My inky travels along life's rocky road

Monday, 31 December 2012

Craft Barn Calendar Challenge 2013

Here is the final pic of the completed Craft Barn calendar. January is ready to be put up on the wall tomorrow and I shall probably bind 2012's pages together as a keepsake. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment. I hope you all have a very happy new year.

More Bunnies!

I bought a couple of reduced bookmarks from Tesco a few months ago. They were a simple design of a long strip folded in half with a magnet on each end. You slip it over a page and the magnets connect and hold the bookmark in place. Easy enough to make but at 20p they were worth picking up. I covered this one with some Basic Grey paper and stamped Stamper's Anonymous' diamond mosaic. I highlighted some bits with a white pen, inked the edges with frayed burlap DI and added an Alice Palace bunny to each side.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Alice Palace Bunnies

Sorry this pic is a bit dark, it's brighter IRL. As well as the fab bulldog I also bought the adorable Alice Palace crowned bunnies. This is one of them simply stamped with archival sepia. The base card is embossed with a new embossing folder Craft Concepts stained glass and I tried the large oval embossing diffuser (yes another new purchase). The flowers are punched with a Nellie Snellen floral punch set which I got in a bargain bin for £2. The sentiment is by Paula Pascual.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Just Playing

This is one of the new Crafty Individuals Alice Palace stamps. Don't you just love him? He makes a perfect card for men with very little effort. I decided to stamp him (well he's a him to me) in archival sepia but I might try him out in red or blue as well.
I love this time between Christmas and New Year when the pressure is off and the Christmas stamps put away for another year.  I hope you are all relaxing and playing with new toys as well.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Tim Holtz Tag - December

For the last month of the year on Tim Holtz's blog we have 2 tags to catch up with the tag we missed in January. Both are quite different to the originals in terms of things used but I have tried to keep as close to them as possible.
I made a spritzed DI BG with broken china and splattered some silver Krylon pen over it. I used a snowflake and Katzelkraft BG stamp randomly with Brilliance platinum planet. The musical score is a Katzelkraft stamp and the letters are a CB alpha called hippy chick. I don't have the TH snowman so I used my snowman punch and watercolour pencils to do the shading. The arms are cut from a Memory Box branch die and I drew in the face. I punched out an extra hat and scarf as instructed. The holly on the snowman's hat is punched from shrink plastic, shrunk and coloured in with a green Sharpie. I added red Stickles for the berries and rock candy Stickles on the snowman's body. The snowflake is a wooden embellishment painted with a silver dabber and rubbed with Stickles. I finished with some iridescent blue ribbon.

The second tag's BG was done in the same way as above with fired brick DI. I also coloured some scraps of card for the flowers in the same way. The BG was spritzed with a homemade gold spray. The poinsettias were stamped with a Paper Artsy script and then I used a punch and a Marianne die. The flourish was cut with a TH die and painted gold. The text is from a Paula Pascual set stamped in Versafine spanish moss and habanero on a brushed corduroy DI BG. I used a paper distresser to rough up the edges.
I've really enjoyed making these tags all year. Although I've not had all of the items used it's been fun working around the missing items to still produce a similar tag to the original TH version. During the course of the year there are items that have definitely gone onto my wish list that I perhaps wouldn't have considered before. A big thank you to Mr Holtz for inspiring me through 2012 and I look forward to seeing what 2013 brings.
That completes my last challenge for 2012. I've really enjoyed them all and I hope to use some of the new techniques I've learned in my cards in 2013.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge - the final card S5/C3

You know how sometimes you have to do something, you know you have to but you keep putting it off? Well this card has been my nemesis. I find the colour challenges really hard unless I can immediately think of something to do. This has been preying on my mind for a few weeks but last night I decided I couldn't leave it any longer. I usually try and match up the given colours to ink pads I have but I was stumped with the salmon/coral colour in the centre (see below) and couldn't think how to use all the colours on a card. I decided to use this Papermania stamp from a few years ago, stamping it in Brilliance starlite black and colouring with Colousoft pencils and Sansodor. I still couldn't quite match the salmon colour - the pinky orange bauble (2nd from the left) was the closest I could get to it but I'm pleased that I finally managed to tackle this. So I say 'au revoir' to this year's Katzelkraft challenge, I've enjoyed it even more than last year, it's made me think outside my comfort zone and I've reacquainted myself with some warm and friendly people on the forum.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Katzelkraft S10/C3

