Thursday 21 December 2017

Merry Christmas

A short post to say hello and wish all a very Happy Christmas. I'm sorry to have been so absent from 'blogland' during 2017 but my time hasn't always been my own. I'm wishing myself and everyone else a much more creative year ahead.

Just sharing one card, only a few were made.


Papers: Pion Design 'Glistening Season', Bazzill, Stardream and used Acetate to enclose the shaker snow globe

Dies: Sizzix Thinlits / Tim Holtz - Snowglobe 2, Sizzix Thinlits / Tim Holtz - Festive Greens, Sizzix Thinlits / Tim Holtz - Winter Wonderland, Sizzix Thinlits / Tim Holtz - Woodlands

Media: Snow-Tex, Ranger distress glitter in 'Clear Rock Candy', Ranger distress crayon in 'Picket Fence', White gesso and paint, Ranger transparent texture paste, Stampendous Frantage

Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology christmas wordband. Pearls and bells from stash

Thank-you so much to anyone who stops by during this busy Christmas countdown.

Wishing you a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. May the year ahead be kind to us all, with the whole truth, and justice, prevailing.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Winter Wonderland
Let's Craft & Create - Anything Christmas Goes
Country View Challenges - Christmas
Die Cut Divas - Anything Winter
Scrapyland - Anything Goes, using brand carried by store - Sizzix
Kort O Mania - 190- Jul (Christmas)
Scrap & Craft - Anything Christmas
The Sisterhood of Crafters - All About Christmas
Deep Ocean Challenge - Jingle Bells
Double D Challenges - Baby It's Cold Outside (with inspiration photo)
Vintage cafe card challenge - Holidays / Christmas
Craft Heaven shop challenge - Winter Wonderland
Little Red Wagon - That's a wrap (I used bow)

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Alison's new stamps!

Hello and welcome!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with 'Words and Pictures', blog of the always inspirational Alison Bomber. Alison has long been a kind and loyal supporter of my little blog so I was especially pleased recently to see that She has designed 2 new stamp sets for Paper Artsy Eclectica range. I've finally managed to secure some playtime and have made the following card, using one of the quotations from Alison's EAB/02 set.

I must thank Autumn of the lovely 'Sew, Paper, Paint' for her card design here that I copied used for inspiration.


Stamps: Alison Bomber for Paper Artsy Eclectica 'EAB/02' set. Other foliage stamps from stash.

Dies: Sizzix/Holtz Bigz 'Baroque'. Poppy Stamps 'Resting Birds'. Leaves Marianne Design Creatibles

Media: Tim Holtz Distress Inks in 'Tumbled Glass', 'Broken China' and 'Salty Ocean' for 'wrinkle free distress' technique behind aperture and quote. Ranger Sepia Archival for stamping and Stampendous 'Detail Copper' to emboss

Other: Flowers, string, dew drops and brads from stash

You might like to check out Alison's wonderful Stamp Sets for lots of meaningful and thought provoking quotations...

Very many thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:

Simon Monday Challenge - Get In Shape (Aperture cut in 'Baroque' shape)
Country View Crafts Challenge - Anything With Wings
Paper Artsy Challenge - Aqua
Scrapyland - Anything Goes (using die brand carried by store - Poppystamps)
Stamping Sensations - Anything with Flowers
Craft Stamper - Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers - Lots of Layers
Inky Chicks - Use a Sentiment instead of an Image
Stempelgarten - Anything that can Fly

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Precious Baby Girl !

Hello! Long time no see!

I'm sorry to say that matters in the 'real world' have caused my absence over recent months from 'blogland'. I do hope to be back crafting and blogging very soon.

I'm popping by today to post the only creation I've made recently. I was thrilled to make an exploding box to welcome a very special new arrival - a beautiful Baby Girl.

I've used papers by Maja Design throughout, most are from the 'Vintage Baby' collection.

Some shots of the inside...

Finally, the four outer sides...


