Happy New Year, everyone!

Copyright #pugking on m0rtality

Here's wishing everyone health, wealth and happiness in the coming New Year.

Collage created by me using PicMonkey online photo editor

Let's hope 2014 will be wonderful!

Inkypinkycraft blog makeover for Trace Metcalfe

Inkypinkcraft - my 2nd makeover for Trace

I've just about finished Trace's latest makeover for inkypinkycraft (this is the second one I've done for her) and it's my favourite yet! Very gentle, very graceful...and all done apart from a few tweaks.

My first makeover for Trace

This is my first makeover, much busier - but that was the fashion at the time. Things have now swung to a much cleaner, clearer feel - very much Shabby Chic rather than the Grunge of a year or so ago.

I find it fascinating how our tastes and styles change over time - yes, there's a fashion to blogs just as there is to interior decoration and clothes!

Hope you like - have to say I LOVE it!

Happy Christmas - downloadable digital card & Christmas Log decoration

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Here's a digital Christmas card I've made from one of my photos of my Christmas Log decoration. Do go ahead and to download and print off, if you feel inclined. Right click to bring up to full size, left click to copy to your computer. Enjoy!

Christmas Log and a couple of prezzies on top of the DVD player.

Closeup of the cute robin in his little hat
Back view of the log
When making a table decoration, the back view of the piece is as important as the front, as it's going to be seen from all angles.

Closeup of the prezzies - fiendishly wrapped, so my husband can't tamper with them before the Big Day. Don't you just love wire-edged ribbon? And it really is worth buying the more expensive quality of wrapping paper: it doesn't rip, and it takes folds beautifully. Having said that, I've noticed an unwanted crease! Rats...

Christmas wreath

Reds, deep bronzes, golds, a little greenery and some snow spray.
Detail - lovely glossy apples and deep red berries, artificial Christmas tree pieces with snow spray.

I've really gotten into making wreaths, and this year's is themed red and gold (above). Last year was silver and blue (below).

This bow is some kind of transparent PVC, wired - very strange stuff I'd never seen before!
I found a wonderful floristry wholesalers, and just adore these glittered pears etc. If you're making a fake wreath, just go for it!
I've mixed in Christmas ornaments, glittered leaves, pieces of artificial Christmas tree - thank goodness for hot glue guns!

I've also been looking online, and found some wonderful Christmas quotes at Quotegarden, and one that refers (a bit) to wreaths in a general way.

We ring the bells and we raise the strain
We hang up garlands everywhere
And bid the tapers twinkle fair,
And feast and frolic - and then we go
Back to the same old lives again.
~Susan Coolidge

And Pinterest has some wonderful wreaths, so do go and look and find one that inspires you - they aren't hard to make, and they look wonderful! Happy Dot Mom does a great coffee wreath tutorial which looks easy and also great fun...

Deck the halls with boughs of holly ... fake or real, it all looks great!

Chirstmas Angel dress form

Feather wings, to which I've added gilding leaf - plus a feather butterfly, gilded snowflakes etc

I thought you might like to see my Christmas Angel dress form, where I've used a Kraft form by Indigo Blu.

Here's a lovely quote I found, which I rather like: 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

And another view of the dress form:

Lots of flat back 'crystal' stones all round the top of the bodice
and the back of the form:
I've stamped and embossed onto moldable plastic, and bent the shape before it cooled
Closeup of the quote (by Indigo Blu)

Hope you like it!

 The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly. ~G.K. Chesterton

Angel card using Pam Carriker stamps

I love playing around with new stamps, and these are the newest of the new - Pam Carriker stamps!

I'm using the Lady Macbeth stamp from her Poetic Portrait series, and the I Will Soar angel wings set on this card. I stamped onto cream card with Rangers Archival ink in Black, then shaded the background with 3 colours of Distress inks: a lilac (Milled Lavender), a blue-ish grey (Weathered Wood) and a deep subtle pink (Victorian Velvet), using a foam Blending tool to merge the colours, then smooshed some of the Victorian Velvet onto an acrylic block and applied this to the cheeks of the face with a paintbrush and lots of water.

The crown is outlined, then flooded with Glossy Accents. I also picked out some of the individual feathers with Glossy Accents as well (make sure the paint is dry first, lol).

