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Sunday 31 July 2022

Retired but too beautiful to be redundant - Part 3 (by Zoe)

Good morning Lovelies, this is my final post for this month featuring these gorgeous retiring stamps.

I had so much fun making these samples, so much choice and versatility.

As most of you would know by now, I do love making Envelopes and Bookmarks, truth is! - they are quick and simple, but make a statement.

So here are so more of my samples from the shows, I hope you like them. 

Thak you so much for visiting.

Have a wonderful day xx Zoe xx

Saturday 30 July 2022

Christmas in Mind by Doreen

 Christmas in Mind

Hello, today I would like to share some simple but effective cards for Christmas (yes I realise it is only July but it is almost August and I find this is when the months until December usually just fly by with me ending up in panic mode realising how little time I have to make cards for Christmas)

These stamps all come from the really useful Christmas Flourish set just using a variety of techniques.

In this first card I chose a background printed paper and I am sure we all have plenty of those in our stash. Then I took 2 blue shades of inkpads stamping alternatively.

So simple to add a subtle amount of colour with a sparkle gel pen, mount and your card is done.

This second card is even simpler if that is at all possible. Again I have used a background paper. Use an anti static pad over the paper and then a Versamark Inkpad stamp the image and sprinkle the whole of  the image with White Embossing Powder, heat emboss. Mount onto card and your card is complete.

This third card has a little more work than the previous cards. Take a piece of watercolour card sprinkle with Brushos I have used Prussian Blue and Orange, not too much a little goes a long way, spritz with water or a clear sparkle if you have one it is for Christmas after all.
Leave to dry naturally for the best results, when it is dry use an antistatic pad over the brushos then stamp with Versamark and sprinkle with embossing powder of choice, I used White as it seems to be my go to powder at the moment for some reason. I stamped little sprigs in black in the corners and mounted on black card for the best contrast to the colours I used.

My fourth and final card for today is simply using Gold Embossing on Black Card which gives a striking contrast, I also used a Gold Posca Pen to give a frame just around the inside edge of this card.

There ends a month of a variety of card using our wonderful Retired Selection of Stamps.
Mine will certainly still get an airing as once they are in your head I think they just pop in when you are trying to think of the perfect stamp for someone.

Thanks for Looking in again Today

Love Doreen

Friday 29 July 2022

Tone on tone with a touch of colour by Natalie

This card uses brown tones and highlights to create contrast throughout this card.

Topper Panel

Grab a piece of Kraft card - I love working on Kraft card as it has so much opportunity for unusual techniques. For this top piece, we are first going to create a textured background using Distress Oxides. Lighter tones will really pop: Antique Linen, Scattered Straw, Spun Sugar, Tumbled Glass as well as Picket Fence can really pop. Lightly brush an edge of your ink pad across the rough side of your card. Once you've applied the ink, mist the card very lightly with water to activate the Oxide. You can use a couple of colours, but do allow to dry between colours.

Stamp your chosen stamp with a permanent ink pad that doesn't smudge with water. Colour your image using gouache based paints rather than watercolours. These are more opaque and need very little water. As you are painting on a darker surface, remember more water means darker rather than lighter. Worth practicing on a scrap to check your colours first.

Background Panel

The background is a textured warm light brown card. This time instead of creating texture with the ink pad, we are going to use the texture of the card itself through our stamping. This means when stamping, you don't want to be pressing so hard. Better to do several light stamps than pressing. Use a good quality ink pad that gives a dense coverage as it will make your stamping easier.

Blend with a dye ink pad that matches the card colour so you get a soft vignette.

Mount the two pieces onto a white card blank.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Quick and Easy Cards (by Corine)


Here I am again and would like to show you my 3rd card as a guest designer. This time I made two simple cards.


I used the stamps from these sheets:

Floral Notes

Tangled Fragments

Harlequin Fragments 

To make this card you need a stamping tool. Place a piece of white watercolour paper on the stamping tool, attach the background stamp to the stamping tool. Apply two colours of Distress Oxide (Salvaged Patina and Kitch Flamingo) or Distress Ink (Salvaged Patina and Shaded Lilac) on the stamp. Let this air dry.