Papers: Maja Design - 'Vintage Baby' & 'Sofiero'
Dies: Simon Says Stamp 'Stacked Hearts'. Memory Box 'Corner Bow' and 'Precious Stars'. Magnolia 'Hearts Swirl'. Cheery Lynn 'Heart Chain Border'
Stencil: Heidi Swapp 'Confetti'
Metal Embellishments: Nunn Design and Making Memories
Chipboard Embellishments: Wycinanka, Scrapiniec, Agateria
Bow: May Arts silk - tied using BowEasy
Media: Krylon Silver Gilding pen, Decoart Texture Paste, Prima Art Sugar (Light Pink), Bo Bunny Pearlescent (Tutu), Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Other: Lace, Pearls, Resin Angel, Flowers and stick pin from stash

Thank-you so very much for visiting! Each and everyone is appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges:

Maja Design - Mood Board June

Simon Says Stamp Monday - 'Touchy Feely'

Scrap & Craft - Anything Goes adding string or ribbon

Frilly & Funkie - You're my Inspiration
(Project inspired by the soft and pretty celebratory images in the mood board)

Deep Ocean Challenge - Diecuts, Chipboards and/or Punches

Country View Crafts - June - Hearts

Scrapy Land Challenge 67 - Anything Goes (using die brand carried by store - Memory Box / Cheery Lynn)

Allsorts - Use At Least 2 Dies

The Sisterhood of Crafters - Use Your Imagination

Scrapki-Wyzwaniowo - June - See It In Pink

Monday 27 February 2017

The Secret Garden

Hi there and thanks for stopping by!
Well I've thoroughly enjoyed my month as guest designer with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. It's been an absolute privilege to feature alongside the esteemed design team and I'm very grateful to have been invited.
For this final Monday in February the new challenge theme is 'Based On A Book'. Graphic 45's beautiful 'Secret Garden' paper collection is one of my favourites so I decided to alter a wooden book box based on 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Here it is...

Front cover of book box

A view of the inside

A twirl to the front

Close-up of inside left

Inside right

Around to the back

Another look at the front

I'll list all of the products I used that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store at the end of the post.

Step by Step

I took some snaps with my phone as I went along to show how I made the front cover...

Wooden book box for altering.

Painted cover with a couple of thick coats of white gesso. Made some texture marks before it dried.

Added light and medium grey paints for variation.

Used a 6" x 6" Bricks Stencil and Tim Holtz Grit-Paste to make the wall. The cover measures 7.5" x 7.5" i.e. bigger than the stencil so there were 4 separate stencil placements to go through.  To give extra dimension, I stencilled 2 layers of Grit-Paste so in all there were 8 phases when I had to wait for Grit-Paste to dry. The wall was thus built over quite a few days! (Area for door to fit into was masked off).

I recently won a fab prize from Prima Marketing that included Prima Watercolor pencils in 'Earth Tones', so they had their first playtime to colour in the bricks.

Then darkened the bricks by blending distress inks over them (used Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain).

Swabbed some white and grey paints over bricks and splattered black ink around too. The paints kept being absorbed by the media below as they dried, so added a layer of multi matte to seal.

I haven't got a 'before' shot of the door. I dry embossed some cardstock with a woodgrain folder and adhered it to a thick arch shape. Darkened and aged various metal embellishments and used a sticker from the Graphic 45 Secret Garden Deluxe Collector's Edition

Diecut some branches with Memory Box Woodland Branch die. In the end I pruned away some of these as I had covered up too much of the wall I spent a lot of time on!

Also, randomly glued around little snippets of moss.

Next, adhered some chipboard ivy trails.

Coloured the ivy with Distress Inks using Tim Holtz Watercolor Brush. (Bundled Sage and Iced Spruce inks I think).

Topped off the leaves with Glossy Accents to help them pop. (I think this was done after photo).

Affixed a rustic looking trim at side.

Showing inside of box before it was 'dressed up'. I'm a big fan of Krylon Gilding pens and used the 18kt Gold pen liberally on box (the centre panel here has been gilded).
The outer side panel of the box was stamped in black with a text stamp by Prima and then heat embossed.

Here the inside has been adorned with the beautiful Graphic 45 Secret Garden papers and other little embellishments. The deluxe collection includes some great chipboards too.

I hope you like my altered box!

Do pop over to the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge blog to absorb all of the brilliant inspiration and education from the fantastic design team there. Why don't you have fun creating something 'Based On A Book' and enter this week's challenge.

Don't forget that every week a lucky entrant wins a generous $50 voucher to spend in store - it could be you!

Genuine thanks to all at Simon Says Stamp for placing me in their designer spotlight this month! It's been a real treat!


I used products that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store as follows:

Graphic 45 'Secret Garden' 12 x 12 Deluxe Collectors Edition. The quotes on inside left cover are cut from scraps I had from the 8 x 8 'Secret Garden' papers.

The Crafter's Workshop 6x6 Stencil 'Bricks'.

Ranger Distress Grit-Paste. Ranger Distress Inks in Ground Espresso, Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain, Rusty Hinge.  Prima Watercolor pencils in 'Earth Tones'. Prima Marketing Mixed Media Essentials for Black and White Gesso. Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Paint in Snowflake. Ecoline liquid watercolor in Black and White. Memento Ink Espresso Truffle. Krylon Gilding Pen 18kt Gold. Ranger Glossy Accents. Ranger Archival Ink in Black. Ranger Crackle Accents.

