My inky travels along life's rocky road

Friday, 31 January 2014

LIM 156

Continuing with my resolution of using up stuff that has been hanging around for a while I decided to tackle another sticker sheet. This time it's Magenta's giant sunflowers sheet. I have mounted the sticker onto a torn strip of wallpaper (I've had this sample book for years) which has been embossed with a lattice folder. I'm entering this into the Less Is More challenge this week which is a sketch.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Quotes and Lyrics - Dazzle

Silence and Dazzle are the 2 words for this fortnight's challenge on the Craft Barn blog. As I had opted for an easy option last time I decided to stretch myself a bit and go for the slightly more complicated word - dazzle. I found a few quotes that I could work with but this one by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps clicked with me. This is the quote in the context in which it appears:

'The Girl of the Period, sauntering before one down Broadway, is one panorama of awful surprises from top to toe. Her clothes characterize her. She never characterizes her clothes. She is upholstered, not ornamented. She is bundled, not draped. She is puckered, not folded. She struts, she does not sweep. She has not one of the attributes of nature nor of proper art. She neither soothes the eye like a flower, nor pleases it like a picture. She wearies it like a kaleidoscope. She is a meaningless dazzle of broken effects.'

Pretty powerful stuff! The quote is from a book called 'What to Wear' written in 1873 and it is amazing how relevant it is today. 'The Girl of the Period' can only be Cara Delevingne, the current model du jour who is gorgeous but this is not her best look! The image is the one that appeared in many papers and magazines last week when she ended the Chanel fashion show as 'The Bride'.
The page is quite shimmery IRL as I brushed Perfect Pearls over the crackle effect stamp and the stencilled circles. The flowers in the corners are stencilled with Ferro paste - I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. I took Cara's blue sparkly eye make-up as a starting point for the background colours and highlighted it with rock candy Stickles.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's entries this week.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Blackpool Album

I've not been blogging much recently because I've been busy making up a (long overdue) small album of a short break we took last May. We went to Blackpool to see the British Ballroom and Latin American Dance Championships. Last year I decided to make small albums of some of our trips as a way of remembering them. The idea was to pick a few photographs that summarised what we did rather than a detailed account. I started last year with our trip to Istanbul in April for which I used an 8x8 album. I had been meaning to make a minibook of our Blackpool and Lake District trip and finally managed to make a start on it last week. I had a small (@A5 sized) album from TK Maxx which I had picked up for £1. It was a bit beaten up but I thought it might be useful for something. Having finally got some pics printed I decided to use the album for this trip.
I'm not going to bore you with all the pages but here are a few to give you an idea:

Views of the Lake District
The Tower Ballroom
The ballroom final heats at the Winter Gardens 
Just jiving
John Ditchfield's glass studio and some of his work
These are just albums for us to open up and look through from time to time to remind us of fun trips. I try to keep them fairly simple and let the pics and the small amounts of journaling tell the story.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Penny Black Tulip

A truly horrible pic of a card that looks much better IRL, the base card is white. I needed a quick card to send to someone who I know likes tulips and CAS designs. The stamp is by Penny Black on one of my brayered backgrounds.
I haven't posted for a few days as I have been working on a small album that is almost finished - one of those projects I've put off for a while but decided to tackle while I was still enthused with good intentions at the start of the year.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Quotes and Lyrics Challenge - Up

There's a new challenge for the year on the Craft Barn blog. You can read all the details here but to summarise we will be given 2 words every fortnight and have to choose a quotation or a lyric including one of the chosen words. I thought a lot about what format to use and decided to use A5  sized pages which I have punched and will bind together once complete. I found last year, as the year went on, that it was getting harder to stamp directly into the dictionary because of the binding. This should make it easier and give me a larger surface to work on.
The first words are Smile and Up. I love the song 'Smile' written by Charlie Chaplin and sung by Nat King Cole but I decided to go for the other word. My first idea was the song 'Up, Up and Away' by the 5th Dimension (check out the retro clip on you tube here) and I used an old unknown hot air balloon stamp. The BG is tumbled glass, salty ocean and broken china with a cloud mask I tore from a scrap piece of paper. I wanted to include a quotation as well and thought  'If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading' by Lao Tzu the Chinese Taoist philosopher, fitted in well. Hot air balloons are notoriously difficult to steer and rely on the vagaries of the wind to carry them.
So that's the first page done. Be sure to check out the other entries here . I try and comment on everyone's entries but unfortunately I don't do Facebook or Pinterest.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Craft Barn Dictionary Challenge - Cover

