Monday 31 August 2020


Doodling is the challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge this week -this has featured quite a lot recently with Sweet Stampin on which I'm DT member also had this challenge.  Not something I'd done before - although adding faux stitching with a pen is classed as doodling apparently!  I fancied having another go as I've done a few recently and wanted to use one of Tim Holtz' Crazy Cats to join in with the challenge at International Art and Soul.

I decided to do a tag and grab some blues as the cat doesn't look particularly happy.  Although I seem to have quite a few blue Distress Inks it's not really a colour I choose very often so I decided today was the day.  And even so I had to add a touch of greens lol!  I started out with Distress Inks in Blueprint Sketch, Mermaid Lagoon, and Salty Ocean adding a touch of Peacock Feathers and then I couldn't help but add some Twisted Citron.  Using my media mat - which I love by the way - I spritzed them with water allowing them to dry between layers.  

I grabbed some old Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous stamps for the backgrounds and added my cat.  I then doodled in the cat, adding some paw print doodles, some birds and some random stitching and swirls.  The saying from Tim Holtz Idealogy stickers really suits my cat - I have three at home and one is definitely queen of the evening.  I added some googly eyes to my cat and some Nuovo Drops to her crown.  


Wednesday 26 August 2020


Playing along with the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of Botanicals today with a tag.

I started off with some of the free download papers from Shawn Petite.  I used TH Mixed Media paste to adhere all my pieces.  I then covered it with some Frayed Burlap Distress Oxide Ink.  I added some textured paste in crackle and Speckled Egg Glaze.  On a separate piece I did some more paste and crackle and used that for the container for the flowers - using an old SU die to cut it out.  

I had some inked papers in my box and used these for the flowers which are Tim Holtz Sizzix wildflowers.  I added some stencilling and some ephemera from TH and also added some Distress Crayons in Pewter Metallic and Walnut Stain.


Tuesday 25 August 2020


I'm in a sort of Autumn frame of mind - it's one of my favourite seasons and summer has left us again in the UK - mind you it's pouring down today so not a great autumnal day but a good day for crafting. 

I started off my card by using some Really Rust ink from SU (an old ink) and some Old Olive and masked off a square and just did some gentle water colouring with an aqua painter.  I wanted just a nice soft background.  I then used the birch trees from Winter Woods and the little first from Waterfront and stamped them in Early Espresso.  The birds are from High Tide.  

I then cut out a panel with a stitched framelit from some Very Vanilla and added the watercolour behind it. I layered it onto a piece of Cajun Craze.  I added a couple of cut out leaves from Colourful Seasons and gold embossed the sentiment and used an old banner die to cut it out.  I added a heart embellishment.

I'm adding this into the following challenges:

Artsystamper - Fall Flowers
Global Design Project - Trees, Leaves
Color my Heart Color Dare - Tic Tac Toe - Espresso, Ruby, Ivy


Use a beverage

Our sketch this week at Try Stampin on Tuesday with it's added challenge of beverages couldn't be more apt for me as I've been playing with my new stamp set from Sunny Studio called Mug Hugs.

I started off with an SU embossing folder and used Crumb Cake card stock sponged around the edges with Early Espresso.  I used a stitched circle framelit for the mug and coloured it in with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers.  I used an SU blender pen in Light Gray for the marshmallows and added some Dazzling Diamonds to them.  The candy cane was coloured in with SU Cherry Cobbler and the heart added to the mug was coloured in with TH Picked Raspberry. 

 I was lucky enough to find a few bits of old SU DSP which had coffee stains on them to add as the papers.  The sentiment is from the Sunny Studio set.  I added some linen thread from my stash and mounted it all on to Early Espresso card stock.

I'm also adding this into the following challenges:

Just us Girls - Latte
Color my Heart Color Dare - Tic Tac Toe - Espresso, Ruby, Ivy


Saturday 22 August 2020


Our challenge for you this week at Sweet Stampin is Doodling.  Now I must admit I had to go on to You Tube to have a look at some ideas for this one.  After many failed attempts I finally came up with something I was happy with. 

 I started out with lots of Tim Holtz distress inks in soft pastel colours.  A change from the grunge colours I usually go with.  Then I took a stencil from Vicki Boutin and placed it over the inks and then doodled inside the shapes.  I did dots and lines and squiggles until they were all filled. I then decided it was far too busy to be just a card front and wasn't sure I liked it but I'd spent a lot of time on it and didn't want to scrap it.

