Friday, March 16, 2018


As crafters, I'm sure we're all familiar with the old adage, 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' - in fact, we even created our own version of the phrase: CASEing. To CASE means to 'copy and share everything' and it's a major part of what we do - we share our creations in the hopes of inspiring others. There is an etiquette to CASEing though: if you copy someone's else's work, you give them credit for the original design and don't just purloin it as your own idea.

Today's card is one I've CASEd from Paula Dobson, who is a master with a brayer or a sponge. Sure, I've made a few cosmetic changes, but it's still essentially the card she designed. I fell in love with it and simply could not resist attempting to recreate it, and I'm so glad I did.

Here's my take:

You can see Paula's original here, plus she also gives a brief rundown on how she made it. Two tips I can give from my own experience: (1) don't apply too much ink when you're sponging and (2) keep inky fingers away from the clean white space! (yep, learned that one the hard way, lol)

Materials used:

  • stamps - Amazing You (SAB)
  • card - soft sky, basic black, whisper white
  • other - white embossing powder, heat tool, embossing buddy, Celebrate You thinlits, Big Shot, Dimensionals, sponges, rhinestones, stamp-a-ma-jig

We're coming to the end of the Sale-a-bration promotion, but I know I'll be using this stamp/die combo for many months to come, I just love it.

Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hugs and Flowers

Inspired by a Monica Gale card, I played around this morning with my new Stamparatus. In case you've been asleep through all the hoopla about this stamp positioning apparatus, it's a recent Stampin' Up! product which will be on the market worldwide on June 1st. What sets it apart from other similar tools is that it has two removable/reversible stamp platforms, giving you the opportunity to set up four (yep, FOUR) stamps at once for multi-step stamping. It also means you can do the effect I've done here, called hinge step stamping.

The flowers were coloured with pink pirouette and old olive Stampin' Blends, then accented with my sweet sugarplum marker. Lightly drawing around the silhouette with Sahara sand or (as in this case) soft sky marker creates a natural shadow and makes the bouquet 'pop' visually out from the paper. Try not to look at the crookedness of my white layer - when this happens in class, we always say "That's how you know it's been lovingly hand made and not mass produced". Well, that's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking with it!

Materials used:

  • stamps - Lots of Lavender (SAB), Lovely Inside & Out
  • card - sweet sugarplum, basic black, whisper white
  • other - Stampin' Blends, markers, Stamparatus, Dimensionals, white embossing powder, heat tool

Here's a video of the hinge step stamping technique:

This is the same technique I used on my 'sneakers' card here. Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lavender Love

Have you had a play with SU's new Shimmer White Embossing Paste? No? OH. MY. GOODNESS. Order some NOW!!!

I had a play with this new product earlier in the week and instantly fell in love. There will be a whole lot more on my next order, believe me.

Here's the first finished card. For this I mixed two drops of flirty flamingo re-inker with a good sized blob of paste (gave me enough for two cards), then used it on SU's diamond decorative mask (comes in a pack with 3 others). It is soooooooo damn sparkly and pretty - trust me, you won't be able to resist this stuff. Hint: once your jar is opened, cover the top with Glad Wrap before putting the lid back on (to stop the air getting to it and hardening it).

Materials used:

  • stamps - Lots of Lavender
  • card - whisper white, flirty flamingo, fresh fig
  • other - shimmer white embossing paste, palette knives, silicone craft sheet, re-inker, Pattern Party decorative masks, blender pen, layering ovals dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, clear Wink of Stella

Here's a bit closer up so you can see the sparkle.

Have I convinced you yet to get some? Good! Go forth and purchase! (and hey, thanks for calling in)


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Just Me and My 'Connies'

If I'm being honest, I would have to admit there have been advantages to having been forced into retirement; one of those being that I get to spend most of my days in casual clothes. Hand-in-hand with that is having reached "that age" where I mostly choose my footwear for comfort rather than fashion (yes, it pains me to admit it, but it can no longer be denied) - and thus, enter my favourite shoes: my red Converse sneakers. (Not that they're not fashionable, cos they are, but they're not office attire!) These factors are a large part, I'm guessing, of the appeal that the SAB stamp set Epic Celebrations holds for me. I simply cannot resist those sneakers!