Stamp the flower with waterproof black ink on the background print and colour the stamp with watercolour pencils.

As a finishing touch, I attached a text sticker to the card. I coloured the edges of the sticker with black ink using a blending tool.

It is also nice to give the flowers an extra dimension with a glitter pen or a white gel pen.

I hope to have inspired you again now, and if you want to try out the technique for these cards, I wish you good luck and have fun.

Kind regards,

Corine van Kuilenberg. 

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Just Bugging Around

Hello, I'm here with my last post for this month, showing some more of my samples from the shows in June.  I loved making this first card as I think that Monochrome is so effective.  I stamped the flowers which is from the stamp set The Rose Tree and embossed with clear embossing powder, then did the same with the Bee and the sentiment (which is from Birthday Words). Quick and simple but lovely at the same time.  All that was left to do with it was to matt and layer it.

For the second card I cut my cardstock to size then using three different coloured inks and a small acrylic block, I inked the block in turn with the three different colours, spraying with water then pressing on to my card to create the three coloured blocks.  Using black ink I stamped the three insects that comes with the set The Rose Tree,   I matted that on to grey card, then for the background piece I used grey ink and stamped the Dandelion all over.  

I will see you next month for some new samples for the July's shows
Happy crafting
Tracy x


Monday 25 July 2022

dragon dance (by Veronica)

 For my last post  this month I had to share the 
gorgeous dragons, - I just had to buy  this set when it first came out, and I still love it.

I stamped the largest dragon three times, then sponged distress oxide inks round the dragons to create a fiery look, then coloured the dragons with distress markers in similar  colours. 

Using Lesley's technique of watering down stickles and painting I added glitter heavily to the wings and used the very diluted remnant of a very ancient bottle of stickles on the bodies. The glitter doesn't really show on the scan, but it is very definitely there!

Saturday 23 July 2022

Some of My Favourite Retired Stamps (by Sandra)

Hello everyone. I am sharing some more of my cards from the Create and Craft show in June.

My first card uses the Parfum de Paris stamp set.
I took an 8x8 card blank and mat and layered two patterned papers for my background. I then stamped the flourish background in archival ink and mat and layered this. My final layer was the script stamp from the set. I finished with a small resin Eiffel Tower.

My next card features the beautiful Baroque Corners. I used my stamping platform to stamp and emboss  the largest corner stamp 4 times onto some grey card. I love how different patterns emerge, like the circle in the centre. I then used a selection of pencils to colour in just parts of the stamping. A very elegant stamp.

My last card today uses the Bird Song stamp set. I made a gatefold card using 15x 42cm card base.  I made three slightly smaller panels, 2 for the front and 1 for inside.  On the outside panels I stamped the bird house and on the inside panel I stamped the bird bath and swirls. I added some blended Distress Ink and mat and layered onto black card.

 Thanks for looking

Sandra xx

Friday 22 July 2022

One Stamp Two Ways (by Judith)

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I have a couple of projects to share with you today showcasing some of the retired stamps that we brought to the TV shows on Create and Craft last month.

I always love to show the versatility of a stamp and this lovely leafy stamp from Brocade Backgrounds, an all time favourite of mine, is no exception, I have used it a lot over the years. You can find plenty of fabulous stamps in the current range of Chocolate Baroque stamps that would work equally as well for these techniques.

For my first card, I used a piece of grey card, and stamped the leaf using black ink all over the background. I used Koh-I-Noor colouring pencils to colour the images, and added a touch of green ink around the edge of the card. I added a sentiment from Amazing Mackintosh Words and a piece of green velvet ribbon to finish.

For my second card, I stamped the leafy image with Versamark and clear embossing powder over a piece of Drawing Cartridge before colouring the background with Distress Ink. I covered the background with paper and ironed off the embossing powder, creating a faux batik finish. I then stamped the second image over the top using a dark blue Versfine Clair ink. I added a sentiment from another of the retiring sets.

