Monday, 12 November 2018

CKC Challenge 1 and Layering with Shimelle

Challenge 1 of the month over at Counterfeit Kit Challenge, and oh boy did this one roll around unexpectedly.  ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ  OK that's not entirely true...

I knew it needed to be done by TODAY, it's just that today was TODAY that surprised me.  One minute it's Last Week and then yesterday I glance at the date on my phone and panic ensues.

Fortunately I've had ideas about this challenge turning over in my head since we got the brief.  The challenge is called "Sprinkle and Sparkle".  Lisa says: "there's always a sprinkle of shimmer, confetti, sequins or glitter to be seen.  Make sure you make your own project shine this celebratory month by adding some extra sparkle".  November is Lisa's birthday month and while I don't celebrate birthdays, I very much love all things glittery!

THIS was the right challenge for a particular story about my little nieces and and my older niece's very VERY sparkly and blingy clothing choices when they went on an outing with their other aunt and their cousin (the one and only SmallCraftyDude)!

I had paper in my kit for November that would work in terms of colour, but I did have to "borrow" some embellishments from Shimelle's various collections which have plenty of glittery and sparkly words!

These very words were the next layer in Lisa's challenge:

Are these not the most perfect words for a layout on this topic? (the "Shine" one was from the Alice in Wonderland chipboard sheets from the kit and the rest were die cuts and cut aparts from various Shimelle collections over the years.

My favourite has to be "Try a smidgen of Bling".  The story makes it quite clear that Miss L tried a heck of a lot more than just a smidgen and we love her for it! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

As I was pondering how to actually arrange the photos on paper, I looked through the prompts in Shimelle's Layer on Layer on Layer class which I have been working through, and found Prompt 21 to be perfect!

The focal point of each embellishment cluster was a cut file which gets backed with patterned paper and repeated in each area in a different size.

I was about to "settle" for a typical heart shape (and I have plenty that fit the bill) when I remembered  have several gemstone shaped cut files by Paige Evans (there's that brief again!) that give the cut frame and you back them onto something else.  There are sooo many cool things I could do with them! ๐Ÿค”

One of last month's forgeries got tinkered with again and cut out areas got backed with glitter paper. ooooh!  ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

I could totally do that...OR...make shaker pockets stuffed full of all kinds of sparkly bits.  I didn't add any glitter because the static makes it stick to the plastic and you can't see anything else in there so I just used lots of iridescent spangles.

More about that later. Anyway it turns out I found the nib I was missing to my WeRMK Fast Fuse tool.   Where was that 2 weeks ago?? ๐Ÿ™„ It's the one for cutting not fusing anyway, so didn't stop me from getting out a page protector design that I rarely use and sacrificed it for the greater glittery good.

The hole left behind by in the cardstock after the shape was cut out worked well as a template to know where to fuse the shape.  I wanted to leave one small section open into which I'd put in the glitter (or in this case spangle mix).  Mix??  I guess I'd better get onto it then!

I used hollow and solid hearts and stars and flowers and squares and circles.  I tried to mostly stick to white or translucent, but I bit of gold and pinks, blues and purples went in as well.  Gold might seem like an odd choice, but it was a pretty important element in the story. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stuffing it to just the right volume is a bit of an art.  If I were making a card, I'd definitely leave enough empty room to make it shake, but on a layout where gravity will settle it (possible at the bottom if the album is stored upright), much of the sparkle may be hidden by embellies placed on top.  I guess shaker pockets are a bit of a misnomer in this case.

After fusing the pocket closed, there will be a little discrepancy between the cardstock shape and pocket.  Some parts will have embellishment on top, but if you don't like it, cut it back and re-fuse from behind.

I am pleased to report that I didn't even cheat with any of the papers (well except for the large mat behind the photos).  It's because I wanted something with contrast that also brought in the yellow green and purple from the border around the background and I also wanted to be able to bring those colours in though the embellishments...and to break up all the pink and blue.

The basic construction was pretty quick.  Picking out and positioning all the little bits took a lot longer.  Possibly even longer than those glitter pockets since much time was spent putting things on and pulling them off! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Finding the right alphas for the title was a struggle.  The gold were from the kit, but had to bring in the blue since not of the others (not even the "messed up ones")  looked just right.  They don't look nearly as "wobbly" in real life!  I put pop dots of various heights under the last two letters of "girls" to get them to the same height.

The journaling was straightforward enough...if you consider the fact I needed a journaling card (actually another cheat there since I used Shimelle's writing pad from Box of Crayons) that fit in the space, looked OK AND gave me enough room for my story. ๐Ÿ™ˆ


Here it is if you want to read it, since it isn't entirely obvious from the pictures.  Pics should be larger if you click on them.

