30 October, 2017

Victoria Marie Fall Crop "Make it Colourful" Challenge

It's been a busy time of year craftwise - lots of challenges finishing up this week, so I only got to try a single challenge (other than the one I hosted).

The one that most sparked my interest was hosted by Beth Soler and was colour based and messy! (Yay!)

This is her challenge:

"Your challenge is to create a colorful background with whatever medium you have that can work as watercolors. The twist is that you must use your favorite color and tell your thoughts and feelings about the photo!" 

Naturally the first order of business was to over complicate things unnecessarily - check! 🙄 I have plenty of watercolours in various forms and qualities, but Beth's words "work like a watercolour" made me want to try something that isn't really a watercolour to see what I could do.

Distress products are cheating since everyone knows how beautifully they work as watercolours, but the idea of using spray mist came from that.

The paper I chose to spray over was in keeping with the story.  I was continuing with my "Dyan" layouts and this is number two.  Any sketchy black on white design really reminds me of her stamps and this was a stamping class.

I started by gathering all my pink mists.  I had about 12 (!) 😮 in various brands and formulations from very shimmery to a bit shimmery to no shimmer.  From a deep hot pink to the palest blush, from opaque almost painty mist to very translucent.

My first mistake was not applying clear gesso first.  I thought it would make the paper too slick.  The mist absorbed quickly and didn't really run down the page the way I imagined.  It looked almost passable for able three minutes, but as it spread and dried, all the colours started mixing together and I basically just had a pink paper (sob). 😢

I set it aside preparing to start again after cooking dinner since the FamBam wanted to eat (again??!)  😝.  It was a warm evening and it had dried and the paper felt a lot less porous, so before starting again, I gave it one more chance.  This time I was prepared to dry between colours with the heat gun but it came in more handy blowing the paint down.

Adding a bit of opaque white gave just the extra bit of interest I wanted, so in the end it wasn't half bad at all.

Plenty of paper layers and embellies as is my norm came next.  I'm trying to continue using many of the same supplies throughout the layouts.  There are a few things I have failed to include for the second layout running now and it's starting to bug me!

Anyway,  how perfect are those Heidi Swapp phrase stickers?? 😍😍😍  I did come armed with several bottles of Diet Coke as always.

 So back to Beth's challenge - Pink was an easy choice.  Not only because it's my favourite, but because it featured heavily in the story.  While we ended up swapping the warm paints with cool paints halfway through the classe, I pounced on the pink ones each time.  Dyan likes pink too!

As for the photo - I took it early in the class.  I was struggling with a flare in my jaw that triggers a hard to control migraine, so despite pain meds and copious ammounts of Diet Coke, I struggled through the stamping class and managed to screw up a simple masking exercise when I do much more fancy masking at home. 🙄

In addition to the pink paint, I also managed to snag the cat stencil to use so that photo is definitely a "happy place" photo despite being in pain.  I really needed to get away and crafty - preferably away from home distractions and using messy things.  I got all that and more and have come away much more inspired and motivated since then.

The smaller photo shows how messy my hands still were after I got home.  They really don't show how bad it actually way!  The sure sign of a day well spent.

Basically after the layout is all done, this is about the only bit of the background left, but you still get the idea I think!

Love and happy misting!

29 October, 2017

Cat Lovers Hop 2017

One of my favourite blog hops of the year!

It comes at the end of a busy week - 27 October is (Inter)National Black Cats Day, 29 October is not only Psoriasis day (a predisposing factor to my particular flavour of Arthur*) and...

...(inter)National Cat Day!

Every year Janis at HerPeacefulGarden hosts a blog hop full of all kinds of crafty cat projects.  Please click on the blog hop image or clickable link and see the full line up of awesome cat projects!

Last year I did a layout so this year I thought I'd mix it up a bit with a card...or two!

This year's cards started with this:

I had a fair bit of my franken pink marbly embossing paste left from yesterday's layout, so I grabbed a sheet of white cardstock and my Dyan Reaveley cat stencil and salvaged the rest to use later.

It occurred to me that it could make a nice background for a cat card so I went in that direction.  Choosing a stamp would be harder.  I have as many cat stamps as I do coffee themed ones, but in the end I decided to go with a Saturated Canary image called "Crafty Cat".

I wanted to bust out the Copics again since I feel really rusty and I'm trying to get more practice with smaller images and more detail - not to mention practising various cat breeds and colours.