So yesterday I happened to be at my friend Robbie's house and she just happened to let me have a play with her new Brushos, and then I just happened to get a brand spanking new Stamparatus - and yeah, okay - Houston, we have a card. (Unfortunately, I also just happened to not notice my stamping was a bit crooked until the card was finished. Ho hum. At least the recipient probably won't notice.) Here tis:

Materials used:

  • stamps - Epic Celebrations
  • card - pumpkin pie, basic black, watercolour
  • other - Stamparatus, layered circles dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, aqua painter, Brushos, water spritzer

Are you loving it? Me too. This'll go into the pile for DD25 to give to her students - which is a wonderful excuse for me to make kid cards and teen cards now that both my daughters are too old for such things! Well, until they start giving me grandbabies, that is (lol).

I hope you have the chance to have a play in your craft area today. Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Vintage Card for a Vintage Man

In class this week we're making the very simple masculine cards I showed you here, but I also wanted to give my ladies something with a 'bit more' to get their teeth into. A perusal of Pinterest gave me some great ideas, so I hauled out some Tim Holtz dies my DH bought me a while ago which had never seen the light of day (*guilty face*) and reached for my texture paste. Here's what I ended up with:

Firstly I coloured my texture paste with 3 drops of re-inker and applied that to my stencil, randomly using a dabbing motion at the end because I wanted a mix of rough and smooth textures. While that dried I cut my cogs, making sure to use the precision mat for delicate dies so they cut sharply and were easy to remove. I stamped the car and coloured it using ink and a blender pen. Some of the cogs have extra layers for dimension and added interest - the ones at the top and side that protrude past the border, plus the bottom right hand one.

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out and even 'He Who Is Particularly Fussy And Difficult To Please' thinks it's pretty nice.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Guy Greetings
  • card - basic black, very vanilla, baked brown sugar
  • other - stitched oval dies, Big Shot, Tim Holtz cog dies, texture paste, silicone mat, spatula, Dimensionals, stencil, blender pen, precision plate

Hope you get the chance to play creatively today. Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sending You Hugs

If you're a crafter - and let's face it, you probably are if you're reading this - then you may know how it can sometimes happen that you wake up with a project design in your head. I have no idea how it happens that way, just that it's a nice feeling to suddenly have that idea there, rather than have to search for inspiration.

So yes, as you've no doubt already guessed, this morning I woke with the following card floating around inside my grey matter and as soon as I got up out of bed, I went into my craft room to turn it into a reality. For this particular idea, maybe it's because we're big huggers in our family; certainly the wide open arms of the panda made me think of hugs.

Now the panda stamp comes with a party hat on his head, so how did I get rid of that? Well, the answer is that before I stamped him/her I covered the hat with washi tape which was removed after inking, then once stamped merely filled in the missing bits using my black marker. Easy as pie! The border around the 'sending you' sentiment was a lucky happenstance - when I inked up my stamp with Versamark, I obviously pressed way too hard and got ink all around the outside edges of the stamp as well. Of course I didn't know it was there until I applied the embossing powder, when I saw this great border. Pure coincidence, but look how well it turned out! Lastly, to make the 'hugs' part stand out a bit more, I used a Versamark pen to apply ink and clear embossed it. Here's a close up of the shine:

Unfortunately, when I decided I needed to move the position of the sequins, I discovered my mini glue dots had worked too efficiently and they were there for the duration unless I wanted to rip my card. Damn! Ah well, lesson learned, eh?

Materials used:
  • stamps - Party Pandas, Lovely Inside & Out
  • card - basic black, whisper white, melon mambo, retired dsp
  • other - Lovely Words thinlits, Big Shot, white embossing powder, heat tool, Dimensionals, Veramark pen, clear embossing powder, sequins, mini glue dots

I hope you are blessed with some creative inspiration in your day - and a hug or two as well. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Hamming It Up

It's always a blast to make a card that's cute and funny at the same time, so I was chuffed to play with one of the stamp sets Santa brought me. And I got to do some colouring in, so it's all good! Lol.


  • stamps - Hog Heaven (MFT)
  • card - daffodil delight, whisper white, rich razzleberry, Tutti Fruitti dsp
  • other - Stampin' Blends, MFT Hog Heaven dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, simple stripes embossing folder

These little guys are so adorable, they always make me smile. Having made one, I was then inspired to create another, so here tis.

  • stamps - Hog Heaven (MFT)
  • card - whisper white, tranquil tide
  • other - Stampin' Blends, MFT Hog Heaven dies, Big Shot, Dimensionals, Hip Hello die (Poppystamps)

Thanks for calling in.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Heart You

I woke up yesterday morning with an idea for a Valentine's Day card in my head, so naturally I had to try it out to see if my vision would work. And while it's by no means a Work of Art, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Take a lookie:

I did the texture paste hearts first then assembled the rest while I waited for it to dry, and because I had it all mapped out in my head, this card took probably no more than 15 minutes to make. Some retired product used - ie the papers and the triple heart punch - along with the gorgeous new Celebrate You thinlit and Amazing You stamps. This is the best option in the SAB offering, in my opinion. So versatile.

