{VINTAGE} A team challenge...

I mentioned in a recent post that we were running fortnightly stampin' challenges on my team's Facebook page and I'm back this morning to share my latest entry.

This fortnight was a themed challenge, the theme being vintage. I was hopeful that some sponged edges and the inclusion of lace would pass, as I'm a bit light on for actual stamped images that could be considered in keeping with the theme.

Here's what I came up with...

Stamps:   Painted Petals, And Many More, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Crumb Cake, Naturals White, Typeset Specialty DSP   Ink:   Rose Red, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso   Accessories:   1-3/4" Circle Punch, Venetian Crochet Trim, Epic Day Washi Tape, Linen Thread, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Painted Petals, And Many More, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Crumb Cake, Naturals White, Typeset Specialty DSP Ink: Rose Red, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso Accessories: 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Venetian Crochet Trim, Epic Day Washi Tape, Linen Thread, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Close up detail of the beautiful    Painted Petals   ...

Close up detail of the beautiful Painted Petals...

A tangle of    Linen Thread    in the background

A tangle of Linen Thread in the background

Some contrasting    Washi Tape    brings focus to the greeting

Some contrasting Washi Tape brings focus to the greeting

What's a vintage theme without some    Crochet Trim   ...?

What's a vintage theme without some Crochet Trim...?

Some faded    Dictionary    background stamping in the corners

Some faded Dictionary background stamping in the corners

I was assisted in the design stakes this time around by a sketch from the ever inspiring Retro Sketches...

Happiest of birthdays (last week!) to my beautiful mum and Nanny of my girls. We are so very fortunate to have your loving, positive influence in all of our lives. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do for us xoxo

Thanks for popping in and sharing Nanny's birthday with me today!

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A rose is a rose...

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen the fabulous time I've been having with my Blendabilities of late. After spending yesterday between sleeping on the couch and going back to bed with some kind of annoying virus, I pulled out my Blendies after dinner, sat in front of the tv in my jammies and just coloured.

It was lovely.

Here was the work in progress...

And here's was I just finished turning it into about 10 minutes ago...

MDS:   Fifth Avenue Floral   Stamps:   A Dozen Thoughts, Dictionary   Paper:   Cherry Cobbler, Naturals White, Whisper White, Under the Tree Specialty DSP   Ink:   Soft Suede, Versamark   Accessories:   Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities, Banner Punch, White Stampin' Emboss Powder, Heat Tool, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Antique Brads, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

MDS: Fifth Avenue Floral Stamps: A Dozen Thoughts, Dictionary Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Naturals White, Whisper White, Under the Tree Specialty DSP Ink: Soft Suede, Versamark Accessories: Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities, Banner Punch, White Stampin' Emboss Powder, Heat Tool, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Antique Brads, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

With such a large image, I wasn't sure where to start in terms of making it into a card, so I scoured some of my favourite sketch blogs and landed on Sketch #238 from the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge over at the Sweetest Thing...

With such a large and dominating image as the rose, this sketch had just the right amount of additional embellishments so as to allow the rose to be the main feature, whilst still adding some interest.

For the little circle/banner feature, I paired a Very Vintage Designer Button with an Antique Brad and added a snippet of green from one of the sheets of Under the Tree Specialty DSP, punched with the sweet Banner Punch...

I've been madly preparing for the upcoming Party Time event in Perth, where Stampin' Up! has partnerd with local demonstrators to bring a fabulous stampin' day to the peeps of Perth. I couldn't be more excited!

I will post separately with all the registration details - it's open to everyone and as always, the more stampers the better!

Thanks for popping in - I really appreciate your visit (and your patience!) as I'm very aware that it's exactly a month since there's been any action on these pages...

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Teacher cards 2013 - instalment #3

catherine detail.jpg

Third in my series of teacher appreciation cards for 2013 is this one for one of the lovely Education Assistants in my small girl's Year One class.

I had a lot of fun letting my technique junkie out to play with this one - embossing, sponging, the works!

I started out with a Mojo Monday sketch as a jumping off point - this one to be exact...


And here is the card that eventuated...

catherine card.jpg

Being a large card to give all the parents an opportunity to express their gratitude for the year on the inside, it also gave me the opportunity to use the gorgeous Swallowtail (wood/clear) stamp in a way that allowed it to be a fabulous feature without taking over the entire card front.

I first stamped it in Versamark onto a piece of the hexagon patterned paper out of the This and That Epic Day Designer Series Paper, then embossed the image with clear embossing powder.  I sponged like a madwoman using Soft Suede ink around the edges and in the centre of the embossed image, which allowed the butterfly to stand out a bit against the background, but also for the DSP pattern still to feature.