I still want to improve with black, grey and white cats,  I'm not sure I'll ever get the hang of the complicated coat that is Torbie with its colouring and then unique markings on top of that!

I discovered a friend has a Bengal cat a few weeks ago!  A very cool and unique breed! I tried colouring the second of my two Crafty Friends as a Bengal.

SmallCraftyDude has been obsessed with Egyptian Mau cats.  These guys are really unique so if you have some time, have a read about them.  I find it fascinating that many of their physical attributes are still very similar to ancient breeds rather than modern domestic cats.

So cat trivia aside, back to my cards.  I rarely
colour just one image at at time - it eases the pressure of not making mistakes and helps ease back into something I often feel a bit rusty with.  I remembered how much I need more markers!  I'd like to do a greater variety of skin and hair tones at the very least.

So...I fussy cut my images, trimmed the pink embossed cat card fronts to size, rounded corners and I used whatever ink was left on my ink blending tools from my last few galaxy cards just to define the edges a bit.  I love how Distress Ink feathers softly as it wicks into the paper.

The twine and button came after a sleepless night knowing my cards didn't look quite "right".  🙄

I have a few craft themed stamp sets and the sentiment is from "Crafty Friends" by Altenew and the thought bubble from "Just Thinking of You" by Neat and Tangled just managed to squeeze around the sentiment.  Some vellum heat embossed in black was softer than cardstock and I decided I was done!

(oh except for Ranger's Glossy Accents over the glasses!}

*Acronyms in left sidebar! <----

Love and happy colouring!

28 October, 2017

Stuck?! Sketches 1 Oct/Mercy Tiara October Challenge

This month I really wanted to do a lot more than I physically was able to.  I managed to completed the Stuck?!Sketches Challenge for 1 October (there are two per month).  This one interested me with the second area of photo placement, though I was pretty sure I wouldn't place a photo there.

Anniversary Adventure With A Difference

(yes I know there is a spelling booboo in the title.  It's what comes from rushing to finish a project late at night and then not having the energy to retake photos when you realize!!)

In combining it with Mercy Tiara's 27 Day Challenge for October, I started to formulate a plan.  Shannon Daley Allor won last month's challenge and as the winner, she challenged us with this recipe:

1. Scrap some kind of celebration. It can be a birthday, losing a first tooth, a sport event, etc.
2. Use a long title.
3. Use mixed media such as mist, splatters, ink or texture paste. Anything goes.
4. Use some form of a primary color.
5. Use wood veneer.
6. Use washi tape.

Given there are few things I do celebrate, a slightly belated anniversary date on 9 October was a natural contender.  The colour combination of pink, red and blue was one I don't think I have actually used before.

Pink is an easy choice for me, but the rest of the inspiration came from the number cut-apart from Shimelle's "Glitter Girl" line.

In addition to incorporating a woodgrain pattern (as distinct to using woodgrain elements in the challenge) I thought the addition of a neutral colour would work with the others.
The number card used in the extra photo placement area of the sketch would make it a kind of feature embellishment and since it stood for the number of years we have been married, it made sense to emphasis it.
I rotated the sketch 90 degrees then "mirror imaged" it to look like the one on the right,  No particular reason other than that's just how it looked "right" to my eye.  I printed the two landscape photos pretty small since they were of questionable quality having been taken in a space with low light and forward facing selfie mode!

I picked the background paper for the layout pretty easily.  An older line by Crate Paper "KissKiss". but thought it was still subtle enough to be able to use with some kind of mixed media paste.

I wanted to try marbling pink in with white.  Since I already have a Heidi Swapp metallic pink paste that was a lovely warm pink, I decided to go with Dreamweaver Glossy White Embossing Paste.  The HS Pink was also sort of glossy and by using that rather than adding some kind of ink, it wouldn't change the consistency of the paste.  I also added a bit of Bo Bunny Glitter paste in what looks like a very neon pink but it's not!

In spreading the pastes, however carefully, the marbling effect wasn't as distinct as I hoped, but still soft and pretty.  

A heart stencil from Shimelle's "True Stories" Collection was just the right size but distorted if the past was too thick so next time I would be more careful to keep it thinner.

Titles are not hard for me to fit in with whatever I'm doing so that's 3 out of 6 prompts taken care of.  I manged to even use the word "adventure" from a set of word Thickers!

The washi in pink and gold was from a Crate Paper washi booklet (Maggie Holmes "Bloom" Collection I believe).

