Sunday, 18 August 2019

Counterfeit Kit Challenge for August

Yeah I know what the date is, but you know by now that I like making a fashionably late entrance right? 🤣🙈

You can go check out the kit reveal at Counterfeit Kit Challenge.

The inspiration kit this month is from July's Citrus Twist main kit called "Best of This Life"

and also the scrapbooking add-on

My first thought was huh?  When did the scrapbooking bit of a monthly kit become an "add on"?  Then I realised a lot of kit clubs are getting rid of the 12x12 monthly kits.  Is it due to increased shipping costs worldwide?  Is it the continuing popularity of pocket page scrapbooking and the relatively recent surge in travellers' notebooks?  I don't know, but I'm a 12x12 girl always and forever so I basically ignored the main part of the kit and based mine around the scrapbook kit.

I'll be honest, this idea of everything being so happy and perfect and "best day eveeeerrr" in the craft world makes me a bit cranky and induces slight waves of nausea.  It's just not realistic for anyone and when you ave a chronic illness,  there are far fewer good days.  So I'm going to name my kit:

Good Enough

Am I biter and twisted?   I doubt it since I came up with far darker names than that, but I'm the queen of snark along with some fellow scrappy buds, so you wont often get happyhappyjoyjoy from me! 🤷

I even got my video set-up 😲😲😲. I.Know.Right?? 🤣
Here it is if you want to watch and I'd love for you to subscribe and that old chestnut.  Thank you!!

Should you prefer stills, here goes:

The scrapbook kit consists of 9 patterned papers and 3 sheets of cardstock which I immediately subbed for more patterned paper.

My usual "rule" of a single sided paper pad sheet gets another single sided sheet to equal one double sided!  But get know how usually I pick one paper for the A side of the inspo kit and another for the B side and end up with twice as much paper (part of which I count as "add on pattern paper so totes legit in my mind)?  Well this time I didn't! 😲😲😲

Here are both sides of my papers and one of each of the single sheets

All the paper

I did, however, lose the plot entirely when it came to embellishments.  I can't help it.  Kits have always been really light on embellies for my style and the thing is that a sticker sheet they choose goes with their whole kit because it's chosen specifically for that.

I'm trying to pull together a kit with a similar vibe and different paper, so any given sticker sheet might have as few as one or two stickers that I want and the rest are just there for the ride, so when you see my sticker books, don't judge!!  (And everything that isn't 12x12 (or inside a cup) fits nicely in the plastic basket which makes it look a lot more compact than all these photos would suggest! 🙈)

Sticker books

12x12 sticker sheets

More stickers


The kit is definitely not intended to be killed and the last two that I have made are mostly intact, although I confess to have cannibalized bits I needed for other things along the way.

There were an awful lot of puffy stickers in the inspo kit so I had to mix in a whole bunch of other things since it wasn't enough variety for me.  I also seemed to go on a cloud tangent!

All the clouds

Large embellishments that I struggle to use seemed to be a recurring theme in this kit.  It looks as though I'll be challenging myself..a lot!  I could live to regret this!

All the big (and random) things

Also on Struggle Street are those largeish words - kinda smallish for titles and too big for anything else!

All the big words (and some little ones!)

And die cuts and random finds. 

I have small alphas within reach so didn't specifically pull any out and small wood veneer, cabochons, random clips and brads and buttons are also in the pull-as-you-go category.

I did include some sprinkly bits, though

The Sprinkly bits

...And I highly recommend you stay away from a file of stickers while you wait for your camera crew to troubleshoot a problematic tripod.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you seen either here or YouTube or any of my other socials!

Love and crafty kit curation,

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Arty Divas DT Post 13 July

Hi Lovelies!

Guess what?  I'm very excited to be taking part in my first Design Team Assignment at Arty Divas!  Don't you just love the graphic?? 😍

Today is Challenge 2 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 LeAnn's World

The Design team is working with an image called Sweet Suzie.  I'm not sure WHY, but the first thing that came into my my mind was that she looked a bit like Alice in Wonderland...with short hair...and no apron...or Alice band! 😂🙈

Even so, I used Copic Markers to colour her her like Alice.  I really REALLY need to get some refills for my lightest colours! Her hair isn't as blonde as I was going for, but the Alice blue dress and paper from Echo Park's Alice in Wonderland's line definitely gets the idea across. 

