I love Mo Manning!

It’s been a while since my last blog, and it’s taken a new challenge at the Mo Manning blog to get me going!  This week’s challenge is “add a ribbon“.  Couldn’t have come at a better time.  Our son has his 14th birthday today! He’s into his music and guitars. Mo Manning does such brilliant digital stamps for boys and men.  This was coloured using ProMarkers and Spectrum Noir pens. Background is a mono print made using a music stencil on the Gelli plate. I love being able to get the Gelli plate out! Bought a brilliant stamp and die set recently which has just about every musical instrument under the sun included (also used it to create Emily’s clock). Was able to stamp, thick emboss, and die cut the guitars and ukulele before adding them using some foam pads to give a bit of depth. Sentiment and a ribbon to finish it off. The challenge on the Mo Manning blog this week is “Add a ribbon” so I think I might just submit this one.



Down at the Seaside

I was so chuffed when the card I did for our anniversary was selected as a top 5 card in last month’s Claritystamp Challenge Blog, Mr and Mrs.  This month the challenge is entitled ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside‘.  Luckily I had a special birthday card to do for a family member (not saying too much as the card’s currently en-route) and a seaside theme just fitted perfectly.

Having had a good play with my Gelli plate I had a lovely background ready to go, with an aperture for stamping into.  I decided to use Rosie and the film and fibre technique that Maria Simms demo’d at the Glasgow craft fair in March to make her dress.  A warm sun, some Spanish sea, a certain pet dog having a paddle and I’m really pleased with the result.


This is my entry into the Claritystamp Challenge for this month.

Brilliant day out

This will be two posts in quick succession!  Firstly, I had the most brilliant day at the Claritystamp workshop in Scone earlier this month.  We were away on holiday and I abandoned the family for the day to drive the 80 miles to the workshop! 

There was mild panic when I got there because I wasn’t on the list, but I had my confirmation letter with me so they didn’t throw me out the door.  We did four projects in total and I loved each one.  We got a masterclass in brayering on silk coated card from the lovely Barbara Gray and her trusty companion, Pauline.  We used the Making a Point kit and I was delighted with the end result.

The next lesson was on the Gelli plate.  Now, I’d promised myself that I was not going to get sucked into yet another crafting technique, however, it’s such good fun!  I loved this so much.  Barbara said they were only giving us 3 pieces of card to play with or we’d be there all day and she was right.  Needless to say my trip to the Clarity shop during lunch necessitated in dropping a Gelli kit into my basket 🙂

More brayering onto silk coated card in the afternoon – and we learnt how to use the splodge mat to do reflections.  I was so pleased as I’d tried to do this before and failed – probably because I tried to use the stamp upside down, as it would appear in the reflection.  Didn’t think to do it right way up then turn the card – doh!  Got some great advice to help stop getting lines and shadows on my ink and I’ve been practicing and getting some great results.

By this time we were running over – just having too much fun – so it was agreed that we’d extend the class so everyone could slow down, take their time and enjoy the last lesson, which was alcohol inks on acetate.  I have to say that this didn’t work so well for me but with a bit of time and practice I can see you get the most fantastic and interesting backgrounds. Maybe something to come back to when I’m looking for a new crafty challenge.

I don’t have photos of my projects but here’s a photo of something I did with the techniques I learnt on the day.  I created a frame for the Birdhouse kit that I bought in Scone, using the Gelli plate, the leafy swirl stencil and some bubble wrap.  I have actually sent this off to Create & Craft as In the Classroom homework for the show on 3 August.  Hopefully it might get shown.  It will, however, be passed to Charity with Clarity, where any cards sent in as homework are given to charities to sell for funds – which is brilliant.


Mr & Mrs

That’s the theme of this month’s Claritystamp Challenge, which is very fortunate as June is also the month that Mr L and I celebrate our anniversary.  23 years, and they said it wouldn’t last.  It just about didn’t after he referred to me on Facebook as the “old trout” but he puts up with a lot so I’ll forgive him.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m hooked on cycling and about 18 months ago the other/better half decided “If I can’t beat her, join her”, and bought himself a road bike and signed up to do the Etape Caledonia with me in May 2012.  I think he would agree that of those 18 months he hated the first 12 but he’s finally stepped over into the dark side and now there’s no stopping him.

It’s curtailing my weekend cycling opportunities now that he’s not so keen to stay at home and look after the kids but we seem to be managing to work out a system.  Last weekend I cycled the 35 miles to Innerleithen and met him at the cafe.  He then cycled home and I came in the car.  Our daughter didn’t seem to mind the arrangement – especially as she got an ice-cream out of it. 

So, all that sets the scene for the anniversary card I did for him.  This was inspired by our recent trip to Dumfries to take part in the Solway Sportive.  76 miles around the beautiful Solway coast.  It was a great day out, with another couple of friends for company, and the first time we’ve completed an event like that together.  Luckily I managed to keep up with him, but only because he was “pacing” himself to make sure he could get round the whole route!

So this is the card that I’m submitting to the June Claritystamp Challenge Blog, Mr & Mrs.


Stamps used include the cyclist from the sports kit, the farmyard kit, the split tree from the Best of the Classroom set, not to mention the Letter Box kit and the cloud mask. 

It’s been a while….

…but finally the weather is a bit better and I’ve been making the most of getting out on the bike.  Some sportives entered and times improved on – lovely scenery and great company.

I’ve still been crafting in the background but not just had time to blog.  Also been really bad at taking photos of some of the commissions I’ve done!  Not good and I must do better.

