Thursday, 17 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Homespun Christmas



How time flies when you are having fun. I can't believe we are already at day four of the STAMPlorations Christmas Release. Today we are showcasing two stamp sets by our fearless leader, the boss-lady Shery Russ herself. I hope you get inspired by all the designs from the STAMPlorations DT. Don't forget to comment for your chance to win! 


For my first card, I stamped the adorable log cabin from Homespun Christmas onto watercolour paper in Versafine and watercoloured the image with Distress Oxides. Then I added some blue colour to the sky through the ARTplorations Dots All Over stencil to look like snow falling. Then I die cut the hillside using CUTplorations Stitched Winter Landscape and added some colour to the snow. Last I adhered the layers and cut the panel using the middle sized Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangle die. Last, I stamped the sentiment in Versafine and attached the panel onto light blue card.

For my second card, I was inspired by the second house in the stamp set, which totally reminded me of a gingerbread house. So I stamped the image in Versamark onto light brown card and heat embossed it in white. I then watercoloured the image using Distress Oxides which really work well on coloured card as the colours of the inks will still be really vibrant. All the card needed was one of the sentiments in that beautiful font in white heat embossing and we are done.  



Card: 350 gsm Daler&Rowney Watercolour paper, 250 gsm light brown and light blue card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Homespun Christmas
Dies: CUTplorations  Crazy Double Running Stitch RectangleStitched Winter Landscape
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Oxides
Other: Papermania Seafoam White Embossing Powder


STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Christmas Elf

So far we have covered Christmas cookies and Yuletide deer. Today, on the third day of the STAMPlorations Christmas Release we are showcasing stamp sets from the talented Shirley of Bee's Knees. Hope you are still having fun hopping along with us and getting inspired for Christmas. I'm enjoying getting the whole business of card crafting ticked off the good old "to-do" list! Don't forget to hop along and leave comments for your chance to win!



For my card, I couldn't resist having a play with those hilarious elf legs just dangling off the edge of the card. I started by stamping the legs from Shirley's Christmas Elf stamp set and colouring them with Copics. I then die cut the panel using the Crazy Double Running Stitched Rectangle die and masked off a smaller rectangle as well as the lanky legs. I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks to ink through the ARTplorations Holly Background stencil, using colours to match the Christmas-y leggings of our little elf. I stamped one of the fun sentiments from the elf set and matted the panel onto green card. 

Card: 250 gsm green card, Neenah Solar White card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Christmas Elf
Dies: Crazy Double Running Stitched Rectangle
Stencil: ARTplorations Holly Background
Ink and colouring: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Festive Berries, Ground Espresso, Copics, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Yuletide Deer



I hope you enjoyed all the delicious cookie creations yesterday. Welcome to day two of the big STAMPlorations Christmas Release! Today we are spreading some Yuletide Deer using Deepti's new fabulous stamp set. I absolutely love these gorgeous deer, perfect for heat embossing (and of course many other things as well). I hope you enjoy all the fantastic inspiration from the DT and leave a few comments on your way for a chance to win some of the fun Christmas sets or dies.


For my card, I created a watercolour background using a mix of Distress Inks and Oxides on watercolour paper. Then I stamped the deer and some grungy background stamps from Scribbly Splattery Grunge in Versamark and heat embossed in copper. I die cut the panel using Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangles and attached it to a red card base. For the sentiment, I die cut the Merry using CUTplorations Merry Christmas Phrase Die in copper card and heat embossed the word Christmas from Homespun Christmas (which you will see more of in just a few day's time!) in copper onto a strip of red card. 

For my tag, I die cut the tag using Luggage Tags Nesting Dies and heat embossed another deer from Yuletide Deer, this time in gold. I coloured the deer and the tag using Copics (I couldn't resist a bit of rainbow...) and added the sentiment as I did to the card. I added some gold ribbon from my stash as a finishing touch.


Card: Daler&Rowney 300 gsm watercolour paper, red card stock, 250 gsm white card, scrap of gold mirri card and copper card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Yuletide Deer, Scribbly Splattery Grunge, Homespun Christmas
Dies: Crazy Double Running Stitch Rectangles, Merry Christmas Phrase Die, Luggage Tags Nesting Dies
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versamark, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Festive Berries, Barn Door, Distress Oxide Fired Brick, Worn Lipstick, Copics
Other: gold and copper embossing powder from my stash, gold ribbon

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.