The wood veneer was a very last minute addition and I used what I had loose on my desk since accessing the rest of it seemed too hard so late at night.  I would have preferred some hearts but I'll leave it as is.

I really wanted to fussy cut some roses from Maggie Holmes' Chasing Dreams line.  Some chipboard in each of three groupings of embellishment (which didn't necessarily correlate to embellishment spots on the sketch).

The chipboard ribbon prize ribbon motif commonly used in "Chasing Dreams" hasn't been the easiest motif for me to use,  This one had a gold bunny so a label sticker and number "2" made it work a bit better,  

I have to say I had all these plans to add fussy cut butterflies and cameras and all sorts of stuff so to stop where I did wasn't bad for me.  I guess that's where I call it done...or not!

After taking the photos I decided I wanted gold mist,  Lots of it!

Keep checking back - I still need to edit the video for my Victoria Marie Challenge from last week as well as a few more things coming up over the next few days.

Love and perfectly marbled embossing paste!

22 October, 2017

Hosting a Challenge for Victoria Marie's 2017 Virtual Crop

As I've mentioned before,  I'm hosting one of 12 challenges for the Victoria Marie Virtual Crop/Retreat.  These challenges make up the virtual crop portion of the weekend.  The crop will run concurrently with the actual retreat!  Victoria made the elegant graphic below to promote the event.

Victoria is posting snippets from the retreat and it looks like so much fun!

Anyway this is what my challenge is called:

"Your Crafty Name Recipe Challenge Recipe"

You know those name generator “tests” that come up in your social media feed?  The ones where you are asked to use the first letter of your first name and the last letter of your last name or birth month or whatever and you get a new themed named?

Well instead of finding out that you should have been named “Princess Pop Dot” or “Pasty Scissor Face”, your actual name will determine which products you MUST use in your project.  

I’ve listed as many techniques, products, themes or other ideas for each letter of the alphabet, but you only need to pick ONE for each time that letter appears.  The colour suggestions for example don’t all need to be used together (unless you have multiples of the same letter and you really want to!!)

So…in order to see what your name gives you, you need to:
Use the FIRST THREE letters of your first name
 Use the LAST THREE letters of your last name
You can also use your MIDDLE INITIAL for bonus points!


A – acrylic paint, acetate, autumn, apples, aqua, angles, ampersand, ampersat motif

B – border strips, buttons, brads, balloon, baby, butterfly or bird motif/photo/story, brown, black, beige, blue, blocks of paper, beach photos/story, bright colours, bunting/banners

C – cardstock, chipboard, chalk or chalk ink, circles, clouds, cat or camera motifs, chevron, cerulean, copper, cars or children photo/story, clips

D – die cut shapes, doilies, date stamp, dimensional embellishment, diagonal lines, dog motif, double page

E – embossing folder, enamel dots/shapes, ephemera, emotional or exciting photo/story

F – flowers, fabric or felt, flair badges, flat alphas, frames, floral motif, fuchsia, fall, family, funny, fussy cutting

G – Gadgets (e.g. Big Shot Silhouette, Minc etc.), Gelatos, glitter, green, gold, grey, glasses, globe/map motif, graduation, growing up/old photo or story, grid layout

H – hand-made embellishment, heat embossing, handwrite your journaling, hidden journaling, hearts, hilarious, house or happy photo/story

I – ink (any sort), Instax print, image stamps, ice cream, informal layout, imaginative or inspiring photo/story, indigo, ivory, illness story

J – journaling card (e.g. Project Life), journaling stamp, joyful or journey story, jade,

K – Kraft cardstock/embellishment, khaki, kisses, kindergarten or kid photos/stories.

L – label stickers/die cuts, lace, lavender, lilac, lemon, lime, leaves, layering, long title, large photo, love story, ledger paper

M – memorabilia, mist, metal trinkets/embellishment, mixed media techniques, magenta, mint, modern

N – new (for you) supplies, neutral colours, nautical, newspaper motif (pattern paper or stamp etc.) navy,

O – old (for you) supplies, ovals, office motifs, orange, olive green, ombre

P – patterned paper, punch, puffy stickers, pearls, polaroid photo or frame, paste (texture, embossing, modelling etc.), polka dots, pastel, pink, purple, pets, pastel colours

Q –  quilt pattern or motif (or photo or story), quote in title or journaling, question mark motif or question for a title

R – ribbon, red, rainbow motif, rain or romantic story, royal blue, rose (colour or motif/pattern), resin flowers/shapes (cabochons), retro, rub-ons