Tim Holtz Idea-ology - Hinges and Locket Keys. Prima Metal Knobs.

Memory Box - Woodland Branch

Prima / Finnabair Texture Brushes. Dina Wakley Stiff Bristle Brushes. Ranger Blending Tool. Prima Silicone Brush. Tim Holtz Water Color Brush.

Sticky Stuff
Scotch Double Sided Foam Tape, Ranger Multi Medium Matte, Aleenes Tacky Glue


Thank-you for taking the time to visit!
Have a lovely week!
Nicola x

I wish to enter book box to the following challenges:
Mixed Media World - Anything Mixed Media Goes
Love 2 Create - Anything Mixed Media Goes
Stamps & Stencils - Texture, Crackle and Paint
A Vintage Journey - Words That Are Special
Frilly & Funkie - Out of the Cold
Allsorts Challenge - Metal and/or charms
The Ribbon Girl - Use Any Image Challenge
Creative Artiste - Anything Mixed Media Goes
4 Crafty Chicks - Stencils
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - February Challenge

Monday 20 February 2017

Soar Free

Greetings and a warm welcome to you!
I'm delighted to be sharing my 3rd project as guest designer this month with the fantabulous Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Thanks so very much for all your visits and kind comments on my previous two projects.

The days are rolling by rapidly as it's Monday again! This means it's time for a new challenge, and this week's challenge theme is 'Transport It'.

I decided to do something a little different (for me anyway!) so have made a mixed media canvas showing my favourite mode of transport i.e. hot air balloon. Without further ado, here it is...

Apologies for poor photos - I took some snaps with my phone as I went along for a 'step by step'.

All products available from Simon Says Stamp store are listed at end of post.

1. Began with a blank canvas board. Yikes - my first one!

This board was already primed with gesso.

2.  Dabbed some Ranger Distress Inks on my craft mat

Spritzed them with water. Swooshed the canvas through the inks and heat dried with heat tool.

Then painted with Paperartsy blue and white paints and gesso and allowed to dry.

3. Painted again with white gesso.

Adhered a woven trim.

Stencilled some texture paste using Prima stencil.

Stamped corners (although later on I fairly well covered up this stamping).

4. Painted yet again with watered down white paint.

Dabbed white crackle paint randomly.

Made textured lines by 'stamping' white crackle paste here and there using edge of an old credit card. Sprinkled mini art stones on top of this paste whilst still wet.


5. Painted die cut film strip, a drinking straw and chipboard with white paint. Adhered these to canvas. (The two shorter inner straws are positioned to balance the balloon).

Dribbled blue and gold Prima sprays around embellished areas.

Added little blue fragments and metal elements.


6. Die cut balloon from chipboard and painted with Prima metalliques. (Balloon actually triple layered).

Sprinkled around gold and pale blue microbeads.  Painted alpha letters and various metals with a mix of black & white gessos and metallique paints.  Filled tiny bottle with sequins and beads.

Layered balloon in place on top of more chipboard and sisal fibres. Added copper beaded trim and light bulb to balloon basket.

Stamped text onto tissue, tore tissue into little strips and glued with multi-matte.


7. Added some splatters.

Laid out painted stars, chipboard cogs and sequins to see how this looked but it seemed 'over crowded' given that I wanted the balloon to be main focus.

So scrapped this arrangement!

(Actually I scrapped several 'arrangements', but am just showing this one!)

8. Kept the stars and just added some crystals and pearls instead.

Smeared brass paint around edge of canvas. Painted cardboard panel the same blue as balloon and matted to canvas.

Rubbed white paint into metal wordband so that sentiment became clearer.

Decided to declare it finished at at this point...but further suggestions are welcome!

Do check out this week's challenge to view the always impressive creations from the fantastic design team. Each week one lucky challenge entrant wins a $50 gift voucher to spend instore.

Many thanks again to all at Simon Monday Challenge and at the Simon Says Stamp Store for allowing me feature in the 'Designer Spotlight' this month.