The three little Pool Party Candy Dots in the top right helped to balance the card and also helped to ensure that I busted open the packet of candy cuteness that has been sitting in my embellishments drawer for a good few months now.  Sometimes I revert back to my childhood ways of owning craft stuff just to look at and marvel over.  

Please tell me I'm not alone...

Hanging a little tag from the Very Vanilla Seam Binding bow allowed me to add the sweet "Thank U" sentiment from the Pennant Parade (wood/clear) stamp set and finish it all off.

I've been really enjoying getting back to my blog and sharing my recent creations - I hope you're enjoying a bit more action around these parts too ;-)

blog signature-001.jpg

Stamps: Swallowtail, Pennant Parade Paper: Pool Party, Naturals White, This and That Epic Day DSP Ink: Versamark, Soft Suede, Early Espresso Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Subtles Candy Dots, Linen Thread, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals 

Challenge Chewsday revisited, French Foliage style...


Once upon a time, I had a regular Tuesday post a-happenin' around here - one I liked to call Challenge Chewsday - where I would choose one of the myriad card challenges from around the interwebs and make a card in keeping with the particular challenge guidelines.

With the intention of revisiting this regular post on a more permanent basis, I thought I'd dip my toe back in the waters of Challenge Chewsday, starting with a card that I made some time ago, so alas, not a current challenge, but a goody all the same...


The layout is the same as this one that I blogged a few months back based on Sweet Sunday Sketch #161, but a very different feel with a change in stamp sets and colours.  That's the beauty of a sketch challenge - one idea can yield such a variety of results :-)


  • To achieve the two tone effect like the one on the spiky leaves, employ the Rock and Roll technique, which involves first inking your stamp in the lighter colour, then rolling the edges of the stamp around in the darker colour.  Voila - instant autumn leaves :-)
  • First Edition DSP goes with everything.  I suggest you acquire some at your earliest convenience ;-)

To revisit past Challenge Chewsday posts, click HERE...

Do you have any favourite challenge blogs?  Please regale me with the details/links in the comments so that I can check them out for future Challenge Chewsday installments :-) Thanks!

Stamps: French Foliage, Broadsheet Alphabet Paper: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, More Mustard, Naturals Ivory, First Edition Specialty DSP, Neutrals DSP Stack Ink: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, More Mustard Accessories: Antique Brads, 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" Circle Punches, Owl Builder Punch (small heart), Crystal Effects, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals


A challenge within a challenge...


One of the best things about being a demonstrator, and particularly a Manager or above in the Career Plan, is that every year at convention, there is a special event put on just for us.  We get to hang out with Shelli in close quarters, eat yummy food and historically, there has always been a lovely little takeaway at the end, consisting of a new stamp set and another gorgeous little gift.

This year's stamp set was Blooming with Kindness, and although it's not a stamp set that would have been at the top of my must have list, I've been determined to give it a red-hot go this past week, have thoroughly enjoyed doing so and even rather love everything that I have managed to create with it thus far...

The "challenge within a challenge" reference in the title refers both to the challenge of using a stamp set that I didn't choose for myself and also the current weekly challenge at a blog that I discovered recently - Sunny Challenges.

Here is my card...


And here is the challenge that was set, to use the following sketch with a colour scheme of just black and white...

SC 05812

This is actually the third card that I made with this set these past couple of days - I will share the others soon too - and for your viewing pleasure, here is the set in its entirety:


The perfect combination of beautiful image and lovely sentiments in a pretty font, wouldn't you agree...?


  • Sometimes the best background stamp isn't a Background stamp! On the top portion of this card, I randomly stamped several images from the Daydream Medallions stamp set in Versamark and embossed them with White Embossing Powder for a pretty but subtle effect that didn't overshadow the main image (it's a bit hard to see in the photo's, try as I did to get a good shot of this effect!  I think you can see it a bit better in the first, closer up photo or if you click on the main picture, you get to see it slightly larger...)
  • If scallop edge ribbon is your thing, but polka dots don't quite fit the theme of your card, simply turn your Scallop Dots Ribbon over and use the back
  • Add great texture and interest by layering two different ribbons together

Got any questions about today's card or any techniques or products used?  Or perhaps you're after some information on how you could attend a Managers' Reception...  Either way, simply contact me - I'd be happy to answer your queries :-)

Stamps: Blooming with Kindness, Daydream Medallions, Tiny Tags
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Neutrals Designer Series Paper Stack
Ink: Versamark, StazOn Jet Black
Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Black Scallop Polka Dot Ribbon, Whisper White 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Jewelry Tag Punch

Sweet Sunday Balloons!


I am having a small love affair with hot air balloons at the moment, specifically the ones from Up, Up and Away.  There are endless colour and layout opportunities in this one sweet stamp set.

Today I used it to make a card for the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #161...