Doilies are a given and I fussy cut a tiny tea cup from the same patterned paper I used on the background.  A fussy cut image of the White Rabbit is meant to look like a painting on the wall behind Alice (although I would have preferred a Cheshire Cat).

Lastly, I pulled out my vintage typewriter for a custom sentiment and quote from book.  It really needs a new ribbon, but considering how long that one has been in the typewriter, it's rather amazing that it even works at all!

We're All Mad Here Card

That's all for now and please check our Arty Divas and enter a project or two in the challenge!

Love and check out the challenge!

TTCRD DT Project 13 July

Hi 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 TTCRD with a Beach Theme.
Prize: $5 Amazon gift card

So...what's the fist thing that springs ti mind when you think beach?  Naturally my rather warped imagination jumps straight to two stamps sets ("Shark Bites" from Newton's Nook and "Killer Messages" by Hero Arts) and a set of dies ("Paper Layering Shark" from Hero Arts)...of sharks.

I did promise nothing gruesome so it wasn't as fun as it could be, but I made the best of it.  This was one of those times when what's in my head didn't translate to paper.  Again.

I wanted a beach scene with a fin, but when you open a partial flap, it shows what's REALLY under the water.  I didn't really have much in the way of beachy stuff, so I kept it simple with watercolouring using Distress Inks.  I figured I had to have some stickers with beachy stuff SOMEwhere and Amy Tangerine came through with some palm trees from the "American Crafts Designer Sticker Books',

After stamping, painting and cutting out the sharks, I looked at the silhouettes of the swimmers from the set of dies.  I thought about placing them in the same spot on the front and the inside of the card then use that great sentiment which makes me laugh every time.

Not being one who knows when to stop, I stamped waves on the front of the card and then some schools of fish (one of which is slightly messed up! 😳)

While I like the idea, I definitely don't quite love how it actually turned out.  I would have liked stiffer watercolour paper, but it needs to be hot pressed so I can stamp on it.

Friends til the Inevitable End

Front of card


Friends til the Inevitable End

Inside of Card

That's all for now and please head on over to TTCRD and enter a project in the challenge,  It doesn't have to be beach themed.

Love and snarky sharky sentiments

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Design Team Post for Embellish With Flair (10 Aug)

Hello lovelies!

Today's post requires somewhat of a backstory and while it's not part of my "Inspiration Series" for Embellish With Flair, it could be looked at as a sort of extension to Part 3 which is about scraplifting.  I think I may have even hinted back then that I had this particular layout in it's beginning stages.  I didn't want it to be the part on scraplifting, since it was a much less true example to the original project.

It turned out to be entirely co-incidental that I'm using both the Cat Flair and much of the same paper (a lot from Shimelle's "Box of Crayons" which features plenty of cat and dog motifs of which I used 0! 🤷)

Now for the backstory... in May, my buddy Sara Scraps was a guest designer for Virginia Walker in her Facebook group Confessions of a Paper Addict (known as COAPA).  Virginia released a series of animal cut files including a dachshund for Sara.  I got so excited when I saw there was a matching cat so I suggested I should scraplift her layout since I have similar photos with virtually identical expressions!  You can watch Sara's YouTube Process Video here.

Sweet Puppy Days

By Sara Scraps

As I was preparing to do so, I had another idea!  With Sara's permission I used a photo of her dog and my cat and BOTH cut files.  This meant fairly major changes to the original since I had to squeeze in TWO cut files and figure out how much to keep the same and which modifications to make to ensure the layout was in my style.

The first step was figuring out the size and cutting the critters and loosely planning how they will sit on the page.  Painstaking backing of cut files with paper comes next!

Sara's style is quite different to mine and I admire it a lot so I wanted to do it justice, but keep the balance in maintaining the things I love.  Sara used paper cut into strips and punched with border punches.  It was the perfect place to start since my punches don't get as much love as they should!

