Saturday, 11 July 2020


Image may contain: text that says "The Joy Of Sets JULY 2020 Christmas in July Blog Hop"

Welcome to another blog hop for the Joy of Sets Facebook Page - we are organised by the fabulous Angie McKenzie and I can't thank her enough for taking on this responsibility for me - she does an awesome job.

Her theme this month is Christmas in July.  I'm also part of a Christmas Challenge blog so I've been used to making Christmas cards through the year - it's a great habit to get into so you aren't in a mad panic in December.

I have a lovely set of sentiment stamps from Visible Image called Sentimental Christmas and there was one in particular that caught my eye and gave me inspiration for my card.

I started off with some Tim Holtz Watercolour Paper and various Distress Inks until I got the colour background I wanted.  Firstly though I stamped and masked the moon - this is a very old Cherry Pie Art stamp which has great detail on the moon.

I then cut out some scrap paper and layered the bottom of the card stock to look like snow and added a touch of ink just to define the layers.  The trees are a mix of Gina K stamps and SU Waterfront.  The little deer are also Gina K as is the deer across the moon.  I really like the sentiment and I think it goes well with this card.  I think I need to get myself a santa in a sleigh stamp too which I find I don't have.  I added a glitter pen from Spectrum Noir and some added starts with a white gel pen.  The stars are from SU and Visible Image.

I hope you enjoy looking through our blog hop and getting some Christmas inspiration - it's never too early!

If you would like to join our Facebook Group - click on the image below.

To move forward in the hop - click on the button below to be taken to Narelle's blog 

Here's our full lost of hoppers!



Our challenge for you this week at Sweet Stampin is Fairies and Fantasy.  I knew just the stamps I wanted to use for this.  The Enchanted collection by Kaisercraft has the stamps and the matching papers which I've used here.  The stamps include the lovely toadstools and the sentiment.  I also used a new layering die cut from Spellbinders.  The fairy image is from Lavinia stamps, fussy cut out with some sparkle on her wings.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020


Our challenge for you at Stampin Up Only challenge is animals. I definitely had to use the gorgeous Special Someone set.  As you may know I am not an SU demo even though I run a FB group for Stampin Up and I don't always have a lot of current sets - so I was delighted that this set stayed in the new catalogue.

I started off with using the Basket Weave embossing folder which I think is retired.  I sponged the edges with crumb cake and used crumb cake for the base.  I then used some Very Vanilla for my little scene with the animals.  I used the SU clouds stencil and some Soft Sky ink and the birds are from SU Wetlands as is the little bits of grass at the bottom.  

Keep using your old retired sets - give them some love and don't get overwhelmed with always buying new!  You can mix and match them all.  I added some little pearls to the inside of the flowers the animals are holding.  I used Botanical Prints for the flowers behind the panel and cut them out with the matching framelit.  A touch of linen thread on the banner for the birthday finishes off the card.



Welcome back to another Hand Stamped Sentiments challenge and this week it's my choice of images.  I'm not normally a sea person but I think the fact that we have been in lockdown for so long here in the UK and an overseas holiday to Greece is not on the cards this year has been making me long for some blue!  Hence my images.

I used the lovely Kaisercraft set of stamps called Mermaid Tails to create my scene.  I first inked my paper with Tim Holtz Distress Oxides in Fossilized Amber and Salty Ocean.  I spritzed it with water to get the blotchy effect.  I then simply added the stamps in black and a touch of Wink of Stella to give is a shine.  

I had another play with the same set but with adding a few more colours to the fish with some Ranger Archival inks.  

I hope you have fun with these images and I look forward to seeing what you make of them.



I'm delighted to be a Guest Designer over at Try It On Tuesday this week.  Their challenge is to use Book Papers in your project.  I have a little book just for this purpose - Hubby was horrified when he saw I'd bought it just to rip it up.  One of our favourite places is Rome and we first went there nearly 20 years ago for a surprise birthday present for hubby's 40th.  Next year is his 60th Eek - where do the years go?  And Covid willing we would love to go back to celebrate again.  This is the little book I use when I'm using book pages -hence the Rome story for you.  

