Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge - "Hang In There"

I know...two posts in one afternoon! How magnificent is this inspiration photo! I love, love, love that feature wall - though I'd never have anything like that at my place...it's still pretty cool.

I've had this inspiration photo for the latest Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge on my desktop for several days now and keep coming back and having a look - there's sooooo much in there. Though, of course, that feature wall grabs you and shakes you wild first!

I needed a card for a friend who is in need of some ca-ute encouragement at the moment!

And...I've been desperate to get this wee guy inky and last night (ahem...make that 3am this morning) was his chance at long last! I paired him up with a couple of SU Onsies that I coloured with Copics...the perfect therapy when one can't sleep.

These wee pegs are so tiny in real life - yet they are still massive in comparison with the size of these images. I pulled one of the arms out from the spring and then glued them down so they weren't quite so bulky on the card.

A bit of twine here and bit of PTI DP paper there....some vellum to soften it a bit and highlight the sentiment....a bit more twine...some wee, and I mean wee, black rhinies and this little fella was ready to hang it all about there.

I fiddled a little when I got home this evening and then pulled out the camera and here it is. I think I need to find my little photo tent since I seem to be doing 95% of my photographing at night. I managed to soften some of the shadows this time by reflecting some of the overhead light back in via a piece of white card stock.

And now this tired, but happy and inky crafter is going to bed.
Good night all.

Michey xxxx


Stamps: Paper Smooches Hang In There; Stampin Up Roller Baby Tees
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black; Versamark
Cardstock: PTI Stampers Select White, Beautiful Blooms DP; Geographics Vellum (from Officeworks)
Other: PTI Cream Twine; The Twinery Charcoal Twine; Ranger Fine Black Embossing Powder; Tombow Mono Glue; Glue Dots - Micro and Vellum; Absolutely Something For Everyone Mini Black Crystals; CraftWorkz Ultra Mini Pegs; Dimensionals
  Squirrel: E99, E23, E13, R11
  Red Onsie: R27, R17, R46
  Green Onsie: YG25, YG03, YG0000, N0, N2
  Grass: YG25, YG17, YG67
  Posts: E77, E71, E99

Clean and Simple Card Set & RIC #4

As you know from my recent posts, I participated in the Clean and Simple Online Classes. One of the last days of class was about making a card set. The classes are finished now, but I still wanted to have a go at a set of cards using the clean and simple principles.

I chose not to package these up in a nice box as a gift as they're destined to become some of the 150 or so thank you cards that I need to send out to people following Mum's passing and from all the gifts and cards I received at Christmas. I'm so far behind it's ridonkulous...but I figure better late than never, right!?

An easily mass produced design with simple two-step stamping of this stunning lotus flower directly onto the card base and the addition of some of my favourite wee dotted scallop punched in coordinating colours along the edge. Some sentiments from WaltzingMouse and there you have. I think I might need to purchase a basic sentiment set though, I really wanted to use a simple, bold thank you to match the clean lines of the lotus flower, but alas....out of the 4 squillion stamp sets I have - I don't have one matching this description.

I also dressed up the accompanying envelopes by stamping the smaller lotus flower in the single colour on the front left and adding another wee strip of the dotted scallops in the matching colour on the back flap. Easy peasy and yet so pretty.

And here they are all stacked up....not quite as vibrant as the photo from Runway's Inspiration - but I'm not really a super bright kinda gal. ;)

I've another card that I made in the wee hours of this morning when I was unable to sleep. If I can get it photographed and blogged before I finally call it a night/day/night/whatever it'll be up...otherwise I'll post it tomorrow.

Michey xxx

Card Details:
Stamps: Hero Arts Lotus Leaves CL542; WaltzingMouse Stamps Earth Angel and BIg Day Essentials
Inks: Memento Bamboo Leaves, Lady Bug, Tuxedo Black; Jenny Bowlin Speckled Egg, Lemon Drops, Lavender Sachet; Stampin Up Regal Rose
Cardstock: PTI Stampers Select White Notecards and envelopes
Others: EK Success Dotted Scallop punch


Hero Arts January 2012 Challenge

Edited to Add: The photo's have been replaced with better images as promised. And...because I really felt the card was lacking something, I added a touch of subtle bling to the centre of each of the little background flowers with a Sakura Gelly pen - see the 2nd photo.)  ;)

Here's today's card. Seems I'm in a daily create/blog pattern at the moment...this may not keep up, but I'm having plenty of fun and I'm seizing the abundance of MoJo whilst it is present.

