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A New Favourite Thing!

Welcome! Today I am excited about a product in my stash which I want to share my success in using it with you – including the resulting cards. Plus, right at the end is my giveaway for you to enter – GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner: Grace W, NZ

We all have those dies in our collection – we saw something pretty and bought the intricate die thinking of all the amazing cards to be made. Only to discover yes they’re pretty, but also pretty labour intensive to get a complete and nice cut! I like to stack my die cuts too, making some of the card making processes verrrrry frustrating! I have constant battles with those little ‘ripped out’ corners or having to carefully run through again and again, and simply untidy edges after all the effort. Maybe it’s my cardstock? Do my plates need replacing?? Perhaps I need a whole new machine??? Or maybe it’s just me………?

I have to admit, I purchased the electronic BigShot Express earlier this year and I’m definitely loving it – it has handled intricate dies quite nicely, but now I have found something to really make intricate die cutting a BREEZE.

The Sizzix Chrome Precision Base Plate

It’s like a bright shiny mirror straight out of the package and I was hesitant to scratch up that pretty surface. However, I needed a pretty die cut for a card idea and I knew from past experience that there were a couple of tricky spots so I thought I’d try it out on the Chrome Plate. Well. One pass and all the little pieces just FELL OUT when I ran my fingers over them – didn’t even need my pokey tool. WOW.

So this morning, I got out the worst culprits when it came to die cutting – very intricate background dies from Avery Elle (waves), Crafter’s Companion (clamshell) and Simon Says Stamp (Heart Mandala). DISCLAIMER: There is nothing wrong with these dies, they just needed an extra shim, or a few extra passes through my machine to get allllll the pieces out.

I ran them through on the chrome plate – out of habit I did two passes on my manual big shot – but I got the amazing result of the pieces simply falling out when I ran my fingers over them.

I haven’t even told you the best part – the chrome plate is just as shiny and perfect as when it came out of the packet – there are no scratches or indentations from the die cutting. WOW again!

PLEASE NOTE: The Chrome Precision plate cannot be used with the Big Shot Foldaway or Big Shot Plus. Also, it should only be used with intricate dies rather than those with large openings.


OK, I then had the fun of creating cards, so here’s what I did.

I cut the Waves from a piece in my stash – I had a previous failed attempt with watercoloring using Nuvo Shimmer Powder Atlantis Burst, but it did result in a pretty coloured and shimmery piece, perfect for cutting up!

I used the Hero Arts Colour Layering Turtle along with the Thanks stamp and die sets. The turtles were stamped with a selection of mini ink cubes in my stash – I don’t own a complete collection of any particular line of inks and I have happily collected all sorts to experiment with. (I will link here to Jennifer McGuire’s ink swatching system to make it so much easier to select inks for colour layering from your own stash).

The blue turtle and seaweed are stamped with Catherine Pooler ‘It’s a Boy’, Gina K Designs Blue Raspberry and Ranger Cobalt Archival inks. The green turtle and seaweed are stamped with Altenew Bamboo, Gina K Designs Grass Green and Ranger Library Green Archival inks.

I fitted the turtles and seaweed on the card, stacked the Thanks with white and silver glitter cardstock and finished the sentiment with white heat embossing on a black strip.

The card is finished off with Studio Katia silver gems.


The Mermaid is from left over from my weekend of learning to colour darker skin tones in my goal to be more diverse in my card making (you can check out that blog post here). I thought she would look super cute sitting on the clamshell card front and I finished this card off with a sentiment from MFT Sweet Sentiments and Pretty Pink Posh Party Mix jewels in the openings – to match the colour of the alcohol inking behind.

PLEASE NOTE: I purchased my clamshell die from Simon Says Stamp fairly recently, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore anywhere – my apologies if I got you excited about this die!

Copics Used:
Skin: E27, E25, E23, E21; Hair 100, E49, E57;
Clothing: RV66, RV09, RV06, RV04;
Rock: W9, W7, W5, W3;
Shell: R85, R56, RV34;
Fish: YR18, YR16, Y15;
Turtle: G09, G05, YG06, YG03, YG67 YG63, YG61


The Heart Mandala is quite a statement piece, and I kept the rest of this card nice and simple, by adding a silver and black birthday greeting and placed Studio Katia silver gems to finish.


That completes my cards today. Scroll down a little more for the GIVEAWAY portion of today’s blog! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

GIVEAWAY!

Thank you for visiting my fledgling blog! I have this prize of the Avery Elle Waves Background die featured above, a slab of Whittaker’s Milk Chocolate (made right here in my own home town of Porirua, New Zealand!) plus a bunch of my Christmas Gift Tags so you will be all set for the upcoming festive season.

To enter, please leave a comment and follow my blog by entering your email address below (email address required to contact the winner!)

Giveaway is open worldwide to anyone who is 13 years or over. This giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram, Facebook or WordPress. Your information will not be shared with any other party. Please be aware that shipping delays are inevitable due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prize draw will take place midday (NZT) on Saturday 20 June and the winner will be announced both here and on Facebook and Instagram.

