Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Arty Divas DT - 14 January

Hi Lovelies!

Today is Challenge 13 at Arty Divas.  This is a FORTNIGHTLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with a design team who makes projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week's sponsor is TandiArt
TandiArt's Etsy Shop -

Each of the Design Team members received a different printable element.  This is something I'm not really used to working with.  The first thing I thought of was to place the fairy riding her unicorn and the small kaleidoscope of butterflies would be perfect for some little girl friendly cards with general sentiments.  My sister always needs these on hand having 2 little girls of her own so this one (along with a few others will go to her.  I only managed to finish one for this assignment).

When images have pre-printed textural elements such a mixed media or stitches or staples, they always look more at home by adding more (or if you're of the LOL cat and/or Shimelle persuasion, that would be MOAR!)

Now MOAR I can do, although for me, these were not as MOAR as usual.

I was keen to road test some new hot pressed watercolour paper (and I love it!!) and started by adding an iridescent paste by Vicki Boutin through a star stencil.  After that was dry, I dribbled some Shimmerz paint because I didn't want it too opaque and I wanted more sparkle and shimmer!!

Once that was dry, I splattered gold mist then stamped my sentiment with Archival ink THEN added my cut out elements adhered with foam to pop them up.

Even though this heavy duty watercolour paper didn't warp a lot, I still used Permanent Glue Dots to adhere the card front to the base.

Just a few sparkly gems to finish and it has everything I could have wanted when I was 6!


 Be sure to see what the other girls have made and enter the challenge!

Love, and shimmery kisses!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Arty Divas DT 31 Dec - Working on my AECP

Hi Lovelies!

Today is Challenge 12 at Arty Divas.  This is a FORTNIGHTLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with a design team who makes projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week there is no sponsor so we had free reign!

My choice is Altenew and it requires a backstory.

I joined their certification program almost a year ago and I hoped to complete at least Level 1 during 2019.  Easy right?  But then January became June and then June became the business end of December so I had an internal freak out.

Each level consists of 10 classes and you submit a project based on each class.  Each class consists of 10 short lessons.  You don't have to do one for each lesson, but in order to dip my toes in, I'm going tp.  And to help me get into the groove of making something every day during 2020.  I wonder how long that will last?  😂😂😂

It's not a resolution, just trying to catch up with layouts and other projects.  I find it's much easier when i make stuff regularly,  I feel so rusty if I let time lapse between makes!  Silly I know.

Anyway I chose to start with the class called "All About Layering" and it's free to take in Altenew's Altenew Academy.  It's taught by Nicole Picadura.  I didn't have the exact stamps she used (which is fine) but I buy particular types of stamps and avoid certain types.

For the first card she used a set where the coloured part of the images is deliberately offset to look like watercolour.  I used a combination of Botanical Garden and Peony Bouquet sets and chose the layers that look most similar to a loose watercolour taking care to offset it.

The sentiment seemed to slot into a natural spot but getting a clean image with the Label Love set was touch. Mine at least seemed to be carved really shallow so to get clear words you need little ink, but then you get a blotchy background.

Tp get a lovely solid background, in flows into the recesses of the words and obscured them.  Yes I did season the stamp and all that stuff.  I'll keep playing with them and see if I can get them to stamp better.

The sequins (from Spiegelmom Scraps adhered with my beloved Glue Dots) were not in the most aesthetic location.  They are hiding a multitude of sins caused by getting ink on my fingers and transferring it unwittingly.

I used adhesive foam to attach the card from to the base.  It has adhesive on one side and typically I add Glue Dots to the other.  My usual Kokuyo adhesive is possibly not strong enough and I'd hate for a card to fall apart.

The second card needed stamps with an outline that had a kind of pattern almost filling in image,  More like the butterflies and a tiny bit like the flower.  Just a single layer of stamping and die cutting.  I have the dies, but fussy cut instead partly because I needed to remove the leaves from the flower which would have stamped pink,  I don;t always cut legs and antennae when I fussy cut insects, but I did this time!  I enjoy fussy cutting so 🤷🤷🤷

The other reason is because the Big Shot acts as a door stop to prevent a certain Fat Cat doing his best Jack Nicholson impression and tormenting his sister.

