Friday, February 23, 2024

Just Add Ink #690 - Just Add a Fancy Fold

It's time to shake up your regular cards a little with this week's Just Add Ink challenge to ...

My choice is a centre-step card with an Easter theme. I spent about three hours die cutting, colouring and assembling this card and I am so happy with the result. (And speaking of Easter, some supermarkets had hot cross buns on their shelves on new year's day! Not that I mind, I could eat those all year long, lol, but what the heck!) 

Materials used:

  • card - green, white, beige, vellum
  • dies - Bunny Games Colorize and Potted 2 (Tim Holtz), Nesting Eggs (Waffle Flower), Happy Easter (stash), Center Step and Center Step Layers (Our Daily Bread Designs), clouds (retired Stampin' Up)
  • distress oxide inks - squeezed lemonade, saltwater taffy, shaded lilac, speckled egg, bundled sage, antique linen, brushed corduroy
  • other - Big Shot, blending brushes, basket weave embossing folder (We R Memory Keepers), R20, Y13 and T10 Copic markers, sponge dauber, crumb cake ink (SU), mounting tape, water spritzer
  • eggy hot air balloon idea inspired by Debi Adams

I began with the bunnies, cutting them from crumb cake card with the smaller pieces cut from white and coloured with markers. Once they were assembled I worked on the basket, cutting a tall pot from the Potted 2 die and trimming it down. After colouring it, I embossed with basket weave - so pleased how that turned out - and sponged a little more colour over the raised areas. Next I worked on the egg "balloons", cutting everything from white card then colouring some with a soft rainbow of oxide inks. Getting the "ropes" attached was a daunting task and I'm sure there's realistic inaccuracies, but I'm pleading artistic licence on that! The tall "balloon" at the back has a piece of thick window sheet behind it to help with structural integrity and give me more to adhere it with. The centres of the daisies were also coloured with markers while the sentiment was coloured with ink to match the bunting. The vellum clouds were my final touch, which give those side panels a purpose, lol. 

Do pop over to the Just Add Ink blog to check out more fancy fold cards to inspire you, and I hope to see your own creations in our gallery.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, February 16, 2024

Best Friends

I was chatting with my bestie earlier today, telling her I had tidying to do in my craft room. Her response was to tell me to remind myself, 'it's tidy time, not play time'. A couple of hours later ... a die I was "tidying" caught my eye and gave me an idea for a card for the Color Throwdown challenge this week. 

I might have sat down to play...

You can see why I was distracted, can't you? Red challenge, red cardinals - well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! She will still give me grief for it though, lol. 

I cut two layers for the branch and darkened it a little with ink so it would stand out from the background. I also cut two of each bird so I could cut the wing separate and give it dimension. The birds were edged with ink and I used markers to colour the faces and beaks with a dot of white gel pen for the eyes. 

Materials used:
  • card - distress kraft heavystock (Ranger), real red, basic white (Stampin' Up)
  • dies - Cardinals and Birdhouse (Cottage Cutz)
  • other - picket fence distress ink, Dimensionals, craft foam, white gel pen, alcohol markers, blending tool, Wordies sentiment sheets - Friendship (Creative Expressions)

Thanks for dropping by!


Just Add Ink #689 - Colour Combo

Are you ready for another card challenge? It's not my week at Just Add Ink but it's a gorgeous colour combo and you know how difficult I find those to resist, lol. Here's the swatch:

I've added touches of gold to the palette for my card.

As usual, I've done multiple layers of the sentiment die for depth. I love how the white pops against that gorgeous swirling background of rich colour.

Materials used:
  • card - basic white, gold metallic, glossy photo paper
  • dies - layered hummingbird (Simon Says Stamp), hello (stash)
  • other - Big Shot, computer and printer, Dimensionals, gold pearl, craft foam, metallic sticker (Tim Holtz), alcohol ink background (Etsy)

There's lots more to inspire on the Just Add Ink blog, so head on over and take a look. We'd love to see your own creation in our gallery this week.

Thanks for dropping by.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Card Concept #204 - Winter Warmth

We've a brand new monthly challenge and inspiration pic for you at The Card Concept, this one entitled Winter Warmth.

There's certainly plenty of warmth going on around here, as February is the hottest month of summer for us. This week we've had more than one day of 37degC (98.6degF) temps so I am most definitely looking forward to the cooler days of autumn not far away (hopefully!).

The animal, trees and colours on the rug gave me an outdoorsy/nature vibe, which became the inspiration for my mixed media card. 

