanted to add Scorched Timber to the mix so decided I might as well be brave and add it now on the raised embossed areas lightly.

I've then trimmed my A2 panel down to 4" x 5-1/4" and used an old school distressing tool to distress the edges but I do think they might have made a come back.

I've never coloured up whiskey before but it looks pretty close compared to my partner's bottle.

Copics used (darkest >lightest):
Whiskey: YR27/24/23/21
Decanter and glass: C5, B34/32, 0
Decanter stopper: C7/5/3
Ice cubes: BG11/000/0000

And the final card all by itself:

Supply List:
Stamps: Whiskey Business (SU!)
Distress inks (RNG): Scattered Straw, Tea Dye, Shabby Shutters, Brushed Corduroy, Gathered Twigs, Scorched Timber
Ink: Crunchy Leaf (LF), Mango Melody (SU!), Acorn (Versafine Clair)
Paper: Distress Heavy (RNG), Natural white (Neenah 1101b)
Dies: Fancy Circles (PFS), Stitched Sentiment strips (MFT)
Other: Copic markers, 1mm and 2mm foam squares (SP), Scor-pal, Woodgrain embossing folder (SU!), distress tool (SU!)
Challenges: TTTC #248

If you're new to my blog I have a list of abbreviations for my favourite companies at the very bottom of the blog.

Well thanks for popping in, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone KReates, do check out the fab designs from the rest of Team X as inspiration for more masculine themed cards.

22 May 2024

Anyone for cocktail hour with Kim

Kim Kesti  and the team from Spellbinders actually kicked off the Weekender Retreat Saturday afternoon on New Zealand (Friday night in the States) by making cocktails so it was really appropriate that we also kicked off the event making a shaker glass card. Getting the acetate layer just right was the hardest thing about making the card. It's actually a mini slimline card (3-1/4" x 6-1/4") which is rather dwarfed by her huge bonus card (5-1/2" x 7-1/2").

One of the items we got in our kit was a beautiful 3D embossing folder called Lush Leaves. We ink blended a mini panel with Distress Oxide inks and whilst still wet we embossed with the folder. I used Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade and Picked Raspberry.

The big bike card Kim had the flamingoes sitting in the bike basket, 3 of them. I didn't like that look as the card was big enough without having more things sticking out of it. For the bike card we did a light ink blending of a blue, I chose to use Tumbled Glass Distress oxide ink and then we were supposed to hand cut out a hill from a brownish yellow card stock, which I didn't get - I think I missed out totally on the small pack of coloured card stock that we were supposed to receive. So I used a drift and hills stencil with Antique Linen and some Vintage Photo splatters my friend Donna said it looked like I was making sand and she's probably right but I think it looks cute as my ground! Our bike wheels are silver spokes and dark grey rims and wait for it wee metallic brads.

These were great fun cards to kick off the Virtual retreat. We made the shaker glass with Kim and then made her bonus card after dinner.

20 May 2024

Mindy's Galaxy in a Glass card

Just sharing the fabulous card Mindy Eggen taught at the Spellbinders Weekender Retreat. I have to admit anything with ink blending really excites me and this was no exception.

We started by blending an A2 panel with water reactive inks. I used my Ranger Heavy Card stock and Distress inks, in hindsight maybe I should have used Distress Watercolor paper as we certainly ended up wetting it a lot. The watercolour paper in my kit was missing so I had to swap out with my own card.

Mindy started by blending a greenish yellow in the middle of her card, she then she applied a teal blue ink around it on one side. She blended across the top into the blue and the yellow-green a velvety rose pink ink and then the next colour blended in was a bright berry pink followed lastly by a vibrant purple. She then ink blended all the edges with a black ink. Then wet the whole panel quite a lot with her mister bottle so the inks were moving and let the colours mix more before drying with a heat tool. Lastly when dried splatter with white paint. This is my panel all dried and ready for die-cutting.

We used 3 die sets for this card; Sunset in a Glass, Tropical Flair and Tunnel Clouds.

We also ink blended on a dark blue card stock black ink all around the edges and splattered with the white paint again (Splatter White Opaque Watercolor by Spellbinders).

These were the inks I used and the approximate positioning of where I blended them into the panels. Mindy was working with Simon Hurley inks.

Well I love how cool this card is and I am thinking of giving it to an ex-colleague who is about to retire so thinking about what sentiment to use on it. The pain of all that die-cutting is fading when I look at this card. 


Weekender Fun with Spellbinders

I just had a fun weekend with my friend Donna who is one of my oldest and bestie friends, we go back to working in a hospital lab in the 1980s and she's also to blame for getting me into crafting when she dragged me along to Creative Memories workshops to learn scrapbooking in the 90s. My usual suspect in all things crafty Sarah was also in as well.