So - I decided to use it as a base and cut some shapes out with some die cuts.  I used a large heart stitched die to begin with then added a butterfly from Stampin Up.  I also added some words from Stmapin Up and layered the Celebrate three times to make it stand out.  I added it to a piece of DSP which looks as though it has been doodled.  I added a few gems to the butterfly and the bottom of the card.

I was much happier with how this turned out and actually ended up giving it to my daughter.  She had just been published in a magazine in the UK for tying her own fishing flies.  In a very much male dominated world of fly fishing - at the young age of 29 she is doing remarkably well and she was delighted to be featured in a fly fishing magazine.  It's not crafting as I know it but at least she's making something lol!  


Wednesday 19 August 2020


I'm loving this new set I won in a competition from Sunny Studio called Mug Hugs. I can't stop playing with them - you know what that's like when you get a set you just love to create with you look for all ways you can use it.

The challenge over at International Art and Soul is Inspired By A Book so I grabbed my set and went with one of my favourite books - Chocolat by Joanne Harris - I was lucky enough to meet her last year at a local literary festival when we went to a Q&A with her.  

So to start my card I grabbed some Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Gathered Twigs and Early Espresso and then spritzed them with some water having masked off half of the card stock.  I stamped out them mugs twice - once as normal and the other doing the reverse image with a piece of cellophane paper.  It came out a bit pale but I just went over the lines with a black thin pen.

I then used the same colours to colour in the mugs a chocolate colour adding a touch of Rusty Hinge too.  The heart was stamped inside the mugs and coloured in with Festive Berries.  I used an SU blender pen in light gray for the marshmallows and added some Dazzling Diamonds.  The little cookies are also coloured in with TH Abandoned Coral and Festive Berries for the sparkles.  The sentiment is stamped in SU Chocolate Chip and I've added a few heart gems I have.  

It's my 35th Wedding Anniversary in September - I'm wondering whether to give this card to hubby even though he doesn't like chocolate!  What do you think? 

I'm also entering this into the following challenges:
Paperminutes - Chocolate
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Arty Divas - Anything Goes
Use Your Stuff - Books
Just Add Ink - The letter T for two, together, treats
Tuesday Taggers - Splash and Splatter 

Tuesday 18 August 2020


We are casing the Catty today at Stampin Up Only challenge this week.

No photo description available.

I chose to CASE the card on the left and turned it into a Christmas card - I know it might be a bit early but doing them during the year saves all the rush nearer the time.  I used a retired SU Embossing folder for the holly for the card stock.  I then used the new Drybrush Background stamp for the tree background using some Basic Gray ink. I love this stamp - I think I've showed how versatile it is quite a lot if you're a regular to my blog.  

I stamped one of the trees from Winter Woods using Old Olive and Pear Pizazz inks and cut it out with the matching die. I added the matching sentiment and some very old SU gingham ribbon I have in my stash.  There is some sparkle on the tree although it's not showing up here.



Look at these gorgeous images we have for you this week on Hand Stamped Sentiments.

Autumn is my favourite time of the year.  I love the way the colours start to change on the trees and those lovely crisp autumn mornings you get whilst out foraging for blackberries and sloes to make chutney and sloe gin.  I've already started collecting the blackberries as they seem to be early this year.  I've used leaves on my card today.  The leaves are from Clearly Besotted stamp set called Fall Flowers.  I started off with some watercolour paper and some Tim Holtz Distress Inks - I mixed up Crushed Olive, Gathered Twigs, Aged Mahogony, Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain and just added a spritz of water to get the various colours.  

The background is an embossing folder I've got not sure from where and the little banner is from Mama Elephant set called Sweet Havana. I added some linen thread and some orange gems and sponged the edges of the card.


Friday 14 August 2020


Gosh it's been so hot here in the UK with the temperature getting up to nearly 40 degrees - we are just not equipped for that sort of heat with no air con in our homes - the poor dogs didn't know what to do with themselves. It was even too hot to craft!  It was too hot to last though so now we have storms rain and humidity - still warm but not as bad so it's back into the craft room for me -inspired by the arrival of my free gift.  I was lucky enough to be a winner for Tuesday Throwdown and Sunny Studios was their sponsor. I was over the moon as I love their stamps and have a few but with the postage to the UK I can't always buy lots of them.  So while I was there and had a discount I added a few more to my basket - as you do.

