Saturday 19 December 2020


What a great challenge for you at Sweet Stampin this week.  I'm sure everyone gets to a point where they may need a last minute Christmas card but as card makers we are lucky enough to be able to make our own.

My card couldn't be simpler - I chose to ink the background with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Weathered Wood, Chipped Sapphire and Fossilised Amber Oxide.  But you could even miss out this step and use coloured card stock.  I then used some Tim Holtz stamps and some silver embossing powder.  Simple, quick but very effective.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and let's hope 2021 is a better year for us all - thank you for playing along with us all year.


Saturday 12 December 2020


It's been all change at Joy of Sets over the last month as I re-evaluate how the Facebook Group will proceed.  Personally I am using Stampin Up less and less in my crafting.  Although the group was originally set up as a SU group when I was a demo - it has evolved and we share all stamping companies.

However, I am aware that the majority of girls who join in with this Blog Hop are demos as is Angie McKenzie who does all the hard work in getting us organised.  So I approached Angie and asked her if she would like to take this on permanently as her own baby under her own banner - it seemed only fair.  She has agreed and from January you will be in the safe hands of Stamping Inkspirations Blog Hop.

This then may be my last blog hop with the group and I love the theme that Angie chose for us for our last one this year - Christmas Music.

I wonder how many carols you can name in my card?  I'd love to see your guesses.

I started off by layering three Distress Inks, - Weathered Wood, Chipped Sapphire and Black Soot for my background.  I then used the SU set Star of Light to add the star in Silver Embossing powder, together with the little stars.  The Angel and the Three Wise Men are from Tim Holtz - the angel was embossed in gold embossing powder.  I added the Silent Night from Tim Holtz Tiny Text Christmas and the background music stamp is also one of TH's.  

I  make it at least nine carols - how many do you get?

To carry on with the hop please click on the Next button below - I have listed the full hop in case you get lost.


Tuesday 8 December 2020


Our colour challenge this week at Hand Stamped Sentiments features the following colour - don't forget they are just guidelines for any similar colours you may have. I didn't have the Misty Moonlight in  my stash but substituted it for an old SU colour Bordering Blue - which looked very similar.  I used it for my background with the SU stencil more green in the picture.  I used the Old Olive with the same stencil for the Tag and the sentiment is from an old Tim Holtz stamp set.

I added a TH jingle bell with some SU linen thread - the bell actually jingles!  A couple of SU glitter dots finishes off the card.


Saturday 5 December 2020


Hello all and I'm sorry to say this is our last Tic Tac Toe from Joy of Sets.  It's been a great two years but I feel it's time to say a fond farewell.  I'm very grateful to all the Design Team members we have had over the past two years - all the Guest Designers who joined in with us and all of those of you who played along.  Running a challenge blog takes up an enormous amount of time behind the scenes and I've found that with the year we've had something had to give and sadly this was one of them.

Here's our final grid - each of the Design Team members chose a square - 

I chose Sparkle, Non Traditional and Snowflake for my tag.  All made with Tim Holtz products and inks - I used Antique Linen and Speckled Egg Distress Inks.  I used a Tim Holtz stencil for the boughs and used Crackle Texture paste to give it... well some texture!  The Snowflake is a TH dieand I coloured it in Spun Sugar and added some tiny pink jewels to the edges.

The deer are Tim Holtz - I love deer on cards at Christmas and here they are tucked behind some trees.  The bottom edging is a wonderful 3d embossing folder from TH which cuts as it embosses and I've coloured it in the Spun Sugar.  There is a touch of lace at the bottom and at the top of the tag - the sentiments are from TH.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful 2021 - let's hope life gets back to normal very soon.


Tuesday 1 December 2020


Well here we are in December our last challenge this year for Sparkles Christmas Challenge.  If you have been playing along with us all year then you at least have 12 Christmas cards ready for the big day!  Our last challenge for you for this year is to use non-Christmas colours on your card.  I must admit I do love my greens and reds so this was a real challenge for me.

I started by inking some card with Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Wilted Violet, Chipped Sapphire and Fossilised Amber.  I then used an old Tim Holtz stamp set Christmas Classic of this wonderful Santa.  I kept him simple by stamping him in Chipped Sapphire and then added some liquid pearls for his hat and around his middle and the top of his boots.  I added a little Tim Holtz Idealogy bell to his hat. The sentiment stamps come from the same stamp set and I used the same colours just to add various Christmas sayings.

I added it to a piece of Night of Navy card stock and used a white gel pen to faux stitch round the edges.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and let's hope 2021 is a much better year for us all - thank you for playing along with us all year.  See you next year! 



