My inky travels along life's rocky road

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S2 K

The special K card this week requires us to draw inspiration from a step-by-step by DT member Christelle. You can see the details here.
I made a card instead of gift tags using the bunting shape cut with a Sizzix die. The central image is a KTZ stamp mounted with foam pads onto some watercolour paper coloured with barn door & mowed lawn DIs. I used some leftover scraps of this to cut some flowers.
That's week 2 finished - only 8 more to go...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S2 C1

Sorry it's difficult to get a decent pic with all the metallic elements on this card. This is a 10cm/4" scalloped card blank. I layered sticky backed metallic foil onto some card and used a Cuttlebug cut and emboss set for the dove and leaf. The circle was cut from some purple embossing foil with a framelits die and embossed around the edge with an embossing wheel. The leaf was coloured with pesto alcohol ink. I used a KTZ leaf stamp across the 4 corners with Versafine Spanish moss.

Monday, 27 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S2 C3

This card had to use heat embossing. I used a KTZ bauble & bell stamp and heat embossed it. Then I used my embossing pens to colour in various parts and clear embossed them. The background rectangle was cut with a nestie and stamped with my favourite KTZ background text stamp. The sentiment was stamped with Adirondack red pepper and clear heat embossed.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge S2 C2

Week 2's recipes are:

1 use some metal
2 use white, grey and a touch of another colour
3 heat embossing
K follow a step-by-step by Christelle here
I had an idea for card 2 so I started with that. Using only white and grey meant it had to involve snow so I used a KTZ snowman.

I stamped him in Brilliance starlite black (which is a soft grey) on scrap card, double embossed his scarf and cut him out. The background is some grey paper with a slight pattern. I stamped some snowflakes in Brilliance moonlight white and heat embossed them with clear glitter powder. I tore some white card to make some snowy ground and added a grey embossed sentiment. This was mounted onto a white card blank.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

LIM 195

This week's challenge on the Less Is More blog is to use newsprint. I used a Marianne die to cut the bird and branch from an old book page. Coloured in the leaves and branches with coloursoft pencils and made a background with a tiny amount of yellow Brusho (hope it's CAS enough). The sentiment is from a tiny clear stamp set.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Katzelkraft Monthly Challenge - October

Ok all of you who don't like my scary monkey stamp, look away now...

This month's theme for the Katzelkraft monthly challenge is 'Distress It' and I have given scary monkey an airing. I have just managed to complete my entry before the deadline of the 25th. This is a page of a journal I bought ages ago. When I use a stencil or have any excess ink I wipe it on a page of this book. In addition to scary monkey I have used the clock and the large splatter stamps from the same set and stamps from other KTZ sets. The circle was cut with 2 framelits dies and stamped with the KTZ woodgrain stamp. The alpha used is Sizzix's stencilled die. Click on the pic to see the background more clearly.

KTZ Card Sketch 1

One of the many new challenges on the Katzelkraft forum is a card sketch (see below). I made a quick card using a Kraft base, a gold embossed KTZ stamp and an embossed mat. The sentiment is a piece of washi tape on a strip of card.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Nowhere and Childhood Catch-up

Get your air guitars ready for the 21st entry in the Craft Barn's Q&L Challenge! The words are 'Nowhere' and 'Hug' and it was a lyric week for me. 'Hug' just seemed too saccharin for the mood I am currently in so it had to be 'Nowhere'. Having The Beatles on my mind this month I immediately thought of 'Nowhere Man' and then the 'Road to Nowhere' (Talking Heads) but I wanted something different... METALLICA! This song is on their Death Magnetic album and is called The Unforgiven 111. It has the line 'How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?' It made me think of all the displaced children in the world at the moment. I've used this image of a child behind a barbed wire fence before and thought it fitted well - I find her face quite haunting.
I sprayed 2 shades of Glimmer Mist over TH's shatter stencil and then some random stencilled dots. I highlighted the barbed wire over the image with a silver Sharpie and extended the wires over the page. Added some stamped circles and some black enamel dots. The text is computer generated and 'nowhere' is cut from Sizzix's blocktalk die. I brushed ink over the top half of the letters and like the ombré effect it created. I felt the page needed a lift of colour so added a KTZ splat in red.
Edited to add: I've just noticed that Pauline from the Craft Barn DT has used the same quote. Great minds...