So often I find myself creating different versions of the same card layout, so it's great to have such fabulous sketch inspirations available on the interwebs :-)

Here's my contribution to the challenge:


It's a whole heap brighter than what I would usually do, so it's a bit of a leap outside my comfort zone.  I'm not sure if my own personal jury is still out on it or not...  Might try the same sketch in some earthy colours that are more my usual speed ;-)  I am also going to try my luck in Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch Design Team casting call.

Wish me luck!


  • Sponge the edges of cardstock to add depth, particularly when layering the same or similar colours eg the Lucky Limeade DSP "hills"
  • Stamp tone on tone to add an image without making it a feature, like the birds in the sky, stamped in Pool Party ink onto Pool Party cardstock
  • Itty Bitty Buttons and Glue Dots are a match made in stampin' heaven...!

HAVE YOU HEARD...?!  Right through until July 31st, hostesses whose workshops total more than $650, get to choose an extra $90 in hostess benefits.  That's $190 in freebies PLUS any item of choice at 50% off.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Book your workshop today, or ask me about one of the four remaining spots in my virtual workshop where EVERYONE shares the free stuff ;-)

Stamps: Up, Up and Away Paper: Night of Navy, Poppy Parade, Whisper White, Pool Party, Peach Parfait, So Saffron, Just Eat Cake DSP, In Color 2011-13 DSP stack Ink: So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Poppy Parade, Night of Navy, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Early Espresso Accessories: 1-1/4 & 1-3/8 Circle Punches, Owl Builder Punch (small heart), Itty Bitty Buttons, Stampin' Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Stampin' Sponges

Hibernation and some historical stampin'...

These past few days, I have watched more daytime TV than could usually be considered healthy, thanks to a dose of shingles that started out in my right eyebrow and has made its was onto my eyelid as well as spreading its painful feelers across my forehead, temple and cheek.

Not to mention that its allowing me to do a very passable impression of the Elephant Man thanks to the swelling around my eye.

Yep, I'm smokin' HOT right about now, let me tell you...

So I have been spending quite a bit of time inside, partly because I have been feeling so wretched and partly so as not to give nightmares to any small children that I might cross paths with on the street.

I thought it might be an ideal time to get on  here with some stamped creations that I made some time ago and have photographed, edited and all, just not managed to share.


This card was one that I made for a very special wedding back in January - one of the five weddings we went to between September last year and February this year (never have I been so very aware of a "wedding season" in my life..)

The gal getting married was someone I have known since she was about four years old and her dad used to coach my brother's junior cricket team.  Her parents and mine are still the best of friends all these years later - wonderful people, all of them :-)

With so many weddings to go to, I found myself with a go-to card design that I made for a couple of them, but for this one, I wanted to do something a bit different and special.

I started out (as I very often do) at the Clean and Simple Stamping blog and used this sketch as my starting point...

FTL76 After changing the orientation, I set about deciding what to decorate my four squares with and hunted through  my stamp and embellishment collection for anything '"wedding-y".

Here's a closer look at the combination of elements I ended up with...


It was one of those times that I was happy to have a variety of embellishments on hand, as it was the little touches that finished if off I think.  Things like the Dazzling Diamonds glitter in the champagne glasses and the tiny heart-shaped clear button with a punched out Cherry Cobbler heart stuck on the top.

If you'd like more details on any of the products or techniques I've employed on this card, please don't hestitate to get in touch.

And who knows, depending on what Brooke is up to these days on the Bold and the Beautiful, I may even be back later with more...  (Assuming that Brooke is still around that is - surely she's not finished marrying every bloke on the show yet...?)

"Congrats Nat & Dave - Wedding card Stamps: Cheers to You, Always, Simply Said, Occasional Greetings, Playful Pieces (L3 hostess), Basic Phrases Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Whisper White, In-Color Patterns DSP (Blushing Bride) Ink: Crumb Cake, Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler Accessories: 1-1/4 and 1-3/8 Square Punches, 1-1/4 Circle Punch, Two Step Owl Punch (heart), Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Early Espresso Marker, Early Espresso Satin Ribbon, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin Dimensionals

Challenge Chewsday - Clean and simple cupcakes!

These past few days, I have been giving my Create a Cupcake stamp set and matching Build a Cupcake punch from the brand spankin' new Autumn/Winter mini a serious workout, and inspired by two different challenges this week, came up with this little card...


It was based on this Clean & Simple Fall-to Layout #134...


...which in and of itself is clean and simple indeed, but by the time I had finished stamping and punching all six cupcakes, white embossing all the "bows" deciding on each of their embellishments, putting them in order, sticking them down and wondering where on earth I was going to fit the sentiment (you will note that I went with a strip of vellum overlaying the bottom row of cupcakes so as not to obscure them too much...), well let's just say that whoever gets this baby outta feel really loved.