I used two types of punch as well as some branding strips and narrow strips.  I wanted to make sure I included enough black to co-ordinate with the flair and it could get tricky since I was using a fair bit of navy.

It seems as though I always stitch on my layouts, but I don't I promise!  I just felt these borders and strips were begging for it and I could lift up any loose edges for texture.

The background is an older Studio Calico crosshatch (as opposed to a plain white sheet of cardstock), and while I used multiple photo mats and more borders than Sara had in her original, I split the title into two areas like she did using two fonts as well.  This is definitely different for me (I rarely have the title split like this, nor do I have the construction of the two cut files and photos separated, but it was the only way to squeeze them onto the page).

While I was on the punch kick. I punched some pinked circles under the flair to help them stand out and putting them om either side of the title helps with that and to make it a bit more obvious that it's a single phrase.

Can I just say how much I love the refillable dispenser for Mini or Micro Glue Dots?  It makes attaching things like sequins so much easier and less to put away since you don't have to put the roll back in the box!  I definitely need to get a second one for my Micro dots! 

Due to the pattern of the pink paper at the top of the page, the embellishment cluster where Sara put hers would have to come down.  And get a whole lot bigger obviously, because this Crafty Mama is all about All.The.Things! 🤣

The corresponding area diagonally across from the embellishment would be the natural spot to put the journaling.  The journaling and story is always critical for me and especially in this case when it may seem a little weird to scrapbook her dog and my cat regardless of our friendship! The story is less about the animals themselves, but more about our similarities and in this particular case only a fellow Fitzwilliam fanatic and Austen aficionado would co-incidentally name her dog the same thing I named my cat! 🙌🙌🙌

Before finishing off with some puffy hearts, I added tiny tabs with the dates of the photos since they weren't taken at the same time.  In such a case as this, I'd most likely store the layout in the same month of the later photo.

A Tale of Two Fitzes

So you can see how I started with Sara's idea, yet made it look really quite different but simply starting with two cut files.  Even without the other changes, it's a pretty big shake up.

Embellish With Flair Products Used:


Thanks for stopping by and as always, 

Love and Embellish With Flair!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

A Touch of Whimsy Giveaway Winner!

Sorry for the dodgy video.  Not sure why it ended up sideways which requited me to flip it and half was cut off. (somewhat abrupt ending due to coffee machine sound effects!)

You can scroll down if you want a spoiler
The winner is Lori S!  Congratulations!  You can reach me at

Love and whimsical winnings!

Friday, 2 August 2019

Giveaway closed - Thank You!

Hi Lovelies!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!

I'll do the draw tomorrow when it'll be 2 Aug in most of the rest of the world and that'll give me enough time to go through the entries.

I meant to have more projects done during June and July but Arthur* hasn't been staying in its box! I will keep making projects and complete the class so watch this space!

Thank you for supporting a fellow crafter and awesome girl boss! (I'm talking about Sara, not me, BTW! 🤣)

⬅ *Acronyms can be found here

Love and crafty classes

Thursday, 1 August 2019

DT Project for Embellish With Flair (22 July)

Hello Lovelies

I'm here with the final installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series that I've been writing for the Embellish With Flair blog!  If you missed the first five installments, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 

This one will be about using challenges to find inspiration. 

There are many sites (usually in the form of a blog) which host weekly or monthly challenges.  Sometimes they’re specific like a different colour challenge each week or the type of challenge might vary.

Facebook Groups relating to scrapbooking or cardmaking or more general crafts sometimes have special challenges.  Some commonly found activities include some of the things we’ve already looked at like scraplifting and commonly sketches.  Others frequently found are things Tic TAC Toe (also referred to as bingo) (like noughts and crosses where each box contains a prompt or item to use and you can choose a line in any direction and must include those items), mood boards and many others.

In April, such a Facebook group for the store Anna’s Craft Cupboard were celebrating their 13th anniversary with a cyber crop.  There were plenty of games and challenges and I’m going to go back and complete one that I wanted to do at the time but didn’t get around to it.

