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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hello sweet friends!!

Happy Halloween to you all!! I hope you enjoy the festivities and aren't frightened by too many ghouls and goblins showing up at your door--nor in your stomachs after all that Halloween Candy!

Halloween passed VERY uneventfully here as usual, but I'm a bit sad about the fact that we miss such a big season of tradition, fun and celebrations. Oh well. When my daughters get older we'll definitely have to bring Halloween into our yearly calendar :)

Despite that we didn't celebrate Halloween here, I've been feeling an itch to make a card for the 'season', so here it is:

Here's a little Halloween girl for you, I was going to make her a witches hat but she was just too cute, so rather than go "all-out" I kept it simple and just tried to give a feel of spooky darkness (it's much darker in life than this photo shows due to the camera flash).

Here's what I did:
  1. Stamp the girl image on white cardstock using Memento ink
  2. Stamp the same image onto Inkadinkadoo Masking Paper, cut out and (temporarily) adhere over original image.
  3. Cover a small rounded section of the base of white cardstock (to form the ground)--(I just cut a piece of scrap paper into the right shape as I didn't want to use the Masking paper, because this was particular size and shape for this card.)
  4. Ink up the Cloud Background stamp with Stormy Sky ink and stamp. (**NB The masking paper protects the little girl image and makes it look like she's standing in FRONT of the clouds)
  5. Ink the Silhouette Grass Stamp with Scattered Straw ink, stamp.
  6. Using my blending tool, add some Walnut stain ink to the base of the card to create the ground/dirt she is standing on.
  7. Remove the masking paper, color the girl image with copics
  8. Stamp Hello Flags stamps onto scrap paper in desired colors.
  9. Adhere flags onto cardfront and either draw a black line between to create the banner's "rope" (or cut a thin strip of cardstock and adhere to cardfront underneath pennants)
  10. Distress edge of card with scissors or distressing tool
  11. Mount onto Black cardstock!

DONE!! It looks like a lot of steps but they're all VERY easy.

Here's what I used:
Foam Blending Tool

Have a FRIGHTULLY wonderful Halloween dear friends!

Till next time--

Linda x

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joy's final week *tear*

Hello Friends!

I'm back with the final (for now *wink*) creation from our dear friend Joy Taylor.  The four weeks that Joy has been guest blogging with us has gone by so quickly but we've loved every minute of it and of course, her gorgeous cards!  Joy, we will miss having your beautiful cards grace our blog every week, but we thank you so much for all the effort you've put into them and hope you come back to join us as guest blogger in the New Year.  *HUGS* to you.

Today's effort from Joy is nothing short of astonishingly beautiful--here they are:

are you all as blown away as I was?!

Take your time to ogle them--they deserve it :)

Here's the how to:

  • Take 6 or more tags, (you can buy either from your office supply store if you don't have the below die to cut your own. 
  • Ink over the top of the tags using Antique Linen.  
  • Once inked, take the Vintage Christmas stamps and stamp images over the tags using black ink.  
  • Next, using a different color distress ink for each tag, blend around the edges with the different colours, adding touches of Walnut Stain (to all of the tags) to give it a more vintage feel.  
  • Lastly, add twine and ribbon through the tops of the tags.

A very quick and fun way to produce tags to put on your Christmas presents or even add onto a card!

Here's what you'll need!

Crafty Secrets Vintage Christmas Stamp Set


Now go get to it! I know  you'll be inspired to try your own, I was! (I'll post them in a day or two).

Have fun and don't forget to leave a comment!

Take care--

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas diary/to do book

Hello again sweet friends!!

There are only a few weeks left until Christmas (8 actually...*gasp*!!) so it's time to get organised and today I have a special Christmas album I made using THIS gorgeous Christmas paper collection from Little Yellow Bicycle to help with that organising!

The paper colors and patterns are very traditional and muted--truly lovely.  I wanted to make something other than a traditional album to work with these very traditional papers, so I made a Christmas diary or to-do/reminder book for you to carry around with you during the Silly season.  At home, here in Australia we have Christmas in the heat so I'm sure our to do list might be slightly different but I'm in charge of the decorations, so I ALWAYS have a list of what I need to buy or make and what I need to do.