I managed to get my hands on some of the yummy new Hero Arts stamps just before leaving on holidays in late December. This stamp is my FAVOURITE of all the new stamps and I was waiting for the right moment to get it inky. I fancy those gorgeous flowers are Rose Peonies, which are my most favourite flower in all the world! Hyperbole...possibly, but I do love those gorgeous full blooms and make sure I have at least one bunch of them during their short season each year.

Anyway a birthday card using this image for my dad's wife seemed appropriate. :)

Love, Hugs and Kisses is the theme for January over in the Hero Arts Flicker Group and the above colours are the accompanying challenge.

Not much to this card....stamped in Seedless Preserves Distress Inks and coloured with Copics (whilst watching Jane Eyre over and over again! I'm seriously addicted to this movie!) and then a sentiment added via a banner strip with a pearl finished things off.
Now am off to finish the dreaded housework. ;)
What a treat for my day off.
Michey xxx
Stamps: Hero Arts Large Flower Background CG408; PTI Enjoy The Ride (Sentiment)
Inks: Distress Ink Seedless Preserves
Cardstock: PTI Stampers Select White; Fine Linen White Cardstock (Banner)
Other: Copics G40, G82, V20, RV32, RV34; KaiserCraft Pearl; Dimensionals


Lucy's Inspiration Photo #2

I'm back with another card to share. This is for one of my loveliest friends who is celebrating her birthday this weekend.

It really has been a creative week, right? Totally loving it - though this card took a fair bit of time coming together last night. I had created two different card bases before I finished up the third, which you see before you now. The others were too busy or too big and the image kept getting lost and I wanted this gorgeous artwork to take the focus. It's an image called "Gifted" and is my first of many of Leanne Ellis's images that I'll be using in the days/weeks/months ahead.

Some serious enabling happened this week via a lovely crafty friend. She showcased some of the amazing art/stamps from Leanne on her blog this week (take a peek - it's some seriously great stuff) and I just had to investigate further. I originally only looked at Leanne's Etsy store and couldn't help purchasing a couple of digi's. But I couldn't leave it at that and have now added some rubber stamps (via Funky Kits/Sugar Nellie) and they are currently winging there way here from the UK. Fly fast my lovelies.

I printed this image four times onto some watercolour paper using my Epson R290. Took me a bit of effort to do as I hadn't set my printer up since moving my craft stuff early in 2011. And I had a mad dash to the stationery store to get a couple of new inks before any action happened. Anyway, all good to go. I'm glad I printed off so many copies as I used up all of them!!

I originally started colouring with Distress Inks and an aquabrush but discovered that the Epson ink runs when you use water! I've previously only ever coloured digi's with my Copics - so that ruined the first image. Lesson learnt though.

And, since I'm still a little rusty with my Copics and because I printed the image quite small I chose to colour some of the elements separately and then pieced it all together. All is coloured with Copics except the greenish tinge to the background - this is Iced Spruce distress ink. And there is a fairly good dose of subtle Spica glitteryness added too.

I cut the image with a Label 10 Spellbinders die and then used the same sized die to cut out the matt. The matt is a sheet of lighter green embossed paper from the KaiserCraft Sweet Nothings pad and I darkened it with more Iced Spruce. Both then placed onto a Soft Stone card base with two different sized dimensionals.

Card is finished off with some Washi/Tissue tape that I've had in my stash for ever!! I've about a dozen different rolls of this stuff and this is the first time I'm using it. Expect to see much more of it as its awesome!! Some string and an altered button and pearl, a couple of rhineys and I was done.

Hope the birthday girl loves it - I'll know soon enough. Am off to a favourite cafe for dinner tonight to celebrate.

Hope your weekend is full of lovely things.

Michey xxx

Image: Leanne Ellis 'Captured'
 PTI Soft Stone; Watercolour paper, KaiserCraft Sweet Nothings 6 x 6
Ink: Distress Ink Iced Spruce

  Hair - E13, E15, R17
  Skin - E00
  Top - YR00, YR18, YR30
  Skirt & Inner of Frame - N0, N4
  Frame (outer oval) - E42, E44
Spicas: Clear, Silver, Mint
Others: KaiserCraft gems & pearl; Spellbinder Label 10 die; Washi/Tissue Tape from stationery store; String (Spotlight); Random orange button from stash - darkened with Copic E44; Glue Dots and dimensionals


Another Clean and Simple Card and Lucy's Inspiration Week #1

I've been on a roll this week.