Not that I have anybody in mind at the moment, I'm just sayin...

The colours were inspired by last weeks colourQ combination:


I took a bit of artistic licence with this, as technically the Cherry Cobbler that I used for my flower and cherry decorations and the So Saffron brads as the flower centres were not officially part of the line-up, but I'm pretty sure I can make out some So Saffron sprinkles on the bottom left cake in the above pic, as well as a couple of specks of Cherry Cobbler too.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  Just as well we're not playing for sheep stations here...

The other little project I have been having fun with involving the cupcakes is the project I'm demonstrating at my workshops this month.  Super cute, it must be said :-)

With several workshop dates already booked and Easter looming, I have limited workshop opportunities left this month, but if you want to see this gorgeous set of products put through its paces (AND keep the cute project for yourself!) contact me asap and we'll work out a date!

"Challenge Chewsday Cupcakes!" Stamps: Create a Cupcake Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Vellum cardstock Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Pink Pirouette, Certainly Celery, Cherry Cobbler, Versamark Accessories: Build a Cupcake punch, Subtles brads, White embossing powder, Colour Spritzer and Crumb Cake Marker, Crystal Effects, Stampin' Dimensionals

Feeling better Friday - a sketch challenge

So the gastro fairy visited our house this week.  Without going into a whole bunch of detail (you're welcome) I have been wary of eating anything much these past few days, so energy reserves have been on the low side to say the least.

On a related but much more positive note, I finished my first book club book in three days.

My challenge card this week is a sketch - one that I came up with based on a card in the current Idea Book & Catalogue.  I think I might do more challenges based on samples from the IB&C as you really don't need to look much past there for buckets of inspiration.

The card I used as a starting point is this one from page 86...


...which I turned into this sketch...


...and in turn, this card...!


Here I used the very sweet Sweet Summer and So Happy for You Sale-a-bration sets, which are two of the freebie stamp sets on offer with your order of $100 for only a couple more weeks!  This is also my workshop make and take for the month :-)

You can see how the final card is based on the layout of the first one, but with a few tweaks, which is the whole idea behind CASEing*.  Sometimes it's easier to turn the original idea into a two-dimensional sketch first as I have done, that way you don't "see" the original card quite so clearly and it can be easier to tweak and put your own spin on it.

I'm off to finalise my swaps for my team stamping night tonight - can't wait to catch up with my gals!  We're doing Easter themed swaps this month, so I will have a whole lotta Easter inspiration by tomorrow!

* What's your definition of CASEing?!  I have heard of two things that the CASE acronym stands for - Copy And Share Everything and Copy And Selectively Edit.  I think either could apply, but which one do you think it stands for, or are there others?  Discuss...

"Sketch Challenge #1 - CASEing page 86" Stamps: Sweet Summer, So Happy for You Paper: Bashful Blue, Whisper White, Old Olive Ink: Bashful Blue, Old Olive, Tangerine Tango, Regal Rose Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, 5/8" Old Olive Grosgrain Ribbon, Scallop Edge Punch

Challenge Chewsday - Ready for Autumn

I'm a little bit later than usual with my challenge post today - 'usual' being based on only the two Challenge Chewsday entries that there have been prior to this one, however....

I've had a busy weekend with a workshop, a team stamping day and last night a scrapbooking class - my first ever (and hopefully the first of many!), so I haven't had a great deal of time to stamp and photograph my card and then schedule the accompanying post, but with my small girl out on adventures with Daddy, other than being constantly distracted by my absolute favourite YouTube video of the moment (I'll tell you about that in a minute...) my time for an hour or so is my own, so here I am.

This week I took on Just Add Ink #56 - a sketch challenge that looks like this...


...and turned it into this little card (the operative word being "little" - it's only 7 x 10.5 cm)...


The card is a tribute to my favourite season, and I am so very ready for Autumn on a so many levels!  We have had the most unrelenting spell of hot and humid weather here in Perth these past weeks and quite frankly I'm ready for a bit of a break from it!  So is my lawn, at least what is left of it.

The other thing about Autumn that is rather exciting and just over the horizon now, is that it brings with it a brand new mini catalogue!  I'm stalking my postie for my copy, which should be here any day now, but I've seen a preview online and oh lordy, what a treat we're in for :-)

If you'd like to reserve a copy to be posted out next month in readiness for the mini to go live in April, please fill out -->this form<-- with your details and I'll be sure to get one in the post for you!

In the meantime, we still have the delightful Summer Mini in all its goodness, which I have been demonstrating lots of this past month.  If you haven't already, check it out and make sure to grab anything that you want/need before the sales period ends on March 31, not forgetting that until then a $100 order will also score you a free Sale-a-bration stamp set!