You gotta do what you gotta do, right? 🤷

So Back to my card for Lesson 2...(tangents are regular part of this bloggy Mama, I'm afraid!)...Most of the cut images are on foam with some elements stamps directly on the card.  Mt method for doing this differed from Nicole's.  I positioned my elements and very lightly traced around them then stamped first.  It's pretty forgiving so I can fiddle with the elements later to get it to look the way I want to.

My clear Wink of Stella was singing its swan song, and with several squeezes as firm as my arthritic fingers could do, she sputtered and coughed and kinda flowed into the exact centre of the flower!  So pretty, but unfortunately I wanted a sequin there all along! 😭

Add a few more sequins in strategic places to hide some unintended marks and I think it's done.

My aim is to complete the remaining 8 lessons and my final submission for this class this week.  I don't think I'm going to be doing a full card for each lesson in each class for each level, but if something inspires me, then maybe I'll do a few here and there... Or if it's a foreign concept like CAS when I'm on Team Moar. 🙈🙈🙈

I fear much of the lessons have the CAS vibe so it's going to be an interesting ride!  Hold on tight cos I'm about to push the nitrous to boost my way through. (what can I say, I'm a Boy mama and I love cars!)

So on that note I'm going so sign off and leave you with a couple of bloopers - aka photobombng cats cos I know you love those, right??

 Love and crafty cardmaking,

Monday, 30 December 2019

EWF Design TeamSketch Challenge Part II (using Oct CKC Kit!)

Hello lovelies!

I'm finally FINALLY (at long last) bringing you Part 2 of the Embellish With Flair sketch challenge which Heather and I did together...during October! 🙈

I know it's also December.  LATE December.  Soz, lovelies!  I actually had finished it over a month ago, but since I did a process video (and one with soooo much more raw footage than anticipated) editing has happened sporadically between other things.

It was actually rather involved and as usual I made it far more work than it needed to be!  But that's what I do. Every.Single.Time! 🤦

Heather really put me to the challenge with this sketch.  Definitely not my usual sort of style, but they don't call it a challenge for nothing, right?

I have no idea how I decided to use this sketch with this photo of my adorable niece on her very first Book Week.  I'm pretty sure there was a suitably convoluted train of thought with led to this decision, but overall I think it worked. 🤷

I used my October Counterfeit Kit (I know🤦) for this layout (well mostly.  I did use a ton of scraps...)

I do recommend you watch the process video (below) since I do go into that a little bit as well as walking you though how I made it.  I'm warning's a bit of an ordeal!  I distinguish myself by making a fairly simple task faaaar more complicated than it needs to be!

The rough gesso on the background and anything needing to stick on the seam lines of the "circles" needs more than your average adhesive which gives you three options:

1.  Wet Glue.  Liquid Glue.  Whatever you want to call it.  You need something fairly robust and I hatehatehate any that dry tacky.  Why?  Because my hand-eye co-ordination is lacking at the best of times,  Occasionally it must be resorted to, but normally:

2.  Hot glue.  Even more messy.  Sometimes necessary, but waiting for ancient fossilized lump (which was once a stick) inside glue gun to melt then having to interrupt crafting in order to treat 3rd degree burns is something I'd prefer to avoid if I possibly can.

3.  Glue Dots.  Fast, clean, easy and they come in all the strengths and sizes.  This is my personal preference. They've been part of my life "these 20 years at least". (My fellow Janeites will get the reference!!)

Yes I do actually speak that way and my fambam know when to insert which quote!

Here are the still pics I promised you:

Title (with lots of messy threads! 😍)

"Tone on tone" embellishments and stitching detail

Fussy cut books embellished with tiny Wonder Woman stickers

Large book cut on the Silhouette

That name card that caused ever so much grief (and I still cant stick in s straight line despite multiple attempts! 🙈)

Lilya's First Book Week

Thanks for sticking with me and hope the vid wasn't too frustrating!

Love, and Embellish With Flair!