There were two "Blind Crops” and for me, your pink, self confessed control freak. these are the most difficult of all!  A blind crop usually is most successful when completed “live” to eliminate the temptation to peek ahead.  The leader has everyone making a layout step by step according to their instructions!  Eg “cut paper B into a 6x8 rectangle and stick to top left of paper A”.  Supplies to have on hand are usually available for some time beforehand, although the level of detail often varies.

The designer of the blind crop I’m going to make is none other than Melinda Sweetman who is probably well known to many of you.

I’m pleased to say I didn’t cheat on terms of peeking at the finished layouts, but I had a tiny cheat which I’ll confess in due process!  The list of supplies was more or less straightforward - except I had 5 papers picked instead of 4.  One was from a paper pad and single sided, so more like 4.5! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Since I rarely pull ink, mist or paint when making up kits, I felt I could justify the “wait and see” approach” when it came to this step.

Not knowing when and how much of each paper would be used was driving me crazy!  After following the cutting and sticking for the pink and woodgrain papers, I pretty much was sure my remaining paper would be the blue/lilac striped one (in the photo cluster) and not the green one.

Once I figured out we were cutting photo mats came my cheat - not only did I use the two specified papers (would have been the woodgrain and the purple) but I decided to also cut a mat from my pink paper and my green floral “spare” paper and do messy offset mats.  I use a lot of paper layers and doing this was like a security blanket! 

At the point when texture paste was required, I went with a "frankenpaste" as I sometimes do.  I mixed Colour Blast in Snow White with Vicki Boutin’s iridescent glitter texture paste (which has a clear base).  I wasn’t super happy when it was drying a bit more translucent than I hoped after 2 steps.  Then I saw paste was required for a third step so I dried off what I had already done enough to put the stencil back exactly as it was.  I mixed a bit of Dreamweaver pearlescent embossing paste into my frankenpaste and after doing the third area I went back over the first two lightly.  This made for some thick paste and in hindsight I should have probably used a more densely patterned stencil.

Here are the three pastes swatches separately.  The fine glitter in the Colour Blast is hard to see, but it's gorgeous! 

I also wasn’t thrilled with any of my mist choices, but didn’t want the fuss of mixing anything so I knew the shimmer pigment in Heidi Swapp Color Shine should show up even on darker paper.

I had to leave the layout to sit overnight so the thick paste could dry all the way through.  The waiting time and scant adhesive causing the pink and paper to lift a lot at the edges.  I decided to machine stitch for some extra interest.  It's subtle, but adds some texture.

I also had to stitch down the yellow Thickers (not my first choice, but I simply couldn't make the ascending letters of a scripty font work no matter what I tried. 😒

I fussy cut virtually the entire sheet of that gorgeous floral paper from Shimelle's Little by Little collection and eliminated the red flowers and kept the others.  While yellow doesn't appear in the background pattern, it definitely worked as an accent and gave me the option of yellow in the title since both pink and white alphas seemed to blend in too much.  I added the lion die cut from the same collection and some critters from Box of Crayons also by Shimelle hidden among the flowers since the photo was taken at the zoo even though the journaling isn't about the outing itself.

A word of warning - trying to use regular adhesive to stick paper onto the lumpy rough paste is not an option!!  Melinda suggested liquid glue, and for me that's always a last resort.  I used my beloved Glue Dots, but this time I decided on a pre-emptive strike and used the Craft Glue Dots (in the red dispenser) which are generally intended for off the page type stuff needing extra strength.  It was definitely the right move!

I used Permanent Glue Dots for the flair as always and for the round Thickers.  Stitching them down would have made them hard to read and been a challenge on that slight angles, but the Glue Dots were perfect for the job.  Minis and Micros for the sequins as always!

I left the choice of flair until later since I wasn't sure where the blind crop was going to take me.  I opted for the Captured set which was black on white.  The white was going to stand out and co-ordinate with the paste and I wanted to include some camera motifs in the embellishment clusters anyway.

I used the silver, holographic circles from the Thickers phrase set from Shimelle's Sparkle City and some sequins from Spiegelmom Scraps to finish!

Embellish with Flair product used:  Captured

I'll see you again soon with something new!

Love, and embellish with flair!