Here is the full layout.  Have you noticed anything DIFFERENT popping up in the embellishment clusters that didn't show up on the CKC blog?  It's not the copious gold mist or little blue gems from the pack of messed-up-enamel-dots that are fair game.

Here is the full layout and look again.

Juicy Girls

So, I was all done and rummaging around while waiting for the pics to sync from my phone onto my Mac.  Then I found THIS.

The clear ones are pretty much identical to the bling on L's tracksuit! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

There was nothing to be done, but re-work the embellishment clusters and re-do the photos for the blog.  Yes there was already too much there, but more is more and I actually like it better now!

In terms of the brief I managed to sneak some sparkle into:
  • The topic of the layout and photos
  •  Sparkle themed word embellies
  • gemstone shaped cut files
  • filling cut files with spangles
  • gold glitter thickers (alphas and star shapes)
  • gold mist drops
  • flat gold stars
  • chipboard stars and gems
  • stars on pattern paper and die cuts
  • blue and clear gems
Seems excessive, right?  In that case I consider this mission accomplished!

Please also visit the other ladies who are also presenting their take on this fabulous design brief.  I'm really excited to see what they (and YOU) make.  If you take part, please don't forget to link up your project here on the monthly CKC link up page.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Love and Sparkly Shenanigans!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

NEW winner for Cat Lovers Hop 2018

Hello Cat Loving friends.

Did you happen to enter my prize giveaway for the Cat Lovers Hop 2018?

For this prize?

Well the first winner was drawn on Sunday.  She was supposed to contact me within 48 hours and when that didn't happen, I had to go looking for her.

Please let this be a gentle reminder to check that the email address you use with your blogger account still works!  I managed to send a message, but still no response (4 days in total) we decided the fair thing to do was a re-draw. 

(We specified in the rules it would happen after 48 hours anyway) 

The two embellishment prize winners are fine and I'll have your prizes out to you asap!

So I had to enlist the assistance of my SmallCraftyHelper and we did another draw

Spoiler below:


And the NEW WINNER of the cat stamp set is:

Arianna Barbara

Congratulations and please email me at or PM via Facebook or whatever in 48 hours to claim your prize!

Love and catty cuddles,

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

CKC November Mini Kit and Layout AND Layering With Shimelle

I know what you're thinking and you can stop laughing!  Right now! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I am TOTALLY capable of pulling together a mini kit! ๐Ÿ˜› Yes it's 6th of the month and that means it's mini kit day over on Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog where I am guest designer for November.

My choice was simple - since we were using Citrus Twist's "Little Things" for the main kit, it made sense to choose the co-ordinating "Little Things" Pocket Life kit to base my mini kit on.  I was subscribed to both kits about 5 years ago.  Admittedly they are different now - they seem a little smaller than they used to be, but I also think that reflects the more minimalist style so often seen these days.

My cunning plan was to then be able to incorporate the mini kit my main kit...but not before I was required to MAKE a PROJECT with the mini kit.  Say whaaat??

Boy, I did NOT think this through!

But first let me take you through the kit.  I'm actually rather proud of the way I stuck to the limitations!

Here is what the original kit contains, and what I substituted each item with (mine is in green)

Pattern Paper
  • Exclusive 6" x 8" Pattern Paper, 12 single-sided sheets (Citrus Twist)
    12 pieces of scrap paper from my scrap box


  • Exclusive Twilight Blue Puffy Alphabet Stickers (Citrus Twist)
  • Paige Evans Pick Me Up Thickers
  • Exclusive Puffy Stickers (Citrus Twist)
  • Alice in Wonderland Sticker sheet by Echo Park
  • Exclusive Die-Cut Cardstock Ephemera (Kaitlin Sheaffer for Citrus Twist)
  • Admittedly large selection of die cuts (mainly pulled from last month's kit.  Bonus points for  recycling.
  • Exclusive Tiny Word Stickers with Gold Foil Words (Citrus Twist)
  • Maggie Holmes word stickers from Flourish
  • 2" x 3" High-Quality polymer stamp set (Citrus Twist)

  • My stamps are stored in DVD cases with as many sets as I can cram in and these Amy Tangerine sets have a good mix of both words and images.  
  • Twelve 3" x 4" double-sided journaling cards (Kaitlin Sheaffer for Citrus Twist Kits)
  • 6 3x4 cards from Paige Evans and 6 3x4 cards from Maggie Holmes
  • Two 4" x 6" double-sided journaling cards (Kaitlin Sheaffer for Citrus Twist)
  • 1 each of 4x6 cards from Paige Evans and Maggie Holmes
  • 7 Etched Wood Veneer Mini Hearts (Citrus Twist)
  •  Alice in Wonderland by EP decorative brads
  • Vintage Book Page (a flea market find)
  • Oops forgot to photograph, but it's there!
  • Cut apart Labels (Citrus Twist)
  •  "Festival" cut apart labels paper by Maggie Holmes from Carousel
  • Digital Printable cut apart Sheet, downloadable from our website under Shop, Digital Files (Citrus Twist)
  • "forgery" labels made on Silhouette and with stamps and manual die cutter 

Embellishment part of the Mini kit

Extras (because you knew knew had to be some (but only a few))
Amy Tangerine mini doilies (those things are tiny!)
Dear Lizzy enamel dots, wood buttons and "brads" (single embellishment sheet)
Mambi chips chipboard sticker booklet

So what's a girl to do when she doesn't have a single 12x12 inch paper for a background?