Contact me to place your order :-)

And before I sign off, as promised, here is the video that's been on high rotation on my computer since I was alerted to it last week.  I have not been able to stop watching/listening to it, so from me (and those spunky tenors) to you....ENJOY!


"Challenge Chewsday - JAI #56 -Ready for Autumn" Stamps: Trendy Trees, Woodgrain, Tiny Tags Paper: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Whisper White, In-color DSP stack Ink: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, Cajun Craze Accessories: Soft Suede, Old Olive, More Mustard & Cajun Craze Markers, Lots of Tags Sizzlits, Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Scallop Trim Border Punch

[gravityform id=5 name=Reserve a copy of the Autumn-Winter Mini!]

Challenge Chewsday - Blushing Crumbs

Two weeks in a row - I'm on a roll folks!  And you'll note that Challenge Chewsday got the nod from the majority of commenters (commentators?!) on the last post - not that I was taking a poll or anything, but since you offered your opinions, let's go with it!

This week I headed back to Inkspirations HQ and used the fabulous sketch on offer there...

Combined with this PRETTY colour combination from ColourQ...

And this is what I turned them into...

On Thursday just gone, our gorgeous across-the-road neighbours added a beautiful baby girl to their already sweet and lovely family, so as a heartfelt thank you for giving me a brand new baby to sniff, with a little bit of congratulations thrown in, this is the card I made for baby Lily, that we headed over this afternoon to give them.

I also made a little matching gift tag to hang from the bag...

So there you have my challenge entry for this Chewsday!  Hope you're enjoying my new blog feature - I certainly am!

  • An oldie but a goodie - sponge the edges of your cardstock and paper for a lovely vintage look
  • Punch a strip of cardstock with a border punch, feed it through the Crimper, then concertina the straight edge together and stick it behind an oval or circle shape for a pretty border
  • Use a White Gel Pen in conjunction with watercolouring for some great highlights

"Happy Birth-Day Lily!"Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Watercolour Paper, Cherry Cobbler, In-color DSP stack, Ink: Versamark, Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Ovals die, Eyelet Border Punch, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Neutrals Brads, Crimper, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Bitty Buttons, Owl Punch (heart), Blushing Bride Stitched Poly Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Stampin' Sponges

New blog feature - Challenge Tuesday!

I've been thinking for a while that I ought to have more in the way of a plan in terms of what goes up on my blog and when.  Although flying by the seat of my pants is my usual MO of choice, it's not really working for me anymore, so I've decided it's time to get myself a bit organised.

So to get the ball rolling, I thought I would start simply, adding just one new thing to my blog schedule, or rather starting a blog schedule altogether, with a feature I'm going to call Challenge Tuesday.

For purposes of alliteration and perfectionism, I was half tempted to call it Challenge Chewsday but thought better of it.

The idea is that I will seek out some fun challenges to take part in, thereby possibly even alerting you, dear reader, to some challenge blogs and websites that you may previously have been unaware of.  Occasionally I may even throw in a home grown one, just for fun...

To kick things off, I have actually completed no less than FOUR challenges over the weekend, combining some sketch and colour challenges.

First up is the Pals Paper Arts PPA79 - Celebrity Colour Challenge...


...combined with the Clean and Simple Stamping Fall to Layout #126...


...for the following result:


It's not a combination of colours I would ever have thought to put together on my own,  and I've left this card on my desk so that I can keep sneaking peeks at it to decide whether or not I like it...

  • Use the Colour Spritzer to create a slight textured background on an otherwise plain cardstock base
  • Use part of a Big Shot die instead of the whole thing for a different look and greater product flexibility

"Pals Paper Arts PPA79 + Clean and Simple Stamping FTL126"
Stamps: Growing Green, Occasional Greetings
Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery, Watercolour Paper, Lover Letter DSP
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery
Colour Spritzer, Rich Razzleberry Marker, Circle Scissors Plus, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Big Shot, Top Note Die, Aquapainter, Stampin' Dimensionals

For challenges three and four, I went with the combination of  Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56...


...and Sweet Sunday sketch Challenge 103...


and came up with this:


I rather like this one, although again, the colours are unlikely to have made it onto the same project of mine without the prompting of a challenge, which after all is the whole idea of challenges I guess.

I encourage you to give some a go if you need to step outside of your stampin' comfort zone a bit :-)

  • A fine border of white or black cardstock is great for breaking up solid colours and adding definition to your layout
  • Invest in one (or all!) of the packs of DSP  Patterns Stacks, that way you'll have a DSP in all of your favourite colours

"Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56 + Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 103"
Stamps: Apple Blossom (L2 hostess)
Paper: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Neutrals DSP Patterns Stack, Jolly Holiday DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze
Circle Scissors Plus, Stampin' Dimensionals

So there you have it, the first of what I hope will be many Challenge Tuesdays, although I should warn you right up front that they are unlikely to all feature more than one challenge at a time. I guess I got a bit carried away with the idea for this first one...

