Tuesday 28 July 2020


I'm not sure where the whole concept of Christmas in July came from? Is it because stamp companies start issuing their Christmas/Holiday stamps early and we all join in? I don't mind as I love making Christmas things and making them early takes the pressure off come Christmas time when there is so much more to be doing.

Our sketch this week at Try Stampin On Tuesday has the option of Christmas and I'd love to see your Christmas entries.  I went with the Christmas theme, naturally lol! I love making tags especially Christmas ones so this sketch was just up my street.

I started off with a small tag and covered it in Tim Holtz Collage Medium then added some retired Stampin Up papers which were just torn and laid randomly.  I added some strips at the bottom and the greeting is from Tim Holtz Idealogy Christmas stickers book.  I added some thread and die cut a stag's head from my stash. I used some Distress Inks in Fired Brick for the sheet music and Gathered Twigs for the stag.  I added a touch of Tri Spectrum sparkle to his antlers.

I used a Sizzix Christmas embossing folder for my card stock in a lovely star burst design and added some sparkle to them.  The foliage is die cut out of some old SU paper and a touch of ink added to the edges.  


Saturday 25 July 2020


It's Christmas time here on Sweet Stampin - yes you read that right!  A lot of companies have to get themselves organised for Christmas early and stampers are no different.  Actually doing Christmas cards all year round really helps to relieve the pressure when November December looms - there's enough to do without trying to get your Christmas cards ready also.  Although there is something weird making Christmas cards when it's warm outside - I guess though it depends on where you live in the world!

I've been on a bit of a journey with all my Tim Holtz stuff recently - spurred on by watching his Facebook Lives really helped me to understand the various TH products I had and how to use them properly.  I've always loved his grunge style although I know it doesn't suit everyone - what I love is that no matter how many people use his products all the art looks individual - so often using a certain companies stamps or products makes it all look so samesville so it's hard sometimes to recognise if it's your own work or not.  Does that make sense?

I've used an old Christmas set from TH called Holiday Joy which has stamps and matching dies.  I made myself think outside of the box and not use red and green for the second tag - I'm always in a bit of a rut come Christmas using the same two colours which happen to be my favourites.

This tag was simply coloured, stencilled and finished with a layer of Distress Collage Medium.  The Joy was part of the set - the To The World is from a Kaisercraft Stamp and the sentiment was from Idea-ology Christmas sticker book.

This tag had a lot more inking going on with Distress Inks in Chipped Sapphire, Speckled Egg and Salty Ocean.  I then went over it with a French Script Stencil and coloured it with white ink.  I then took a TH stencil and a baby wipe and wiped away some of the ink to reveal the stencil.   I also used some TH texture paste and Speckled Egg embossing glaze with the wonderful TH mosaic stencil - which has to be one of my favourite stencils ever!


Tuesday 21 July 2020


Our challenge this week at SU Only Challenge is colouring - so get out your favourite way to colour your favourite images.  I've used a retired SU set Sitting Here but it's a new one for me.  I started off by stamping the swing in Basic Black and then using a blender pen in Light Gray Granite to colour it in.  I used the clouds stencil for the background with some Soft Sky ink and the branch and flowers are from Colourful Seasons.

I stamped and cut out the cat and the little pillows.  The pillos were cut out of the same DSP as the background.  I added some dimensionals to give them the appearance of fat cushions.  The cat was also cut out and coloured in with Real Rust, More Mustard and some Black inks.  The little bird was coloured in with the same Grey Granite with a touch of blue.  I used some Stampin Up Markers in pinks, yellows and greens for the flowers and Real Rust for the pot.  Old Olive was used for the grass and I added some extra leaves from SU High Tide.



A great sketch for you this week at Hand Stamped Sentiments  #SC344.  True to form I've gone for a retired stamp set from Stampin Up but it's actually a new set for me - I bought it just for this lovely rooster - called Home To Roost - I quite like the font of the sentiments too so I think this is going to get a few inkings.

I started off with a piece of DSP from my stash - I'm not sure if this is SU as it was gifted to me but I just loved that colour blue.  I used some Lime Otter water colour pens to colour in the rooster giving him a lovely blue tail with lots of Spectrum Noir sparkle and a touch in his comb.  I then cut him out with a stiched framelit and added some Tim Holtz Speckled Egg to the background.  I simply stamped the flowers from the set in some Ranger Archival Ink. 

For the banner I cut out a piece of the same paper and used one of Tim Holtz's impresslits - I love these - they cut and emboss at the same time and give you a 3d effect. This one is stars and I think you can just make them out.  I added this behind the rooster and added just some linen thread.  The sentiment was simply stamped at the top.


Tuesday 14 July 2020


We have a lovely fruity sketch for you this week at TSOT - you have the choice of just using the sketch or also adding the fruit.

I decided to use both and had just the image I wanted to use by Clearly Besotted.  It's called Simply Scrumptious.  The little strawberry set comes with it's own die cuts too so that was simply stamped in two colour greens and then cut out.  The strawberries were stamped and also cut out.  The sentiment is from the same set. I then used some retired SU DSP for the background for the strawberries and for the card.  I added an SU doily behind.  

The little mouse is from another Clearly Besotted set Feeling Fruity and as he is a strawberry mouse he was the ideal candidate for adding to the image.   I added some SU glitter gems to the bottom in what look like a lovely strawberry colour.


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