Friday, 9 March 2018

Treasure our Planet

Hi there and thank-you for stopping by.

I'm delighted to be featuring today at A Vintage Journey - one of my very favourite challenge blogs, as one of their Pinworthy mentions. It is an honour thank-you ladies!

Brenda and team are celebrating their 4th Birthday this month and so Brenda has chosen the theme of 'Treasure' for their current challenge. I decided to use gold foil cardstock that came with perfume bottle packaging as I've been 'treasuring' it in my stash for quite a while. Somehow I ended up die cutting a globe, creating a galaxy by altering a chipboard shadow box, and then turning the whole scene into a kind of protest with Tim Holtz paper dolls carrying placards with 'suggestions' as to how to treasure our planet more and help slow climate change. Here it is ...

How-to and Ingredients

I began with a chipboard shadow box by Snipart that I won over a year ago

To get the background 'Blue Planet' I whooshed some Tim Holtz distress inks around watercolour paper. (Used Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean). Later diecut a circle from this paper that I applied to rear of Goil Foil 'Earth' that I diecut using Tim Holtz / Sizzix mini Globe die.

Cut a new sheet of chipboard to fit inside the shadow box and blended layers of Tim Holtz distress inks (Chipped Sapphire and Black Soot).

Reason for new sheet, (as opposed to the original backing that came with the shadow box), was that I knew the sheet would begin to curve when heat was applied and I didn't want to end up with a bent back for the shadow box.

Splattered on Ecoline liquid watercolour in white and gold plus Winsor & Newton ink in gold.

Not shown in photo but I also swirled around some Ranger Perfect Pearls for a milky resist.

Dabbed Versamark on card, coated with embossing enamel and heated with Ranger heat tool until melted. Added 4 layers of embossing enamel whilst sprinkling crushed glass glitter between layers. (Stampendous Steel Blue & Prima Gold Rush). Splattered more watercolour ink, and flattened overnight under books. (If any cracks form when trying to flatten, just do a localised versamark / UTEE patch and melt to fill crack).

Cut 4 extra strips of chipboard to fit outer sides of shadow box and gave them the same 'galaxy' treatment as before.

I didn't want to risk bending the original sides of shadow box so painted them with Dina Wakley acrylic paint in 'Night'. (So glad I had this as I had exhausted my chipped sapphire ink!).

Here you can see the box begin to take shape before I adhered extra side panels (above)  using a combination of double sided tape and hot glue.

Some staging for the final edition. After this photo, the top flat panel was given the 'galaxy' treatment as before. I diecut all the letters using Sizzix / Tim Holtz Holiday Words 2 die set from my treasured gold foil.. This die set had all the letters I needed in its words except for 'U' so I used a 'C' on its side! The foil was fairly thick so it took an age to get all the fiddly letters. In the end I mounted the letters onto thick chipboard strips that had been 'galaxied' (!) so that the letters appeared to hover.

I edged the Tim Holtz paper dolls with a Krylon gold gilding pen. Using said pen I also gilded a chipboard square frame to hide the joins. Added Swarovski crystals and pearls (definitely 'Treasure' to me) to decorate the dolls. I'm glad that the new packs of paper dolls include a more ethnically diverse range of paper dolls, but sadly I don't yet have a new pack, as it would have been more apt for this creation.

The gold foil cardstock couldn't be printed on, so I printed text on Stix2 printable acetate and glued to foil with Ranger glossy accents. Gilded a few cocktail sticks so that the paper dolls could carry their placards! Diecut some tiny leaves from my blue inked paper to try to link the dolls to the 'blue planet'. As usual I had lots of plans to add other ingredients such as flowers, and clock dangling from a hinge clip, but it then looked overdone. So I just let the the words, globe and little people speak for themselves (and hopefully more and more of us!).

Thank-you so much to all the super talented team at A Vintage Journey for allowing me feature amongst their Pinworthys today. You should check out this months challenge of 'Treasure' to see the wonderful design team inspiration, and sure why don't you make your very own 'Treasure' project too!

Very many thanks for your visit,

Nicola x

I wish to enter shadow box to the following challenges:
Simon Monday Challenge - Whatever The Weather (I think climate change relevant)
Scrapyland - Anything Goes #85 using die brand carried by store (Sizzix)
Mix It Up Challenge - Anything Goes + make your own background
Alphabet Challenge - Y is your choice
Aud Sentiments Challenge - Anything Goes + a sentiment
Use Your Stuff - Anything Goes
An Inky Mess - Challenge 18 Anything Mixed Media Goes
Creative Artiste - 18, Anything Mixed Media goes
A Bit More Time to Craft - 63, Anything Goes

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