Just add an extended absence and a crazy rumour....

So if you've visited me here at all in the past four weeks, you'll know that there's a new catalogue out :)

And that will be about the extent of your knowledge at the hands of me, since that's all I've had to say here in the past month...

Certainly not through lack of wanting to blog, I have just had a bunch of  bits and pieces requiring my attention - a catalogue launch, a birthday party, some 'real' work, workshops, classes and life in general - you get the idea :)

What I do need to do however, is put to rest the "bigger and better things" rumour that started as a result of my resigning from the Just Add Ink design team!

After receiving some messages and emails about my supposed upcoming "bigger and better things" and realising that my absence from blogging was probably adding fuel to that particular fire, I thought it best to clarify that my departure from JAI was due to nothing more than wanting to simplify my commitments a little and make room for someone who had the time and energy to give their all to the wonderful experience of being part of such an awesome team.

That's it.

I almost wish I did have some exciting news to share, but truly, that's all there was to it.  I felt that I was putting in last minute substandard work that wasn't fair to anybody and so I made the long put off decision to step down.

I absolutely loved being part of the JAI crew and want to thank Danielle and Amanda for giving me the opportunity to be on my first ever design team.  The gals on the team are all gorgeous and SO very talented and it was a delight to get to "know" them all a bit better.

For old time's sake (and because I love the sketch that is the current challenge over there, I have a tidy craft desk with new stuff to play with and school holidaying poppets that are so divine at playing together and entertaining themselves...), I thought I would whip up a quick entry to Just Add Ink Challenge #36.

Here's the sketch...

...and here's what I did with it...


I am completely in love with Awash with Flowers and also the DSP Patterns Stacks that are available in the all new colour collections.

Then there's the new In-color Poly Twill - the one here is in Pear Pizzazz, the gorgeous new green In-color - love that too.

In fact there's a whole lot to love in the new catalogue and I have much to share, from my launch projects to other bits and bobs that I have been creating with my new and exciting gear.

Now that we're on school holidays here, I can't specify a time frame, but I will be back soon with more to show.

Promise ;-)

"Just Add Ink Challenge #36 - Sketch" Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Apple Blossom Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Melon Mambo, Watercolour Paper, Brights Patterns Stack Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Pear Pizzazz, Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine Tango Accessories: Pear Pizzazz Poly Twill, White Gel Pen, Aquapainter, Melon Mambo and Pear Pizzazz Stampin' Write Markers

Helping Hudson challenge #5

Right on the tail of the previous post, here comes the next one with my entry for Helping Hudson challenge #5!

This time it was a sketch...

And here's my entry...


I just love the big flower from Petal Pizzazz and paired it on this occasion with the gorgeous big flower filled circle from Circle Circus.

The colour combination is from nowhere in particular, I just wanted something bright and funky and kept pulling ink pads out of my cabinet until I was happy with the look :)

Right, that's me for the evening.  I am off to scan my new catalogue for  the 178th time to see if there is anything I have neglected to add to my wishlist.

You just can't be too careful with some things....

Stamps: Petal Pizzazz, Circle Circus, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Old Olive, Melon Mambo, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Cottage Garden DSP Ink: Old Olive, Melon Mambo, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Tempting Turquoise, StazOn Jet Black Accessories: 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Whisper White 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder

Helping Hudson - A sketch challenge!

I mentioned in yesterday's post about Hudson, that there was a bunch of fun stuff happening over at the Helping Hudson blog, and challenges are just one of those fun things!

There have been three challenges set for this week, and you can enter them by donating $2 per challenge entry, or $10 for all nine challenges that will run over the course of the three week fundraiser.

I have opted to enter all nine, and so far am on track with the first three completed just this afternoon!

Here's the first one - a sketch...

And here's my entry...

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I thought I would get out some of the retiring sets this month, for a final fling before they disappear in September.

I'm a little bit heartbroken that this set - Embrace Life - has made an appearance on the Last Chance List.   I just love to watercolour it, and it was also the set that I used the one and only time I have ever submitted to and been published in a stamping magazine.

Ahhh, memories....

I am, also trying to get my money's worth out of Cameo Coral before it disappears too.  I have always loved it, despite the fact that it's on the bogey colour list of a good many others that I know!

Head on over to the Helping Hudson blog to try your hand at the awesome challenges they have going on.

Next up is my take on the colour challenge.....

