Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fun And Drama at Stitches...

Hi folks, I had a bit of a missing in action day yesterday after returning from my trip to the UK Craft Trade Show or Stitches as it's affectionately known, catching up with the laundry and those household chores that hubby never seems to notice need done.
I had an absolute blast with my two bestest buddies Enfys and Anne, they truly are the nicest sweetest friends and we share the same sense of humour and laid back atitude to life.
I have to say we were a bit disappointed at the lack of papercrafting stands at the seems the crafty world has been taken over by all things stitching, knitting and was wall to wall fabric and wool. So with none of the new Tim Holtz products for me to stroke and drool over, we spent a lot of time in Wetherspoons, chatting, catching up with special friends and drinking coffee. It was lovely to spend some time with my favourite Editor, the lovely Trish Latimer from Craft Stamper and pop by to see our Fiskars buddy Keren who was demo-ing Fiskars sewing tools on the Groves stand and to meet the new team at Fiskars UK.
And of course, no trip to Stitches would be complete without a visit to the Decoart stand to say hello to my old mucker, the adorable, very talented but very naughty Andy Skinner and his equally talented side-kicks Brenda Brown and Nikki Acton, followed by a catch up with the lovely folks at Indigoblu to drool over all the amazing samples from their Design Team and there was just time before lunch to pop by AALL & Create to check out Tracy Evans fabulous range of new stamps and admire her amazing talent...I fell in love with these projects online but they are much more stunning in real life.

And look what I found...a looks familiar "Entomology" shirt  which would have been the perfect gift for a very special someone but despite my best efforts... it wasn't for sale...
After lunch we headed over to join the lovely Michelle Johnson at Stix 2 for a fun make and take project and were treated to a lovely coffee and the most yummy delicious strawberry/cream scone, so delicious in fact we returned on Tuesday for seconds.
And to round off the perfect day we headed to the PaperArtsy Make and Take workshop with the lovely Leandra and Jo Firth-Young. In a word, it was amazing. We had lots of fun making two beautiful projects using very different techniques.
were treated to refreshments and nibbles and came away with a load of stamps, stencils and paints. Thank you girls for sharing your amazing talent with us and for your kindness and generosity.

Some of Jo's beautiful samples on the PaperArtsy stand
Anne and I were staying overnight with Enfys who lives 10 minutes from the NEC and after a busy day, we were looking forward to a relaxing evening catching up with our Fiskars buddy Keren over a delicious dinner and a glass or two of vino. Little did we know there was a major DRAMA about to unfold but if you follow my blog you probably won't be surprised because Enfys and yours truly have a long long history of dramatic travel adventures and you would be forgiven for thinking, we should not be allowed out unaccompanied.
If you're not familiar with the NEC, there are 7 car parks, North 1, North 2 etc, with parking for hundreds of cars, sectioned off  by hedges with free shuttle buses to take you from the car parks to the halls. Enfys usually parks in North 1 but it was closed and she was re-routed to another which she was unfamiliar with. So make yourself a cuppa and grab a comfy sofa while I share the saga of the NEC car park.
The shuttle bus dropped us off and we headed off on a freezing cold dark night into the warren of car parks to find the car. But our intrepid driver couldn't remember which car park held our transport. We knew it wasn't North 1 so she set off across the tarmac fantically clicking her key fob muttering that she remembered parking beside a hedge while Anne and I stood with our overnight bags, shivering and teeth chattering. Fortunately a very very kind Good Samaritan took pity on these hapless travellers and offered to drive us around all the car parks to find the missing vehicle. So we loaded the bags in the boot, hopped in to her lovely cosy car with Enfys in the front armed with her key fob. I kid you not we had travelled a distance of 2 metres when 6 metres in the distance the tail lights of a vehicle responded to the clicking and we very sheepishly thanked our Good Samaritan and vacated the car feeling like complete idiots.. Yes, you couldn't make it up if you tried and as our female knight in shining armour drove off into the night, I swear she had that "I wonder if they have escaped from somewhere" look on her face.
I'll be back tomorrow with the concluding part of our Stitches Adventures which you'll be pleased to know was saga free...well apart from my little run in with the over jealous security folks at Birmingham International Airport.
Hugs Kath xxx

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Late Nights and Early Mornings...

H folks...I've been on this planet for many decades and you would think I would know by now  that late nights and early mornings are not a good mix, staying up until the early hours of the morning watching the downhill and slalom ski-ing and then being rudely awakened by my furry companion a couple of hours later has knocked my body clock for six.  Needless to say, the time I normally spend in the cubbyhole has been replaced by snuggled up on the sofa afternoon snoozes and thank goodness the Winter Olympics only come around every 4 years because that's a habit I don't want to get into.
But I had a birthday card to make before I left for Stitches and I know the recipient would have been disappointed to receive one bought from M&S so on Friday, I hit the cubbyhole running, matchsticks in place to keep my eyes open and with the help of two fabulous sets of Thinlits dies from Tim Holtz and Sizzix, managed to conjure up a flower themed card with a Garden Centre gift holder card inside for my very special "obsessed with her garden" friend.

I scored and folded Distress Watercolor Card to make a 5.1/2 square card, applied a wash of Antique Linen Distress Oxide Ink front and back and then created splatters using the left over ink on my craft mat.
I stamped the Botanical background from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Botanical/Batik with Antique Distress Oxide ink and Ornate trims inked with Ground Espresso Archival on the front and insides of the card...
I coloured Distress Woodgrain paper with Ground Espresso Distress and Distress Oxide ink using a mini round blending tool...
and die cut using Tim Holtz/Sizzix Stitched Slots Thinlits
I then made lots of backgrounds using Distress Oxide inks...
and die cut a selection of flowers and leaves using Tim Holtz/Sizzix Funky Florals 1 Thinlits
I cut two tag shapes from the Distress Oxide backgrounds, stamped one with the script stamp from Entomology, embossed the other with the folder from the Sidekick Valentine Side-Order and sanded it back to reveal the heart pattern.  I tucked the gift card and tags into the slots and assembled all the flowers and foliage.