Materials used:

  • stamps - Amazing You
  • card - melon mambo, whisper white, basic black, retired DSP
  • other - stitched circle die, Celebrate You die, Big Shot, triple heart punch, Dimensionals, texture paste, distressing tool

There's a little more decoration on the inside too:

That's it! Happy Valentine's Day to you all and thanks for calling in today.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Mellow Yellow

The cards we're making in class this week all feature yellow - and why not? It's summer and, let's face it, daffodil delight and crushed curry are great colours.

Here's some daffodil paired with Pacific point. This was inspired by a Leonie Schroder creation, which I turned into an easel card.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Bird Banter
  • card - Pacific point, basic black, whisper white, watercolour, cucumber crush
  • other - beautiful branches thinlits, Big Shot, aqua painter, Dimensionals, stitched rectangle die

A simple lever card makes an ideal showcase for the Picture Perfect Birthday set, here paired with retired papers.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Picture Perfect Birthday
  • card - basic black, whisper white, crushed curry, It's My Party dsp
  • other - stitched square framelits, Big Shot, Dimensionals

For our last card we're using a lovely bundle from the second-release SAB catalogue which includes a stamp set and deep embossing folder. Knowing how much I love colouring, it will come as no surprise to you that I pre-ordered this one! I stamped the basket using basic grey ink, then over-stamped with Versamark and added clear embossing powder. Colouring was done with daffodil delight, pumpkin pie, old olive and crumb cake Stampin' Blends.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Blossoming Basket, Tabs for Everything
  • card - daffodil delight, smoky slate, whisper white
  • other - basket weave embossing folder, Big Shot, Stampin' Blends, clear embossing powder, heat tool, jewellery tag punch (retired), linen thread, Dimensionals, paper piercer

Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Classy Gents

Today I really enjoyed making up some masculine cards for my stash, using one of my all-time favourite elegant colour combos of vanilla and black. SU's Truly Tailored stamp set dovetails perfectly with older SU punches and dies, plus some other dies I bought on eBay.

Materials used:

  • stamps - Truly Tailored
  • card - basic black, very vanilla
  • other - masculine dies (brand unknown), tailored tag punch, moustache die, bow builder punch, large black rhinestones (non SU)

The one with the bow tie makes me think how sumptuous men look in a tux - am I right, ladies?

Thanks for calling in.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Yeast Likely

With two Kiwis and two Aussies in our family, the (mostly) good-natured rivalry between the two countries and their 'inventions' has always been a source of amusement and frustration. Pavlova, of course, is a hotly contended one.

One that hasn't ever been an issue - mainly because DH (in most un-Aussie-like fashion) hates both (in fact he calls them Black Death, lol) - is the argument between Marmite (Kiwi) or Vegemite (Aussie). Growing up in New Zealand, I always had Marmite, which is made from a slightly different recipe to the original UK version. Sources tell me it has been produced in NZ since 1919, whereas Vegemite was not developed in Australia until 1922 (as a result of a post-war shortage of the UK Marmite) and not marketed until the following year.

Yes! Kiwis for the win! They are, of course, very similar products, though I personally find Vegemite much saltier and more bitter.

Anyway, for this year's Waitangi Day card (ie New Zealand Day), DD19 suggested a Marmite card, and I thought that would be a bit of a laugh. I've put my own spin on it, naturally.

Luckily I don't have to mail this, as it stands 18cm tall and is too big for a regular sized envelope!

Materials used:
  • card - basic black, real red, daffodil delight, acetate
  • other - alphabet dies (non SU), Big Shot, large jar die (non SU), corner rounder punch, crimper, computer and printer

This version of Marmite is made solely for the Australasian market in my home town of Christchurch. In November 2011 the factory received some damage from the terrible earthquake that struck Christchurch and production was halted for a few months - causing a nationwide shortage and apparently even a Black Market for Marmite! Luckily, I buy a few jars at a time, so we managed to survive the shortage until my favourite spread was back on the supermarket shelves. Phew!

Hope you're having a happy Marmite Day wherever you are. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 26, 2018

No Place Like Gnome

Every year, as part of the Australia Day celebrations, the Australian Gnome Convention is held just a few kilometres away from us. Now, admittedly, I've never been, but I do love gnomes and so I thought it might be fun to use a gnome on my Australia Day card this year.