S – stickers, stamps, stitching (hand or machine), six-by-six pad, sequins, stripes, stars, snow, spring, summer, scraps, specialty paper, scarlet, silver, school or sports photos/story, sketch or scraplift, square photo, selfie

T – twine, typewriter motif or for journaling, template/stencil, torn edges, triangles, Thickers/dimensional alphas, tangerine, turquoise, teal, travel photos or story

U – upcycle something (e.g. packaging), umbrella or unicorn motif, ultramarine, ugly paper or story relating to something ugly

V – vellum, vintage, vermillion, vanilla, violet, view master motif, vacation photo/story

W – washi, wood veneer, word stickers, watercolour, winter, wedding, work, woodgrain, white

X – X-Acto knife, x-ray/broken bone story, xoxo or +++ pattern/motif

Y – yellow, “yummy” (cupcakes, coffee, chocolate etc.), yucky/gross story

Z – ZZZ (sleepy), zoo, zebra/animal print, zoom/macro photo

Now let me give an example using my name and how it came together in my layout. 

My first name is Alexandra so my letters are A, L, E
Last name is Trofimov, so then I get M, O, V
My middle initial is S

A - aqua (ink, paper and embellishments0
L - leaves (aqua and navy paper)
E - enamel shapes (aqua, blue and navy small shapes from "Glitter Girl" collection and large enamel shapes from "Zoe" collection by Love, Elsie)
S - sketch (By Laura Whitaker)
M - mixed media techniques (gesso, ink "splodging" and ink drops, fabric "paper")
O – “old” (for you – mid 2000s in my case - Love, Elsie fabric "paper"and enamel shapes)
V – view master (black shapes cut out from patterned paper by Echo Park)

Here's the sketch I used (By Laura Whitaker who runs the Stuck?! Sketches challenge blog)

...and here's how my layout turned out:

I decided to start scrapbooking my class with Ryan Reaveley.  Naturally I loathe how I look in photos,  Stupid steroids make my look like a chipmunk. 🐹  The punny title is practically essential given I live with two boys who come up with them at every possible moment!

Watch the video for the chaotic process:

I had the camera battery running down at the end and I did a booboo!  Do you see what I forgot?  It's not the extra aqua pieces near the top (I felt it needed more aqua in that pink area).

Yeah it's my letter "V". Oops! 😳 I had my vellum leaves ready, but didn't think they were the best fit.  The view masters were better, but the battery on the camera was running down so it was a fairly abrupt ending with a funny feeling something was missing.

Am I happy with how it turned out?  Well I don't hate it, but it definitely didn't turn out quite how I hoped.  I think the pattern choices for the strips were not the best.  I imagined more of that lovely black floral would show, but this is the first of several layouts and I definitely plan to repeat the patterns and include messy, painty mixed media goodness which is what Dyan is all about.

I don't use it on layouts as often as I'd like (more on cards probably) so this series will be a good way to bring more of it into my album.

I also don't want to deviate from using lots of pretty paper which is true to my style so I need to keep that in mind and try to marry the two styles together.  I love it when it works out!

There are some seemingly random embellishments on the layout.  I think I mentioned on the video why I included them like the globe with the map of Australia - OK that one is pretty obvious since Dyan was travelling to Australia to teach. 

The double decker buses from Shimelle's first collection are very cute, but for someone who loves in Australia and tries to avoid public transport where possible, it makes them hard to use!  Dyan doesn't live in London itself (she's actually not far from my frond Joy!) but it's a close enough association of me to use it and it's red.

The colours I chose were also very relevant.  I wanted to save red )for Dyan's hair) for the embellishments.  I got the impression from what she was saying that she likes pink too.  I used pink paint where possible and hope to use some of my work from the class in my layouts.

I'm hoping to be able to play along with some of the other challenges this week and maybe ad to my Dyan story so please keep checking back (and maybe the video will even be ready!)

Many thanks to Victoria for the opportunity and all the hard work she has put onto making the even possible and including those who were not able to physically attend the retreat,

You can find Victoria:
Victoria Marie Blog
YouTube Channel
Facebook Page
Facebook Group

17 October, 2017

Who wants to get crafty?

Victoria of Victoria Marie is hosting a three day retreat...in Texas.

It's a bit far to go sadly, and it sounds amazeballs to spend three days secreted away crafting to out hearts' content, buuut there is an alternative!  Victoria made the cute graphic below.