Our challenge this week at Try Stampin on Tuesday has the optional challenge of sparkle - well, it is nearly Christmas.

I haven't played with this stamp set in a while and decided it needed another outing - those bells are just beyond belief!    The stamp set is Holiday Style by Sunny Studio.  

I used my Tim Holtz stamping platform to first stamp the tree branches in Distress Ink Peeled Paint and Forest Moss.  I then stamped out the red baubles first in Distress Ink Barn door and Festive Berries - they are two step stamps with the darker colour giving the shadow.  I fussy cut them out.

The silver bell was stamped in three inks - the first is an old SU one Going Gray, the second ink is a current ink I think from SU called Basic Gray and the final ink is Hero Arts Intense Black which is what gives the bell it's shine - isn't it amazing! 

For my banner I inked a piece of the card stock with some Peeled Paint and used a Tim Holtz Christmas tree stencil and used the same ink.  I edged it in Walnut Stain and added the sentiment from the set in Festive Berries.  I inked around the card in Peeled Paint and added some thread lines with a silver pen for the bells to hang from.  I then added a dusting of SU Dazzling Diamonds.


Saturday 28 November 2020


Welcome back to another challenge with Sweet Stampin and it's great to see you all saving a bit of time to join in with our challenges. This week we are asking Spots or Stripes?  I couldn't decide so I did a bit of both!  

I started out with using the new Tim Holtz Tiny Text Christmas stamps - stamping them in Peeled Paint distress ink then cutting them all into strips to become my stripes!  I inked the background wit a light dusting of Crackling Campfire ink and some of the new Rustic Wilderness Distress Crayon around the outsides.

The Deer is from the Tim Holtz Cool Yule Thinlets set.  I added some spots to his scarf just to keep in with the theme - he also has a few bells dangling from his antlers - I'm not sure if they show up in the picture.

I added some of the Tim Holtz Holiday Greens Mini thinlets but I've kept them in white and covered them in Dazzling Diamonds to give them a shimmer and added a shiny red glitter dot in the middle.


Tuesday 24 November 2020


Our sketch this week at Hand Stamped Sentiments is a great one as I love to add tags to my cards.  I started off by using a Tim Holtz tag for my card and used various Distress Inks to crate the background.  I used an old stamp set with matching dies from Tim Holtz called Holiday Joy.  I used Peeled Paint Distress Inks to stamp the trees in the background and Pine Needles Distress for the cut out trees.  I stamped the Joy in Distress Ink Festive Berries and added some touches of white with a gel pen.

I used the same colours to create my background for the tag using some more Tim Holtz Stamps called Christmas Classic. I added some Tim Holtz Greenery thinlets at the bottom and a Tim Holtz bell which actually rings for the top of the tag.



A nice simple challenge for you all from Stampin Up Only this week - Christmas.  This is my personal favourite time of year for my crafting - I love making Christmas things - I'd really like to try and get into doing more home decor projects - it's not something done quite as much in the UK as in the US but I love all the things I see done.

My card returns to one of my favourite Stampin Up Christmas sets of all time - Winter Post.  I just adore this image of the skaters and have used it so many times over the years - it is definitely one of those sets I will never get rid of - even though it's an old-fashioned wooden set now.  I don't even want to take it off the wood in case I damage the stamps!

I started off by using a piece of Whisper White card stock and blended a mix of Blackberry Bliss, Night of Navy and Basic Black for the top - going down to some Basic Grey and a touch of Taken with Teal for the bottom.  I then spritzed the inks with some water and blotted it with a paper towel to add some white spots.  I used some Crushed Curry for the touch of gold by the little star and used the same colour to stamp the Santa Post stamp.  I added a touch of white pen for the snow and left the skating couple blank of colour.  

Dazzling Diamonds was added all around the card and it was then added to some Night of Navy Cardstock

I'm also adding this into the following challenges:

Christmas Card Throwdown - Winter Wonderland
CrazyHazelnutsChristmas - Anything Goes Christmas
Craft Rocket - Anything Goes Christmas
Simon Says Stamp - Wednesday - Christmas/Winter
ABCChristmasChallenge - W for Winter Wonderland
Double D Challenge - Winter blues


Tuesday 17 November 2020


A great double sketch on TSOT for you this week with the added inspiration word of Merry.  I don't know if it's me but I always find it strange just adding the word Merry on it's own - I had to stop myself from adding Christmas on to the card!!

