Saturday, January 28, 2023

We're Going on an Egg Hunt

With both my girls grown and in homes of their own, I don't often make for Easter these days, but when I saw the Tim Holtz Easter release, I just knew I had to get them and create.

I've made a small display dome heavily inspired by two of Tim's makers, Paula Cheney and Tami Bastiaans.

The rabbit and eggs were painted with distress paint, I coloured the flowers using oxide sprays and hauled out some fake moss I bought years ago for the grass. Everything is hot glued in - it seems to be the only type of glue that holds that moss, which is kind of plasticy and very resistant to staying put, lol. As my eyesight isn't great for painting finer details with a brush, I used a Copic marker for the eyes and nose on my Easter Bunny.

By the way, this dome is only 4 1/4" high (about 11cm) and those tiny eggs are just that at 1/2" (1.3cm)!

Materials used:
  • Tim Holtz Ideaology - salvaged rabbit, tiny eggs, barrel, bouquet, display dome
  • distress paints - saltwater taffy, salvaged patina, dusty concord, squeezed lemonade, walnut stain, frayed burlap, antique linen
  • distress oxide sprays - worn lipstick, kitsch flamingo
  • other - E47 copic marker, linen thread, hot glue gun, imitation moss, paintbrush

With my first grandchild on the way, from next year I'll be able to indulge and make tons of fun things for all the holidays and occasions - can't wait!

Thanks for calling in.


PS How many of you saw my title and started singing 'we're going on a bear hunt' in your head like I did? Fess up! LOL.

Friday, January 27, 2023

JAI#637 - Just Add a Sketch

At Just Add Ink this week we have a sketch to challenge you.

When you've gone to the effort to hand make a card for someone, it's often nice to stamp a little on the envelope as well. But you can take that a step further and make the envelope an integral part of the art you create. Did you know mail/envelope art is a thing? (Give it a Pinterest search, you'll be amazed.) So when this sketch immediately made me think of the back of an envelope, I couldn't get the idea of envelope art out of my head - and you know what happens then, lol. It lingers and pesters and won't go away until I sit down at my craft desk to see if my idea will actually work...

Here's the back of my envelope (made from watercolour paper).

I continued the design to the inside section too (well, only the bit that shows, lol).

And here's the front.

I used stamps for the trees on the back but a die for the front, as I did the sun/moon higher up and the die is a bit taller. The whole thing has been sprayed with fixative so nothing can happen to smudge the inks. I added an area for the addressee's details so I wouldn't have to use a special marker (to write over the fixative) but now I think I need to brush up on my calligraphy skills so the name and address will look as good as the rest!

Materials used:

  • stamps - Treeline (Tim Holtz), Birds (Lavinia Stamps)
  • card - watercolour, basic black
  • distress oxide inks - scattered straw, dried marigold, ripe persimmon
  • other - corner rounder punch, Stamparatus, blending brushes, distress micro glaze, moon mask (TH), black soot archival ink, Treeline die (TH), workable fixative spray

Do head on over to the JAI blog to see what my fellow team mates did with this sketch, and thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Just Add Ink Blog Hop

At Just Add Ink challenges we're starting off the new year with a blog hop and the theme is 

If you've come from Rochelle's blog then you're in the right place. If you're starting here, you'll be able to keep following all the links to take you around the hop. 

My two favourites pasttimes are crafting (naturally) and reading - I'm rather a voracious reader and always have been and it's something I wanted to pass down to my girls. Elder Daughter seemed keen for a while  but her interest began to wane when she was in year one.

Then something happened that changed everything.

She came out of school one day chattering and excited about a book all her friends were talking about. Having never heard of it, I asked some of the other mothers, to be told it was a new phenomenon everywhere and that some of them had read it too. So I bought the book and we took turns reading it - and thus began her love for the fantasy genre and reading in general.  

The book? Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

So for my favourites project, I'd like to share an item that combines my two favourite pasttimes as well as being something I made for one of my two favourite people. 