I have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting some of these old favourites, but there are so many more exciting things to come! Thanks so much for stopping by, take care,

Judith xx

Thursday 21 July 2022

Retired but too beautiful to be redundant - part 2 by Zoe

Good morning Lovelies and welcome to my second post this month featuring the wonderful retired stamps from last months shows.
I hope you managed to some bargains.

I have paper pads in my stash that I’ve had for years, I just never use them, I like creating my own backgrounds usually but I thought it was about time I gave them an airing. 

These stamps are so beautiful and versatile that even using pre-printed paper pads for the backgrounds did not detract from the detail on the stamps.

First 2 cards, I stamped using Versafine Claire Nocturne and heat embossed using a clear sparkle embossing powder.

Third card I stamped using a pink Distress Oxide ink pad and heat embossed with clear EP on the background paper, then white EP on Velum and an MDF heart which I gessoed then coloured using the same Oxide ink pad and used an Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) and whilst molten inked the stamp with black ink and stamped onto the heart.

Love doing Eclipse cards and of course I always love doing Envelopes so why not do matching? 
It does actually say “Mother” but it doesn’t all stand out as much.

Thank you once again for visiting.
Have a wonderful day xx Zoe xx 

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Lonely Tree (by Corine)


Here I am again. This is my second post this month. Today I share a fairytale with you. I had so much fun making this card with the masking technique.

I used stamps from the sheets:

Fantasy Woodland

Poppy Meadow

I made the base of a background with Brusho. Brusho always gives surprising effects. I first make a background and only think then how to proceed.

I do not apply too much Brusho on the watercolour paper. I started with Yellow at the bottom and the Turquoise at the top. Spray with the water and do this step by step. Not too much water in the beginning. Let the wet Brusho dry thoroughly.

Stamp the tree with Stazon Jet Black. Mask the tree with masking tape. Use a stencil to apply 'sun rays' in the top left corner. I sponged it with Distress Ink Fossilized Amber. I made the leaves in the background using a stencil and Distress Ink Peeled Paint.

Under the tree I made soil with torn paper and sponged with Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy.

I stamped the flowers with Archival Vintage Photo.

 The tree has been coloured with watercolour markers and for the shadows around the tree I used a charcoal pencil.

I hope I have inspired you. If you want to try this technique, I wish you a lot of fun.

Until next week!

Kind regards,

Corine van Kuilenberg

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Monochrome Beauties by Doreen

Monochrome Beauties 

Hello, well here I am with my second post of our retired sets of stamps, I have to say I absolutely love Monochrome Cards.

The only things to remember when making them I find is check your hands for traces of ink regularly. Use a fairly new Inkpad or reink it but not to liberally and let the ink settle into the pad before use.  I find the best inkpad to use is the Versafine Clair Nocturne it is a really nice inkpad to use and does the job well. A good quality smooth card is essential for a perfect finish. Luxury Smooth Card by Chocolate Baroque is my choice of card for this type of card. The only other advice I can give is to practice your ideas on a piece of copy paper until you are happy with your result.

Here are two of my cards using Fly Away With Me in the first card and the second card contains stamps from the Baroque Corners set and The Dawn Chorus set.

Many Thanks for Looking in Today

Love Doreen

Monday 18 July 2022

Katya in Steampunk Mood (by Magda) - Katya, Steampunk Sea Word

 Hello everyone,

What do you think of this Katya floating on the bottom of the sea ?

For this page I used Distress Ink Pad,  Archival Jet Black and two beautiful plates of Chocolate Baroque Katya and Steampunk Sea World.

I hope you will accept this variation and I thank you for passing by, hugs


Sunday 17 July 2022

Cool Crafting by Natalie


Christmas Crafting

In previous years, typically on the hottest day of the year is when I start making may Christmas cards. This year, it could be a bumper year if the predicted temperatures are correct. Here's my tips for staying cool while crafting...