I stamped the sentiments from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Glorious Bouquet on to the Stitched Slots tabs and to finish off, I smooshed Abandoned Coral and Spiced Marmalade Distress Oxide inks on to my craft mat, spritzed with water and coloured the Idea-ology Crinkle Ribbon.
By the time you are reading this, I'll be waking up at the luxurious Hotel En and Mike in Birmingham and looking forward to another fun day at Stitches. Have fun whatever you're doing and I'll be sharing all the gossip from the show with you when I get back.
Toodle-oo for now
Hugs Kath xxx

Monday, February 19, 2018

Simon Says...Grunge It Up

Hi Everyone...welcome to another week on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog...thank you for joining us for last week's challenge...we hope you can join us this week too because...

and the theme for this week is...
I decorated a Mini Etcetera Tag with a collage of Grunged-Up Idea-ology. I love this new size of Etcetera Tag and with 4 in pack for such a reasonable price, they are great value for money. I started off tearing up strips of Tissue Wrap and fixed them in place with Distress Collage Medium to create a textured wrinkly effect on the background. Once it had dried, I sanded the edges to remove the excess and gave the tag a coat of White Gesso.
I added Idea-ology French Design Tape, applied a thin coat of White Gesso over the tape and applied Ranger Opague Crackle Texture Paste randomly with a spatula. Once the texture paste had dried, I applied a coat of Distress Collage Medium over the entire surface and coloured with Distress Crayons. I stamped the images from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Dapper with Black Soot Archival.
and then changed tack entirely from my original plan of adding cut out stamped images and went with a Collage of Grunged Up Idea-ology instead. I used Collector Layers Ephemera to create a base  for my collage. To create the rusty look on all the Idea-ology metal pieces, I tapped Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, Spiced Marmalade and Evergreen Bough Distress Paints on with my fingers, drying between coats and repeating until I was happy with the look. I sanded an image from Idea-ology Photobooth and fixed behind the frame, added a Ruler Piece Finding coloured with Evergreen Bough Distress Paint, Dapper Brads, Ruler Ribbon fixed to the Buckle with a Hex Fastener and Gears.
I added Quote Chips coloured with Evergreen Bough and lightly sanded, Life Quote Remnant Rubs and Clippings Stickers.

I covered up the photo and spritzed the tag lightly with Distress Resist Spray, sprinkled with Ranger Super Fine White Embossing Powder and heat to set. I removed the cap from the spray and dripped on large dots and embossed as before.

You can find all the products I used over at the fabulous Simon Says Stamp online store...just click on the links below...

Why don't you pop over to the Monday Challenge Blog and check out the amazing creations from my very talented Design Team mates and as always you all have the chance to win a $50 gift voucher to spend at Simon Says StampYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time...1pm UK time...2 pm CET to join in...

You can also follow Simon Says Stamp on Instagram
and if you use Instagram...
please add #sssmchallenge to your entry uploads so we can see them on there too
I look forward to seeing what you create this week...
Have Fun and Happy Crafting
Hugs Kath xxx

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Handcrafted HELLO...

Hi folks, there's been no improvement on the weather front in my neck of the woods and unfortunately for me, my Furry Companion is an out-in-all weathers breed who insists on his 3 times a day trip to the forest whether it's chucking it down with rain or blowing a blizzard but with his waterproof super insulated coat, he just needs a quick rub down with a towel while I need to dry off the Abominable Snowman jacket ready for next time, change out of the soaking wet trousers and park my bum on the radiator with a hot cuppa until I thaw out.
Roll on Spring !!!
I'm sharing another quick and easy card made with the Simon Says Stamp February Card Kit - A Colorful Crafty Life...

and there's no Friday Girls Outing today, instead I'll be spending the day cosy and snug in the cubbyhole tidying up the debris from this week's crafty session...
And I'll leave you with a little sneaky peek of my DT project for Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge...

Enjoy your weekend whatever you have planned and if the conditions are wintry where you are, stay safe if you're out and about.
Hugs Kath xxx

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crafters Gonna Craft...

Hi folks...greetings from a very chilly, windy and snowy Scotland. Winter has definitely returned with a vengeance and it's pretty wild out there...
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my flight to Stitches at the weekend although it takes more than a bit of snow to close Aberdeen Airport but if this weather continues, I suspect it's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride.
I'm back to share another card made with the Simon Says Stamp February Card Kit - A Colorful Crafty Life...
using papers and the Crafty Friend stamp set from the kit along with Tim Holtz/Sizzix Stitched Slots Thinlits Die cut from one of the pearlescent envelopes in the kit and the hearts using the Sidekick Valentine Side-Order...

It's been many years since I got excited about Valentine's Day and I've long given up watching for the postie but imagine how surprised I was, when a very special card arrived all the way from the USA from Juli, a special friend from the Tim Holtz Addicts group on Facebook and wow...thank you so much Juli, it's gorgeous and I love you too...
check out those sparkly shimmery dots and the beautiful heart using the die inlay techique.
I'll be back tomorrow to share one more card from the February Card Kit, in the meantime I'll be stalking the postie eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fabulous March Card wow wow TWO stamp sets, TWO ink pads, beautiful papers and lots more.

If you like what you see, I WOULD NOT hang around, this one is going to fly.
Toodle-oo for now
Hugs Kath xxx


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