Seems like my MoJo feels like it needs to make up for lost time, huh? ;)

I'm really loving how quick and easy it sometimes is to create the clean and simple cards...then other times it looks so clean and simple....but its taken a bit of effort.

I've done a bit of fussy cutting the past couple of nights. Yesterday, cutting out the tea label wasn't too bad...these paper pieced flowers...a bit more effort. :)

I used Lucy's Day 1 photo as my inspiration and then brought together some of tips/techniques learnt on Day 7/8 of the online card class to create this card, embracing the white space. I created a mask for the jar and would have left it as a OLC (one layer card) 'cept I felt those flowers needed a little embellishing and a good dose of good ol' crystal effects.

The tag is one of the die cuts included in the 6x6 pad.

I've been watching Band of Brothers again whilst creating the past few nights - I love this series, but I must say it about breaks my heart each and every time I watch it.

I'm forever indebted and grateful to those who willingly sacrifice their lives in service of God and country. And having an active serviceman as a brother....well you can imagine.

Thankfully, I'm back to my beloved (and already well watched) copy of Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre. It's beyond stunning and I'm absolutely taken with the score too.

Hope your week is going well my friends.
It's soooo good to be back.
Michey xxx

STAMPS: PTI Friendship Jar Fillers and Summer Fillers, Mat Stack 4 Collection (tiny sentiment on label)
INKS: Memento London Fog; Distress Ink Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky
CARDSTOCK/PATTERNED PAPER: PTI Stampers Select White; KaiserCraft Sweet Nothings 6x6 pad
OTHERS: Copics G40 & G82; PTI Buttons Ripe Avocado, Twine; KaiserCraft Pearls; SU Crystal Effects


WMS January 2012 Blog Hop

Hello again.....

I hadn't planned on posting quite so quickly, but as I was blog-surfing this evening I came across Lynn's post on the Waltzing Mouse Blog about the monthly blog hop party.

The theme this month is "Sweet Things" and well I had to get inky straight away.

I immediately thought of the afternoon tea stamp set that I have and well....went from there.

And, again...my layout/card design is somewhat clean and simple for me, continuing with the current Online Card Class that I'm participating in. :)

And I thought I'd throw in a photo of me at the Rodeo in Goomeri on New Year's Eve. I really look like was I was having fun, hey.  ;)

Thanks for stopping by.
See ya'll again soon.
Michey xxx

Stamps: WaltzingMouse Afternoon Tea, Large Doily
Inks: Jenni Bowlin Speckled Egg; Tsukineko Versamark, Archival Brilliance Platinum Planet; Distress Ink Old Paper
Cardstock: PTI Stampers Select White
Others: Hero Arts Ultra Fine Embossing Powder; Copic B000; The Twinery Carribean Twine; PTI Button Spring Rain; Seam Binding


A New Year

Hello my lovelies,

Are you all still here??
Thank you for sticking around during my many long absences in the past year.

As I want to give you the option to just look at my latest creation without having to read "my story", I'll post my update below.

I was quickly flipping through some challenge blogs this afternoon and happened upon this gorgeous new challenge over at Jay Gee's Nook. The picture is exquisite and I was inspired to get inky!!

I was quite taken with several of the actual photos and their contents and will more than likely create again based on this, but for today's card, I went with the overall colours represented here.

I've used one of my brand new Hero Arts 2012 stamps. I've had a love affair with all things Paris/French themed for a long time and so this stamp will see plenty of ink. I know I'm not alone in the "french" thing - there's been such an influx of parisian products on the market recently - my heart is so happy. :)

I'm a bit rusty with the ol' Blogger so am just going to list the items I used below. I'll practice using inlinkz and try that again for next time. ;)

I'm also linking this one into the Clean and Simple Classes that I'm following with Kristina, Jennifer, Julie and friends. I've joined every class these lovelies have had so far - and though I may not have participated in many of them, I've come away with valuable tips and learnt some new things. Well worth the few $$$ since I can't get to classes at any of the LSS's around here. This is based on the 3rd of Kristina's sketches from Day 1.

And sorry the photo's a bit dark - it's late at night here and I wanted to get my first post for 2012 up.