I will do my best to contact the winner directly. If the prize is not claimed within 7 days, it will be redrawn on June 27, 2020 NZT.

If you are interested in card making fun, future giveaways, product reviews, where to get the best goodies or my upcoming classes please follow me on my social media channels:

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Skin Colour Combinations

I have taken a few colouring classes over the past couple of years, both free and paid, and a high priority was to learn to colour skin and hair. Here is a link to my Colouring Resources Page which contains links to classes and tutorials I have done and can definitely recommend.

Colouring people and other characters such as mermaids are super fun, but in light of recent events, it occurred to me that I had not yet extended my colouring palette to include people of different nationalities (or even a sun tan!). This is something I had always intended on sitting down and working out but hadn’t actually taken the time, which, when I think about it is very short sighted, as New Zealand is a very multi-cultural country! I hope that by doing this exercise I continue to have a more accurate and inclusive portrayal of people both in my own community and further afar.

Hair colours on the left, skin tone on the right
Hair colours on the left, skin tones on the right.

This is a page from the free Markers 101 Class at Kit & Clowder (suitable for all alcohol marker types). There are many other little freebie classes and digital images, I definitely encourage you to visit the Kit & Clowder community – either via Facebook or their website.

I had previously coloured the top four images as part of my original class. I still consider myself a beginner colourist, and have only been practicing my colouring on small images and stamps for cards for around 2 years or so.

So I got my workbook back out, tried out some colour combinations and filled in my final decisions for the bottom two images. My goal for now is to get out of my comfort zone of reaching for my habitual choices of colour and really think about what I’m representing in my projects.

Now to flex these skills!

Pretty Pink Posh have very cute people stamp sets with simple line designs, they suit many card occasions, and they’re the ones I reached for today in order to practice my new combinations.

Another stamp set I regularly colour are the MFT Mermaids, so I decided to colour one of these up as well.

Shimmer was also added to the Friends with the Nuvo Aqua Glimmer pen.

For this card, I stencilled the sky using Distress Inks in Worn Lipstick and then Squeezed Lemonade over the top of that, plus a layer of Gina K Glitz Glitter Gel.

I distress inked the grassy hill with Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron. I added a bit of foam to the back of this piece, arranged my friends and stamped the sentiment. I added the little flowers which are included in one of the stamp sets, and scattered some clay hearts from Honey Bee Stamps.

Copics Used:
Skin: Girl 1 – E04, E11, E21, E00, E000; Boy – E27, E25, E23, E21; Girl 2 – E29, E27, E25, E23, E21;
Hair: Girl 1 – E59, E57, E55; Boy & Girl 2 – 100, E49, E59
Clothing: B28, B24, B21, G09, G14, YG06, V25, V22, V20;
Flowers: Y18, Y15, R29, R27, R24, C1, C0


This card front is die cut with the largest MFT stitched rectangle and an Avery Elle wonky rectangular frame was die cut a few times, stacked and textured pattered paper popped in for the background.

The same patterned paper was used for the top layer of Kindness. I also added shimmer with a Nuvo Aqua Glimmer pen to the people and the Kindness die cut.

Copics Used:
Skin: Girl – E27, E25, E23, E21; Boy – E04, E11, E21, E00, E000;
Hair: Girl – 100, E49, E59; Boy – E23, Y26, E55, E53;
Clothing: B28, B24, B23, BG57, BG45, BG10, RV66, RV17, V04

Unfortunately the Kindness stamp and die set has been discontinued by MFT but I was lucky and managed to find it at Frantic Stamper earlier this year. Frantic Stamper is a US retailer and brilliant for sourcing hard to find, discontinued stamp sets as well as all the current goodies. At the time of publishing this blog, this set was still in stock with them and I have provided a direct link below.


Images from MFT Mermazing

I love making cards with mermaids, and this My Favorite Things Mermazing set is definitely one of my most favourite. It is one of the first stamp sets I ever purchased from MFT!

I’ve coloured her up thus far, and will include her on a card in the near future.

Copics Used:
Skin E27, E25, E23, E21; Hair 100, E49, E57;
Clothing RV66, RV09, RV06, RV04;
Rock W9, W7, W5, W3;
Shell R85, R56, RV34;
Fish YR18, YR16, Y15;
Turtle G09, G05, YG06, YG03, YG67 YG63, YG61

This completes my cards and colouring skill practice today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

If you have any questions regarding the putting together of any of these cards, please feel free to message me – I’m only too happy to help!

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Just BEE Cause

A nice bright cheery card to send to someone, Just Because. It’s always nice to receive a surprise in the mailbox, especially when it isn’t expected!

Today’s card has a small colour palette – I have used just two colour families, Cool Greys and Yellows on top of a ‘white on white’ background.

If you are considering jumping into using Copic Markers, these two colour families would be a great start. Of course, you can use any colouring medium you are comfortable with to achieve a similar result.

I started off with the Honey Bee Stamps Hexagon cover plates – I used just the top two today (the very bottom layer is on a future shopping list).

