27 Aug 2016

Less is More #291 - Use a Sticky Label/ Sticker/ Peel Off

Hello there,
How are you today?
That's great.
Well, it's Saturday again ..... where did that last week go?
Time for another new challenge over at
and this week we'd like to see you all
use a sticky label or sticker or peel off
on your clean and simple creations.
I had to really rush my samples this week as it has been an exceptionally busy week. But, I hope you like them.
Here they are.


1. Stickers for the USA

I had some sticker stars and long strips of sticky labels so I thought I would play around with them. 
I'm calling this an early thanksgiving card.....well, it's a bit late for 4th July but a card like this would be good for that too.

Easy peasy to make.
A semicircular mask was cut out of spare paper and one piece was attached to the card blank to expose the top left corner.

Star stickers were stuck randomly into the masked off area making sure some of the stickers went over the edges.

Chipped sapphire distress marker in the distress marker spritzer was used to spray the blue colour. Then the star stickers and mask were removed.

The other piece of the mask (i.e. the negative bit) was placed over the top left corner to mask the blue part of the card. Then 3 long sticky labels were added on the left side to create stripes (the far right was masked too to avoid any spare ink spots).

Festive berries distress marker in the distress marker spritzer was puffed over the labels. The labels and masks were removed.

The sentiment comes from a Papermania stamp set called Lindy and the sentiment flag was hand cut and put onto the card blank with 3d foam pads.

2) Butterfly sticker

This is the quicky card.

One of the first things I bought when I started card making was a flower fairy, butterflies and dragonflies 'pick of the week' from create and craft. I still have hundreds of bits of that kit left, so this was the perfect opportunity to use some of the stickers up.

The butterfly sticker from the set was stuck onto a piece of white and then yellow card to mat it and then stuck directly onto the card blank.

The sentiment is from the Sweet Dixie Big Sentiments set. You may not be able to read it as it is in a light lemon colour - it says 'sorry'.

3) Airbrushed Butterfly peel-offs

I had fun with this card.

Butterfly peeloffs were placed onto a panel.

A fancy edge was created on post-it notes using a really old Fiscars Shapes plastic template. The post-its were added to the panel to create a border.

I used the distress marker spritzer (Yes...that was my new toy that turned up this week ..... and I LOVE it) to puff different colours of distress markers over the exposed panel.

The post-it notes and peel-offs were removed, and the corners of the panel rounded before adding it to the card blank with 3d foam pads.

The sentiment from Whimsy Stamps birthday sentimentables was die cut in the same card as the base and the panel.

I hope you will head over to the challenge to see the amazing things my fellow teamies have done with their stickers.
Now I'm off to enjoy a week in the sun here (at my house) with my friends.
Hope to see you again soon
Sharon xx

20 Aug 2016

Less is More 290 - Exotic

A very good morning to you. How are you?

Phew! we've had a scorcher of a week and the temperatures are set to rise again this weekend. Luvverly! 
We only have a few more days left with the grandkiddies (sob sob) so you can bet we'll be making the most of it.
Anyway, along with the hot weather, it's a new challenge over at Less is More and our theme this week is
What a wide variety of cards you can make with that theme.
I have 3 samples to share with you today.
I chose this definition for my interpretation:
Originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country.
As I have beautiful hibiscus flowers growing in my garden and we also grow pineapples over here I had to use different topics for this challenge so here goes:


1. A Gift Toucan

 I'd like to enter this into Lawnscaping Challenge - Punny Time
Addicted to Stamps & More - Make your mark (distress marker pens on the image)
A second entry into Sisterhood of Crafters - Close to Nature
Yes, you may groan....but I had to smile as I typed in that sentiment. I knew this was what I was going to make when I ordered this fab Paradise stamp set from Bev at Unico a few months ago and I love how it turned out.
Toucans are definitely something originating in a foreign country for me.

The sentiment was computer generated and printed onto the card blank.

The Unico Paradise Toucan was inked in clear versamark and heat embossed with black embossing powder. It was coloured in with distress markers.

The background in the top right corner was spritzed with distress inks.

A piece of brown card was cut out for a branch.

The toucan was cut out and a little cut made by his foot so that it could be hooked onto the branch. 

The branch and toucan were added with 3d foam pads.