How I did the wings etc.... 
  • I stamped the Lady, then stamped onto a Post-It to make a mask.
  • I then put the mask over the face to protect it while I stamped the first wing over the top.
  • I stamped the wing onto a Post-It, cut it out and masked this wing.
  • I stamped the second wing over the top.
  • When you take away the masks, the second wing appears to be behind the first one, and both wings behind the Lady's shoulders.

I cut the card to size, edged it with black ink,mounted it to lilac glitter card and layered that to a folded red card. You'll notice I scored the card at about the 2-thirds mark, so the back portion would show from the front. The lilac card strip at the back was punched with a Martha Steward snowflake punch (actually a corner punch, but I used it straight) and layered with the left-over gold ribbon I used on the front of the card. The letters are foam scrapbooking letters. Et voila!

I love Pam's designs - very strong, and you can do so much with them. I made an angel this time - but you can be sure I'll be making quite a few other cards as well. Which will all be totally different. Watch this space!

Da Vinci Lady card with an easy peasy resist technique

Just done a new card, and thought you'd like to see the finished result.

I've also posted this on the Blade Rubber blog, so you aren't seeing double!

This is a great card for beginners or anyone in a hurry or batch stamping, as this is a virtually foolproof, effective and very simple resist technique (the actual blending of inks is shown in a YouTube video in my post on the Blade Rubber blog). The clear images (the white feathers you can see) are actually stamped with a clear pigment ink and embossed with a clear powder, showing the the original colour of the card underneath (white in this case).

The Da Vinci Lady is available special order only - so pls contact the shop

The background

Using ordinary white card, I stamped Tim Holtz's peacock feather from his Tattered Elements set, using Versamark ink. I then stamped a second time using Ranger's Archival ink in Black, and dusted both sets of images with clear embossing powder, which I then heated. Versamark is a really sticky ink, and stamping this first gave me plenty of time to stamp in black, before embossing all the images in one go.

I then tinted the white card using Distress ink in three different colours, shades of turquoise and green, which blended together nicely. I used  sponge applicators to apply the ink randomly - Cut'n'Dry will also work.

The Lady

I stamped her with the same black Archival ink, and embossed her with clear powder. I then tinted the background with the same blend of Distress inks (using the ink still left on the sponge applicators - one for each colour) and kept the centre of the image - her face and neck - with virtually no colour at all, just a smidge to tint the white card. (This stamp is by Blade Rubber Stamps by special order - email or phone the shop for details).


Trim the pieces down in size if needed, then matt them onto several layers of contrasting cardstock. Here, I used a textured metallic gold card, turquoise glitter and a base card of heavyweight black cardstock. And a piece of black velvet ribbon as a finishing touch.

Hope you like it!

Blogging for beginners: how to add a link inside a post

You can see the two links here

I've had an email asking me how to add links in a post. This really isn't as hard as it looks! Here's how I do it...

First, type the words you want to link. For argument's sake, we'll say I want to go to a tutorial I have on my Computery blog.

First, highlight and COPY the url - this is the address you want the link to go to.

Highlight the words or phrase you want to use to make your link, then click on the Link icon in the top toolbar of your posting area.

Next, type your post. Highlight any word or phrase you want to use as the link, like I have done here.

Clicking on the LINK icon in the posting area will bring up the EDIT LINK box. The text you typed will display in the top TEXT TO DISPLAY box. If you don't like the wording, you can type something else in here, which will immediately change the text in the post for you.

You've already copied the url you want the link to go to - now paste it into the WEB ADDRESS box.

You may want to tick the OPEN THIS LINK IN A NEW WINDOW box before you click OK. This means the link will open in a separate page when clicked on. If you don't tick this, you'll find your blog changes to the new link url, and people will need to remember to use their back arrow to get back to you.

If you want to make your link really stand out, highlight the words or phrase in the post and then click the BOLD and ITALIC buttons, like I've done here.

Finally, I'm adding the link again here (to save you scrolling back up this post, although you can if you want, just to see I've done it all 'live', as it were).

Hope this helps!

Yet another Christmas card

Top-folding card, with a satin ribbon running top to bottom
Closeup of deckle edged image. The wings have an edge of glitter, and the rest is a very heavy coat of Crackle Glaze over watercolour
This one is using the Angels stamp sheet, which is my own stamp design for Blade Rubber Stamps. Another sample for my 23 November class.