I cut them from 80lb white cardstock and glued the two layers together. The card front is then adhered to my base – I prefer Neenah 110lb for my card bases, but you can use whichever you prefer.

I stamped and die cut my images, plus I die cut the letters for BEE four times each and stacked them together. This alphabet die set is a brilliant size, and beautiful font, I find I reach for it a lot.

The Busy Bees set includes dies for flower stems, I simply cut these without stamping the matching image and coloured them in green (YG09).

You can use any combinations of greys and yellows you have in your stash. For this project, I used C9, C7, C5 and Black on the buzzy bees, along with Y35, Y18, Y5, Y13, Y11. The same yellow combination is used on the letters and flower centres. Plus C3, C1 and C0 to add shadow to the flower petals and wings. You could cut the top layer of the letters from yellow or patterned cardstock too, which would be a fun result.


When colouring with Copic Markers, it is important to use the right cardstock – Neenah or Copic X-Press It are my top choices and they give smooth results, making it easier to blend your colouring as the cardstock can handle the amount of ink being laid down.

I start with my darkest colour and colour from the outside in with little flicks. The next colour is added by using the same small flicks over the dark colour and extending it out and same again with the lighter shade. Do the same from the other side of the section you’re colouring. If you leave gaps between your flicks, you can achieve a more textured look (think hair or fur), but in this case I wanted a smooth blend.

Copics are a bit of an investment, and it can be daunting when you’re just starting out with your collection. When adding a new colour family to your collection, try to add in groups of 3 – a dark, medium and light shade of colour. I will link here to some online colouring resources, (including free and paid) classes and charts for your reference.

There are a number of Copic suppliers in New Zealand – Gordon Harris, Ribbon Rose, Scrapbook Central are the main retailers that I personally purchase from – all three have online shopping facilities. Check your local craft supplier or art store too.

I also have further information about Copic Markers, plus other ways of adding colour to your projects here.


A close up of the stacked letters and their shiny, sparkly glory!

I added some sparkle with the Nuvo Aqua Shimmer Gloss pen and a layer of Nuvo Crystal Glaze for shine.

Wink of Stella pens and Ranger Glossy Accents or Nuvo Morning Dew Drops would give similar results if that’s what you have. I have linked both options below.

I stamped and white heat embossed the Just and Cause to add above and below to complete the sentiment.

The letters and sentiment additions are glued directly to the card front. The bees and flowers are attached to the card front with foam squares within the hexagon gaps. I glued the flower stems to sit underneath my flower heads, cut down to size – there was plenty left to spare from the two stems I had prepared.

Final touches include glaze pens and fineliner for the eyes, smile and tops of the antennae.

PRO TIP: Wait for your sparkle pen to dry before adding black glaze – I ended up with a bit of a feathered look on one of the bees and one of the antenna. Whoops!

I also added sparkle and glaze to the flower centres.

This completes my bright and cheerful card today. Thank you for stopping by! Below are links to the products I have used – some are affiliate links (not all) which simply means I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you when shopping. Thank you for your support – it means I can keep creating and sharing with you.

https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708

If you have any questions regarding the putting together of this card, please feel free to message me – I’m only too happy to help!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! Here in New Zealand, we are still in Level 3 Lockdown – meaning we can’t travel out of our region, retail shops are not open although online retailers are shipping. So today’s plan is to have cake with both mine and my husband’s mother via a Zoom meeting. Sounds fun right? Three cakes were ordered, but only one has made it to its destination so far – the couriers in New Zealand say their current workload is like Christmas on steroids!!

Anyway, back to the card my mother received in the post (sent in plenty of time for arrival prior to today!).

Close up of the rainbow sunflower – can you see the shine?
Adding colour to the die cut sunflower, this doesn’t need to be tidily done as it will be hidden by the layers.

I was inspired by Laura Bassen @laurafadora and her card made with the sunflower stem from Simon Says Stamp. I loved the rainbow idea and bought this die solely to create my own.

I cut the sunflower five times, and left the petals intact in one of them so I could colour my rainbow for the bottom layer. I used copic markers, but you could use any medium you prefer.

Three die cuts, with the petals punched out were glued on top. I used my Art Glitter glue for this as I really like the super fine tip. If I had thought ahead, I could have applied stick it adhesive to my cardstock first to make the job of sticking the delicate die cuts together easier!

I also coloured the petals with my Nuvo Glimmer pen, and then added Nuvo Crystal Glaze for extra shine.

The final die cut sunflower was added to the top for a nice clean and crisp finish.

The background is the Simon Says Stamp Festive Berries stamp, heat embossed with Hero Arts Satin Pearl embossing powder.

The sunflower panel is raised with craft foam. I used the MFT stitched rectangles on both the card front and sunflower panel to get a nice stitched border.

I added the sunflower to the front and found a suitable Happy Mother’s Day sentiment in Mama Elephant’s Mini Messages. I heat embossed in white on Hero Arts Pitch Black cardstock and carefully cut the ends to create the little banner.

If you have any questions regarding the putting together of this card, please feel free to message me – I’m only too happy to help!