  1. Keep warm or strenuous activities to cooler times of the day or locations. These include heat embossing, laminating, drying prints artificially or gluing with glue guns. 
  2. Adhesives can be affected by heat not only when using, but also when being stored. Move any sheet or tape adhesives into cooler storage and use at cooler times. You should also consider your pens, wax based crayons, inks and paints if they are in a warm spot.
  3. Keep a bowl of iced water in your crafting area to help lower the local temperature. 
  4. When the warmer temperatures can no longer be avoided, keep to more sedentary techniques. Die-cutting/embossing with an electric or electronic cutter, colouring, stamping with rubber stamps are all fabulous to do in batches.
  5. Keep a drinks flask handy so you are kept refreshed during your crafting session. A cool flannel applied to your wrists can also help to lower your temperature.

The Card Project

For this project, any snowy landscape (or any landscape if you are confident adding snow) will do. This one is a retired stamp, so take a look at The Gift of Christmas as a great alternative design.

This card is painted using gouache paints which take very little water by comparison to watercolours. Making them ideal to use with water brushes. Squeeze a little water into the pan you want to use, then stir the paint with your brush. Whereas with watercolour we want a milky texture, with gouache we go a little thicker. These paints are opaque, so you want to carefully paint around your outlines, or conceal them beneath your paint for a no-line finish.

Choose a cardstock that can take water: a good watercolour paper or mixed media (for wet work) paper are both great choices.

Swap your black ink pad for a softer grey pad, but it needs to be permanent and non-water reactive. I used the Ranger Archival ink which is oil based and ideal. A softer outline will enable a more realistic result without going all the way to no-line colouring.

The finishing touch you can't see in the photo is a touch of sparkle. Use a clear shimmer pen over the top of your painting. It will soften your painting slightly while giving a festive sparkle without having to go all out bling.

A textured metallic or pearlescent card can be a more subtle mount than glitter card. However, the choice is yours.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Nature's Shares


Hello  and welcome, I'm here to show some samples I created for June's shows.  My first creation is created with a Christmas stamp called Christmas Tweetings.  So I started by stamping out my image on grey card and colouring with Aqua pencils and white charcoal pencils.  These show nice on Grey or Kraft card, I mounted onto black card then again on to some silver mirror card.

This creation was made using the Nature's Paisley stamps and Birthday Words,  I started by masking off a strip and using Oxides I blended three colours.  I then splashed with some water, when dry I peeled off the masking tape and stamped the various paisley and leaf images.  I added a sentiment and matt and layered it all.  Simple but effective.

I will be back towards the end of the month with some more of my samples.

Happy crafting

Tracy x

Friday 15 July 2022

With Love (from Miranda)


Hi lovely people,

Miranda here with another post for you. I have used the same flower stamp as I did last time but with a totally different sphere.
Last time I have used pastel watercolors and now I have worked on grey paper and kept the combination almost monochrome. 
I colored using Derwent Chromaflow and some Stabilo pastel pencils.

I have used the Floral Grunge individual unmounted rubber stamp - A6. And stamped with Archival Pebble beach and for the large Crackle stamp on the background I have used Archival Shadow grey.

Hope you like my take on this stamp in this way,
thanks for your visit and comments. Till next month.

Thursday 14 July 2022

feathered friends (by Veronica)


Staying with feathers sort of, this time this time mixing bird stamps from the retired list. The first sample is very simple. the strip of birds from fly away with me stamped in black on white card, trimmed round and mounted onto black card then onto a white card blank. The sentiment from live out loud also stamped in black and edged with black card.

The owl from wise owl was stamped in black onto white card, clear embossed and coloured with marker pens, cut out and mounted onto a distress oxide background edged with a swirl stamp from dawn chorus and a marker pen along the edges. Sentiment from sing your song.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Sunny Sunflower (by Corine)

Hello ! 

I am very pleased to show you three cards in July. I will start with a mixed media card with a stamp from one of my favourite sheets Sunny Sunflowers.


I used stamps from the sheets:

Sunny Sunflowers

Harlequin Fragments

Briar Rose Butterfly

Apply Gesso with a spatula through a stencil onto white watercolour paper. Let it dry well or use a heat tool. Spray the paper lightly with water and then spray with Distress Spray Stains. I used the colours Rustic Wilderness, Broken China, Mustard Seed and Carved Pumpkin. Dry the paper completely.  