Curvy Girl was stamped on my background piece of watercolour card first then I sponged the clouds, sky and ground around her, and stamped her again on another piece of card. She was watercoloured using distress inks and after some fussy cutting attached to the background.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Curvy Girl Loves to Hike (Stamping Bella), Spectacular Adventures (Altenew)
  • card - pecan pie (Stampin' Up), watercolour, Happy Camper plaid paper (Etsy)
  • distress inks - bundled sage, peeled paint, forest moss, stormy sky, spiced marmalade, wild honey, tea dye, rusty hinge, brushed corduroy, pumice stone, vintage photo
  • dies - alphanumeric tiny type lower (Tim Holtz)
  • other - water brush, mini cloud stencil (My Favorite Things), blending brushes, Sidekick, MISTI, vintage photo embossing glaze, heat tool, black archival ink

Hopefully some aspect of the inspiration picture and/or colour palette will make you want to create. If so, do share it with us on The Card Concept blog and don't forget to check out all the cards made by my fellow design team members.

Thanks for hiking by.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Nature's Bounty

The theme over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge to TIE IT UP (ie use twine/ribbon/etc) inspired me to create this morning and as I was in a mixed media mood, I made a layered collage-style card with a nature theme.

I used papers and elements from 49andMarket's Curator's Meadow collection for my background, sponging edges with oxide ink. I replaced the white string on the tags with a twine that fit better and layered them up. The 'stamps' are washi tape from the collection, adhered to white, while the leafy branch is die-cut and coloured with more oxides. My nest is a cheap craft one cut down as it was too large and I painted some tiny eggs, hot gluing them all to my card. The last step, as always - cos this is me and mixed media, after all (lol) - was paint splatters.

Materials used:
  • papers, tags, washi tape, ephemera - Curator's Meadow collection (49andMarket)
  • card - crumb cake, basic white (Stampin' Up), watercolour
  • distress oxide inks - walnut stain, peeled paint, forest moss
  • distress paint - antique linen, walnut stain
  • other - Dimensionals, blending brushes, sponge dauber, craft foam, tiny eggs (Tim Holtz Idea-ology), Easter mini nest (Anko), hot glue gun, Big Shot, twine, splat box, fanbrush, magnolia leaf branch die (Memory Box)

Hope you're getting some creative time too! Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, February 9, 2024

Just Add Ink #688 - Just Choose Two

Time for another challenge with Just Add Ink and this week we've a Choose Two option. The choices are

Sequins made me think shaker cards and as I don't recall making one before, thought it was past time I gave it a go - everyone loves a shakety-shake card, don't they? 

I die-cut the polaroid frame first, cutting two because I thought those narrow sides needed a bit more strength, and I sandwiched my piece of transparency between them. I cut a piece of white card to match for my background, using oxide inks and a stencil to create the underwater scene. Next I stamped a number of turtles, seaweed and starfish and coloured them using Copics. Originally I'd planned for the sentiment to be stamped on the frame but it didn't fit, lol, so I had to adapt which turtles I used and where I put them. Just as I had everything ready to assemble, I dropped my frame on a black ink pad! So yeah, I cut a third and stuck it over the top - it's nice and strong now, lol. I've used a mix of clear and aqua sequins and bits for the shakety-shake. Love 'em!

Materials used:
  • stamps - Turtley Amazing (Pink and Main)
  • card - basic white, Bermuda bay (Stampin' Up), transparency/acetate
  • dies - On Film framelits (SU retired)
  • other - Seabed 3D embossing folder (SU), Big Shot, blending brushes, Ray of Light stencil (My Favorite Things), Copic markers, MISTI, thick white baker's twine, mounting strips, craft foam, Big Shot, clear sequins, Sea Level Sparkletz (Buttons Galore & More), Dimensionals, salvaged patina and peacock feathers distress oxide inks, water spritzer

Tip: After fussy-cutting the turtles and seaweed, I edged them with an aqua marker so there'd be no white edges showing up against the background. 

Check out which "two" my fellow team mates chose over on the Just Add Ink blog and as always, we'd love it if you joined the challenge.

Thanks for swimming by!


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

It's a Blackout!

For something just a wee bit different, today's card features a new-to-me technique called Blackout Embossing.  

I did encounter a problem straight away though - and that is most of my 3D embossing folders are texture patterns like brick, timber, weaving, etc, rather than a focal image. So I settled on Tim Holtz's gorgeous poinsettia and decided to use some non-Christmassy colours to hopefully make it look like just any old flower, lol. 

The technique is you emboss, then ink inside the debossed portion of the image (in this instance, flowers and leaves). Once that's done, use direct-to-paper with a dark coloured ink pad, in my case black. You have to be fairly lighthanded so it doesn't get in too much of the debossed areas but I must admit to also using a sponge applicator when my direct-to-paper didn't give me quite as much coverage as I wanted. I absolutely love that I ended up with this slightly patchy effect - it has so much more texture and character than an all-over smooth finish would have. I paired it with a gold foil die-cut sentiment and some gilded gems.