As I was using this book and Rome was definitely on my mind I chose to do a Travel Tag for my project.  I cut out a tag out of some card stock and first stuck some of the pages from the book - you can see them on the very top right and bottom left.

I've used lots of Tim Holtz Distress Inks here together with some of his stencils and quotes and ephemera.  I've also used some of Stampin Up's retired Postage Due set for the little stamps.  The mosaic style frame is one I've had for years in my stash - I knew it would come in handy one day! The picture of the woman is from Tim Holtz ephemera and I 've named her Ruth!   I added some buttons and some jute to keep the vintage style look. I edged around the tag with some TH Distress Crayons.  The ribbons are all from my stash.


Saturday, 4 July 2020


Another new month and another Joy of Sets Tic Tac Toe challenge - here's our grid for you this month - what will you choose?  I chose String, Paper Tear, Watercolour.  I've used this lovely old set from Stampin Up called Postage Due.  I love these collage type stamps and the little travel stamps that come with it.  Only after I had made this did I remember I have some postage scissors that I could have cut the edges of those stamps with to make them look more realistic.

I've used some Tim Holtz Glassine paper for the background which gives a slightly shiny waxy appearance.  I've torn the edges and sponged them and added some delicate water colouring to parts of the stamp in the same Mint Macaron.

I've added a button with some thread to carry on the vintage look.

I look forward to seeing all your entries.  Have fun with our grid.


Thursday, 2 July 2020


The challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is Take Me For a Ride - last week we went to Rome - this time we are going to Paris.  I'm lucky enough to have been there twice,but this time we are going courtesy of Tim Holtz.

I used a number of Distress Inks for my background until I was happy with the colour I liked, which included Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers,  Mustard Seed, Antique Linen, Walnut Stain.  I used an old TH stencil with cogs for the background and then some old TH stamps I have which feature the Eiffel Tower, and the Carte Postale.  I added some embossing paste through a TH dots stencil for soem texture.  

The stamp of the family gathering is from the same set but is looking very old and the definition isn't as good as it was.  The sentiment is from the same old set I think and I went over it with a black pen as it is starting to fade also.  I added some bits of TH ephemera and some sayings from Idea-ology Clippings book.  A few brads were added - one with an aeroplane on and an antique brad.  I went over the edges with a distress crayon in Black Soot and added some distress crayon in Picket Fence as a highlight.


Wednesday, 1 July 2020


A great challenge for you this month at Sparkles Christmas Forum with a Christmas Card Recipe:

 1 image,
 2 background papers
3 jewels/gems/pearls

Well it might as well be winter here in the UK at the moment - the weather can't make up its mind which season we are in - one day we are melting in plus 30 degree heat - the next its cold and wet.  Somewhere in between would be nice.

I loved the idea of this receipe - I have these lovely Christmas papers from Kaisercraft 6" paper pad called Christmas Collections.  They are double sided and I love the vintage feel to them.  My Santa is from Visible Image stamps called Santa Claus. I coloured him in with Tri Blend pens from Spectrum Noir and added the banner and some SU sparkling gems.  I also added a lovely piece of red velvet ribbon behind

I look forward to seeing what you do with this recipe.

I'm adding this into the following challenge:
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Goes


Tuesday, 30 June 2020


Another week another sketch plus challenge over at Try Stamping on Tuesday - this one had the added challenge of Vintage. I love vintage and making vintage cards so I was definitely up for this challenge. 

I have to share a little something with you - when I sat down to do this I had a bit of a Deja Vu moment - I was convinced I had already made a card for this sketch.  I checked my file on my computer and it wasn't in there, it wasn't in my phone and it wasn't in the pile of cards on my desk - but I am convinced.  Then it came to me what I had done - on my Facebook Group we send out RAK cards and I think this one got sent out before I even had a chance to photograph it.  Oops - so I had to think of something else.

I'm really loving what developed and I think it's better than the original one I did lol!  I had been gifted the new background SU stamp Drybrush by a demo friend as she had ordered it incorrectly and didn't think she'd ever use it.  Well I must admit this one would have passed me by in the catalogue but Wow!  I love it - it is so good for doing the distressed, grungy, arty time cards I love doing.