View from the front. The background is pearlised charcoal card, stamped with a snowflake image - one lot with Black Sparkle embossing powder and the other with white gesso.
This is actually two stamps - the original includes the background shape, and the second one is the outline image, which I've stamped over the top. I love the texture here.
I've developed what I think is a new technique (at least, I've never seen it anywhere) where I've incorporated gesso with watercolours for a rather different effect - plus texture! Sort of a 'now you see it, now you don't' effect.

More cards for Christmas

Glitter paper, punched-out snowflakes, diamante stones, vintage lace at the bottom and Tim Holtz 'Vintage Market' die cut letters which I've glittered.

Another card, using Lynne Perella stamps. Again for my 23 November class at Blade Rubber Stamps.

A closeup showing the glitter paper I die cut to leave a frame. I've layered this over pearlised charcoal. To get this dimension, I've used pop dots around the apertures, and glued flat on the outer edges of the card, making it curve. Effective, I think...

Liberal amounts of glitter over watercolour paints, plus flat-back black diamante stones. I've added dimension to the Christmas trees with Sepia Accents.

This time, I've stamped and embossed the image with a Black Sparkle glitter powder, then painted with watercolours. This gives a very different effect.

Hope you like it.

Card samples for Christmas

Gold Queen - a die cut frame from textured gold card layered to a differently textured gold card.
Vintage braids, satin ribbon, diamante stones

Closeup detail showing the different layers of glitter I've used, plus the painting. The Lady is stamped onto acetate using Staz-On.

I've a whole heap of cards as samples for my 23 November class using Lynne Perella stamps (plus a few others, as you do ...) When I say a whole heap, I mean 7 - which is a lot for me in one session. Which was over a couple of days, as there was a lot of drying time involved. I don't work THAT fast, lol.

So I'll be loading these over a couple of days, or one post would go on for ever!

I've worked on acetate, painting it with acrylics, glittering it, layering it.

The RETIFORM technique - some cards for men

GOOD TIMES - I've used a metal die to cut the shape after doing all the artwork, then kept the die in place to add extra shading at the edges, which results in a lighter border. I rather like this effect!
Men's cards are always a major headache, so I thought you might enjoy seeing some Retiform cards I've made.
GOOD TIMES - detail of corner, with satin ribbon.
 I just finished these samples last night, ready for my class at Blade Rubber on 5th October.

The binoculars have a heavy layer of Ranger's Crackle Glaze, which I rather like. I watercoloured the face and hands to add a very light tint.
I love the way the colours blend together, making new shades.
The main images are stamped in Ranger's Archival Ink in black, and the actual Retiform shading is all done with Distress inks.
Images by Paper Artsy, swirl by Stampington
I've cut the die shape first (from vintage sheet music) then worked on that, stamping the main images with Archival ink in black. The numbers and phrase are in Archival ink in plum.
I love these brads - they look like screws!
This technique has been around for a while: a simplified version is the Grid technique. I think this is just as easy to do, but the results are much more sophisticated - and unpredictable. You never know what you're going to get, which is half the fun.

BOY - I created the artwork first, on dark red card. I die cut it, then ran it through an embossing folder.
This one's a bit different in that I used bleach on the boy's face (the card is dark red) and highlighted the embossed text with gilt cream. I also used some red lace on the left-hand edge.

Detail of the little bottles and the lace
I added tiny glass bottles, encased them with a strip of torn, stamped and inked paper (using plenty of silicon glue) as an extra element.

Detail of the soldered glass slide holding a vintage photo

In the Old Days, we used to scuff the actual pad along to create the shading. All I can say is, God bless Tim Holtz, Ranger Inks and their wonderful Blending Tool! You can use it (or a piece of Cut'N'Dry) with vitually any ink, and it really makes the job a pleasure rather than a chore. I used to get cramped hands trying to guide full sized ink pads.

This one I did around a year ago
Having looked at a couple of my old cards, I'd say my style has certainly changed. And I think you'll agree the shading on the new ones is way superior to the dragged ink pad effect of this older one!

I'd forgotten how much fun this technique is - I'll certainly be doing more - I'm addicted now.