The end result is what I term a bit 'arty-farty' lol, but I rather like it. It's not grungy nor is it clean - kind of an in-between - and makes me think of a burned wood etching for some reason. I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks for dropping by.


Friday, February 2, 2024

Easter Cutie

I have a sweet Easter card for you today - I know, you're thinking, "What! It's too early for Easter stuff!" but as my local supermarket had hot cross buns in store on New Year's Day (I kid you not!) it put me in the mood, what can I say? 😁 Also, when I looked at my Easter themed dies, it was pretty hard to resist this newly-hatched cutie, lol. 

The die cuts were coloured with Copic markers, while I sponged some ink around the edges of the tag and sewed a border on the gingham backing paper after distressing the edges a little. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Itty Bitty Greetings (Stampin' Up)
  • card - pool party, basic white, retired gingham DSP
  • dies - Chick with Egg (A Pocket Full of Happiness), Bunny Games (Tim Holtz)
  • other - Copic markers, Big Shot, Dimensionals, mounting tape, sewing machine and thread, blending brush, pool party ink, MISTI, clear sequins, mini glue dots

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 26, 2024

Just Add Ink #686 - Just Add Inspiration

It's time to get this party started with an inspiration challenge from Just Add Ink! Here's our image:

The first thing I thought of when I saw this was the 'Put the lime in the coconut' scene from the movie Practical Magic - anyone else's mind go there? Such a fun way to enjoy a margarita, lol.

I took the blue sky and palm leaves, as well as the general tropical vibe, as inspiration for my Hello, Sunshine card.

I cut plenty of flowers and leaves then coloured with inks and played with an arrangement until I was happy with it. The sentiment is three layers, the top one inked to match the frangipanis. On my background I embossed with leaves and sponged some matching ink around the edges, as well as around the edges of the die-cut piece the sentiment sits on. The flowers and monstera leaves were shaped before being attached.

Materials used:
  • card - basic white, starry sky (Stampin' Up)
  • dies - Hello, Sunshine (CZ Designs), Countryside Corners (SU), Tropical (Tim Holtz)
  • distress inks - twisted citron, mowed lawn, picked raspberry, candied apple, mustard seed, saltwater taffy, peacock feathers, wilted violet
  • other - starry sky ink (SU), floating foliage 3D embossing folder (Altenew), Big Shot, Dimensionals, shaping mat and tools, blending brushes, mounting tape

What comes to mind when you look at our inspiration pic? See what my team mates thought of over on the Just Add Ink blog.

Thanks for dropping by.


Friday, January 19, 2024

Just Add Ink #685 - Blog Hop

Welcome to the 2024 Just Add Ink Blog Hop! We always begin our crafting year with a blog hop to inspire you and this year the chosen theme is FLOWERS. Here's my offering:

I wanted vibrant summer flowers for my card, so watercoloured using markers then attached them to a black background to really make them pop. The background was distressed and embossed, then I ran my finger over random areas with a light touch of gold wax to highlight the pattern and accentuate the distressed effect. A heat-embossed sentiment and some clear sequins were my finishing touches.

Materials used:

  • stamps - Celebrate Sunflowers (Stampin' Up)
  • card - watercolour, black
  • dies - Into the Blooms: Iris (Papertrey Ink) 
  • other - Dimensionals, Big Shot, water brush, Zig Clean Color brush markers, distressed tile embossing folder (SU), gold embossing powder, heat tool, MISTI, vintage gold metallique wax (Art Alchemy), craft foam, clear sequins

Happy flower gathering! Thanks for calling in.


The link below will take you to the next blog on our hop, which is Kim. Be sure to leave everyone some comment love as you browse through the hop - there are 13 stops altogether. If you get stuck at any point, the list and links of all participants is on the Just Add Ink blog here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Splattery Goodness Rose

Yesterday I was playing with a layering flower die but once finished I couldn't decide on a card design for it to go on. This morning I woke in the mood for some mixed media, splattery goodness - you all know how much I love getting inky! Here's how it ended up.

My background is a very, very old retired paper from Stampin' Up which has a script writing pattern. I inked over with old paper distress oxide. Over that I stencilled with grit paste and also stamped some splatters with more of the same ink. Once everything was dry, the rose and background received a liberal splattering of watered down white gesso. The last steps were mounting everything and adhering two layers of a sentiment die. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Timeless Textures (Stampin' Up)
  • card - Sahara sand, basic black, retired SU designer paper (no idea what it's called, sorry)
  • dies - Lovely Layers Rose Honey Cuts (Honey Bee Stamps), love (stash)
  • Altenew inks - Green valley minis, Rose Petal minis
  • other - blending brushes, Big Shot, fan brush, white gesso, distress grit paste opaque, grime mini stencil (Tim Holtz), spatula, craft foam, old paper distress oxide ink

I hope you've managed some creative endeavour today. Thanks for calling in.


Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Card Concept #203 - New Year Love

Welcome to the first challenge of 2024 with The Card Concept! Our monthly challenges give you an inspiration photo and colour palette and you can take any aspect of our mood board as the springboard to spark your creativity.

Here's our first challenge for the year, aptly titled New Year Love:

The combination of little houses and 'Our Nest' sign brought birdhouses to mind and were the inspiration for my mixed media card, as well as the colour palette. 

I assembled my birdhouse first, running the main part through Tim Holtz's mini lumber 3D embossing folder then inking everything up with oxide inks antique linen, gathered twigs, vintage photo and candied apple. For my background I did more 3D embossing, this time with the pine branches folder which I then sponged with mowed lawn and rustic wilderness oxides. I used whatever ink was on my blue blending brush for the other areas then blended it with a water brush and dabbed off to get lighter patches. Once it was all dry I cut it into an arch and ran it through the embossing folder again to revitalise the impression. The patterned paper is a free Stampin' Up Sale-a-bration offering called Flight & Airy (aptly named, lol) and the sentiment is SU also, from the Feels Like Home set. 

What elements of our January mood board inspire you? We'd love you to join us by adding your card to our gallery, and of course there's more cards to see from my fellow design team members over on The Card Concept blog. And if you're on social media, we're on Facebook and Instagram too, so check us out!

Thanks for calling in.


Saturday, December 30, 2023


Well, here we are at the end of another year - the last four have certainly been rollercoasters, haven't they? The most exciting happening of my 2023 was becoming a nana for the first time, which continues to be a source of great joy, as those of you who have been through the experience will appreciate. 

I thought it might be fun to look back through all I've created this year and pick 12 favourites. They're not necessarily one from each month, but are those that automatically bring a smile to my face. Here they are in no particular order:


I can't wait for another year of crafting and look forward to sharing that with you. Thanks for calling in, particularly if you do it on a regular basis, and especial thanks to those who leave comments, it definitely does give me encouragement to carry on.

Best wishes for 2024 - may it bring you much happiness, crafty and otherwise.


Tuesday, December 26, 2023


Happy Boxing Day! I had a wonderful Christmas Day and Christmas Eve with family and hope you did too. Ate too much, of course, so moving very slowly today, lol. But the good news is plenty of leftover ham for sammies!

One gift I handmade this year is some decoupage ornaments - I don't have pics of the ones I gave away, but I do have pics of the one I made for myself along the same lines. 

The focal image is rice paper and I tried for a vintage/antique look to the painted background. Here's a better look at that:

I watched quite a few YouTube videos beforehand then just went for it, using rice paper and distress paints on my 'flat-sided' baubles. There's about 3 coats of varnish over everything to seal and protect. The little metal topper got some paint too, as it was silver to begin with, and I replaced the silver cord it came with with gold. It was a lot of fun and I'm really keen to make more for next year, so I'll be on the hunt for some lovely rice paper images to use. 

The 'flat-sided' baubles (I'm using inverted commas because they're not completely flat, there is still some curve) were bought on eBay - because my rice paper image was 8cm in diameter, I bought the 10cm baubles, but they do come in two smaller sizes. 

Materials used:
  • rice paper - Christmas Greetings Rounds (Stamperia)
  • baubles - eBay
  • distress paints - aged mahogany, tarnished brass
  • other - white gesso, sponge applicators, paintbrush, clear varnish, distress collage medium, Glad Wrap cling film

On the ones I gave away the images were surrounded by a border of pearls, which I aged with some antique gold wax, so there's all kinds of things you can do with these.

Thanks for calling in.


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Greetings from Santa

I thought I might be finished with Christmas craft for the year but a cute little project I saw made me get out my bits and create! It's another little ornament for my grandson, made with Tim Holtz's Santa Greetings colorize dies - so adorable! I gave Santa a change of outfit colour though, lol.

You get the whole alphabet to play with in this die set, as well as numbers, so can make pretty much anything that will fit across the string. I put a plain white base on the back so I could write a message and glued some gold cord in between the layers for hanging.

Materials used:
  • card - white, black, gold foil, turquoise, grey, pink
  • dies - Santa Greetings colorize (Tim Holtz/Sizzix)
  • inks - peacock feathers distress ink
  • other - Big Shot, pink marker, tweezers, gold cord

Thanks for stopping by.