I also inked a border on the inside (yes, it was to cover up a little smudge but I like the way it looks).

2. An African Sunrise.

I'd like to enter this into AAA cards challenge - blending
Ike's World Challenge - Travel/holidays
Country View Challenges - Hot Summer Days
African sunrises and sunsets are definitely something exotic in my mind.
I've made this card for my sister. She has a dream of spending a few months each year in Africa helping with the wild animals. She adores Africa and going on safari and has become friends with Virginia McKenna (of the Born Free film fame)  through one of her safari trips. I think the Born Free Trust is the charity that she would like to help out with.  So, as a good big sister I will send this to her to let her know that we should all follow our dreams at the first opportunity.

To make this one, a couple of masks were cut out, one using the sizzix classic circles for the sun and a torn piece of paper for the where the sun hits the ground.

Distress inks in reds, oranges and yellows were blended through the aperture.

The Clarity Stamps African stamps were inked in Archival black ink. I made another smudge so had to draw a bird freehand sitting on the spear to cover it up...that's one way to make the stamp look unique!

The ground was coloured with a little blended distress ink.

The Clarity Stamps sentiment was inked in the same distress inks as the sun to match it all in.


3. Mehendi

I'd like to enter this into Paper Creator Challenge - Keep It Simple
I am always fascinated by the intricate art of Mehendi which is the art of applying henna tattoos to hands and feet. Especially the beautifully intricate designs applied to Indian Hindu brides as a wedding ritual. They always look gorgeous and again, I think of them as something exotic.

This stamp from Clarity Stamps reminds me of the henna tattoos.

Instead of using a henna coloured ink on cream card, which did look nice when I tried it out,  I wanted a more dramatic look. So gold on black it was.

This is a quickie card to make.

I used a coated black card (available from Clarity Stamps) for the base card and the images.

Stamp the image 3 times in versamark and heat emboss with detail gold embossing powder. Fussy cut the images out and apply to the base card with 3d foam pads.

The Woodware Must Have Retro Stamps sentiment was stamped directly onto the card base and heat embossed with gold powder.

I used a gold pen to draw dots in freehand around the images.

And there you have it.

Please remember to hop across to the challenge site to see the gorgeous cards that my fellow teamies have made for your inspiration and I bet most of them will have more samples on their personal blogs too.
Well, my week will continue like this...
On the same day as my husband flies with the grandchildren to escort them back to the UK, two of our friends arrive over here to spend almost 3 weeks with us. Just call me a chambermaid - it'll certainly be a quick tidy up and change beds & towels that day!! Ha Ha! I wonder how many sticky fingermarks I will miss ;-)
Normally I like to have a couple of days to do all the cleaning between family and friends visiting, but we messed up on the dates this time around.
Luckily hubby is only away for one night before he's back here so the fun and shenanigans can start all over again. Summer really is a very busy season for us.
Hope you all have a fabulous week.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sharon xx

13 Aug 2016

Less is More 289 - One Layer With Something French

Hello to you.
Have you had a good week? I do hope so.
Oh my! I have had another REALLY busy week.
The kitchen got finished (YAY!) just in time for the grandchildren arriving (pictures below - of the kitchen, not the grandchildren ;-) ) so I spent 3 days getting all the kitchen equipment out of the other rooms in the house, cleaning those rooms and then organising and reorganising (and reorganising again) in the kitchen to get the items in fairly logical areas. Ha! It may take some time until I am completely happy with it.
Since the kiddies arrived we've had beach days and pool days and that has been real fun. Lots more of that to come this week too. I think we will take them out in our boat and have a day at Zoomarine (love that place!) and a waterslide park too.
Ha Ha - I can pretend I'm a teenager again! albeit a wrinkly one ;-)
Anyway - to the cards.  It's Saturday so its time for another Less is More challenge and this week is
One Layer Week
With a theme of
something FRENCH.

1) French Sunflowers

I'd like to enter this one into The Sisterhood of Crafters - Close to Nature.

I suppose you are wondering how my first card with a sunflower on it is related to the theme of something French...

Well, one of my first holidays to the south of France entailed us driving along roads that went through fields and fields of sunflowers. It was fantastic! To get to our destination and find that a field of sunflowers was right next door was the icing on the cake! So forever in my mind is this association with sunflowers and France.