There were lots of steps in making this, as you can imagine, but it was a labour of love. I began with making the 'book' base to support all the other bits - this is made from a wooden box (Tim Holtz vignette box) and I pretty much followed a tutorial by Tami Bastiaans here but changed a few things to suit, using a copy of the original bookcover, which is the edition we have. 

The suitcases were made using the SU retired matchbox die and some TH cracked leather cardstock. Luckily we live in a digital age, so I was able to find copies of the Hogwarts letter to Harry and his ticket for the Hogwarts Express. 

For the inside of the 'textbooks' I scanned pages from the actual book and cut them to size. The covers are TH ephemera. For the 'potions' inside the bottles I coloured glossy accents with alcohol ink, mixing them together with a toothpick. The bottles were grunged up a bit with collage medium and touches of distress crayon. I rolled up vellum for parchment (in the cauldron and down front with a quill die).

The owl was bought from a dollhouse miniatures place here in Melbourne. I did have to shave a bit off the tail to make it fit in the birdcage, lol.

As this represents Harry at the train station ready to head off to Hogwarts for the first time, I know that strictly speaking the broomstick shouldn't be there, but it was so adorable I just couldn't resist. Call it poetic licence, lol.

If you're a fellow Harry Potter fan, I hope you enjoyed that walk down memory lane! And I'm very happy to report that ED loves it.

Materials used:
  • card - Coastal (Kaisercraft), basic white, vellum
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology - birdcage, cauldron, broomstick, potion bottles, vignette box, Memoir ephemera pack, 
  • other TH products - collage medium matte, walnut stain and vintage photo distress crayons, vintage photo archival ink, antique linen distress paint, jump rings, alcohol inks,Regions Beyond die
  • other - linen thread, computer and printer, Wee Creations miniatures, glossy accents

Thanks for calling in. I hope you find plenty to love along the hop and of course we'd love to see YOUR favourites on our challenge board this week.


Click on the icon below to hop to the next blog, which is Narelle.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Card Concept - Winter Cocoa or Winter Snow

Welcome to another challenge with The Card Concept! Being the second challenge of the month, we're giving you a choice of two wonderful inspirational images.

I picked the Winter Snow theme and used the optional colour palette on my mixed media card.

I began with stamping the house image then coloured using distress crayons. After embossing those gorgeous pine branches I sponged over them with white ink then liberally pounced over them with white distress crayon to give it more depth of colour plus more texture. Further white crayon was added to the roof and trees then everything was splattered with white distress paint. The edges were sponged and distressed.

With the crazy weather we've been having the past couple of months, somedays it feels like winter and on the days it doesn't, it's so hot and humid I wish it were! Lol. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Winterscape, Tiny Text Christmas (both Tim Holtz)
  • card - baked brown sugar
  • other TH products - picket fence distress ink and paint, pine branches 3D embossing folder, black soot oxide ink
  • distress crayons - picket fence, walnut stain, squeezed lemonade, mowed lawn, forest moss
  • other - clear embossing powder, heat tool, MISTI, craft foam, paintbrush, sponge dauber, Big Shot, distressing tool

We'd love to see your creation in our gallery and of course there are more cards to inspire you from my fellow team members over on the Card Concept blog

Thanks for dropping in.


Thursday, January 12, 2023

CTD Guest Star Stamper

I'm very happy to be the Guest Star Stamper over at The Color Throwdown, after my card was chosen for challenge #723. Here are the challenge colours this time around:

As red is my favourite colour I initially had berries in mind, especially as I'm really enjoying all our summer fruit at the moment. But looking through my files I found this image I've had for ages that just screams summer fun and beach parties, so I changed my focus to green, lol. I can easily imagine her posing there and saying, "come on beaches, let's get this party started!", can't you? 😂

I put a touch of sparkle on the flower centres because she looks like she'd love some bling. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Tiny Words Birthday (SSS), digital stamp (source unknown)
  • card - basic white, soft suede, parakeet party, Sweet Treats polka dot
  • Copic markers - YG01,YG13,YG23, R22,R27,R29,E23,E25,E41,B000
  • other - mini banner punch (SU retired), in colour faceted dots (SU), craft foam, Dimensionals, clear Wink of Stella, stitched rectangle die, Big Shot, sweet sorbet ink pad (SU)

Thanks for calling in. Do head over to the Color Throwdown blog to see what their design team came up with to inspire you.


Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Card Concept - Holiday Gatherings

For the first Card Concept challenge of the year we're using the theme Holiday Gatherings and here's our inspiration picture for you:

Right now in Australia it's the long summer school holidays, hot and humid. Recently I managed to catch up with an old friend and we reminisced about all the times we'd gathered together for a BBQ meal and swim in the pool, either at our place or hers, to celebrate the new year, a birthday or just friendship. It's these lovely memories that inspired my summer/pool themed clean and layered card.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Gloria at the pool (Mo Manning), Bitty Buzzwords: Seasons (Honey Bee Stamps)
  • card - basic white, flirty flamingo, daffodil delight
  • other - Bitty Buzzwords: Seasons dies, Sidekick, blending brush, Copic markers, stitched rectangle die, Big Shot, craft foam, MISTI, sun ray stencil (MFT), clear sequins

Do check out what holiday gathering creations my fellow team mates have made to help inspire you, over on The Card Concept blog.

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, January 2, 2023

My Favs of 2022

As always, the past year seems to have flown by and again, as always, we ask ourselves where on earth the time went ... well, I know for sure a good part of it was spent in my craft room, lol. Between settling into a new home/city/state and still being wary of the dreaded COVID bugs lurking (I've luckily managed to avoid them, touch wood), I have been very fortunate to have a creative outlet and to be able to share it with you. 

It's always nice to look back and pick some favs from what I created. I wonder how many of them would make your fav list too. Here are my top pics, in no particular order.


With my design team work ramping up again very soon, there'll be plenty more card and 3D project ideas coming your way in 2023. Thanks for coming along on the journey with me!


Friday, December 16, 2022

A Christmas Twofer

Today's card is for two challenges.

The colours in the CTD final challenge for the year are too pretty to not play with, don't you think? Then when I saw the sketch, an idea came to mind and ... well ... you know how that goes, lol. Here's my card:

I cut the baubles from coloured cardstock then stencilled with glittery texture paste, adding touches of paint once it was dry. It's rare for me to stick to a sketch so faithfully, lol, but this one was perfect for my elements. 

Materials used:
  • card - basic white, blushing bride, seaside spray, brushed gold
  • inks - blushing bride (SU), stormy sky oxide (Tim Holtz), golden glitz (Delicata)
  • other - glimmer paste (Nuvo), poinsettia stencil (TH), palette knife, tarnished brass distress paint, paintbrushes, sponge daubers, craft foam, Dimensionals, Holly flourish die (Memory Box), Holiday talk metallic stickers (TH), shaping mat and tool, Bauble nesting dies (Riverside Crafts)

Thanks for dropping in. 


JAI #634 - Anything But a Card

This week at Just Add Ink we are challenging you to...

I made a scrapbook layout and an explosion box, both using beautiful Christmas papers from Mintay. Here's the scrapbook page, all ready for a photo to be slotted in:

The 'merry' isn't attached at the tops of the letters so the photo can be added later. I muted the whole page with some watered-down gesso and added a layer of vellum as well, to ensure the main focal features weren't overpowered by the bright and busy background. 

And this is when I discovered how limited my photography skills are in photographing the box, lol. I hope you'll bear with me for a number of views, beginning with the closed box.


The lid features a layered poinsettia and some die cut leaves and I wrapped some luxurious velvet ribbon around the edges.

And here's some views of it opened up.

The tree is a Tim Holtz product which comes white, so it was sprayed with distress inks. As it was a tad too tall for my box I cut it shorter and inserted it into a wood slice.  I decorated it with TH baubles and gold pearls. The 'presents' are some dice I had sitting around, lol.