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Shimelle's Sketches Re-imagined - Guest Designer

My buddy Sara Scraps came up with the brainchild that is Shimelle's Sketches Re-imagined.  It involved working her way through Shimelle's sketches on a weekly basis (links to Sara's socials below) and also having a guest or two with their take on it.

This week Sara asked me (and Christy from Christy's Beautiful Life) to tackle the sketch of 31 August 2011 together! It's not a design I normally gravitate to, so I was up for the challenge.

I did stay fairly true to the sketch so I needed a fair bit of "hand holding". but I changed up the number and placement of the embellishment groups in order to accommodate a decent amount of journaling and a longish title.

Shimelle has a process video for this sketch so I'll link to that below, but here are her versions of both the sketch and finished layout:

Shimelle's blog post including more info and a link to her process video can be FOUND HERE

I decided it was only fitting to use one of the backgrounds I made for Sara's new class - Mixed Media Backgrounds Vol 1.  I went a little rogue with my mixed media background.  It's based on Lesson 1.

I wanted to use my go-to patterned paper as I almost always do during my fairly infrequent attempts at mixed media.  You can kinda see it here,  I want to try it again though,

Equally apt was using patterned papers and embellies which were mostly from Shimelle's collections.

I didn't even show half the embellies I pulled out for this layout.  As I mentioned n the video, I thought about turning them into a sort of "mini kit" since I have quite a few pages I'd like to make from this event (the one in this video will probably be number 2) and they might as well co-ordinate.

I was aiming for pink and black with maybe a pop of aqua, but instead this particular layout turned into my go-to pink and aqua combination.  What can you do, right? 🤷 Old habits die hard!!

Oddly, I didn't pick any paper besides the ones I used.  Perhaps because I started with the sketch and knew which ones I needed?  Not to mention relatively few with a globe pattern.  I definitely will add more black in for some of the other pages.

I managed to kill 2 Sharpies to get through the journaling!  I was desperately hoping the third wouldn't fail me before I was done.  🤦 All were finer than I expected so I needed 2 layers and it ended up looking worse than my usual handwriting.  UGH!  Since this is not my first rodeo when it comes to journaling fails on mixed media you'd think I'd learned my lesson, right?  Apparently not!!

Here's my video and photos...and link to all Sara and Shimelle's socials below!  Sincere apologies for any weird editing during the video.  I probably shouldn't have done it while under the influence of premeds at the hospital, but it was GoGo Juice day and it needed to be done!

My Process Video

Embellie Clusters

You may notice that I also added some silver and holographic sequins to the centres of the flowers from the "Motley" mix by Spiegelmom Scraps as an afterthought!

My layout has the usual messy Alex look.  I just need to roll with it!!  Sara's layout is so elegant!  Maybe one day I'll succeed in the elegant department too!

#loveneverfails layout

Links to Sara and Shimelle's Socials

Facebook Group

Facebook Page
Facebook Group

Love and sketchy scrapbooking,

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Arty Divas DT Project - 17 Dec

Hi Lovelies!

Today is Challenge 11 at Arty Divas.  This is a FORTNIGHTLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with a design team who makes projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week's sponsor is KLM Digital Designs (Katy's Card Emporium)

About KLM:
"I started stamping in 2005 thanks to the help of my mother who at the time was a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator. Over the years my mother and I have designed and manufactured our own line of digital stamps, I have also been published in stamping magazines and have been a team member for many design teams.
I am a full time police officer as well as a single parent. I love crafts and use it as an escape from every day life. My kids love crafting as well and probably have accumulated just as much supplies as I have! (Lol)"

For this challenge I had an idea for a card as soon as I saw the image of the turtle stuck on his back.  With a custom sentiment (once again thanks to my pink vintage Olivetti typewriter) it makes a rather cheerful get well card!

Mr Turtle was coloured with Copics.  My laser printer and I are having a bit of a stand off when it comes to printing on correct paper for pencils 😡

After fussy cutting and mounting him on equally adorable swan paper (by Pebbles from their "Tealightful" collection circa 2016) since I was determined to place him in his natural habitat,  Even if his swan friends are wearing crowns rather like the AD logo 😉

I pulled the words for the sentiment off and on several times which has given them a bit of dimension.  I just love the perfectly imperfect quirks of an old typewriter!  Just be sure to use the correct version of You're/You.  (yes. this Pink Mama is also a grammarphile!)