You can see here it has done this lovely background - I used Tim Holtz's stamping platform which makes stamping it as a whole stamp a lot easier - but equally you could just ink it up and add your paper to parts of it.

I've used it here with Powder Pink and then I went over it with a brush and some Crumb Cake.  I cut a strip off the end and stamped a word type stamp from SU Background Bits in Early Espresso.  I then cut that out with a little heart die cut I have - I didn't waste those little hearts though and added them randomly to the card.  

I used a paper doily cut to the shape and gently brushed with Crumb Cake was adhered to the top left and then I used some stamps from Happy Wishes.  I stamped it in Early Espresso and coloured the flowers in with Powder Pink and an aqua painter.  I cut it out and frayed the edges and sponged them.  A touch of ribbon on the bottom finishes off this card and I think it looks very vintage.

I'm adding this into the following challenges 

Take A Word Challenge - Hearts and Flowers
Crafty Cardmakers - Create your own background
Double Trouble - Use your Stuff


Saturday, 27 June 2020


I had such fun with this challenge we have for you at Sweet Stampin this week - Make Your Own Background.  I've been spending a lot of time playing with my Tim Hotlz inks - inspired by his Facebook Lives showcasing his products and his mantra of just go and create.   

I started off this piece by clear embossing a stamp from Stampin Up Botanical Prints together with the butterfly from the Bliss set.  This allows the images to show through once you add your inks.  I used a mixture of Tim Holtz inks to get the colours I wanted. I added the word Friend from the Botanical Prints set.  

The bird is a new die from Tim Holtz called Feathered Friends.  I kept him simple as there is enough going on in the background.  I layered him on to some Circle Thinlets from SU which I had in my stash.  I added some twine under his feet.  The sentiment comes from SU Special Someone and I added some antique brads.


Friday, 26 June 2020


I had great fun playing along with this challenge from Simon Says Stamp which is Shoot for the Stars.  This wasn't what I had in mind when I started to get out my inks but it was what I ended up with.  Does that happen to you ?  You go way off base?

I started off with a piece of 6 x 4 piece of cardstock,  stamped the moon and then masked it.  I then started blending with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Antique Linen, Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain and a touch of Black Soot.  I also used some Walnut Stain Distress Spray and some Distress Crayons.  I spritzed with water and dried in between until I got the colours I wanted.  I used one of the birds from Crazy Birds and inked him in the same colours with a touch of Barn Door and Spiced Marmalade for his beak.  I added some Googly Eyes from SU which I got in their sale.  I knew they'd come in handy for these birds!

The tree branches are also from SU Colourful Seasons as is the framelit branch which was inked in Walnut Stain and Black Soot.  I added some stars from SU Star of Light and embossed them in Pumice Stone Embossing powder.  They didn't quite shine as much as I liked so I added some cut out stars.  I used some scraps of paper I had earlier embossed with embossing paste - it's always worth keeping little bits of scrap.

The sentiments came from Tim Holtz Idea-ology Sticker book and I thought the words went well with the piece - 

I'm also adding this into

Creative Artiste Mixed Media Anything Goes
Try It On Tuesday - Make a Scene
Arty Divas - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Anything Goes


Tuesday, 23 June 2020


It's my choice of colours for this week's Hand Stamped Sentiments challenge #HSSCC342. I hope you like my choice and I can't wait to see what you do with them.

I chose Pool Party as my background card stock and added some SU Shimmery White Embossing paste with a touch of Pool Party ink added and used the diamond stencil to make my background.  As I had some paste left I added some to a piece of white card stock, also adding some Bermuda Bay ink and then cut this out with a framelit.

I've used the lovely Botanical Prints stamp and matching die cut for my flower using the above three colours to colour it in with an aqua painter.  I had some of the white card stock left with the paste on it and used the corner die cuts from the set to add some extra interest to my card and not waste any of that texture paste.  

I added a lovely piece of ribbon and the sentiment is from the same set added to the die cut that came wit the bundle.  I added a matching pearl and added some to the card.



Our challenge this week at SUO is Summer. Well the last few weeks here in the UK you would have thought we were back in winter. Lots of cold rain and wind and dark clouds - apparently though summer is back to see us later this week - with a vengeance and a heat of nearly 30 gulp!