"Helping Hudson Sketch Challenge #1" Stamps: Embrace Life, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Cameo Coral, Rose Red, Whisper White, Kiwi Kiss Patterns DSP, Watercolour Paper Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Pink Pirouette, Cameo Coral, Kiwi Kiss Accessories: Rose Red Double Stitched Grosgrain, Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware, Eyelet Border Punch, Small Oval Punch,  Stampin' Dimensionals, Aquapainter

A challenging week...!

It's week two of school holidays over this way, and I would have to say that it's been one of the most enjoyable school holidays I can remember.

Despite the fact that we have had a couple of overly crisp weeks in terms of weather, which was promptly followed by rain in large bucket loads, and a bit of a head cold on my part, we have have been enjoying several sleep ins, a bunch of pyjama days, loads of visiting, a number of play dates, a movie and large amounts of pottering at home.

The girls have been absolutely delightful, reveling in each others' company and being quite honestly, completely delicious!

So I've been thoroughly enjoying this relaxed time, which hasn't left a whole lot of room for blogging, so apologies for that :)

I have been stamping though, and have spent some time this week playing along with a number of challenges, hence the title of this post.

You may have noticed that the Design Team over at Just Add Ink has been expanded by about double, meaning that we only have to design fortnightly for the challenges.  We are free to play along in our off week though, and this week I decided to do exactly that - leaving it to the very last minute as is my standard OP, but anyway, here it is...

I especially wanted to play along with this one, as it involves Elegant Eggplant - a colour that I need as much practise with as I can get.

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Despite needing practise though, I do tend to use Elegant Eggplant very much as a highlight rather than a feature colour, but at least it's there!

I combined the colour challenge with a sketch from the Clean and Simple blog - a place that I head to on many an occasion when I'm in need of a fabulous yet simple layout :)

So there you have challenge number one!  Next up I'll show you a card that I made up for a challenge on my team stamping blog, and later this week the next JAI challenge!

All this is after we head to the park tomorrow followed by dinner with my bestie and her gorgeous family.

It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it ;-)

"Just Add Ink #25" Stamps: Seeing Spots, Polka Dot, Paper: Soft Suede, Elegant Eggplant, Rose Red, Very Vanilla, Raspberry Tart DSP Ink: Soft Suede, Elegant Eggplant, Rose Red Accessories: 1-3/8", 1-1/4" and 3/4" Circle Punches, Rich Regals brads, Vintage brads, Elegant Eggplant 1/4" Grosgrian Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Ink #21 - a sketch

This week over at Just Add Ink, we have a sketch challenge for you.  It's a beauty of a sketch, with so many possibilities, two of which I discovered for myself when I wasn't sure about the first card I made, so made a second.

Here's the sketch...

And here's my first go at it...


The colour combination is a bit left of centre, and came about as a result of having tidied my computer desk and finding a selection of cardstock under the various debris.

This brought about a vague recollection of having seen a picture online somewhere and taking inspiration from the colours in it, then being distracted by some other random cyber stampin' sighting and forgetting about it until the long overdue desk clean up.

I wasn't super happy with the result (that will teach me for tidying up!) so I made a second one...


The colours in this one are much more my speed :)

I also had fun with the scallops around the edge, wanting to something a little bit different.

In fact, let's make a game of it - you tell me how I did it :)

And then tell me which card you like better, 'cause I'm still undecided...

"Just Add Ink #21 - Take 1" Stamps: Pick a Petal, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Tangerine Tango, Pretty in Pink, Certainly Celery, Summer Sun, Whisper White, Raspberry Tart (just $11.02 until Tuesday!) Ink: Tangerine Tango, Rose Red Accessories: Rose Red 1" Double Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Pretty in Pink Taffeta Ribbon, Clear Buttons, Soft Subtles brads, Scallop Border Punch, Crimper, Stampin' Dimensionals

"Just Add Ink #21 - Take 2" Stamps: Petal Pizzazz, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Kiwi Kiss, So Saffron, Whisper White, Bella Rose DSP, Sweet Always DSP Ink: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Kiwi Kiss Accessories: 1/2" Circle Punch, Word Window Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Stitching!

This is a FUN one!  Not that all the Just Add Ink challenges aren't, but I did enjoy making this card, as much as it took a little longer than usual...

So the challenge this week is to Just Add Stitching - real, faux, whichever grabs your fancy.

Here's what grabbed mine....


Ribbon flowers!  I also added a couple of rows of faux stitching along the top and bottom of the Mellow Moss strip just in case ribbon flowers didn't technically meet the stitching criteria ;-)

Being less of an embroiderer than a stamper, I Googled ribbon flowers to figure out exactly what I needed to do, but didn't really find what I was looking for.

Then I had a vague recollection that Kristina Werner had done a similar thing ages ago, which I dutifully searched for - and found - in this post that she did back in January 2008.