(Sorry about the photos, I was having real trouble with my photo editing software today, so apologies for the dark background!!)
So here it is:
here is the cover.   . 
The closure is a Tim Holtz Clear Charm fragment that's been stamped with Stayz on and THIS Hero Arts stamp then used Alcohol Inks to color the back of the fragment to make it look like a bauble.
The cover paper was cut with the EK Success Scalloped border punch.
this is a calendar page I downloaded off the Internet and cut with Labels 4 Spellbinders Nestabilities die.
Using the Hero Arts Ledger stamp I made a To Do list.
Christmas Card list with a twist! I made a 'waterfall card' effect.

excuse my hand but here you can see the pull down tab in action--it extends down about 3 inches and the small squares (with the writing on them) flip backwards--super cute!

Here is a little section for some Christmas cards and stamps to be put in--I always find when I'm out and about, that I run into someone who's Christmas card I've forgotten to write.  So I thought it would be helpful to have some extras stashed away in this diary so you could write a quick card on the spot if you need to.
This is a little section to keep old family recipes that you like to use each year.  I just printed some out on various forms of paper and cardstock and aged them to help them look like they'd been passed down by family members or friends.
And finally here is a little hand-made notepad.  I ALWAYS need a notepad! I simply printed out a 3 column word document with the lines on it, cut the pages to size and then using my crop-a-dile, cut holes and tied string to bind the pages together.  Using Pumice Stone Distress ink and the Hero Arts Wishes Come True clear set (also used to make the bauble on the front cover closure), I stamped the little snowflake randomly over the pages to give a Christmassy feel.  I backed the pages onto a heavy cardstock and threaded the backing cardstock behind a 'belt' made of cardstock, to keep it in the diary, but allow it to be removed when it runs out!

I also used a tonic perforating tool across the top of each page so you can tear them out as they're used.
Here's the back page--super simple and one-dimensional, which is the best thing for a back cover!

I simply then bound the whole album and edged the pages with a tiny smear of white paint to give a distressed look that didn't darken the overall coloring.

As a final note, all these pages are using Tim Holtz Grungepaper, so that the album is slightly flexible but sturdy--important for anything that is going into your handbag.  Everything used to make this album, apart from ink and the binding are from the Hero Arts Wishes Come True clear set and the Little Yellow Bicycle collection (which includes papers, rub-ons and stickers).

This really only took me a few hours to make in total, so you have plenty of time to order your papers now and get these made for yourself or even as a gift for a friend who likes to be organised (or maybe a friend who needs to be *wink*)

Hope you liked and as always, I'd love to hear what you think!

Linda xx

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Joy Taylor Week 3!!

Hi everyone!!

We're back with another gorgeous card from our dear guest blogger Joy Taylor!

Here it is:

Beautiful isn't it?!

Here are the steps Joy took to make it--

Cut white card stock to form the card, using another piece of white card stock cut slightly smaller then the card front and using the Hero Arts, Branch and Flourish Tree inked with Versamark, stamp onto the white card stock and emboss with white embossing powder. 
Next, taking the Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and Foam Blending tool, cover the entire card stock by blending the ink over, making an emboss resist finish.  Once happy with the look, take the Hero Arts, Magical Background stamp inked with more Tumbled Glass and stamp directly over the image, giving it a tone on tone effect.
Add more Stormy Sky Distress Ink around the edges of the image, wipe excess ink off over the embossed area using a baby wipe to make it stand out more.
Add Liquid Pearls, Silver Pearl to the tree and leave to dry. 
Taking more white card stock, tear along one edge to form snow peaks, add touches of Stormy Sky to the torn edges and adhere under the embossed tree. 
Lastly, add a sentiment the bottom of the snow peaks, adding rhinestones either side of the sentiment and adhere the image to the front of the card using foam dimensionals.

This is a great way to use different techniques to create a fun card!

Here are the tools she used to create it:

Copic Marker X-Press Blending Card
Stampendous Stamp N Stuff Embossing Powder White Opaque
Hero Arts Magical Background Stamp
Hero Arts Branch and Flourish Tree
Hero Arts Sending Holiday Cheer Stamp
Memento Tuxedo black ink
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad Tumbled Glass
Inkssentials Foam Blending Tool
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad Stormy Sky
Ranger Silver Pearl Liquid Pearls Glue
Tsukineko Versamark Watermark Ink
Hero Arts Clear Gemstones
Glue Arts Mounting Adhesive Squares

Well did you love it as much as us?!

Till next time Dear Friends--
Take care and Happy Crafting!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bibs and bobs...

Hello dears!!

Just a bit of a strange post today, a few bits and pieces and a bit of a favor to ask of you!

As those of you who frequent our little piece of bloggy heaven will no doubt have noticed, there is a small 'questionnaire' of sorts over to the left-hand side, asking what you'd like to see here on the blog.  A few people have responded and a resounding 100% of you asked for tutorials.  What I would like to know then, is what tutorials you would like?? 
tell me what you want...I'm all ears *wink*
LOL--sorry, I couldn't help myself with that one...