Three choices the way I see it:
  1. Make a pocket page or smaller project  It is after all, a pocket life kit
  2. cheat and grab a full sheet of patterned paper (or cardstock depending on level of guilt) for the background
  3.  Make franken-paper

Heir Comes the Bride


I decided to make franken-paper.  Of course I did.  I even took advantage of the branding strip to apply the adhesive to so I could maximize the paper (an entire half inch in this case! ๐Ÿ˜)

Naturally AFTER deciding which event to scrapbook and (which photos to use), I realized that a facing pocket page would world really tell the story better.  ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

The photos on this layout look a bit crazy (they're of me cutting out masks for Prince Harry's wedding as fast as I could, but clearly not fast enough for my gorgeous nieces!).  Oh and I quite forgot to mention that I'm back going through Shimelle's Layer on Layer on Layer class.  

This is an untidier version of Prompt 18 and has lots of references to being crafty, although cutting out printable faces isn't exactly in the same league as painting the Mona Lisa, but still!!  I have more photos from this part of the night, and to make a layout for each is way too many, but if I put a good selection on a pocket page, I can do both!  

The same applies to the High Tea part of the night that my sister hosted.  So many beautiful photos of the table setting and food, but how much can you write about any one thing?  The solution would seem to be using the other side of the page protector for a second pocket page.

For now though, here are a few close up of the 12x12 page since it it looks kinda...well weird!

It feels like an eternity since I made a pocket page, so here goes!

I was happy with some of the pockets, but definitely not all of them.

I cut apart this pattern paper (a long time ago) from Shimelle's True stories collection and threw it in with my die cuts.  I further cut them apart and made cute little mini doily embellishments. 

The photos on the pocket page are definitely easier to identify than the other one.  My nieces loved those masks even though at 2 and 4 years old they had no idea who any of those people are!

It felt as though I spent 80% of my time hunting for (and losing) die cuts on my desk.  It's the down side to having so many I suppose, but I struggled as it is finding exactly what I wanted despite having plenty to choose from!  


Fortunately the word sticker sheet was really 4 sheets with some small alphas, although they wouldn't have been my first choice with this layout sit on that fine line between needing the variety a larger kit provides and the time saved by going straight to a kit rather than rummaging through my entire craft inventory.

Another advantage of gathering kits on a regular basis (even if you don't end up making a lot with them) is that you become more familiar with what you have.  The most obvious advantage is not doubling up when shopping, but finding just what you need is also more likely.

This is what both sides look like together,  The High Tea part of the story came first so it'll go on the other side of then pocket page protector with some kind of 12x12 to go with it.


 Heir Comes the Bride

That's all for now and please visit everyone else who has made a mini kit!

Love and mini kit mayhem,

Sunday, 4 November 2018

CKC Nov Forgery on the Fourth

Ooh Forgery on the Fourth would have to be one of my favourite parts of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge month (don't you just catch yourself saying "Forgery on the Fourth be with you"! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

It's so inspiring to search for something to forge and ways of doing it!

The first idea to pop out for me (likely due to major hankerings for PinkFresh Indigo 2 Collection) was trying to make my own version of patterned paper.

If you haven't seen the reveal post for November, the inspiration kit was "Little Things" by Citrus Twist Kits.
I thought they wouldn't be too hard to copy.  One paper in the main kit and another in the add-on "Pattern Paper Play" (along with the amazeballs coffee cup stain paper called "Dreamweaver by Vicki Boutin) were the three I tried forging.

The first one in the Main kit (called Gorge) looks like this. 

Initially I felt I could stamp the flowers and maybe use texture paste for the diamond pattern.  Instead I decided to persevere with successful use of a pen in the Silhouette along with some sketchy looking daisies,  Using a pencil is fine, but finding a combination of pen and paper has so far been unsuccessful. ๐Ÿ˜ 

Smooth cardstock is better and I worked out how to rig the pen holder to accomodate a Sharpie.  It went well except I felt the blue was far too bright,

Next. my one and only size 08 Precision pen fell prey to the big pink shark that is the Silhouette,

Despite reducing the pressure from the default setting, it pushed the nib all the way in and into the bin it went. ๐Ÿ˜ข. The last and most successful trial was using a Tombow Fudenosuke pen.  The brush tip can withstand more.