I started off with some Tim Holtz Distress Inks blending Wilted Violet and Fired Brick to get the effect I wanted.  I used the new Tim Holtz snowflake Stencil and some Picket Fence Distress Ink for hte background - the Snowflake is a TH die cut out in silver paper.  The Merry is from TH stamp set Christmas Classic.

I versamarked a TH snowflake and used Silver Embossing Powder and added some Nuovo drops to finish off the card.


Monday 16 November 2020


Wow - or should I say WOYWW - it's years since I joined in with Julia's blog and I recently found it again whilst commenting as a Design Team member for something else - isn't it great the way the connections run with the internet.  I hope you are doing well Julia xx 

I thought it would be fun to join in again and see what everyone is doing - and whether it is all Christmas stuff on their desks.

I'm in a real Mixed Media frame of mind lately enjoying the lovely goodies from Tim Holtz and finally knowing how to use them all since watching his Facebook Live videos.  I've been a fan of his for over 15 years but didn't always know what I was doing and whether I was using them in the right way.  I love the way he says just be you and create your own thing and I've had a great time just doing that.

Here are some Christmas backgrounds for tags I'm working on - I'm a sucker for reindeer so his new thinlets were a must for me - I also cut them and use them as stencils so getting a double whammy.


Saturday 14 November 2020


Another Blog Hop from Joy of Sets Group organised by the wonderful Angie McKenzie who keeps us all in check.  Her choice this month is Thankful For You - I'm sure we all have so many people we are thankful for.  I am thankful for Angie as she has been a great support to me and my Facebook Group The Joy of Sets since we began three years ago.    She is a very busy lady but always finds time for others and although we live thousands of miles apart and may never meet in person - I'm glad we've got to know each other. 

I started off my card with a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock and blended some Tim Holtz Distress inks to get the colour I wanted - I used Barn Door, Fired Brick, Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain and Forest Moss. I added a Tim Holtz wood stencil over the top and then embossed it with the SU Winter Knit embossing folder.  I then used some SU thinlets to cut out my leaves.  I used an old piece of SU DSP with the wood effect for the background.  

The middle piece is made with a Tim Holtz 3d Impresslit Provincial - I love the Impresslits - as they emboss and cut and leave you with a great 3d image.  I distressed mine with some TH Metallic Distress Crayons and a touch of Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I added some Metallic Distress to the leaves and layered them on the card.  The sentiment is from Stampin Up Country Home - stamped in Early Espresso.


What a difficult challenge for all us stampers at Sweet Stampin this week - use your favourite stamp.  If I really had to choose my favourite stamp it would be this Father Christmas stamp I've had for nearly 15 years.  It was made by Rubber Stampede and has featured in many cards over the years.

Here are some examples 

I hope you've enjoyed looking at the different styles and examples from this one image - it just goes to show what one stamp can do and how it can change depending on how you use it.


Tuesday 10 November 2020


Our theme at Stampin Up Only challenge this week is Thanksgiving.  This is not a holiday we celebrate in the UK but I did live in Houston for two years and got to experience it.  It's a lovely concept - to sit around with the family and celebrate with a meal - and it's a shame we don't have anything similar here in the UK.

I've used the lovely Country Home stamp set which is one of my favourites from the catalogue.  As I'm not an SU demo I am not able to buy loads of sets so I'm very particular about those I do - this one caught my eye because of that milk churn - I love it.  I have a few of them in my garden.

I used some retired DSP for the background in Blackberry Bliss and matched it with Crushed Curry - these colours go so well together I think.  I used SU inks to colour in my flowers with an SU Blender pen. 



Look at our gorgeous images to inspire you this week from Hand Stamped Sentiments.  I've been releasing my inner mixed media vibe lately and this card was no exception and I was inspired by that Santa and the tree behind him.

I started off by using some Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium in Vintage and covered my cardstock and added some of the lovely Tim Holtz Christmas Collage papers. I also added some free papers donated by the lovely Shawn Petite on her website.  The music paper at the top and bottom is from TH  Christmas sticker book.

The Santa and the tree are from Kaisercraft and I added some glitter to the tree.  Tucked at the bottom is one of Tim's new deer dies.  The sentiments are from the sticker book and Tim's new stamps Tiny Text Christmas.  The Dec 25th wooden embellishment is from my stash - covered in Distress Ink Festive Berries and a touch of glitter.  I added some suede ribbon from Stampin Up and one of Tim's metal embelishments - with a touch of white Distress Crayon which helps to make the numbers pop.

I think we can safely say this has a real nostalgic feel to it - maybe it's the sign of the times at the moment.