This little guy sure looks like he's ready to have some fun, doesn't he, with his jazz hands? LOL. The 'celebrate' die from SU's SAB catalogue was absolutely perfect for my card.

Materials used:
  • stamps - MFT You Gnome Me
  • card - whisper white, real red
  • other - Big Shot, MFT You Gnome Me dies, Dimensionals, Stampin' Blends, Copic markers, Celebrate You thinlits, clip art, computer and printer

Happy Australia Day, everyone. Hopeyouhaveagoodone!


Friday, January 19, 2018


The last few cards from my crafting frenzy are completely unrelated to each other, but do have some things in common: they all use new products and they all feature bold colours. Other than that? Not so much, but I hope you'll enjoy them anyway.

Here's a very straightforward birthday card using a new stamp set called Birthday Wit. This card is actually kind of perfect for my younger daughter, who is diabetic (sugar free), gluten intolerant (gluten free), vegetarian tending-towards-vegan (dairy free) and watching her weight (fat free). She's definitely not caffeine free though!

Materials used:
  • stamps - Birthday Wit
  • card - daffodil delight, island indigo, dsp (old and retired, no idea what it's called), whisper white
  • inks - old olive, daffodil delight, rose red, basic black
  • other - Dimensionals, MISTI

And I made another from the same set as well.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Birthday Wit
  • card - lemon lime twist, calypso coral, whisper white, Bermuda bay, Bubbles & Fizz DSP
  • other - balloon punch, white gel pen, clear embossing powder, heat tool, Dimensionals

You've seen a card not long ago with an adorable party panda - here's a bunch of 'em getting ready to party hard. The photo really doesn't do the card justice, I really messed up with this one *sigh*

Materials used:
  • stamps - Party Pandas
  • card - real red, daffodil delight, whisper white, basic black
  • other - Stampin' Blend alcohol markers, large oval and scallop oval punches, Balloon Pop-Up dies, Big Shot, balloon honeycomb embellishments, Dimensionals, Sahara sand marker

And lastly a bridge-fold card that's a mix of old and new. 

Materials used:
  • stamps - Lift Me Up
  • card - soft sky, whisper white
  • inks - soft sky, crushed curry, Bermuda bay, berry burst
  • other - sponge dauber, Up & Away dies, rhinestones, Dimensionals, rainbow builder framelits, fast fuse, banner punch

How perfect are those cloud dies for the 'bridge'? 

Hey, thanks for calling in. 


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bird Banter

If there's one thing we get plenty of here in the Blue Mountains (and believe me, I mean PLENTY), it's birds. On any given morning I can be woken by the cheeky laughter of kookaburras or the strident sqwarking of cockatoos. I have bower birds stealing all my blue clothes pegs to make a nest and fantails and other small birds dive-bombing the pool for water or the insect life to be found just above the surface.

So it'll come as no surprise that I was immediately drawn to a new stamp set in the Occasions catty called Bird Banter. There are a number of bird varieties together with a few different sentiments to pair them with, and they're just so much fun to colour and use on your cards!

Materials used:
  • stamps - Bird Banter
  • card - soft sky, real red, whisper white, old olive, soft sky dsp
  • dies - thoughtful branches, stitched ovals, lacy ovals (non SU)
  • other - Stampin' Blend alcohol markers, Dimensionals, Big Shot, corner rounder punch

Materials used:
  • stamps - Bird Banter
  • card - lemon lime twist, chocolate chip, whisper white, watercolour
  • other - aqua painter, ink pads, circle die, layered leaves embossing folder, branch die from Colourful Seasons set

So cute! Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Getting Inky

I just adore getting inky!

Sponging and brayering are my favourite methods of ending up with ink all over my fingers and hands, and the card I have for you today is a sponged one. In fact, it's an example of the Bokeh technique (pronounced just like bouquet, I read somewhere). I'm really proud of this card - I'm very, very happy with how it turned out and the colours draw my eyes every time I catch sight of it.

Materials used:
  • stamps - Amazing You
  • card - berry burst, basic black, shimmer white
  • inks - berry burst, daffodil delight, pumpkin pie, whisper white, basic black, crushed curry
  • other - Celebrate You thinlits, fine-tip glue, stamp-a-ma-jig, bokeh template, sponges

What do you think? Is that colour combination a hit for you too?

Although the stamp set contains 'amazing' in the same font as the die, I wanted the extra dimension the die gives, so that's why I've used it. You could just as easily simply stamp the word instead. This stamp set/die combo are both in the SAB catalogue.

Thanks for calling in.

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