This is the last card (of 30) in the Katzelkraft 10 weeks Before Christmas Challenge. However I  have 1 more to show after this as there is a card I've been putting off making. The requirement for this card was the view from your window. My view is of houses and as we have no snow (I'm not complaining) it's a pretty dull view. So I focussed on the trees a bare branch (Memory Box die) and a festive bauble for the decorations I can see from here (Marianne die). A small organza bow adds a touch of colour and is echoed in the red Paula Pascual Christmas stamp. Only 1 more card to go for this year's challenge!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 12

Here's the last page of the Craft Barn Calendar Challenge. This month's requirement is embossing. I heat embossed the Crafty Individuals image and coloured it in with Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor. The pears are coloured with egyptian gold Twinkling H2O which has a lovely sheen. The BG is embossed with madison CB embossing folder, swiped with Versamark and dusted with gold Perfect Pearls. I added a red ribbon to tie in with the bow on the tree (ouch sorry no pun intended).
Has anyone else had any problems getting the 15% discount code? I have only asked once (for week 11) hoping to take advantage of the free postage to get some of the new Alice Palace stamps and some other stuff but I haven't received anything and have now missed out on getting anything before Christmas.

Katzelkraft Challenge S10/C2

Sorry not a great pic of this, I'll try and take another one. This is a double pocket gift card. I found the instructions here and made it up with 2 sheets of patterned paper stuck together as I didn't have any festive double-sided paper. The instructions are fairly straightforward except I had to do a bit of fiddling because my front paper had stockings on which looked silly upside down. I punched an oval and added a Paula Pascual stamped message. I added a little tag in one pocket and the other is for the gift card. This is a nice project for making gift cards a bit more personal and interesting.

Katzelkraft Challenge S10/C1

This is the last week of challenges and the first card required at least 1 metallic element. I cut up an aluminium drinks can, punched a tree, embossed it and added alcohol inks. Aluminium will go through a punch but NOT steel so make sure you have the right sort of can. The BG is stamped with some KTZ rubber that I received as a thank you for taking part in last year's challenge. It's Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. I added some red ribbon with a metallic thread running through it and mounted the tree on a label diecut.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S8/C3


We had to follow instructions to make an accordion card. Now to me an accordion card is something else but I'd never made one of these before so thought I'd give it a go. It is really much simpler than it looks - you fold a slightly smaller than A6 card into 8 and then add the squares. Finally you mount it into an A6 card. Here are the instructions (in French) if you're interested
The front is stamped with Paula Pascual's joyful bubbles in Versafine habanero and a sentiment stamp I picked up in Hobbycraft for 50p this week. The inside squares are stamped with an All Night Media set which is one of the first stamp sets I bought (in 1993 in Canada I think). It's a set of tiny foam mounted rubber stamps that I have used and used over the years. I stamped them with Adirondack meadow, red pepper (good Christmas colours) and terracotta and coloured in with  Coloursoft pencils. The ribbon is some I bought in Tesco a few years ago after Christmas for 16p for 3m. They don't call me 'Bargain Betty' for nothing!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S9/C1

For this card we had to take inspiration from the layout of the Lynn Perella card below. I stamped the KTZ horloge image with Versamark and brushed it with gold Perfect Pearls for the BG. The text was stamped with Stazon blazing red. I made the Christmas tree with some washi tape and torn strips of patterned paper and wrapped some gold cord around. The small tree and snowman strip is a Martha Stewart punch.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S9/C3

I really find colour challenges hard. I don't mind those where you are given 1 or 2 colours to use but the ones with 5 different colours especially in the context of Christmas I find impossible. I have a week 5 colour card that I haven't managed to tackle yet but I thought I'd give this week 9 colour challenge a go (see below). The BG is made up of 3 colours of pastels and the tree covers the 2 shades of green (sort of). I stamped a Katzelkraft flourish in the BG with milled lavender DI and added a stamped greeting. So I'm not entirely happy with this but it's done.