Tentative link? maybe but a sunflower is evocative of French holidays to me.

Yes - it is a one layer card.....I have put a step-by-step with photos in the post below this one. Just click HERE.


2. The French Flag

Next up is my quickie card.

Honestly - this one takes minutes!

Ink up the Graphic 45 sentiment from #ICO215 in black memento and stamp directly onto the card. Mask off the sentiment.

Mask off an area on the top left and swipe chipped sapphire distress ink across it.

Repeat this on the right using candied apple distress ink.

3) French Postcards

I'd like to enter this into the three muses challenge - you've got mail

This is a card where I really had fun again with lots of masking and also practicing and  learning to use my spectrum noir pencils.

I've created a picture tutorial  on this one too and you can access it by clicking HERE.

Well that's it from the card front.
Don't forget to pop over to the challenge blog and to my team mates blogs for some extra French-inspired inspiration.
Now for the kitchen....
I did say we were going ultra-modern didn't I?  and that our kitchen island is huge ( a beast, I think I called it!).
Well - here you are....not finished with accent colours yet so no textiles at the window or patio door...but you get the idea.
And we kept the floor!

Thanks so much for looking.
Can't wait to see what you all create with this weeks theme.
Hope you find time to leave me a short comment to let me know what you think of these cards.
Sharon xx

Carte Postal

Hi there.

Here's a tutorial on how I created a one layer postcard card.
An area at the bottom of the card was masked off with post-it notes.

The postcard stamp from Creative Expressions Carte Postal stamp set was stamped and masked off several times in Memento London Fog ink.

The post it notes were removed .....

....and a line was drawn at the top of the postcard panel to make it look like it was a piece of DP underneath a white piece of card.
The line was coloured with pumice stone and hickory smoke distress markers.
Spectrum Noir pencils were used to colour in the postcards
to give an impression of depth and layering.
(colours 003, 004, 005, 015 and 089 were used).
The sentiment from the same stamp set was added in London Fog Memento ink.
and there you have it.
Sharon xx

Bonjour Sunflower

Here is a step by step on how I created a one layer sunflower card.
Stamp the sunflower image from Graphic 45 set #ICO217 in memento black tuxedo ink directly onto your card blank.
Mask the sunflower and then stamp the text stamp from Graphic 45 set #ICO215 in Pesto Adirondack ink. Colour the sunflower in with distress markers. I used a combination of Cracked Pistachio, Evergreen Bough, Mustard Seed and Rusty Hinge.
Mask off the card blank around the stamped text with post it notes. Stamp the sunflower stamp onto the sticky part of the post-it and cut that out as a mask, then add it on top of the coloured image on your card blank.
Into the opening blend some distress inks. I used Bundled Sage and Iced Spruce (I forgot I had already removed the mask from the sunflower in this photo - sorry!)
Remove the post it notes and mask from the sunflower. You should end up with this on  your card blank.
To give the illusion of the central 'picture' being a different piece of paper that has been adheared to the card, add some shading to two sides. I used Distress markers in Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke for this.
Here you can see the shading to the left hand side
And here it is added to the bottom too.
The final step is to put the post-it notes back in place (but not the sunflower mask). Press versamark clear ink into the opening all over the 'picture'. Cover that with embossing powder
and then heat emboss it.
I also added 6 tiny gems to finish the project off. 
Hope you like it.
Sharon xx

11 Aug 2016

Catch-up blogging day - part 3 - distress crayon textured resist technique

Hello again,
Final post for today.
After this I will write and schedule my Less is More post for Saturday (it may take some time because I took the photos on my iPad and for some reason blogger won't let me upload them at the moment. Ah well, that's another technical challenge opportunity to overcome.)
Then I will get round to my commenting.
So, final tag for today. Another one from day 4 of Creative Chemistry 103 using the distress crayon texture resist technique.

Items used:
Distress crayons,
Distress inks
Stencil (clarity stamps)

Thank you for looking,
Hope to see you again on Saturday morning.
Sharon xx

Catch-up blogging day - part 2 - distress crayon watercolour resist technique

I'm back again with part 2 of this blogging catch-up.
Here is a tag from Creative Chemistry day 4 using the distress crayon resist technique.
Gosh! this one is really dark and grungy, isn't it?