And now for something completely different:

I finally managed to catch up with my missing page for Challenge 18. The words were Childhood and Easier. I was away on holiday and had chosen a quote but couldn't manage to actually do the page until now.
The Childhood quote I've chosen is by Elizabeth Lawrence and reads:

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colours are brighter, the air softer and the morning more fragrant than ever again.

I wanted to create a slightly magical, unreal scene with bright colours. I started with a background of brushed corduroy, peeled paint and broken china DIs and the stamped some Darkroom Door flowers. The brightly coloured flowers are from a Hero Arts set which I stamped on scrap card, cut out and stuck over some of the stems. The child is an old photo stamp I bought in a secondhand sale which I coloured with DIs. I printed out the quote and added some butterflies stamped onto a leftover scrap of Brusho'd card.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Katzelkraft Christmas Challenge - S1 K

The Special K card this week is to be inspired by a card created by Karola Witczak (see below) respecting the round shape and doing some stamping in the background. I decided to make a card that could be hung up as a decoration. I cut a circle with a framelits die and used a smaller die as a mask to outline the edge. The snowflake stamps are by Non Sequitur. I cut a Mariane bauble and used spotted fabric tape behind it. The other bauble was embossed and highlighted with brushed corduroy DI. I made a bow with more fabric tape and added punched snowflakes and some dots of enamel accents. A couple of brads finished off the piece. Whilst these are not traditional Christmas colours I do like the blue and brown colour scheme and will think about using it again soon.

Monday, 20 October 2014

KTZ Christmas Challenge - S1 C3

A card that had to have some embossing on it. This is one of my original Cuttlebug embossing folders and I have used it a lot. The same goes for this KTZ robin stamp which comes on the winter plate. I coloured the image with coloursoft pencils and added some glitter for the snow. The aperture was cut with a framelits die.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

KTZ Challenge S1 C2

This recipe was for a quick card using 1 piece of paper, 1 stamp and 1 message. Recently I had watched a video of a demo of Yupo paper which is a synthetic paper and alcohol inks. I had some card from a brochure hanging around on my desk and decided to try the same technique of dropping a line of ink across a page and building up stripes which merge together at the edges. Of course the ink just soaked through without really merging because I was using a porous card but I liked the effect. I tried to dab a little blending solution over but that didn't really work and created the small splattered effect you can see. I overstamped with a KTZ image which comes with text. Because the Versafine ink reacts with the alcohol inks it gives a blotchy image but I think this added to the snowy effect.  I have wanted this stamp for a while - it is such a lovely image that can be stamped over any background. I mounted it on a lilac/grey card blank. This card took about 15 minutes to make  - I think I spent the bulk of the time choosing the alcohol ink colours!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

10 weeks before Christmas - the Katzelkraft Challenge

For the 4th year running I am entering the Katzelkraft 10 semaines avant Noël challenge (10 weeks before Christmas). Each week we are given 3 cards to make plus this year there will be a 'Special K'. We can make 3 cards or all 4 or substitute the Special K for 1 of the 3 cards like a joker. What I like about this challenge is that there is no pressure to complete in order, they don't have to be Christmas cards and you can dip in and out as you wish - you don't even have to use Katzelkraft stamps although it is appreciated if you do. At the end of the 10 weeks I have a varied selection of cards and I have learned a few new French words (plus my wishlist of KTZ stamps has grown).
This week's recipes are:

1 Use corrugated card.
2 Make an express card using 1 piece of paper, 1 stamp and 1 sentiment.
3 Make a card with some embossing.
Special K - Make a round card with stamping in the background drawing inspiration from this card by Karola Witczak
Happily I had some corrugated packaging on my desk (I knew it would come in handy one day) so I started with the first card. I carefully ripped off the top layer of paper to reveal the corrugated part. I bought this Peace movers & shapers die in the Sizzix sale this summer and decide to see if it would work with the card - it cut it well. The outer oval is a nestie die which conveniently matches the peace oval. It also worked well with the thick card. I added some pearls to a zigzag die cut and mounted it all on cream hammered card. The bird is a KTZ stamp, painted with Twinkling H2O in solar gold

Friday, 17 October 2014

Katzelkraft Art Journal - Architecture

Dominike, a very talented lady on the Katzelkraft forum, has devised a 12 week art journal challenge. Architecture is the first aspect of art she has chosen and as we start our voyage she has decided we are going to begin in New York. In addition we have to use paper, stencils and show light on our page.
I used some brown paper packaging from an Amazon order to tear some building shapes (including the Guggenheim Museum 2nd from the right!)  I masked around the Statue of Liberty from the Katzelkraft Capitals stamp and then added TH's rays stencil emanating from Liberty's torch. The sky was painted with blue ice Twinkling H2O. I stencilled the City name and printed the text which is a line from Alicia Keys' homage to New York 'Empire State of Mind'.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

UK Stampers ATC Swap October

Continuing with the musical theme for our ATC swap on the UK Stampers forum, Vonny has chosen The Beatles. I couldn't decide which song to do so I chose 3.
1 Eleanor Rigby - the photoreal image was in a grab bag I bought some time ago. It's stamped in Archival grape. The border is another grab bag find which I felt needed some coloured highlights.
2 Ticket to Ride - sorry a bit obvious but there's a nod to 'With Love From Me To You' on the ticket. The background is a TH ticket stamp and the horse head is a KTZ stamp. The large ticket is a Papermania stamp.
3 Here, There & Everywhere - a scrap from an old map and 3 arrows with different lettering. Although 2 look very similar, 1 is stamped and one is stencilled and doodled. The third arrow is a stencil.
So 3 ATCs and not a sprinkle of Brusho on any of them!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Katzelkraft Tag Challenge 2


I skipped the first tag challenge on the Katzelkraft forum because I'm not keen on Halloween but the second one was right up my street. The recipe for the tag was a bird, a book page, gesso /medium and some sort of ink or spray. I stuck some ripped pages onto a tag, sprinkled yellow and green Brusho and spritzed with water. When dry I spread some gloss gel medium through a stencil but this just soaked up the Brusho colours creating an effect I hadn't expected. The gel has dried to give the tag some texture and made the Brusho colours even more vibrant. I stamped a KTZ flourish with Stazon and added 2 stamped birds by Stamping Bella. I outlined the birds with a white pen to define them and added the quote from a Paper Artsy Ink & the Dog set.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Poppy Planting

I may have mentioned before (a few times!) that I love poppies. Last Friday I volunteered to plant some poppies at the Tower of London. This is part of Britain's commemoration of the centenary of the start of WW1. Each ceramic poppy is handmade, brought to the Tower in boxes, mounted onto stakes of differing lengths and planted in the moat. By Remembrance Day this year (11th November) there will be 888,246 poppies - each representing a fatality in the war. The art installation is entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' which is a line from a poem by an unknown author.

The poppies tumble out of a window and flow around the moat in swathes. The sight is tragic and beautiful at the same time.
I was lucky that the weather was dry, bright and not too breezy and was able to see the artist Paul Cummins who thought up the idea. I enjoyed the assembling and planting so much that before I knew it my 4 hours were over.
If you are in London and haven't visited the installation yet , I urge you to do so. It is truly awesome and you don't even need to buy a ticket to see it.
From 12th November onwards the poppies will be removed, washed and sold with proceeds going to 6 service charities. I have already placed my order...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Katzelkraft Cardlift 1

There are a whole raft of new challenges over on the Katzelkraft forum and one of them is a cardlift of a card by Bridget . In addition we had to use a stamp in the background. I used a stencil with Brilliance pearlescent lime and a KTZ splatter stamp in archival teal. The stars are cut with a Cuttlebug die set and I had some green and blue star gems and silver sequins. A scrap piece of vellum and a peel-off (yes I am still trying to use up my peel-offs) made the small tag.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

When one door closes, another opens...