Katzelkraft Challenge S9/C2

The requirement for this card was a scottish style (ie plaid) BG. I used watermelon, bottle and terracotta alcohol inks to make a plaid BG. The rosettes were made with Dovecraft traditional paper in different sizes with my Martha Stewart scoreboard. I stamped the greeting on a scrap of paper and added some brads.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S8/C1

This is my take on an 'english style card'. I didn't know what it was either so I had to ask for a hint. It apparently means a traditional card in a victorian or Dickensian style. I found the image on the web and added some glitter highlights to the snow. The BG is a CB embossing folder and the poinsettias and leaves are cut with Marianne dies. I hope this fits the bill.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S8/C2

For this card we had to use the technique of applying ink to a non porous surface, spritzing with water and picking up the ink on a piece of card. I had this Crafty Individuals image that I wanted to use and tried to reproduce the colours of the BG. I used broken china and dusty concord DI and a blue shimmer spray. After drying with my heat gun I overstamped with a Katzelkraft stamp in dusty concord and die cut a chevron with my Dienamics die.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S6/C1

We had to take inspiration from the quote on the poster below. I decided to adapt the quote to make it more relevant to Christmas. For the BG I clear embossed some random snowflakes and then covered the card with various blue pastels (I'm loving these right now). Unfortunately the embossing doesn't act as a resist to the pastels but the effect was pleasing so I went with it. I stamped some snowflakes with broken china DI, added a die cut Mariane snowlake and some punched ones from silver card. The text was computer generated.

Katzelkraft Challenge S6/C2

A bit of a blotchy pic for this because of the gold around the edge. For this card we had to stamp on something other than paper or card. I immediately thought of dominoes as I have several and haven't used them for a while. I used cranberry and lettuce alcohol inks and then stamped and embossed this tiny reindeer from A Muse Art. He is clearer IRL than he appears here. The square card blank is a pack I got in a Craft Barn goodie bag. I used a Katzelkraft leaf sprig stamp with Versamark around the edge and brushed on gold Perfect Pearls to add a bit of interest.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S5/C1

We had to use the sketch below for this card. I changed the proportions of the card in order to use this Katzelkraft snowman stamp. The patterned paper is from Dovecraft Christmas blues. The circle was cut with a framelits die and the scalloped surround with a Marianne die. I used a punch for the sentiment base and added a snowflake brad.

Katzelkraft S7/C3

For this card we had to recycle an element and use ink or paint on it. I received a gift through the post in a tearproof envelope. This is a regular envelope with a lining of an open woven fabric which is almost impossible to rip (if you click on the pic you will see the mesh more clearly). I liked the texture of the inner and overstamped it with a Katzelkraft stamp and Impress peony purple. The tree is a Marianne die cut from a book page and inked with Impress emerald. The text is by Woodware from the Christmas words set. I mounted it all on Kraft card to continue with the recycled theme.

Katzelkraft Challenge S7/C2

This card needed multi-coloured inks on it. I used a Kaleidacolor spectrum ink pad and a Hero Arts stamp.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S7/C1

We had to take inspiration from a Guerlain poster (see below). I decided to use the colours and the text in a script font. I used my pastels to colour the BG and stamped the Kadoodle image and text in Versafine onyx black.

Katzelkraft Challenge S6/C3

This card had to have a 3D element. I embossed this Funstamps snowman twice and cut out his scarf and bobble. The hat and scarf were double embossed with Tsukineko pens and stuck on with foam pads. The BG is a CB embossing folder called snow.
While I was contemplating 3D cards I made this one as well.

The BG is by Cornish Heritage Farms stamped with Impress spring green. It uses the same double embossing technique as above. The reindeer stamp was given to me by a very good friend. I think the pom pom nose adds to the quirkiness.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Katzelkraft Challenge S5/C2

I'm way behind on the Katzelkraft 10 weeks before Christmas challenge but I'm hoping that inspiration will strike. This card had to have a background of letters and a stamped tag. Well I could have used a text BG but I thought I'd be literal & use an alphabet stamp instead. It's the curly Q alpha by Inkadinkadoo. I stamped the Hero Arts dot tree, embossed in white and cut it into a tag shape. Quick and simple ideas are what I need to catch up.

Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 10

Trees are the theme for week 10 on the Craft Barn blog. Now I know that October is usually more autumnal and this page is decidedly wintry but I wanted to use this gorgeous stencil rather than a stamp and I'd already done November so I decided it's going to be a blustery and cool October in 2013 and the trees have already shed their leaves. Having just returned from a much colder place where they have already had settling snow I think I was just in a wintry frame of mind. I've used 4 different shades of glitter although you can only see 3 clearly in the pic. I love the contrast between the glitter, the black and the blue cardstock.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 9

The challenge for week 9 on the Craft Barn blog is teal, rust & white. I used teal & rust pastels to make a BG and white embossed a Katzelkraft dress form image. I added some Katzelkraft and B-line design flourishes in Brilliance starlite black, Stazon rusty brown and Archival teal.

Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 11

November's challenge on the Craft Barn blog is circles. Thankfully I got an idea for this quite quickly although Isabelle has threatened a bigger challenge for the grand finale next week. I used a CB embossing folder rellie's raves for the BG. The patterned paper is from DCVW Retro Prints and the circles were cut with a framelits die. The poppy die is by Memory Box (poppies for Remembrance Day). The only stamping on this is on the BG to the poppies which is a Hero Arts dot pattern stamped with brushed corduroy, spiced marmalade and tea dye DI.

Calendar Challenge Catch Up

I've been away for several weeks and have returned to a backlog of challenges and Christmas stuff. I don't know if I will manage to catch up with everything but I'm going to give it a try. I wish I could say I feel refreshed after the break but although we had fun it was pretty hectic and there is lots of non-crafty catching up to do as well. I'm going to tackle the previous challenges as the inspiration hits me (let's hope it does) so they won't be in order but here goes.
The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge for week 8 is children/ cute. I can't remember where I got this 12x12 patterned paper from but it seemed suitable for the theme.I stamped the Suzi Blu/Unity stamp party girl and cut her out giving her a blouse of the patterned BG paper. The BG was edged with a flower stamp with pumice stone DI and I added a Katzelkraft swirly musical stave stamp. The flowers are a Memory Box die cut from the BG paper and white card with a speckled stamp added with Brilliance starlite black. Some black crystal gems finished the page.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


This card had to have holes on it. I thought of apertures and lace and then remembered I had bought an Xcut prick and stitch die from a bargain bin a while back that I had not yet used. I cannot imagine ever having the patience to embroider these holes myself but I liked the decorative effect of the holes. The stamps are by Katzelkraft stamped with Versafine spanish moss.

Monday, 12 November 2012

KTZ Christmas Challenge S4/C2

This card required drips! Not an easy thing to add to a Christmas card. I made a BG with Stazon in the same way as I did the calendar below. I needed something sufficiently runny so I used some copper spray inks very close up so they pooled and then blew on them to make them run. I considered trying to make a branch from which to hang baubles but my blowing skills were not good enough for that! Looking at the drips I thought if I turned them upside down they sort of looked like fireworks (ok imagination is required). I added a flower stamp that again sort of looks like exploding fireworks. This Katzelkraft stamp of clock hands moving towards midnight seemed to fit in. The text is from a Woodware set of christmas words with a star brad to hold the banner in place.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Calendar Challenge Week 7

This week's prompt for the Craft Barn Calendar Challenge is candles. Not an easy thing to incorporate but luckily I have a suitable stamp by Katzelkraft.  I dabbed Stazon in mustard, pumpkin, blazing red and cactus green randomly over the page for the BG. The main image is embossed in gold and I added gold corners to the page. The swirl is by Penny Black stamped in Pumpkin.