Very many thanks for taking the time to stop by today!
Wishing you a lovely week,
Nicola x


I used products that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store as follows:

Memory Box - Grand Voyage Balloon and Quilted Balloon Stripes


Prima Marketing Metallique Paint in Deep Waters and Brass Hardware. Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Paint in Snowflake

Sprays and Liquids
Prima Marketing Color Bloom Sprays in Gold Foil and Fairy Pond. Ecoline liquid watercolor in Black

Ranger Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Weathered Wood. Ranger Archival Ink in Black

Prima Marketing Mixed Media Essentials for Black and White Gesso. Prima Marketing Heavy Body Gel. Ranger Distress Crackle Gel in Clear Rock Candy.  Dreamweaver Texture Paste. Ranger Texture Paste Opaque Crackle. Prima Marketing Mini Art Stones

Tim Holtz Idea-ology - Hinge Clips, Metal Word Bands, Game Spinners, Wire Pins, Swivel Clasps, Locket Keys / Metal Hardware Keyhole.
Prima Marketing Junkyard Findings and Micro Beads in Copper.
Stampendous Powder Blue Fragments from the Blue Encrusted Jewel Kit.

Sticky Stuff
Scotch Double Sided Foam Tape, Ranger Multi Medium Matte, Aleenes Tacky Glue

Monday 13 February 2017

Using My Favourite Tool

Hi there and thanks so much for stopping by.
As you may know from my last post I'm delighted to be this months Guest Designer at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. I'm very grateful for all your lovely comments on my first make.
It's Monday again, so guess what - it's time for a new challenge! This week's theme is 'Use Your Fave Tool'.

I had difficulty choosing which tool to favour but in the end I've opted for my Ranger 'Heat It' craft tool. For my card today the 'Heat It' tool was essential to heat and melt various embossing powders and enamels. It's also perfect to heat set distress inks. The Ranger edition is my top pick as it manages to not blow the target powder in various directions (yay!) and crucially doesn't burn papers. It's quieter than other makes too. (This is my personal opinion, made without reward from Ranger!).

So here's my card...

I've several sets of sewing themed stamps that are much neglected. Decided to use a stamp or two from each set and inked and embossed them. Included various dies that cut a faux stitched edge. In order to incorporate some fabric I adhered heavy cotton to chipboard using multi medium matte. Once thoroughly dry I then diecut the fabric and chipboard together with the dress form die and then stamped on the dry fabric using my favourite stamp (Papillon by Tim Holtz). Trimmed all the stamped images and inked their edges with distress inks (the Ranger ink blending tool came a close second as tool of choice!). Also attached lace to some of the edges for extra texture. Eventually decided on the best layout (leaving out several other stamped images that didn't make the final cut (sorry for pun!). Threaded the buttons (both real and paper) and fixed in place. Added metal embellishments and fancy button to complete. That's it!

The dies, inks, embossing powders and other ingredients that are available from the Simon Says Stamp store are listed at end of post.

Be sure to pop over to this week's challenge to view all other fantastic makes from the wonderful Design Team. Don't forget that each week one lucky winner receives a $50 gift voucher to spend instore.

Many thanks again to all at Simon Monday Challenge for allowing me feature in the 'Designer Spotlight'.

As always, I greatly appreciate all the visits and comments that come my way so thank-you in advance!
Wishing all a lovely week to come,
Nicola x


I used products that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store as follows:

Ranger Heat It Craft Tool (USA use), Ranger Heat It Craft Tool (UK use), Ranger Heat It Craft Tool (other European use), Ranger Ink Blending Tool, Sizzix Big Shot

Tim Holtz / Sizzix Sewing Room Dress Form, Memory Box Cross Stitched Frame Borders, Lawn Fawn Stitched Borders

Tim Holtz Papillon

Embossing Powders & Enamels
Stampendous Shabby White enamel, Stampendous Shabby Pink enamel, Stampendous Chunky White enamel, Wow Opaque White powder, Simon Says Stamp White Fine Detail powder, Ranger Antiquities Rose Quartz, Ranger Antiquities Weathered White

Ranger Distress Inks
Ground Espresso, Victorian Velvet, Vintage Photo, Brushed Corduroy, Antique Linen, Tea Dye

Other Inks
Ranger Archival Sepia, Versamark Ink Pad, Versafine Vintage Sepia, Memento Desert Sand

Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Snowflake

Bazzill Cream Puff

Sticky Stuff
Scotch Double Sided Foam Tape, Ranger Multi Medium Matte, Aleenes Tacky Glue

May Arts Pink Twine,


I wish to enter card to the following challenges
The Ribbon Girl - February Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft Stamper - Anything Goes (with stamping)
Fussy & Fancy - Fussy & Fancy
Penny Black & More - Use Your Favourite Stamp (Papillon by Tim Holtz)
Kort o Mania - Vintage / Shabby Chic
Creative Inspirations - Anything Goes
Crafty Friends Challenge -Anything Goes
Creative Corner Challenges - Perfectly Pink