Monday, 14 August 2017

STAMPlorations Christmas Release - Christmas Cookies


All set for Christmas? No? You think I'm crazy? Well yes, I am, but that's beside the point. Today I'm super excited to join a group of super talented STAMPlorations design team ladies to show you the new Christmas products. I usually have made a good bunch of Christmas cards by end of July, but this year I have really struggled with inspiration. Until I got a look at the awesome new Christmas stamps from STAMPlorations that is. Now I have most of my Christmas cards sorted. I'm hoping that over the following days we can inspire you to get your Christmas cards and tags sorted as well. After all, when December is here there are so many other things to worry about, so having your cards and tags all done in good time is a great start.


Today we are playing with the super fun Christmas Cookies & Cheer stamp set from the awesome Becca. You can find more inspiration from my STAMPlorations sisters over at STAMPlorations Christmas Release Day One. To join in on the fun, and of course for your chance to win some awesome prizes, you can leave comments on the main STAMPlorations blog and participating designer's blogs from August 14th to 21st. All the awesome prizes are listed in the STAMPlorations Christmas Release Day One post. And if you are not one of the lucky winners but want to get your hands on the stamps, you can use my discount code  STAMPGIRLKAROLA in the  STAMPlorations store for a 20% discount on your shop!



I thought this stamp set would make super fun tags for home-made Christmas cookies. I started by die cutting the tags using the CUTplorations Luggage Tags Nesting Dies and stamped the super cute sentiments and cookie stamps on the tags. For my kraft tag I stamped the images in Vintage Photo Distress Oxide ink. I really love the way it stamps, it's super crisp. I used the same ink to watercolour the cute little gingerbread men and the rolling pin, but the colour looks a bit different as it gets oxidised by the water. Last, I added some icing on the gingerbread men using a white gel pen. For my white tag I stamped the sentiment in Festive Berries Distress ink and stamped the cookies in Vintage Photo Distress Oxide, again watercolouring the cookies.  



Card: 250 gsm white card and 250 gsm kraft card
Stamps: STAMPlorations Christmas Cookies & Cheer
Ink and colouring: Distress Oxide Vintage Photo, Distress ink Festive Berries, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics, White Gel Pen
Other: CUTplorations Luggage Tags Nesting Dies, red ribbon from my stash


STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Have a Wild Birthday


Today I and the Culinary Consultant started the weekend with donating blood. We've been putting it off for too long since our last time, and finally got around to doing it. It only takes an hour, and the thought of being able to save someone's life makes it worth the effort. You also get a text message telling you which hospital your donated blood ended up in, which always feels great. Did you know that less than 4% of the eligible UK population donate blood and the majority of donors are over 40 years old, so new donors and particularly young donors are always needed. Have you ever considered donating blood? If not, maybe you would be willing to look into it? There is a lot of useful information on the NHS Blood and Transplant website as a starting point and there are donation sessions run all over the country, easy to search online or using the blood donation app, which also allows you to conveniently book an appointment when it suits you. Many of the blood donor centres across the country are also open on Saturdays and in the evenings during the week. I'm really proud that next time I donate will be donation number 10 here in the UK, in addition to the dozen or so donations back home before I moved to the UK.

Anyhow, before our bloody morning, I had a bit of time in the craft room and created a fun safari themed birthday card inspired by a bunch of challenges. First of all I was inspired by the Safari theme over at CASology and the Birthday theme over at CAS on Friday and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. I was also inspired by the Custom Sentiments challenge over at Lawn Fawnatics and last but not least I'm playing along with Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where the theme is For A Child.



I started by creating a savannah backdrop in watercolour using Distress Inks and Oxides. Then I stamped the tree from Lawn Fawn Critters On The Savanna and coloured it in black. I also stamped the giraffe from the same stamp set on white card and coloured him in Copics and die cut using the matching dies. I then stamped the sentiment using partly a sentiment from Critters On The Savanna and partly using Milo's ABCs. I still felt the card needed a little festive touch to emphasise the birthday theme, so I added a fun little party-hat using the Party Animal stamp set. 

Card: 300 gsm Daler&Rowney watercolour card, Neenah Solar white card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Critters On The Savanna, Part Animal and matching dies, Milo's ABCs
Ink and colouring: Tsukineko Versafine Onyx Black, Copics, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Distress Oxide Fossilized Amber and Fired Brick





Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sneak Peak of Craft Stamper Project


Just a super quick post today to show you a sneak peak of the project I did for Craft Stamper Magazine together with the STAMPlorations designers Shery, Deepti, Becca, Shirley and Monica. If you aren't already following their blogs I warmly recommend them for absolutely amazing inspiration.