Materials used: 
  • card - mossy meadow, watercolour, vellum, Time of Wonders scrapbook papers (Mintay)
  • Tim Holtz products - woodland tree, distress spray stains, baubles, wood slice, velvet trim, mini holiday greens die, aged mahogany distress paint
  • other - glue gun, gold cord, cherry cobbler thick bakers twine, gold pearls, dice, gift wrap, chipboard saying (Mintay), white gesso, sponge daubers, paintbrush, ivory pearls

Check out the amazing items my team mates created for this challenge and of course we'd love to see your creations in our gallery.

Thanks for calling in.


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Birdie Birthday

I was in the mood for some colouring today and as the weather is grey and miserable, decided to go with bright colours and explore this year's new Stampin' Up in colours, which I've barely used. Here's the card I ended up with:

I started with my piece of orchid oasis card, sponging some matching ink around the sides to give me a lighter centre, then splattering with white paint. My birdies and leaves were coloured with Stampin' Blends before everything was fussy cut and assembled on to a neutral base to help the colours pop. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Some Birdie Loves You (Clearly Besotted), Tiny Words Birthday (Simon Says Stamp)
  • card - crumb cake, basic white, orchid oasis
  • Stampin Blends - daffodil delight, mango melody, sweet sorbet, parakeet party
  • other - E13 Copic marker, picket fence distress paint, paintbrush, craft foam, Dimensionals, white embossing powder, heat tool, MISTI, in colour matte decorative dots, blending brush, orchid oasis ink

Now that's definitely more cheerful than the thunderstorms outside!

Thanks for calling in.


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Christmas Gift Cards

The current Color Throwdown challenge has some very Christmassy colours.

I decided to make a series of gift cards and store them in this gorgeous mini tartan tin.

I had three tartan papers so made four cards with each (but the tin will fit more), adding two or three items of Christmas ephemera. Each one has a gold cord tie and splatters of gold paint. They measure 2 1/4" x 2 1/2" closed.

Lots of fun to make and so useful for when I get around to wrapping gifts!

Materials used:
  • card - basic black (SU), Christmas backdrops (Tim Holtz)
  • ephemera - Christmas botanicals, Christmas ephemera (both Tim Holtz)
  • other Tim Holtz products - festive tin, tarnished brass distress paint, black soot oxide ink, splat box, Christmas design tape
  • other - crop-o-dile, gold cord, gold pearls, vintage gold wax (Finnabair), sponge dauber, paintbrush

Thanks for calling in.


Friday, December 2, 2022

JAI #632 - Just Choose Two

This week's Just Add Ink 'choose two' is perfect if you're making Christmas cards:

I picked deer and sparkle, although there are some trees in my background too. 

This snowy scene designer paper from some years back was perfect for embellishing. I stencilled snowfall grit paste then added some freehand around the ground too. Clear rock candy glitter was spritzed all over and I added some mica flakes for that extra touch of sparkle. For good measure, I also splattered white ink everywhere - it's not quite a snowstorm, but it's definitely snowing, lol. The deer was cut from white card and ink blended, with three layers for more dimension.

It's very difficult to photograph 'sparkle' but I've tried here and if you look closely you can see the glitter in the snowflakes (you might need to click on it to enlarge it).

Materials used:
  • card - night of navy, basic white, soft suede, Christmas Backdrops (Tim Holtz), Feels Like Frost DSP (SU retired), watercolour
  • Tim Holtz products - Darling Deer die, snowfall grit paste, mica flakes, clear rock candy glitter, speckles stencil, spatula, glitter duster, Sidekick, Christmas token, picket fence and vintage photo distress crayons
  • distress oxide inks - antique linen, vintage photo, ground espresso
  • other - sewing machine and thread, black marker, craft foam, night of navy bakers twine, Dimensionals

Do check out what my team mates have made to inspire you over on the JAI blog and it goes without saying we'd love to see your own creations in our gallery.

Thanks for stopping by.