But I thought I’d let you see this one which my mum asked me to do.  Mum and Dad are very active in the horticulture scene in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland.  They are members of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society and have a busy week ahead of them, helping steward Gardening Scotland at the Royal Highland Showground between now and Sunday.  I’ve got my tickets and looking forward to a bit of floral shopping on Sunday – fingers crossed the weather holds.

Anyway, the Beechgrove Garden also take part in Gardening Scotland, with some of the TV programmes being dedicated to the event, and they’re on hand to give advice and demonstrations throughout the 3 day event.  This year is their 35th anniversary and as avid fans of the show Mum asked me to do a card to celebrate the event.  It was the perfect excuse to get out one of my favourite Claritystamp sets, the remountable garden set  It’s a fantastic set that offers so many possibilities and variations and I’ve managed to use it a lot over the past few months.  Image

The central image also used Claritystamps cherry blossom and the wrought iron chair.  I had a go at stacking the pots – a technique shared by the amazingly talented Sally-Anne Haynes  and I can assure you, it’s not as easy as it looks!  

The larger image, I used the letterbox kit for the wording and the lovely bunnies and bees to extend the garden theme into the frame.  The central picture was mounted using foam pads to make it stand out a little.  A quick run round the border with the chisel end of a green Promarker (a Barbara technique) to frame the whole thing and I was done.

I was so pleased with the end result, and the use of masks gives such a brilliant depth to the card.

Hope you like it 🙂


It’s all in the Sentiment

Not only was I lucky enough to win the Claritystamp Challenge Blog in March and receive a lovely £50 voucher to spend on their beautiful stamps, I was also invited to be guest designer for their May challenge – It’s all in the Sentiment.  I was absolutely delighted! 

I picked the Gandhi quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” which we had received with the new design club a few months ago.  Using a technique I’d seen on Darlene’s Design blog, I sponged Tim Holtz distress ink, peacock feathers, onto the Clarity card.  I then used the clear Versamark inkpad to stamp on top of the card and embossed it with clear powder.  Using an old black dye based inkpad I rubbed the pad over the top and finally gave it a polish with a tissue which brought the clear writing to the surface.  It was then cut out using a die-cut and placed onto another piece of Clarity card which had been “cling-filmed”.  This is the technique when you brayer over the Clarity card with the ink, spritz a piece of clingfilm with water, lay it on the card and squidge it 🙂  Once it’s dry you get some really lovely effects.  So, that was the sentiment ready to go.

Nothing goes through amazing change like a butterfly so using the Claritystamp butterfly from the pretty petals kit I stamped three onto a piece of Theuva card.  Using Promarkers to colour in the butterflies, all slightly differently, I picked colours that toned with the background of the sentiment.  This is the first piece of colouring that I’ve been really happy with and used all the techniques I’ve learned from watching Barbara in the classroom.  Using a blending pen gives you such beautiful shading.

I masked off the butterflies and used the small leafy swirl stamp, again with the peacock feather inkpad, to create a background.  A bit of “ink, blot, plot” so that it didn’t overshadow the butterflies.  A toning edge down the card using the wide end of the Promarker pen to finish it off. 

Everything was then mounted onto an 8×8 card and I even added a bit of bling with turquoise gems.

I’m absolutely delighted with the end result and being asked to take part as a guest designer was thrilling.  It made me push myself a wee bit more and try something a little different for me – which is no bad thing!

I hope you like it too.  If you’re visiting from the Claritystamp Challenge blog, thanks for coming to take a look, and good luck with this month’s challenge.


Bitten by the bug

I have been thoroughly over excited since being picked at random as the winner of the Claritystamp Anything Goes challenge blog.  Not only have I received a fantastic £50 voucher for my favourite stamps, I even got a mention in the April edition of the Claritystamp new design club newsletter! I feel very lucky and have made my first purchase with my voucher.  I’ve bought a few new inkpads and will keep the rest for stamps that I really want – which is difficult because I want them all!

This month’s challenge is In the Garden so I’ve had my thinking cap on. Claritystamp had a very generous sale on at Easter which included some of the past In the Classroom sets so I bought two that I had been hankering after; the Blooming Corner kit with the remountable insects and also the Birdcage set.

I had thought about doing a children’s card with a lift the flap kind of theme.  My first attempt didn’t go so well as I started by doing the background pictures first and then trying to line up and cut the apertures out of the top piece after.  Once I realised that wasn’t going to work I started from the top down.  Originally the card had featured some of the bunnies but then the blooming corner kit arrived and I was desperate to have a shot of that. 

Having stamped around the A6 Theuva card with the blooming corner stamps I spent a good few nights going round colouring in the flowers with my Promarkers.  I’m not very good at colouring so I remembered all of Barbara’s classroom advice and built the colours up slowly.  I then stamped three wrought iron square stamp in the centre of the card and covered the squares and flowers with Post-it masks.  Using the lovely lettuce green Adirondack I brayers across the card to give me my background colour.  

I then coloured in the wrought iron squares and cut around three edges of each of the squares to give me my lift the flap effect.  I could now mark out the squares’ positions on the background piece and made little pictures using a variety of stamps – I particularly like the ladybirds :).

The finishing touches – I attached the words “What can you find in the garden?” having first of all stamped them using the Letterbox kit onto shrink plastic using a black Stayzon pad and shrunk them in the oven – only took two goes to get it right this time!  A couple of little buzzy bees and I was done.

Finally, both bits were put together and, using double sided sticky tape, were attached to the final A6 card.

I’m delighted with the end result and I am entering this card into the second Claritystamp Challenge, In the Garden.


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