We all took part in Spellbinders Weekender Virtual retreat. Personally I'm trying to have a bit of a hiatus from Virtual boxes and kits as I'm quite a way behind with them but it was really hard to not sign up as our local craft store Krafters Cart actually bought the kits into NZ and shipped them to us for under $10. Most virtual kits the shipping is normally around the $100 USD mark which adds a lot to the cost for us down under but I justify it as I'm getting first class tuition which is free and the kit always is at least the value of what we pay for it. The problem is so many companies are now offering them it's really hard to pick and choose which ones to do. But I have to be honest as you get SO MUCH product in the kits (some of it you wouldn't normally buy as its not your thing) that I'm running out of storage space in my craft room.

We got the kit box with plenty of time beforehand which was just as well as there was so much die-cutting to be done. I knew there'd be a lot but there was truckloads and I actually ended up getting blood blisters under my index and thumb nails tearing the dies off the backing sheets. Also the cutting was complicated with lots of different coloured papers in the kit and to be honest I don't think I got all the coloured card we were supposed to get in a kit but in the end I worked with what I had and filled in the gaps with something similar in my stash they were using. Also the teachers were using dies from multiple die sets to make one card which complicated things as well. I posted a wee quick video on my Facebook page of all the diecuts which you can see HERE.

The three of us post lunch on Saturday which was the Friday class and cocktail party in the States. Luckily we had just bought ourselves a new TV,  after 20 years we finally replaced the 32" TV with a Chromecast attachment for a 55" smart TV which made watching YouTube videos so much easier and so much BIGGER and clearer.

Myself with bubbly and OJ whilst listening to the stream.

Sarah looking happy.

My kitten enjoyed playing with the cocktail umbrellas! I'll be back soon to share a card or maybe even more from the event. Hope to see you then.

15 May 2024

AAA Colourful Dreamy Moodboard

It's time for another challenge with AAA Colourful and I am so delighted to be joining them as a Guest Designer this month. I love colour and was very excited when this new challenge blog started up and here we are at month four, doesn't time fly! 

This month's moodboard is so dreamy and it really reminded me of Craft Consortium's Ink Drop Papers which are perfect for those of us that would like the look of alcohol ink backgrounds.

I'm sure I not the only person who has watched a Jennifer McGuire video and went and bought what she was working with and I must admit this is how I own some CC Ink Drop papers and also some coverplate dies from Honey Bees (Delicate Daisy A2 Top and Base plates) after watching her create her usual magic. I have blogged about my first plays HERE and HERE. When Jane invited me to be the Guest Designer this month I went this will be easy that moodboard looks just like my DSP so I'll just tweak the card design using this time Vivid Ink Drops DSP (CC) and use a different "leaf" and the coverplate dies Jennifer "made me buy" for the background.

I'm really happy with my card but feel that my 3/4" paper strips maybe too green and the yellow seems to have disappeared in the strips. This is a no stamping card as the sentiment is a ready-made foiled sentiment from Pinkfresh Studio. The lovely leave die is Whirl Leaves (SSS)

Well I hope I have provided some inspiration for the moodboard or to just to use up some DSP in your stash as this truly is a really effective card and quite quick to put together which is always appreciated if you need a card in a hurry, this design would also work so well for Sympathy cards. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Design team came up for the challenge so hope you can join in, you have plenty of time to play along.

I'm also feeling like my colours are quite representative of the colours at The Paper Players at the moment so will join in with their latest challenge. Also Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is to add a die cut and when you add a SSS die cut to your card it would be foolish not to enter as who doesn't want to win a $25 gift card to their store (it will pay for my postage back to NZ).

Thanks so much for popping in.

12 May 2024

AAA Card Challenge 265: Celebrating our 10th Birthday

Hi everyone! Welcome to the next challenge for AAA Cards. We have an anything CAS goes with an optional twist of Birthday.
We are celebrating our 10th Birthday!!

So we want to party with you as it's not everyday you turn TEN (10).

We have prizes! Quite a lot of prizes!

Some are only available to certain countries/zones due to postage, so please make sure when you link your card to also add your country letters to your name;
e.g. Maaike-NL, Karen - NZ, Kristin - USA, Tristan - AUS etc. etc. etc.

We also do not have a guest designer as we want everyone to be in with a chance to win a prize, so get cracking and remember to make it CLEAN AND SIMPLE.

  Only CAS CARDS will be considered for a prize.

Wow ten years that truly is a worthwhile achievement for any Challenge Blog. I've chosen my inspiration to make a fun card from the cute monkey with balloons on the challenge photo, but you can just submit a Clean and Simple card as well but who doesn't need a birthday card in their stash. 

But we truly would love you to join in with us to celebrate. If you'd like a chance to win a prize definitely think about how CAS is defined at AAA Card Challenges.

I have KReated a monkey with balloons birthday card as I just love the cheeky monkey in the challenge photo. I have Copic coloured up my image. Once die cut out I have also added 2 blank die cuts to the image for a bit of dimension. I have very lightly blended Salvaged Patina distress oxide behind it all as I'm sure s/he is floating in the sky. This really cool monkey comes from Party Animals (Pink & Main). Then just a tad of Diamond Stickles to the balloon highlights and the bottom of the ice-cream as it is a PARTY!!!