One of the sets I chose was the lovely Mug Hugs and I've had great fun already playing with it.  I've been inspired by a couple of crafters for my card - Kristina Werner for the masked off background and Kelly Latevola for doodling on stamps.

I started off with the mugs themselves and used some Tri Blend Spectrum Noir 3in1 blendable markers to colour them ink.  I followed Kelly's idea and doodled on the plain stamps - such fun - I'd never thought of doing this without her inspiration and I can see I'll be doing this again on other plain stamps.  I then masked off the backgrounds and used some Tim Holtz Speckled Egg Distress Oxide for the background. I then used a stencil with little dots on it to compliment the circles on the coffee mug.

I had a SU dot embossing folder so continue the theme of the dots - the spoon and the milk jug were some die cuts I had in my stash and I added the last bit of SU lace edged ribbon I had.  Some Spectrum Noir sparkle pen on the cream and the marshmallows finishes off this card.

I was delighted to see that Tuesday Throwdown challenge this week is actually stencils so I think it's very fitting that I add this card using their prize.

I'm also adding this into the following challenges:

Ike's World Challenges - three of a kind
International Art and Soul - Tea Party
Retro Rubber - Anything Goes - these stamps date back to 2017


Tuesday 11 August 2020


Here's our challenge for you this week at Try Stampin on Tuesday A great sketch with the addition of a challenge word of texture.

I've had some Tim Holtz Glassine paper in my stash for a while and not sure what to do with it so I decided to have a play - it certainly adds texture.  I scrumpled (is that a word?) it up and added some distress ink in Black Soot just to add a bit more definition to the lovely creases that formed.  I've used a stamp set here from Mama Elephant called Sweet Havana which has matching die cuts.  I've used just three Distress Inks for the flowers - Seedless Preserves, the same ink stamped off and Picked Raspberry together with Crushed Olive for the leaves.  The lovely jug was inked lightly stamped in Pumice Stone and then I used an aqua brush tomove the ink around.  The sentiment and the banner also comes with the set.

I sponged the white cardstock with Distress Ink Antique Linen leaving a white patch just behind the flowers - I added stitching with a pen as sewing machines and I do not get on!  For the banner at the side I used a SU banner punch and just cut the top off and added a Tim Holtz Idealogy sticker to add to the sentiment.  Some fine linen thread and some tiny pink pearls from my stash finishes off this card.


Saturday 8 August 2020


Angie McKenzie who organises our Joy of Sets Blog Hops has a great challenge for us this month - all about Fonts.  I've been in a bit of a mixed media mood lately playing with lots of Tim Holtz goodies.  I've done a tag for our hop this month as Christmas is coming lol!  I know but it does get here quick and there's so much else to be doing I like to get my crafting done early.

I started off by covering my tag in some Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium - I then added some papers which were actually very old sheet music I had in my piano stool.  They were fraying and torn so I gave them a new lease of life.  I also used some free download collage papers from Shawn Petite including the green piece that looks like a clock.  I used a Tim Holtz wreath die to cut this out of the clock and added the bird on top.  He is a die from TH called Feathered Friends and I used some of the papers to make his body and wings.  I coloured him in maindly red as I love robins at any time of year.

The Peace letters are from the new TH Shadow collection - I coloured in some paper first with some TH Distress inks and then cut out the letters.  The Joy font is from TH Holiday stamps and the sentiment is from TH Idea-ology.  I used some SU suede ribbon and some burlap and thread I had in my stash for the top of the tag.

I don't have a sewing machine and probably couldn't even use it if I did so my stitching round the edge is done by ink - can't you tell lol!  There is also some Glossy Accents on the bird just to give him a bit of pop.

Hop along by clicking on the button below to get to Sue Allen's Blog

Here is our complete list if you get lost

August 2020 Blog Roll

If you would like to be part of our next blog hop you need to join our Facebook Group The Joy of Sets. We are a busy little group offering swaps, challenges, Random Acts of Kindness, Birthday group, and of course our Blog Hop each month.

Click on the link below to be taken to the FB group.



What a great challenge we have for you this week over at Sweet Stampin - Well I certainly loved it - there was so much to choose from but my eye was drawn to this stamp I have from Visible Image from a set called Dream, Imagine, Inspire and as soon as I saw it I kept humming that song - yep you know the one!  Are you humming it too now?