I finally managed to cover my dictionary. I decided to keep it simple using some textured handmade paper that I have had for a while. I didn't want too many 'bits' on the covers as I want to keep this on my book shelf and have a flick through from time to time.
I randomly stamped the Tim Holtz carte postale stamp and parts of his diamond mosaic stamp in Archival grape. I added some red pepper postmarks from a B-Line Design cube and brushed all the edges with Versafine imperial purple. The alphas are some that I bought from Poundland a while back.
I made an index for the inside front and added a title on the facing page which I diecut with a Sizzix die.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - January

For this month's postcard swap on UK Stampers, Sam has decided that to celebrate a new year, a clean sheet is called for and so the background needs to be white. I decided to go for an oriental themed CAS card in honour of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Horse) at the end of this month. I used an old favourite stamp from Simple Expressions with a Chinese script background in Adirondack red pepper. As this postcard has to go through the post naked it's a one layer card.

Monday, 13 January 2014

UK Stampers ATC Swap - January

This is the first swap I am participating in this year. The theme for this month's UK Stampers ATC swap is Time. I thought I'd make the main focus of the ATCs something other than clocks but still try and not deviate from the theme too much.
The first ATC uses an old Elusive Images fabric background stamp with Impress cupid pink. I then added some stamps from an old Carolines sheet. I made holes for the cross stitch border and used a button, a bead and a small pocket watch as embellishments.
The second ATC is a Crafty Individuals stamp in Archival teal. I added a bit of colour with coloursoft pencils and raised the bird on foam pads.
The last ATC uses a Katzelkraft clock background stamp with an Art Nouveau image from some wrapping paper coincidently from the now defunct Past Times shop.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Katzelkraft Sale!

Most of you who regularly read my blog will know that I am a big fan of Katzelkraft stamps. For the past 3 years I've managed to complete the 10 Weeks Before Christmas Challenge on the Katzelkraft Forum. I am not affiliated with the company in any way -  I just like their stamps and so I wanted to let you know that at the moment there are discounts of 10-30% on some of these great stamps. You can see all the offers here . As the stamps are unmounted, postage is very reasonable and delivery from France to the UK is pretty fast, you can even pay with PayPal so it is very simple to do. If there's a stamp you've seen me use that you've liked, this would be an ideal time to buy it. The sale is on while stocks last so don't delay.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Having taken part in the Craft Barn Calendar Challenge in 2011 and 2012 I have got used to having a monthly calendar on the wall by my desk. In 2013 because of the ongoing Alpha Challenge there was no calendar challenge and I was missing my calendar. Mary Anne who organises the UK Scrappers forum has created some lovely calendar printables on her blog here which can be decorated as you wish. I think they are nice enough to leave as they are so I just matted mine onto coordinating patterned card.


Monday, 6 January 2014


I sometimes visit the craft section on the MoneySaving Expert forum and currently we are all trying to set targets of items we have to make using our existing supplies before we can spend on any other craft items. I have failed miserably (I just can't resist a bargain) but am still determined to use some of the things that have been languishing unseen for a long time. One of the suggestions was when using a sticker sheet for a particular project to use up the rest of the sheet straight away and this came to mind the other day when I found a whole sheet of Penny Black Stickeroos. The reason why I bought them is forgotten in the mists of time but having bought them many years ago I had not used a single one. I made a start with one of the stickers and came up with this:

It was loosely based on this card . I matted the sticker onto kraft card and used some scraps from a Crafty Individuals paper pad.
Next was this:

I matted the sticker on black card and added some Crafty Individuals paper and some punched shapes.

matted onto kraft card with a Katzelkraft stamped background.
Lastly this:

matted onto black card with a Papermania doily diecut and some Crafty Individuals paper.
I even used the last few bits to make some small tags:

although I think the page pebbles were perhaps a step too far. They were found in a ribbon drawer and have become yellow with age which is quite disappointing when you consider that they are a scrapbooking product.
So in the end all that I was left with was this:

which is going in the bin!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Katzelkraft S8 C1 - the last one

The last of my cards for the Katzelkraft challenge is week 8's waterfall card. I've never made one of these before from scratch - I've used kits in the past but I thought it would be cheating to use a kit for this. I used the instructions from here and although I've been putting this card off it was surprisingly easy (although the instructions seemed to have an extra piece of card that I didn't need). I used a Hero Arts stamp set for the 4 flowers and coloured them with coloursoft pencils. The embossing folder is secret garden by Papermania. Here are close-ups of the other flowers:


I really enjoyed the various tasks in the challenge this year and I would like to thank Christou and Dominike who organised it all. So ... à la prochaine fois mes amies!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year - 2014

There's nothing like bringing in the new year in spectacular fashion.

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