I opted for a blending tool and Distress ink and a "brick wall" stencil sideways.  This is where the stippling brushes that everyone is raving about would be handy,  It was hard to isolate the cells I wanted.

I changed the colours and lightly spritzed with water to soften the look.  Gold mist instead of navy to finish and I may just add some paste when I actually go to use it!

 The second Pinkfesh paper is really pretty,  It's called "Ridge" and I wanted to do it justice,

I wanted to try a sort of "no line" watercolour.  After arranging some leafy vine cut files (I didn't bother removing overlapped spots since the idea is to erase the pencil after painting) I was taking a risk not using gesso and I should have.

I didn't like the feathering and bleeding.  I stuck with the Distress inks since they were already all over my desk and work really well for watercolour and associated mixed mediary (totally a word!) shenanigans!  Some smooshing with the "packaging technique" and mist.

I love the way the Heidi Swapp mists can leave lovely large drops, and the shimmer when dry is so eye catching!

The following day I decided to put it back into the Silhouette and have it re-draw the pencil lines using the Fudenosuke.  Placement wont be exact because it's not possible to get the paper onto the exact same place on the mat and the mat loaded exactly identically, but the best thing about this is that watercolour often goes beyond the lines!

I forgot that I didn't remove overlapping leaves, but my most distinguished moment was seeing that I loaded the mat upside down so it was happily scribbling away something that didn't even remotely resemble what it was meant to. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก

I quickly paused and decided to turn it around and finish the job the right way up including re-doing the messed up bit.  Normally I wouldn't even try and just throw it away, but I'm glad I persisted.

It's a big improvement (in my books) compared to the watercolour on its own.

I can just use stealthy photo placement over the messed up bit.

The third and final paper I decided for forge this month was Vicki Boutin's  "Daydreamer" also from the main kit.

This one was so fun!  I love coffee and colour, so this spoke to me straight away.

I opted for acrylic paint instead of watercolour just to change things up a bit.  Since the water content was lower, I could get vibrant colour and texture without warping and buckling the paper.

I had enough of white cardstock by now, so grabbed this pale pink ledger from Maggie Holmes' "Chasing Dreams" collection.

I used both ends of a McDonald's cup and spread the lovely thick paint (just a touch of water added) and had lots of fun with it.

The dripping of ink was also fun...and did I mention the shimmer an vibrancy of the Heidi Swapp mist??

I dabbled in other kinds of forgery this month, too.

In the list of items included with the kit, I almost missed a reference to "printables".  I never need any invitation! ๐Ÿ˜œ

I actually had some label cut files by Paige Evans and started to get those shapes resized and filled with colour.  There is a bit of a trick to getting it to cut the outside edge only.  We got there in the end (despite the dodgy right roller wreaking havoc and ruining a few cuts)!

If you don't have an electronic die cutting machine (or if she is misbehaving ๐Ÿ˜ฉ) there are other options!  I remembered I also have some dies by Kelly Purkey to go with her label stamps and sentiments.

Oddly, there are only three dies (two are the same).  The circle was a standard sized punch but the larger rectangle?   I mean it was was easy enough to cut out with scissors, but a bit odd (my Misti is a bit feral, soz! ๐Ÿ˜ณ).

I'll use these in the white and probably throw in some October Afternoon label stickers if I need cream.

The reference to the Citrus Twist digital store prompted me to cut some intricate Alice in Wonderland images on the Silhouette.  Naturally after already having done two in white cardstock (whereas the last two were done in white glitter cardstock).

I think these would make some great title pages and I'll think a bit more about whether to leave he cardstock ones plain or whether to do something to them.

I wanted to see if my WeRMK Fast Fuse would burn dots onto wood veneer, but of course I lost that particular nib! ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก. I also didn't get around to watercolouring or glitterizing (yet another Alex word) some of the leaf die cuts from last month, since at least one of the inspiration kits contained leaves in the die cut packs,

Lastly, I re-discovered some cardstock I was using last year to catch cast-off spray when trying to record samples of my various mists.  I lined the box with cardstock to see if I could somehow salvage what I knew would amount to a lot of wasted mist. 

I placed the sheets like this and you can see where the tag would sit and a stencil opposite left a fun impression.

The colours for this batch were rather perfect (I was sampling like colours together (in this case pinks and purples) and still am not done yet).

Does it count as a forgery since I hadn't done it after the November kit was announced?  I'm going to go with yes since it works and I finally have inspiration to use it for something!

That's all from me!  Please make sure you check out the forgeries of the very talented Master Forgers!  You can find the link up page for the November challenge here

Love and fabulous forgery!