This is my first published craft project, and I'm at least as excited (if not more) than I have ever been of any of my published scientific papers!! I used Distress Inks and water splatters for the background and the gorgeous CUTplorations Trendy Spring Blooms dies in coloured cardstock for the floral motif. 

The new Craft Stamper magazine should be available in the shops tomorrow, Friday 4th of August, and if you are a subscriber you have probably already received your copy. I'm totally in awe of my fellow DT member's projects and also super-inspired by several of the other projects in the magazine. If you want to have a cheeky sneak peak of the other projects you can find them over on the STAMPlorations Facebook page

Also, don't forget that the link-up for National Colouring Book Day is open until Sunday this week over on the STAMPlorations blog with a free printable sampler if you want to get in on the colouring action and for a a chance to win a copy of Shery's gorgeous new colouring book Bloomtangled.

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

National Colouring Book Day and Bloomtangled

Bloomtangled page coloured with Sharpies

Did you know that today is National Colouring Book Day? Not that you necessarily need an excuse to get out your colouring book and colouring medium of choice, but if you haven't done that for a long time, let me remind you how incredibly relaxing and fun it is to sit down and just colour away. As a special treat, today I and some of the amazingly talented ladies of the STAMPlorations DT are sharing some colouring inspiration from the new STAMPlorations colouring book Bloomtangled. We will show you more from this super fun book later, but today we are sharing a lot of pages we have coloured over on the STAMPlorations blog


Shery has made a page sampler from the book available over on the STAMPlorations blog so you can join in on the fun immediately. You can link up your coloured page until Sunday, August 7th and one randomly drawn winner will receive a copy of the colouring book. You can also find the book over in the STAMPlorations store. And don't forget by using the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA you will receive 20% off at checkout. Below you will find several pages I have coloured using different media.

The book and my beloved Faber-Castell watercolour pencils.  
So far I have tried out Sharpies, Copics, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (with very little water) and Gansai Tambi watercolours but before using the watercolours I covered the page in clear Gesso. My absolute favourite was the Sharpies due to their super vibrant colours. 

Watercolour pencils before adding water

Gansai Tambi watercolours on a page covered in clear Gesso.

I had so much fun with the Copics
I had to colour another page.

Nothing like a bit of colouring and a happy cup
of coffee to get the day started.
Now it's your turn to do some colouring and don't forget to link up your free Bloomtangled sampler for a chance to win the book. Together with the DT team, we will be showing you some projects we created from our coloured pages in a few week's time so don't forget to come back to check in. And there are a few other great new releases coming soon as well which I can't wait to share with you. I would love to hear from you if have ever tried colouring. Did you enjoy it? Which book would you recommend? What media do you enjoy using?


STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes. 




Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Purple Florals


Do you ever have a day when you are just completely fed up with your job? I've had one of those today, so as soon as I could I headed home and straight for my craft room. Which is the perfect antidote to a bit of work-related blues. I had a bit of a browse through the latest challenges and decided to get a bit messy with my Brushos, inspired by the lovely purple colour scheme and floral theme over at House of Cards. I was also inspired by the inspiration words Simple and Monochromatic over at The Challenge.  I'm also linking up with the new watercolour challenge over at Happy Little Stampers where the optional twist is Bloom and last but not least I'm linking up over at Make My Monday where the theme is monochromatic.




I started by splattering purple and violet Brushos onto watercolour card and spritzed them with water. I used the STAMPlorations Luggage Tags Nesting Dies to die cut the tag. Then I used the STAMPlorations Trendy Spring Blooms dies to die cut a flower and some leaves from white and silver grey card. Then I used the Thanks word die for the sentiment. I added some Ice Stickles as a finishing touch to the centre of the flower. 

Card: 300 gsm white card, silver grey card, Neenah Solar white card
Watercolours: Brushos Violet and Purple
Other: Ranger Ice Stickles

STAMPlorations discount code: If you want to save 20% when shopping at the STAMPlorations store you can use the code STAMPGIRLKAROLA at checkout. The discount applies to all normal priced and discounted stamps, stencils and dies. The code cannot be combined with other discount codes.