KTZ Christmas Challenge S4/C1

For this card we had to take inspiration from a perfume advert (see below). I made a BG of tumbled glass, broken china, stormy sky & faded jeans DI and midnight blue Stazon and spritzed a blue shimmer spray over. The stars were punched with an Xcut punch and I hand cut the larger primitive star. The crinkled effect on it was a happy accident - when I tried to heat emboss the fairy on silver card, I managed to buckle the silver layer of the card and liked the effect so I used it for the main star. The fairy is moongirl by Stampotique, silver embossed with iridescent paint on her wings. I also painted the crescent moon with iridescent paint. The text is by Katzelkraft.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Tim Holtz Tag - November

I loved the tutorial for this tag on Tim Holtz's blog. I may not have had all the items but the colours and the stamp set are really 'me'. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to buy the required items but this is a stamp set that I feel I would use a lot and is on my wishlist now. Looking at my blog design you probably realise that Autumn is my kind of season. I've always felt an affinity for Autumn colours in my home & in the clothes I wear. I used a variety of DIs for the BG - some DTP, some smeared onto a craft sheet and spritzed with water and some sponged on for the gaps. I basically used the same colours that Tim used in Distress Stains (I don't have any of those) in DIs. The wheat is a stamp by My Paper World from a set called grasses & embellishments which I stamped and clear embossed. After colouring the BG I ironed off the embossing (the FT newspaper works well for this!). I randomly stamped an Elusive Images hessian stamp (is hessian the same as burlap?) and used an Xcut alpha for the text. The embellishments are a piece of hessian (from an old bag) and various leaf punches and diecuts. I drew the acorn and added glossy accents. A selection of autumnal coloured fibres and a knotted piece of hessian with a couple of alcohol inked, metallic leaves finished off this tag. In the 'which Tim Holtz tag are you?' game I am definitely November! 2 more tags to go and I'm thinking of ways to put my year's worth of tags together in a book. What are you doing with yours?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Calendar Challenge Week 6

This week's prompt on the Craft Barn blog was to use felt. I'm a bit time-pressured at the moment and needed to get this done without resorting to going out to buy some felt. I had 2 colours of felt at home - white which I use to make applicators for alcohol ink and a rather hideous sugar mouse pink which I bought years ago to make a costume for DS2 in his school play. He was a lamb and the pink was for the inner part of the ears (when I tell you that my little lamb just turned 18 you'll have an idea of how old this felt is!). I know that the Bigz dies cut through felt so I decided to use the TH tattered florals die. Once cut I tried to tone down the pink with archival plum ink and added a little colour to the white. I also decided to use a black base card to counteract the sickly, sugar pink. I embossed a trellis pattern with my scoreboard and added some punched retro flowers and gems. You should be able to see the embossing more clearly by clicking on the pic below . So, unusually for me, no stamping on this page and just a little hint of ink.

Monday, 5 November 2012

LIM 92 (2nd entry)

This is a quick 2nd entry to the Less Is More challenge for this week. The frame and side panels are a Sizzix die and the flower is of course Chloe Stem from Memory Box (again). The greeting is by Paula Pascual.

KTZ Christmas Challenge S3/C2

Resist was the technique required on this card. There are several different resist techniques but I opted for this simple one. I randomly stamped this holly image from De Nami designs with Versamark and clear embossed. I then applied scattered straw, bundled sage and peeled paint DIs all over and wiped it off the embossed images. The text (by Rubbadubadoo?) was stamped with peeled paint. I stamped the image again in black and clear embossed. The leaves and berries were coloured with Tsukineko embossing pens and clear embossed. A small red bow finished the card.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

KTZ Christmas Challenge S3/C1

For this card we had to use a page from a book or a sheet of music. I punched a snowman out of an old book that I picked up for sale at my local library. It took me many years to pluck up the courage to rip up a book but this edition of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' was half dead anyway so it seemed ok. I sponged some Brilliance starlite black which is a nice grey shade around the edge of the snowman for definition. The BG is the same Brilliance ink and tumbled glass DI. The frame is a Spellbinder die that I picked up in The States last year in the bargain bin ($5 I think) and although I've used the inner frame I don't think I've used this one before. I sponged tumbled glass through the die to highlight the embossing.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

KTZ Christmas Challenge S3 C3 / LIM 92

It's a twofer this week (2 challenges in 1 card) as the theme over on the Less Is More blog is 'pink'. I combined this with one of the Katzelkraft Christmas Challenge cards this week which had to use wool. The papers are from DCWV rose-tinted Christmas with the purple strip embossed for a bit of texture. I cut the tag with help from a Paula Pascual stamp and the text is from another Paula Pascual set stamped in archival plum and clear embossed. There are 3 different wools used on the tag 'string' and the snowflake embellishment is cut from a Christmas garland.

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