I've been given a message from (the other much more attractive :)) Linda that a few people have been mentioning to her a tutorial on the Copic Blender pen would be helpful, so that will be coming up shortly.  But what else?! Is there anything in specific?  Do you have a particular stamp that you've purchased from us and now it's home in your hot little hands, your mind is drawing a blank?? 

If you have something (or a few somethings! *wink*) that you would like to know more about, see put into a video tutorial (or a blog based picture tutorial if my video decides not to play fair!), or just more information--then PLEASE let me know!!! You can feel free to email me on and I'll do my  best to make sure to get a tutorial up for you!   Otherwise, of course, you can feel free to leave a comment below.

Onto other things--the new Scor-buddy mini-mats are here!! The scor-buddy is so cute I just want to squeak and now you can get the mat to complete the set!

We're also SUUUUUUUUUUUUUPER excited to be bringing you the gorgeous Whiff of Joy stamps!!! I'm a HUGE fan of Whiff of Joy and fell in love as soon as I saw their images.  We will be starting with a select few of their best stamps and be increasing our stock as you request it! So! If you see a WOJ Stamp you'd like us to get in, please feel free to contact us and let us know!

This card that I shared with you last week is completely Whiff of Joy images:

Lastly--we're very proud to be part of the Blog Candy being offered by the gorgeous Cammy and her team of Ainsley's Angels.  They are fundraising for Juvenile Diabetes--see their cute badge over -->>>that side.  If you click on the badge it will take you to their site where you can find out more information on the fantastic efforts!  If you have ANY chance to, please donate to this hugely worthy cause and let's find a cure!!

Anyhoo--I'm off to work on a layout that I'll be sharing with you all in the next few days!!

Take care and have a fabulous weekend!

Linda x

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joy is back with a gorgeous card!

Hello dear friends!!

I'm back again with another gorgeous card from our lovely guest blogger Joy Taylor!  It's Christmas time in Joy's card, so let's get right to it!

This is how she  did it:
  • Stamp the holly onto white card stock and colour with Copics
  • Stamp the Magical Background stamp that is inked with Antique Linen over the top
  • Add Antique Linen to the sides of the card stock along with Vintage Photo. 
  • On the cream card stamp the Large Plaid Background stamp also inked with Antique Linen
  • Adhere the holly image to the card using foam dimensionals,
  • Dust lightly around the edge with more Antique Linen and a light touch of Black Soot. 
  • Lastly, add a sentiment to the bottom of the card using Sending Holiday Cheer, rhinestones either side of the sentiment and add some Glossy Accents to the berries.
Don't you just love it?! It's such a beautiful card and so easy to make!

Here are the tools Joy used:

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad Black soot

3L 3D Permanent Foam Squares
Bazzill Ivory Simply Smooth Cardstock
Copic Marker X-Press Blending Card
Copics - G09, G07, G05, G03, R39
Distress Ink  Vintage Photo
Glossy Accents
Hero Arts Classic Holly
Hero Arts Graph Background Stamp
Hero Arts Magical Background Stamp
Hero Arts Swirl Christmas
Memento Tuxedo black ink
Ranger Inkssentials Foam Blending Tool

Now it's time for you to make your own version! We hope you'll share with us what you make :)
Well, until next time friends--take care!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Copic Markers=LOOVE!!

**Warning--this is a bit of a long post--there is a LOT to say about Copics.  So, get comfy, a cup of tea or whatever your choice of beverage and if you have a partner or children tell them to shh--or better yet, go out for a while *teehee*!!! You've got an important work email blog post to read :)**

Hi there!

Ok, so I'm just going to come out and start this post by saying something truly truly shocking...I am so in love with Copic markers, that it's borderline inappropriate!! LOL. I mean honestly, a desk covered (or surrounded neatly-depending on how you work :)) by Copic markers?!

this is my happy place *ahhhh*

I'm fairly new to Copics, but I've had a few images I've colored come out super-nicely and the rest are all really good, despite my terribly low skill level :). The markers just seem to make everything look good, no matter what you do. I love that even if you're not happy with how something looks, you can just keep going over and over until you get what you need or want.
This was maybe the first card I made with my Copics;

I spent some time on her hair and was very happy with the results; the dress and flowers however, I kept simple.  Can you see how up-close, her hair is  obviously made from at least 2 colors? (in the previous card it looks much more natural from a 'normal' distance)

this is one of my earlier cards. Only the second time I'd used my Copics.

see how up close the shading on her dress is nice but not quite blended enough? Her hair however, I'm proud to say looks good.