I've been on a bit of a mixed media craze lately so I decided to make a tag.  I started off with some Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink in Salty Ocean and added some Peackcock Feathers Distress Ink and Chipped Sapphire Oxide around the edges.  The Dream stamp and the words comes from Visible Images and I just cut around all the words - I stamped it in the Salty Ocean Ink.

The dreamcatcher comes from a Kaisercraft set of stamps called Hide and Seek.  I used the same inks to colour the dream catcher.  I then used an old SU set called Feather Together for the little feathers and I stamped them and cut them out.  I added them with some thread and also covered them in Glossy Accents.

I added texture by using some of SU textured paste and a Tim Holtz dots stencil.

I hope you have fun with this challenge and I can't wait to see what you do!


Tuesday 4 August 2020


Now how difficult is this challenge going to be for you from Stampin Up Only Challenge #SUOC255?  Use your favourite Stampin Up stamps - could be of all time, or just in the current catalogue.  The choice is yours.

I've mixed mine up by using a new stamp from the current catalogue, a current stamp and old favourite.

The first stamp I used is the background stamp Drybrush.  This was gifted to me by a friend who is a Demo and I must admit it's not a stamp I would have bought but I love it - it has so many possibilities.  Here I've stamped it using four colours - Mint Macaron, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive and Perfect Plum.  It's a large stamp so I just put some ink on parts of it and then stamped onto card stock.

I then used Dandelion Wishes to stamp the dandelions in black ink.  I used the framelits from Watercolour Wings to make the butterfly and cut out two and layered them.  The bottom one is in plum cardstock, the top one has also been inked with the Drybush stamp.  A touch of the lovely old lace ribbon, a sentiment from Watercolour Wings and some retired embellishments finish off the card.  There is a touch of Wink of Stella on the butterfly and the dandelions too to give a bit of sparkle.

I look forward to seeing which favourite stamps you choose.



Our colour challenge this week at Hand Stamped Sentiments has the following:

I'm not a current demo so I don't always have access to all the colours, especially in inks - and that's was my dilemma this week.  However, we always say the colours are a guide - luckily I did have some Coastal Cabana card stock and ribbon so I used that as my base.  

I used the lovely background stamp from SU Drybrush which is current.  This is not a stamp I would necessarily have bought - it was gifted to me by a Demo friend - but I love it - it's so great for all sorts of backgrounds even if you just use part of it.  I used my Tim Holtz stamping platform as it's such a large stamp and I used Crushed Curry as my ink.

The other stamp set I used is a retired one called Happy Wishes.  I love this set and it's so versatile - this time I've used the Best stamp and coloured it in with Mint Macaron and Melon Mambo as the closest colours to the inks specified.

I layered them with the Spellbinders Elegant Twist Rectangle dies - these are so pretty - and I've added a touch of that lovely retired SU ribbon in Coastal Cabana edged in gold.  A touch of Tri Spectrum sparkle pen on the word Best and the flowers just gives the card a bit more of a lift.


Saturday 1 August 2020


Here's our grid for the monthly challenge over at Joy of Sets Tic Tac Toe - #JOSTTT020.  A lovely one for summer, if it comes back to the UK!  The last few days have been quite miserable and winter seems to be coming early.

Saying that my card isn't particularly summery. I went for the option of Blue, Book and Triangle. I had recently seen this fold called a book fold because when you open the card it looks like a book inside. I followed the wonderful directions of Dawn Griffith on her You Tube channel.  

I used SU Night of Navy and Bermuda Bay for my colours, together with some retired SU DSP in that lovely blue plaid.  I also used the High Tide set - you can just see the light of my lighthouse is the triangle bit of the grid - phew! 

I used the water stamp of the set on the inside of the card to give the feeling of water and kept the style almost CAS for a masculine feel. 



What a great challenge we have for you this month over at Sparkles Christmas Challenge - From Our House to Yours. This really got me thinking as I didn't think I had anything suitable - it's amazing what you can come up with though.

I made a scene with some Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Chipped Sapphire and just used a piece of old card stock to make the snow.  I added a touch of TH Tumbled Glass on the snow banks just to give a bit of dimension.  The image stamps are from Clearly Besotted Shake It Up.  They have been coloured in with SU Blender pens and Lime Otter watercolour brushes.  The snow has been added in with a white gel pen.  The Cheers to You is from Kaisercraft.  I added some Liquid Pearls in White Opal to Santa's hat!