A very dear family friend died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 85. She had been a widow for over 20 years and had no children or family in this country. She was always there for me when I needed support and we had some very happy times together so it was natural that when she needed help I tried to support her. She had various struggles with illness but managed to live independently until April of this year when she was told that she had @2 months to live. We decided that she would be happiest spending her last days in her own home but she needed to have someone around 24/7 . We were fortunate that mentally she was all there right until the very end and we had a nice bunch of people looking after her.
One of her nieces came over for the funeral. I had met her in April but this time we had a better chance to get to know each other over a few days. She is my age, we both seem to have a similar sense of humour and we both had a much-needed couple of days of unwinding after the stress of the previous weeks and months. One of the things I discovered about her was she loves anything cat related. Also during one of our shopping trips I discovered her love of Scrabble. The cat image is from some wrapping paper I bought several years ago and the Scrabble tiles are from a set of wooden stickers a friend gave me as a RAK. This card is just a thank you to her for a great few days and a hope that we will get together again soon.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Quotes & Lyrics - Gift

For the 20th Challenge in the Craft Barn's Quotes & Lyrics Challenge the words are Gift & Destiny. This was a quote week for me and luckily I remembered this quote stamp I have that includes the word gift. I stamped the text and then masked the words  Yesterday, Tomorrow and Today however with all the spraying and squirting the colours ran under the masks so in the end I had to re-stamp the words and add them again. The stencil by Balzer Designs was sprayed with 2 shades of Glimmer Mist (aren't these a pain to use ? They just keep blocking up) and outlined with a Pigma micron pen. The remaining background uses my current favourite - Brusho powder paints. I only have blue, yellow, green, black and white so you may start to get fed up of seeing these colours but I love the effects they create. I sprinkled yellow, blue & green and spritzed with water and gold shimmer spray. When dry I dabbed seedless preserves DI over the page and added a layered flower to the stencilled circle with a candi dot centre.
I do try and visit all of your fab entries but I don't do Facebook or Google+ so whilst I admire that work I am unable to comment on it.
Edited to add: A Wall of Fame Winner.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Twinkling Poppy

A few weeks ago I bought a Goody Box from the Craft Barn. I've had one in the past and like the element of surprise when you open the box. I was thrilled to find an IndigoBlu poppy stamp in my box. I love poppies and cannot resist poppy stamps, dies etc. I decided to have a play and stamped the image in Versafine Spanish moss. I coloured the stem and leaves with Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor  and painted the flower head with playful peony Twinkling H2O. The stamped panel was mounted with foam pads onto a card blank and a CeeDs sentiment was added.
Here's another one painted with poppy red H2O and mounted (without foam pads) onto gold card. This colour has a very pronounced gold shimmer:

Sunday, 5 October 2014

UK Stampers Postcard Swap - October

This month's theme for the postcard swap on UK Stampers is favourites. My current favourite is definitely Brusho and techniques using it. A while ago a friend gave me 5 containers of Brusho and I had mixed them with water to make paints. Recently I've seen crafters using Bistre (for example here ) and watched a couple of you tube videos about Brusho. I don't really know what Bistre is but Brusho is a powder paint mixed with crystals that has been used in schools for years. Bistre and Brusho have very similar properties and may even be the same thing but I'm not sure.
The method I'm using is sprinkling tiny amounts of the powder onto card and spritzing with water. Each attempt produces a different result and it is hard to control but this one looked like a flower head so I helped it along by using a paint brush to tease the water and pigment with a brush to create a stem. I also gave it a spritz with gold shimmer spray and edged the postcard with peacock feathers DI. I added some computer generated text and some photo corners. As there has to be some stamping somewhere on the postcard, I used a tiny ladybird from Invoke Arts.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


A new month and I'm not sad to see the back of the last one. I am looking forward rather than backward and feeling more positive about the rest of the year.

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