When I first heard about Copics I thought, what's the big deal? Aren't markers just markers? Well in short--NO!! Copic's are just astonishingly good to work with. Being alcohol based means that they blend beautifully AND (a big plus for me) the paper won't 'pill up' (when the weave of the paper starts to break down and you get little tiny balls of paper start to show up) if you go over your coloring more than once. (I hate it when my paper pills up). I thought the standard price of $7 or $8 each was pretty decent given that they're given such a great guarantee AND you can get refills...but then I went on to the a2z site and I nearly choked on my Distress ink water, when I saw how cheap they are there!!

Now to start with, you HAVE to have great paper to color on. This really does make a difference. Not only will the ink 'stay true' better, but it wont soak through as much and this gives you more freedom. The Copic Marker X-Press Blending Card is A-MA-ZING.

There are probably a whole range of stats and specs and information-based tid-bits that I could give you on how the paper is made, why it's better, what the difference is, but really...does it matter? Long story short, it makes everything look incredible.  Even if your coloring is more "interesting" than that of a 1st grader.Get Some...Now...No, not NOW now, when you're finished reading this now :)

Before I get into the sets, a couple of things to know about Copics (just the basics).
  • There are about 5 kinds of marker (shape-wise). The most popular, the Ciao and the Sketch are in store HERE.
  • The difference between the Ciao and the Sketch: Ciao has a round body, Sketch has an oval body (thus, doesn't roll off your work surface). 
  • Sketch can be used with the Copic Air Compressor Ciao can't.  
  • The Ciao's are slightly cheaper and there are less colors available.
  • You CAN combine the two when coloring. (The BG10 color in sketch is identical to BG10 in Ciao)
  • Both styles have the same nibs. One end is a brush style, the other is a wedge for coloring larger surface area.  (Personally, I've never used the wedge as I've only colored small, intricate images, but that doesnt' mean I wont ever use it.)
  • When you're coloring, you can create a magnificent blended look using 2 or more markers.  You start with the paler colour, add a little of the darker, then go back over the entire area with the paler--and the two will blend together. 
    To make this 'blended' effect, you need to choose 2 or 3 markers with close numbering.
  • This is some info about the numbering on the ends of the markers, taken from the Copic website FAQ page
"Q: What do the letters on my marker mean?
The Letters on your marker tell you what color family they belong to: [B- Blue] [BG- Blue Green] [BV- Blue Violet] [G- Green] [YG- Yellow Green] (etc)
Q: What do the numbers mean?
The numbers explain the qualities of light, dark, and gray colors in that marker.
The first number stands for the Saturation, or how vibrant the color is. 0’s will be very vibrant, while 9’s will be more dull or gray.
The last digit tells you how light the marker is within that saturation group.
For example, a BG01 will be light and make a nice bright highlight color. BG05 is a vibrant mid-tone, or middle color. BG09 would be a strong shadow that matches that color group"
 Here is an example:

This is BV 04.
This is BV 08
See how they're equally bright but the second is a "darker" shade?

How about this one:
This is R27
This is R20

This is R59
Can you see how the first two, which are both in the R2 family have a similar quality of light (despite being very different colors) but the second, R20 has MUCH less saturation (it has less red in it), which make them similar colors, but very different shades. 
The last, R59, has a totally different look. The R5 group has much more grey in it than the R2's, but because it's R59, its bolder and darker in shade (or tone if you prefer.)

Ok, onto the sets. There are a few around to choose from:

Copic Marker Sketch Stamp Set 12 Soft Pastels
Copic Ciao Marker 72 Set A

The sets of 12 also come in; Brights, Basics and  Earthy Elements.
The sets of 36 don't have 'names' (other than set A, B or C) but of course, contain many more markers. Same thing for the sets of 72.

If you're new to Copics, there are 2 streams of thought.  #1, the sets are a great way for you to be able to play with them, learn how they work, create some lovely images.  #2. the sets are NOT the way to go, choosing your own from the singularly available ones is a better idea as you can do the blending techniques Copics are famous for.
Here you can see much smoother blending.  If I'd gone back over the image (especially her coat) again, it would be even smoother. Her hair and hat (and the fox) look very smooth, even up close.

I have done a little of both.  If you just want to use Copics to colour in images simply, then get the sets (or a set to start with).  If you're interested in the blending technique, buy them singularly (or a set plus a few singles). 