Copics used (I colour dark >> light):

Monkey: E37/33/53/51 E53/51 and RV 21/10
Pink: RV13/21 (10 also added to balloon)
Orange: YR16/Y17
Yellow: Y17/15 (11 also added to balloon)
Green: YG05/21 (09 added to balloon first)
Blue: BG13/11

Well I hope you can join in with us at AAA Cards Challenge and celebrate this momentous occasion, as always you have 2 weeks to create your card. If you can't make it do call by the Challenge Blog and wish them/us a Happy Birthday;)

It's also ironical our sister blog AAA Birthday Challenge challenge for May is a CAS Card so I will enter my card there to play along with them too.

EDITED 15/6/24: I'm so delighted Helen chose my wee card as her favourite at AAA Birthday which made my day, even more exciting as this is also the first time my card has been picked as the winner there. I've had a top 3 or top 4 pick before but have never been chosen as the winner before.


7 May 2024

Just Add Ink 700th Challenge

Gosh what a worthy achievement, now I thought I would start of by reminiscing about MY Just Add Ink journeyas they have been a BIG part of my challenge life and blogging. 

The very first challenge of theirs was January 2010 and I was a day too late to enter - that's often the story of my challenge life I get the closing time wrong. You can read that blog post HERE and this is my card and the challenge colours (sob I loved all of these colours and ALL retired). Gosh what a fab card even if I say so myself, I still love it, feeling like I need to recreate it again!

I also see I didn't know how to blog as well as I do know and I've just linked to the generic Just Add Ink blog with my blog post.

Back in 2010 I was pretty busy with a full time job running a hospital laboratory plus running my Stampin' Up! business which included prepping for classes, workshops, extravaganzas etc. so I wasn't really into challenges but tried to play along with Just Add Ink, NZSU Blogs (which I ran for awhile) and my stamping idol Kristina Werner's Make a Card Monday's. In all honesty the card I entered for the first challenge I can see was totally inspired by Kristina looking at it now.

So skip forward to 2022 and again I decided I was going to restart doing card challenges to refind my lost MOJO and Just Add Ink (and CAS on Friday) was the first challenge I chose to play along with and you can read about that card HERE. Again it was a colour challenge and no. #598.

So thanks to all the Design Team over the years I see Chantell has been their since the beginning and I can see why I played along originally, my friend Delys Cram was on the original DT. HERE is the link to the first Challenge FYI. I love that Just Add Ink has a range of things for us to do with their challenges, each week is different.

So here we are in 2024 and they want shimmer and shine, now I might have gone overboard and I don't think my photo taking skills have improved but you may need some sunglasses when I really show the shine I got on my card to celebrate this FAB MILESTONE WITH JUST ADD INK.

I decided I would try to do a Mixed Media Technique Libby Hickson taught for WCMD 2023 which I meant to try and never did at the time. So a call out for Shimmer & Shine deserved me having a go at it.

I'll start off with the FINAL card and then show how the card was created and the supplies used. Libby's name above is linked to the blog post with a video if I'm not explanatory enough.

Just in case you can't see the shimmer and shine above:

This is how I KReated my card, I used Hero Art's Neon Bright Watercolors : Brights Sunshine, Brights Orange and Brights Pink and added to a wet watercolour paper panel.

Apply Hero Arts White paste through a stencil; I used Art Deco Dancing Lights stencil (HA).

Remove stencil carefully and throw the stencil and palette knife into water (clean later). Sprinkle Iridescent Gold embossing powder (HA) all over, I was a bit shocked as I thought my panel should have been dried as I had left it for 2 hours plus I had also dried with my Ranger heat tool. At this stage looking at my panel I was worried powder was stuck to more than just the paste.

But nothing to lose so onwards and you heat the paste/powder with a heat embossing gun until the powder "bubbles and bursts" and hopefully you can see below all the "extra powder" actually brushed off.

Now this is where I wish I hadn't used my deckled rectangle die to cut out the panel as I can see it has flattened my puffy gold paste and also my plates have scratched it . You don't see the scratching looking at the card IRL but you can see it is flattened a bit. I actually own Tim Holtz's deckled edge guillotine so wish I had used that but always think a die is more accurate. The deckled rectangle comes from a Mixed Frame rectangle die set by Altenew.

Card stock mat is Sweet Pea (C9) it seemed to tie in with the pink in the watercolours, the fab glimmer paper is an old Rainbow Glimmer paper from SU!. Wee butterfly is from Memory Box Intricate Mini Butterflies and has been die cut out of black glitter paper with a Magenta glitter drop (PFS). The many thanks die is an oldie from Essentials by Ellen.

Well that was a lot of fun and this card packs a wow IRL so I know whoever  receives it will think it's pretty cool as who doesn't love shimmer and or shine!

Once again HAPPY 700th challenge Just Add Ink. Hopefully I'll still be around to do your 1000th ;) I'll also enter my card in Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge for feminine cards as I have been  stuck in bed with a cold but really wanted to make sure I played along with this milestone for the JAI team.