Michey xx

Card Deets:
Stamps: Hero Arts Newspaper Eiffel Tower CL417 and Paris CL325
Inks: Distress Inks: Chipped Sapphire, Walnut Stain, Mustard Seed, Peeled Paint, Old Paper, Frayed Burlap and Scattered Straw (Sentiment panel); Versamark
Cardstock: PTI White Stampers Select and Kraft
Other: Black Embossing Powder, PTI Enchanted Evening Button, The Twinery Buttercream Twine, EK Success Punch Dotted Scallop, Cuttlebug Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Cuttlebug

You know it was a challenging year for me, a year I was grossly unprepared for. But I have survived it. I am in a much better place these days than I have been for some time. And I believe that I have emerged a stronger, more compassionate person as a result.

Last year started with my family and friends being impacted in every possible way in Queensland's devastating floods in the beginning of 2011. I was also caught up in them as well as I was visiting home with my Mama. I'll never have words to describe quite how it felt to see the area I grew up in and loved ones devastated in this unprecedented manner. Nevertheless, we've just passed the first anniversaries and life goes on. Some have been able to make grounds in getting on already and have resumed building/restoration works, but there are many who are waiting and waiting and waiting on dollars (either from Insurers or the Government) and resources before any work can even begin.

Then as you know my beloved Mama became quite unwell in early April and passed away after giving it quite a fight at the end of June. She's was very peaceful and went quietly in her sleep and I'm grateful that she is no longer struggling or suffering, but I miss her bunches. It's a loss that one can never fully recover from - how can you when a parent leaves forever, but life does go on. It is coming up to 7 months since she passed and the tears don't fall every day anymore. Though they are never far away and are triggered by the slightest thing; a remembered moment, a familiar smell or sight....or even just the fact that I miss her so much.

Then some dear friends lost a much wanted baby in early August and we had the precious wee girl's funeral on the same day that my family marked 10years since my niece, Katelyn, had passed away.

And just as I was preparing myself to face my first Christmas without Mum, a very dear friend lost his life quite unexpectedly in early December. Really threw me, I have to say. Steve was like a Dad to me, I even called him 'Papa Bear', and he'd been there for me through life's up and downs over the years. His funeral, however, was such a celebration of a life lived fully that we were able to comfort ourselves in knowing that Steve loved life and all with 100% of his being and that we will see him again one day. He always had a joke and a kind word ready for anyone who crossed his path and that has challenged me to do the same.

I passed a quiet Christmas with some very dear friends. Both my brother and sister were away with their respective in-laws for the first time and though I was invited to travel with both of them, I declined. I wanted to be near home and have a low-key day. Started with a lovely service at my church where I was surrounded by some very dear, long-time friends and then the rest of my day was spent in the company of a husband and wife who have been very dear friends for well over 19years now.

I managed a trip up to Queensland for the New Year and saw in 2012 on a friend's farm, almost in the middle of nowhere. Was perfect! One of the local towns had a rodeo on during the day and into the evening and I went along with a friend. Was a hoot! Has been a very long time since I attended a rodeo and I loved every dusty minute of it. Its an annual event, though last year it was cancelled as the grounds were under inches/metres of water!!

So 2012 is here and I'm resolved to throw myself headfirst into all that it holds. I'm hoping the highs far outweigh the lows this year and I'm expecting so many good things to happen, not just to me but to all those I love too.

And I've been busy the past few weeks in re-organising my studio and am almost there! It was in such a state having been moved a few times last year. And with all that was going on I just never got my act into gear to get it sorted. I'm fairly sure I've got some serious culling to do....one of the things I did was make an inventory of all the stamp sets, dies, inks, tools, markers, etc that I have and seriously - I think I have more than one person could ever use in their lifetime. I think I'll start removing those things that I no longer use or am not likely to use again and start giving them away or selling them so I can then make room for more! Ha! It's a never-ending cycle isn't it?

I promise I'll do a studio post soon so you can see where my craft space came from and the transitions it's made to get to what it is today.

And 2012 will now see me blogging more. I started creating again late in 2011 for an advent swap I was a part of and will show you those soon.

I'm itching to get inky more and more these days and am branching out into off the page and canvas/mixed media art too. Such fun getting all inky and painty. The best possible therapy.

Hope you are all well, my sweet friends.
I'll try and pop around your blogs more often too.

To those of you who messaged me or sent me cards - I apologise for not being by to personally say thank you...I will, I promise - it's just taken me longer to get back on my feet than I thought. Thank you for your kind words and prayers and hugs sent across the miles - they are very precious to me and shall never be forgotten.

Much love,
Michey xxx