I actually managed to include a second challenge in this card, as I caught a glimpse of Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch #71 and had to have a go.

Here's the sketch that helped inspire the card...

Sweet Sunday Sketch 71

If you have a window of stamping opportunity and a fairly patient mindset, I would encourage you to give ribbon flowers a go!

Entries for Just Add Stitching close at midnight on Wednesday, so get out your sewing machine or your Mat Pack and Paper Piercer and jump in to the challenge!

Stamps: Embrace Life, Tiny Tags, Sanded background Paper: Always Artichoke, Pretty in Pink, Mellow Moss, Whisper White, Tea Party DSP Ink: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke Accessories: Pretty in Pink and Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Ovals Original Die, 1/2" Circle Punch, Crafter's Tool Kit, Always Artichoke Stampin' Write Marker, Chit Chat rubons (retired),  Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just add a sketch with a matching gift box

This week over at Just Add Ink, there's a sketch challenge for you to try!

At first I was very challenged by this challenge as the sketch doesn't have a great amount of detail, but as I played around with ideas, including a fairly 'out there' colour scheme, I ended up loving the result.

Here's the sketch...

And here's what I did with it...


In the end I stuck fairly faithfully to the sketch design, using a hunk of ribbon for the wide element across the top and adding my own touch of a greeting in the bottom right.

And did I not mention that the colour combination was a bit mad?!  I can't tell you where it originated, other than the depths of my brain.  I just started pulling out some colours and spreading them out on my desk.  I ended up using no less than six of them, plus white, in the final project.

I had a particular someone in mind as I made this card and also had some gift packaging to do to go along with it, so in keeping with the colour scheme and overall design, I made a custom gift box:


I'm not going to tell you what's inside or who it's for as it should be due to arrive at its destination some time today and I have no wish to spoil the surprise in case the recipient should be checking in.

Here are the box and card together...


Very floral and rather bright and busy, but hopefully it will do the job of bringing some much deserved sunshine via the mailbox of a lovely friend of mine today :)

Head on over to Just Add Ink to check out the rest of the Design Team's take on this sketch and have a play along yourself!

"Just Add Ink #15 - Sketch and Gift Box" Stamps: Petal Pizzazz, Sweet Little Sentiments Paper: Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss, Taken with Teal, Whisper White, Sweet Always DSP Ink: Regal Rose, Melon Mambo, So Saffron, Kiwi Kiss, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip, Accessories: 1" Double Stitched Chocolate Chip Grosgrain; Small, Large and Scallop Oval Punches; 1/2", 3/4" and Scallop Circle Punches; Corner Rounder Punch; Small Star Punch; Rich Regals brads; Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Ink Challenge #9 - gettin' sketchy with it!

So I'm back with my project for Just Add Ink Challenge #9, which is another sketch challenge!

Personally, I'd be delirious if every challenge included a sketch, as I just love having a map of where things go for a starting point and many times will return to a sketch over and over to save myself time and angst when I need a card in a hurry.

So here's what we got for this week...

And here's what I turned it into...


The obvious thing to do where the sketch indicated a scalloped edge was to use a punch, but I wanted to do something a little bit different to show how a sketch can be interpreted in something other than the most obvious fashion.

I used a border style stamp from one of my brand new stamp sets out of the up and coming Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue to convey my idea of a scalloped edge and am quite happy that it turned out pretty much how I envisaged it :)

The other thing I wanted to do, not necessarily specifically with this sketch, but sometime soon, was bust out my Chunky Sprinkles which I got when they were part of the Inventory Clearance Sale a couple of months back, but haven't shown the light of day to since!


To create the very glittery (and as it turns out, quite heavy!) effect that you can see here, I first stamped a piece of Whisper White with my new stamp set from the up and coming Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue, then covered the entire stamped piece with Versamark.

I then covered the whole thing with Heat & Stick Powder, blasted it with the Heat Tool, then liberally spread the Crystal Iris Chunky Sprinkles over the top.

Before I returned the excess sprinkles to their container, I pressed down on them with my fingers to ensure maximum stick-ability and to try and avoid them all coming off again as soon as the card was vertical.

It seems to have worked a treat, and also ensured that everything I touched for the remainder of the day was dusted with a chunky sprinkle or seven :)

If you'd like to play along with the challenge for this week, or see what the rest of the Design Team have come up with, head on over to Just Add Ink then get busy!

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Just Add Ink #9 - Sketch Challenge Stamps: A new stamp set from the up and coming Autumn/Winter Mini catalogue (!) Paper: Pink Pirouette, Regal Rose, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White Ink: Pink Pirouette, Regal Rose, Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red Accessories: Heat & Stick Powder, Chunky Sprinkles, Chit Chat Rubons, Button Bouquet, Stampin' Sponges