Emboss the Harlequin stamp with Embossing Glaze Salvaged Patina on the left side of the paper. Stamp the butterflies with waterproof black ink and the twigs along the edges with Archival Vintage Photo. Sponge the paper here and there with Distres Ink Rustic Wilderness, Broken China and Brushed Corduroy.

Emboss the Sunflower with silver embossing powder on a separate piece of watercolour paper and colour with watercolour markers. Cut out the flower and stick it on the card.

I hope I have inspired you. If you want to try this technique, I wish you lots of fun.

Until next week!

Kind regards,

Corine van Kuilenburg

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Elephants and Dragons! (by Sandra)

Hello I am sharing some more of my cards from the shows on Create and Craft in June.

These shows featured stamps that were to be retired, so I hope you were lucky enough to grab a bargain!

My first card uses Paisley Elephant. 
I started by stamping the small Paisley stamp all over my base card in blues and purples. On another piece of card I stamped the Fan shape onto some pink card and embossed in silver,  I coloured a piece of card with distress inks and then stamped the Paisley block and embossed in red and I stamped the Script onto some card and added distress ink and splashes to give an aged look. Finally I stamped the  Elephant onto smooth card, coloured with alcohol markers and fussy cut it out. I then played about with the different pieces until I found a layout I liked before gluing down.

My next card features Here Be Dragons! A great set for children (of all ages).  I started by making a background of mountains with a stencil and then added a moon. I used distress inks and a stencil brush to colour. I stamped the Dragons in Memento and coloured with alcohol markers. I then added some foliage from Wild Meadow and the sentiment.

Thanks for looking
Sandra x


Sunday 10 July 2022

Making Your Scrap Papers Work For You (by Judith)

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I have a couple of projects to share with you showcasing some of the retired stamps that we brought to the TV shows on Create and Craft last month. The TV shows were so busy, and if you were watching, you would have seen that we had to change our demos, sometimes in the middle of what we were doing, it certainly made us think on our feet! 

I wanted to share two of the projects that I talked about during the shows, although one you did not see in its completed version, I made a different version on the show due to sellouts of the stamps that I had planned to use.

Often we have bits of card and paper in our scrap boxes that do not seem to go together, a piece of card left over from a crafting session that is blue and purple, and a piece of brown card. Whatever would make them work in a project together? 

I like to mix and match my scraps together, and can easily put these pieces with each other by using toning inks. I used the piece of tea dyed card as the large background, stamping a small worker stamp randomly all over using various shades of blue and purple, then edging the card with a blue ink. I then stamped a large flower three times onto the blue/purple card using purple Versafine Clair ink and clear embossing powder. I cut the flowers out and adhered them to the background, adding a piece of scrap corrugated card underneath the third one to raise it up slightly. I can add a sentiment at a later date when I know what the card will be used for.

My second project was created by taking a piece of greyboard and painting it with white paint. I added torn strips of book paper and then painted the whole piece with acrylic paint. I chose a pretty green paint, and some touches of plum around the edges. The green paint allowed the book pages to still be seen, as it was not completely opaque. I added some stencilling with Plum Archival Ink, and stamped a pretty leafy sprig from one of the retiring stamp sets, Take It or Leaf It.

I chose some patterned papers to stamp and emboss birds from Sing Your Song, Live Out Loud, and Fly Away With Me. I added a bit of colour using Distress Inks and a blending brush to make the papers fit my colour scheme. I also had some left over card from another project, which had originally been blue and green. It did not match my colour scheme, but I had some of the plum paint from this project on my craft mat, so I spritzed it with water, and splattered it over the card, to tone the card in with this project.

A very simple way to get the card to match. I then stamped the sentiment onto a die cut piece of the card, and sponged some of the Plum Archival Ink around the edges. Finally, I attached the birds to the leafy branches, and attached the sentiment to the panel.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I will be back later in the month with more projects to share.

Take care,

Judith xx