Items used:
Archival ink
Distress crayons
Distress Ink
Watercolour cardstock
Crazy Cats stamp
Water spritzer
Thanks for looking,
Back in a moment with the final tag I managed for day 4.
Sharon xx

Catch-up blogging day - part 1 - distress crayon gesso fresco technique

Hi there,

Woah! the past week has been soooo busy - but I finally have a catch-up morning/early afternoon to do some blogging and finally catch up on some commenting.  I am sooooooo far behind on commenting, but I will catch up today - promise!

Anyway, in the next few posts there are a few Creative Chemistry 103 tags from Day 4 that I finished last week and I really should have blogged them then, but time was at an absolute premium before my grandkids arrived over here a couple of days ago, and we've been non-stop since they did arrive.
Anyhoo...today is a relaxing day having fun at our house and playing in the pool (so I have taken a few minutes to disappear off to my computer).

Right, the first tag is using the distress crayon gesso fresco technique.
Sorry about the black line on the photo - I think I must have messed something up on my watermark (will fix that asap).

Items used:
Distress Crayons
Various stencils (Clarity Stamps, Tim Holtz Crafters Workshop.

Thanks for looking.
Sharon xx

6 Aug 2016

Less is More 288 - Blue and Brown

Happy Saturday to you!
How has your last couple of weeks been?  Good?

Those 2 weeks have just flown by for me.

I thought I would have loads of crafting time before my grandchildren arrive in 3 days time...but have been so busy that I may need to put them to bed early for a couple of nights to get more DT creations out of the way.

Mean Nanny, eh?

Spoiling their holiday with early nights. ha! ha!

Anyway, it's time for another Less is More challenge
and our theme for this week is a colour one

Brown and Blue

As it is the first challenge in August we have a new sponsor - Seven Hills Crafts.

The rest of the DT have worked their magic so there is loads of inspiration on the challenge blog, and on their personal blogs too.

Here are my DT pieces.

1) Enjoy the journey

I'd like to enter this one into the Cards in Envy - Wings challenge

This one is a subtle blue and bold brown creation.

The cloudy sky was made by brushing broken china distress ink over the Clarity Stamps cloud mask, which was repositioned several times to get the sky effect.

The birds are a Sizzix Tim Holtz alterations die called birds in flight, die cut with kraft card.

The die cut was embossed with a Craft Concepts embossing folder called budding vine, then gathered twigs distress ink was blended over the raised areas with a blending foam.

 The sentiment is from the lovely Stamplorations journey stamps set, inked in tumbled glass.

2) Majestic Bloom

I'd like to enter this into freshly made sketches as it is based on this weeks sketch.

Next is the magnificent Majestic Blooms set of stamps from Altenew.

First, the corner of the card blank was blended with tumbled glass distress ink.

The Altenew stamps were inked up in a combination of tumbled glass, broken china, salty ocean and chipped sapphire, frayed burlap and gathered twigs distress inks. (Ha! the week after I made this card my Misti arrived....could have done with that when making this one!)

The items were cut out by hand ....because I forgot that I had bought the accompanying dies (not having a good week that week, eh? lol) and misted with blue raspberry Perfect Pearls Mist to give a fabulous sheen.

The Sweet Dixie big sentiments stamp was stamped in gathered twigs on a spare piece of card and cut out like a pennant, inking the edges too.

The flowers and sentiment were added to the card on 3d foam pads.


3) The quickie card

I'd like to enter this one into the Crafty Boots challenge - use a stamp (the sentiment stamp!)

As usual, here is a quickie card. Love the contemporary feel of this one.

Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations die called scribbles and splat was used to die cut the scribble in a piece of blue and brown card.

The tag die is an unknown brand (sorry), cut out in white and brown card.

The Sweet Dixie big sentiments sentiment was stamped in mushroom Adirondack ink.

A tiny piece of white ribbon was added to the tag.

4) Intricate African Floral

This card uses some leftover smooshed paper and kraft card so I'd like to enter this into Try it on Tuesdays - use your leftovers/scraps

The Sweet Dixie big sentiments sentiment was stamped onto the card blank in mushroom Adirondack ink.