The price for both the singles and the sets in the a2z store are so ridiculously low, you could easily get a few things and have plenty to start playing with :) 

I really do recommend Copic markers, I've bought a few myself and had heaps of fun playing with them and making beautiful images.  If you enjoy coloring, then these are for you!  The easy 'do-over' ability of them, because they're Alcohol-based is great not only for pedantic perfectionists like me, but also people with not much know-how. 
With just a few tries, I'm sure you'll be producing fantastic results in no time!  Look at this (I'm very proud :))

As always, we'd love to see what you create, so feel free to either email me pictures or even better-join our Flickr group and share with everyone! It's a great forum to make friends, learn new things and get inspired.

See you again on Wednesday with Joy's second card for the month!

Linda x

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guest Blogger Joy Taylor!!!

Hello friends!!

I'm super excited today because we have a good friend of mine as a guest blogger- Joy Taylor! 

(Sorry, I couldn't resist it when I did a google image search of "excited" and saw it was a crocodile!)

Joy will be with us every Wednesday throughout October, sharing her beautiful creations and if we're lucky, she might even let us in on some handy techniques and hints *wink*.
This is the lovely Joy

Now, if any of you frequent the Hero Arts group over on flickr, you'll know exactly who I'm talking about.  Joy is not only one of the nicest ladies around (and a fellow Australian :)), she makes EXQUISITE cards that are very simple but super elegant and eye-catching.  She's also a current Hero Arts Hostess! *impressed applause*

Given that a lot of you are beginner card-makers, we thought it would be great for you to see that with just a  little technique know-how and some simple steps, you too can make a glorious card. 

So now, it's over to Joy...

Hi everyone!
I live in a small town, in Southern New South Wales with my partner Darryl and our furbaby, Roly. I currently work part time, but like all us crafters would love to see my passion for the craft to turn into my daily job…oh to dream!

I have been crafting especially stamping on and off for about 16 years now and absolutely love it, although I love all crafts, stamping is my passion, I love to create and have fun with the craft, learning new techniques as I go along.

Just recently my partner allowed me to take ownership of one of the spare rooms that we have in our house and he has built all of my craft furniture custom made for my passion for crafting.  I love that I have everything at my finger tips and come and go as I please, it really is my little haven and I adore my space.

I currently design for a company in New York and just recently, have been asked if I would like to try out designing for Jay Gee’s Nook, and I have to say that I am thrilled and honoured to be asked, I am excited and looking forward venture ahead.

I have met the most amazing people through the love of this craft and ones like the lovely Linda who asked me to do a bit of Guest Blogging for this amazing company that supports Celiac and Behcet's Disease.  I have a family member who has Celiac Disease and felt I wanted to give back a little and well this is my way.

My hope is that I inspire you to create and have fun crafting as much as I do!

Here is my card;

Here's a step by step of what I did:
  1. Cut white card stock to size.
  2. Blend Black Soot Distress Ink over the entire front of the card.
  3. Stamp the Hero Arts Canvas Stripe Background stamp using Memento Tuxedo Black ink over the top.
  4. Using a Spellbinders, Label 8 die cut a second piece of cardstock and stamp the images (from the Hero Arts What’s Perking stamp set.)  
  5. Colour them in with the Copics. 
  6. Use Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks and blend over the top of the die cut to give a more aged look. 
  7. Adhere the die cut to the front of the card, adding white string to the bottom to finish the card.
And here are the tools I used to create it;

Copic Marker X-Press Blending Card
Stamps- Hero Arts Canvas Stripe and Hero Arts What's Perking
Copics - B97,B95,B93 and YG25, YG23,YG21
Sanford Signio White Uni-ball Pen
3L 3D Permanent Foam Squares
Ranger Inkssential Foam Blending Tool


So how did you like Joy's card?! We'd love to hear comments, thoughts etc.  Joy will be back next Wednesday with another gorgeous creation!

Till next time lovelies, take care!!

Linda x

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Giveaway Winner!!

*editors note: Sorry! Slight error in my typing (that's what happens when I try to blog while my 3 year old sits on my lap! The winner is Message Keeper-apologies for the typo!!

Hello lovelies!

We have a winner!!!  I exported all the WONDERFUL people who clicked that pretty little 'follow' button by September 30 and plugged the details into Random Generator and the winner is....*drum roll please*

yay for Memory Keeper!!

If you could please email me at with your full name and address, we'll get your prize out to you!

Congrats and thanks to everyone who joined up to our a2z Crafting Club!!! We're so excited to have you along for this bloggy adventure :)

Speak to you all soon!  Stay tuned for an exciting week on the blog :)

Linda x