My card celebrates summer in a slightly different way.  I've used a lovely old set called Postage Due - I wonder if the little stamps would fit the new punch?  I stamped the background in Basic Gray and added a touch of Powder Pink water colour in various places.  I used Soft Sky and Pool Party and Powder Pink to stamp the little stamps. I added some retired DSP and some ribbon across the middle.

This card speaks summer to me because of the French theme - so many people visit Paris in Spring or Summer and sadly not many travels are being made at the moment.  I know we won't be doing an overseas holiday this year and maybe not even one in our own country. I do feel for those who are in the hospitality business as it must be so tough for them.  


Thursday, 18 June 2020


I came across a new challenge the other day called More Than Words and it looked really interesting.  I chose to do a Scrapbook Layout of my son through the years.  I love the idea of the doors and the word Hello in the challenge.  Here is their challenge:

The papers are from Kaisercraft and I cut out those lovely doors from one of the papers from the Kiasercraft kit - the sentiment about the doorways to a life is my own. I found some lovely quotes from Tim Holtz Clippings Sticker Book which really suited the photos - especially the bottom one where it says "He Could Make it on his looks alone" while he is pulling a funny face - it makes me smile!  I added some keys and a little padlock to the doors - as a child you often wonder how your children will grow and what they will do.  My son is now an archeologist and we are very proud of him.  

I'm adding this into the More Than Words challenge 


Tuesday, 16 June 2020


Here's our sketch for you this week at Try Stampin On Tuesday with the option of Patterns.

I had a great play with this one and grabbed some Tim Holtz and Stampin Up stuff to play with.  I started off by making a background for my bird with the new Tim Holtz Speckled Egg Distress Oxide Ink mixed with Gathered Twigs.  What better colour for a bird than that gorgeous blue.  I used the Feathered Friends thinlets by Tim Holtz to cut out my bird. I added some Versamark with an embossing pen and then added clear embossing to give my bird some shine.  So that he had something to stand on I cut out one of the framelits from Colourful Seasons and also the little leaves are from That's The Tag and glued them on to the branch. I added a touch of linen thread to represent a nest for my bird.

The patterned backgrounds used some of the same Tim Holtz colours of the blue and the brown but I stamped some patterns from Gorgeous Grunge on to them and cut them out with stitched framelits.  I continued the pattern of dots onto the background card stock and sponged the edges.  The musical notes are drawn by hand.  The little sentiment is from a book of sayings by Tim Holtz and I added a button with some of the same thread.


Saturday, 13 June 2020


Image may contain: text that says "The Joy Of Sets JUNE 2020 Splish Splash Blog Hop"

Thank you for joining us on another Joy of Sets Blog Hop - with members of the Joy of Sets Facebook Group started by me over 3 years ago. Our blog hop is organised by the very talented Angie Mckenzie who keeps us all on our toes even though we are all over the world! Don't we just take technology for granted these days?  We would not have been without it during these pandemic times of most of us being in lockdown.

I decided to do a scrapbook page for this month's hop.  2020 would have seen us off to Greece for another week of bliss but sadly as the world is on stop we cannot go.  I did two pages and couldn't decide which one to show so I'm showing both!  They are both taken on Greek Islands and they are two of my favourite with Paxos just edging out in front.  Skopelos is famous for being the Mamma Mia island but luckily it hasn't become spoiled due to the success of the film.

I've used Kaisercraft papers and embellishments on both pages.  I've used a stencil to add waves to the Skopelos one.  Both of the cut outs of the Greek Islands came from a small UK based craft company Sunshine Scrapbooking- I was amazed to find them on there.

Skopelos was in 2018, it was our second time here, and this year our son came with us - I love it that at 24 he still doesn't mind coming on holiday with mum and dad!

2019 saw hubby and I return to Paxos for our third time.  It was early in May and the weather wasn't always brilliantly warm and sunny but it was still very relaxing.  We would have gone back this year but sadly as the world is on stop Greek holidays may have to wait not until next year. Luckily I still have some Ouzo!  

To hop along to Mo's blog next  click on the button below:

Here is a list of the full hop just in case you get stuck.

To join our Facebook Group click on the link below - maybe next month you could hop with us.