A piece of smooshed paper was used to die cut the flowers using Sizzix Thinlets intricate African florals die. The leaves were cut out in Kraft that had been over stamped with an Indigo Blu text stamp in mushroom Adirondack.

One gem was added to the centre.

Thank you so much for looking. I do hope you will come back again soon.

I may be a little busy taking the kiddies to the beach this week but I will try to respond to any comments either early in the morning or late at night (unless mean Nanny puts the kiddies to bed early, wink, wink!).

I can't wait to see how you all interpret this week's theme.

Sharon xx

4 Aug 2016

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 2 Paint Lifting

I was only able to join in on this and the edrlier post's technique for day 2 of Creative chemistry 103 due to my lack of supplies.
I also have not been able to do any of the techniques for day 3 because I don't have any of the mediums needed for those - but looking at the results of the class videos I definitely need to get my hands on some of the products!
Anyway, here is my paint lifting sample.  I was limited in this because I currently only have 7 colours of the paint (but will be ordering more soon).

Items used:
Distress paints, various stencils (Crafters Workshop, Tim Holtz, Clarity).

So, as I said, there will be no day 3 posts but hopefully I will be back with some day 4 ones.

Sharon xx

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 2 Paint Resist

Hello again
I'm a little late with this and the next up-coming post as I was out all day yesterday. 
Here is a tag that I made for Day 2 of Creative Chemistry 103 at Online Card Classes.
This one uses the Paint resist technique, which was really fun to do. 

Items used:
Distress paint, stains and inks, ink blending tool, stencils by Imagination Crafts and Tim Holtz, stamp by stampers anonymous.

Back in a moment with another make from day 2.
Sharon xx

1 Aug 2016

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 1 - Micro Glaze Resist

So here is my 4th and final post today......Day 1 of Creative Chemistry 103  at Online Card Classes -  Tag 4

Micro Glaze Resist

I love the warm colours of this one. I can definitely imagine panels using this technique on CAS cards.

Micro Glaze, Assorted stencils (Tim Holtz, Clarity Stamp, Imagination Crafts), Distress Spray Stain, Distress ink pad and blending tool.
Well, there you have it. Day 1 complete except for the item that I didn't have in my stash.
Had an absolute ball with my distress stash and can't wait to see what techniques we will learn tomorrow.
Hopefully I will be back tomorrow to share my makes from day 2.
Sharon xx

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 1 - Washed Watercolour

Here is the third post for today - only one more to go!
This is the tag that I made in Creative Chemistry 103 (at Online Card Classes) for the



Washed Watercolour technique.

I think maybe I was a little heavy handed with the splatters on this one - but this was my first attempt, and after all, these classes are here for us to make the mistakes, recognise them and try again to perfect the technique. I will try this technique again tomorrow.

Items used
Distress markers, Distress spray stains, water brush, Micro Glaze, jet black archival ink and mini bird crazy stamps

Sharon xx

Creative Chemistry - Day 1 - Off-set stamping

Here is the second post for today showing my makes from the Online Card Classes Creative Chemistry 103 class by Tim Holtz.


Offset stamping technique

I really love the way this looks like old material where the screen printing has gone a bit wonky. Not something I would immediately go-to for CAS cards, but who knows - I may find a way to use it.

Items used:
Distress inks, jet black archival black ink, water brush, Clarity Stamps flower corner stamp and ink blending tool

Back in a moment with my third make.
Sharon xx

Creative Chemistry 103 - Day 1 Makes

Hello there.
Are you well?
I thought I'd have a little break from my CAS cards this week.
I'm joining in the fun at the Creative Chemistry 103 course that Tim Holtz is doing over at Online Card Classes.  Well - the majority of my ink and pen stash is TH products so every little bit of help using them in different ways comes in handy. Hopefully I will be using some of the techniques on some of my CAS cards in the future...watch this space.
So, today there was one technique that I couldn't join in with.
...but I did make  4 tag samples for my inspiration and ideas book.
Here is the first one. 

1. Highlight stamping

Can definitely see myself using this technique a lot!

Items used.
Distress Inks, Unico Paradise stamps, sepia archival ink and an ink blending tool.
Right, I will be back with 3 more short posts with the rest of today's makes.
Sharon xx