To finish I pulled some sequins from the "Motley" mix by Spiegelmom Scraps and adhered with my trusty Micro Glue Dots.  I thought they looked somewhat like bubbles, but the sheen made them so much more whimsical!

Hope You're on Your Feet Again Soon

Love and whimsy,

Friday, 6 December 2019

Hello Limited Edition Layout (Quilter's Vibe)

Hello Lovelies!!

Today I'm sharing with you my project that I made for the monthly Quilter's Vibe YouTube collaboration started by Sara Scraps.  It's traditionally the last Thursday of the month, except this month it was bumped a week because I wasn't the only one swamped! 😅

How it works is that the four(?) ladies who take part take turns picking out a quilt or quilt block, but something quilty which we can interpret in any way into a layout (and of course YouTube process

This is the inspiration for November on the right.  I'm afraid I don't know whose photo (or quilt) this is, otherwise I would credit the appropriate makers.  If you let me know in the comments, I'll edit the post with your deets!  I was just given the image.   Sorry!


Here's my process video if you prefer to head right over to that:

If you watch my video, you'll see how I managed to wreak havoc on a lovely, calm, understated inspiration piece and inject all kinds of crazy into it!  🤣🤣🤣

I also managed to use FOUR flair badges!😛

Two from the "3 Tone Stars Pinks" set and two from the "3 Tone Stars Grey-Black" set, which fit my colours and fun vibe perfectly!

In addition, I was super pleased to use some of my every increasing collection of "frames".  I got FOUR onto this page!  *cue Happy Dance*. You can also see some of the stitching detail above.

I finished by stitching down aaaallll those buttons using two strands of embroidery floss and a slightly larger needle.  A typical skein of floss is six stranded.  The chipboard button have large holes and this way I could get each one stitched down much faster!

I busted out some very precious and super "rare" paper from the vault (who remembers "Love, Elsie" by KI Memories??), managed to measure and cut wrong, change my mind several times and show a somewhat disturbing inability to count to nine.  🙈

In my defense, there was a tradie cutting floor tiles next door and not only can you hear his saw on the video, it never fails to give me a headache.  But it's life, right? 🤷

I have to say I don't often do grid-type layouts, but I have enjoyed them whenever a challenge has some my way.

Speaking of challenges, I still owe you (and Heather) Part ii of the October sketch challenge over at EWF!  It's finished, but I need to edit the vid etc, so it should follow this one in a few days.

Here's the whole thing:

Hello Limited Edition

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Love, and Embellish With Flair

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

TTCRD Design Team - 3 December

Hello, Lovelies!

Today is challenge day for Design Team B for the Through The Craft Room Door Challenge 

This is a WEEKLY "anything goes" (any type of project and any theme) challenge with 2 design teams who alternate weeks to make projects showcasing the sponsor who often offers PRIZES!

This week's sponsor is DRS Designs

I know my choice of image for this challenge mat seem a little odd, but rather topical not just as 2019 draws to a close, but more relevant to happenings relating to the TallCraftyDude.  This past year his academic performance has left a bit to be desired and he could benefit greatly from more organization and structure starting with the summer holidays and ideally continuing into the 2020 school year so we don't have a repeat performance.  😒😒😒

A blank calendar was a very versatile way to give him a month-at-a-glance way to see what is due and how soon...along with other school related deadlines.

I opened the file in Silhouette Studio, which is probably not the more natural software choice, but I;m comfortable with it and wanted to use some cut files in my library as images that would appeal to a 15 year old boy.

It looks deceptively simple, but each set of numbers needed to be added and resized individually to be able to move them around independently of each other.  If I had number stamps of the right size, I probably would have used those instead.

After printing, I added some stamping and gold mist spatter to give it a more handmade look and started to write in things for the last month of the holidays.  Perhaps a bit mean given they haven't even yet begun, but I wanted to trial a single month before creating a whole year! 

I can see using it to make personalized calendars as a great gift, though!

January 2020 Calendar

Love and stay organized!