Victoria will be running a CYBER CROP in her Facebook Group for the duration of the retreat!  There will be lots of fun stuff happening including regular crafty challenges and prizes!  Hopefully we'll even get some sneaky peeks at what they're doing at the retreat!

It just so happens that this Pink Mama is hosting one of these challenges and yes I'm definitely giving away a prize so be sure to stop by and have a go at one or more of the challenges!  They will stay open for longer than the actual weekend so if you're busy you can still play along when you get time!

Please note that the dates and times are in CST timezone which you can calculate with this handy dandy timezone calculator, but if my calculations are correct, CST is 16 hours behind Australia's east coast (EDST that is).

MY CHALLENGE is 3:00pm on 21st Oct CST which corresponds to 7:00am on 22nd Oct so I'd love to see you and find out what you have to do in order to be in the running to win the prize I'm offering.

All you have to do is head on over to Victoria's Facebook Group and hang out there and get your craft and chat on!  Hope to see you there!

Many thanks to Victoria for all het card work.  Please visit her at her blog or on Facebook or her fantastic YouTube Channel.

01 October, 2017

Stuck Sketches 1 Sept {aka use all the (cat) washi}

Wanna know what happens when things go a little bit wrong?  (I mean more than usual) This:

EmbarrassedI decided to play along with this sketch challenge for a few reasons
(click on the image above to take you to the challenge page) -
one big one being that I could use my 57 rolls of cat themed washi in place of the paper strips

Great idea in theory...and possibly in execution had I not ruined the background, but couldn't bear to waste the white sheet of Pink Paislee paper with black (and sporadic multi coloured spots).  It has a blue ombre on the reverse and I bought 2 sheets with the aim of probably using each as a background.  I don't usually care if I have to put something in the bin, but I didn't want to have to replace the paper or have to use my second piece.

Perhaps I should backtrack slightly...the bit that went wrong was the splodgy, inky, painty bit.

Normally this is almost impossible to mess up.  (Almost).  I wanted to use GOLD so I grabbed my Gold Mr Huey's (which isn't my very favourite) gold mist.  It was way too light.  Gold "Heidi Shine" was slightly better, but when that still failed, I decided to try the Tarnished Brass Distress Paint which I added a little water to so it would be runny enough.  It was by far the best, but after it dried it still didn't have to look I imagined.

Here's what I did:  I pulled out my Gansai Tambi watercolours and what a huge mistake it was.  😞The colour (despite attempting to mix something close) was way off, as was the style of using a brush vs the more free form "packaging method".  I couldn't use the wet-on-wet method on patterned paper.  It would have fallen apart.  I probably should have tried Distress Stain in the same colour.
I had also already applied the cat washi strips (which I was pleased with 👍) after the first lot of paint dried.

 The only damage control that came to mind was extending the strips to cover as much of the mess as possible.  This also meant some of the nicer areas of the initial painting would be covered, but it was a necessary evil.  Placement of the photo and embellishment would be critical to hide the joins.

The next issue was the photo.  I wanted a square(ish) photo to cover a ruined Polaroid I took a few days before.  Why was the Polaroid ruined?  A certain SCD* said "what does this button do?" and in a millisecond pressed the button which opens the hatch for the film pack so the light overexposed what was left in the camera (only 2 shots) so I thought I might as well use one for a frame.

Now my only method for printing at home right now is the Canon Selphy so there was no simple way of resizing and printing exact measurements.

After much trial and error I decided to trim it down and lose some of the image.  Of course I was about 1/16 or so out and it was obvious, 🙄 which is why the right side of the photo has some strategically placed washi.

Due to the washi being on the right, something needed to go next to it and after much deliberation and indecision, I put a journalling card there.  I hoped the whiteness of both the photo and card would help them stand out among all the washi craziness.  It worked a little.  I had a few distractions/side projects that needed finishing before this was done, so eventually I got those embellishment clusters to the point where I was satisfied.

I know the usual drill applies about the first layout I do after a break so I don't love it, but far from hating it.  I might even go so far as to say I kinda like it.  I'd like it better were it not for the pain disaster (and SCD even asked me why the cat has sparkly toe floof.  I think it was still from this layout).  I have lots more about NCC's* arrival so I'll get to those in due course and I think I'd really like to give this sketch another try sometime.

That's all for now! Til next time, love and sparkly toe floof! xxx

*Acronyms in left sidebar <---